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Title: Lady Jane Grey and Her Times
Author: Taylor, Ida Ashworth
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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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



[Illustration: _Lady Jane Grey_

_From a photo by Emery Walker after the picture by Lucas de Heere in
the National portrait Gallery_]



  LADY JANE GREY

  _AND HER TIMES_

  By I. A. TAYLOR

  _Author of “Queen Hortense and her Friends”
  “Queen Henrietta Maria,” etc._


  WITH SEVENTEEN ILLUSTRATIONS


  [Illustration]


  London: HUTCHINSON & CO.
  Paternoster Row  [Illustration]  1908



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER I
                                                                    PAGE
  The condition of Europe and England--Retrospect--Religious
    Affairs--A reign of terror--Cranmer in danger--Katherine Howard    1


  CHAPTER II

  1546

  Katherine Parr--Relations with Thomas Seymour--Married to
    Henry VIII.--Parties in court and country--Katherine’s
    position--Prince Edward                                           13


  CHAPTER III

  1546

  The Marquis of Dorset and his family--Bradgate Park--Lady Jane
    Grey--Her relations with her cousins--Mary Tudor--Protestantism
    at Whitehall--Religious persecution                               24


  CHAPTER IV

  1546

  Anne Askew--Her trial and execution--Katherine Parr’s
    danger--Plot against her--Her escape                              36


  CHAPTER V

  1546

  The King dying--The Earl of Surrey--His career and his fate--The
    Duke of Norfolk’s escape--Death of the King                       48


  CHAPTER VI

  1547

  Triumph of the new men--Somerset made Protector--Coronation of
    Edward VI.--Measures of ecclesiastical reform--The Seymour
    brothers--Lady Jane Grey entrusted to the Admiral--The Admiral
    and Elizabeth--His marriage to Katherine                          60


  CHAPTER VII

  1547-1548

  Katherine Parr’s unhappy married life--Dissensions between the
    Seymour brothers--The King and his uncles--The Admiral and
    Princess Elizabeth--Birth of Katherine’s child, and her death     80


  CHAPTER VIII

  1548

  Lady Jane’s temporary return to her father--He surrenders her
    again to the Admiral--The terms of the bargain                   100


  CHAPTER IX

  1548-1549

  Seymour and the Princess Elizabeth--His courtship--He is sent
    to the Tower--Elizabeth’s examinations and admissions--The
    execution of the Lord Admiral                                    108


  CHAPTER X

  1549-1550

  The Protector’s position--Disaffection in the country--Its
    causes--The Duke’s arrogance--Warwick his rival--The success of
    his opponents--Placed in the Tower, but released--St. George’s
    Day at Court                                                     126


  CHAPTER XI

  1549-1551

  Lady Jane Grey at home--Visit from Roger Ascham--The German
    divines--Position of Lady Jane in the theological world          139


  CHAPTER XII

  1551-1552

  An anxious tutor--Somerset’s final fall--The charges against
    him--His guilt or innocence--His trial and condemnation--The
    King’s indifference--Christmas at Greenwich--The Duke’s
    execution                                                        154


  CHAPTER XIII

  1552

  Northumberland and the King--Edward’s illness--Lady Jane and
    Mary--Mary refused permission to practise her religion--The
    Emperor intervenes                                               169


  CHAPTER XIV

  1552

  Lady Jane’s correspondence with Bullinger--Illness of the Duchess
    of Suffolk--Haddon’s difficulties--Ridley’s visit to Princess
    Mary--The English Reformers--Edward fatally ill--Lady Jane’s
    character and position                                           178


  CHAPTER XV

  1553

  The King dying--Noailles in England--Lady Jane married to
    Guilford Dudley--Edward’s will--Opposition of the law
    officers--They yield--The King’s death                           193


  CHAPTER XVI

  1553

  After King Edward’s death--Results to Lady Jane Grey--
    Northumberland’s schemes--Mary’s escape--Scene at Sion
    House--Lady Jane brought to the Tower--Quarrel with her
    husband--Her proclamation as Queen                               210


  CHAPTER XVII

  1553

  Lady Jane as Queen--Mary asserts her claims--The English
    envoys at Brussels--Mary’s popularity--Northumberland leaves
    London--His farewells                                            225


  CHAPTER XVIII

  1553

  Turn of the tide--Reaction in Mary’s favour in the Council--
    Suffolk yields--Mary proclaimed in London--Lady Jane’s
    deposition--She returns to Sion House                            237


  CHAPTER XIX

  1553

  Northumberland at bay--His capitulation--Meeting with Arundel,
    and arrest--Lady Jane a prisoner--Mary and Elizabeth--Mary’s
    visit to the Tower--London--Mary’s policy                        247


  CHAPTER XX

  1553

  Trial and condemnation of Northumberland--His recantation--Final
    scenes--Lady Jane’s fate in the balances--A conversation with
    her                                                              259


  CHAPTER XXI

  1553

  Mary’s marriage in question--Pole and Courtenay--Foreign
    suitors--The Prince of Spain proposed to her--Elizabeth’s
    attitude--Lady Jane’s letter to Hardinge--The coronation--
    Cranmer in the Tower--Lady Jane attainted--Letter to her
    father--Sentence of death--The Spanish match                     275


  CHAPTER XXII

  1553-1554

  Discontent at the Spanish match--Insurrections in the
    country--Courtenay and Elizabeth--Suffolk a rebel--General
    failure of the insurgents--Wyatt’s success--Marches to
    London--Mary’s conduct--Apprehensions in London, and at the
    palace--The fight--Wyatt a prisoner--Taken to the Tower          289


  CHAPTER XXIII

  1554

  Lady Jane and her husband doomed--Her dispute with Feckenham--
    Gardiner’s sermon--Farewell messages--Last hours--Guilford
    Dudley’s execution--Lady Jane’s death                            311


  INDEX                                                              327



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


  LADY JANE GREY (Photogravure)--_Frontispiece_.

                                                             FACING PAGE
  HENRY VIII.                                                          6

  KATHERINE HOWARD                                                    12

  HENRY VIII. AND HIS THREE CHILDREN                                  20

  PRINCE EDWARD, AFTERWARDS EDWARD VI.                                32

  HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY                                        54

  KATHERINE PARR                                                      82

  WILLIAM, LORD PAGET, K.G.                                          132

  EDWARD VI.                                                         136

  LADY JANE GREY                                                     142

  ARCHBISHOP CRANMER                                                 152

  EDWARD SEYMOUR, DUKE OF SOMERSET, K.G.                             168

  PRINCESS MARY, AT THE AGE OF TWENTY-EIGHT                          184

  LADY JANE GREY                                                     200

  QUEEN ELIZABETH                                                    254

  THE TOWER OF LONDON                                                284

  HENRY GREY, DUKE OF SUFFOLK, K.G.                                  294



LADY JANE GREY AND HER TIMES



CHAPTER I

  The condition of Europe and England--Retrospect--Religious
    Affairs--A reign of terror--Cranmer in danger--Katherine Howard.


In 1546 it must have been evident to most observers that the life
of the man who had for thirty-five years been England’s ruler and
tyrant--of whom Raleigh affirmed that if all the patterns of a
merciless Prince had been lost in the world they might have been found
in this one King--was not likely to be prolonged; and though it had
been made penal to foretell the death of the sovereign, men must have
been secretly looking on to the future with anxious eyes.

Of all the descendants of Henry VII. only one was male, the little
Prince Edward, and in case of his death the succession would lie
between his two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, branded by successive Acts
of Parliament with illegitimacy, the infant Queen of Scotland, whose
claims were consistently ignored, and the daughters and grand-daughters
of Henry VII.’s younger daughter, Mary Tudor.

The royal blood was to prove, to more than one of these, a fatal
heritage. To Mary Stuart it was to bring captivity and death, and
by reason of it Lady Jane Grey was to be forced to play the part of
heroine in one of the most tragic episodes of the sixteenth century.

The latter part of Henry VIII.’s reign had been eventful at home and
abroad. In Europe the three-cornered struggle between the Emperor
Charles V., Francis of France, and Henry had been passing through
various phases and vicissitudes, each of the wrestlers bidding for the
support of a second of the trio, to the detriment of the third. New
combinations were constantly formed as the kaleidoscope was turned;
promises were lavishly made, to be broken without a scruple whensoever
their breach might prove conducive to personal advantage. Religion,
dragged into the political arena, was used as a party war-cry, and
employed as a weapon for the destruction of public and private foes.

At home, England lay at the mercy of a King who was a law to himself
and supreme arbiter of the destinies of his subjects. Only obscurity,
and not always that, could ensure a man’s safety, or prevent him from
falling a prey to the jealousy or hate of those amongst his enemies
who had for the moment the ear of the sovereign. Pre-eminence in
rank, or power, or intellect, was enough to give the possessor of the
distinction an uneasy sense that he was marked out for destruction,
that envy and malice were lying in wait to seize an opportunity to
denounce him to the weak despot upon whose vanity and cowardice the
adroit could play at will. Every year added its tale to the long list
of victims who had met their end upon the scaffold.

For fifteen years, moreover, the country had been delivered over to
the struggle carried on in the name of religion. In 1531 the King had
responded to the refusal of the Pope to sanction his divorce from
Katherine of Aragon by repudiating the authority of the Holy See
and the assertion of his own supremacy in matters spiritual as well
as temporal. Three years later Parliament, servile and subservient
as Parliaments were wont to be under the Tudor Kings, had formally
endorsed and confirmed the revolt.

“The third day of November,” recorded the chronicler, “the King’s
Highness held the high Court of Parliament, in the which was concluded
and made many and sundry good, wholesome, and godly statutes, but
among all one special statute which authorised the King’s Highness to
be supreme head of the Church of England, by which the Pope ... was
utterly abolished out of this realm.”[1]

Since then another punishable crime was added to those, already none
too few, for which a man was liable to lose his head, and the following
year saw the death upon the scaffold of Fisher and of More. The
execution of Anne Boleyn, by whom the match had, in some sort, been
set to the mine, came next, but the step taken by the King was not to
be retraced with the absence of the motive which had prompted it; and
Catholics and Protestants alike had continued to suffer at the hands
of an autocrat who chastised at will those who wandered from the path
he pointed out, and refused to model their creed upon the prescribed
pattern.

In 1546 the “Act to abolish Diversity of Opinion”--called more
familiarly the Bloody Statute, and designed to conform the faith of
the nation to that of the King--had been in force for seven years, a
standing menace to those persons, in high or low place, who, encouraged
by the King’s defiance of Rome, had been emboldened to adopt the tenets
of the German Protestants. Henry had opened the floodgates; he desired
to keep out the flood. The Six Articles of the Statute categorically
reaffirmed the principal doctrines of the Catholic Church, and made
their denial a legal offence. On the other hand the refusal to admit
the royal supremacy in matters spiritual was no less penal. A reign of
terror was the result.

“Is thy servant a dog?” The time-honoured question might have risen
to the King’s lips in the days, not devoid of a brighter promise, of
his youth, had the veil covering the future been withdrawn. “We mark
curiously,” says a recent writer, “the regular deterioration of Henry’s
character as the only checks upon his action were removed, and he
progressively defied traditional authority and established standards of
conduct without disaster to himself.” The Church had proved powerless
to punish a defiance dictated by passion and perpetuated by vanity
and cupidity; Parliaments had cringed to him in matters religious or
political, courtiers and sycophants had flattered, until “there was
no power on earth to hold in check the devil in the breast of Henry
Tudor.”[2]

Such was the condition of England. Old barriers had been thrown down;
new had not acquired strength; in the struggle for freedom men had
cast aside moral restraint. Life was so lightly esteemed, and death
invested with so little tragic importance, that a man of the position
and standing of Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, when appointed to preach
on the occasion of the burning of a priest, could treat the matter with
a flippant levity scarcely credible at a later day.

“If it be your pleasure, as it is,” he wrote to Cromwell, “that I shall
play the fool after my customary manner when Forest shall suffer, I
would that my stage stood near unto Forest” (so that the victim might
benefit by his arguments).... “If he would yet with heart return to his
abjuration, I would wish his pardon, such is my foolishness.”[3]

Yet there was another side to the picture; here and there, amidst
the din of battle and the confusion of tongues, the voice of genuine
conviction was heard; and men and women were ready, at the bidding of
conscience, to give up their lives in passionate loyalty to an ancient
faith or to a new ideal. “And the thirtieth day of the same month,”
June 1540, runs an entry in a contemporary chronicle, “was Dr. Barnes,
Jerome, and Garrard, drawn from the Tower to Smithfield, and there
burned for their heresies. And that same day also was drawn from the
Tower with them Doctor Powell, with two other priests, and there was
a gallows set up at St. Bartholomew’s Gate, and there were hanged,
headed, and quartered that same day”--the offence of these last being
the denial of the King’s supremacy, as that of the first had been
adherence to Protestant doctrines.[4]

[Illustration:

  From a photo by W. Mansell & Co. after a painting by Holbein.

HENRY VIII.]

No one was safe. The year 1540 had seen the fall of Cromwell, the
Minister of State. “Cranmer and Cromwell,” wrote the French ambassador,
“do not know where they are.”[5] Cromwell at least was not to wait
long for the certainty. For years all-powerful in the Council, he was
now to fall a victim to jealous hate and the credulity of the master
he had served. At his imprisonment “many lamented, but more rejoiced,
... for they banquetted and triumphed together that night, many wishing
that day had been seven years before; and some, fearing that he should
escape although he were imprisoned, could not be merry.”[6] They need
not have feared the King’s clemency. The minister had been arrested on
June 10. On July 28 he was executed on Tower Hill.

If Cromwell, in spite of his services to the Crown, in spite of the
need Henry had of men of his ability, was not secure, who could call
themselves safe? Even Cranmer, the King’s special friend though he
was, must have felt misgivings. A married man, with children, he was
implicitly condemned by one of the Six Articles of the Bloody Statute,
enjoining celibacy on the clergy, and was besides well known to hold
Protestant views. His embittered enemy, Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester,
vehement in his Catholicism though pandering to the King on the subject
of the royal supremacy, was minister; and his fickle master might throw
the Archbishop at any moment to the wolves.

One narrow escape he had already had, when in 1544 a determined attempt
had been hazarded to oust him from his position of trust and to
convict him of his errors, and the party adverse to him in the Council
had accused the Primate “most grievously” to the King of heresy. It was
a bold stroke, for it was known that Henry loved him, and the triumph
of his foes was the greater when they received the royal permission to
commit the Lord Archbishop to the Tower on the following day, and to
cause him to undergo an examination on matters of doctrine and faith.
So far all had gone according to their hopes, and his enemies augured
well of the result. But that night, at eleven o’clock, when Cranmer, in
ignorance of the plot against him, was in bed, he received a summons
to attend the King, whom he found in the gallery at Whitehall, and who
made him acquainted with the action of the Council, together with his
own consent that an examination should take place.

“Whether I have done well or no, what say you, my lord?” asked Henry in
conclusion.

Cranmer answered warily. Knowing his master, and his jealousy of being
supposed to connive at heresy, save on the one question of the Pope’s
authority, he cannot have failed to recognise the gravity of the
situation. He put, however, a good face upon it. The King, he said,
would see that he had a fair trial--“was indifferently heard.” His
bearing was that of a man secure that justice would be done him. Both
he, in his heart, and the King, knew better.

“Oh, Lord God,” sighed Henry, “what fond simplicity have you, so to
permit yourself to be imprisoned!” False witnesses would be produced,
and he would be condemned.

Taking his precautions, therefore, Henry gave the Archbishop his
ring--the recognised sign that the matter at issue was taken out of the
hands of the Council and reserved for his personal investigation. After
which sovereign and prelate parted.

When, at eight o’clock the next morning, Cranmer, in obedience to the
summons he had received, arrived at the Council Chamber, his foes,
insolent in their premature triumph, kept him at the door, awaiting
their convenience, close upon an hour. My lord of Canterbury was become
a lacquey, some one reported to the King, since he was standing among
the footmen and servants. The King, comprehending what was implied, was
wroth.

“Have they served my lord so?” he asked. “It is well enough; I shall
talk with them by and by.”

Accordingly when Cranmer, called at length and arraigned before
the Council, produced the ring--the symbol of his enemies’
discomfiture--and was brought to the royal presence that his cause
might be tried by the King in person, the positions of accused and
accusers were reversed. Acting, not without passion, rather as the
advocate of the menaced man than as his judge, Henry received the
Council with taunts, and in reply to their asseverations that the
trial had been merely intended to conduce to the Archbishop’s greater
glory, warned them against treating his friends in that fashion for the
future. Cranmer, for the present, was safe.[7]

Protestant England rejoiced with the Protestant Archbishop. But it
rejoiced in trembling. The Archbishop’s escape did not imply immunity
to lesser offenders, and the severity used in administering the law
is shown by the fact that a boy of fifteen was burnt for heresy--no
willing martyr, but ignorant, and eager to catch at any chances of
life, by casting the blame of his heresy on others. “The poor boy,”
says Hall, “would have gladly said that the twelve Apostles taught it
him ... such was his childish innocency and fear.”[8] And England, with
the strange patience of the age, looked on.

Side by side with religious persecution ran the story of the King’s
domestic crimes. To go back no further, in the year 1542 Katherine
Howard, Henry’s fifth wife, had met her fate, and the country had
silently witnessed the pitiful and shameful spectacle. As fact after
fact came to light, the tale will have been told of the beautiful,
neglected child, left to her own devices and to the companionship of
maid-servants in the disorderly household of her grandmother, the
Duchess of Norfolk, with the results that might have been anticipated;
of how she had suddenly become of importance when it had been perceived
that the King had singled her out for favour; and of how, still “a
very little girl,” as some one described her, she had been used as a
pawn in the political game played by the Howard clan, and married to
Henry. Only a few months after she had been promoted to her perilous
dignity her doom had overtaken her; the enemies of the party to which
by birth she belonged had not only made known to her husband misdeeds
committed before her marriage and almost ranking as the delinquencies
of a misguided child, but had hinted at more unpardonable misdemeanours
of which the King’s wife had been guilty. The story of Katherine’s
arraignment and condemnation will have spread through the land, with
her protestations that, though not excusing the sins and follies of her
youth--she was seventeen when she was done to death--she was guiltless
of the action she was specially to expiate at the block; whilst men may
have whispered the tale of her love for Thomas Culpeper, her cousin
and playmate, whom she would have wedded had not the King stepped in
between, and who had paid for her affection with his blood. “I die a
Queen,” she is reported to have exclaimed upon the scaffold, “but I
would rather have died the wife of Culpeper.”[9] And it may have been
rumoured that her head had fallen, not so much to vindicate the honour
of the King as to set him free to form fresh ties.

However that might be, Katherine Howard had been sent to answer for her
offences, or prove her innocence, at another bar, and her namesake,
Katherine Parr, reigned in her stead.

[Illustration:

  From a photo by W. Mansell & Co. after a painting of the School of
    Holbein.

KATHERINE HOWARD.]



CHAPTER II

1546

  Katherine Parr--Relations with Thomas Seymour--Married to Henry
    VIII.--Parties in court and country--Katherine’s position--Prince
    Edward.


It was now three years since Katherine Parr had replaced the unhappy
child who had been her immediate predecessor. For three perilous
years she had occupied--with how many fears, how many misgivings,
who can tell?--the position of the King’s sixth wife. On a July day
in 1543 Lady Latimer, already at thirty twice a widow, had been
raised to the rank of Queen. If the ceremony was attended with no
special pomp, neither had it been celebrated with the careful privacy
observed with respect to some of the King’s marriages. His two
daughters, Mary--approximately the same age as the bride, and who
was her friend--and Elizabeth, had been present, as well as Henry’s
brother-in-law, Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, and other officers of
State. Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, afterwards her dangerous foe,
performed the rite, in the Queen’s Closet at Hampton Court.

Sir Thomas Seymour, Hertford’s brother and Lord Admiral of England,
was not at Hampton Court on the occasion, having been despatched
on some foreign mission. More than one reason may have contributed
to render his absence advisable. A wealthy and childless widow, of
unblemished reputation, and belonging by birth to a race connected
with the royal house, was not likely to remain long without suitors,
and Lord Latimer can scarcely have been more than a month in his grave
before Thomas Seymour had testified his desire to replace him and to
become Katherine’s third husband. Nor does she appear to have been
backward in responding to his advances.

Twice married to elderly men whose lives lay behind them, twice set
free by death from her bonds, she may fairly have conceived that the
time was come when she was justified in wedding, not for family or
substantial reasons, not wholly perhaps, as before, in wisdom’s way,
but a man she loved.

Seymour was not without attractions calculated to commend him to a
woman hitherto bestowed upon husbands selected for her by others. Young
and handsome, “fierce in courage, courtly in fashion, in personage
stately, in voice magnificent, but somewhat empty in matter,”[10] the
gay sailor appears to have had little difficulty in winning the heart
of a woman who, in spite of the learning, the prudence, and the piety
for which she was noted, may have felt, as she watched her youth slip
by, that she had had little good of it; and it is clear, from a letter
she addressed to Seymour himself when, after Henry’s death, his suit
had been successfully renewed, that she had looked forward at this
earlier date to becoming his wife.

“As truly as God is God,” she then wrote, “my mind was fully bent,
the other time I was at liberty, to marry you before any man I know.
Howbeit God withstood my will therein most vehemently for a time, and
through His grace and goodness made that possible which seemed to me
most impossible; that was, made me renounce utterly mine own will and
follow His most willingly. It were long to write all the processes
of this matter. If I live, I shall declare it to you myself. I can
say nothing, but as my Lady of Suffolk saith, ‘God is a marvellous
man.’”[11]

Strange burdens of responsibility have ever been laid upon the duty of
obedience to the will of Providence, nor does it appear clear to the
casual reader why the consent of Katherine to become a Queen should
have been viewed by her in the light of a sacrifice to principle.
Whether her point of view was shared by her lover does not appear. It
is at all events clear that both were wise enough in the world’s lore
not to brave the wrath of the despot by crossing his caprice. Seymour
retired from the field, and Katherine, perhaps sustained by the
inward approval of conscience, perhaps partially comforted by a crown,
accepted the dangerous distinction she was offered.

To her brother, Lord Parr, when writing to inform him of her
advancement, she expressed no regret. It had pleased God, she told
him, to incline the King to take her as his wife, the greatest joy and
comfort that could happen to her. She desired to communicate the great
news to Parr, as being the person with most cause to rejoice thereat,
and added, with a suspicion of condescension, her hope that he would
let her hear of his health as friendly as if she had not been called to
this honour.[12]

Although the actual marriage had not taken place until some six months
after Lord Latimer’s death, no time can have been lost in arranging it,
since before her husband had been two months in the grave Henry was
causing a bill for her dresses to be paid out of the Exchequer.

It was generally considered that the King had chosen well. Wriothesley,
the Chancellor, was sure His Majesty had never a wife more agreeable to
his heart. Gardiner had not only performed the marriage ceremony but
had given away the bride. According to an old chronicle the new Queen
was a woman “compleat with singular humility.”[13] She had, at any
rate, the adroitness, in her relations with the King, to assume the
appearance of it, and was a well-educated, sensible, and kindly woman,
“quieter than any of the young wives the King had had, and, as she knew
more of the world, she always got on pleasantly with the King, and had
no caprices.”[14]

The story of the marriage was an old one in 1546. Seymour had returned
from his mission and resumed his former position at Court as the King’s
brother-in-law and the uncle of his heir, and not even the Queen’s
enemies--and she had enough of them and to spare--had found an excuse
for calling to mind the relations once existing between the Admiral
and the King’s wife. Nevertheless, and in spite of the blamelessness
of her conduct, the satisfaction which had greeted the marriage was
on the wane. A hard task would have awaited Queen or courtier who
should have attempted to minister to the contentment of all the rival
parties striving for predominance in the State and at Court, and to be
adjudged the friend of the one was practically equivalent to a pledge
of distrust from the other. Whitehall, like the country at large,
was divided against itself by theological strife; and whilst the men
faithful to the ancient creed in its entirety were inevitably in bitter
opposition to the adherents of the new teachers whose headquarters were
in Germany, a third party, more unscrupulous than either, was made up
of the middle men who moulded--outwardly or inwardly--their faith upon
the King’s, and would, if they could, have created a Papacy without a
Pope, a Catholic Church without its corner-stone.

At Court, as elsewhere, each of these three parties were standing
on their guard, ready to parry or to strike a blow when occasion
arose, jealous of every success scored by their opponents. The fall
of Cromwell had inspired the Catholics with hope, and, with Gardiner
as Minister and Wriothesley as Chancellor, they had been in a more
favourable position than for some time past at the date of the King’s
last marriage. It had then been assumed that the new Queen’s influence
would be employed upon their side--an expectation confirmed by her
friendship with the Princess Mary. The discovery that the widow of Lord
Latimer--so fervent a Catholic that he had joined in the north-country
insurrection known as the Pilgrimage of Grace--had broken with her
past, openly displayed her sympathy with Protestant doctrine, and, in
common with the King’s nieces, was addicted to what was called the “new
learning,” quickly disabused them of their hopes, rendered the Catholic
party at Court her embittered enemies, and lent additional danger to
what was already a perilous position by affording those at present in
power a motive for removing from the King’s side a woman regarded as
the advocate of innovation.

So far their efforts had been fruitless. Katherine still held her
own. During Henry’s absence in France, whither he had gone to conduct
the campaign in person, she had administered the Government, as
Queen-Regent, with tact and discretion; the King loved her--as he
understood love--and, what was perhaps a more important matter, she had
contrived to render herself necessary to him. Wary, prudent, and pious,
and notwithstanding the possession of qualities marking her out in some
sort as the superior woman of her day, she was not above pandering to
his love of flattery. Into her book entitled _The Lamentations of a
Sinner_, she introduced a fulsome panegyric of the godly and learned
King who had removed from his realm the veils and mists of error, and
in the guise of a modern Moses had been victorious over the Roman
Pharaoh. What she publicly printed she doubtless reiterated in private;
and the King found the domestic incense soothing to an irritable
temper, still further acerbated by disease.

By other methods she had commended herself to those who were about
him open to conciliation. She had served a long apprenticeship in
the art of the step-mother, both Lord Borough, her first husband,
and Lord Latimer having possessed children when she married them;
and her skill in dealing with the little heir to the throne and his
sisters proved that she had turned her experience to good account. Her
genuine kindness, not only to Mary, who had been her friend from the
first, but to Elizabeth, ten years old at the time of the marriage,
was calculated to propitiate the adherents of each; and to her good
offices it was in especial due that Anne Boleyn’s daughter, hitherto
kept chiefly at a distance from Court, was brought to Whitehall. The
child, young as she was, was old enough to appreciate the importance of
possessing a friend in her father’s wife, and the letter she addressed
to her step-mother on the occasion overflowed with expressions of
devotion and gratitude. To the place the Queen won in the affections of
the all-important heir, the boy’s letters bear witness.

[Illustration:

  From an engraving by F. Bartolozzi after a picture by Holbein.

HENRY VIII. AND HIS THREE CHILDREN.]

There is no need to assume that Katherine’s course of action was wholly
dictated by interested motives. Yet in this case principle and prudence
went hand in hand. Henry was becoming increasingly sick and suffering,
and, with the shadow of death deepening above him, the gifts he asked
of life were insensibly changing their character. His autocratic and
violent temper remained the same, but peace and quiet, a soothing
atmosphere of submissive affection, the absence of domestic friction,
if not sufficient to ensure his wife immunity from peril, constituted
her best chance of escaping the doom of her predecessors. To a selfish
man the appeal must be to self-interest. This appeal Katherine
consistently made and it had so far proved successful. For the rest,
whether she suffered from terror of possible disaster or resolutely
shut her eyes to what might have unnerved and rendered her unfit for
the part she had to play, none can tell, any more than it can be
determined whether, as she looked from the man she had married to the
man she had loved, she indulged in vain regrets for the happiness of
which she had caught a glimpse in those brief days when she had dreamed
of a future to be shared with Thomas Seymour.

In spite, however, of her caution, in spite of the perfection with
which she performed the duties of wife and nurse, by 1546 disquieting
reports were afloat.

“I am confused and apprehensive,” wrote Charles V.’s ambassador from
London in the February of that year, “to have to inform Your Majesty
that there are rumours here of a new Queen, although I do not know how
true they be.... The King shows no alteration in his behaviour towards
the Queen, though I am informed that she is annoyed by the rumours.”[15]

With the history of the past to quicken her apprehensions, she may
well have been more than “annoyed” by them. But, true or false, she
could but pursue the line of conduct she had adopted, and must have
turned with relief from domestic anxieties to any other matters that
could serve to distract her mind from her precarious future. Amongst
the learned ladies of a day when scholarship was becoming a fashion
she occupied a foremost place, and was actively engaged in promoting
educational interests. Stimulated by her step-mother’s approval, the
Princess Mary had been encouraged to undertake part of the translation
of Erasmus’s paraphrases of the Gospels; and Elizabeth is found sending
the Queen, as a fitting offering, a translation from the Italian
inscribed on vellum and entitled the _Glasse of the Synneful Soule_,
accompanying it by the expression of a hope that, having passed through
hands so learned as the Queen’s, it would come forth from them in a new
form. The education of the little Prince Edward too was pushed rapidly
forward, and at six years old, the year of his father’s marriage, he
had been taken out of the hands of women and committed to the tuition
of John Cheke and Dr. Richard Cox. These two, explains Heylyn, being
equal in authority, employed themselves to his advantage in their
several kinds--Dr. Cox for knowledge of divinity, philosophy, and
gravity of manners, Mr. Cheke for eloquence in the Greek and Latin
tongues; whilst other masters instructed the poor child in modern
languages, so that in a short time he spoke French perfectly, and was
able to express himself “magnificently enough” in Italian, Greek, and
Spanish.[16]

His companion and playfellow was one Barnaby Fitzpatrick, to whom
he clung throughout his short life with constant affection. It was
Barnaby’s office to bear whatever punishment the Prince had merited--a
method more successful in the case of the Prince than it might have
proved with a less soft-hearted offender, since it is said that “it was
not easy to affirm whether Fitzpatrick smarted more for the default
of the Prince, or the Prince conceived more grief for the smart of
Fitzpatrick.”[17]

Katherine Parr is not likely to have regretted the pressure put upon
her stepson; and the boy, apologising for his simple and rude letters,
adds his acknowledgments for those addressed to him by the Queen,
“which do give me much comfort and encouragement to go forward in such
things wherein your Grace beareth me on hand.”

The King’s latest wife was, in fact, a teacher by nature and choice,
and admirably fitted to direct the studies of his son and daughters, as
well as of any other children who might be brought within the sphere
of her influence. That influence, it may be, had something to do with
moulding the character and the destiny of a child fated to be unhappily
prominent in the near future. This was Lady Jane Grey.



CHAPTER III

1546

  The Marquis of Dorset and his family--Bradgate Park--Lady Jane
    Grey--Her relations with her cousins--Mary Tudor--Protestantism
    at Whitehall--Religious persecution.


Amongst the households where both affairs at Court and the religious
struggle distracting the country were watched with the deepest interest
was that of the Marquis of Dorset, the husband of the King’s niece and
father of Lady Jane Grey.

Married at eighteen to the infirm and aged Louis XII. of France, Mary
Tudor, daughter of Henry VII. and friend of the luckless Katherine of
Aragon, had been released by his death after less than three months
of wedded life, and had lost no time in choosing a more congenial
bridegroom. At Calais, on her way home, she had bestowed her hand upon
“that martial and pompous gentleman,” Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk,
who, sent by her brother to conduct her back to England, thought it
well to secure his bride and to wait until the union was accomplished
before obtaining the King’s consent. Of this hurried marriage the
eldest child was the mother of Jane Grey, who thus derived her
disastrous heritage of royal blood.

It was at the country home of the Dorset family, Bradgate Park, that
Lady Jane had been born, in 1537. Six miles distant from the town of
Leicester, and forming the south-east end of Charnwood Forest, it was
a pleasant and quiet place. Over the wide park itself, seven miles
in circumference, bracken grew freely; here and there bare rocks
rose amidst the masses of green undergrowth, broken now and then
by a solitary oak, and the unwooded expanse was covered with “wild
verdure.”[18]

The house itself had not long been built, nor is there much remaining
at the present day to show what had been its aspect at the time when
Lady Jane was its inmate. Early in the eighteenth century it was
destroyed by fire, tradition ascribing the catastrophe to a Lady
Suffolk who, brought to her husband’s home as a bride, complained that
the country was a forest and the inhabitants were brutes, and, at the
suggestion of her sister, took the most certain means of ensuring a
change of residence.

But if little outward trace is left of the place where the victim of
state-craft and ambition was born and passed her early years, it is not
a difficult matter to hazard a guess at the religious and political
atmosphere of her home. Echoes of the fight carried on, openly or
covertly, between the parties striving for predominance in the realm
must have almost daily reached Bradgate, the accounts of the incidents
marking the combat taking their colour from the sympathies of the
master and mistress of the house, strongly enlisted upon the side of
Protestantism. At Lord Dorset’s house, though with closed doors, the
condition of religious affairs must have supplied constant matter for
discussion; and Jane will have listened to the conversation with the
eager attention of an intelligent child, piecing together the fragments
she gathered up, and gradually realising, with a thrill of excitement,
as she became old enough to grasp the significance of what she heard,
that men and women were suffering and dying in torment for the sake of
doctrines she had herself been taught as a matter of course. Serious
and precocious, and already beginning an education said to have
included in later years Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Chaldaic, Arabic, French,
and Italian, the stories reaching her father’s house of the events
taking place in London and at Court must have imprinted themselves upon
her imagination at an age specially open to such impressions, and it is
not unnatural that she should have grown up nurtured in the principles
of polemics and apt at controversy.

Nor were edifying tales of martyrdom or of suffering for conscience’
sake the only ones to penetrate to the green and quiet precincts of
Bradgate. At his niece’s house the King’s domestic affairs--a scandal
and a by-word in Europe--must have been regarded with the added
interest, perhaps the sharper criticism, due to kinship. Henry was
not only Lady Dorset’s sovereign, but her uncle, and she had a more
personal interest than others in what Messer Barbaro, in his report
to the Venetian senate, described as “this confusion of wives.”[19]
To keep a child ignorant was no part of the training of the day,
and Jane, herself destined for a court life, no doubt had heard, as
she grew older, many of the stories of terror and pity circulating
throughout the country, and investing, in the eyes of those afar off,
the distant city--the stage whereon most of them had been enacted--with
the atmosphere of mystery and fear and excitement belonging to a place
where martyrs were shedding their blood, or heretics atoning for their
guilt, according as the narrators inclined to the ancient or the novel
faith; where tragedies of love and hatred and revenge were being
played, and men went in hourly peril of their lives.

Of this place, invested with the attraction and glamour belonging to a
land of glitter and romance, Lady Jane had glimpses on the occasions
when, as a near relation of the King’s, she accompanied her mother to
Court, becoming for a while a sharer in the life of palaces and an
actor, by reason of her strain of royal blood, in the pageant ever
going forward at St. James’s or Whitehall;[20] and though it does not
appear that she was finally transferred from the guardianship of her
parents to that of the Queen until after the death of Henry in the
beginning of the year 1547, it is not unlikely that the book-loving
child of nine may have attracted the attention of the scholarly
Queen during her visits to Court and that Katherine’s belligerent
Protestantism had its share in the development of the convictions which
afterwards proved so strong both in life and in death.

There is at this date little trace of any connection between Jane
and her cousins, the King’s children. A strong affection on the part
of Edward is said to have existed, and to it has been attributed his
consent to set his sisters aside in Lady Jane’s favour. “She charmed
all who knew her,” says Burnet, “in particular the young King, about
whom she was bred, and who had always lived with her in the familiarity
of a brother.” For this statement there is no contemporary authority,
and, so far as can be ascertained, intercourse between the two can
have been but slight. Between Edward and his younger sister, on
the other hand, the bond of affection was strong, their education
being carried on at this time much together at Hatfield; and “a
concurrence and sympathy of their natures and affections, together
with the celestial bond, conformity in religion,”[21] made it the
more remarkable that the Prince should have afterwards agreed to set
aside, in favour of his cousin, Elizabeth’s claim to the succession.
It is true that in their occasional meetings the studious boy and the
serious-minded little girl may have discovered that they had tastes in
common, but such casual acquaintanceship can scarcely have availed to
counterbalance the affection produced by close companionship and the
tie of blood; and grounds for the Prince’s subsequent conduct, other
than the influence and arguments of those about him, can only be matter
of conjecture.

Of the relations existing between Jane and the Prince’s sisters there
is little more mention; but the entry by Mary Tudor in a note-book
of the gift of a gold necklace set with pearls, made “to my cousin,
Jane Gray,” shows that the two had met in the course of this summer,
and would seem to indicate a kindly feeling on the part of the older
woman towards the unfortunate child whom, not eight years later, she
was to send to the scaffold. Could the future have been laid bare it
would perhaps not have been the victim who would have recoiled from the
revelation with the greatest horror.

Although what was to follow lends a tragic significance to the
juxtaposition of the names of the two cousins, there was nothing
sinister about the King’s elder daughter as she filled the place
at Court in which she had been reinstated at the instance of her
step-mother. A gentle, brown-eyed woman, past her first youth, and
bearing on her countenance the traces of sickness and sorrow and
suffering, she enjoyed at this date so great a popularity as almost,
according to a foreign observer, to be an object of adoration to her
father’s subjects, obstinately faithful to her injured and repudiated
mother. But, ameliorated as was the Princess’s condition, she had
been too well acquainted, from childhood upwards, with the reverses
of fortune to count over-securely upon a future depending upon her
father’s caprice.

Her health was always delicate, and during the early part of the
year she had been ill. By the spring, however, she had resumed her
attendance at Court, and--to judge by a letter from her little wise
brother, contemplating from a safe distance the dangerous pastimes
of Whitehall--was taking a conspicuous part in the entertainments in
fashion. Writing in Latin to his step-mother, Prince Edward besought
her “to preserve his dear sister Mary from the enchantments of the
Evil One, by beseeching her no longer to attend to foreign dances and
merriments, unbecoming in a most Christian Princess”--and least of
all in one for whom he expressed the wish, in the course of the same
summer, that the wisdom of Esther might be hers.

It does not appear whether or not Mary took the admonitions of her
nine-year-old Mentor to heart. The pleasures of court life are not
likely to have exercised a perilous fascination over the Princess,
her spirits clouded by the memory of her melancholy past and the
uncertainty of her future, and probably represented to her a more or
less wearisome part of the necessary routine of existence.

Whilst the entertainments the Prince deplored went forward at
Whitehall, they were accompanied by other practices he would have
wholly approved. Not only was his step-mother addicted to personal
study of the Scriptures, but she had secured the services of learned
men to instruct her further in them; holding private conferences with
these teachers; and, especially during Lent, causing a sermon to be
delivered each afternoon for her own benefit and that of any of her
ladies disposed to profit by it, when the discourse frequently turned
or touched upon abuses in the Church.[22]

It was a bold stroke, Henry’s claims to the position of sole arbiter
on questions of doctrine considered. Nevertheless the Queen acted
openly, and so far her husband had testified no dissatisfaction. Yet
the practice must have served to accentuate the dividing line of
theological opinion, already sufficiently marked at Court; some members
of the royal household, like Princess Mary, holding aloof; others
eagerly welcoming the step; the Seymours, Cranmer, and their friends
looking on with approval, whilst the Howard connection, with Gardiner
and Wriothesley, took note of the Queen’s imprudence, and waited and
watched their opportunity to turn it to their advantage and to her
destruction.

[Illustration: Edward Prince

  From an engraving by R. Dalton after a drawing by Holbein.

PRINCE EDWARD, AFTERWARDS EDWARD VI.]

Such was the internal condition of the Court. The spring had meanwhile
been marked by rejoicings for the peace with foreign powers, at last
concluded. On Whit-Sunday a great procession proceeded from St. Paul’s
to St. Peter’s, Cornhill, accompanied by a banner, and by crosses from
every parish church, the children of St. Paul’s School joining in the
show. It was composed of a motley company. Bishop Bonner--as vehement
in his Catholicism as Gardiner, and so much less wary in the display
of his opinions that his brother of Winchester was wont at times to
term him “asse”--carried the Blessed Sacrament under a canopy, with
“clerks and priests and vicars and parsons”; the Lord Mayor was there
in crimson velvet, the aldermen were in scarlet, and all the crafts
in their best apparel. The occasion was worthy of the pomp displayed in
honour of it, for it was--the words sound like a jest--the festival of
a “Universal Peace for ever,” announced by the Mayor, standing between
standard and cross, and including in the proclamation of general amity
the names of the Emperor, the King of England, the French King, and all
Christian Kings.[23]

If soldiers had for the moment consented to proclaim a truce and to
name it, merrily, eternal, theologians had agreed to no like suspension
of hostilities, and the perennial religious strife showed no signs of
intermission.

“Sire,” wrote Admiral d’Annebaut, sent by Francis to London to ratify
the peace, “I know not what to tell your Majesty as to the order given
me to inform myself of the condition of religious affairs in England;
except that Henry has declared himself head of the Anglican Church,
and woe to whomsoever refuses to recognise him in that capacity. He
has also usurped all ecclesiastical property, and destroyed all the
convents. He attends Mass nevertheless daily, and permits the papal
nuncio to live in London. What is strangest of all is that Catholics
are there burnt as well as Lutherans and other heretics. Was anything
like it ever seen?”[24]

Punishment was indeed dealt out with singular impartiality. During the
spring Dr. Crome had been examined touching a sermon he had delivered
against Catholic doctrine. Two or three weeks later, preaching once
more at Paul’s Cross, he had boldly declared he was not there for the
purpose of denying his former assertions; but a second “examination”
had proved more effective, and on the Sunday following the feast of
Corpus Christi he eschewed his heresies.[25] “Our news here,” wrote a
merchant of London to his brother on July 2, “of Dr. Crome’s canting,
recanting, decanting, or rather double-canting, be this.”[26] The
transaction was representative of many others, which, with their
undercurrent of terror, struggle, intimidation, menace, and remorse,
formed a melancholy and recurrent feature of the day, the victory
remaining sometimes with a man’s conscience--whatever it dictates might
be--sometimes with his fears.

The King was, in fact, still endeavouring to stem the torrent he
had set loose. In his speech to Parliament on Christmas Eve, 1545,
after commending and thanking Lords and Commons for their loyalty and
affection towards himself, he had spoken with severity of the discord
and dissension prevalent in the realm; the clergy, by their sermons
against each other, sowing debate and discord amongst the people....
“I am very sorry to know and hear how unreverently that most precious
jewel, the Word of God, is disputed, rimed, sung and jangled in every
ale-house and tavern ... and yet I am even as much sorry that the
readers of the same follow it in doing so faintly and so coldly. For
of this I am sure, that charity was never so faint amongst you, and
virtuous and godly living was never less used, nor God Himself amongst
Christians was never less reverenced, honoured, and served.”[27]

Delivered scarcely more than a year before his death, Henry’s speech
was a singular commentary upon the condition of the realm, consequent
upon his own policy, during the concluding years of his reign.



CHAPTER IV

1546

  Anne Askew--Her trial and execution--Katherine Parr’s danger--Plot
    against her--Her escape.


As the months of 1546 went by the measures taken by the King and his
advisers to enforce unanimity of practice and opinion in matters
of religion did not become less drastic. A great burning of books
disapproved by Henry took place during the autumn, preceded in July
by the condemnation and execution of a victim whose fate attracted an
unusual amount of attention, the effect at Court being enhanced by the
fact that the heroine of the story was personally known to the Queen
and her ladies. It was indeed reported that one of the King’s special
causes of displeasure was that she had been the means of imbuing his
nieces--among whom was Lady Dorset, Jane Grey’s mother--as well as his
wife, with heretical doctrines.

Added to the species of glamour commonly surrounding a spiritual
leader, more particularly in times of persecution, Anne Askew was
beautiful and young--not more than twenty-five at the time of her
death--and the thought of her racked frame, her undaunted courage, and
her final agony at the stake, may well have haunted with the horror of
a night-mare those who had been her disciples, and who looked on from a
distance, and with sympathy they dared not display.

There were other circumstances increasing the interest with which
the melancholy drama was watched. Well born and educated, Anne had
been the wife of a Lincolnshire gentleman of the name of Kyme. Their
life together had been of short duration. In a period of bitter party
feeling and recrimination, it is difficult to ascertain with certainty
the truth on any given point; and whilst a hostile chronicler asserts
that Anne left her husband in order “to gad up and down a-gospelling
and gossipping where she might and ought not, but especially in
London and near the Court,”[28] another authority explains that Kyme
had turned her out of his house upon her conversion to Protestant
doctrines. Whatever might have been the origin of her mode of life, it
is certain that she resumed her maiden name, and proceeded to “execute
the office of an apostle.”[29]

Her success in her new profession made her unfortunately conspicuous,
and in 1545 she was committed to Newgate, “for that she was very
obstinate and heady in reasoning on matters of religion.” The
charge, it must be confessed, is corroborated by her demeanour under
examination, when the qualities of meekness and humility were markedly
absent, and her replies to the interrogatories addressed to her were
rather calculated to irritate than to prove conciliatory. On this first
occasion, for example, asked to interpret certain passages in the
Scriptures, she declined to comply with the request on the score that
she would not cast pearls among swine--acorns were good enough; and,
urged by Bonner to open her wound, she again refused. Her conscience
was clear, she said; to lay a plaster on a whole skin might seem much
folly, and the similitude of a wound appeared to her unsavoury.[30]

For the time she escaped; but in the course of the following year
her case was again brought forward, and on this occasion she found
no mercy. Her examinations, mostly reported by herself, show her as
alike keen-witted and sharp-tongued, rarely at a loss for an answer,
and profoundly convinced of the justice of her cause. If she was not
without the genuine enjoyment of the born controversialist in the
opportunity of argument and discussion, she possessed, underlying the
self-assertion and confidence natural in a woman holding the position
of a religious leader, a fund of indomitable heroism. For she must
have been fully conscious of her danger. It is possible that, had she
not been brought into prominence by her association with those in high
places, she might again have escaped; but, apart from the grudge owed
her for her influence over the King’s own kin, her attitude was almost
such as to court her fate. Refusing “to sing a new song of the Lord
in a strange land,” she replied to the Bishop of Winchester, when he
complained that she spoke in parables, that it was best for him that
she should do so. Had she shown him the open truth, he would not accept
it.

“Then the Bishop said he would speak with me familiarly. I said, ‘So
did Judas when he unfriendlily betrayed Christ....’ In conclusion,” she
ended, in her account of the interview, “we could not agree.”

Spirited as was her bearing, and thrilling as the prisoner plainly was
with all the excitement of a battle of words, it was not strange that
the strain should tell upon her.

“On the Sunday,” she proceeds--and there is a pathetic contrast between
the physical weakness to which she confesses and her undaunted boldness
in confronting the men bent upon her destruction--“I was sore sick,
thinking no less than to die.... Then was I sent to Newgate in my
extremity of sickness, for in all my life I was never in such pain.
Thus the Lord strengthen us in His truth. Pray, pray, pray.”

Her condemnation was a foregone conclusion. It followed quickly, with
a subsequent visit from one Nicholas Shaxton, who, having, for his own
part, made his recantation, counselled her to do the same. He spoke
in vain. It were, she told him, good for him never to have been born,
“with many like words.” More was to follow. If her assertion is to
be believed--and there seems no valid reason to doubt it--the rack
was applied “till I was nigh dead.... After that I sat two long hours
reasoning with my Lord Chancellor upon the bare floor. Then was I
brought into a house and laid in a bed with as weary and painful bones
as ever had patient Job. I thank my God therefore.”

A scarcely credible addition is made to the story, to the effect that
when the Lieutenant of the Tower had refused to put the victim to the
torture a second time, the Lord Chancellor, Wriothesley, less merciful,
took the office upon himself, and applied the rack with his own hands,
the Lieutenant departing to report the matter to the King, “who seemed
not very well to like such handling of a woman.”[31] What is certain
is the final scene at Smithfield, where Shaxton delivered a sermon,
Anne listening, endorsing his words when she approved of them and
correcting them “when he said amiss.”

So the shameful episode was brought to an end. The tale, penetrating
even the thick walls of a palace, must have caused a thrill of horror
at Whitehall, accentuated by reason of certain events going forward
there about the same time.

The King’s disease was gaining upon him apace. He had become so
unwieldy in bulk that the use of machinery was necessary to move him,
and with the progress of his disorder his temper was becoming more
and more irritable. In view of his approaching death the question of
the guardianship and custody of the heir to the throne was increasing
in importance and the jealousy of the rival parties was becoming more
embittered. In the course of the summer the Catholics about the Court
ventured on a bold stroke, directed against no less a person than the
Queen.

Emboldened by the tolerance displayed by the King towards her religious
practices and the preachers and teachers she gathered around her,
Katherine had grown so daring as to make matters of doctrine a constant
subject of conversation with Henry, urging him to complete the work he
had begun, and to free the Church of England from superstition.[32]
Henry appears at first--though he was a man ill to argue with--to
have shown singular patience under his wife’s admonitions. But daily
controversy is not soothing to a sick man’s nerves and temper, and
Katherine’s enemies, watching their opportunity, conceived that it was
at hand.

Henry’s habits had been altered by illness, and it had become the
Queen’s custom to wait for a summons before visiting his apartments;
although on some occasions, after dinner or supper, or when she had
reason to imagine she would be welcome, she repaired thither on her own
initiative. But perhaps the more as she perceived that time was short,
she continued her imprudent exhortations. And still her enemies, wary
and silent, watched.

Henry appears--and it says much for his affection for her--to have
for a time maintained the attitude of a not uncomplacent listener.
On a certain day, however, when Katherine was, as usual, descanting
upon questions of theology, he changed the subject abruptly, “which
somewhat amazed the Queen.” Reassured by perceiving no further signs of
displeasure, she talked upon other topics until the time came for the
King to bid her farewell, which he did with his customary affection.

The account of what followed--Foxe being, as before, the narrator--must
be accepted with reservation. Gardiner, chancing to be present, was
made the recipient of his master’s irritation. It was a good hearing,
the King said ironically, when women were become clerks, and a thing
much to his comfort, to come in his old days to be taught by his wife.

Gardiner made prompt use of the opening afforded him; he had waited
long for it, and it was not wasted. The Queen, he said, had forgotten
herself, in arguing with a King whose virtues and whose learnedness in
matters of religion were not only greater than were possessed by other
princes, but exceeded those of doctors in divinity. For the Bishop and
his friends it was a grievous thing to hear. Proceeding to enlarge upon
the subject at length, he concluded by saying that, though he dared not
declare what he knew without special warranty from the King, he and
others were aware of treason cloaked in heresy. Henry, he warned him,
was cherishing a serpent in his bosom.

It was risking much, but the Bishop knew to whom he spoke, and,
working adroitly upon Henry’s fears and wrath, succeeded in obtaining
permission to consult with his colleagues and to draw up articles by
which the Queen’s life might be touched. “They thought it best to
begin with such ladies as she most esteemed and were privy to all her
doings--as the Lady Herbert, her sister, the Lady Lane, who was her
first cousin, and the Lady Tyrwhitt, all of her privy chamber.” The
plan was to accuse these ladies of the breach of the Six Articles, to
search their coffers for documents or books compromising to the Queen,
and, in case anything of that nature were found, to carry Katherine
by night to the Tower. The King, acquainted with the design, appears
to have given his consent, and all went on as before, Henry still
encouraging, or at least not discouraging, his wife’s discourse on
spiritual matters.

Time was passing; the bill of articles against the Queen had been
prepared, and Henry had affixed his signature to it, whether with a
deliberate intention of giving her over to her enemies, or, as some
said, meaning to deter her from the study of prohibited literature--in
which case, as Lord Herbert of Cherbury observes, it was “a terrible
jest.”[33] That Katherine herself did not regard the affair, as soon as
she came to be cognisant of it, in the light of a kindly warning, is
plain; for when, by a singular accident, the document containing the
charges against her was dropped by one of the council and brought for
her perusal, the effect upon her was such that the King’s physicians
were summoned to attend her, and Henry himself, ignorant of the
cause of her illness, and possibly softened by it, paid her a visit,
and, hearing that she entertained fears that she had incurred his
displeasure, reassured her with sweet and comfortable words, remained
with her an hour, and departed.

Though Katherine had played her part well, she must have been aware
that she stood on the brink of a precipice, and the ghosts of Anne
Boleyn and Katherine Howard warned her how little reliance could be
placed upon the King’s fitful affection. Deciding upon a bold step,
she sought his bed-chamber uninvited after supper on the following
evening, attended only by her sister, Lady Herbert, and with Lady
Lane,[34] her cousin, to carry the candle before her. Henry, found in
conversation with his attendant gentlemen, gave his wife a courteous
welcome, entering at once--contrary to his custom--upon the subject
of religion, as if moved by a desire of gaining instruction from her
replies. Read in the light of what Katherine already knew, this new
departure may well have been viewed by her with misgiving; and she
hastened to disclaim the position the King appeared anxious to assign
her. The inferiority of women being what it was, she said, it was for
man to supply from his wisdom what they lacked. She being a silly poor
woman, and his Majesty so wise, how could her judgment be of use to
him, in all things her only anchor, and, next to God, her supreme head
and governor on earth?

The King demurred. The attitude of submission may have struck him as
unfamiliar.

“Not so, by St. Mary,” he said. “You are become a doctor, Kate, to
instruct us, as we take it, and not to be instructed or directed by us.”

The plain charge elicited, it was more easy to reply to it. The King
had much mistaken her, Katherine humbly declared. It had ever been
her opinion that it was unseemly for the woman to instruct and teach
her lord and husband; her place was rather to learn of him. If she
had been bold to maintain opinions differing from the King’s, it had
been to “minister talk”--to make conversation, in modern language--to
distract him from the thought of his infirmities, as also in the hope
of profiting by his learned discourse--with more of the same nature.

Henry, perhaps not sorry to be convinced, yielded to the skilful
flattery thus administered.

“Is it even so, sweetheart?” he said, “and tend your arguments to no
worse end? Then perfect friends we are now again,” adding, as he took
her in his arms and kissed her, that her words had done him more good
than news of a hundred thousand pounds.

The next day had been fixed for the Queen’s arrest. As the appointed
hour approached the King sought the garden, sending for Katherine
to attend him there. Accompanied by the same ladies as on the night
before, the Queen obeyed the summons, and there, under the July sun,
the closing scene of the serio-comic drama was played. Amused, it may
be, by the anticipation of his counsellors’ discomfiture, Henry was
in good spirits and “as pleasant as ever he was in his life before,”
when the Chancellor, with forty of the royal guard, appeared, ready to
take possession of the culprit. What passed between Wriothesley and his
master, at a little distance from the rest of the party, could only be
matter of conjecture. The Chancellor’s words, as he knelt before the
angry King, were not audible to the curious bystanders, but the King’s
rejoinder, “vehemently whispered,” was heard. “Knave, arrant knave,
beast and fool,” were the epithets applied to the crestfallen official.
After which, he was promptly dismissed.

Katherine, whether or not she divined the truth, set herself to plead
Wriothesley’s cause. Ignorance, not will, was in her opinion the
probable origin of what had so manifestly moved Henry to wrath. The
advocacy of the intended victim softened the King’s heart even more
towards her.

“Ah, poor soul,” he said, “thou little knowest how ill he deserves this
grace at thy hands. On my word, sweetheart, he hath been towards thee
an arrant knave, and so let him go.”[35]

For the moment, at least, the danger was averted, and before it
recurred the despot was in his grave, and Katherine was safe. It is
curious to observe that in the list of contents to the _Acts and
Monuments_ the danger of the Queen is pointed out, “and how gloriously
she was preserved by her kind and loving Husband the King.”



CHAPTER V

1546

  The King dying--The Earl of Surrey--His career and his fate--The
    Duke of Norfolk’s escape--Death of the King.


The King was dying. So much must have been apparent to all who were in
a position to judge. None, however, dared utter their thought, since
it had been made an indictable offence--the act being directed against
soothsayers and prophets--to foretell his death. Those who wished him
well or ill, those who would if they could have cared for his soul and
invited him to make his peace with God before taking his way hence,
were alike constrained to be mute. Before he went to present himself at
a court of justice where king and crossing-sweeper stand side by side,
another judicial murder was to be accomplished, and one more victim
added to the number of the accusers awaiting him there. This was the
poet Earl of Surrey, heir to the Dukedom of Norfolk.

Surrey was not more than thirty. But much had been crowded, according
to the fashion of the time, into his short and brilliant life. Brought
up during his childhood at Windsor as the companion of the King’s
illegitimate son, the Duke of Richmond--who subsequently married Mary
Howard, his friend’s sister--Surrey had suffered many vicissitudes
of fortune; had been in confinement on a suspicion of sympathy with
the Pilgrimage of Grace; and in 1543 had again fallen into disgrace,
charged with breaking windows in London by shooting pebbles at them.
To this accusation he pleaded guilty, explaining, in a satire directed
against the citizens of London, that his object had been to prepare
them for the divine retribution due for their irreligion and wickedness:

    This made me with a reckless brest,
      To wake thy sluggards with my bowe;
    A figure of the Lord’s behest,
      Whose scourge for synne the Scriptures shew.

He can scarcely have expected that the plea would have availed, and he
expiated his offence by a short imprisonment, chiefly of importance as
accentuating his hatred towards the Seymours, who were held responsible
for it.[36]

In the course of the same year he was more worthily employed in
fighting the battles of England abroad, where his conduct elicited a
cordial tribute of praise from Charles V. “Our cousin, the Earl of
Surrey,” wrote the Emperor to Henry, on Surrey’s return to England,
would supply him with an account of all that had taken place. “We will
therefore only add that he has given good proof in the army of whom he
is the son; and that he will not fail to follow in the steps of his
father and forefathers, with _si gentil cœur_ and so much dexterity
that there is no need to instruct him in aught, and you will give him
no command that he does not know how to execute.”[37]

Two years later Surrey was in command of the English forces at
Boulogne, there suffered defeat, and was, though not as an ostensible
result of his failure, superseded by his rival and enemy, the Earl of
Hertford, brother of the Admiral and head of the Seymour clan.

Such was the record of the man who was to fall a prey to the malice and
jealousy of the opposite party in the State. His noble birth, his long
descent, and his brilliant gifts, were so many causes tending to make
him hated and feared; besides which, even amongst men in whom humility
was a rare virtue, he was noted for his pride--“the most foolish,
proud boy,” as he was once described, “that is in England.” When he
came to be tried for his life those of his own house came forward to
bear witness to the contempt he had displayed towards inferiors in
rank, if not in power. “These new men,” he had said scornfully--it was
his sister who played the part of his accuser--“these new men loved
no nobility, and if God called away the King they should smart for
it.”[38] None of the King’s Council, he was reported to have declared,
loved him, because they were not of noble birth, and also because he
believed in the Sacrament of the Altar.[39]

In verse he had likewise made his sentiments clear, comparing himself,
much to his advantage, with the men he hated.

                    Behold our kyndes how that we differ farre;
    I seke my foes, and you your frendes do threten still with warre.
    I fawne where I am fled; you slay that sekes to you;
    I can devour no yelding pray; you kill where you subdue.
    My kinde is to desire the honoure of the field,
    And you with bloode to slake your thirst on such as to you yeld.

It was a natural and inevitable consequence of his attitude towards
them that the “new men” hated and sought the ruin of the poet who held
them up publicly to scorn; and if his great popularity in the country
was in some sort a shield, it was also calculated to prove perilous, by
giving rise to suspicion and distrust on the part of a sovereign prone
to indulge in these sentiments, and thereby to render the success of
his foes more easy.

The Seymours were aware that their time was short. With the King’s
approaching death the question of the guardianship of the successor to
the throne was becoming daily more momentous; and when pride and vanity
on the part of the Earl, together with treachery on that of friends and
kin, placed a dangerous weapon in the hands of his opponents, they
were prompt to use it.

During the summer there was nothing to serve as a presage of his
fate; and so late as August he took part in the magnificent reception
accorded to the French ambassadors, successfully vindicating on that
occasion his right to precedence over the Earl of Hertford, with whom
he was as usual at open enmity.

A new cause of quarrel had been added to the old. The Duke of Norfolk,
developing, as age crept upon him, an unwonted desire for peace and
amity, had lately devised a method of terminating the feud between his
heir and the Seymour brothers, so powerful, by reason of their kinship
to Prince Edward, in the State. Not only had he revived a project
for uniting his widowed daughter, the Duchess of Richmond, to Thomas
Seymour, Lord Admiral, Katherine Parr’s former lover, but had made a
further proposal to cement the alliance between the rival houses by
marrying three of his grandchildren to Hertford’s children.

The old man’s scheme was not destined to succeed. Whether or not
the Seymours would have consented to forget ancient grudges, Surrey
remained irreconcilable, flatly refusing his consent to his father’s
plan. So long as he lived, he declared, no son of his should ever wed
Lord Hertford’s daughter; and when his sister--perhaps not insensible
to Thomas Seymour’s attractions--showed an inclination to yield to the
Duke’s wishes, he addressed bitter taunts to her. Since Seymour was
in favour with the King, he told her ironically, let her conclude the
farce of a marriage, and play in England the part which had, in France,
belonged to the Duchesse d’Étampes, Francis I.’s mistress.

Mary Howard did not marry the Admiral, but, possibly sharing her
brother’s pride, she never forgot or forgave the insult he had offered
her; and, repeating the sarcasm as if it had been advice tendered in
all seriousness, did her best to damn the Earl in his day of extremity.
In a contemporary Spanish chronicle further particulars, true or false,
of the quarrel are added. It is there related that, grieved at the
tales that had reached him of his sister’s lightness of conduct, Surrey
had taken upon himself to administer a brotherly rebuke.

“Sister,” he said, “I am very sorry to hear what I do about you; and if
it be true, I will never speak to you again, but will be your mortal
enemy.”[40]

The Duchess was not a woman to accept the admonition meekly, and it was
she who was to prove, in the sequel, the more dangerous foe of the two.

The offence for which Surrey nominally suffered the capital penalty
seems trivial enough. According to the story told by contemporary
authorities--and it suits well with his overweening pride in his
ancient blood and royal descent--he caused a painting to be executed
wherein the Norfolk arms were joined to those of the royal house, the
motto _Honi soit qui mal y pense_ being replaced by the enigmatical
device _Till then thus_, and the whole concealed by a canvas placed
above it.

[Illustration:

  From an engraving by Scriven after a painting by Holbein.

HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY.]

The very fact of the secrecy observed betrays the Earl’s consciousness
that he had committed an imprudence. He was guilty of a worse when,
notwithstanding the terms upon which he stood with his sister, he made
her his confidant in the matter. The Duchess, in her turn, informed her
father of what had been done, but to the Duke’s remonstrances Surrey
turned a deaf ear. His ancestors, he replied, had borne these arms,
and he was much better than they. Powerless to move him, his father,
reiterating his fears that it might furnish occasion for a charge of
treason, begged that the affair might be kept strictly private, to
which Surrey readily agreed. Both men, however, had reckoned without
the woman who was daughter to the one, sister to the other. Whether,
as some aver,[41] the Duchess took the step of betraying her brother
directly to the King, or merely corroborated the accusations preferred
against him by others--Sir Richard Southwell, a friend of Surrey’s
childhood, being the first to denounce him[42]--the matter soon became
known, the Earl was examined at length, and by the middle of December
was, with his father, lodged in the Tower on the charge of treason, the
assumption of the royal arms being viewed as an implied claim to the
succession to the throne, and as a menace to the little heir. Hertford
and his brother were at hand to exaggerate the peril to be feared from
his ambition; and the affection of the populace, who, as he was taken
through the city to his place of captivity, made great lamentation,[43]
was not fitted to allay apprehension. A month later the Earl’s trial
took place at the Guildhall, crowds filling the streets as he went by.
Brought before his judges, he made so spirited a defence that Holinshed
admits that “if he had tempered his answers with such modesty as he
showed token of a right perfect and ready wit, his praise had been the
greater”; and though neither wit nor modesty was likely to avail to
save him, it was not without long deliberation that the jury agreed to
declare him guilty.

Their verdict was pronounced by his implacable enemy, Hertford; being
greeted by the people with “a great tumult, and it was a long while
before they could be silenced, although they cried out to them to be
quiet.”[44]

The prisoner received what was practically sentence of death in
characteristic fashion. His enemies might have vanquished him, but he
could still despise them, still assert his inborn superiority to his
victors.

“Of what have you found me guilty?” he demanded. “Surely you will find
no law that justifies you; but I know that the King wants to get rid of
the noble blood around him, and to employ none but low people.”[45]

On January 19, not a week after his trial, the poet, King Henry VIII.’s
latest victim, was beheaded on Tower Hill. It was not the fault of
Henry’s advisers that his aged father did not follow him to the grave.
To have cleared Surrey out of their path was much; but it was not
enough. The Duke’s heir gone, there were many eager to share amongst
themselves the Norfolk spoils; Henry was ready to send his old servant
to join his son; and only the King’s death, on the very night before
the day appointed for the Duke’s execution, saved him from sharing
Surrey’s fate. On January 28, 1547, nine days after the Earl had been
slain, Henry was dead.

The end can have taken few people by surprise. Whether it was
unexpected by the King none can tell. His will was made--a will paving
the way for the misfortunes of one of his kin, and preparing the
scaffold upon which Lady Jane Grey was to die; since, tacitly setting
aside the claims of his elder sister, Margaret of Scotland, and her
heirs, he provided that, after his own children, Edward, Mary, and
Elizabeth, the descendants of Mary Tudor, of whom Jane was, in the
younger generation, the representative, should stand next in the order
of succession to the throne. It was the first occasion upon which Lady
Jane’s position had been explicitly defined, and was the prelude of the
tragedy that was to follow. Should the unrepealed statutes declaring
the King’s daughters illegitimate be permitted in the future to weigh
against his present provisions in their favour, his great niece or her
mother would, in the event of Prince Edward’s death, become heirs to
the crown.

For Henry the opportunity of cancelling, had it been possible, the
injustices of a lifetime was over. “Soon after the death of the Earl of
Surrey,” writes the Spanish chronicler, “the King felt unwell; and, as
he was a wise man, he called his council together, and said to them,
‘Gentlemen, I am unwell, and cannot tell when God may call me, so I
wish to put my soul in order, and to reward my servants for what they
have done.’”

The writer was probably drawing upon his imagination, and presenting
rather a picture of what, in his opinion, ought to have taken place
than of what truly happened. It quickly became patent to all that the
end was at hand; but, though the physicians represented to those about
the dying man that it was fitting that he should be warned of his
condition, most of them shrank from the task. At length Sir Anthony
Denny took the performance of the duty upon himself, exhorting his
master boldly to prepare for death, “calling himself to remembrance of
his former life, and to call upon God in Christ betimes for grace and
mercy.”[46]

What followed must again be largely matter of conjecture, the various
accounts being coloured according to the theological views of the
narrator. It is possible that, feeling the end near, and calling to
mind, as Denny bade him, the life he had led, Henry may have been
visited by one of those deathbed repentances so mercilessly described
by Raleigh: “For what do they do otherwise that die this kind of
well-dying, but say to God as followeth: We beseech Thee, O God, that
all the falsehoods, forswearings, and treacheries of our lives past
may be pleasing unto Thee; that Thou wilt, for our sakes (that have
had no leisure to do anything for Thine) change Thy nature (though
impossible) and forget to be a just God; that Thou wilt love injuries
and oppressions, call ambition wisdom, and charity foolishness.”[47]
Into the secrets of the deathbed none can penetrate. Some say the
King’s remorse, for the execution of Anne Boleyn in particular, was
genuine; others that he was haunted by visionary fears and terrors. In
the Spanish chronicle quoted above, it is asserted that, sending for
“Madam Mary,” his injured daughter, he confessed that fortune--he might
have said himself--had been hard against her, that he grieved not to
have married her as he wished, and prayed her further to be a mother to
the Prince, “for look, he is very little yet.”

The same authority has also drawn what one must believe to be
an imaginary picture of a final and affecting interview between
Katherine and her husband, “when the good Queen could not answer for
weeping.”[48] His account is uncorroborated by other evidence, and it
is impossible to believe that she can have felt genuine sorrow for the
death of a man whose life was a perpetual menace to her own.

According to Foxe, when Denny, the courageous servant who had warned
him of his danger, asked whether he would see no learned divine, the
King replied that, were any such to be called, it should be Cranmer,
but him not yet. He would first sleep, and then, according as he felt,
would advise upon the matter. When, an hour or two later, finding his
weakness increasing, he sent for the Archbishop, it was too late for
speech. “Notwithstanding ... he, reaching his hand to Dr. Cranmer, did
hold him fast,” and, desired by the latter to give some token of trust
in God, he “did wring his hand in his as hard as he could, and so,
shortly after, departed.”[49]



CHAPTER VI

1547

  Triumph of the new men--Somerset made Protector--Coronation of
    Edward VI.--Measures of ecclesiastical reform--The Seymour
    brothers--Lady Jane Grey entrusted to the Admiral--The Admiral
    and Elizabeth--His marriage to Katherine.


With the death of the King a change, complete and sudden, passed over
the face of affairs. So long as Henry drew breath all was uncertain;
security there was none. The men who were in favour to-day might be
disgraced to-morrow, and with regard to the government of the country
and the guardianship of the new sovereign all depended upon the state
of mind in which death might find him. Happening when it actually did,
it left the “new men,” the objects of Surrey’s contempt, triumphant.
Norfolk was in prison on a capital charge; his son was dead. Gardiner
had fallen into disgrace at the same time as the Howards, and, though
averting a worse fate by a timely show of submission, had never
regained his power, his name being omitted by Henry from the list of
his executors, all, with the exception of Wriothesley the Chancellor,
adherents of the Seymours and for the most part pledged to the support
of the Protestant interest. Henry had acted deliberately.

“My Lord of Winchester--I think by negligence--is left out of Your
Majesty’s will,” said Sir Anthony Browne, kneeling by the King’s side,
and recalling to the dying man the Bishop’s long service and great
abilities. But Henry refused to reconsider the question.

“Hold your peace,” he returned. “I remembered him well enough, and of
good purpose have left him out; for surely, if he were in my testament,
and one of you, he would cumber you all, and you should never rule him,
he is of so troublesome a nature.”[50]

Gardiner removed, there was no one left of sufficient influence to
combat the Seymours. Their day was come.

The King’s death had taken place on Friday, January 28. The Council,
for reasons of their own, kept the news secret until the following
Monday, when, amidst a scene of strong emotion, real or simulated, the
fact was made known to Lords and Commons, Parliament was dissolved, and
the Commons dismissed, the peers staying in London to welcome their new
sovereign. On February 1 a fresh and crowning success was scored by the
dominant party, and Hertford--Wriothesley’s being the sole dissentient
voice in the governing body--was made Protector and guardian of the
King. That afternoon Edward received the homage of the Lords spiritual
and temporal, and the new reign was inaugurated.

On the 20th of the same month the coronation took place with all
magnificence. On the previous day the nine-year-old King had been
brought “through his city of London in most royal and goodly wise” to
Westminster, the crafts standing on one side of the streets to see
him pass, priests and clerks on the other, with crosses and censers,
waiting to cense the new sovereign as he went by. The sword of state
was borne by Dorset, as Constable of England, and his daughter, the
same age as the King, was probably a witness of the splendid pageant
and watched her cousin as, in his gown of cloth of silver embroidered
in gold and with his white velvet jerkin and cape, he rode through the
city.[51]

At the coronation on the following day Dorset again occupied a
prominent place, standing by the King and carrying the sceptre,
Somerset bearing the crown. Cranmer, with no longer anything to fear
from his enemies, performed the ceremony and delivered an address that
can have left no doubt in the minds of any of his hearers, if such
there were, who had clung to the hope that a moderate policy would be
pursued in ecclesiastical matters, of what was to be expected from the
men who had in their hands the little head of Church and State. As
God’s Vice-regent and Christ’s Vicar, Edward Tudor was exhorted to
see that God was worshipped, idolatry destroyed, the tyranny of the
Bishop of Rome banished, and images removed, the hybrid ceremony being
concluded by a solemn high mass, Cranmer acting as celebrant.

Signal success had attended the inauguration of the new régime.
Dissentients were almost nonexistent. Wriothesley, now Earl of
Southampton, remained the solitary genuine adherent of the old faith
belonging to the Council. His lack of caution in putting the great
seal into commission without the authority of his colleagues afforded
them an excuse for ousting him from his post of Chancellor; he was
compelled to resign his office, and received orders to confine himself
to his house, whilst Hertford, become Duke of Somerset, took advantage
of his absence to obtain letters patent by which he became virtually
omnipotent in the State.

The earlier months of his government were chiefly devoted to carrying
through drastic measures of ecclesiastical reform, in which he was
aided by conviction in some, and cupidity in others, of his colleagues,
eager to benefit by the spoliation of the Church. With the education of
the King in the hands of the Protector, they could count upon immunity
when he should come to an age to execute justice on his own account,
and the work went swiftly forward. Gardiner, it was true, offered
a determined opposition. If he had pandered to his old master, he
vindicated his character for courage by braving the resentment of the
men now in power, and paid for his boldness by imprisonment.

By September the internal affairs of the kingdom were on a sufficiently
settled footing to allow the Protector to turn his attention to
Scotland. Crossing the border with an army of twenty thousand men, he
conducted in person a short campaign ending with the victory of Pinkie,
after which, to the surprise of those who expected to see him follow up
his success, he hurried home.

His hasty retreat was ascribed to different causes. Some supposed
him eager to be again at his post, with the prestige of his victory
still fresh. By others it was imagined that he feared the intrigues
of his enemies, and in especial of his brother the Admiral. Nor would
such uneasiness have been without justification. So long as their
combined strength was necessary to enable them to stand against their
enemies, the two had made common cause. Somerset was popular in the
country; the nobles preferred the Admiral. For both a certain distrust
was entertained by those who felt that “their new lustre did dim the
light of men honoured with ancient nobility.[52]” The consciousness of
insecurity kept them at one with each other. Become all-powerful in
the State, jealousy and passion sundered them. Ambitious, proud, and
resentful of the Duke’s assumption of undivided authority, Seymour had
quickly shown an intention of undermining his brother’s position in the
country, with his hold upon the King, and the Protector may reasonably
have felt that it was neither safe nor politic, so far as his personal
interest was concerned, to remain too long at a distance from the
centre of government.

To the jealousies natural to ambitious men other causes of dissension
had been added. These were due to the position achieved by Seymour some
months previous to the Scotch campaign by his marriage with the King’s
widow.

The conduct of Katherine at this juncture is allowed by her warmest
partisans to furnish matter for regret. Little information is
forthcoming concerning her movements at the time of the King’s
death; nor does any blame attach to her if she regarded that event
in the light of a timely release, an emancipation from a condition
of perpetual unrest and anxiety. In any case the age was not one
when overmuch time was squandered in mourning, real or conventional,
for the dead; and, judging by the sequel, it is possible that, even
before the final close was put to her married life, she may have been
contemplating the recovery of her lost lover. It is said that when
the Lord Admiral paid her his formal visit of condolence she not only
received him in private, but candidly confessed how slight was her
reason to regret a man who had done her the wrong of appropriating her
youth.[53]

If the conversation is correctly reported, Seymour would augur well
of the Queen’s willingness, so far as was possible, to make up for
lost time. But he was not himself inclined to be hurried. Intent upon
securing every means within his power to assist him in the coming
struggle for pre-eminence, he did not at once convince himself that it
was his best policy to become the husband of the King’s step-mother,
and that a more advantageous alliance was not within his grasp.

Other matters were also occupying his attention; and it was now that
Lady Jane Grey, unfortunately a factor of importance in the political
world, was brought prominently forward and that her small figure comes
first into view in connection with the competition for power and
influence.

Although allied with the royal house, and in a position to share in
some sort Surrey’s contempt for the parvenu nobility of whom the
Seymours were representative, Dorset and the King’s uncles, agreed
upon the crucial matter of religion, were on good terms; and Henry was
no sooner dead than it occurred to the Admiral that he might steal a
march upon his brother and secure to himself a point of vantage in the
contest between them, by obtaining the custody for the present, and the
disposal in the future, of the marquis’s eldest daughter.

He lost no time in attempting to compass his purpose. Immediately
after the late King’s death--according to statements made when, at a
later date, Seymour had fallen upon evil times--Lord Dorset received
a visit from a dependant of the Admiral’s, named Harrington, and the
negotiations ending in the transference of the practical guardianship
of the child to Seymour were set on foot.

Harrington was, it would seem, the bearer of a letter from his master,
containing the proposal that Lady Jane should be committed to his care;
and found the Marquis, on this first occasion, “somewhat cold” in the
matter. The messenger, however, proceeded to urge the wishes of his
principal, supporting them by arguments well calculated to appeal to
an ambitious man. He reported that he had heard Seymour say “that Lady
Jane was as handsome as any lady in England, and that, if the King’s
Majesty, when he came of age, would marry within the realm, it was
as likely he would be there as in any other place, and that he [the
Admiral] would wish it.”[54]

Such was Harrington’s deposition. Dorset’s account of the interview
is to much the same effect. Visiting him at his house at Westminster
“immediately after the King’s death,” he stated that Seymour’s envoy
had advised him to be content that his daughter should be with the
Admiral, assuring him that he would find means to place her in marriage
much to his comfort.

“With whom?” demanded Dorset, plainly anxious to obtain an explicit
pledge.

“Marry,” answered Harrington, “I doubt not you shall see him marry her
to the King.”

As a consequence of this conversation Dorset called upon the Admiral
at Seymour House a week later, and as the two walked in the garden an
agreement was arrived at, and her father was won over to send for the
child, who thereafter remained in the Admiral’s house “continually”
until the death of the Queen.[55]

It was a strange arrangement; the more so that it was evidently
concluded before the marriage of the late King’s widow to Seymour, a
man one would imagine to have been in no wise fit to be entrusted with
the sole guardianship of the little girl. But Dorset was ambitious;
the favour of the King’s uncle, with the possibility of securing the
King himself as a son-in-law, was not lightly to be forgone; and the
sacrifice of Jane was made, not for the last time, to her father’s
interest.

To the child herself the change from the Bradgate fields and parks to
the London home of her new guardian must have been abrupt. Yet, though
she may have felt bewildered and desolate in her new surroundings and
separated from her two little sisters, her training at home had not
been of a description to cause her overmuch regret at a parting from
those responsible for it. It has been said that every child should
dwell for a time within an Eden of its own, and with many men and
women the recollection of the unclouded irrational joy belonging to a
childhood surrounded by love and tenderness may have constituted in
after years a pledge and a guarantee that happiness is possible, and
that, in spite of sin and sorrow and suffering, the world is still, as
God saw it at creation, very good. The garden in which little Jane’s
childhood was passed was one of a different nature. “No lady,” says
Fuller pitifully, “which led so many pious, lived so few pleasant days,
whose soul was never out of the nonage of affliction till Death made
her of full years to inherit happiness, so severe her education.” Her
father’s house was to her a house of correction.[56]

Such being the case, the less regret can have mingled with the natural
excitement of a child brought into wholly new conditions of life, and
treated perhaps for the first time as a person of importance. Nor
was it long before circumstances provided her with a home to which
no exception could be taken. By June Seymour’s marriage with the
Queen-Dowager had been made public.

In the interval, short though it was, that elapsed between the King’s
death and the union of his widow and the Admiral, Seymour had had
time, before committing himself to a renewal of his suit to Katherine,
to attempt a more brilliant match. Henry had been scarcely a month
dead before he addressed a letter, couched in the correct terms of
conventional love-making, to the Princess Elizabeth, now fourteen. He
wished, he wrote, that it were possible to communicate to the missive
the virtue of rousing in her heart as much favour towards him as his
was full of love for her, proceeding to pay the customary tribute to
the beauty and charm, together with “a certain fascination I cannot
resist,” by which he had been subjugated.

Elizabeth, at fourteen, was keen-witted enough to estimate aright
the advantages offered by a marriage with the uncle of the reigning
sovereign. Nor was she, perhaps, judging by what followed, indifferent
to the personal attractions of this, her first suitor. Though a certain
impression of vulgarity is conveyed, in spite of his magnificent voice
and splendid appearance, by the Lord Admiral, a child twenty years
younger than himself was not likely to detect, in the recognised Adonis
of the Court, the presence of this somewhat indefinable attribute. In
her eyes he was doubtless a dazzling figure; and though she replied
by a polite refusal to entertain his addresses, it is said that she
afterwards owed her step-mother a grudge for having discouraged her
from accepting them. Her answer was, however, a model of maidenly
modesty. She had, she stated, neither age nor inclination to think of
marriage, and would never have believed that the subject would have
been broached so soon after her father’s death. Two years at least must
be passed in mourning, nor could she decide to become a wife before she
had reached years of discretion.[57]

That problematical date would not be patiently awaited by a man intent
upon building up without delay the fabric of his fortunes; and, denied
the late King’s daughter, Seymour promptly fell back upon his wife. A
graphic account of the beginning of his courtship is supplied by the
Spanish chronicle, and, if not reliable for accuracy, the narrative
no doubt represents what was believed in London, where the writer
was resident. The question of the marriage had been, according to
him, first mooted to the Council by the Protector, and though other
authorities assert that the Duke was opposed to the match, both facts
may be true. It is not inconceivable that, whilst he would have
preferred that his brother should have looked less high for a wife,
the possibility that Seymour might have obtained the hand of the
King’s sister may have caused the Protector to regard with favour an
arrangement putting a marriage with the Princess out of the question.

At the Council Board it is said that the proposal received the
approbation of the Chancellor. Cranmer, though characterising it as an
act of disrespect to the memory of the late King, promised to interpose
no obstacle. Paget, the Secretary, went further, engaging that his
wife, in attendance on the Queen, should push the matter to the best of
her ability.

After dinner one day, accordingly--to continue the narrative of the
Spaniard--when the Queen, with all her ladies, was in the great hall
of the palace, and the Lord Admiral entered, “looking so handsome
that every one had something to say about him,” Lady Paget, taking
her opportunity, made a whispered inquiry to the Queen as to her
opinion of Seymour’s appearance. To which the Queen answered that
she liked it very much--“oh, how changeable,” sighs the chronicler,
“are women in that country!” Encouraged by Katherine’s reply, Lady
Paget ventured to go further, and to hint at a marriage; answering,
when the Queen replied by demurring on the score of her superior rank
as Queen-Dowager, that to win so pretty a man you might well stoop.
Katherine would, she added, continue to retain her royal title.[58]

The Queen did not prove difficult to persuade. If it is true that she
had been cognisant of Seymour’s attempt to obtain the hand of her
step-daughter, the fact might have warned her of the nature of the
love he was offering to herself. But a woman in her state of mind is
not accessible to reason. A little more than a month after Henry’s
death the betrothal took place, the marriage following upon it in
May, and the haste displayed giving singular proof of how far the
Queen’s old passion had mastered prudence and discretion. The world
was scandalised, and the King’s daughters in particular were strong
in their disapproval; Mary, the more energetic of the two on this
occasion, summoning her sister to visit her, that together they might
devise means of preventing the impending insult to their father’s
memory, or concert a method of making their attitude clear.

Elizabeth, though her objections to the match were probably, on
personal grounds, stronger than those of her sister, was more cautious
than Mary. The girl, or her advisers, may have been aware of the fact
that opposition to the King’s uncle would be a dangerous course to be
pursued by any one whose future was as ill assured as her own; and,
in answer to her sister, she pointed out, though expressing her grief
at the affair, that their sole consolation would lie in submission
to the will of Providence, since neither was able to offer practical
resistance to the project. Dissimulation, under these circumstances,
would be their best policy. Mary might decline to visit the Queen, but
in Elizabeth’s subordinate position she would herself be compelled to
do so, her step-mother having shown her so much kindness.[59]

Despite public censure, despite the blame and disapproval of critics
whose disapproval would carry more weight, Katherine may not at this
time have regretted her defiance of conventional propriety; and those
spring weeks, passed at her jointure palace in Chelsea, were probably
the happiest of her life. The nightmare sense of insecurity, which
can never have been wholly laid to rest so long as Henry lived, was
removed; the price exacted for her royal dignity had been paid, to the
uttermost farthing; and she was a free woman. Her old love for Seymour
had re-awakened in full force, and she believed it was returned. Pious
and prudent, Katherine had forgotten to be wise. Disillusionment might
come later, but at present the future smiled upon her; and she may
fairly have counted upon it to pay, at long last, the debts of the past.

Her letters, light and tender, grave and gay, indicate her mood as
she awaited the day when she would take her place before the world as
Seymour’s wife. Whether a marriage had already taken place, though kept
private as a concession to public opinion, or whether it was still to
come, there were secret meetings in the early spring mornings by the
river, when the town was scarcely awake, the more welcome, it may be,
because of the sense that they were stolen.

“When it shall be your pleasure to repair hither,” wrote Kateryn the
Quene--her invariable signature--to her lover, “ye must take some
pains to come early in the morning, that ye may be gone again by seven
o’clock; and so I suppose ye may come hither without suspect. I pray
you let me have knowledge over-night at what hour ye will come, that
your portress [herself] may wait at the gate of the fields for you....
By her that is, and shall be, your humble, true, and loving wife during
her life.”

Poor, learned Katherine had fallen an unresisting victim, like any
other common woman, to the gifts and attractions of the man who was to
prove so unsatisfactory a husband!

By May 17, if not before, it is clear that the marriage had taken
place, though the secret had been so closely kept that it was a
surprise to the bridegroom to discover that it was known to the Queen’s
own sister, Lady Herbert. On visiting the latter, he told Katherine in
a letter of this date, she had charged him “touching my lodging with
your Highness at Chelsea,” the Admiral stoutly maintaining that he
had done no more than pass by the garden on his way to the house of
the Bishop of London; “till at last she told me further tokens, which
made me change colour,” and he had arrived at the conclusion that Lady
Herbert had been taken into her sister’s confidence.

Meantime the inconvenience of the present condition of things was
evident; and to Mary--curiously enough, since her disapproval of the
projected marriage had been so pronounced--Seymour applied for help
which should enable him to put an end to it. Although he preserved
the attitude of a mere suitor for the Queen’s hand, it may be that
the Princess suspected that she was being consulted after the event.
Her answer was not encouraging. Had the matter concerned her nearest
kinsman and dearest friend it would, she told the Admiral, stand least
with her poor honour than with any other creature to meddle in the
affair, considering whose wife the Queen had lately been.

“If the remembrance of the King’s Majesty my father ... will not suffer
her to grant your suit, I am nothing able to persuade her to forget the
loss of him who is, as yet, very rife in mine own remembrance.” If,
however, the Princess refused the assistance he begged, she assured
him that, “wooing matters apart, wherein, being a maid, I am nothing
cunning,” she would be ready in other things to serve him.

The young King, to whom recourse was next had, was found more
accommodating; and indeed appears to have been skilfully convinced
that it was by his persuasions that his step-mother had been induced
to bestow her hand upon his uncle, writing to thank the Queen for her
gentle acceptation of his suit. The boy, after Katherine’s death and
her husband’s disgrace, gave an account of the methods used to obtain
his intervention:

“The Lord Admiral came to me ... and desired me to write a thing for
him. I asked him what. He said it was none ill thing; it is for the
Queen’s Majesty. I said if it were good the Lords would allow it; if
it were ill I would not write on it. Then he said they would take it
in better part if I would write. I desired him to let me alone in that
matter. Cheke said afterwards to me, ‘Ye were best not to write.’”[60]

The boy’s letter to the Queen proves that he had subsequently yielded
to his uncle’s request; and in June the fact of the marriage became
public property.

The progress of the love-affair will have been watched with interest by
the curious and jealous eyes of Elizabeth, the half-grown girl, who,
placed by the Council under her step-mother’s care at Chelsea, had
ample opportunities of forming her conclusions. Lady Jane Grey may, not
improbably, have been likewise a spectator of what was going forward.
There is no evidence to show whether it was before or after the public
avowal of the marriage that she took up her residence under the Queen’s
roof. But, having obtained his point and gained her custody, it is
not unreasonable to imagine that the Admiral may have found a child
of ten an encumbrance in his household, and have taken the earliest
opportunity of consigning her to Katherine’s care.

A passive asset as she was in the political reckoning, the debates
concerning her guardianship must have done something to bring home to
her mind the consciousness of her importance; and she had doubtless
been made well aware of her title to consideration by the time that she
became an honoured inmate of the Lord Admiral’s house. But concerning
the details of her existence at this date history is dumb, and we can
but guess at her attitude as, fresh from her country home, she watched,
under the roof of her new guardian in Seymour Place, the life of the
great city around; or within the more tranquil precincts of Chelsea
Palace, with the broad river flowing past, shared in the studies and
pursuits of her cousin Elizabeth, ready-witted, full of vitality, and
already displaying some of the traits marking the Queen of future years.

Did the shadow of predestined and early death single little Jane out
from her companions? Like the comrades of whom Maeterlinck tells,
“children of precocious death,” possessing no friends amongst the
playmates who were not about to die, did she stand in some sort apart
and separate, regarding those around her with a grave smile? We build
up the unrecorded days of childhood from the few short years that
followed; and reading backwards, and fitting the fragments of a life
into its place, we find it difficult to believe that Jane Grey’s
laughter rang like that of other undoomed children through the pleasant
Chelsea gardens, that she shared with a whole heart in the games of
her playfellows, or that the strange seriousness of her youth did not
envelope the small, sedate figure of the child.



CHAPTER VII

1547-1548

  Katherine Parr’s unhappy married life--Dissensions between the
    Seymour brothers--The King and his uncles--The Admiral and
    Princess Elizabeth--Birth of Katherine’s child, and her death.


The belated idyll of love and happiness enjoyed by “Kateryn the Quene”
was of pitifully short duration. During the first days of September
1548, some fifteen months after the stolen marriage at Chelsea, a
funeral procession left Sudeley Castle, and the body of the wife of the
Lord Admiral was carried forth to burial, Lady Jane Grey, his ward,
then in her twelfth year, acting as chief mourner.[61]

Jane had good cause to mourn, in other than an official capacity. It is
hard to believe that, had Katherine Parr been living, the child she had
cared for and who had made her home under her roof, would not have been
saved from the doom destined to overtake her not six years later.

Katherine’s dream had died before she did, and the period of her
marriage, short though it was, must have been a time of rapid
disillusionment. It could scarcely, taking the circumstances into
account, have been otherwise. Seymour was not the man to make the
happiness of a wife touching upon middle age, studious, learned,
and devout, “avoiding all occasions of idleness, and contemning
vain pastimes.”[62] His love, if indeed it had been ever other than
disguised ambition, was short-lived, and Katherine’s awakening must
have come all too swiftly.

Nor was the revelation of her husband’s true character her only cause
of trouble. Minor vexations had, from the first, attended her new
condition of life, and she had been made to feel that the wife of the
Protector’s younger brother could not expect to enjoy the deference due
to a Dowager-Queen. To Katherine, who clung to her former dignity, the
loss of it was no light matter, and her sister-in-law, the Duchess of
Somerset, and she were at open war.

Contemporary and early writers are agreed as to the nature of the
woman with whom she had to deal. “The Protector,” explains the Spanish
chronicler, giving the popular version of the affair, “had a wife who
was prouder than he was, and she ruled the Protector so completely that
he did whatever she wished, and she, finding herself in such great
state, became more presumptuous than Lucifer.”[63] Hayward attributes
the subsequent disunion between the brothers, in the first place, to
“the unquiet vanity of a mannish, or rather a devilish woman ... for
many imperfections intolerable, but for pride monstrous”;[64] whilst
Heylyn represents the Duchess as observing that, if Mr. Admiral should
teach his wife no better manners, “I am she that will.”[65]

The struggle for precedence carried on between the wives could scarcely
fail to have a bad effect upon the relationship of the husbands,
already at issue upon graver questions; and Warwick, Somerset’s future
rival, was at hand to foment the strife between Protector and Admiral,
and, “secretly playing with both hands,” paved the way for the fall of
the younger brother and the consequent weakening of the forces which
barred the way to the attainment of his personal ambitions.

[Illustration:

  From a photo by W. Mansell & Co. after an engraving.

KATHERINE PARR.]

Nor can there be any doubt that, apart from the ill offices of those
who desired to separate the interests of the brothers, the Protector
had good reason to stand upon his guard. When Seymour was tried for
his life during the winter of 1548-9, dependants and equals alike came
forward to bear witness to his intriguing propensities, their evidence
going far to prove that, whatever may be thought of Somerset’s conduct
as a brother in sending him to the scaffold, as head of the State and
responsible for the government of the realm, he was not without
justification. It is clear that from the first the Admiral, jealous of
the position accorded to the Duke by the Council, had been sedulously
engaged in attempting to undermine his power, and had not disguised
his resentment at his appropriation of undivided authority. Never had
it been seen in a minority--so he informed a confidant[66]--that the
one brother should bear all rule, the other none. One being Protector,
the other should have filled the post of Governor to the King, so he
averred; although, on another occasion, contradicting himself, he
declared he would wish the earth to open and swallow him rather than
accept either post. There was abundant proof that he had done his
utmost, whenever opportunity was afforded him, to rouse the King to
discontent. It was a disagreeable feature of the day that men were in
no wise slack in accusing their friends in times of disgrace, thereby
seeking to safeguard their reputations; and Dorset came forward later
to testify that Seymour had told him that his nephew had divers times
made his moan, saying that “My uncle of Somerset dealeth very hardly
with me, and keepeth me so straight that I cannot have money at my
will.” The Lord Admiral, added the boy, both sent him money and gave it
to him.[67]

Perhaps the most significant testimony brought against the Admiral
was that of the little King himself, who asserted that Seymour had
charged him with being “bashful” in his own affairs, asking why he did
not speak to bear rule as did other Kings. “I said I needed not, for I
was well enough,” the boy replied on this occasion. At another time,
according to his confession, a conversation took place the more grim
from the simplicity of the language in which it is recorded.

“Within these two years at least,” said Edward, now eleven years old,
“he said, ‘Ye must take upon yourself to rule, and then ye may give
your men somewhat; for your uncle is old, and I trust he will not live
long.’ I answered it were better that he should die.”[68]

It was scarcely possible that the Protector should not have been
cognisant of a part at least of his brother’s machinations; and he
naturally, so far as was possible, kept his charge from falling further
under the influence of his enemies. The young King’s affection for his
step-mother had been a cause of disquiet to her brother-in-law and
his wife, care being taken to separate him from her as much as was
possible. So long as Katherine remained in London it had been Edward’s
habit to visit her apartments unattended, and by a private entrance.
Familiar intercourse of this kind terminated when she removed to a
distance; and, so far as the Lord Protector could ensure obedience,
little communication was permitted between the two during the short
time the Queen had to live. The boy, however, was constant to old
affection, and used what opportunities he could to express it.

“If his Grace could get any spare time,” wrote one John Fowler, a
servant of the royal household, to the Admiral, “his Grace would write
a letter to the Queen’s Grace, and to you. His Highness desires your
lordship to pardon him, for his Grace is not half a quarter of an hour
alone. But in such leisure as his Grace has, his Majesty hath written
(here enclosed) his commendations to the Queen’s Grace and to your
lordship, that he is so much bound to you that he must remember you
always, and, as his Grace may have time, you shall well perceive by
such small lines of recommendations with his own hand.”[69]

The scribbled notes, on scraps of paper, written by stealth and as he
could find opportunity, by the King, testify to the closeness of the
watch kept upon him; their contents show the means by which the Admiral
strove to maintain his hold upon his nephew.

“My lord,” so runs the first, “send me, per Latimer, as much as ye
think good, and deliver it to Fowler.” The second note is one of thanks.

An attempt was made by the Admiral to obtain a letter from the King
which, complaining of the Protector’s system of restraint, should be
laid before Parliament; but the intrigue was discovered, the Admiral
summoned to appear before the Council, and, though he was at first
inclined to bluster, and replied by a defiance, a hint of imprisonment
brought him to reason, and some sort of hollow reconciliation between
the brothers followed.

The King, the unfortunate subject of dispute, was probably lonely
enough. For his tutor, Sir John Cheke, and for his school-mate, Barnaby
Fitzpatrick, he appears to have entertained a real affection; but for
his elder uncle and guardian he had little liking, nor was the Duchess
of Somerset a woman to win the heart of her husband’s ward. From
his step-mother and the Admiral he was practically cut off; and his
sisters, for whom his attachment was genuine, were at a distance, and
paid only occasional visits to Court. Mary’s influence, as a Catholic,
would naturally have been feared; and Elizabeth, living for the time
under the Admiral’s roof, would be regarded likewise with suspicion.
But the happiness of the nominal head of the State was not a principal
consideration with those around him, mostly engaged in a struggle
not only to secure present personal advantages, but to ensure their
continuance at such time as Edward should have attained his majority.

The relations between the Seymour brothers being that of a scarcely
disguised hostility, the Admiral had the more reason to congratulate
himself upon having obtained the possession and disposal of the
person of Lady Jane Grey--third, save for her mother, in the line of
succession to the throne. Should her guardian succeed in effecting her
marriage with the King the arrangement might prove of vital importance.
On the other hand, Somerset’s matrimonial schemes for the younger
members of the royal house were of an altogether different nature. He
would have liked to marry the King to a daughter of his own, another
Lady Jane, and to have obtained the hand of Lady Jane Grey for his son,
young Lord Hertford.

Such projects, however, belonged to the future. Nothing could be done
for the present, nor does it appear that, when Somerset’s scheme
afterwards became known to the King, it met with any favour in his
eyes; since, noting it in his journal, he added his private intention
of wedding “a foreign princess, well stuffed and jewelled.”

So far as Katherine was concerned, her domestic affairs were probably
causing her too much anxiety to leave attention to spare for those of
King or kingdom, except as they were gratifying, or the reverse, to
her husband. Since the May day when she had given herself, rashly and
eagerly, into the keeping of the Lord Admiral, she had been sorrowfully
enlightened as to the nature of the man and of his affection; and, if
she still loved him, her heart must often have been heavy. The presence
of the Princess Elizabeth under her roof had been disastrous in its
consequences; and, though it was at first the interest of all to keep
the matter secret, the inquisition made at the time of the Admiral’s
disgrace into the circumstances of his married life affords an insight
into his wife’s wrongs.

In a conversation held between Mrs. Ashley, Elizabeth’s governess,
and her cofferer, Parry, after the Queen’s death, the possibility of
a marriage between the widower and the Princess was discussed, Parry
raising objections to the scheme, on the score that he had heard evil
of Seymour as being covetous and oppressive, and also “how cruelly,
dishonourably, and jealously he had used the Queen.”

Ashley, from first to last eager to forward the Admiral’s interests,
brushed the protest aside.

“Tush, tush,” she replied, “that is no matter. I know him better than
ye do, or those that do so report him. I know he will make but too much
of her, and that she knows well enough.”[70]

The same witness confessed at this later date that she feared the
Admiral had loved the Princess too well, and the Queen had been jealous
of both--an avowal corroborated by Elizabeth’s admissions, when she
too underwent examination concerning the relations which had existed
between herself and her step-mother’s husband.

“Kat Ashley told me,” she deposed, “after the Lord Admiral was married
to the Queen, that if my lord might have had his own will, he would
have had me, afore the Queen. Then I asked her how she knew that.
Then she said she knew it well enough, both from himself and from
others.”[71]

If the correspondence quoted in a previous page is genuine,[72]
Elizabeth, though she may have had reason to keep her knowledge to
herself, can have been in no doubt as to the Admiral’s sentiments at
the time of her father’s death. With a governess of Mrs. Ashley’s
type, a girl of fifteen such as Elizabeth was shown to be by her
subsequent career, and a man like Seymour, it would not have been
difficult to prophesy trouble. That the Admiral was in love with his
wife’s charge may be doubted; in the same way that ambition, rather
than any other sentiment, may be credited with his desire to obtain
her hand a few months earlier. What was certain was that he amused
himself, after his boisterous fashion, with the sharp-witted girl
to an extent calculated to cause both uneasiness and anger to the
Queen. That no actual harm was intended may be true--he could scarcely
have been blind to the consequences had he dared to deal otherwise
with the daughter and sister of Kings; and the whole story, when it
subsequently came to light, reads like an instance of coarse and vulgar
flirtation, in harmony with the nature of the man and the habits of
the times. What is less easy to account for is Katherine’s partial
connivance, in its earlier stages, at the rough horse-play, if nothing
worse, carried on by her husband and her step-daughter. A scene, for
example, is described as taking place at Hanworth, where the Admiral,
in the garden with his wife and the Princess, cut the girl’s gown,
“being black cloth,” into a hundred pieces; Elizabeth replying to
Mrs. Ashley’s protests by saying that “she could not strive with all,
for the Queen held her while the Lord Admiral cut the dress.” Nor was
this the only occasion upon which Katherine appears to have looked on
without disapproval whilst her husband treated her charge in a fashion
befitting her character neither as Princess nor guest.

The explanation may lie in the fact that the unfortunate Queen was
attempting to adapt her taste and her manners to those of the man she
had married. But the condition of the household could not last. A
crisis was reached when one day Katherine, coming unexpectedly upon the
two, found Seymour with the Princess in his arms, and decided, none
too soon, that an end must be put to the situation. It was not long
after that the households of Queen and Princess were parted, “and as I
remember,” explained Parry the cofferer, “this was the cause why she
was sent from the Queen, or else that her Grace parted from the Queen.
I do not perfectly remember whether of both she [Ashley] said she went
of herself or was sent away.”[73]

There can be little doubt, one would imagine, that it was Katherine
who determined to disembarrass herself of her visitor. A letter from
Elizabeth, evidently written after their separation, appears to show
that farewell had been taken in outwardly friendly fashion, although
the promise she quotes Katherine as making has an ambiguous sound about
it. The Princess wrote to say that she had been replete in sorrow at
leaving the Queen, “and albeit I answered little, I weighed it more
deeply when you said you would warn me of all evils that you should
hear of me; for if your Grace had not a good opinion of me, you would
not have offered friendship to me that way, that all men judge the
contrary.”[74]

It is not difficult to detect the sore feeling underlying Elizabeth’s
acknowledgments of a promise of open criticism. Katherine must have
breathed more freely when the Princess and her governess had quitted
the house.

Meantime, in spite of disappointment and anger and care, the winter
was to bring the Queen one genuine cause of rejoicing. Thrice married
without children, she was hoping to give Seymour an heir, and the
prospect was hailed with delight by husband and wife alike. In her
gladness, and the chief cause of dissension removed, her just grounds
of complaint were forgotten; her letters continued to be couched in
terms as loving as if no domestic friction had interrupted her wedded
happiness, and she ranged herself upon Seymour’s side in his recurrent
disputes with his brother with a passionate vehemence out of keeping
with her character.

“This shall be to advertise you,” she wrote some time in 1548, “that
my lord your brother hath this afternoon made me a little warm. It was
fortunate we were so much distant, for I suppose else I should have
bitten him. What cause have they to fear having such a wife! It is
requisite for them continually to pray for a dispatch of that hell.
To-morrow, or else upon Saturday ... I will see the King, where I
intend to utter all my choler to my lord your brother, if you shall not
give me advice to the contrary.”[75]

Another letter, also indicating the strained relations existing between
the brothers, is again full of affection for the man who deserved it so
ill.

“I gave your little knave your blessing,” she tells the Admiral,
alluding to the unborn child neither parent was to see grow up,
“... bidding my sweetheart and loving husband better to fare than
myself.”[76]

A few months more, and hope and fear and love and disappointment were
alike to find an end. Sudeley Castle, where the final scene took place,
was a property granted to the Admiral on the death of the late King,
from which he took his title as Lord Seymour of Sudeley. It was a
question whether those responsible for the government had the right of
alienating possessions of the Crown during the minority of a sovereign,
and the tenure upon which the place was held was therefore insecure,
Katherine asserting on one occasion that it was her husband’s intention
to restore it to his nephew when he should come of age. In awaiting
that event Seymour and his wife had the enjoyment of the beauty for
which the old building had long been noted.

“Ah, Sudeley Castle, thou art the traitor, not I!” said one of its
former lords as, arrested by the orders of Henry IV. for treason, and
taken away to abide his trial, he cast a last look back at his home--a
possession worthy of being coveted by a King, and by the attainder of
its owner forfeited to the Crown.

Here, during the summer of 1548--the last Katherine was to see--a
motley company gathered round the Queen. Jane Grey, “the young and
early wise,” was still a member of her household, and the repudiated
wife of Katherine’s brother, the Earl of Northampton--placed, it would
seem, under some species of restraint--was in the keeping of her
sister-in-law. Her true and tried friend, Lady Tyrwhitt, described by
her husband as half a Scripture woman, kept her company, as she had
done in her perilous days of royal state. Learned divines, living with
her in the capacity of chaplains, were inmates of the castle, charged
with the duty of performing service twice each day--exercises little
to the taste of the master of the house, who made no secret of his
aversion for them.

“I have heard say,” affirmed Latimer, in the course of one of the
sermons, preached after Seymour’s execution, in which the Bishop took
occasion again and again to revile the dead man, “I have heard say
that when the good Queen that is gone had ordained daily prayer in her
house, both before noon and after noon, the Admiral getteth him out of
the way, like a mole digging in the earth. He shall be Lot’s wife to me
as long as I live.”[77]

To Sudeley also had repaired, in the course of the summer, Lord Dorset,
possibly desirous of assuring himself that all was well with his little
daughter. He may have had other objects in view. According to his
subsequent confession, Seymour had discussed with him the methods to be
pursued in order to gain popularity in the country, making significant
inquiries as to the formation of the marquis’s household.

Learning that Dorset had divers gentlemen who were his servants, the
Admiral admitted that it was well. “Yet,” he added shrewdly, “trust not
too much to the gentlemen, for they have something to lose”; proceeding
to urge his ally to make much of the chief yeomen and men of their
class, who were able to persuade the multitude; to visit them in their
houses, bringing venison and wine; to use familiarity with them, and
thus to gain their love. Such, he added, was his own intention.[78]

Another inmate had been received at Sudeley not more than a few weeks
before Katherine’s confinement. This was the Princess Elizabeth, who
appears, by a letter she addressed to the Queen when the visit had been
concluded, to have been at this time again on terms of friendship and
affection with her step-mother, since writing to Katherine with very
little leisure on the last day of July, she returned humble thanks for
the Queen’s wish that she should have remained with her “till she were
weary of that country.” Yet in spite of the hospitable desire, she can
scarcely have been a welcome guest, and it must have been with little
regret that her step-mother saw her depart.

Meantime, the birth of the Queen’s child was anxiously expected.
Seymour characteristically desired a son who “should God give him
life to live as long as his father, will avenge his wrongs”--the
problematical wrongs of a man who had risen to his heights. Elizabeth,
who had done her best to wreck the Queen’s happiness and peace, was
“praying the Almighty God to send her a most lucky deliverance”;
and Mary, more sincere in her friendship, wrote a letter full of
affection to her step-mother. The preparations made by Katherine for
the new-comer equalled in magnificence those that might have befitted
a Prince of Wales; and though the birth of a girl, on August 30, must
have been in some degree a disappointment, she received a welcome
scarcely less warm than might have been accorded to the desired son.
A general reconciliation appears to have taken place on the occasion,
and the Protector responded to the announcement of the event in terms
of cordial congratulation, regarding the advent of so pretty a daughter
in the light of a “prophesy and good hansell to a great sort of happy
sons.”

Eight days after the rejoicings at the birth Katherine was dead.

Into the circumstances attending her illness and death close
inquisition was made at a time when it had become an object to throw
discredit upon the Admiral, and foul play--the use of poison--was
suggested. The charge was probably without foundation; the facts
elicited nevertheless afford additional proof of the unsatisfactory
relations existing between husband and wife, and throw a melancholy
light upon the closing scene of the union from which so much had been
hoped.

It was deposed by Lady Tyrwhitt, one of the principal witnesses, that,
upon her visiting the chamber of the sick woman one morning, two days
before her death, Katherine had asked where she had been so long,
adding that “she did fear such things in herself that she was sure she
could not live.” When her friend attempted to soothe her by reassuring
words, the Queen went on to say--holding her husband’s hand and being,
as Lady Tyrwhitt thought, partly delirious--“I am not well handled; for
those that be about me care not for me, but stand laughing at my grief,
and the more good I will to them the less good they will to me.”

The words, to those cognisant of the condition of the household,
must have been startling. The Queen may have been wandering, yet her
complaint, as such complaints do, pointed to a truth. Others besides
Lady Tyrwhitt were standing by; and Seymour made no attempt to ignore
his wife’s meaning, or to deny that the charge was directed against
himself.

“Why, sweet heart,” he said, “I would do you no hurt.”

“No, my lord, I think not,” answered Katherine aloud, adding, in his
ear, “but, my lord, you have given me many shrewd taunts.”

“These words,” said Lady Tyrwhitt in her narrative, “I perceived she
spake with good memory, and very sharply and earnestly, for her mind
was sore disquieted.”

After consultation it was decided that Seymour should lie down by
her side and seek to quiet her by gentle words; but his efforts were
ineffectual, the Queen interrupting him by saying, roundly and sharply,
“that she would have given a thousand marks to have had her full talk
with the doctor on the day of her delivery, but dared not, for fear of
his displeasure.”

“And I, hearing that,” said the lady-in-waiting, “perceived her trouble
to be so great, that my heart would serve me to hear no more.”[79]

Yet on that same day the dying Queen made her will and, “being
persuaded and perceiving the extremity of death to approach her,” left
all she possessed to her husband, wishing it a thousand times more in
value than it was.[80]

Whether pressure was used, or whether, in spite of all, her old love
awakened and stirred her to kindness towards the man she was leaving,
there is nothing to show. But the names of the witnesses--Robert
Huyck, the physician attending her, and John Parkhurst, her chaplain,
afterwards a Bishop--would seem a guarantee that the document, dictated
but not signed--no uncommon case--was genuine.

For the rest, Seymour was coarse and heartless, a man of ambition, and
intent upon the furtherance of his fortunes. It is not unlikely that,
when his wife lay dying, his thoughts may have turned to the girl to
whom he had in his own way already made love; who, of higher rank than
the Queen, might serve his interests better, and whom her death would
leave him free to win as his bride. And Katherine, with the memories of
the last two years to aid her and with the intuitions born of love and
jealousy, may have divined his thoughts. But of murder, or of hastening
the end by actual unkindness, there is no reason to suspect him. The
affair was in any case sufficiently tragic, and one more mournful
recollection to be stored in the minds of those who had loved the
Queen.



CHAPTER VIII

1548

  Lady Jane’s temporary return to her father--He surrenders her again
    to the Admiral--The terms of the bargain.


One of the secondary but immediate effects of the Queen’s death was to
send Lady Jane Grey back to her parents. It was indeed to Seymour, and
not to his wife, that the care of the child had been entrusted; but in
his first confusion of mind after what he termed his great loss, the
Admiral appears to have recognised the difficulty of providing a home
for a girl in her twelfth year in a house without a mistress, and to
have offered to relinquish her to her natural guardians.

Having acted in haste, he was not slow to perceive that he had
committed a blunder, and quickly reawakened to the importance of
retaining the possession and disposal of the child. On September 17,
not ten days after Katherine’s death, he was writing to Lord Dorset to
cancel, so far as it was possible, his hasty suggestion that she should
return to her father’s house, and begging that she might be permitted
to remain in his hands. In his former letter, he explained, he had
been partly so amazed at the death of the Queen as to have small regard
either to himself or his doings, partly had believed that he would be
compelled, in consequence of it, to break up his household. Under these
circumstances he had suggested sending Lady Jane to her father, as to
him who would be most tender of her. Having had time to reconsider
the question, he found that he would be in a position to maintain his
establishment much on its old footing. “Therefore, putting my whole
affiance and trust in God,” he had begun to arrange his household as
before, retaining the services not only of the gentlewomen of the late
Queen’s privy chamber, but also her inferior attendants. “And doubting
lest your lordship should think any unkindness that I should by my
said letter take occasion to rid me of your daughter so soon after
the Queen’s death, for the proof both of my hearty affection towards
you and good will towards her, I mind now to keep her until I shall
next speak to your lordship ... unless I shall be advertised from your
lordship of your express mind to the contrary.” His mother will, he has
no doubt, be as dear to Lady Jane as though she were her daughter, and
for his part he will continue her half-father and more.[81]

It was clear that the Admiral would only yield the point upon
compulsion. Dorset, however, was not disposed to accede to his wishes.
Developing a sudden parental anxiety concerning the child he had been
content to leave to the care of others for more than eighteen months,
he replied, firmly though courteously negativing the Admiral’s request.

“Considering,” he said, “the state of my daughter and her tender years
wherein she shall hardly rule herself as yet without a guide, lest she
should, for lack of a bridle, take too much the head and conceive such
opinion of herself that all such good behaviour as she heretofore have
learned by the Queen’s and your most wholesome instruction, should
either altogether be quenched in her, or at the least much diminished,
I shall in most hearty wise require your lordship to commit her to
the governance of her mother, by whom, for the fear and duty she owes
her, she shall be most easily ruled and framed towards virtue, which I
wish above all things to be most plentiful in her.” Seymour no doubt
would do his best; but, being destitute of any one who should correct
the child as a mistress and monish her as a mother, Dorset was sure
that the Admiral would think, with him, that the eye and oversight of
his wife was necessary. He reiterated his former promise to dispose of
her only according to Seymour’s advice, intending to use his consent
in that matter no less than his own. “Only I seek in these her young
years, wherein she now standeth either to make or mar (as the common
saying is) the addressing of her mind to humility, soberness, and
obedience.”[82]

It was the letter of a model parent, anxious concerning the welfare,
spiritual and mental, of a beloved child, and Dorset, as he sealed and
despatched it, will have felt that policy and conscience were for once
in full accord. Lady Dorset likewise wrote, endorsing her husband’s
views.

“Whereas of a friendly and brotherly good will you wish to have Jane,
my daughter, continuing still in your house, I give you most hearty
thanks for your gentle offer, trusting, nevertheless, that for the good
opinion you have in your sister [by courtesy, meaning herself] you will
be content to charge her with her, who promiseth you not only to be
ready at all times to account for the ordering of your dear niece, but
also to use your counsel and advice on the bestowing of her, whensoever
it shall happen. Wherefore, my good brother, my request shall be, that
I may have the oversight of her with your good will, and thereby I
shall have good occasion to think that you do trust me in such wise as
is convenient that a sister be trusted of so loving a brother.”

The singular humility of the language used by a king’s grand-daughter
in demanding restitution of her child is proof of the position held
by the Admiral in the eyes of those as well fitted to judge of it
as Dorset and his wife, only six months before he was sent to the
scaffold. It was none the less plain that they were determined to
regain possession of their daughter, and, though not abandoning
the hope of moving her parents from their purpose, Seymour yielded
provisionally to their will and sent Lady Jane home. A letter from
the small bone of contention, dated October 1, thanking him for his
great goodness and stating that he had ever been to her a loving and
kind father, proves that her removal had taken place by that time. The
same courier probably conveyed a letter from her mother, making her
acknowledgments for Seymour’s kindness to the child, and his desire to
retain her, and adding an ambiguous hope that at their next meeting
both would be satisfied.[83]

The Admiral, at all events, intended to obtain satisfaction. Where
his interest was concerned he was an obstinate man. Notwithstanding
his apparent acquiescence, he meant to retain the custody of Lord
Dorset’s daughter, and he did so. Even his household understood that
the concession made in sending her home was but temporary; and, in
a conversation with another dependant, Harrington--the same who had
served his master as go-between before--observed that he thought the
maids were continuing with the Admiral in the hope of Lady Jane’s
return.

A visit paid by Seymour to Dorset decided the question. “In the
end”--it is the latter who speaks--“after long debating and much
sticking of our sides, we did agree that my daughter should return.”
The Admiral had come to his house, and had been so earnest in his
persuasions that he could not resist him. The old bait had been once
again held out--Lady Jane, if Seymour could compass it, was to marry
the King. Her mother was wrought upon till her consent was gained to
a second parting; and when this was the case, observed the marquis,
throwing, according to precedent, the responsibility upon his wife,
it was impossible for him to refuse his own. He added a pledge that,
“except the King,” he would spend life and blood for Seymour. Thus
the alliance between the two was renewed and cemented. A further item
in the transaction throws an additional and unpleasant light upon the
means taken to ensure the Lord Marquis’s surrender.

The Admiral was a practical man, and knew with whom he had to deal.
He had not confined himself to vague pledges, which Dorset knew as
well as he did that he might never be in a position to fulfil. He had
accompanied his promises by a gift of hard cash. “Whether, as it were,
for an earnest penny of the favour that he would show unto him when
the said Lord Marquis had sent his daughter to the said Lord Admiral,
he sent the said Lord Marquis immediately £500, parcell of £2,000
which he promised to lend unto him and would have asked no bond of
him at all for it, but only to leave the Lord Marquis’s daughter for a
gage.”[84]

Five hundred golden arguments, and more to follow, were found
irresistible by the needy Dorset. The pressing necessity that Jane
should be under her mother’s eye disappeared; the bargain was struck,
and the guardianship of the child bought and sold.

The Admiral was triumphant. It was not only the point of vantage
implied by the possession of the little ward which he had feared to
forfeit, but that his loss might be the gain of his brother and rival.
There would be much ado for my Lady Jane, he told his brother-in-law,
Northampton, and my Lord Protector and my Lady Somerset would do what
they could to obtain her yet for my Lord of Hertford, their son. They
should not, however, prevail therein, for my Lord Marquis had given
her wholly to him, upon certain covenants between them two. “And then
I asked him,” said Northampton, describing the conversation, “what
he would do if my Lord Protector, handling my Lord Marquis of Dorset
gently, should obtain his good will and so the matter to lie wholly in
his own neck? He answered he would never consent thereto.”[85]

Thus Lady Jane was, for the first time, made an instrument of obtaining
that of which her father stood in need. On this occasion it was money;
on the next her life was to be staked upon a more desperate hazard. In
future she appears and disappears, now in sight, now passing behind
the scenes, against the dark background of intrigue and hatred and
bloodshed belonging to her times.



CHAPTER IX

1548-1549

  Seymour and the Princess Elizabeth--His courtship--He is sent to
    the Tower--Elizabeth’s examinations and admissions--The execution
    of the Lord Admiral.


The matter of Jane’s guardianship satisfactorily settled, Seymour
turned his attention to one concerning him yet more intimately. He was
a free man, and he meant to make use of his freedom. As after the death
of Henry, so now when fate rendered the project once more possible, he
determined to attempt to obtain the Princess Elizabeth as his wife. The
history of the autumn, as regarding him, is of his continued efforts to
increase his power and influence in the country and to win the hand of
the King’s sister. Again the contemporary Spanish chronicler supplies a
popular summary of the affair which, inaccurate as it is, is useful in
showing how his scheme was regarded by the public.

According to this dramatic account of his proceedings, the Admiral
went boldly before the Council; observed that, as uncle to the King,
it was fitting that he should marry honourably; and that, having
formerly been husband to the Queen, it would not be much more were
he to be accorded Madam Elizabeth, whom he deserved better than any
other man. Referred by the Lords of the Council to the Protector, he
is represented as approaching the Duke with the modest request that he
might be granted not only Elizabeth as his bride, but also the custody
of the King.

“When his brother heard this, he said he would see about it.” Calling
the Council together, he repeated to them the demand made by the
Admiral that his nephew should be placed in his hands; continuing,
as the Lords “looked at each other,” that the matter must be well
considered, since in his opinion his brother could have no good intent
in asking first for the Princess, and then for the custody of the King.
“The devil is strong,” said the Protector. “He might kill the King and
Madam Mary, and then claim the crown.”[86]

Whilst this was the version of the Admiral’s project current in the
street, there is no doubt that his desire to obtain a royal princess
for his wife was calculated to accentuate the distrust with which he
was regarded by the Protector and his friends. He was well known to
aspire to at least a share in the government. As Elizabeth’s husband
his position would be so much strengthened that it might be difficult
to deny it to him, or to maintain the right of Somerset to retain
supreme power. His proceedings were therefore watched with jealous
vigilance, his designs upon the King’s sister becoming quickly matter
of public gossip. It was not a day marked by an over-scrupulous
observance of respect for the dead, and Katherine was hardly in her
grave before the question of her successor was freely canvassed amongst
those chiefly concerned in it.

“When I asked her [Ashley] what news she had from London,” Elizabeth
admitted when under examination at a later date, “she answered merrily
‘They say that your Grace shall have my Lord Admiral, and that he will
shortly come to woo you.’”[87]

The woman, an intriguer by nature and keen to advance Seymour’s
interests, would have further persuaded her mistress to write a letter
of condolence to comfort him in his sorrow, “because,” as Elizabeth
explained, “he had been my friend in the Queen’s lifetime and would
think great kindness therein. Then I said I would not, for he needs it
not.”

The blunt sincerity prompting the girl’s refusal did her credit. It
must have been patent to all acquainted with the situation, and most
of all to Elizabeth, that the new-made widower stood in no need of
consolation. But, in spite of her refusal to open communications with
him, and though a visit proposed by Seymour was discouraged “for fear
of suspicion,” he can have felt little doubt that in a struggle with
Protector and Council he would have the Princess on his side.

In Seymour’s household, naturally concerned in his fortunes, the
projected marriage was a subject of anxious debate; and it was
recognised by its members that their master was playing a perilous
game. In a conversation between two of his dependants, Nicholas
Throckmorton and one Wightman, both shook their heads over the risk he
would run should he attempt to carry his plan into effect.

Beginning with the conventional acknowledgment of the Admiral’s
great loss, they wisely decided that it might after all turn to his
advantage, in “making him more humble in heart and stomach towards my
Lord Protector’s Grace.” It was also hoped that, Katherine being dead,
the Duchess of Somerset might forget old grudges and, unless by his
own fault, be once again favourable towards her husband’s brother. The
two men nevertheless agreed that the world was beginning to speak evil
of Seymour, and, discussing the chances of his attempt to match with
one of the Princesses, they determined, as they loved him, to do their
best to prevent it, Wightman in especial engaging to do all he could to
“break the dance.”[88]

If Seymour was going to his ruin it was not to be for lack of warnings.
Sleeping at the house of Katherine’s friends, the Tyrwhitts, one
night soon after her death, the question of a marriage with a sister
of the King’s was mooted; when, although Seymour’s aspirations were
not definitely mentioned, Sir Robert spoke in a fashion frankly
discouraging to any scheme of the kind on the part of his guest.

Conversing after supper with his hostess, Seymour called to her husband
as he passed by, saying jestingly that he was talking with my lady his
wife in divinity--or divining of the future; that he had told her he
wished the crown of England might be in as good a surety as that of
France, where it was well known who was heir. So would it be in England
were the Princesses married.

Tyrwhitt answered drily. Whosoever married one of them without the
consent of King or Council, he said he would not wish to be in his
place.

“Why so?” asked the Admiral. If he, for instance, had married thus,
would it not be surety for the King? Was he not made by the King? Had
he not all he had by the King? Was he not most bound to serve him truly?

Tyrwhitt refused to be convinced, reiterating that the man who married
either Princess had better be stronger than the Council, for “if they
catch hold of him, they will shut him up.”[89]

Lord Russell, the Lord Privy Seal, spoke no less openly to the
adventurer of the danger he was running. The two were riding together
to Parliament House in the Protector’s train, when Russell opened the
subject by observing that certain rumours were abroad which he was
very sorry to hear, and that if the Admiral were seeking to marry
either of the King’s sisters--the special one being left discreetly
uncertain--“ye seek the means to undo yourself and all those who shall
come of you.”

Seymour replied carelessly that he had no such thought, and the
subject dropped. A few days later, however, he himself re-introduced
it, demanding what reason existed to prevent him, or another man,
wedding one of the late King’s daughters? Again Russell reiterated
his warning. The marriage, he declared, would prove fatal to him who
made it, proceeding to point out--knowing that the argument would have
more weight with the man with whom he had to do than recommendations
to caution and prudence--that from a pecuniary point of view the
match would carry with it no great advantage, a statement vehemently
controverted by the Admiral, who throughout neither felt nor feigned
any indifference to the financial aspect of the affair.

During the ensuing months he was busily engaged in the prosecution of
his scheme. He may have had a genuine liking for the girl to whom his
attentions had already proved compromising; he could scarcely doubt
that he had won her affections. But by a clandestine marriage Elizabeth
would, under the terms of her father’s will, have forfeited her right
to the succession, and she was therefore safeguarded from any attempt
on her suitor’s part to induce her to dispense with the consent of the
lawful authorities. Forced to proceed with circumspection, he made use
of any opportunity that offered for maintaining a hold upon her, aided
and abetted by the partisanship of her servants. A fortnight before
Christmas he proffered the loan of his London house as a lodging when
she should pay her winter visit to the capital, adding to her cofferer,
through whom the suggestion was made, that he would come and see her
Grace; “which declaration,” reported to her by Parry, “she seemed to
take very gladly and to accept it joyfully.” Observing, moreover, that
when the conversation turned upon Seymour, and especially when he was
commended, the Princess “showed such countenance that it should appear
she was very glad to hear of him,” the cofferer was emboldened to
inquire whether, should the Council approve, she would marry him.

“When that time comes to pass,” answered Elizabeth, in the language of
the day, “I will do as God shall put in my mind.”

Notwithstanding her refusal to commit herself, it was not difficult for
those about her to divine after what fashion she would, in that case,
be moved to act. Yet she retained her independence of spirit, and when
told that the Admiral advised her to appeal to the Protector through
his wife for certain grants of land, as well as for a London residence,
she turned upon those who had played the part of his mouthpiece in a
manner indicating no intention of becoming his passive tool.

“I dare say he did not so,” she replied hotly, refusing to credit the
suggestion he was reported to have made that she, a Tudor, should sue
to his brother’s wife in order to obtain her rights, “nor would so.”

Parry adhered to his statement.

“Yes,” he answered, “by my faith.”

“Well, I will not do so,” returned his mistress, “and so tell him. I
will not come there, nor begin to flatter now.”

If the Admiral possessed partisans in the members of Elizabeth’s
household, it was probably no less owing to hostility towards the
Somersets than to liking for himself; a passage of arms having taken
place between Mrs. Ashley and the Duchess, who had found fault with the
governess, on account of the Princess having gone on a barge on the
Thames by night, “and for other light parts,” observing--in which she
was undoubtedly right--that Ashley was not worthy to have the charge of
the daughter of a King. Such home-truths were not unfitted to quicken
the culprit’s zeal in the cause of the Admiral, and Ashley was always
at hand to push his interests.

It was, nevertheless, necessary that the Princess’s dependants should
act with caution; and, discussing with Lord Seymour the question of a
visit he desired to pay her, Parry declined to give any opinion on the
subject, professing himself unacquainted with his mistress’s pleasure.
The Admiral answered with assumed indifference. It was no matter, he
said, “for there has been a talk of late ... they say now I shall marry
my Lady Jane,” adding, “I tell you this but merrily, I tell you this
but merrily.”[90]

The gossip may have been repeated in the certainty that it would reach
Elizabeth’s ears and in the hope of rousing her to jealousy. But had it
suited his plans, there is no reason to doubt that Seymour would not
have hesitated to gain permanent possession of the ward who had been
left him “as a gage.” Elizabeth was, however, nearer to the throne, and
was, beside her few additional years, better suited to please his taste
than the quiet child who dwelt under his roof.

As it proved he was destined to further his ambitious projects neither
by marriage with Jane nor her cousin. By the middle of January the
Protector had struck his blow--a blow which was to end in fratricide.
Charged with treason, in conspiring to change the form of government
and to carry off the person of the King, Seymour was sent on January 16
to the Tower--in those days so often the ante-room to death.

Though he had long been suspected of harbouring designs against his
brother’s administration, the specific grounds of his accusation were
based upon the confessions of one Sherrington, master of the mint at
Bristol; who, under examination, and in terror for his personal safety,
had declared, truly or falsely, that he had promised to coin money for
the Admiral, and had heard him boast of the number of his friends,
saying that he thought more gentlemen loved him than loved the Lord
Protector. The same witness added that he had heard Seymour say that,
for her qualities and virtues, Lady Jane Grey was a fit match for the
King, and he would rather he should marry her than the daughter of the
Protector.

Many of great name and place in England must have been disquieted by
the news of the arrest of the man who stood so near the King, and who,
if any one, could have counted upon being safeguarded by position and
rank from the consequences of his rashness. His assertion that he was
more loved than his brother amongst his own class was true, and not a
few nobles will have trembled lest they should be implicated in his
fall. Loyalty to a disgraced friend was not amongst the customs of a
day when the friendship might mean death, and most men were anxious, on
these occasions, to dissociate themselves from a former comrade.

Elizabeth was not one of those with least to fear, and it is the
more honourable to her that she showed no inclination to follow the
example of others, or to abandon the cause of her lover. She was in an
embarrassing, if not a dangerous situation. No one knew to what extent
she had been compromised, morally or politically, and the distrust of
the Government was proved by the arrest of both Ashley and Parry, and
by the searching examination to which the Princess, as well as her
servants, was subjected.

Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, placed in charge of the delinquent, with
directions to obtain from her all the information he could, found it no
easy task.

“I do assure your Grace,” he wrote to Somerset, “she hath a good wit,
and nothing is to be got from her but by great policy.”

She would own to no “practice” with regard to Seymour, either on her
part or that of her dependants. “And yet I do see in her face,” said
Sir Robert, “that she is guilty, and yet perceive she will abide more
storms before she will accuse Mrs. Ashley.”

Whatever may be thought of Elizabeth’s former conduct, she displayed at
this crisis no less staunchness and fidelity in the support of those
she loved than a capacity and ability rare in a girl of fifteen,
practically standing alone, confronted with enemies, and without
advisers to direct her course. Writing to the Protector on January 28,
she thanked him for the gentleness and good will he had displayed;
professed her readiness to declare the truth in the matter at issue;
gave an account of her relations with the Admiral, asserting her
innocence of any intention of marrying him without the sanction of the
Council; and vindicated her servants from blame.

“These be the things,” she concluded, “which I declared to Master
Tyrwhitt, and also whereof my conscience beareth witness, which I would
not for all earthly things offend in anything, for I know I have a
soul to be saved as well as other folks have; wherefore I will, above
all things, have respect unto the same.” One request she made, namely,
that she might come to Court. Rumours against her honour were afloat,
accusing her with being with child by the Lord Admiral; and upon these
grounds, that she might show herself as she was, as well as upon a
desire to see the King, she based her demand.

Tyrwhitt shook his head over the composition. The singular harmony
existing between Elizabeth’s story and the depositions extracted from
her dependants in the Tower struck him as suspicious, and as pointing
to a preconcerted tale.

“They all sing one song,” he wrote, “and so, I think, they would
not, unless they had set the note before”; and he continued to watch
his charge narrowly, and to report her demeanour at headquarters,
assisted in his office by his wife, who had been sent to replace the
untrustworthy Ashley as governess to the Princess.

“She beginneth now a little to droop,” he wrote, “by reason she heareth
that my Lord Admiral’s houses be dispersed. And my wife telleth me
she cannot hear him discommended, but she is ready to make answer
thereto.”[91]

Put as brave a face as she might upon the matter, Elizabeth was in
a position of singular loneliness and difficulty. Her lover was in
prison on a capital charge, her friend and confidant removed from her,
her reputation tarnished. Nor was she disposed to accept in a humble
spirit the oversight of the duenna sent her by the Council. As the
close friend of the step-mother whose kindness the Princess had so ill
requited, Lady Tyrwhitt, for her part, would not in any case have been
prejudiced in favour of her charge, or inclined to take an indulgent
view of her misdemeanours; and the reception accorded her when she
arrived to assume her thankless post was not such as to promote good
feeling. Mrs. Ashley, the girl told the new-comer, was her mistress,
and she had not so conducted herself that the Council should give her
another.

Lady Tyrwhitt, no more inclined than she to conciliation, retorted
that, seeing the Princess had allowed Mrs. Ashley to be her mistress,
she need not be ashamed to have any other honest woman in that place,
and so the intercourse of governess and pupil was inaugurated.

That Lady Tyrwhitt’s taunt was undeniably justified did not the more
soften the Princess towards her, and it was duly reported to the
authorities in London that she had taken “the matter so heavily that
she wept all that night and lowered all the next day.... The love,” it
was added, “she yet beareth [Ashley] is to be wondered at.”

Tact and discretion might in time have availed to reconcile the
Princess to the change in her household; but the methods employed by
the Tyrwhitts do not appear to have been judicious. Sir Robert, taking
up his wife’s quarrel, told her significantly that if she considered
her honour she would rather ask to have a mistress than to be left
without one; and, complaining to his superiors that she could not
digest his advice in any way, added vindictively, “If I should say my
phantasy, it were more meet she should have two than one.”[92]

So the days went by, no doubt uncomfortably enough for all concerned.
Regarding Tyrwhitt and his wife in the capacity of gaolers, charged
with the duty of eliciting her confessions, it was not with them
that Elizabeth would take counsel as to the best course open to her.
The revelations attained by cross-examination from her imprisoned
servants as to the relations upon which she had stood during the
Queen’s lifetime with Katherine’s husband, were sufficiently damaging
to lend additional colour to the scandalous reports in circulation,
and her spirited demand that her fair fame should be vindicated by
a proclamation forbidding the propagation of slanders concerning
the King’s sister was fully in character with the woman she was to
become. Though not without delay, her request was granted, and the
circumstantial fable of a child born and destroyed may be supposed to
have been effectually suppressed.

Whilst this had been Elizabeth’s condition during the spring, the man
to whom her troubles were chiefly due had been undergoing alternations
of hope and fear. It may have seemed impossible that his brother should
proceed to extremities. But there were times when, in the silence and
seclusion of the prison-house, his spirits grew despondent. On February
16, when his confinement had lasted a month, and his fate was still
undecided, his keeper, Christopher Eyre, reported that on the previous
Friday the Lord Admiral had been very sad.

“I had thought,” he said, upon Eyre remarking on his depression,
“before I came to this place that my Lord’s Grace, with all the rest
of the Council, had been my friends, and that I had as many friends as
any man within this realm. But now I think they have forgotten me,”
proceeding to declare that never was poor knave more true to his Prince
than he; nor had he meant evil to his brother, though he had thought he
might have had the custody of the King.[93]

There is something pathetic in the dejection of the Admiral, arrogant,
proud, vain and ambitious, thus deserted by all upon whose friendship
he had imagined himself able to count. It is impossible to avoid the
conviction that, in spite of a surface boldness, the nobles of his
day were apt to turn craven where personal danger was in question.
On the battlefield valour was common enough, and when once hope was
over men had learnt--a needful lesson--to meet death on the scaffold
with dignity and courage. But so long as a chance of life remained, it
was their constant habit to abase themselves in order to escape their
doom. We do not hear of a single voice raised in Seymour’s defence.
The common people, when Somerset in his turn had fallen a victim to
jealousy and hate, made no secret of their sorrow and their love; but
the nobles who had been his brother’s supporters were silent and cowed,
or went to swell the number of his accusers.

By March 20 hope and fear were alike at an end. A Bill of Attainder
had been brought into the House of Lords, after an examination of the
culprit before the Council, when his demand to be confronted with his
accusers had been refused. The evidence against him was reiterated by
certain of the peers; the bill was passed without a division; and, in
spite of the opposition of the Commons, who supported his claim to
be heard in his own defence, the Protector cut the matter short by a
message from the King declaring it unnecessary that the demand should
be conceded. His doom was sealed.

Was he innocent or guilty? Dr. Lingard, after an examination of the
facts, believes that he was unjustly condemned; that, if he had sought
a portion of the power vested in the Protector, and might have been
dangerous to the authority of his brother, the charge for which he was
condemned--a design to carry off the King and excite a civil war--is
unproved.

Innocent or guilty, he was to die. In the words of Latimer--who, in
sermons preached after the execution, made himself the apologist of the
Council by abuse levelled at the dead man--he perished “dangerously,
irksomely, horribly.... Whether he be saved or no, I leave it to God.
But surely he was a wicked man, and the realm is well rid of him.”[94]

Thus Thomas Seymour was done to death by a brother, and cursed by a
churchman. Sherrington, who had supplied the principal part of the
evidence against him, received a pardon and was reinstated in his
office.

Of regret upon the part of friends or kinsfolk there is singularly
little token. As they had fallen from his side in life, so they held
apart from him in death. If Elizabeth mourned him she was already too
well versed in the world’s wisdom to avow her grief, and is reported to
have observed, on his execution, that a man had died full of ability
(_esprit_) but of scant judgment.[95] Whether or not the Lord Protector
was troubled by remorse, he was not likely to make the public his
confidant; and Katherine, the woman who had loved him so devotedly, was
dead.



CHAPTER X

1549-1550

  The Protector’s position--Disaffection in the country--Its
    causes--The Duke’s arrogance--Warwick his rival--The success of
    his opponents--Placed in the Tower, but released--St. George’s
    Day at Court.


The Protector’s conduct with regard to his brother does much to
alienate sympathy from him in his approaching fall, in a sense
the consequence and outcome of the fratricide. He “had sealed his
doom the day on which he signed the warrant for the execution of
his brother.”[96] If the Admiral, having crossed his will, was not
safe, who could believe himself to be so? Yet the fashion of the
accomplishing of his downfall, the treachery and deception practised
towards him by men upon whom he might fairly have believed himself able
to count, lend a pathos to the end it might otherwise have lacked.

For the present his power and position showed no signs of diminution.
The Queen, his wife’s rival, was dead. The Admiral, who had dared to
measure his strength against his brother’s, would trouble him no more,
unless as an unquiet ghost, an unwelcome visitant confronting him in
unexpected places. During his Protectorate he had added property to
property, field to field, and was the master of two hundred manors. If
the public finances were low, Somerset was rich, and during this year
the building of the house destined to bear his name was carried on on a
scale of splendour proportionate to his pretensions. Having thrown away
the chief prop of his house, says Heylyn, he hoped to repair the ruin
by erecting a magnificent palace.

The site he had chosen was occupied by three episcopal mansions and
one parish church; but it would have been a bold man who would have
disputed the will of the all-powerful Lord Protector, and the owners
submitted meekly to be dispossessed in order to make room for his new
abode. Materials running short, there were rough-and-ready ways of
providing them conveniently near at hand; and certain “superstitious
buildings” close to St. Paul’s, including one or two chapels and a
“fair charnel-house” were demolished to supply what was necessary, the
bones of the displaced dead being left to find burial in the adjacent
fields, or where they might. As the great pile rose, more was required,
and St. Margaret’s, Westminster, was to have been destroyed to furnish
it, had not the people, less subservient than the Bishops, risen to
protect their church, and forcibly driven away the labourers charged
with the work of destruction. St. Margaret’s was saved, but St. John’s
of Jerusalem, not far from Smithfield, was sacrificed in its stead,
being blown up with gunpowder in order that its stone-work might be
turned to account.

The Protector pursued his way unconscious of danger. The Earl of
Warwick, his future supplanter, looked on and bided his time. The
condition of the country had become such as to facilitate the designs
of those bent upon a change in the Government. Into the course of
public affairs, at home and abroad, it is impossible to enter at
length; a brief summary will suffice to show that events were tending
to create discontent and to strengthen the hands of Somerset’s enemies.

The victory of Pinkie Cleugh, though gratifying to national pride, had
in nowise served the purpose of terminating the war with Scotland.
Renewed with varying success, the Scots, by means of French aid, had
upon the whole improved their position, and the hopes indulged in
England of a union between the two countries, to be peacefully effected
by the marriage of the King with the infant Mary Stuart, had been
disappointed, the little Queen having been sent to France and affianced
to the Dauphin. In the distress prevailing amongst the working classes
of England, more pressing cause for dissatisfaction and agitation was
found. Partly the result of the depreciation of the currency during
the late reign, it was also due to the action of the new owners who,
enriched by ecclesiastical property, had enclosed portions of Church
lands heretofore left open to be utilised by the labourers for their
personal profit. Pasturage was increasing in favour compared with
tillage; less labour was required, and wages had in consequence fallen.

To material ills and privations, other grievances were added.
Associated in the minds of the people with their condition of want
were the changes lately enforced in the sphere of religion. The new
ministers were often ignorant men, who gave scandal by their manner of
life, their parishioners frequently making complaints of them to the
Bishops.

“Our curate is naught,” they would say, “an ass-head, a dodipot [?], a
lack-latin, and can do nothing. Shall I pay him tithe that doth us no
good, nor none will do?”[97]

In some cases the fault lay with patrons, who preferred to select a man
unlikely to assert his authority. Economy on the part of the Government
was responsible for other unfit appointments, and capable Churchmen
being permitted to hold secular offices, they were removed from their
parishes and their flocks were left unshepherded. Against this practice
Latimer protested in a sermon at St. Paul’s, on the occasion of a
clergyman having been made Comptroller of the Mint. Who controlled the
devil at home in his parish, asked the rough-tongued preacher, whilst
he controlled the Mint?

The condition of things thus produced was not calculated to commend
the innovations it accompanied to the people, and the introduction of
the new Prayer-book was in particular bitterly resented in country
districts. In many parts of England, interest and religion joining
hands, fierce insurrections broke out, and the measures taken by “the
good Duke” to allay popular irritation, by ordering that the lands
newly enclosed should be re-opened, had the double effect of stirring
the people, thus far successful, to yet more strenuous action in
vindication of their rights, and of increasing the dislike and distrust
with which his irresponsible exercise of authority was regarded by the
upper classes.

Upon domestic troubles--Ket’s rebellion in Norfolk, one of large
dimensions in the west, and others--followed a declaration of war with
France, certain successes on the part of the enemy serving to discredit
the Protector and his management of affairs still further.

Whilst rich and poor were alike disaffected in the country at large,
the Duke had become an object of jealousy to the members of the Council
Board who were responsible for having placed him in the position he
occupied. To a man with the sagacity to look ahead and take account of
the forces at work, it must have been plain that the possession of
absolute and undivided power on the part of a subject was necessarily
fraught with danger, and that the Duke’s astonishing success in
obtaining the patent conferring upon him supreme and regal authority
contained in itself the seed and prophecy of ruin. But, besides more
serious causes of offence, his bearing in the Council-chamber, far
from being adapted to conciliate opposition, further exasperated his
colleagues against him. Cranmer and Paget were the last to abandon his
cause, but on May 8--not two months after his brother’s execution--the
latter wrote to give him frank warning of the probable consequences
of his “great cholerick fashions.” It is evident that a stormy scene
had taken place that afternoon, and that Paget must have been strongly
convinced of the need for interference before he addressed his
remonstrance to the despotic head of the Government.

“Poor Sir Richard a Lee,” he wrote, “this afternoon, after your Grace
had very sore, and much more than needed, rebuked him, came to my
chamber weeping, and there complaining, as far as became him, of your
handling of him, seemed almost out of wits and out of heart. Your Grace
had put him clean out of countenance.” After which he proceeded to warn
the Duke solemnly, “for the very love he bore him,” of the consequences
should he not change his manner of conduct.[98]

Paget’s love was quickly to grow cold. During the summer the various
rebellions in different parts of the country were suppressed, the Earl
of Warwick playing an important part in the operations. On September
25 the Protector was, to all appearance, still in fulness of power and
authority. By October 13 he was in the Tower.

The Spanish spectator again supplies an account of the view taken by
the man in the street of the initiation of the quarrel which led to
the Duke’s disgrace and fall. Returned to London, Warwick, accompanied
by the captains, English and foreign, who had served under him against
the rebels, is said to have come to Court to demand for his soldiers
the rewards he considered their due. Met by a refusal on the part of
the Protector of anything over and above their ordinary wages, his
indignation found vent. If money was not to be had, it was because of
the sums squandered by the Duke in building his own palace. The French
forts were already lost. If the Protector continued in power he would
end by losing everything.

[Illustration:

  From a photo by Emery Walker after a painting in the National
    Portrait Gallery.

WILLIAM, LORD PAGET, K.G.]

Somerset replied with no less heat. He deserved, he said, that Warwick
should speak as he had spoken, by the favour he had shown him. Warwick
having retorted that it was with himself and his colleagues that the
fault lay, since they had bestowed so much power on the Protector,
the two parted. Of what followed Holinshed gives a description.
“Suddenly, upon what occasion many marvelled but few knew, every lord
and councillor went through the city weaponed, and had their servants
likewise weaponed ... to the great wondering of many; and at the last
a great assembly of the said Council was made at the Earl of Warwick’s
lodging, which was then at Ely Place, in Holborn, whither all the
confederates came privily armed, and finally concluded to possess the
Tower of London.”[99]

As a counterblast, Somerset issued a proclamation in the King’s name,
summoning all his subjects to Hampton Court for his defence and that of
his “most entirely beloved uncle.” Open war was declared.

So far the Archbishop and Paget, both resident with the Court, together
with the two Secretaries, had adhered to the Protector. Upon Cranmer,
if upon any one, Somerset, who had done more than any other person
to establish religion upon its new basis, should have been able to
count, if not for support, for a loyal opposition. But fear is strong
and--again it must be repeated--fidelity to the unfortunate was no
feature of the times; and by both Archbishop and Paget the cause of the
falling man was abandoned. Not only did they secretly embrace the cause
of the party headed by Warwick, but private directions were furnished
by Paget as to the means to be employed in seizing the person of the
Duke.

Meantime, Hampton Court being judged insufficiently secure, Somerset,
with a guard of five hundred men, had removed the King, at dead of
night, to Windsor, a graphic account of the journey being given by the
chronicler.

“As he went along the road the King was all armed, and carried his
little sword drawn, and kept saying to the people on the way:

“‘My vassals, will you help me against the people who want to kill me?’

“And everybody cried out, ‘Sir, we will all die for you.’”[100]

Windsor reached, the defence of the Castle and of the sovereign
was wisely entrusted, in the first instance, to men upon whom the
Duke could depend. But the Council was successful in lulling any
apprehensions of violent action to rest. Sir Philip Hoby, according to
some authorities,[101] was despatched from London with open, as well as
secret, letters, wherein it was declared that no harm was intended to
the Duke; order was merely to be taken for the Protectorship. Somerset
had by this time yielded so far to the forces arrayed against him as to
recognise the necessity of consenting to some change in the government;
and at the reassuring terms of the communication all present gave way
to emotion; wept with joy, after the fashion of the times; thanked
God, and prayed for the Lords; Paget, in particular, clasping the Duke
about the knees, and crying with tears, “O my Lord, ye see what my
lords be!”

The Protector’s ruin had been assured. Trusting to the declarations of
the Council, he fell an easy prey into their hands. Yielding to the
representations of Cranmer and Paget, to whose “diligent travail” his
enemies gratefully ascribed their success, he permitted his trusty
followers to be replaced in the defence of the Castle by the usual
royal guard; on October 11 he had been seized and placed in safe
keeping, and it was reported that the King had a bad cold, and “much
desireth to be hence, saying that ‘Methinks I am in prison. Here be
no galleries nor no gardens to walk in.’”[102] The young sovereign
had also, with a merry countenance and a loud voice, asked how their
Lordships of the Council were, and when he would see them, saying that
they should be welcome whensoever they came.

It was plain that objections to a transference of his guardianship were
not to be expected from the nephew of the Lord Protector, and the Duke
was removed from Windsor to the Tower, followed by three hundred lords
and gentlemen, “as if he had been a captive carried in triumph.” It
would, however, have been more difficult to induce the boy to consent
to the execution of another of his closest kin, and there may have
been some fraction of truth in the report which gained currency that
the King had not been made acquainted with the fact that his uncle was
actually a prisoner until he learnt it from the Duchess. He then sent
for the Archbishop and questioned him on the subject.

“Godfather,” he is made to say, “what has become of my uncle, the
Duke?” The explanation furnished him by Cranmer--to the effect that,
had God not helped the Lords, the country would have been ruined, and
it was feared that the Protector might have slain the King himself--did
not appear to commend itself to the young sovereign. The Duke, he said,
had never done him any harm, and he did not wish him to be killed.

A King’s wishes, even at thirteen, have weight, and Warwick suddenly
discovered that good should be returned for evil; and that since it was
the King’s desire, and the first thing he had asked of his Council, the
Duke must be pardoned.[103]

[Illustration:

  From a photo by W. Mansell & Co. after a painting by Holbein.

EDWARD VI.]

What is more certain is that, on condition of an unqualified
acknowledgment of his guilt, accompanied by forfeiture of offices
and property, it was decided that Somerset should be set at liberty.
Self-respect or dignity was not in fashion, and in the eyes of some
the submission of the late Lord Protector assumed the character of an
“abjectness.” For the moment it purchased for him safety, and he was
gradually permitted to regain a certain amount of influence and power.
Some portion of his wealth was restored to him, and he was at length
readmitted to the Council and to a limited share in the government. To
sanguine eyes all seemed to have been placed on a satisfactory footing;
but jealousy, distrust, and hatred take much killing. The position of
the man who was the King’s nearest of kin amongst his nobles, and had
lately been all-powerful in the State, was a difficult one. Warwick was
rising, and meant to rise; Somerset was not content to remain fallen
and discredited. What seemed a peace was merely an armistice.

Meantime Warwick and his friends were no more successful than his rival
in maintaining the national honour, and the peace with France concluded
during the spring was regarded by the nation as a disgrace. Boulogne
was surrendered to its natural owners, and in magniloquent terms war
was once more stated to be at an end for ever between the two countries.

Court and courtiers troubled themselves little with such matters, and
on St. George’s Day a brilliant company of Lords of the Council and
Knights of the Garter kept the festival at Greenwich; when a glimpse of
the thirteen-year-old King is to be caught, in a more boyish mood than
usual.

Coming out from the discourse preached in honour of the day, in high
spirits and in the argumentative humour fostered by sermons, the “godly
and virtuous imp” turned to his train.

“My Lords,” he demanded, “I pray you, what saint is St. George, that we
here so honour him?”

The sudden attack was unexpected, and, the Lords of the Council being
“astonied” by it, it was the Treasurer who made reply.

“If it please Your Majesty,” he said, “I did never read in any history
of St. George, but only in _Legenda Aurea_, where it is thus set down,
that St. George out with his sword and ran the dragon through with his
spear.”

The King, when he could not a great while speak for laughing, at length
said:

“I pray you, my Lord, and what did he do with his sword the while?”

“That I cannot tell Your Majesty,” said he.[104]

Poor little King! poor “godly imp”! It is seldom that his laughter
rings out through the centuries. Perhaps some of the grave Councillors
or divines present may have looked askance, considering that it was not
with the weapon of ridicule that the patron saint of England should be
most fitly attacked, but with the more legitimate one of theological
criticism. But to us it is satisfactory to find that there were times
when even the modern Josiah could not speak for laughing.



CHAPTER XI

1549-1551

  Lady Jane Grey at home--Visit from Roger Ascham--The German
    divines--Position of Lady Jane in the theological world.


Whilst these events had been taking place Jane Grey had been once more
relegated to the care of her parents, to whose house she had been
removed upon the imprisonment of her guardian, the Admiral, in January,
1549. To the helpless and passive plaything of worldly and political
exigencies, the change from Seymour Place and Hanworth, where she had
lived under Seymour’s roof, to the quiet of her father’s Leicestershire
home, must have been great.

Nor was the difference in the moral atmosphere less marked. Handsome,
unprincipled, gay, magnificent, one imagines that the Admiral, in
spite of the faults to which she was probably not blind, must have
been an imposing personage in the eyes of his little charge; and
self-interest--the interest of a man who did not guess that the future
held nothing for him but a grave--as well as natural kindliness towards
a child dependent upon him, will have led him to play the part of her
“half-father” in a manner to win her affection. Was she not destined,
should his schemes prosper, to fill the place of Queen Consort? or,
failing that, might it not be well to turn into earnest the “merry”
possibility he had mentioned to Parry, and, if Elizabeth was denied
him, to make her cousin his wife? In any case, so long as she lived
in his house, Jane was a guest of importance, of royal blood, to be
treated with consideration, cared for, and flattered.

But now the ill-assorted house-mates had parted. Seymour had taken
his way to the Tower, as a stage towards the scaffold; and Jane had
returned--gladly or sorrowfully, who can tell?--to the shelter of the
parental roof, and to the care of a father and mother determined upon
neutralising by their conduct any ill-effects produced by her two years
of emancipation from their control. Once more she was an insignificant
member of her father’s family, the eldest of his three children,
subjected to the strictest discipline and, whatever the future might
bring forth, of little consequence in the present.

It is possible that Lord Dorset’s fears, expressed at the time when
he was attempting to regain possession of his daughter, had been in
part realised; and that Jane, “for lack of a bridle,” had “taken too
much the head,” and conceived an unduly high opinion of herself--it
would indeed have been a natural outcome of the position she held both
in her guardian’s house and, as will be seen, in the estimation of
divines. If this was the case, her mother and he were to do their best
to “address her mind to humility, soberness, and obedience.” The means
taken to carry out their intentions were harsh.

Of the year following upon Jane’s return to Bradgate little is known;
but in the summer of 1550, a picturesque and vivid sketch is afforded
by Roger Ascham of the child of thirteen[105] upon whom so many hopes
centred and so many expectations were built. In the description given
in his _Schoolmaster_[106] of the visit paid by the great scholar to
Bradgate, light is thrown alike upon the system of training pursued by
Lord Dorset, upon the character of his daughter, and upon the spirit
she displayed in conforming to the manner of life enforced upon her.

Ascham, in his capacity of tutor to her cousin Elizabeth, had known
Jane intimately at Court--so he states in a letter to Sturm, another
of the academic brotherhood--and had already received learned letters
from her. Before starting on a diplomatic mission to Germany in the
summer of 1550, he had visited some friends in Yorkshire, and on his
way south turned aside to renew his acquaintance with Lady Jane, and to
pay his respects to her father, who stood high in the estimation of the
religious party to which Ascham belonged. To this visit we owe one of
the most distinct glimpses of the girl that we possess.

By a fortunate chance he found “that most noble Lady Jane Grey, to whom
I was exceeding much beholden,” alone. Lord and Lady Dorset, with all
their household, were hunting in the park, and Jane, in the seclusion
of her chamber, was engaged in studying the _Phaedo_ of Plato, “with as
much delight as some gentlemen would read a merry tale in Boccaccio,”
when Ascham presented himself to her.

The conversation between the scholar and the student places Lady
Jane’s small staid figure in clear relief. Notwithstanding Plato’s
_Phaedo_, notwithstanding, too, the sun outside, the sounds of horns,
the baying of hounds, and all the other allurements she had proved
able to resist, there is something very human and unsaintly in her
fashion of unburthening herself to a congenial spirit concerning the
wrongs sustained at the parental hands. To Ascham, with whom she had
been so well acquainted under different circumstances, she opened her
mind freely when, “after salutation and duty done,” he inquired how it
befell that she had left the pastimes going forward in the Park.

[Illustration:

  After an engraving.

LADY JANE GREY.]

“I wis,” she answered smiling--the smile, surely, of conscious and
complacent superiority--“all their sport in the Park is but a shadow
to the pleasure that I find in Plato. Alas, good folk, they never felt
what true pleasure meant.”

“And how came you, Madame,” asked Ascham, “to this deep knowledge of
pleasure, and what did chiefly allure you to it, seeing not many women,
but very few men, have attained thereto?”

Jane, nothing loath to satisfy her guest’s curiosity, did so at length.

“I will tell you,” she answered, “and tell you a truth, which perchance
you will marvel at. One of the greatest benefits that ever God gave
me is that He sent me so sharp and severe parents and so gentle a
schoolmaster. For when I am in presence either of father or mother,
whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go, eat, drink, be merry
or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else, I must do
it, as it were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so perfectly
as God made the world, or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly
threatened, yea presently sometimes with pinches, nips, and bobs,
and other ways, which I will not name for the honour I bear them, so
without measure disordered, that I think myself in hell, till time come
that I must go to Mr. Elmer, who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly,
with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time
nothing whiles I am with him. And when I am called away from him I fall
on weeping, because, whatever I do else but learning is full of grief,
trouble, fear, and whole misliking unto me. And thus my book hath been
so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily to me more pleasure and more,
that in respect of it all other pleasures in very deed be but trifles
and troubles to me.”[107]

Jane’s recital of her wrongs, if correctly reported--and Ascham says
he remembers the conversation gladly, both because it was so worthy of
memory, and because it was the last time he ever saw that noble and
worthy lady--proves that her command of the vernacular was equal to
her proficiency in the dead languages, and that she cherished a very
natural resentment for the treatment to which she was subjected. There
is something irresistibly provocative of laughter in the thought of
the two scholars, old and young, and of the lofty compassion displayed
by the chidden child towards the frivolous tastes and amusements of
the parents to whom she doubtless outwardly accorded the exaggerated
respect and reverence demanded by custom. Few would grudge the
satisfaction derived from a sympathetic listener to the girl whose
pleasures were to be so few and days for enjoying them so short.

When Ascham took leave he had received a promise from Jane to write to
him in Greek, provided that he would challenge her by a letter from
Germany. And so they parted, to meet no more.

It may be that Lady Jane’s sense of the harshness and severity of her
treatment at home was accentuated by the tone adopted with regard to
her by many of the leading Protestant divines. To these men--men to
whom Mary was Jezebel, Gardiner that lying and subtle Cerberus,[108]
and by whom persons holding theological views at variance with their
own were freely and unreservedly handed over to the devil--Jane was
not only wise, learned, and saintly beyond her years, but to her they
turned their eyes, hoping for a future when, at the King’s side, she
might prove the efficient protectress and patroness of the reformed
Church. Her name was a household word amongst them, and whilst it can
have been scarcely possible that she was indifferent to the incense
offered by those to whom she had been instructed to look up, it may
have rendered the system of repression adopted by her parents more
unendurable than might otherwise have been the case.

Bradgate was a centre of strong and militant Protestantism. In
conjunction with Warwick, the Marquis of Dorset was regarded by the
German school of theologians as one of the “two most shining lights
of the Church;”[109] and the many letters sent from England to Henry
Bullinger at Zurich--some of them dated from Bradgate itself--abound
in allusions to the family, and throw a useful light upon this part
of Lady Jane’s life. In these epistles her father’s name recurs again
and again, always in terms of extravagant eulogy, and as that of a
munificent patron of needy divines. Thus he had bestowed a pension at
first sight upon Ulmis, a young disciple of Bullinger’s, doubling it
some months later; and his grateful _protégé_, striving to make what
return is possible, impresses upon the foreign master the advisability
of dedicating one of his works to the generous Marquis, anxiously
sending him, when his request has been granted, the full title to be
used in so doing. “He told me, indeed,” he adds, “that he had the title
of Prince, but that he would not wish to be so styled by you, so you
must judge for yourself whether to keep it back or not.”[110] Bullinger
is likewise urged to present a copy of one of his books to the
Marquis’s daughter, “and, take my word for it, you will never repent
having done so.” A most learned and courteous letter would thereby be
elicited from her. She had already translated into Greek a good part
of Bullinger’s treatise on marriage, put by Ulmis himself into Latin,
and had given it to her father as a New Year’s gift.[111] In May, 1551,
another letter records that two days had been very agreeably passed at
Bradgate with Jane, my Lord’s daughter, and those excellent and holy
persons Aylmer, her tutor, and Haddon, chaplain to the Marquis. “For
my own part, I do not think there ever lived any one more deserving of
respect than this young lady, if you regard her family; more learned,
if you consider her age; or more happy, if you consider both. A report
has prevailed, and has begun to be talked of by persons of consequence,
that this most noble virgin is to be betrothed and given in marriage
to the King’s majesty. Oh, if that event should take place, how happy
would be the union, and how beneficial to the church!”[112]

A letter despatched by Ulmis on the same day to another of his brethren
in the faith, Conrad Pellican, craves his advice on behalf of Lady Jane
with regard to the best means of acquiring Hebrew, a language she was
anxious to study. She had written to consult Bullinger on the subject,
but Bullinger was a busy man, and all the world knew how perfect was
Pellican’s acquaintance with the subject. Pellican may argue that he
might seem lacking in modesty should he address a young lady, the
daughter of a nobleman, unknown to him personally. But he is besought
by Ulmis to entertain no fears of the kind, and his correspondent will
bear all the blame if he ever repents of the deed, or if Lady Jane
does not most willingly acknowledge his courtesy. “In truth,” he adds,
“I do not think that amongst the English nobility for many ages past
there has arisen a single individual who, to the highest excellences
of talent and judgment, has united so much diligence and assiduity in
the cultivation of every liberal pursuit.... It is incredible how far
she has advanced already, and to what perfection she will advance in a
few years; for I well know that she will complete what she has begun,
unless perhaps she be diverted from her pursuits by some calamity of
the times.... If you write a letter to her, take care, I pray you, that
it be first delivered to me.”[113]

The letter is dated from the house of the daughter of the Marquis.
Her mother, it is true, seems to have been at home, though Dorset was
in Scotland; but it is a curious fact that the grand-daughter of Henry
VII., through whom Jane’s royal blood was transmitted to her, appears
to have been by common consent tacitly passed over, as a person of no
consequence in comparison with her daughter.[114]

Quite a budget of letters were entrusted to the courier who left
Bradgate on May 29, and was the bearer of the missives addressed by
Ulmis to his master and his friend. Both John Aylmer, tutor to Lord
Dorset’s children and afterwards Bishop of London, and Haddon, the
Marquis’s chaplain, had taken the opportunity of writing to Bullinger,
doubtless stimulated to the effort by his young disciple.

The preceptor who compared so favourably in Lady Jane’s eyes with her
parents, was a young Norfolk man, of about twenty-nine, and singularly
well learned in the Latin and Greek tongues.[115] On James Haddon,
Bishop Hooper, writing from prison when, three years later, the friends
of the Reformation had fallen on evil days, pronounced a eulogy in
a letter to Bullinger. Master James Haddon, he said, was not only a
friend and very dear brother in Christ, but one he had always esteemed
on account of his singular erudition and virtue. “I do not think,” he
added, “that I have ever been acquainted with any one in England who is
endued either with more sincere piety towards God or more removed from
all desire of those perishing objects desired by foolish mortals.”[116]
From Bishop Hooper the panegyric is evidence that Haddon belonged
to the extreme party in theological matters, in which Aylmer was
probably in full accord with him. On this particular day in May both
these devoted and conscientious men were sending letters to the great
director of souls in Zurich, that of Haddon being written to a man to
whom he was personally unknown, and with the sole object of opening a
correspondence and offering a tribute of respect.

Aylmer’s case was a different one. Though also a stranger, he wrote at
some length, chiefly in the character of the preceptor entrusted with
Lady Jane’s education, making due acknowledgments for the letters and
advice which had been of so much use in keeping his patron and his
patron’s family in the right path, and begging Bullinger to continue
these good offices towards the pupil, just fourteen, concerning whom
it is strange to find the young man entertaining certain fears and
misgivings.

“At that age,” he observes, “as the comic poet tells us, all people are
inclined to follow their own ways, and, by the attractiveness of the
objects and the corruptions of nature, are more easily carried headlong
in pleasure ... than induced to follow those studies that are attended
with the praise of virtue.” The time teemed with many disorders;
discreet physicians must therefore be sought, and to tender minds there
should not be wanting the counsel of the aged nor the authority of
grave and influential men. Aylmer accordingly entreats that Bullinger
will minister, by letter and advice, to the improvement of his charge.

An epistle from Jane, dated July 1551, shows that the German theologian
responded at once to the appeal, since in it she acknowledges the
receipt of a most eloquent and weighty letter, and mentioning the loss
she had sustained in the death of Bucer, who appears to have taken
his part in her theological training, congratulates herself upon the
possession of a friend so learned as Bullinger, so pious a divine,
and so intrepid a champion of true religion. Bereaved of the “pious
Bucer ... who unweariedly did not cease, day and night, and to the
utmost of his ability, to supply me with all necessary instructions
and directions for my conduct in life, and who by his excellent advice
promoted and encouraged my progress and advancement in all virtue,
godliness, and learning,” she proceeds to beg Bullinger to fill the
vacant place, and to spur her on if she should loiter and be disposed
to delay. By this means she will enjoy the same advantages granted
to those women to whom St. Jerome imparted instruction, or to the
elect lady to whom the epistle of St. John was addressed, or to the
mother of Severus, taught by Origen. As Bullinger could be deemed
inferior to none of these teachers, she entreats him to manifest a
like kindness.[117] It is plain that Lady Jane, in addressing this
“brightest ornament and support of the whole Church,” is determined not
to be outdone in the art of pious flattery; and in her correspondence
with men who both as scholars and divines held a foremost place in the
estimation of those by whom she was surrounded, she indemnified herself
for the mortifications inflicted upon her at home.

The reformers, for their part, were keeping an anxious watch upon the
course of events in England; and to strengthen and maintain their
influence over one who might have a prominent part to play in future
years was of the first importance. A letter from Ascham, who was still
abroad, dated some months later, supplies yet another example of the
incense offered to the child of fourteen, and of fulsome adulation
by which an older head might have been turned. Nothing, he told her,
in his travels, had raised in him greater admiration than had been
caused when, on his visit to Bradgate, he had found one so young and
lovely--so divine a maid--engaged in the study of Plato whilst friends
and relations were enjoying field sports. Let her proceed thus,
to the honour of her country, the delight of her parents, her own
glory, the praise of her preceptor, the comfort of her relations and
acquaintances, and the admiration of all. O happy Aylmer, to have a
like scholar!

[Illustration:

  From a photo by W. Mansell & Co. after a painting by G. Fliccius in
    the National Portrait Gallery.

ARCHBISHOP CRANMER.]

It would be easy to multiply quotations which indicate the place
accorded to Lord Dorset’s daughter in the estimation of the leaders
of the extreme party of Protestantism, in whose eyes Cranmer was
regarded as a possible trimmer. Allowing to him “right views,” Hooper,
in writing to Bullinger, adds: “we desire nothing more for him than
a firm and manly spirit.”[118] “Contrary to general expectation,”
Traheron writes, the Archbishop had most openly, firmly, and learnedly
maintained the opinion of the German divine upon the Eucharist;
and Ulmis, alluding to him in terms of praise, repeats that he had
unexpectedly given a correct judgment on this point. Even the youngest
of the German theologians felt himself competent to weigh in the
balances the head of Protestant England.

Protestant England was itself keeping a wary eye upon its Primate.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury,” wrote Hooper to Bullinger, “to tell
the truth, neither took much note of your letter nor of your learned
present. But now, as I hope, Master Bullinger and Canterbury entertain
the same opinion.” “The people ... that many-headed monster,” he
wrote again, “is still wincing, partly through ignorance, and partly
persuaded by the inveiglements of the Bishops and the malice and
impiety of the mass-priests.”[119]



CHAPTER XII

1551-1552

  An anxious tutor--Somerset’s final fall--The charges against
    him--His guilt or innocence--His trial and condemnation--The
    King’s indifference--Christmas at Greenwich--The Duke’s execution.


Aylmer had been so far encouraged by the success of his appeal to
Henry Bullinger on behalf of his pupil that he is found, some seven
months later, calling the Swiss churchman again into council. He was
possibly over-anxious, but the tone of his communication makes it clear
that Lady Jane Grey had been once more causing her tutor disquiet.
Responding, in the first place, to Bullinger’s congratulations upon
his privilege in acting as teacher to so excellent a scholar, and in
a family so well disposed to learning and religion, he proceeds to
request that his correspondent will, in his next letter, instruct
Lady Jane as to the proper degree of embellishment and adornment of
the person becoming in young women professing godliness. The tutor is
plainly uneasy on this subject, and it is to be feared that Jane had
been developing an undue love of dress. Yet the example of the Princess
Elizabeth might be fitly adduced, observes Aylmer, furnishing the
monitor with arguments of which he might, if he pleased, make use. She
at least went clad in every respect as became a young maiden, and yet
no one was induced by the example of “a lady in so much gospel light to
lay aside, much less look down upon, gold, jewels, and braidings of the
hair.” Preachers might declaim, but no one amended her life. Moreover,
and as a less important matter, Aylmer desires Bullinger to prescribe
the amount of time to be devoted to music. If he would handle these
points at some length there would probably be some accession to the
ranks of virtue.

One would imagine that it argued ignorance of human nature on the part
of Lady Jane’s instructor to believe that the admonitions of an old man
at a distance would have more effect than those of a young man close
at hand; nor does it appear whether or not Bullinger sent the advice
for which Aylmer asked. But that his pupil’s incipient leaning towards
worldly vanities was successfully checked would appear from her reply,
reported by himself, when a costly dress had been presented to her by
her cousin Mary. “It were a shame,” she is said to have answered, in
rejecting the gift, “to follow my Lady Mary, who leaveth God’s Word,
and leave my Lady Elizabeth, who followeth God’s Word.”

It might have been well for Jane had she practised greater courtesy
towards a cousin at this time out of favour at Court; but no
considerations of policy or of good breeding could be expected to
influence a zealot of fifteen, and Mary, more than double her age, may
well have listened with a smile.

When Aylmer’s letter was written, the Grey family had left Bradgate and
were in London. The Marquis had, some two months earlier, been advanced
to the rank of Duke of Suffolk, upon the title becoming extinct through
the death of his wife’s two half-brothers, and the tutor may have had
just cause for disquietude lest the world should make good its claims
upon the little soul he was so carefully tending. In November 1551
Mary of Lorraine, Queen-Dowager of Scotland, had applied for leave to
pass through England on her way north. It had not only been granted,
but she had been accorded a magnificent reception, Lady Jane, with her
mother, taking part in the ceremony when the royal guest visited the
King at Whitehall. Two days later she was amongst the ladies assembled
to do the Queen honour at her departure for Scotland. It may be that
this participation in the pomp and splendour of court life had produced
a tendency in John Aylmer’s charge to bestow overmuch attention upon
worldly matters, nor can it be doubted that his heart was sore at the
contrast she had presented to Elizabeth, “whose plainness of dress,”
he says, still commending the Princess, “was especially noticed on the
occasion of the visit of the Queen-Dowager of Scotland.”

Perhaps, too, the master looked back with regret to the quiet days
of uninterrupted study. The Dorset household, when not in London
itself, were now to be chiefly resident at Sheen, within reach of the
Court. Jane, too, was growing up; Aylmer was young; and to the “gentle
schoolmaster” the training of Lord Dorset’s eldest daughter may have
had an interest not wholly confined to scholarship or to theology. It
is nevertheless impossible to put back the clock, and the days when his
pupil could be expected to devote herself exclusively to her studies
were irrevocably past.

Meantime the hollow treaty of amity between the two great competitors
for supremacy in the realm was to end. In the spring of 1551 Somerset
and Warwick were on terms of outward cordiality, and a marriage between
the Duke’s daughter and the eldest son of his rival, which took place
with much magnificence in the presence of the King, might have been
expected to cement their friendship. But by October “carry-tales and
flatterers,” says one chronicler, had rendered harmony--even the
semblance of harmony--impossible; or, as was more probable, Warwick,
suspicious of the intention on the part of the Duke of regaining the
direction of affairs, had determined to free himself once for all from
the rivalry of the King’s uncle. Somerset had again been lodged in the
Tower, to leave it, this time, only for the scaffold.

On the question of his innocence or guilt there has been much
discussion amongst historians, nor is it possible to enter at length
into the question. The crimes of which he stood accused were of the
blackest dye. “The good Duke,” as the people still loved to call him,
was charged with plotting to gain possession of the King’s person,
of contriving the murder of Warwick, now to be created Duke of
Northumberland, of Northampton and Herbert, and was to be tried for
treason and felony.

Many and various are the views taken as to the guilt of the late
Protector. Mr. Tytler, most conscientious of historians, after a
careful comparison of contemporary evidence, has decided in his
favour. Others have come to a different conclusion. The balance of
opinion appears to be on his side. His bearing throughout the previous
summer had been that of an innocent man, who had nothing to fear from
justice. But justice was hard to come by. His enemy was strong and
relentless--“a competent lawyer, known soldier, able statesman”--and in
each of these capacities he was seeking to bring a dangerous competitor
to ruin. It was, says Fuller, almost like a struggle between a naked
and an armed man.[120] Yet, open-hearted and free from distrust as he
is described, Somerset must have been aware of some part of his danger.
His friends amongst the upper classes had ever been few and cold. The
reformers, for whom he had done so much, had begun to indulge doubts of
his zeal. Become possibly weary of persecution, he had tried to make
a way for Gardiner to leave the prison in which he was languishing,
and, alone of the Council, had been in favour of permitting to Mary the
exercise of her religion. These facts were sufficient, in the eyes of
many, to justify the assertion made by Burgoyne to Calvin that he had
grown lukewarm, and had scarcely anything less at heart than religion.

He was naturally the last to hear of the intrigues against him, and
of the accusations brought in his absence from the Council-chamber.
An attempt, it is true, was made to warn him by Lord Chancellor Rich,
by means of a letter containing an account of the proceedings which
had taken place; but, carelessly addressed only “To the Duke,” it
was delivered, by a blunder of the Chancellor’s servant, to Norfolk,
Somerset’s enemy. Surprised at the speedy return of his messenger, Rich
inquired where he had found “the Duke.”

“In the Charter House,” was the reply, “on the same token that he read
it at the window and smiled thereat.”

“But the Lord Rich,” adds Fuller, in telling the story, “smiled not”;
resigning his post on the following day, on the plea of old age and a
desire to gain leisure to attend to his devotions, and thereby escaping
the dismissal which would have resulted from a betrayal of the secrets
of the Council.[121]

By October 14 the Duke was cognisant to some extent of the mischief
that was a-foot, for it is stated in the King’s journal that he sent
for the Secretary Cecil “to tell him that he suspected some ill.
Mr. Cecil answered that, if he were not guilty, he might be of good
courage; if he were, he had nothing to say but to lament him.” It was
not an encouraging reply to an appeal for sympathy and support, and
must have been an earnest of the attitude likely to be adopted towards
the Duke by the rest of his colleagues. Two days later Edward’s journal
notes his apprehension.

The issue of the struggle was nevertheless uncertain. In spite of his
unpopularity amongst the nobles, and though, to judge by the entries in
the royal diary, the course of events was followed by his nephew with
cold indifference, Somerset was not without his partisans. Constant
to their old affection, the attack upon him was watched by the common
people with breathless interest, accentuated by the detestation
universally felt for the man who had planned his destruction. Hatred
for Northumberland joined hands with love for Somerset to range them
on his side. The political atmosphere was charged with excitement.
Could it be true that the “good Duke” had designed the murder of his
rival, who, whatever might be thought of him in other respects, was
one of the chief props of Protestantism? Had the King, as some alleged,
been in danger? The trial would show; and when it became known that
the prisoner had been acquitted of treason, and the axe was therefore,
according to custom, carried out of court, his cause was considered to
be won; a cry arose that the innocence of the popular favourite had
been established, and the applause of the crowd testified to their
rejoicing. It had been premature. Acquitted of the principal offence
with which he stood charged, he was found guilty of felony, and
sentenced to death.

The verdict was received with ominous murmurs, and, in a letter to
Bullinger, Ulmis states that, observing the grave and sorrowful aspect
of the audience, the Duke of Northumberland was wary enough to take
his cue from it, and to attempt to propitiate in his own favour the
discontented crowd.

“O Duke of Somerset,” he exclaimed from his seat, “you see yourself
brought into the utmost danger, and that nothing but death awaits
you. I have once before delivered you from a similar hazard of your
life; and I will not now desist from serving you, how little soever
you may expect it.” Let Somerset appeal to the royal clemency, and
Northumberland, forgiving him his offences, would do all in his power
to save him.[122]

Northumberland’s tardy magnanimity fails to carry conviction. But,
besides his victim’s popularity in the country, it was reported that
the “King took it not in good part,” and it was thought well to delay
the execution, by which means his supplanter might gain credit for
exercising his generosity by an attempt to avert his doom. Christmas
was at hand, and it was arranged that the Duke should remain in prison,
under sentence of death, whilst the feast was celebrated at Court.

In spite of the assertion that the young King had not been unaffected
by a tragedy that should have touched him closely, there is nothing
in his own words to indicate any other attitude than that of the
indifferent spectator--an attitude recalling unpleasantly the
callousness shown by his father as the women he had loved and the
statesmen he had trusted and employed were successively sent to the
block. Though, in justice to Edward, it should be remembered that he
had never loved his uncle, there is something revolting in his casual
mention of the measures adopted against him.

“Little has been done since you went,” he wrote to Barnaby Fitzpatrick,
the comrade of his childish days, now become his favourite, “but the
Duke of Somerset’s arraignment for felonious treason and the muster of
the newly erected gendarmery;”[123] and the journal wherein he traces
the progress of the trial, varying the narrative by the introduction
of other topics, such as the visit of the Queen-Dowager of Scotland
and the festivities in her honour, conveys a similar impression
of coldness. “And so he was adjudged to be hanged,” he records in
conclusion, noting, with no expression of regret, the result of the
proceedings.

“It were well that he should die,” Edward had told the Duke’s brother
in those earlier childish days when incited by the Admiral to rebel
against the strictness of the discipline enforced by the Protector.
But, under the mask of indifference, it may be that misgivings awoke
and made themselves apparent to those who, watching him closely, feared
that ties of blood might vindicate their strength, and that at their
bidding, or through compassion, he might interpose to avert the fate of
one of the only near relations who remained to him. It appears to have
been determined that the King’s mind must be diverted from the subject;
and whilst the prisoner was awaiting in the Tower the execution of
his sentence, special merry-makings were arranged by the men who had
the direction of affairs at Greenwich, where the court was to keep
Christmas. Thus it was hoped to “remove the fond talk out of men’s
mouths,” and to recreate and refresh the troubled spirits of the young
sovereign. A Lord of Misrule was accordingly appointed, who, dubbed the
Master of the King’s Pastimes, took order for the general amusement,
though conducting himself more discreetly than had been the wont of his
predecessors, and the festival was gaily observed. By these means, says
Holinshed, the minds and ears of murmurers were well appeased, till it
was thought well to proceed to the business of executing judgment upon
the Duke.

In whatever light the ghastly contrast between the uncle awaiting
a bloody death in the Tower and the noisy merry-making intended to
drown the sound of the passing-bell in the nephew’s ears may strike
students of a later day, it is likely that there was nothing in it to
affect painfully those who joined in the proceedings. Life was little
considered. Men were daily accustomed to witness violent reverses of
fortune. The Duke had aimed over-high; he was a danger to rivals whose
turn it was to rise; he must make way for others. He had moreover been
too deeply injured to forgive; and, to make all safe, he must die.
The reign of the Seymours was at an end; that of Northumberland was
beginning. Two more years and their supplanter, with Suffolk and his
other adherents, would in their turn have paid the penalty of a great
ambition, and, “with the sons of the Duke of Somerset standing by,”
would have followed the Lord Protector to the grave.

There was none to prophesy their fate. Had it been otherwise, it is not
probable that a warning would have turned them from their purpose.
For they were reckless gamblers, and to foretell ruin to a man who is
staking his all upon a throw of the dice is to speak to deaf ears.

So the merry Christmas passed, Jane--third in succession to the
throne--occupying a prominent position at Court. And Aylmer, fearful
lest the fruits of his care should be squandered, looked on helplessly,
and besought Bullinger, on that 23rd of December, to set a limit,
for the benefit of a pupil in danger, to the attention lawfully to
be bestowed on the world and its vanities; a letter from Haddon, the
Duke’s chaplain, following fast and betraying his participation in the
anxieties of his colleague by an entreaty that, from afar, the eminent
divine would continue to exercise a beneficent influence upon his
master’s daughter.

Meantime the day had arrived when it was considered safe to carry
matters against the King’s uncle to extremities, and on January 23, six
weeks after his trial, the Duke of Somerset was taken to Tower Hill, to
suffer death in the presence of a vast crowd there assembled.

Till the last moment the throng had persisted in hoping against hope
that the life of the man they loved might even now, at the eleventh
hour, be spared; and at one moment it seemed that they were not to
be disappointed. The Duke had taken his place upon the scaffold, and
had begun his speech, when an interruption occurred, occasioned, as
it afterwards proved, by an accidental collision between the mass of
spectators and a body of troops who had received orders to be present
at the execution, and, finding themselves late, had ridden hard and
fast to make up for lost time. This was the simple explanation of
the occurrence; but, to the excited mob gathered together, every
nerve strained and full of pity and fear and horror, the sound of the
thundering hoofs seemed something supernatural and terrible. Was it a
sign of divine interposition?

“Suddenly,” recounts an eye-witness, “suddenly came a wondrous fear
upon the people ... by a great sound which appeared unto many above
in the element as it had been the sound of gunpowder set on fire in
a close house bursting out, and by another sound upon the ground as
it had been the sight of a great number of great horses running on
the people to overrun them; so great was the sound of this that the
people fell down one upon the other, many with bills; and other ran
this way, some that way, crying aloud, ‘Jesus, save us! Jesus, save
us!’ Many of the people crying, ‘This way they come, that way they
come, away, away.’ And I looked where one or other should strike me on
the head, so I was stonned [stunned?]. The people being thus amazed,
espies Sir Anthony Brown upon a little nag riding towards the scaffold,
and therewith burst out crying in a voice, ‘Pardon, pardon, pardon!’
hurling up their caps and cloaks with these words, saying, ‘God save
the King! God save the King!’ The good Duke all the while stayed, and,
with his cap in his hand, waited for the people to come together.”[124]

Whatever had been Sir Anthony’s errand, it had not been one of mercy;
and when the excitement following upon the panic was calmed the doomed
man and the crowd were alike aware that the people had been misled by
hope, and that no pardon had been brought. It is at such a moment that
a man’s mettle is shown. With admirable dignity Somerset bore the blow.
As for a moment he had participated in the expectation of the cheering
throng the colour had flickered over his face; but, recovering himself
at once, he resumed his interrupted speech.

“Beloved friends,” he said, “there is no such matter as you vainly hope
and believe.” Let the people accept the will of God, be quiet as he was
quiet, and yield obedience to King and Council. A few minutes more and
all was over. Somerset, in the words of a chronicler, had taken his
death very patiently--with the strange patience in which the victims of
injustice scarcely ever failed; the crowd, true to the last to their
faith, pressing forward to dip their handkerchiefs in his blood, as in
that of a martyr.

The laconic entry in the King’s journal, to the effect that the Duke
of Somerset had had his head cut off on Tower Hill, presents a sharp
contrast to the popular emotion and grief. The deed was, at all events,
done; Northumberland had cleared his most formidable competitor from
his path, and had no suspicion that the tragedy of that winter’s day
was in truth paving the way for his own ultimate undoing.

[Illustration:

  From a photo by Emery Walker after a painting in the National
    Portrait Gallery.

EDWARD SEYMOUR, DUKE OF SOMERSET, K.G.]



CHAPTER XIII

1552

  Northumberland and the King--Edward’s illness--Lady Jane and
    Mary--Mary refused permission to practise her religion--The
    Emperor intervenes.


For the moment master of the field, Northumberland addressed himself
sedulously to the task of strengthening and consolidating the position
he had won. In the Council he had achieved predominance, but the
King’s minority would not last for ever, and the necessity of laying
the foundation of a power that should continue when Edward’s nominal
sovereignty should have become a real one was urgent.

The lad was growing up; nor were there wanting moments causing those
around him to look on with disquietude to the day when the nobles
ruling in his name might be called upon to give an account of their
stewardship. A curious anecdote tells how, as Northumberland stood one
day watching the King practising the art of archery, the boy put a
“sharp jest” upon him, not without its significance.

“Well aimed, my liege,” said the Duke merrily, as the arrow hit the
white.

“But you aimed better,” retorted the lad, “when you shot off the head
of my uncle Somerset.”[125]

It was a grim and ominous pleasantry, and in the direct charge it
contained of responsibility for the death of Edward’s nearest of kin
another shaft besides the arrow may have been sent home. The Tudors
were not good at forgiving. Even had the King seen the death of the
Duke’s rival and victim without regret, it was possible that he would
none the less owe a grudge to the man to whom it was due; nor was
Northumberland without a reason for anticipating with uneasiness the
day when Edward, remembering all, should hold the reins of Government
in his own hands.

Under these circumstances it was clearly his interest to commend
himself to the young sovereign, and the system he pursued with regard
to his education and training were carefully adapted to that purpose.
Whilst the Protector had had the arrangement of affairs, his nephew had
been kept closely to his studies; Northumberland, “a soldier at heart
and by profession, had him taught to ride and handle his weapons,” the
boy welcoming the change, and, though not neglecting his books, taking
pleasure in every form of bodily exercise;[126] not without occasional
pangs of conscience, when more time had been spent in pastime than he
“thought convenient.”

“We forget ourselves,” he would observe, finding fault with himself
sententiously in royal phrase, upon such occasions, “that should not
lose _substantia pro accidente_.”[127]

It had been the Protector’s custom to place little money at his
nephew’s disposal, thus rendering him comparatively straitened in
the means of exercising the liberality befitting his position; and
part of the boy’s liking for the Admiral had been owing to the gifts
contrasting with the niggardliness of the elder brother. Profiting by
his predecessor’s mistakes, Northumberland’s was a different policy. He
supplied Edward freely with gold, encouraged him to make presents, and
to show himself a King; acquainting him besides with public business,
and flattering him by asking his opinion upon such matters.[128]

The Duke might have spared his pains. It was not by Edward that he
was to be called to account. But at that time there were no signs to
indicate how futile was the toil of those who were seeking to build
their fortunes upon his favour. A well-grown, handsome lad, his health
had given no special cause for anxiety up to the spring of 1552. In the
March of that year, however, a sharp and complicated attack of illness
laid him low and sowed the seeds of future delicacy.

“I fell sick of the smallpox and the measles,” recorded the boy in
his diary. “April 15th the Parliament broke up because I was sick and
unable to go abroad.”

To us, who read the laconic entry in the light thrown upon it by future
events, it marks the beginning of the end--not only the end of the
King’s short life, but the beginning of the drama in which many other
actors were to be involved and were to meet their doom. As yet none of
the anxious watchers suspected that death had set his broad arrow upon
the lad; and in the summer he had so far recovered as to be sending a
blithe account to Barnaby Fitzpatrick, then in France, of a progress
he had made in the country, and its attendant enjoyments. Whilst his
old playfellow had been occupied in killing his enemies, and sore
skirmishing and divers assaults, the King had been killing wild beasts,
having pleasant journeys and good fare, viewing fair countries, and
seeking rather to fortify his own than to spoil another man’s[129]--so
he wrote gaily to Fitzpatrick.

Meantime his illness, with the dissolution of Parliament consequent
upon it, had probably emptied London; the Suffolk family, with others,
returning to their country home. In July Lady Jane was on a visit
to her cousin, the Princess Mary, at Newhall; when, once more, an
indiscreet speech--a scoff, on this occasion, directed against the
outward tokens of that Catholic faith to which Mary was so vehemently
loyal--may, repeated to her hostess, have served to irritate her
towards the offender against the rules of courtesy and good taste.
Under other circumstances, it might have been passed over by the older
woman with a smile; but subjected to annoyance and petty persecution
by reason of her religion and saddened and embittered by illness and
misfortune, the trifling instance of ill-manners on the part of a
malapert child of fifteen may have had its share in accentuating a
latent antagonism.

In the course of the previous year a controversy had reached its height
which had been more or less imminent since the statute enjoining
the use of the new Prayer-book had been passed, a work said to have
afforded the King--then eleven years of age--“great comfort and
quietness of mind.” From that time forward--the decree had become
law in 1549--there had been trouble in the royal family, as might
be expected when opinion on vital points of religion, the burning
question of the day, was widely and violently divergent, and friends
and advisers were ever at hand to fan the flame of discord in their own
interest or that of their party.

No one could be blind to the fact that the ardent Catholicism of the
Princess Mary, next in succession to the throne, constituted a standing
menace to the future of religion as recently by law established, and to
the durability of the work hastily carried through in creating a new
Church on a new basis. Furthermore it was considered that her present
attitude of open and determined opposition to the decree passed by
Parliament was a cause of scandal in the realm. It was certainly one of
annoyance to the King and Council.

Cranmer would probably have liked to keep the peace. An honest
man, but no fanatic and holding moderate views, he might have been
inclined, having got what he personally wanted, to adopt a policy of
conciliation. Affairs had gone well with him; his friends were in
power; and, if he failed to inspire the foreign divines and their
English disciples with entire trust, it was admitted in 1550 by John
Stumpius, of that school, that things had been put upon a right
footing. “There is,” he added, “the greatest hope as to religion, for
the Archbishop of Canterbury has lately married a wife.”[130]

Matters being thus comfortably arranged, Cranmer, if he had had his
way, might have preferred to leave them alone. But what could one man
do in the interests of peace, when Churchmen and laity were alike
clamouring for war, when the King’s Council were against the concession
of any one point at issue, and the King himself had composed, before he
was twelve years old, and “sans l’aide de personne vivant,” a treatise
directed against the supremacy of the Pope? To the honour of the King’s
counsellors, few victims had suffered the supreme penalty during his
reign on account of their religious opinions;[131] but Gardiner and
Bonner, as well as Bishops Day and Heath, were in prison, and if the
lives of the adherents of the ancient faith were spared, no other
mitigation of punishment or indulgence was to be expected by them.

Under pressure from the Emperor the principal offender had been at
first granted permission to continue the practice of her religion.
But when peace with France rendered a rupture with Charles a less
formidable contingency than before, it was decided that renewed efforts
should be made to compel the Princess Mary to bow to the fiat of King
and Council. Love of God and affection for his sister forbade her
brother, he declared, to tolerate her obstinacy longer, the intimation
being accompanied by an offer of teachers who should instruct her
ignorance and refute her errors.

Mary was a match for both King and Council. In an interview with the
Lords she told them that her soul was God’s, and that neither would
she change her faith nor dissemble her opinions; the Council replying
by a chilling intimation that her faith was her own affair, but that
she must obey like a subject, not rule like a sovereign. The Princess,
however, had a card to play unsuspected by her adversaries. The dispute
had taken place on August 18. On the 19th the Council was unpleasantly
surprised by a strong measure on the part of the imperial ambassador,
in the shape of a declaration of war in case his master’s cousin was
not permitted the exercise of her religion.

The Council were in a difficulty. War with the Emperor, at that moment,
and without space for preparation, would have been attended with grave
inconvenience. On the other hand Edward’s tender conscience had outrun
that of his ministers, and had become so difficult to deal with that
all the persuasions of the Primate and two other Bishops were needed
to convince the boy, honest and zealous in his intolerance, that
“to suffer or wink at [sin] for a time might be borne, so all haste
possible was used.”

A temporising answer was therefore returned to the imperial ambassador,
“all haste possible” being made in removing English stores from
Flanders, so that, in case of a rupture, they might not fall into
Charles’s hands. This accomplished, fresh and stringent measures were
taken to compel the Princess’s obedience; her chief chaplain was
committed to the Tower, charged with having celebrated Mass in his
mistress’s house, and three of the principal officers of her household
were sent to join him there as a punishment for declining to use
coercion to prevent a recurrence of the offence.

An interview followed between Mary and a deputation of members of
the Council, who visited her with the object of enforcing the King’s
orders. The Princess received her guests with undisguised impatience;
requested them to be brief; and, having listened to what they had to
say, answered shortly that she would lay her head upon a block--no idle
rhetoric in those days--sooner than use any other form of service than
that in use at her father’s death; when her brother was of full age she
was ready to obey his commands, but at present--good, sweet King!--he
could not be a judge in such matters. Her chaplains, for the rest,
could do as they pleased in the matter of saying Mass, “but none of
your new service shall be used in my house, or I will not tarry in it.”

Thus the controversy practically ended. The Council dared not proceed
to extremities against the Emperor’s cousin, and tacitly agreed to let
her alone, having supplied her with one more bitter memory to add to
the account which was to be lamentably settled in the near future.



CHAPTER XIV

1552

  Lady Jane’s correspondence with Bullinger--Illness of the Duchess
    of Suffolk--Haddon’s difficulties--Ridley’s visit to Princess
    Mary--the English Reformers--Edward fatally ill--Lady Jane’s
    character and position.


The removal of the two Seymour brothers, whilst it had left
Northumberland predominant, had also increased the importance of the
Duke of Suffolk. Both by reason of the position he personally filled,
and owing to his connection, through his wife, with the King, he was
second to none in the State save the man to whom Somerset’s fall was
due and who had succeeded to his power. He shared Northumberland’s
prominence, as he was afterwards to share his ruin; and, as one of the
chief props of Protestantism, he and his family continued to be objects
of special interest to the divines of that persuasion, foreign and
English.

Lady Jane, as before, was in communication with the learned Bullinger,
and in the same month--July 1552--that her visit had been paid to the
Princess Mary she was sending him another letter, dated from Bradgate,
expressing her gratitude for the “great friendship he desired to
establish between them, and acknowledging his many favours.” After
a second perusal of his latest letter--since a single one had not
contented her--the benefit derived from it had surpassed that to be
obtained from the best authors, and in studying Hebrew she meant to
pursue the method he recommended.

In August more pressing interests must have taken the place of study,
for at Richmond in Surrey her mother was attacked by a sickness
threatening at one time to prove fatal.

“This shall be to advertise you,” wrote the Duchess’s husband, hastily
summoned from London, to Cecil, “that my sudden departing from the
Court was for that I had received letters of the state my wife was
in, who I assure you is more liker to die than to live. I never saw a
sicker creature in my life than she is. She hath three diseases....
These three being enclosed in one body, it is to be feared that death
must needs follow. By your most assured and loving cousin, who, I
assure you, is not a little troubled.”

His anxiety was soon relieved. The Duchess was not only to outlive,
but, in her haste to replace him, was to show little respect for his
memory. She must quickly have got the better of her present threefold
disorder, for in the course of the same month a letter was sent from
Richmond by James Haddon, the domestic chaplain, to Bullinger, making
no mention of any cause of uneasiness as to the physical condition of
his master’s wife. He was preoccupied by other matters, disquieted by
scruples of conscience, and glad to unburthen himself to the universal
referee with regard to certain difficulties attending his position in
the Duke’s household.

It was true that he might have hesitated to communicate the fears and
misgivings by which he was beset to a guide at so great a distance,
had not John ab Ulmis--who, as portrayed by these letters, was
somewhat of a busybody, eager to bring all his friends into personal
relations, and above all to magnify the authority and importance of
his master in spiritual things--just come in and encouraged him to
write, stating that it would give Bullinger great satisfaction to be
informed of the condition of religion in England, and likewise--a more
mundane curiosity--of that of the Suffolk household. Entering into a
description of both, therefore, in a missive containing some three
thousand words, Haddon fully detailed the sorrows and perplexities
attending the exercise of the office of chaplain, even in the most
orthodox and pious of houses.

After dealing with the first and important subject of religion at
large, he proceeded to treat of the more complicated question--the
condition of the ducal household, and especially the duties attaching
to his own post.

Of the general regulation of the house, Ulmis, he said, was more
capable than he of giving an account. It was rather to be desired that
Bullinger should point out the method he would recommend. But upon
one point Haddon was anxious to obtain the advice of so eminent a
counsellor, and he went on to explain at length the case of conscience
by which he had been troubled. This was upon the question of the
lawfulness or unlawfulness of conniving, by silence, at the practice of
gambling.

The situation was this. The Duke and Duchess had strictly forbidden the
members of their household to play at cards or dice for money. So far
they had the entire approval of their chaplain. But--and here came in
Haddon’s cause of perplexity--the Duke himself and his most honourable
lady, with their friends--perhaps, too, their daughter, though there is
no mention of her--not only claimed a right to play in their private
apartments, but also to play for money. The divergence between precept
and practice--common in all ages--was grievous to the chaplain,
weighted with the responsibility for the spiritual and moral welfare of
the whole establishment, from his “patron” the Duke, down to the lowest
of the menials. At wearisome and painstaking length he recapitulated
the arguments he was wont to employ in his remonstrances against the
gambling propensities he deplored, retailing, as well, the arguments
with which the offenders met them. “In this manner and to this effect,”
he says, “the dispute is often carried on.”

During the past months matters had reached a climax. As late as up
to the previous Christmas he had confined himself to administering
private rebukes; but, perceiving that his words had taken no effect,
he had forewarned the culprits that a public reprimand would follow a
continued disregard of his monitions. Upon this he had been relieved
to perceive that there had been for a time a cessation of the
reprehensible form of amusement, and had cherished a hope that all
would be well. It had been a vain one. Christmas had come round--the
season marked by mummeries and wickedness of every kind, when persons
especially served the devil in imitation, as it seemed, of the ancient
Saturnalia; and though this was happily not the case in the Suffolk
family, Duke and Duchess had joined in the general backsliding to the
extent of returning to their old evil habit. Such being the case,
Haddon had felt that he had no choice but to carry out his threat.

In his Christmas sermon he had taken occasion to administer a reproof
as to the general fashion of keeping the feast, including in his
rebuke, “though in common and general terms,” those who played cards
for money. No one in the household was at a loss to fix upon the
offenders at whom the shaft was directed. The Duke’s servants, if they
followed his example, took care never to be detected in so doing;
and, accepting the reprimand as addressed to themselves, the Duke and
Duchess took it in bad part, arguing that Haddon would have performed
all that duty required of him by a private remonstrance. From that
time, offence having been given by his plain speech, the chaplain had
returned to his old custom of administering only private rebukes; thus
conniving, in a measure, at the practice he condemned, lest loss of
influence in matters of greater moment should follow. “I bear with it,”
he sighed, “as a man who holds a wolf by the ears.” Conscience was,
however, uneasy, and he begged Bullinger to advise in the matter and to
determine how far such concessions might be lawfully made.

Looking impartially at the question, it says much for the Duke’s good
temper and toleration that the worthy Haddon continued to fill his
post, and that when, a few months later, he was promoted to be Dean
of Exeter, he wrote that the affection between himself and his master
was so strong that the connection would even then not be altogether
severed.[132] His attitude is a curious and interesting example of the
position and status of a chaplain in his day, being wholly that of a
dependant, and yet carrying with it duties and rights strongly asserted
on the one side and not disallowed upon the other.

The Duchess, having recovered from her illness, had taken her three
daughters to visit their cousin Mary, and when the younger children
were sent home Jane remained behind at St. John’s, Clerkenwell, the
London dwelling of the Princess, until her father came to fetch wife
and daughter away. That the whole family had been thus entertained
indicates that they were at this time on a friendly footing with the
Princess. But though the Duke of Suffolk was doubtless alive to the
necessity of maintaining amicable relations, so far as it was possible,
with his wife’s cousin and the next heir to the crown, it must have
been no easy matter, at a time when party spirit ran so high, for one
of the chief recognised supporters of Protestantism to continue on
terms of cordiality with the head and hope of the Catholic section of
the nation. Mary was not becoming more conciliatory in her bearing as
time went on, and an account of a visit paid her by Ridley, now Bishop
of London in place of Bonner, deprived and in prison, is illustrative
of her present attitude.

[Illustration:

  From a photo by Emery Walker after a painting by Joannes Corvus in
    the National Portrait Gallery.

PRINCESS MARY, AT THE AGE OF TWENTY-EIGHT.]

It was to Hunsdon that, in the month of September, Ridley came to pay
his respects to the King’s sister, cherishing, it may be, a secret
hope that where King and Council had failed, he might succeed; and his
courteous reception by the officers of her household was calculated
to encourage his sanguine anticipations. Mary too, when, at eleven
o’clock, he was admitted to her presence, conversed with her guest
right pleasantly for a quarter of an hour, telling him that she
remembered the time when he had acted as chaplain to her father, and
inviting him to stay to dinner. It was not until after the meal was
ended that the Bishop unfolded the true object of his visit. It was
not one of simple courtesy; he had come, he said, to do his duty by her
as her diocesan, and to preach before her on the following Sunday.

If Mary prepared for battle, she answered at first with quiet dignity.
It was observed that she flushed; her response, however, was merely to
bid him “make the answer to that himself.” When, refusing to take the
hint, the Bishop continued to urge his point, she spoke more plainly.

“I pray you, make the answer (as I have said) to this matter yourself,”
she repeated, “for you know the answer well enough. But if there be no
remedy but I must make you answer, this shall be your answer: the door
of the parish church adjoining shall be open for you if you come, and
you may preach if you list; but neither I nor any of mine shall hear
you.”

To preach to an empty church, or to a handful of country yokels, would
not have answered the episcopal purpose; and Ridley was plainly losing
his temper.

He hoped, he said, she would not refuse to hear God’s word. The
Princess answered with a scoff. She did not know what they now called
God’s word; she was sure it was not the same as in her father’s
time--to whom, it will be remembered, the Bishop had been chaplain.

The dispute was becoming heated. God’s word, Ridley retorted, was the
same at all times, but had been better understood and practised in some
ages than in others. To this Mary replied by a personal thrust. He
durst not, she told him, for his ears, have avowed his present faith
in King Henry’s time; then--asking a question to which she must have
known the answer--was he of the Council? she demanded. The inquiry
was probably intended as a reminder that his rights did not extend to
interference with the King’s sister, as well as to elicit, as it did,
the confession that he held no such post.

“You might well enough, as the Council goeth nowadays,” observed
Mary carelessly; proceeding, at parting, to thank the Bishop for his
gentleness in coming to see her, “but for your offering to preach
before me I thank you never a whit.”

In the presence of his hostess the discomfited guest appears to have
kept his temper under control, but, having duly drunk of the stirrup
cup presented to him by her steward, Sir Thomas Wharton, he gave free
expression to his sentiments.

“Surely I have done amiss,” he said, looking “very sadly,” and
explaining, in answer to Wharton’s interrogation, that he had erred
in having drunk under a roof where God’s word was rejected. He should
rather have shaken the dust off his feet for a testimony against the
house and departed instantly, he told the listeners assembled to speed
him on his way--whose hair, says Heylyn, in relating this story, stood
on end with his denunciations.[133]

If scenes of this kind were not adapted to promote good feeling between
belligerents in high places, neither was the spirit of the dominant
party in the country one to conciliate opposition. It is not easy, as
the figures of the English pioneers of Protestantism pass from time to
time across the stage, in these years of their first triumph, to do
them full justice. To judge a man by one period of his life, whether it
is youth or manhood or old age, is scarcely fairer than to pronounce
upon the colour and pattern of an eastern carpet, only one square
yard of it being visible. The adherents of the new faith are here
necessarily represented in a single phase, that of prosperity. At the
top of the wave, they are seen at their worst, assertive, triumphant,
intolerant and self-satisfied, the bull-dogs of the Reformation, only
withheld by the leash from worrying their fallen antagonist. Thus, for
the most part, they appear in Edward’s reign. And yet these men, a year
or two later, were many of them capable of an undaunted courage, an
impassioned belief in the common Lord of Protestant and Catholic, and
a power of endurance, which have graven their names upon the national
roll-call of heroes.

Meantime, more and more, the King’s precarious health was suggestive of
disturbing contingencies. It may be that, as some assert, his uncle’s
death, once become irrevocable, had preyed upon his spirits--that he
“mourned, and soon missed the life of his Protector, thus unexpectedly
taken away, who, now deprived of both uncles, howsoever the time
were passed with pastimes, plays and shows, to drive away dumps, yet
ever the remembrance of them sat so near his heart that lastly he
fell sick....”[134] But though it is possible that, as his strength
declined, matters he had taken lightly weighed upon his spirits, it is
not necessary to seek other than natural and constitutional causes for
a failure of health. That failure must have filled many hearts with
forebodings.

There had been no attempt hitherto to ignore or deny the position
occupied by Mary as next heir to the throne. When, at the New Year, she
visited her brother, the honours rendered to her were a recognition of
her rights, and the Northumberlands and Suffolks occupied a foremost
place amongst the “vast throng” who rode with her through the city or
met her at the palace gate and brought her to the presence-chamber of
the King. Before the next New Year’s Day came round Edward was to be in
his grave; Mary would fill his place; and the little cousin Jane, now
spending a gay Christmas with her father’s nephews and wards, the young
Willoughbys, at Tylsey, would be awaiting her doom in the Tower.

The shadow was already darkening over the King. It is said that the
seeds of his malady had been sown by over-heating in his sports,
during the progress of which he had sent so joyous an account to
Fitzpatrick.[135] Soon after his sister’s visit he caught a bad cold,
and unfavourable symptoms appeared. He had, however, youth in his
favour, and few at first anticipated how speedy would be the end. Vague
disquiet nevertheless quickly passed into definite alarm. In February
the patient’s condition was such that Northumberland, who of all men
had most at stake, summoned no less than six physicians, desiring them
to institute an examination and to declare upon their oath, first,
whether they considered the King’s disease mortal, and, if so, how
long he was likely to live. The reply made by the doctors was that
the malady was incurable, and that the patient might live until the
following September.[136] Northumberland had obtained his answer; it
was for him to take measures accordingly.

In March Edward’s last Parliament met and ended. “The King being
a little diseased by cold-taking,” recorded a contemporary
chronicle,[137] “it was not meet for his Grace to ride to Westminster
in the air,”[138] and on the 31st--it was Good Friday--the Upper House
waited upon him at Whitehall, Edward in his royal robes receiving the
Lords Spiritual and Temporal. At seven that evening Parliament was
dissolved.

Many hearts, loyal and true and pitiful, will have grieved at the signs
of their King’s decay. But to Northumberland, watching them with the
keenness lent by personal interest, personal ambition, and possibly by
a consciousness of personal peril, they must have afforded absorbing
matter of preoccupation. The exact time at which the designs by which
the Duke trusted to turn the boy’s death to his advantage rather than
to his ruin took definite shape and form must remain to some extent
undetermined--his plans were probably decided by the verdict given by
the doctors in February; it is certain that in the course of the spring
they were elaborated, and that in them Lady Jane Grey, ignorant and
unsuspicious, was a factor of primary importance. She was to be the
figure-head of the Duke’s adventurous vessel.

The precise date of her birth is not known, but she was now in her
sixteenth or seventeenth year--a sorrowful one for her and for all she
loved. Childhood was a thing she had left behind; she was touching upon
her brief space of womanhood; a few months later and that too would be
over; she would have paid the penalty for the schemes and ambitions of
others.

The eulogies of her panegyrists have, as a natural effect of
extravagant praise, done in some sort an injury to this little
white saint of the English Reformation. We do not readily believe in
miracles; nor do infant prodigies either in the sphere of morals or
attainments attract us. Yet, setting aside the tragedy of her end,
there is something that appeals for pity in the very precocity upon
which her contemporaries are fond of dwelling, testifying as it does
to a wasted childhood, to a life robbed of its natural early heritage
of carelessness and grace. To have had so short a time to spend on the
green earth, and to have squandered so large a portion of it amongst
dusty folios, and in the acquirement of learning; to have pored over
parchments while sun and air, flowers and birds and beasts--all that
should make the delight of a child’s life, the pageant of a child’s
spring, was passed by as of no account; further, to have grown up
versed in the technicalities of barren theological debate, the simple
facts of Christ’s religion overlaid and obscured by the bitterness of
professional controversialists,--almost every condition of her brief
existence is an appeal for compassion, and Jane, from her blood-stained
grave, cries out that she had not only been robbed of life by her
enemies, but of a childhood by her friends.

To a figure defaced by flattery and adulation, whose very virtues and
gifts were made to minister to party ends, it is difficult to restore
the original brightness and beauty which nevertheless belonged to it.
But here and there in the pages of the Italian evangelist, Michel
Angelo Florio, who was personally acquainted with her, pictures are to
be found which, drawn with tender touches, set the girl more vividly
before us than is done by the stilted commendations of English devotees
or German doctors of theology. Many times, he says--times when it may
be hoped she had forgotten that there were opponents to be argued
with or heretics to be convinced or doctrinal subtleties to be set
forth--she would speak of the Word of God and almost preach it to those
who served her;[139] and Florio himself, recounting the indignities
and insults he had suffered by reason of his opinions, had seen her
weep with pity, so that he well knew how much she had true religion at
heart.[140]

Her attendants, too--in days when her melancholy end had caused each
trifling incident to be treasured like a relic by those to whom she had
been dear--related that she did not esteem rank or wealth or kingdom
worth a straw in comparison with the knowledge God had granted to
her of His only Son.[141] It must be remembered that in no long time
she was to give proof, by her fashion of meeting death, that these
phrases were no repetition of a lesson learned by rote, no empty and
conventional form of words, but the true and sincere confession of a
living faith.



CHAPTER XV

1553

  The King dying--Noailles in England--Lady Jane married to Guilford
    Dudley--Edward’s will--Opposition of the law officers--They
    yield--The King’s death.


The King was becoming rapidly worse, and as his malady increased upon
him, strange suspicions were afloat amongst the people, their hatred to
Northumberland giving its colour to their explanation of the situation.
He himself, or those upon whom he could count, were ever with the sick
boy, and hints were uttered--as was sure to be the case--of poison. For
this, murmured the populace, had the King’s uncles been removed, his
faithful nobles disgraced; and the condition of public opinion caused
the Duke, alarmed at its hostility, to publish it abroad that Edward
was better.[142]

In May a rally appears to have in fact taken place, giving rise in
some quarters to false hopes of recovery, and Mary wrote to offer her
congratulations to her brother upon the improvement in his health. On
May 13 the new French ambassador, Noailles, whose audience had been
deferred from day to day, was informed by the Council that their master
was so much better that he would doubtless be admitted to the royal
presence in the course of a few days. The doctors told a different
story, and Noailles believed the doctors. A diplomatist himself, he
knew the uses of lying perhaps too well to condemn it severely. That
the King was dying was practically certain, and though those whose
object it was to conceal the fact lest measures should be concerted
to ensure the succession of the rightful heir, might do their best to
disguise the fact, the truth must become known before long.

Meantime the French envoy, in the interest of the reformed party in
England--not by reason of their religion, but as opposed to Mary, the
Emperor’s cousin--was quite willing to play into Northumberland’s
hands, and to assist him in the work of spreading abroad the report
that the King’s malady was yielding to treatment. He and his
colleagues were accordingly conducted to an apartment near to the
presence-chamber, where they were left for a certain time alone, in
order to convey the impression that they had been personally received
by the sovereign. Some days later it was confessed, but as a peril
past, that Edward had been seriously ill. He was then stated to be out
of danger, and the ambassadors were admitted to his presence, finding
him very weak, and coughing much.[143]

The rally had been of short duration. Hope of recovery had, in truth,
been abandoned; and those it concerned so intimately were forced to
face the situation to be created by his death. It was a situation
momentous alike to men whose fortunes had been staked upon the young
King’s life, and to others honestly and sincerely solicitous regarding
the welfare of the realm and the consequences to the new religion
should his eldest sister succeed to the throne.

Every one of the Lords of the Council and officers of the Crown,
with almost all the Bishops, save those who had suffered captivity
and deprivation, had personal reasons for apprehension. Scarcely a
single person of influence or power could count upon being otherwise
than obnoxious to the heir to the crown. That most of them would be
displaced from their posts was to be expected. Some at least must
have felt that property and life hung in the balance. But it was
Northumberland who, as he had most to lose, had most to fear. The
practical head of the State, and wielding a power little less than
that of Somerset, he had amassed riches and offices to an amount
bearing witness to his rapacity. In matters of religion he had been
as strong, though less sincere, in his opposition to the Church
claiming Mary’s allegiance as his predecessor. During the preceding
autumn the iconoclastic work of destruction had been carried on
in the metropolitan Cathedral; the choir, where the high altar had
been accustomed to stand, had been broken down and the stone-work
destroyed.[144] Gardiner and Bonner, who, as prominent sufferers for
the Catholic cause, would have Mary’s ear, were in prison. For all
this Northumberland, with the King’s Council as aiders and abettors,
was responsible. Not a single claim could be advanced to the liking
or toleration of the woman presently to become head of the State. If
safety was to be ensured to the advisers of her brother, steps must
be taken at once for that purpose. Northumberland and Suffolk set
themselves to do so.

It was on May 18 that Noailles and his colleagues had been at length
permitted to pay their respects to the sick boy. On Whitsunday, the
23rd--the date, though not altogether certain, is probable--three
marriages were celebrated at Durham House, the London dwelling-place
of the Duke of Northumberland. On that day the eldest daughter of the
Duke of Suffolk became the wife of Lord Guilford Dudley, the Duke
of Northumberland’s fourth and, some say, favourite son; her sister
Katherine was bestowed upon Lord Herbert, the earl of Pembroke’s
heir--to be repudiated by him the following year--and Lady Katherine
Dudley, Northumberland’s daughter, was married to Lord Hastings.[144]

The object of the threefold ceremony was clear. The main cause of
it, and of the haste shown in carrying it through, was a dying boy,
whose life was flickering out a few miles distant at Greenwich. It
behoved his two most powerful subjects, Northumberland and Suffolk, to
strengthen their position as speedily as might be, and by this means it
was hoped to accomplish that object.

The place chosen for the celebration of the weddings might have
served--perhaps it did--to host and guests as a reminder of the perils
of those who climbed too high. Durham House, appropriated in his
days of prosperity by Somerset--to the indignation of Elizabeth, who
laid claim to the property--had been forfeited to the Crown upon his
attainder, and was the dwelling of his more fortunate rival; and, as
if to drive the lesson further home, the very cloth of gold and silver
lent from the royal coffers to deck the bridal party had been likewise
drawn from the possessions of the ill-starred Duke. The dead furnished
forth the festal array of the living.

That day, with its splendid ceremonial--the marriages took place with
much magnificence in the presence of a great assembly, including
the principal personages of the realm--presents a grim and striking
contrast to what was to follow. None were present, so far as we know,
with the eyes of a seer, to discern the thin red ring foretelling the
proximate fate of the girl who played the most prominent part in it,
or to recognise in death the presiding genius of the pageant. Yet the
destiny said in old days to dog the steps of those doomed to a violent
death and to be present at their side from the cradle to the grave must
have stood by many, besides the bride, who joined in the proceedings
on that Whitsunday. Where would Northumberland be that day year? or
Suffolk? or young Guilford Dudley? or, a little later, the Bishop who
tied the knots?

How Jane played her part we can only guess, or what she had thought
of the arrangement, hurriedly concluded, by which her future was
handed over to the keeping of her boy husband. Whether willing or
unwilling, she had no choice but to obey, to accept the bridegroom
chosen for her--a tall, handsome lad of seventeen or nineteen, it is
not clear which--and to make the best of it. Rosso indeed, deriving his
information from Michele, Venetian ambassador in London, and Bodoaro,
Venetian ambassador to Charles V., states that after much resistance,
urged by her mother and beaten by her father, she had consented to
their wishes. It may have been true; and, standing at the altar, her
thoughts may have wandered from the brilliant scene around her to the
room at Greenwich, where the husband proposed for her in earlier days
was dying. She might have been Edward’s wife, had he lived. She can
scarcely have failed to have been aware of the hopes and designs of
her father, of those of the dead Admiral, and of others; she had, in
a measure, been brought up in the expectation of filling a throne.
But the plan was forgotten now. Edward was to be the husband neither
of Jane nor of that other cousin, not of royal blood, the daughter
of his sometime Protector, whose father was dead and mother in the
Tower; nor yet of the foreign bride, well stuffed and jewelled, of
whom he had himself bragged. He was dying, like any other boy of no
royal race, upon whose life no momentous issues hung. From his sick-bed
he had taken a keen interest in what was going forward, appearing,
says Heylyn, as forward in the marriages as if he had been one of the
principals in the plot against him.[145] He might be fond of Jane,
but even had he loved her--which there is nothing to show--he was too
far within the shadow of the grave to feel any jealousy in seeing her
handed over to another bridegroom.

At the demeanour of the little victim of the Whitsun sacrifice we can
but guess. Grave and serious we picture her, as it was her wont to
be, with the steadfast face depicted by the painters of the day--far,
in spite of Seymour’s boast, from being “as handsome as any lady in
England,” but with a purity and simplicity, a stillness and repose,
restful to those who looked into the quiet eyes and marked the
tranquillity of the countenance. Did she, in her inward cogitations,
divine that there was danger ahead? If so we can fancy she was ready
to face it. Were it God’s will, then let it come. Peril was the
anteroom, death the portal, of the eternal city--the heavenly Jerusalem
in which she believed.

Such was the image printed upon the time by the woman-child who
was never to know maturity, as it lived in the tender and loving
remembrance of her contemporaries, the delicately sculptured figure of
a saint in the temples of the iconoclasts.

[Illustration:

  From an engraving by George Noble after a painting by Holbein.

LADY JANE GREY.]

By the country at large the sudden marriages were regarded with
suspicion. “The noise of these marriages bred such amazement in the
hearts of the common people, apt enough in themselves to speak the
worst of Northumberland, that there was nothing left unsaid which might
serve to show their hatred against him, or express their pity for the
King.”[146] Overbearing and despotic, the merciless “bear of Warwick,”
as he was nicknamed, was so detested that by some the failure of his
scheme was afterwards ascribed rather to his unpopularity than to love
for Mary. Yet it was Northumberland who, with the blindness born of
a sanguine ambition, was to trust, six weeks later, to the populace
to join with him in dispossessing the King’s sister, for whom they
had always shown affection, and in placing his daughter-in-law and
her boy-husband upon the throne. So glaring a misapprehension of the
situation demands explanation, and it is partly supplied by a French
appreciation of the Duke’s character. According to M. Griffet, he was
more heedful to conceal his own sentiments than capable of discerning
those of others; a man of ambition who neither knew whom to trust nor
whom to suspect; who, blinded by presumption, was therefore easily
deceived, and who nevertheless believed himself to possess to the
highest degree the gift of deceiving all the world.[147] Such as he
was, he had deceived himself to his undoing.

Meantime Lady Jane’s marriage had made for the moment little change
in her manner of life. She had answered the purpose for which she was
required, and was permitted temporarily to retire behind the scenes.
It is said--and there is nothing unlikely in the assertion--that,
the ceremony over and obedience having been rendered to her parents’
behest, she entreated that she might continue with her mother for
the present. She and her new husband were so young, she pleaded. Her
request was granted. She was Guilford Dudley’s wife, could be the wife
of no other man, and that was, for the moment, sufficient.

There was much to think of, much to do. Measures had to be taken to
keep the King’s sisters at a distance, lest his old affection, for
Elizabeth in particular, reawakening might frustrate the designs of
those bent upon moulding events to their advantage. Above all, there
was the pressing necessity of inducing the King to exclude them by
will from their rightful heritage. On June 16 Noailles had again been
conferring with the doctors, and had learnt that, in their opinion,
Edward could not live till August. Ten days later Northumberland
came from Greenwich to visit the envoy, and to prevent his going to
Court. He then told the Frenchman that, nine days earlier, the King
had executed his will in favour of the Duke’s daughter-in-law, Lady
Jane[148]--“qui est vertueuse, sage, et belle,” reported the envoy to
his master some three weeks later.[149]

Of the manner in which the will had been obtained full information is
available. It was not out of love for Northumberland that Edward had
yielded to his representations. The Throckmorton MS.[150] asserts that
Edward abhorred the Duke on account of his uncle’s death. Sir Nicholas
Throckmorton, in attendance on the King, should be a good authority; on
the other hand, he was opposed to the Duke’s designs. Whether or not
the latter was personally distasteful to the boy, it was no difficult
matter to represent the situation in a fashion to lead him to believe
the sole alternative was the course suggested to him. Conscientious,
pious, scrupulous to a fault, and worn by disease, the future of
religion could be made to hang upon his fiat, and the thought of Mary,
a devout Catholic, or even Elizabeth, who might marry a foreign prince,
seated upon the throne, filled him with apprehensions for the welfare
of a people for whom he felt himself responsible. Yet he, with little
to love, had loved both his sisters, and the thought of the sick lad,
torn between duty and affection, a tool in the hands of unprincipled
and ambitious men who could play on his sensitive conscience and
over-strained nerves at will, and turn his piety to their advantage, is
a painful one.

The Duke’s arguments lay ready to his hand. Religion was in danger, the
Church set up by Edward in jeopardy; the work that he had done might be
destroyed as soon as he was in his grave. How could he answer it before
God were he, who was able to avert it, to permit so great an evil? The
remedy was clear. Let him pass over his sisters, already pronounced
severally illegitimate by unrepealed statutes of Parliament, and entail
the crown upon those who, under his father’s will, would follow upon
Mary and Elizabeth, the descendants of Mary Tudor, known to be firm in
their attachment to the reformed faith.

Edward yielded. Given the circumstances, the power exercised by the
Duke over him, his physical condition, his fears for religion, he could
scarcely have done less. With his own hand he drew up the draft of
a will which, amended at Northumberland’s bidding, left the crown in
unmistakable terms to Lady Jane and her heirs male. It had now to be
made law and accepted by the Council.

On June 11 Sir Edward Montagu, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas,
Sir Thomas Bromley, another Justice of the same court, Sir Richard
Baker, Chancellor of the Augmentations, and the Attorney- and
Solicitor-General were called to Greenwich, and were introduced into
the King’s apartment, Northampton, Gates, and others being present
at the interview. If what took place on this occasion and at the
other audiences of the legal officers with the King, as recorded by
themselves, is naturally, as Dr. Lingard has pointed out, represented
in such a manner as to extenuate their conduct in Mary’s eyes, there
seems no reason to doubt that Montagu’s account is substantially
true.[151]

In his sickness, Edward told them, he had considered the state of the
realm, and of the succession, should he die without leaving direct
heirs; and, proceeding to point out the danger to religion and to
liberty should his sister Mary succeed to the throne, he ordered them
to “make a book with speed” of his articles.

The lawyers demurred, but the King, feverishly eager to put an end
to the business, and conscious perhaps that if the thing were not
done quickly it might not be done at all, refused to listen to the
objections they would have urged, dismissing them with orders to carry
out his pleasure with haste. For all his gentleness and piety, Edward
was a Tudor, and no less peremptory than others of his race.

Two days later--it was June 14--having deliberated on the question, the
men of law acquainted the Council with their decision. The thing could
not be done. To make or execute the “devise” according to the King’s
instructions would be treason. The report was made to Sir William
Petre at Ely Place; but the Duke of Northumberland was at hand, and
came thereupon into the Council-chamber, “being in a great rage and
fury, trembling for anger, and, amongst all his ragious talk called
Sir Edward Montagu traitor, and further said he would fight any man in
his shirt in that quarrel.” It was plain that no technical or legal
obstacles were to be permitted to turn him from his purpose.

The following day the law-officers were again called to Greenwich.
Conveyed in the first place to a chamber behind the dining-room, they
met with a chilling reception. “All the lords looked upon them with
earnest countenances, as though they had not known them;” and, brought
into the King’s presence, Edward demanded, “with sharp words and angry
countenance,” why his book was not made?

Montagu, as spokesman for his colleagues, explained. Had the King’s
device been executed it would become void at the King’s death, the
Statute of Succession passed by Parliament being still in force. A
statute could be altered by statute alone. On Edward’s replying that
Parliament should then shortly be called together, Montagu caught at
the solution. The matter could be referred to it, and all perils saved.
But this was not the King’s meaning. The deed, he explained, was to be
executed at once, and was to be afterwards ratified by Parliament. With
growing excitement, he commanded the officers, “very sharply,” to do
his bidding; some of the lords, standing behind the King, adding that,
did they refuse, they were traitors.

The epithet was freely bandied about in those days, yet it never failed
to carry a menace; and Montagu, in as “great fear as ever he was in all
his life before, seeing the King so earnest and sharp, and the Duke so
angry the day before,” and being an “old weak man and without comfort,”
began to look about for a method of satisfying King and Council without
endangering his personal safety. In the end he gave way, consenting
to prepare the required papers, on condition that he might first be
given a commission under the great seal to draw up the instrument, and
likewise a pardon for having done so. Northumberland had won the day.

It was afterwards reported that when the will was signed a great
tempest arose, with a whirlwind such as had never been seen, the
sky dark and fearful, lightning and infinite thunder; one of the
thunderbolts accompanying that terrible storm falling upon the
miserable church where heresy was first begotten.... “This accident was
observed by many persons of sense and prudence, and was considered a
great sign of the avenging justice of God.”[152]

The Council, undeterred by the manifestations of divine wrath, were
not backward in endorsing the deed. Overborne by the Duke, probably
also influenced by the apprehension of a compulsory restoration of
Church spoils should Mary succeed, they unanimously acquiesced in the
act of injustice. To a second paper, designed by the Duke to commit
his colleagues further, twenty-four councillors and legal advisers
set their hands. By June 21 the official instrument had received the
signatures of the Lords of the Council, other peers, judges, and
officers of the Crown, to the number of 101. The Princesses had been
set aside, and the fatal heritage, so far as it was possible, secured
to Lady Jane. The King, at the direction of her nearest of kin, had in
effect affixed his signature to her death-sentence.

When Northumberland was assured of success he gave a magnificent
musical entertainment, to which the French ambassador was bidden. Three
days earlier it had been reported to Noailles that Edward was at the
point of death, and he was surprised at the merry-making and the good
spirits prevalent. The affair, it was explained to him, was in honour
of the convalescence of the King, who had been without fever for two
days, and whose recovery appeared certain.[153] The envoy doubtless
expressed no incredulity, and congratulated the company upon the good
tidings. He knew that Edward was moribund, and understood that the
rejoicings were in truth to celebrate the approaching elevation to the
throne of Northumberland’s daughter-in-law.

Was she present? We cannot tell; but it was the Duke’s policy to make
her a prominent figure, and Noailles’ description of her beauty and
goodness implies a personal acquaintance.

It only remained for Edward to die. All those around him, with perhaps
some few exceptions amongst his personal attendants, were eagerly
awaiting the end. All had been accomplished that was possible whilst
he was yet alive, and Northumberland and his friends were probably
impatient to be up and doing. His sisters were at a distance, his
uncles dead, Barnaby Fitzpatrick was abroad, and he was practically
alone with the men who had made him their tool. The last scene is full
of pathos. Three hours before the end, lying with his eyes shut, he was
heard praying for the country which had been his charge.

“‘O God,’ he entreated, ‘deliver me out of this miserable and wretched
life, and take me among Thy chosen; howbeit not my will, but Thine, be
done. Lord, I commend my spirit to Thee. O Lord, Thou knowest how happy
it were for me to be with Thee. Yet, for Thy chosen’s sake, send me
life and health, that I may truly serve Thee. O my Lord God, bless Thy
people and save Thine inheritance. O Lord God, save Thy chosen people
of England. O Lord God, defend this realm from Papistry and maintain
Thy true religion, that I and my people may praise Thy holy Name, for
Jesus Christ His sake.’

“Then turned he his face, and seeing who was by him, said to them:

“‘Are ye so nigh? I thought ye had been further off.’

“Then Doctor Owen said:

“‘We heard you speak to yourself, but what you said we know not.’

“He then (after his fashion, smilingly) said, ‘I was praying to
God.’”[154]

The end was near.

“I am faint,” he said. “Lord, have mercy upon me, and take my spirit”;
and so on July 7, towards night, he passed away. On the following day
Noailles communicated to his Court “le triste et piteux inconvénient de
la mort” of Edward VI., last of the Tudor Kings.



CHAPTER XVI

1553

  After King Edward’s death--Results to Lady Jane
    Grey--Northumberland’s schemes--Mary’s escape--Scene at Sion
    House--Lady Jane brought to the Tower--Quarrel with her
    husband--Her proclamation as Queen.


A boy was dead. A frail little life, long failing, had gone out. That
was all. Nevertheless upon it had hung the destinies of England.

Speculations and forecasts as to the consequences had Edward lived
are unprofitable. Yet one wonders what, grown to manhood, he would
have become--whether the gentle lad, pious, studious, religious, the
modern Josiah, as he was often called, would have developed, as he
grew to maturity, the dangerous characteristics of his Tudor race, the
fierceness and violence of his father, the melancholy and relentless
fanaticism of Mary, the absence of principle and sensuality of
Elizabeth. Or would he have fulfilled the many hopes which had found
their centre in him and have justified the love of his subjects, given
him upon credit?

It is impossible to say. What was certain was that his part was played
out, and that others were to take his place. Amongst these his little
cousin Jane was at once the most innocent and the most unfortunate.

Hitherto she had looked on as a spectator at life. Her skiff moored in
a creek of the great river, she had watched from a place of comparative
calm the stream as it rushed by. Here and there a wave might make
itself felt even in that quiet place; a wreck might be carried past,
or she might catch the drowning cry of a swimmer as he sank. But
to the young such things are accidents from participation in which
they tacitly consider themselves exempted, regarding them with the
fearlessness due to inexperience. Suddenly all was to be changed. Torn
from her anchorage, she was to be violently borne along by the torrent
towards the inevitable catastrophe.

As yet she was ignorant of the destiny prepared for her. Under her
father’s roof, she had pursued her customary occupations, and by some
authorities her third extant letter to Bullinger--another tribute
of admiration and flattery, and containing no allusion to current
events--is believed to belong to the interval occurring between her
marriage and the King’s death. The allusion to herself as an “untaught
virgin,” and the signature “Jane Grey,” seem to give it a date earlier
in the year. The time was fast approaching when leisure for literary
exercises of the kind would be lacking.

It would have been difficult to trace her movements precisely at
this juncture were it not that she has left a record of them in
a document--either directly addressed to Mary from her prison or
intended for her eyes--in which she demonstrated her innocence.[155]
Notwithstanding the promise made by the Duchess of Northumberland
at her marriage that she should be permitted to remain at home, she
appears to have been by this time living with her husband’s parents,
and, upon Edward’s death becoming imminent, she was informed of the
fact by her father-in-law, who forbade her to leave his house; adding
the startling announcement that, when it should please God to call the
King to His mercy, she would at once repair to the Tower, her cousin
having nominated her heir to the throne.

The news found her totally unprepared; and, shocked and partly
incredulous, she refused obedience to the Duke’s commands, continuing
to visit her mother daily, in spite of the indignation of the Duchess
of Northumberland, who “grew wroth with me and with her, saying that
she was determined to keep me in her house; that she would likewise
keep my husband there, to whom I should go later in any case, and that
she would be under small obligation to me. Therefore it did not seem
to me lawful to disobey her, and for three or four days I stayed
in her house, until I obtained permission to resort to the Duke of
Northumberland’s palace at Chelsea.” At this place--the reason of her
preference for it is not given--she continued, sick and anxious, until
a summons reached her to go to Sion House, there to receive a message
from the King. It was Lady Sydney, a married daughter of the Duke’s,
who brought the order, saying, “with more gravity than usual,” that it
was necessary that her sister-in-law should obey it; and Lady Jane did
not refuse to do so.

Sion House, where the opening scene of the drama took place, was
another of the possessions of the Duke of Somerset, passed into the
hands of his rival. A monastery, founded by Henry V. at Isleworth, it
had been seized, with other Church property, in 1539, and had served
two years later as prison to the unhappy child, Katherine Howard. The
place had been acquired by Somerset in the days of his power, when the
building of the great house, which was to replace the convent, was
begun. The gardens were enclosed by high walls, a triangular terrace in
one of their angles alone allowing the inmates to obtain a view of the
country beyond.[156] In 1552 it had, with most of the late Protector’s
goods and chattels, been confiscated, and during the following year,
the year of the King’s death, had been granted to Northumberland. It
was to this place that Lady Jane was taken to receive the message said
to be awaiting her from the King.

Her destination reached, Sion House was found empty; but it was not
long before those who were pulling the strings arrived. The message
from the King had been a fiction. Edward’s gentle spirit was at rest,
and he himself forgotten in the rush of events. There was little time
for thought of the dead. The interests of religion and of the State, as
some would call it, the ambition of unscrupulous and unprincipled men,
as it would be named by others, demanded the whole attention of the
steersmen who stood, for the moment, at the helm.

It had been decided to keep the fact of the King’s death secret until
measures should have been taken to ensure the success of the desperate
game they were playing. To secure possession of the person of his
natural successor was of the first importance; and a letter had been
despatched to Mary when her brother was manifestly at the point of
death which it was hoped would avail to bring her to London and would
enable her enemies to fulfil their purpose. Stating that the King was
very ill, she was entreated to come to him, as he earnestly desired the
comfort of her presence.

Mary must have been well aware of the risk she would run in responding
to the appeal; and it says much for her courage and her affection
that she did not hesitate to incur it. A fortunate chance, however,
frustrated the designs against her. Starting from Hunsdon, where
the tidings had found her, she had reached Hoddesden on her way to
Greenwich, when she was met by intelligence that determined her to go
no further. The King was dead; nor was it difficult to discern in the
urgent summons, sent too late to accomplish its ostensible purpose, a
transparent attempt to induce her to place herself in the power of her
enemies.

Opinions have differed as to the means by which Northumberland’s scheme
was frustrated. Some say that the news was conveyed to the Princess by
the Earl of Arundel. Sir Nicholas Throckmorton also claims credit for
the warning. According to this account of the matter, a young brother
of his, in attendance upon Northumberland, had become cognisant of the
intended treachery, and had come post-haste to report what was a-foot
at his father’s house. A few words spoken by Sir John Gates, visiting
the Duke before he had risen, were all that had reached the young man’s
ears, but those words had been of startling significance, the state of
affairs being what it was.

“What, sir,” he had heard Gates say, “will you let the Lady Mary
escape, and not secure her person?”

A consultation was hurriedly held at Throckmorton House, between the
father and his three sons. Sir Nicholas, who had been present at the
King’s death, was too well aware of the circumstances to minimise the
importance of his brother’s story, and, summoning the Princess Mary’s
goldsmith, it was decided to entrust him with the duty of conveying
a caution to his mistress, and stopping her journey. Sir Nicholas’s
metrical version of what followed may be given.[157]

    Mourning, from Greenwich did I straight depart,
      To London, to a house which bore our name.
    My brethren guessèd by my heavie hearte,
      The King was dead, and I confess’d the same:
        The hushing of his death I didd unfolde,
        Their meaning to proclaime Queene Jane I tolde.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Wherefore from four of us the newes was sent
      How that her brother hee was dead and gone;
    In post her goldsmith then from London went,
      By whom the message was dispatcht anon.
        Shee asked, “If wee knewe it certainlie?”
        Who said, “Sir Nicholas knew it verilie.”

The first stroke hazarded by the conspirators had resulted in failure.
Mary, after some deliberation, turned her face northwards, and escaped
the snare laid for her by her enemies.

The next object of Northumberland and his friends was to obtain the
concurrence of the City to the substitution of his daughter-in-law
for the rightful heir. Various as were the views of the best means of
ensuring success, all the Council were agreed on one point, namely,
“that London was the hand which must reach Jane the crown.”[158] London
was to be made to do it. On July 8 the Lord Mayor, with six aldermen,
six “merchants of the staple, and as many merchant adventurers,” were
summoned to Greenwich, were there secretly informed of the King’s
death, and of his will by letters patent, “to which they were sworn and
charged to keep it secret.”

All this had been done before Lady Jane was summoned to Sion House. It
was time for the stage Queen to make her appearance, and at Sion the
facts were made known to her.[159]

Of her reception of the great news accounts vary. A graphic picture,
painted in the first place by Heylyn, has been copied by divers other
historians. The learned John Nichols, unable to trace it in any
contemporary documents or records, has decided that it must be classed
amongst “those dramatic scenes in which historical writers formerly
considered themselves justified in indulging.”[160]

He is probably right; yet an early and generally accepted tradition
has a value of its own, and may be true to the spirit, if not to the
letter, of what actually occurred. Mary herself afterwards told the
envoy of Charles V. that she believed her cousin to have had no part in
the Duke of Northumberland’s enterprise; and, supposing her to have
been ignorant, or only dimly cognisant, of the plot, the revelation
of it may easily have occasioned her a shock. It has been constantly
asserted that, in this first interview with those who, calling
themselves her subjects, were practically the masters of her fate, she
began by declining to be a party to their scheme; and if her letter,
written at a later date, from the Tower to Mary, does not wholly
confirm the assertion, it points to an attitude of reluctant assent.
Her mother-in-law had given her hints of what was intended, but, like
the announcement made by the Duke at Durham House of her approaching
greatness, they were too incredible to be taken seriously; and the
fact that when she was joined at Sion by the Dukes of Northumberland
and Suffolk they did not at once make the matter plain, but confined
the conversation for a time to indifferent subjects, seems to indicate
a doubt upon their part of her pliability. There was, nevertheless,
a change in their demeanour and bearing giving rise in her mind to
an uneasy consciousness of a mystery she had not fathomed; whilst
Huntingdon and Pembroke, who were present, treated her with even more
incomprehensible reverence, and went so far as to bow the knee.

On the arrival of her mother, together with the Duchess of
Northumberland, the explanation of the riddle took place. The tidings
of the King’s death and of her exaltation was broken to her, together
with the reasons prompting Edward to set aside his sisters in her
favour. The nobles fell upon their knees, took her formally for their
Queen, and swore--it was shortly to be proved how little the oath was
worth--to shed their blood in defence of her rights.

“Having heard which things,” pursues Lady Jane in her apology, “with
infinite grief of spirit, I call to witness those lords who were
present that I was so stunned and stupefied that, overcome by sudden
and unexpected sorrow, they saw me fall to the ground, weeping very
bitterly. And afterwards, declaring to them my insufficiency, I
lamented much the death of so noble a prince; and at the same time
turned to God, humbly praying and beseeching Him that, if what was
given me was in truth and legitimately mine, He would grant me grace
and power to govern to His glory and service, and for the good of this
realm.”[161]

There is, as Dr. Lingard points out, nothing unnatural in this
description of what had occurred; whereas the grandiloquent language
attributed to her by some historians is most unlikely to have been
used at a moment both of grief and excitement. According to these
authorities, not only did she defend Mary’s right, and denounce
those who had conspired against it, but delivered a lengthy oration
upon the fickleness of fortune. “If she enrich any, it is but to make
them the subject of her sport; if she raise others, it is but to
pleasure herself with their ruins. What she adored yesterday, to-day
is her pastime. And if I now permit her to adorn and crown me, I must
to-morrow suffer her to crush and tear me to pieces”--proceeding to
cite Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn as examples of those who had,
to their own undoing, worn a crown. “If you love me sincerely and in
good earnest,” she is made to say, “you will rather wish me a secure
and quiet fortune, though mean, than an exalted condition exposed to
the wind, and followed by some dismal fall.”

Poor little plaything of the fortune she is represented as
anathematising, the designs of those who were striving to exalt her
were due to nothing less than a sincere love. Any other puppet would
have answered their purpose equally well, so that the excuse of royal
blood was in her veins. But Jane, willing or unwilling, was to be made
use of for their ends, and it was vain for her to protest.

On the following day, July 10, the Queen-designate was brought,
following the ancient custom of Kings on their accession, to the
Tower; reaching it at three o’clock, to be received at the gate by
Northumberland, and formally presented with the keys in the presence of
a great crowd who looked on at the proceedings in sinister silence and
gave no sign of rejoicing or cordiality.

Shortly after, the Marquis of Winchester, in his capacity of Treasurer,
brought the crown jewels, with the crown itself, “asking me,” wrote
Jane, “to put it on my head, to try whether it fitted me or not. Who
knows well that, with many excuses, I refused. He not the less insisted
that I should boldly take it, and that another should be made that my
husband might be crowned with me, which I certainly heard unwillingly,
and with infinite grief and displeasure.”[162]

The idea that young Guilford Dudley, with no royal blood to make his
claim colourable, was intended to share her dignity appears to have
roused his wife, somewhat strangely, to hot indignation. She at least
was a Tudor on her mother’s side; but what was Dudley, that he should
aspire so high? Had she loved her boy-husband she might have taken a
different view of his pretensions; but there is nothing to show that
she regarded him with any special affection, and she was disposed to
use her authority after a fashion neither he nor his father would
tolerate.

At first Guilford, taken by surprise, appeared inclined to yield the
point, and in a conversation between the two, when Winchester had
withdrawn, he agreed that, were he to be made King, it should be only
by Act of Parliament. Thereupon, losing no time in setting the matter
on a right footing, Jane sent for the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke,
and informed them that, if she were to be Queen, she would be willing
to make her husband Duke; “but to make him King I would not consent.”

Though Arundel and Pembroke were probably quite at one with her on
the question, that she should show signs of exercising an independent
judgment was naturally exasperating to those to whom it was due that
she was placed in her present position; and when the Duchess of
Northumberland became aware of what was going forward she not only
treated Lady Jane, according to her own account, very ill, but stirred
up Guilford to do the like; the boy, primed by his mother, declaring
that he would in no wise be Duke, but King, and, holding sulkily aloof
from his wife that night, so that she was compelled, “as a woman,
and loving my husband,” to send the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke to
bring him to her, otherwise he would have left in the morning, at his
mother’s bidding, for Sion. “Thus,” ends the poor child, “I was in
truth deceived by the Duke and Council, and badly treated by my husband
and his mother.”

The discussion was premature. Boy and girl were all too soon to learn
that it was not to be a question of crowns for either so much as of
heads to wear them. Whilst the wrangle had been carried on in the
Tower, the first step had been taken towards bringing the disputants to
the scaffold. The death of the King had been made public, together with
the provisions of his will, and Jane had been proclaimed Queen in two
or three parts of the City.

“The tenth day of the same month,” runs the entry in the _Grey Friar’s
Chronicle_, “after seven o’clock at night, was made a proclamation
in Cheap by three heralds and one trumpet ... for Jane, the Duke of
Suffolk’s daughter, to be Queen of England. But few or none said ‘God
save her.’”

There was a singular unanimity upon the subject amongst the citizens
of London. It is said that upon the faces of the heralds forced to
proclaim the new Queen their discontent was visible;[163] and a curious
French letter sent from London at the time states, after mentioning the
absence of any acclamation upon the part of the people, that a moment
afterwards they had broken out into lamentation, clamour, tears, sighs,
sadness, and desolation impossible to describe.

Thus inauspiciously was Lady Jane’s nine days’ reign inaugurated. On
a great catafalque in Westminster Abbey the dead boy-King was lying,
guarded day and night by twelve watchers until he should be given
sepulture. But there was little leisure to attend to his obsequies on
the part of the men who had made him their tool, and had staked their
lives and fortunes upon the success of their plot. For the present
all had gone according to their hopes. “Through the pious intents
of Edward, the religion of Mary, the ambition of Northumberland,
the simplicity of Suffolk, the fearfulness of the judges, and the
flattery of the courtiers”--thus Fuller sums up the causes to which the
situation was due--“matters were made as sure as man’s policy can make
that good which in itself is bad.” It was quickly to be seen to what
that security amounted.



CHAPTER XVII

1553

  Lady Jane as Queen--Mary asserts her claims--The English envoys at
    Brussels--Mary’s popularity--Northumberland leaves London--His
    farewells.


To enter in any degree into the position of “Jane the Queen” during
the brief period when she was the nominal head of the State, the time
in which she lived, as well as the prevalent conception of royalty in
England, must be taken into the reckoning.

In our own days she would not only have been a mere cipher--as indeed
she was--but would have been content to remain such, so far as actual
power was concerned. Royalty, stripped of its reality, is largely
become a mere matter of show, a part of the pageant of State. In the
case of a child of sixteen it would wear that character alone. But in
the days of the Tudors a King was accustomed to govern; even in the
hands of a minor a sceptre was not a mere symbolic ornament.

And Lady Jane was precisely the person to take a serious view of her
duties. Thoughtful, conscientious, and grave beyond her years, she had
no sooner found herself a Queen than she had asserted her authority in
opposition to that of the man who had invested her with the dignity by
announcing her intention of refusing to allow it to be shared by his
son--already, it appears by letters from Brussels, recognised there as
Prince Consort--and shut up in the gloomy fortress to which she had
been taken she was occupied with the thought of her duty to the kingdom
she believed herself to be called to rule over, of the necessity of
providing for the wants of the nation, and more especially for the
future of religion. Whilst, perhaps, all the time there lingered in
her mind a misgiving, lifting its head to confront her from time to
time with a paralysing doubt, torturing to a sensitive and scrupulous
nature; was she indeed the rightful Queen of England?

Mary had lost no time in asserting her claims. On July 9--the day
before that of Jane’s proclamation--she had written a letter to the
Council from Kenninghall in Norfolk, expressing her astonishment
that they had neither communicated to her the fact of her brother’s
death, nor had caused her to be proclaimed Queen, and requiring them
to perform this last duty without delay. The rebuke reaching London
on the morning of January 11 “seemed to give their Lordships no other
trouble than the returning of an answer,”[164] which they did in terms
of studied insult, reminding her of her alleged illegitimacy, and
exhorting her to submit to her lawful sovereign, Queen Jane, else she
should prove grievous unto them and unto herself. This unconciliatory
document received the signature of every one of the Council, including
Cecil, who was afterwards at much pains to explain his concurrence in
the proceedings of his colleagues; and Northumberland, as he despatched
it, must have felt with satisfaction that it would be difficult for
those responsible for the missive to make their peace with the woman to
whom it was addressed.

The terms in which the defiance was couched show the little importance
attached to the chances that Henry VIII.’s eldest daughter would ever
be in a position to vindicate her rights. Once again her enemies had
failed to take into account the stubborn justice of the people. Though
by many of them Mary’s religion was feared and disliked, they viewed
with sullen disapproval the conspiracy to rob her of her heritage. And
Northumberland they hated.

The sinister rumours current during the last few years were still
afloat; justified, as it seemed, by the course of recent events. It
was said that the Duke had incited Somerset to put his brother to
death, and had then slain Somerset, in order that, bereft of his
nearest of kin, the young King might the more easily become his
victim. The reports of foul play were repeated, and it was said that
Edward had been removed by poison to make way for Northumberland’s
daughter-in-law. That he had not come by his death by fair means was
indeed so generally believed that the Emperor, writing to Mary when she
had defeated her enemies, counselled her to punish all those that had
been concerned in it.[165]

The charge of poisoning was not so uncommon as to make it strange
that it should be thought to have been instrumental in removing an
obstacle from the path of an ambitious man. In Lady Jane’s pitiful
letter to her cousin she stated--doubtless in good faith--that poison
had twice been administered to her, once in the house of the Duchess
of Northumberland--when the motive would have been hard to find--and
again in the Tower, “as I have certain evidence.” What the poor child
honestly believed had been attempted in her case, the angry people
imagined had been successfully accomplished in the case of their young
King, and his death was another item laid to the charge of the man they
hated.

The news of what was going forward in England had by this time become
known abroad. Though letters had been addressed by the Council to
Sir Philip Hoby and Sir Richard Morysine, ambassadors at Brussels,
announcing the King’s death and his cousin’s accession, the tidings
had reached them unofficially before the arrival of the despatches from
London. As the envoys were walking in the garden, they were joined by a
servant of the Emperor’s, Don Diego by name, who, making profession of
personal good will towards their country, expressed his regret at its
present loss, adding at the same time his congratulations that so noble
a King--meaning, it would seem, Guilford Dudley--had been provided for
them, a King he would himself be at all times ready to serve.

The envoys replied that the sorrowful news had reached them, but not
the joyous--that they were glad to hear so much from him. Don Diego
thereupon proceeded to impart the further fact of Edward’s will in
favour of Lady Jane. With the question whether the two daughters of
Henry VIII. were bastards or not, strangers, he observed, had nothing
to do. It was reasonable to accept as King him who had been declared
such by the nobles of the land; and Diego, for his part, was bound to
rejoice that His Majesty had been set in this office, since he was his
godfather, and--so long as the Emperor was in amity with him--would be
willing to shed his blood in his service.[166]

This last personal detail probably contained the explanation of Don
Diego’s approbation of an arrangement which could scarcely be expected
to commend itself to his master, and likewise of the curiously
subordinate part awarded to Lady Jane in his account of it. But
whatever might be the opinion of foreigners, it had quickly been made
plain in England that the country would not be content to accept either
the sovereignty of Jane or of her husband without a struggle.

Of the temper of the capital a letter or libel scattered abroad,
after the fashion of the day, during the week, is an example. In this
document, addressed by a certain “poor Pratte” to a young man who had
been placed in the pillory and had lost his ears in consequence of his
advocacy of Mary’s rights, love for the lawful Queen, and hatred of
the “ragged bear,” Northumberland, is expressed in every line. Should
England prove disloyal, misfortune will overtake it as a chastisement
for its sin; the Gospel will be plucked away and the Lady Mary replaced
by so cruel a Pharaoh as the ragged bear. Her Grace--in marked contrast
to the sentiments commonly attributed to the Duke--is doubtless more
sorrowful for her brother than glad to be Queen, and would have been as
glad of his life as the ragged bear of his death. In conclusion, the
writer trusts that God will shortly exalt Mary, “and pluck down that
Jane--I cannot nominate her Queen, for that I know no other Queen but
the good Lady Mary, her Grace, whom God prosper.” To those who would
Mary to be Queen poor Pratte wishes long life and pleasure; to her
opponents, the pains of Satan in hell.[167]

Such was the delirious spirit of loyalty towards the dispossessed
heir, even amongst those who owed no allegiance to Rome. It was not
long before the Council were to be taught by more forcible means than
scurrilous abuse to correct their estimate of the situation and of the
forces at work, strangely misapprehended at the first by one and all.

News was reaching London of the support tendered to Mary. The Earls of
Sussex and of Bath had declared in her favour; the county of Suffolk
had led the way in rising on her behalf; nobles and gentlemen, with
their retainers, were flocking to her standard; it was becoming clearer
with every hour that she would not consent to be ousted from her rights
without a fierce struggle.

Measures for meeting the resistance of her adherents had to be taken
without delay; and Northumberland, wisely unwilling to absent himself
from the capital at a juncture so critical, had intended to depute
Suffolk to command the forces to be led against her; to gain, if
possible, possession of her person, and to bring her to London. This
was the arrangement hastily made on July 12. Before nightfall it had
been cancelled at the entreaty of the titular Queen.

It is not difficult to enter into the Lady Jane’s feelings, threatened
with the absence of her father on a dangerous errand. With her nervous
fears of poison, her evident dislike of her mother-in-law, and ill
at ease in new circumstances and surroundings, she may well have
clung to the comfort and support afforded by his presence; nor is it
incomprehensible that she had “taken the matter heavily” when informed
of the decision of the Council. Her wishes might have had little effect
if other causes had not conspired to assist her to gain her object, and
it has been suggested that those of the lords already contemplating the
possibility of Mary’s success, and desirous of being freed from the
restraint imposed by Northumberland’s presence amongst them, may have
had a hand in instigating her request, proffered with tears, that her
father might tarry at home in her company. The entreaty was, at all
events, in full accordance with their desires, and pressure was brought
upon Northumberland to induce him to yield to her petition--leaving
Suffolk in his place at the Tower, and himself leading the troops north.

Many reasons were urged rendering it advisable that the Duke should
take the field in person. He had been the victor in the struggle with
Kett, of which Norfolk had been the scene, and enjoyed, in consequence,
a great reputation in that county, where it seemed that the fight
with Mary and her adherents was to take place. He was, moreover, an
able soldier; Suffolk was not. On the other hand, it was impossible
for Northumberland to adduce the true motives prompting his desire to
continue at headquarters; since chief amongst them was the wisdom and
prudence of remaining at hand to maintain his personal influence over
his colleagues and to keep them true to the oaths they had sworn. In
the end he consented to bow to their wishes.

“Since ye think it good,” he said, “I and mine will go, not doubting of
your fidelity to the Queen’s Majesty, which I leave in your custody.”

More than the Queen’s Majesty was left to their care. The safety, if
not the life, of the man chiefly responsible for the conspiracy which
had made her what she was, hung upon their loyalty to their vows, and
Northumberland must have known it. But Lady Jane was to have her way,
and the Council, waiting upon her, brought the welcome news to the
Queen, who humbly thanked the Duke for reserving her father at home,
and besought him--she was already learning royal fashions--to use his
diligence. To this Northumberland, surely not without an inward smile,
answered that he would do what in him lay, and the matter was concluded.

At Durham House, next day, the Duke’s retinue assembled.[168] In the
forenoon he met the Council, taking leave of them in friendly sort,
yet with words betraying his misgivings in the very terms used to
convey the assurance of his confidence in their good faith and fidelity.

He and the other nobles who were to be his companions went forth, he
told the men left behind, as much to assure their safety as that of the
Queen herself. Whilst he and his comrades were to risk their lives in
the field, their preservation at home, with the preservation of their
children and families, was committed to those who stayed in London. And
then he spoke some weighty words, the doubts and forebodings within him
finding vent:

“If we thought ye would through malice, conspiracy, or dissension,
leave us your friends in the briars and betray us, we could as well
sundry ways forsee and provide for our own safeguards as any of you,
by betraying us, can do for yours. But now, upon the only trust and
faithfulness of your honours, whereof we think ourselves most assured,
we do hazard and jubarde [jeopardize] our lives, which trust and
promise if ye shall violate, hoping thereby of life and promotion, yet
shall not God count you innocent of our bloods, neither acquit you
of the sacred and holy oath of allegiance made freely by you to this
virtuous lady, the Queen’s Highness, who by your and our enticement is
rather of force placed therein than by her own seeking and request.”
Commending to their consideration the interests of religion, he again
reiterated his warning. “If ye mean deceit, though not forthwith,
yet hereafter, God will revenge the same,” ending by assuring his
colleagues that his words had not been caused by distrust, but that he
had spoken them as a reminder of the chances of variance which might
grow in his absence.

One of the Council--the narrator does not give his name--took upon him
to reply for the rest.

“My Lord,” he answered, “if ye mistrust any of us in this matter
your Grace is far deceived. For which of us can wipe his hands clean
thereof? And if we should shrink from you as one that is culpable,
which of us can excuse himself as guiltless? Therefore herein your
doubt is too far cast.”

It was characteristic of times and men that, far from resenting the
suspicion of unfaith, the sole ground upon which the Duke was asked to
base a confidence in the fidelity of his colleagues was that it would
not be to their interest to betray him.

“I pray God it may be so,” he answered. “Let us go to dinner.”

After dinner came an interview with Jane, who bade farewell to the Duke
and to the lords who were to accompany him on his mission. Everywhere
we are confronted by the same heavy atmosphere of impending treachery.
As the chief conspirator passed through the Council-chamber Arundel
met him--Arundel, who was to be one of the first to leave the sinking
ship, and who may already have been looking for a loophole of escape
from a perilous situation. Yet he now prayed God be with his Grace,
saying he was very sorry it was not his chance to go with him and bear
him company, in whose presence he could find it in his heart to shed
his blood, even at his foot.

The words, with their gratuitous and unsolicited asseveration of loyal
friendship, must have been remembered by both when the two met again.
It is nevertheless possible that, moved and affected, the Earl was
sincere at the moment in his protestations.

“Farewell, gentle Thomas,” he added to the Duke’s “boy,” Thomas Lovell,
taking him by the hand, “Farewell, gentle Thomas, with all my heart.”

The next day Northumberland took his departure from the capital. As
he rode through the city, with some six hundred followers, the same
ominous silence that had greeted the proclamation of Lady Jane was
preserved by the throng gathered together to see her father-in-law
pass. The Duke noticed it.

“The people press to see us,” he observed gloomily, “but not one sayeth
God speed us.”

When next Northumberland and the London crowd were face to face it was
under changed circumstances.



CHAPTER XVIII

1553

  Turn of the tide--Reaction in Mary’s favour in the Council--Suffolk
    yields--Mary proclaimed in London--Lady Jane’s deposition--She
    returns to Sion House.


Northumberland was gone. The weight of his dominant influence was
removed, and many of his colleagues must have breathed more freely.
In the Tower Lady Jane, with those of the Council left in London,
continued to watch and wait the course of events. It must have been
recognised that the future was dark and uncertain; and whilst the lords
and nobles looked about for a way of escape should affairs go ill
with the new government, the boy and girl arbitrarily linked together
may have been drawn closer by the growing sense of a common danger.
Guilford Dudley did not share his father’s unpopularity. Young and
handsome, he is said to have been endowed with virtues calling forth an
unusual amount of pity for his premature end,[169] and Heylyn declared
that of all Dudley’s brood he had nothing of his father in him.[170]
“He was,” says Fuller, adding his testimony, “a goodly and (for aught
I find to the contrary) a godly gentleman, whose worst fault was that
he was son to an ambitious father.”[171] The flash of boyish ambition
he had evinced in his determination to be content with nothing less
than kingship must have been soon extinguished by the consciousness
that life itself was at stake.

For quicker and quicker came tidings of fresh triumphs for Mary, each
one striking at the hopes of her rival’s partisans. News was brought
that Mary had been proclaimed Queen first in Buckinghamshire; next at
Norwich. Her forces were gathering strength, her adherents gaining
courage. Again, six vessels placed at Yarmouth to intercept her flight,
should she attempt it, were won over to her side, their captains, with
men and ordnance, making submission; whereat “the Lady Mary”--from
whose mind nothing had been further than flight--“and her company were
wonderful joyous.”

This last blow hit the party acknowledging Jane as Queen hard; nor were
its effects long in becoming visible. In the Tower “each man began to
pluck in his horns,” and to cast about for a manner of dissevering his
private fortunes from a cause manifestly doomed to disaster. Pembroke,
who in May had associated himself with Northumberland by marrying
his son to Katherine Grey, was one of the foremost in considering
the possibility of quitting the Tower, so that he might hold
consultation with those without; but as yet he had not devised a means
of accomplishing his purpose. Each day brought its developments within
the walls of the fortress, and beyond them. On the Sunday night--not
a week after the crown had been fitted on Jane’s head--when the Lord
Treasurer, then officiously desirous of adding a second for her
husband, was leaving the building in order to repair to his own house,
the gates were suddenly shut and the keys carried up to the mistress of
the Tower. What was the reason? No one knew, but it was whispered that
a seal had been found missing. Others said that she had feared some
packinge [_sic_] in the Treasurer. The days were coming when it would
be in no one’s power to keep the Lords of the Council at their post
under lock and key.

That Sunday morning--it was July 16--Ridley had preached at Paul’s
Cross before the Mayor, Aldermen, and people, pleading Lady Jane’s
cause with all the eloquence at his command. Let his hearers, he said,
contrast her piety and gentleness with the haughtiness and papistry
of her rival. And he told the story of his visit to Hunsdon, of his
attempt to convince Mary of her errors, and of its failure, conjuring
all who heard him to maintain the cause of Queen Jane and of the
Gospel. But his exhortations fell on deaf ears.

And still one messenger of ill tidings followed hard upon the heels of
another. Cecil, with his natural aptitude for intrigue, was engaging
in secret deliberations with members of the Council inclined to be
favourable to Mary, finding in especial the Lord Treasurer, Winchester,
the Earl of Arundel, and Lord Darcy, willing listeners, “whereof I
did immediately tell Mr. Petre”--the other Secretary--“for both our
comfort.”[172] Presently a pretext was invented to cover the escape
of the lords from the Tower. It was said that Northumberland had sent
for auxiliaries, and that it was necessary to hold a consultation with
the foreign ambassadors as to the employment of mercenaries.[173]
The meeting was to take place at Baynard’s Castle, Arundel observing
significantly that he liked not the air of the Tower. He and his
friends may indeed have reflected that it had proved fatal to many less
steeped in treason than they. To Baynard’s Castle some of the lords
accordingly repaired, sending afterwards to summon the rest to join
them, with the exception of Suffolk, who remained behind, in apparent
ignorance of what was going forward.

In the consultation, held on July 19, the deathblow was dealt to the
hopes of those faithful to the nine-days’ Queen. Arundel was the first
to declare himself unhesitatingly on Mary’s side, and to denounce the
Duke, from whom he had so lately parted on terms of devoted friendship.
He boasted of his courage in now opposing Northumberland--a man of
supreme authority, and--as one who had little or no conscience--fond
of blood. It was by no desire of vengeance that Arundel’s conduct was
prompted, he declared, but by conscience and anxiety for the public
welfare; the Duke was actuated by a desire neither for the good of the
kingdom nor by religious zeal, but purely by a desire for power, and he
proceeded to hold him up to the reprobation of his colleagues.

Pembroke made answer, promising, with his hand on his sword, to make
Mary Queen. There were indeed few dissentient voices, and, though
some of the lords at first maintained that warning should be sent to
Northumberland and a general pardon obtained from Mary, their proposals
did not meet with favour, and they did not press them.

A hundred men had been despatched on various pretexts, and by degrees,
to the Tower, with orders to make themselves masters of the place,
in case Suffolk would not leave it except upon compulsion; but the
Duke was not a man to lead a forlorn hope. Had Northumberland been at
hand a struggle might have taken place; as it was, not a voice was
raised against the decision of the Council, and with almost incredible
rapidity the face of affairs underwent a change, absolute and complete.
Suffolk, so soon as the determination of the lords was made known to
him, lost no time in expressing his willingness to concur in it and to
add his signature to the proclamation of Mary, already drawn up.[174]
He was, he said, but one man; and proclaiming his daughter’s rival in
person on Tower Hill, he finally struck his colours; going so far, as
some affirm, as to share in the demonstration in the new Queen’s honour
in Cheapside, where the proclamation was read by the Earl of Pembroke
amidst a scene of wild enthusiasm contrasting vividly with the coldness
and apathy shown by the populace when, nine days earlier, they had been
asked to accept the Duke of Northumberland’s daughter-in-law as their
Queen.

“For my time I never saw the like,” says a news-letter,[175] “and by
the report of others the like was never seen. The number of caps that
were thrown up at the proclamation were not to be told.... I saw myself
money was thrown out at windows for joy. The bonfires were without
number, and, what with shouting and crying of the people and ringing of
the bells, there could no one hear almost what another said, besides
banquetings and singing in the street for joy.”

Arundel was there, as well as Pembroke, with Shrewsbury and others, and
the day was ended with evensong at St. Paul’s.

And whilst all this was going on outside, in the gloom of the Tower,
where the air must have struck chill even on that July day, sat the
little victim of state-craft--“Cette pauvre reine,” wrote Noailles
to his master, “qui s’en peut dire de la féve”--a Twelfth Night’s
Queen--in the fortress that had seen her brief exaltation, and was so
soon to become to her a prison. As the joy-bells echoed through the
City and the shouting of the people penetrated the thick walls she must
have wondered what was the cause of rejoicing. Presently she learnt it.

That afternoon had been fixed for the christening of a child born
to Underhyll--nicknamed, on account of his religious zeal, the
Hot-Gospeller--on duty as a Gentleman Pensioner at the Tower. The baby
was highly favoured, since the Duke of Suffolk and the Earl of Pembroke
were to be his sponsors by proxy and Lady Jane had signified her
intention of acting as godmother, calling the infant Guilford, after
her husband.

Lady Throckmorton, wife to Sir Nicholas, in attendance on Jane,[176]
had been chosen to represent her mistress at the ceremony; and, on
quitting the Tower for that purpose, had waited on the Queen and
received her usual orders, according to royal etiquette. Upon her
return, the baptism over, she found all--like a transformation scene at
the theatre--changed. The canopy of state had been removed from Lady
Jane’s apartment, and Lady Jane herself, divested of her sovereignty,
was practically a prisoner.[177]

During the absence of the Lady-in-waiting, Suffolk, his part on
Cheapside played, had returned to the Tower, to set matters there on
their new footing. Informing his daughter, as one imagines with the
roughness of a man smarting under defeat, that since her cousin had
been elected Queen by the Council, and had been proclaimed, it was
time she should do her honour, he removed the insignia of royalty. The
rank she had possessed not being her own she must make a virtue of
necessity, and bow to that fortune of which she had been the sport and
victim.

Rising to the occasion, Jane, as might be expected, made fitting
reply. The words now spoken by her father were, she answered, more
becoming and praiseworthy than those he had uttered on putting her in
possession of the crown; proceeding to moralise the matter after a
fashion that can only be attributed to the imaginative faculties of
the narrator of the scene. This done she, more naturally, withdrew
into her private apartments with her mother and other ladies and gave
way, in spite of her firmness, to “infinite sorrow.”[178] A further
scene narrated by the Italian, Florio, on the authority of the Duke of
Suffolk’s chaplain--“as her father’s learned and pious preacher told
me”--represents her as confronted with some at least of the men who had
betrayed her, and as reproaching them bitterly with their duplicity.
Without vouching for the accuracy of the speech reported, touches are
discernible in it--evidences of a very human wrath, indignation, and
scorn--unlikely to have been invented by men whose habit it was to
describe the speaker as the living embodiment of meekness and patience,
and it may be that the evangelist’s account is founded on fact.

“Therefore, O Lords of the Council,” she is made to say, “there is
found in men of illustrious blood, and as much esteemed by the world
as you, double dealing, deceit, fickleness, and ruin to the innocent.
Which of you can boast with truth that I besought him to make me a
Queen? Where are the gifts I promised or gave on this account? Did ye
not of your own accord drag me from my literary studies, and, depriving
me of liberty, place me in this rank? Alas! double-faced men, how well
I see, though late, to what end ye set me in this royal dignity! How
will ye escape the infamy following upon such deeds?” How were broken
promises, violated oaths, to be coloured and disguised? Who would trust
them for the future? “But be of good cheer, with the same measure it
shall be meted to you again.”

With this prophecy of retribution to follow she ended. “For a good
space she was silent; and they departed, full of shame, leaving her
well guarded.”[179]

Her attendants were not long in availing themselves of the permission
accorded them to go where they pleased. The service of Lady Jane was,
from an honour, become a perilous duty; and they went to their own
homes, leaving their nine-days’ mistress “burdened with thought and
woe.” The following morning she too quitted the Tower, returning to
Sion House. It was no more than ten days since she had been brought
from it in royal state.



CHAPTER XIX

1553

  Northumberland at bay--His capitulation--Meeting with Arundel, and
    arrest--Lady Jane a prisoner--Mary and Elizabeth--Mary’s visit to
    the Tower--London--Mary’s policy.


The unanimous capitulation of the Council, in which he was by absence
precluded from joining, sealed Northumberland’s fate. The centre of
interest shifts from London to the country, whither he had gone to meet
the forces gathering round Mary. The ragged bear was at bay.

Arundel and Paget had posted northwards on the night following the
revolution in London to inform the Queen of the proceedings of the
Council and to make their peace with the new sovereign; Paget’s success
in particular being so marked that the French looker-on reported that
his favour with the Queen “etait chose plaisante à voir et oir.” The
question all men were asking was what stand would be made by the leader
of the troops arrayed against her. That Northumberland, knowing that he
had sinned too deeply for forgiveness, would yield without a blow can
scarcely have been contemplated by the most sanguine of his opponents,
and the singular transmutation taking place in a man who hitherto,
whatever might have been his faults or crimes, had never been lacking
in courage, must have taken his enemies and what friends remained to
him by surprise.

“Bold, sensitive, and magnanimous,” as some one describes him,[180]
he was to display a lack of every manly quality only explicable on
the hypothesis that the incessant strain and excitement of the last
three weeks had told upon nerves and spirits to an extent making it
impossible for him to meet the crisis with dignity and valour.

Hampered with orders from the Council framed in Mary’s interest and
with the secret object of delaying his movements until her adherents
had had time to muster in force, he did not adopt the only course--that
of immediate attack--offering a possibility of success, and had
retreated to Cambridge when the news that Mary had been proclaimed in
London reached him. From that instant he abandoned the struggle.

On the previous day the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Doctor
Sandys, had preached, at his request, a sermon directed against Mary.
Now, Duke and churchman standing side by side in the market-place,
Northumberland, with the tears running down his face, and throwing
his cap into the air, proclaimed her Queen. She was a merciful woman,
he told Sandys, and all would doubtless share in her general pardon.
Sandys knew better, and bade the Duke not flatter himself with false
hopes. Were the Queen ever so much inclined to pardon, those who ruled
her would destroy Northumberland, whoever else were spared.

The churchman proved to have judged more accurately than the soldier.
An hour later the Duke received letters from the Council, indicating
the treatment he might expect at their hands. He was thereby bidden,
on pain of treason, to disarm, and it was added that, should he come
within ten miles of London, his late comrades would fight him. Could
greater loyalty and zeal in the service of the rising sun be displayed?

Fidelity was at a discount. His troops melted away, leaving their
captain at the mercy of his enemies. In the camp confusion prevailed.
Northumberland was first put under arrest, then set again at liberty
upon his protest, based upon the orders of the Council that “all men
should go his way.” Was he, the leader, to be prevented from acting
upon their command? Young Warwick, his son, was upon the point of
riding away, when, the morning after the scene in the market-place, the
Earl of Arundel arrived from Queen Mary with orders to arrest the Duke.

What ensued was a painful spectacle, Northumberland’s bearing, even in
a day when servility on the part of the fallen was so common as to be
almost a matter of course, being generally stigmatized as unworthy of
the man who had often given proof of a brave and noble spirit.[181] As
the two men met, it may be that the Duke augured well from the Queen’s
choice of a messenger. If he had, he was to be quickly undeceived.
Arundel was not disposed to risk his newly acquired favour with the
sovereign for the sake of a discredited comrade, and Northumberland
might have spared the abjectness of his attitude; as, falling on his
knees, he begged his former friend, for the love of God, to be good to
him.

“Consider,” he urged, “I have done nothing but by the consents of you
and all the whole Council.”

The plea was ill-chosen. That Arundel had been implicated in the
treason was a reason the more why he could not afford to show mercy
to a fellow-traitor; nor was he in a mood to discuss a past he would
have preferred to forget and to blot out. It is the unfortunate who
are prone to indulge in long memories, and the Earl had just achieved
a success which he was anxious to render permanent. Disregarding
Northumberland’s appeal, he turned at once to the practical matter in
hand. He had been sent there by the Queen’s Majesty, he told the Duke;
in her name he arrested him.

Northumberland made no attempt at resistance. He obeyed, he answered
humbly; “and I beseech you, my Lord of Arundel, use mercy towards me,
knowing the case as it is.”

Again Arundel coldly ignored the appeal to the past.

“My lord,” he replied, “ye should have sought for mercy sooner. I
must do according to my commandment,” and he handed over his prisoner
forthwith to the guards who stood near.

For two hours, denied so much as the services of his attendants, the
Duke paced the chamber wherein he was confined, till, looking out of
the window, he caught sight of Arundel passing below, and entreated
that his servants might be admitted to him.

“For the love of God,” he cried, “let me have Cox, one of my chamber,
to wait on me!”

“You shall have Tom, your boy,” answered the Earl, naming the
lad, Thomas Lovell, of whom, a few days earlier, he had taken so
affectionate a leave. Northumberland protested.

“Alas, my lord,” he said, “what stead can a boy do me? I pray you let
me have Cox.” And so both Lovell and Cox were permitted to attend their
master. It was the single concession he could obtain.[182]

Thus Northumberland met his fate.

The Queen’s justice had overtaken more innocent victims. Lady Jane’s
stay at Sion House had not been prolonged. By July 23, not more than
three days after she had quitted the Tower, she returned to it, not as
a Queen, but as a captive, accompanied by the Duchess of Northumberland
and Guilford Dudley, her husband. More prisoners were quickly added to
their number. Northumberland was brought, with others of his adherents,
from Cambridge. Northampton, who had hurried to Framlingham, where
Mary then was, to throw himself upon her mercy, arrived soon after;
with Bishop Ridley, who, notwithstanding his recent declamations
against the Queen, had resorted with the rest to Norfolk, had met with
an unfriendly reception from Mary, and was sent back to London “on a
halting horse.”[183]

It is singular that to the Duke of Suffolk, prominent amongst those who
had been arrayed against her, the new Queen showed unusual indulgence.
So far as actual deeds were concerned, he had been second in guilt
only to Northumberland; though there can be little doubt that he
was led and governed by the stronger will and more soaring ambition
of his confederate. Lady Jane being, besides, his daughter, and not
merely married to his son, it would have been natural to expect that
he would have been called to a stricter account than Dudley. He was,
as a matter of course, arrested and consigned to the Tower; but when
a convenient attack of illness laid him low--a news-letter reporting
that he was “in such case as no man judgeth he could live”[184]--and
his wife represented his desperate condition to her cousin the Queen,
adding that, if left in the Tower, death would ensue, Mary appears to
have made no difficulty in granting her his freedom, merely ordering
him to confine himself to his house, rather as restraint than as
chastisement.[185]

Mary could afford to show mercy. On August 3 she made her triumphal
entry into the capital which had proved so loyal to her cause, riding
on a white horse, with the Earl of Arundel bearing before her the sword
of state, and preceded by some thousand gentlemen in rich array.

Elizabeth was at her side--Elizabeth, who had learnt wisdom since
the days, nearly five years ago, when she had compromised herself
for the sake of Seymour. During the crisis now over, she had shown
both prudence and caution, playing in fact a waiting game, as she
looked on at the contest between her sister and Northumberland, and
carefully abstaining from taking any side in it, until it should be
seen which of the two would prove victorious. To her, as well as to
Mary, a summons had been sent as from her dying brother; more wary
than her sister, she detected the snare, and remained at Hatfield,
whilst Mary came near to falling a prey to her enemies. At Hatfield
she continued during the ensuing days, being visited by commissioners
from Northumberland, who offered a large price, in land and money, in
exchange for her acquiescence in Edward’s appointment of Lady Jane as
his successor. If Elizabeth loved money, she loved her safety more; and
returned an answer to the effect that it was with her elder sister that
an agreement must be made, since in Mary’s lifetime she herself had
neither claim nor title to the succession. Leti,[186] representing her
as regarding Lady Jane as a _jeune étourdie_--the first and only time
the epithet can have been applied to Suffolk’s grave daughter--states
that she indignantly expostulated with Northumberland upon the wrong
done to herself and Mary. She is more likely to have kept silence;
and it is certain that an opportune attack of illness afforded her an
excuse for prudent inaction. When Mary’s cause had become triumphant
she had recovered sufficiently to proceed to London, meeting her sister
on the following day at Aldgate, and riding at her side when she made
her entry into the capital.

[Illustration:

  From a photo by Emery Walker after a painting attributed to F.
    Zuccaro.

QUEEN ELIZABETH.]

The two presented a painful contrast: Mary prematurely aged by
grief and care, small and thin, “unlike in every respect to father
or mother,” says Michele, the Venetian ambassador, “with eyes so
piercing as to inspire not only reverence, but fear”; Elizabeth, now
twenty, tall and well made, though possessing more grace than beauty,
with fine eyes, and, above all, beautiful hands, “della quale fa
professione”--which she was accustomed to display.

Her entry into the City made, Mary proceeded, according to ancient
custom, and as her unwilling rival had done three weeks before, to
the Tower, where a striking scene took place. On her entrance she
was met by a group of those who, imprisoned during the two previous
reigns, awaited her on their knees. Her kinsman, Edward Courtenay,
was there--since he was ten years old he had known no other home--and
the Duchess of Somerset, widow of the Protector, with the old Duke of
Norfolk, father to Surrey, Tunstall, the deprived Bishop of Durham,
and Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester. In Mary’s eyes some of these were
martyrs, suffering for their fidelity to the faith for which she had
herself been prepared to go to the scaffold; for others she felt the
natural compassion due to captives who have wasted long years within
prison walls; and, touched and overcome by the sight of that motley
company, she burst into tears.

“These are my prisoners,” she said, as she bent and kissed them.

Their day was come. By August 11 Gardiner was reinstated in Winchester
House, which had been appropriated to the use of the Marquis of
Northampton, now perhaps inhabiting the Bishop’s quarters in the Tower.
The Duke of Norfolk, the Duchess of Somerset, Courtenay, were all at
liberty. Bonner was once more exercising his functions as Bishop
of London. But their places in the old prison-house were not left
vacant: fresh captives being sent to join those already there. Report
declared--prematurely--that sentence had been passed on Northumberland,
Huntingdon, Gates, and others. Pembroke, notwithstanding the zealous
share he had taken in proclaiming Mary Queen, as well as Winchester and
Darcy, were confined to their houses.

All necessary measures had been taken for the security of the
Government. It was time to think of the dead boy lying unburied
whilst the struggle for his inheritance had been fought out. In the
arrangements for her brother’s funeral Mary displayed a toleration
that must have gone far to raise the hopes of the Protestant party,
awaiting, in anxiety and dread, enlightenment as to the course the
new ruler would pursue with regard to religion. Permitting her
brother’s obsequies to be celebrated by Cranmer according to the ritual
prescribed by the reformed Prayer-book, she caused a Requiem Mass
to be sung for him in the Tower in the presence of some hundreds of
worshippers, notwithstanding the fact that, according to Griffet, “this
was not in conformity with the laws of the Roman Church, since the
Prince died in schism and heresy.”[187]

It was the moment when Mary, the recipient, as she told the French
ambassador, of more graces than any living Princess; the object of the
love and devotion of her subjects; her long years of misfortune ended;
her record unstained, should have died. But, unfortunately, five more
years of life remained to her.

The presage of coming trouble was not absent in the midst of the
general rejoicing, and the first notes of discord had already been
struck. Emboldened by the Requiem celebrated in the Tower, a priest
had taken courage, and had said Mass in the Church of St. Bartholomew
in the City. It was then seen how far the people were from being
unanimous in including in their devotion to the Queen toleration for
her religion. “This day,” reports a news-letter of August 11, “an old
priest said Mass at St. Bartholomew’s, but after that Mass was done,
the people would have pulled him to pieces.”[188] “When they saw him
go up to the altar,” says Griffet, “there was a great tumult, some
attempting to throw themselves upon him and strike him, others trying
to prevent this violence, so that there came near to being blood
shed.”[189]

Scenes of this nature, with the open declarations of the Protestants
that they would meet the re-establishment of the old worship with an
armed resistance, and that it would be necessary to pass over the
bodies of twenty thousand men before a single Mass should be quietly
said in London, were warnings of rocks ahead. That Mary recognised
the gravity of the situation was proved by the fact that, after an
interview with the Mayor, she permitted the priest who had disregarded
the law to be put into prison, although taking care that an opportunity
of escape should shortly be afforded him.[190]

A proclamation made in the middle of August also testified to some
desire upon the Queen’s part, at this stage, to adopt a policy of
conciliation. In it she declared that it was her will “that all men
should embrace that religion which all men knew she had of long time
observed, and meant, God willing, to continue the same; willing all men
to be quiet, and not call men the names of heretick and papist, but
each man to live after the religion he thought best until further order
were taken concerning the same.”[191]

Though the liberty granted was only provisional and temporary, there
was nothing in the proclamation to foreshadow the fires of Smithfield,
and it was calculated to allay any fears or forebodings disquieting the
minds of loyal subjects.



CHAPTER XX

1553

  Trial and condemnation of Northumberland--His recantation--Final
    scenes--Lady Jane’s fate in the balances--A conversation with her.


The great subject of interest agitating the capital, when the
excitement attending the Queen’s triumphal entry had had time to
subside, was the approaching trial of the Duke of Northumberland and
his principal accomplices. On August 18 the great conspirator, with
his son, the Earl of Warwick, and the Marquis of Northampton, were
arraigned at Westminster Hall, the Duke of Norfolk, lately himself a
prisoner, presiding, as High Steward of England, at the trial.

Its issue was a foregone conclusion. If ever man deserved to suffer
the penalty for high treason, that man was Northumberland. His brain
had devised the plot intended to keep the Queen out of the heritage
hers by birth and right; his hand had done what was possible to execute
it. He had commanded in person the forces arrayed against her, and had
been taken, as it were, red-handed. He must have recognised the fact
that any attempt at a defence would be hopeless. Two points of law,
however, he raised: Could a man, acting by warrant of the great seal
of England, and by the authority of the Council, be accused of high
treason? And further, could he be judged by those who, implicated in
the same offence, were his fellow-culprits?

The argument was quickly disposed of. If, as Mr. Tytler supposes,[192]
the Duke’s intention was to appeal to the sanction of the great seal
affixed to Edward’s will, the judges preferred to interpret his
plea, as most historians have concurred in doing, as referring to
the seal used during Lady Jane’s short reign; and, thus understood,
the authority of a usurper could not be allowed to exonerate her
father-in-law from the guilt of rebellion. As to his second question,
so long as those by whom he was to be judged were themselves
unattainted, they were not disqualified from filling their office.
Sentence was passed without delay, the Duke proffering three requests.
First, he asked that he might die the death of a noble; secondly, that
the Queen would be gracious to his children, since they had acted by
his command, and not of their own free will; and thirdly, that two
members of the Council Board might visit him, in order that he might
declare to them matters concerning the public welfare.

The trial had been conducted on a Friday. The uncertainty prevailing
as to the condition of public sentiment in the city may be inferred
from the fact, that, when the customary sermon was to be preached at
Paul’s Cross on the following Sunday, it was considered expedient
to have the preacher chosen by the Queen surrounded by her guards,
lest a tumult should ensue. The state of feeling in the capital must
have been curiously mixed. Mary was the lawful sovereign, and had
been brought to her rights amidst universal rejoicing. Northumberland
was an object of detestation to the populace. Yet, whilst the Queen
was undisguisedly devoted to a religion to which the majority of her
subjects were hostile, the Duke was regarded as, with Suffolk, the
chief representative and support of the faith they held and the Church
as by law established. If his adherence to Protestant doctrine, as was
now to appear, had been a matter of policy rather than of conviction,
it had been singularly successful in imposing upon the multitude;
though, according to the story which makes him observe to Sir Anthony
Browne that he certainly thought best of the old religion, “but,
seeing a new one begun, run dog, run devil, he would go forward,” he
had been at little pains to conceal his lack of genuine sympathy with
innovation.[193] When the speech was made, suspicion of Catholic
proclivities would have been fatal to his position and his schemes.
The case was now reversed. He was about to forfeit, by the fashion of
his death, the solitary merit he had possessed in the eyes of a large
section of his countrymen; to throw off the mask, however carelessly
it had been worn; and to give the lie, at that supreme moment, to the
professions of years.

It is said that, in consequence of the request he had preferred at
his trial that he might be visited by some members of the Council, he
was granted an interview with Gardiner and another of his colleagues,
name unknown; that the Bishop of Winchester subsequently interceded
with the Queen on his behalf, and was sanguine of success; but that,
in deference to the Emperor’s advice, Mary decided in the end that the
Duke must die.[194] To Arundel, in spite of the little encouragement he
had received at Cambridge to hope that the Earl would prove his friend,
Northumberland wrote, begging for life, “yea, the life of a dog, that
he may but live and kiss the Queen’s feet.”[195] All was in vain.
Prayers, supplications, entreaties, were useless. He was to die.

Of those tried together with him, two shared his sentence--Sir Thomas
Palmer and Sir John Gates. Monday, August 21, had been fixed for the
executions, Commendone, the Pope’s agent, delaying his journey to
Italy at Mary’s request that he might be present on the occasion.[196]
For some unexplained reason, they were deferred. It was probably in
order to leave Northumberland time to make his recantation at leisure;
for he had expressed his desire to renounce his errors “and to hear
Mass and to receive the Sacrament according to the old accustomed
manner.”[197]

The account of what followed has been preserved in detail. At nine in
the morning the altar in the chapel was prepared; and thither the Duke
was presently conducted by Sir John Gage, Constable of the Tower, four
of the lesser prisoners being brought in by the Lieutenant. Dying men,
three of them, and the rest in jeopardy, it was a solemn company there
assembled as the officiating priest proceeded with the ancient ritual.
At a given moment the service was interrupted, so that the Duke might
make his confession of faith and formally abjure the new ways he had
followed for sixteen years, “the which is the only cause of the great
plagues and vengeance which hath light upon the whole realm of England,
and now likewise worthily fallen upon me and others here present for
our unfaithfulness; ... and this I pray you all to testify, and pray
for me.”

After which, kneeling down, he asked forgiveness from all, and forgave
all.

“Amongst others standing by,” says the narrator of the scene, “were
the Duke of Somerset’s sons,” Hertford and his brother, boys scarcely
emerged from childhood; watching the fallen enemy of their house, and
remembering that to him had been chiefly due their father’s death.

Other spectators were some fourteen or fifteen merchants from the City,
bidden to the chapel that they might witness the ceremony and perhaps
make report of the Duke’s recantation to their fellows.

The news of what was going forward must have spread through the
Tower, partly palace, partly dungeon, partly fortress; and men must
have looked strangely upon one another as they heard that the leader
principally responsible for all that had happened in the course of the
last month, to whom the safety of the Protestant faith had been war-cry
and watchword, had abjured it as the work of the devil. Where was
truth, or sincerity, or pure conviction to be found?

Of Lady Jane, during this day, there is but one mention. The limelight
had been turned off her small figure, and she had fallen back into
obscurity. Yet we hear that, looking through a window, she had seen
her father-in-law led to the chapel, where he was, in her eyes, to
imperil his soul. But whether she had been made aware of what was in
contemplation we are ignorant.

The final scene took place on the succeeding day. At nine o’clock the
scaffold was ready, and Sir John Gates, with young Lord Warwick, were
brought forth to receive Communion in the chapel (“Memorandum,” says
the chronicler again, “the Duke of Somerset’s sons stood by”). By one
after the other, their abjuration had been made, and the priest present
had offered what comfort he might to the men appointed to die.

“I would,” he said, “ye should not be ignorant of God’s mercy, which is
infinite. And let not death fear you, for it is but a little while, ye
know, ended in one half-hour. What shall I say? I trust to God it shall
be to you a short passage (though somewhat sharp) out of innumerable
miseries into a most pleasant rest--which God grant.”

As the other prisoners were led out the Duke and Sir John Gates met at
the garden gate. Northumberland spoke.

“Sir John,” he said, “God have mercy on us, for this day shall end both
our lives. And I pray you, forgive me whatsoever I have offended; and
I forgive you, with all my heart, although you and your counsel was a
great occasion thereof.”

“Well, my Lord,” was the reply, “I forgive you, as I would be forgiven.
And yet you and your authority was the only original cause of all
together. But the Lord pardon you, and I pray you forgive me.”

So, not without a recapitulation of each one’s grievance, they made
obeisance, and the Duke passed on. Again, “the Duke of Somerset’s sons
stood thereby”--the words recur like a sinister refrain.

The end had come. Standing upon the scaffold, the Duke put off his
damask gown; then, leaning on the rail, he repeated the confession
of faith made on the previous day, begging those present to remember
the old learning, and thanking God that He had called him to be a
Christian. With his own hands he knit the handkerchief about his eyes,
laid him down, and so met the executioner’s blow.

Gates followed, with few words. Sir Thomas Palmer, having witnessed the
ghastly spectacle, came last. That morning, whilst preparations for the
executions were being made, he had been walking in the Lieutenant’s
garden, observed, says that “resident in the Tower” in whose diary so
many incidents of this time have been preserved, to seem “more cheerful
in countenance than when he was most at liberty in his lifetime”; and
when the end was at hand, he met it, as some men did meet death in
those days, with undaunted courage, and with a heroism not altogether
unaffected by dramatic instinct.

Though apparently implicitly included amongst the prisoners who had
made their peace with the Church, he is not recorded to have taken
any prominent part in the affair, and his dying speech dealt with no
controversial matters, but with eternal verities confessed alike by
Catholic and Protestant. At his trial he had denied that he had ever
borne arms against the Queen; though, charged with having been present
when others did so, he acknowledged his guilt. He now passed that
matter over, with a brief admission that his fate had been deserved at
God’s hands: “For I know it to be His divine ordinance by this mean to
call me to His mercy and to teach me to know myself, what I am, and
whereto we are all subject. I thank His merciful goodness, for He has
caused me to learn more in one little dark corner in yonder Tower than
ever I learned by any travail in so many places as I have been.” For
there he had seen God; he had seen himself; he had seen and known what
the world was. “Finally, I have seen there what death is, how near
hanging over every man’s head, and yet how uncertain the time, and how
unknown to all men, and how little it is to be feared. And why should
I fear death, or be sad therefore? Have I not seen two die before
mine eyes, yea, and within the hearing of mine ears? No, neither the
sprinkling of the blood, or the shedding thereof, nor the bloody axe
itself, shall not make me afraid.”

Taking leave of all present, he begged their prayers, forgave the
executioner, and, master of himself to the last, kneeling, laid his
head upon the block.

“I will see how meet the block is for my neck,” he said, “I pray thee,
strike me not yet, for I have a few prayers to say. And that done,
strike in God’s name. Good leave have thou.”

So the scene came to an end. The three rebels whose life Mary had
taken--no large number--had paid the forfeit of their deed. That night
the Lancaster Herald, a dependant of the Duke of Northumberland, more
faithful to old ties and memories than those in higher place, sought
the Queen, and begged of her his master’s head, that he might give it
sepulture. In God’s name, Mary bade him take his lord’s whole body and
bury him. By a curious caprice of destiny the Duke was laid to rest in
the Tower at the side of Somerset.[198] There, in the reconciliation of
a common defeat, the ancient rivals were united.

The three chief victims had thus paid the supreme penalty. The rest
of the participators in Northumberland’s guilt, if not pardoned, were
suffered to escape with life. Young Warwick had shared his father’s
condemnation, and, finding that the excuse of youth was not to be
allowed to avail in so grave a matter, had contented himself with
begging that, out of his goods, forfeited to the Crown, his debts
might be paid. Returning to the Tower, he had afterwards followed his
father’s example in abjuring Protestantism, and had listened, with
the older victims, to the words addressed by the priest to the men
appointed to die. Whether or not he had been aware that he was to be
spared, Mass concluded, he had been taken back to his lodging and had
not shared the Duke’s fate.

Northampton’s defence had been a strange one. He had, he said, forborne
the execution of any public office during the interregnum and, being
intent on hunting and other sports, had not shared in the conspiracy.
The plea was not allowed to stand, but though he, like Warwick, was
condemned, he was likewise permitted to escape with life. As Warwick’s
youth may have made its appeal to Mary, so she may have remembered that
Northampton was the brother of her dead friend, Katherine Parr, and
have allowed that memory to save him.

Lady Jane’s fate had hung in the balances. By some she was still
considered a menace to the stability of her cousin’s throne. Charles
V.’s ambassadors, representing to the Queen the need of proceeding
with caution in matters of religion, urged the necessity of executing
punishment upon the more guilty of those who had striven to deprive her
of her crown, clemency being used towards the rest. In which class was
Jane to be included? The determination of that question would decide
her fate. At an interview between Mary and Simon Renard, one of the
Emperor’s envoys, it was discussed, the Queen declaring that she could
not make up her mind to send Lady Jane to the scaffold; that she had
been told that, before her marriage with Guilford Dudley, she had been
bestowed upon another man by a _contrat obligatoire_, rendering the
subsequent tie null and void. Mary drew from this hypothetical fact the
inference that her cousin was not the daughter-in-law of the Duke of
Northumberland’s, adding that she had had no share in his undertaking,
and that, as she was innocent, it would be against her own conscience
to put her to death.

Renard demurred. He said, what was probably true, that it was to be
feared that the alleged contract of marriage had been invented to
save Lady Jane; and it would be necessary at the least to keep her a
prisoner, since many inconveniences might be expected were she set at
liberty. To this Mary agreed, promising that her cousin should not
be liberated without all precautions necessary to ensure that no ill
results would follow.[199]

This interview must have taken place shortly before Northumberland’s
death; for on August 23 the Emperor, to whom it had been duly
reported, was replying by a reiteration of his opinion that all
those who had conspired against the Queen, as well as any concerned
in Edward’s death, should be chastised without mercy. He advised that
the executions should take place simultaneously, so that the pardon
of the less guilty should follow without delay. If Mary was unable to
resolve to put “Jeanne de Suffolck” to death, she ought at least to
relegate her to some place of security, where she could be kept under
supervision and rendered incapable of causing trouble in the realm.

That Mary had decided upon this course is clear, and there is no
reason to believe that Lady Jane would have suffered death had it
not been for her father’s subsequent conduct. In the meantime, she
remained a prisoner in the Tower, and on August 29, eleven days after
the executions on Tower Hill, she is shown to us in one of the rare
pictures left of her during the time of her captivity. On that day--a
Tuesday--the diarist in the Tower, admitted to dine at the same
table as the royal prisoner, placed upon record an account of the
conversation.

Besides Lady Jane, who sat at the end of the board, there was present
the narrator himself, one Partridge,[200] and his wife--it was in
“Partridge’s house,” or lodging within the Tower, that the guests
met--with Lady Jane’s gentlewoman and her man. Her presence had been
unexpected by the diarist, as he was careful to explain, excusing his
boldness in having accepted Partridge’s invitation on the score that he
had not been aware that she dined below.

Lady Jane did not appear anxious to stand on her dignity. Desiring
guest and host to be covered, she drank to the new-comer and made him
welcome. The conversation turned, naturally enough, upon the conduct of
public affairs, of which Lady Jane was inclined to take a sanguine view.

“The Queen’s Majesty is a merciful Princess,” she observed. “I beseech
God she may long continue, and send His merciful grace upon her.”

Religious matters were discussed, Lady Jane inquiring as to who had
been the preacher at St. Paul’s the preceding Sunday.

“I pray you,” she asked next, “have they Mass in London?”

“Yea, forsooth,” was the answer, “in some places.”

“It may be so,” she said. “It is not so strange as the sudden
conversion of the late Duke. For who would have thought he would have
so done?” negativing at once and decidedly the suggestion made by some
one present that a hope of escaping his imminent doom and winning
pardon from the Queen might supply an explanation of his change of
front.

“‘Pardon?’ repeated the dead man’s daughter-in-law. ‘Woe worth him! He
hath brought me and our stock into most miserable calamity and misery
by his exceeding ambition. But for the answering that he hoped for
life by his turning, though other men be of that opinion, I utterly
am not. For what man is there living, I pray you, although he had
been innocent, that would hope of life in that case; being in the
field against the Queen in person as general, and, after his taking,
so hated and evil spoken of by the commons? and at his coming into
prison so wondered at as the like was never heard by any man’s time?
Who was judge that he should hope for pardon, whose life was odious
to all men? But what will ye more? Like as his life was wicked and
full of dissimulation, so was his end thereafter. I pray God I, nor no
friend of mine, die so. Should I who [am] young and in my fewers [few
years?] forsake my faith for the love of life? Nay, God forbid, much
more he should not, whose fatal course, although he had lived his just
number of years, could not have long continued. But life was sweet, it
appeared; so he might have lived, you will say, he did [not] care how.
Indeed the reason is good, he that would have lived in chains, to have
had his life, by like would leave no other means attempted. But God be
merciful to us, for He saith, whoso denyeth Him before men, He will not
know in His Father’s Kingdom.’”

The conviction of Northumberland’s daughter-in-law that his recantation
had not been a mere device designed to lengthen his days may be allowed
in some sort to weigh in favour of the man she hated; and it is also
fair to remember that if his first abjuration may be accounted for by
a lingering hope that it might purchase life, any such expectation
must have been abandoned before the final repetition of it upon the
scaffold. In Lady Jane’s eyes, however, there seems to have been little
to choose between a sham apostacy and a genuine reversion to his older
creed.

“With this and much like talk the dinner passed away,” and with
exchange of courtesies the little company separated. The brief shaft of
light throwing Lady Jane’s figure into relief fades and leaves her once
more in the shadow--a shadow that was to deepen above her till the end.
It was early days of captivity still. Yet one discerns something of the
passionate longing of the prisoner for freedom in her wonder that life
in chains could be accounted worth any sacrifice.



CHAPTER XXI

1553

  Mary’s marriage in question--Pole and Courtenay--Foreign
    suitors--The Prince of Spain proposed to her--Elizabeth’s
    attitude--Lady Jane’s letter to Hardinge--The coronation--Cranmer
    in the Tower--Lady Jane attainted--Letter to her father--Sentence
    of death--The Spanish match.


To Mary there were at present matters of more personal and pressing
moment than the fate of her ill-starred cousin. It was essential that
the kingdom should be provided as quickly as possible with an heir
whose title to the throne should admit of no question. Mary was no
longer young and there was no time to lose. The question in all men’s
minds was who was to be the Queen’s husband. Amongst Englishmen, Pole,
who, though a Cardinal, was not in priest’s orders, and Courtenay, the
prisoner of the Tower, were both of royal blood, and considered in the
light of possible aspirants to her hand. The first, however, was soon
set aside, as disqualified by age and infirmity. Towards Courtenay
she appeared for a time not ill-disposed. His unhappy youth, his long
captivity, may have told in his favour in the eyes of a woman herself
the victim of injustice and misfortune. He was young, not more than
twenty-seven, handsome--called by Castlenau “l’un des plus beaux entre
les jeunes seigneurs de son âge”--and the Queen cherished a special
affection for his mother. He had been restored to the forfeited honours
of his family, had been made Earl of Devonshire and Knight of the
Bath. Gardiner also, whose opinion carried weight, was an advocate of
the match. But on his enfranchisement from prison the young man had
not used his liberty wisely. His head turned by the position already
his, and the chance of a higher one, he had started his household
on a princely scale, inducing many of the courtiers to kneel in his
presence. Follies such as these Mary might have condoned, although the
fact that she directed her cousin to accept no invitations to dinner
without her permission indicates the exercise of a supervision somewhat
like that to be kept over an emancipated schoolboy. But at a moment
when he was aspiring to the highest rank to be enjoyed by any subject,
his moral misconduct was matter of public report and sufficient to
deter any woman from becoming his wife. He was also headstrong and
self-willed, “so difficult to guide,” sighed Noailles, “that he will
believe nobody; and as one who has spent his life in a tower, seeing
himself now in the enjoyment of entire liberty, cannot abstain from its
delights, having no fear of those things which may be placed before
him.”

To these causes, rather than to the romantic passion for Elizabeth
attributed to Courtenay by some other writers, Dr. Lingard attributes
Mary’s refusal to entertain the idea of becoming his wife. “In public
she observed that it was not for her honour to marry a subject, but to
her confidential friends she attributed the cause to the immorality of
Courtenay.”[201]

Her two English suitors disposed of, it remained to select a husband
from amongst foreign princes--the King of Denmark, the Prince of
Spain, the Infant of Portugal, the Prince of Piedmont, being all under
consideration. A few months ago Mary had been a negligible quantity
in the marriage market; she had now become one of the most desirable
matches in Europe. She was determined to follow in her choice the
advice of the Emperor; and the Emperor had hitherto abstained from
proffering it, contenting himself with negativing the candidature of
the son of the King of the Romans. It was not until September 20 that,
in answer to her repeated inquiries, he instructed his ambassadors
to offer her the hand of his son; requesting that the matter should
be kept secret, even from her ministers of State, until he had been
informed whether she was inclined to accept his suggestion.[202] The
contents of the Emperor’s despatch must have been communicated to
the Queen immediately before her coronation on September 30; but not
being as yet made public there was nothing to interfere with the loyal
rejoicings of the people, to whom the very idea of the Spanish match
would have been abhorrent.

Meantime the attitude of Elizabeth was increasing the desire of the
Catholic party that a direct heir should be born to the Catholic
Queen. The nation was insensibly dividing itself into two camps, and
the Protestant and Catholic parties eyed one another with suspicion,
each looking to the sister who shared its faith for support. The
enthusiasm displayed towards Elizabeth by a section of the people was
not conducive to the continuance of affectionate relations between
the Queen and the next heir to the throne, Pope Julius describing the
younger sister as being in the heart and mouth of every one. Elizabeth
was in a position of no little difficulty. She desired to continue
on good terms with the Queen; she was not willing to relinquish her
chief title to honour in Protestant eyes; and it is possible that
genuine religious sentiment, a sincere preference for the creed she
professed, may have added to her embarrassment. It may have been due
to conviction that she declined to bow to her sister’s wishes by
attending Mass, refusing so much as to be present at the ceremonial
which created Courtenay Earl of Devonshire. It was satisfactory to know
that Protestant England looked on and applauded. It was less pleasant
to hear that some of the Queen’s hot-headed friends, interpreting her
refusal as an act of disrespect to their mistress, had demanded--though
vainly--her arrest; and though on September 6 Noailles reported to
his master that on the previous Saturday and Sunday the Princess had
proved deaf to the arguments of preachers and the solicitations of
Councillors, and had gone so far as to make a rude reply to the last,
she suddenly changed her tactics, fell on her knees, weeping, before
Mary, and begged that books and teachers might be supplied to her, so
that she might perhaps see cause to alter the faith in which she had
been brought up. The expectation seems to have been promptly realised.
On September 8 she accompanied the Queen to Mass, and, expressing an
intention of establishing a chapel in her house, wrote to the Emperor
to ask permission to purchase the ornaments for it in Brussels.

It was a season of sudden conversions. Elizabeth was not the only
person who saw the wisdom of conforming in appearance or in sincerity
to the standard set up by the Queen. Hardinge, a chaplain of the
Duke of Suffolk’s--he must have succeeded to the post of the worthy
Haddon--had recognized his errors; and it is believed that to him a
letter of Lady Jane’s--though signed with her unmarried name--was
addressed. Printed in English, and abroad, perhaps through the
instrumentality of her former tutor, Aylmer, it is an epistle of
expostulation, reproof, and warning, couched in the violent language
of the time. To her “noble friend, newly fallen from the truth” she
writes, marvelling at him, and lamenting the case of one who, once the
lively member of Christ, was now the deformed imp of the devil, and
from the temple of God was become the kennel of Satan--with much more
in the same strain. It has not been recorded what effect, if any, the
missive produced upon the delinquent to whom it was addressed.

Elizabeth, for her part, had effectually made her peace with her
sister. The coronation, on October 10, found their relations restored
to a pleasant footing, and Elizabeth’s proper place at the ceremony was
assured to her. To Mary, a sad and lonely woman, the reconciliation
must have been welcome. To Elizabeth the material advantages of
standing on terms of affection with the Queen will have appealed more
strongly than motives of sentiment; and that her attitude was surmised
by those about her would seem to be shown by a curious incident
reported in the despatches of the imperial ambassador.

As the younger sister bore the crown to be placed upon Mary’s head, she
complained to M. de Noailles, who stood near, of its weight. It was
heavy, she said, and she was weary.

The Frenchman replied with a flippant jest, overheard by Charles’s
ambassador, though Noailles himself, perhaps convicted of indiscretion,
makes no mention of it in his account of the day’s proceedings. Let
Elizabeth have patience, he replied. When the crown should shortly be
upon her own head it would appear lighter.[203]

Outwardly all was as it should be. Mary held her sister’s hand in an
affectionate clasp, assigning to her the place of honour next her own
at the ensuing banquet, and court and nation looked on and were edified.

Gardiner, now not only Bishop of Winchester but Lord Chancellor,
had performed the rites of the coronation, in the absence of the
Archbishops, both in confinement. The Tower had been once more opening
its hospitable doors, and a fortnight earlier its resident diarist had
noted Cranmer’s arrival. “Item, the Bishop of Canterbury was brought
into the Tower as prisoner, and lodged in the Tower over the gate
anenst the water-gate, where the Duke of Northumberland lay before his
death.”

Nor was Cranmer the only churchman to find a lodging there. Doctor
Ridley had preceded him to the universal prison-house, and on the same
day that the Archbishop took up his residence in it “Master Latimer was
brought to the Tower prisoner; who at his coming said to one Rutter,
a warder there, ‘What, my old friend, how do you? I am now come to
be your neighbour again,’ and was lodged in the garden in Sir Thomas
Palmer’s lodging.”

Ominous quarters both! It was a day when the great fortress received,
and discharged, many guests.

If Cranmer had drawn his imprisonment upon himself, the imprudence
to which it was due did him honour. He had at first been treated by
Mary with an indulgence the more singular when it is remembered that
he had been the instrument of her mother’s divorce, and a strenuous
supporter of Lady Jane. Prudence would have dictated the adoption
on his part of a policy of silence; but, confined to his house at
Lambeth, and regarding with the bitterness inevitable in a man of his
convictions the steps in course of being taken for the restoration of
the ancient worship, the news that Mass had been once again celebrated
in Canterbury Cathedral, and that it was commonly reported that it
had been done with his consent and connivance, was too much for him.
Feeling the need of clearing himself from what he regarded as a
damaging imputation, he wrote and spread abroad a declaration of his
faith and opinions, adding to it a violent attack upon the rites of the
Catholic Church. By Mary and her advisers the challenge could scarcely
have been ignored; and it was this document, read to the people in the
streets, which was the cause of the Archbishop being called before the
Council and committed to the Tower on a charge of treason accompanied
by the spreading abroad of seditious libels.[204]

The Tower continued to be, in some sort, the centre of all that was
going forward. On September 27, two days before the coronation, Mary
had again visited the fortress whither she had so nearly escaped being
brought in quite another character and guise. Elizabeth came with her,
and she was attended by the whole Council--just as they had, not three
months before, attended upon Jane, the innocent usurper. And somewhere
in the great dark building the little Twelfth-night Queen must have
listened to the pealing of the joy-bells and to the acclamations of the
people who had kept so ominous a silence when she herself had made her
entry. Perhaps young Guilford Dudley too, who a week or two before had
been accorded “the liberty of the leads on Beacham’s Tower,” may have
stood above, catching a glimpse of the show, and remembering the day
when he and his wife had their boy-and-girl quarrel, because she would
not make him a King.

The two questions of the hour were those relating to the Queen’s
marriage and to matters of religion. When Parliament met on October 5,
the news of the Spanish match had not been announced, and the bills
of chief interest passed were one dealing with the important point of
the validity of Katherine of Aragon’s marriage, and a second, which,
avoiding any discussion of the Papal supremacy, the only thoroughly
unpopular article of the Catholic creed, cancelled recent legislation
on ecclesiastical matters, and restored the ritual in use during the
last year of Henry’s reign. The other important measure carried in this
session was the attainder of Cranmer, Lady Jane and her husband, and
Sir Ambrose Dudley.

So far as Lady Jane was concerned the step was purely formal, intended
to serve as a warning to her friends, and it was understood on all
hands that a pardon would be granted to the guiltless figure-head of
the conspiracy. Yet to a nervous child, not yet seventeen, there may
well have been something terrifying in the sentence hanging over her,
and it seems to have been about this time that she addressed a letter
to her father which could scarcely have been otherwise conceived had
she expected in truth to suffer the penalty due to treason.

[Illustration:

  From an etching by W. Hollar.      Photo by W. A. Mansell & Co.

THE TOWER OF LONDON.]

“If I may without offence rejoice in mine own mishap,” she wrote,
“meseems in this I may account myself blessed, that washing mine hands
with the innocency of my fact, my guiltless blood may cry before
the Lord, mercy, mercy to the innocent. And yet I must acknowledge
that being constrained, and, as you wot well enough, continually
assailed, in taking upon me I seemed to consent, and therein offended
the Queen and her laws, yet do I assuredly trust that this mine offence
towards God is much the less, in that being in so royal an estate as I
was, mine enforced honour never agreed with mine innocent heart.”[205]

The trial was held on November 13, on which day Cranmer, with Guilford,
and his brother, and Lady Jane, were all conducted on foot to the
Guildhall to answer the charge of treason.

The Archbishop led the way, followed by young Dudley. After them came
Lady Jane, a childish figure of woe, dressed in black, with a French
hood, also black, a book bound in black velvet hanging at her side, and
another in her hand.

Her condemnation was a foregone conclusion, and, pleading guilty, she
was sentenced to death, by the axe or by fire, according to the old
brutal law dealing with a woman convicted of treason. As she returned
to the Tower a demonstration took place in her honour, not unlikely
to be productive of some uneasiness to those in power, and little
calculated to serve her cause.

The London populace were more favourably disposed towards her in
misfortune, than in her brief period of prosperity. The sight of the
forlorn pair, still no more than boy and girl, touched and moved the
multitude, and crowds accompanied them to their place of captivity. It
is said that this was the solitary occasion upon which she and Guilford
Dudley met during their imprisonment.

Another cause, besides simple pity, was perhaps responsible for the
tenderness displayed towards the Queen’s rival. A week or two before
the trial the news of the Spanish match had been made known to the
public, and may have had the effect of suggesting doubts as to the
wisdom of the enthusiastic welcome given to Mary. At the beginning of
November the affair had been undecided, and Gardiner was telling the
Emperor’s envoy candidly that, if the Queen asked his advice, he would
counsel her to choose an Englishman for her husband. The nation, he
added, was deeply prejudiced against foreign domination, especially in
the case of Spaniards, and the proposed union would also produce war
with France.

Mary’s mind, however, was made up, nor had she any intention of being
swayed by Gardiner’s advice. On the night of October 30 she took
the singular step of summoning the ambassador, Simon Renard, to her
apartment; when, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and after
repeating on her knees the _Veni Creator_, she gave him her promise to
wed the Prince of Spain. In the face of the curious determination thus
shown to bind herself by a contract irrevocable in her own eyes, it
is strange to find historians attributing to her a continued leaning
towards Courtenay.

When the fact got abroad that the Emperor’s son was destined to
become the Queen’s husband, London thrilled with indignation; whilst
Parliament made its sentiments plain by means of a deputation which,
in an address containing an entreaty that she would marry, expressed
a hope that her choice would fall upon an Englishman. But Mary was a
Tudor. Dispensing with the customary medium of the Chancellor, she
gave her reply in person. Thanking the petitioners for their zeal,
she declared herself disposed to act upon their advice and to take a
husband. It was, however, for herself alone to select one, according to
her inclination, and for the good of her kingdom.

Simon Renard, reporting the scene, observed that her speech had been
applauded by the nobles present, Arundel informing the Chancellor
in jest that he had been deprived of his office, since the Queen
had undertaken the functions belonging to it. In the pleasantry the
Emperor’s envoy detected a warning that should Gardiner continue his
opposition to the match he would not long retain his present post.[206]

The Bishop yielded. He may have agreed with Renard. At all events, the
Queen being determined, and recognising that he was unable to deter
her from the measure upon which she had decided, he took the prudent
step of putting himself on her side. His opposition removed, Renard was
able to inform his master, on December 17, that Mary had received him
in open daylight, had informed him that the necessity for secrecy was
at an end, and that she regarded her marriage as a thing definitely and
irrevocably fixed.[207]



CHAPTER XXII

1553-1554

  Discontent at the Spanish match--Insurrections in the
    country--Courtenay and Elizabeth--Suffolk a rebel--General
    failure of the insurgents--Wyatt’s success--Marches to
    London--Mary’s conduct--Apprehensions in London, and at the
    palace--The fight--Wyatt a prisoner--Taken to the Tower.


When the year 1553 drew towards its close there was nothing to
indicate that any catastrophe was at hand. The crisis appeared to be
past and no further danger to be apprehended. Northumberland and his
principal accomplices had paid the penalty of their treason. Suffolk,
with lesser criminals, had been allowed to escape it; the rest of the
confederates had been practically pardoned. If some were still in
confinement it was understood to be without danger to life or limb.
In the Tower Lady Jane and her husband lay formally under sentence of
death, but the conditions of their captivity had been lightened; on
December 18 Lady Jane was accorded “the liberty of the Tower,” and was
permitted to walk in the Queen’s garden and on the hill; Guilford and
his brother--Elizabeth’s Leicester--were allowed the liberty of the
leads in the Bell Tower. Both Northampton and young Warwick--who did
not long survive his enfranchisement--had been released. No further
chastisement seemed likely to be inflicted in expiation of the late
attempt to keep Mary out of her rights.

Yet discontent was on the increase. As early as November steps had been
taken to induce Courtenay to head a new conspiracy. He was timid and
faint-hearted, and urged delay, and nothing had, so far, come of it.
It would be well, he said, advocating a policy of procrastination, to
wait to be certain that the Queen was determined upon the Spanish match
before taking hazardous measures to oppose it.[208]

Thus Christmas had found the country ostensibly at peace, and the
prisoners in the Tower with no reason to fear any change for the worse
in their condition. On the following day the thunder of the cannon
discharged as a welcome to the Emperor’s ambassadors sounded in their
ears, and was, though they were ignorant of it, the prelude of their
destruction. The arrival of envoys expressly charged with the marriage
negotiations put the matter beyond doubt; nor was England in a mood to
submit passively to a union it hated and feared.

By January 2 the Counts of Egmont and Laing and the Sieur de Corriers
had reached the capital; landing at the Tower, where they were greeted
with a salute from the guns, and met by the Earl of Devonshire, who
escorted them through the City. “The people, nothing rejoicing, held
down their heads sorrowfully.” When on the previous day the retinue
of the Spanish envoys had ridden through the town, more forcible
expression had been given to public opinion, and they had been pelted
with snowballs.[209]

Matters were pressed quickly on. By January 13 the formal announcement
of the unpopular arrangement, with its provisions, was made by Gardiner
in the Presence-chamber at Westminster to the lords and nobles there
assembled; hope could no longer be entertained that the Queen would be
otherwise persuaded. “These news,” adds the Tower diarist, “although
they were not unknown to many and very much disliked, yet being now in
this wise pronounced, was not only credited, but also heavily taken of
sundry men; yea, and almost each man was abashed, looking daily for
worse matters to grow shortly after.”

They did not look in vain. The unpopularity of the Spanish match was
the direct cause of the insurrections which soon broke out. Indirectly
it was the cause of the death of Lady Jane Grey.

Wild tales were afloat, rousing the passions of the angry people to
fever-heat. Some reports stated that Edward was still alive; others
asserted that the tower and the forts were to be seized and held by an
imperialist army; abuse of every kind was directed against the Prince
of Spain and his nation. Mary was said to have given her pledge that
she would marry no foreigner, and by the breach of this promise she was
declared to have forfeited the crown. Fresh schemes were set on foot
for a rising in the spring. It does not appear that the substitution
of Lady Jane for her cousin was again generally contemplated. That
plan had resulted in so complete a failure that it had probably been
tacitly admitted that the arrangement would not work. But the eyes of
many were turning towards Elizabeth. She was to wed Courtenay, and they
were jointly to occupy the throne. The two principally concerned were
not likely to have refused to fall in with the project had it seemed to
offer a fair chance of success, and France was in favour of it.

“By what I hear,” wrote Noailles, “it will be by my Lord Courtenay’s
own fault if he does not marry her, and she does not follow him to
Devonshire,”--the selected centre of operations--“but the misfortune
is that the said Courtenay is in such fear that he dares undertake
nothing. I see no reason that prevents him save lack of heart.”

Courtenay was in truth not the stuff of which conductors of revolutions
are made. Gratitude and loyalty would not have availed to keep him
true to Mary, and in able hands he might have become the instrument
of a rebellion. But Gardiner found no difficulty in so playing on his
apprehensions as to lead him to divulge the plots that were on foot;
and his revelations, or betrayals, whichever they are to be called,
precipitated the action of the conspirators. If their enterprise was to
be attempted, no time must be lost.[210]

On January 20 it became known that Devonshire was in arms, “resisting
the King of Spain’s coming,” and that Exeter was in the hands of the
insurgents. By the 25th the Duke of Suffolk, with his two brothers,
Lord John and Lord Leonard Grey, had fled from his house at Sheen, and
gone northwards to rouse his Warwickshire tenants to insurrection. It
was currently reported that he had narrowly escaped being detained,
a messenger from the Queen having arrived as he was on the point of
starting, with orders that he should repair to Court.

“Marry,” said the Duke, “I was coming to her Grace. Ye may see I am
booted and spurred ready to ride, and I will but break my fast and go.”

Bestowing a present upon the messenger, he gave him drink, and himself
departed, no one then knew whither.

That same day tidings had reached the Council that Kent had risen, Sir
Thomas Wyatt at its head, with Culpepper, Cobham, and others, alleging,
as their sole motives, resistance to the Prince of Spain, and the
removal of certain lords from the Council Board. Sir John Crofts had
proceeded to Wales to call upon it to join the insurrectionary movement.

The country being thus in a turmoil the two persons who should have
taken the lead and upon whom much of the success of the insurgents
depended were playing a cautious game. Courtenay was at Court, and
Elizabeth remained at Ashridge to watch the event, no doubt prepared
to shape her course accordingly. A letter addressed to her by her
partisans, counselling her withdrawal to Dunnington, as to a place of
greater safety, had been intercepted by the authorities; and she had
received an invitation, or command, to join her sister at St. James’s,
where, it was significantly added, she would be more secure than either
at Ashridge or Dunnington. On the score of ill-health she disobeyed the
summons, fortifying the house, and assembling around it some numbers of
armed retainers.

[Illustration:

  From a photo by Emery Walker after a painting by Joannes Corvus in
    the National Portrait Gallery.

HENRY GREY, DUKE OF SUFFOLK, K.G.]

The hopes built by the insurgents upon the general discontent
throughout the country were doomed to disappointment. It was one thing
to disapprove of the Queen’s choice; it was quite another to take up
arms against her. Devonshire proved cold; most of the leaders there
were seized, or compelled to make their escape to France; Crofts had
been pursued to Wales, and was arrested before he had time to rally any
support in the principality.

Suffolk had done no better in the Midlands. Authorities are divided
as to his intentions. By Dr. Lingard it is considered uncertain
whether he meant to press Elizabeth’s claims or to revive those of his
daughter. With either upon the throne the dominance of the Protestant
religion would have been ensured, and, unlike Northumberland, Suffolk
was sincere and honest in his attachment to the principles of the
Reformation. Other writers, however, assert categorically that he
caused Lady Jane to be proclaimed at his halting-places as he went
north; and the sequel seems to make it probable that she had been once
more forced into a position of dangerous prominence.

Whatever may have been the exact nature of the scheme he propounded,
the country made no response to his appeal; after a skirmish near
Coventry he gave up hopes of any immediate success, disbanded his
followers, and, betrayed by a tenant upon whose fidelity he had
believed he could count, fell into the hands of those in pursuit of
him. By February 10 he had gone to swell the numbers of the prisoners
in the Tower.

The rising in Kent had alone answered in any degree to the expectations
of its promoters. Drawn into the conspiracy, if his own assertions are
to be credited, by Courtenay, Wyatt had become the most conspicuous
leader of the insurrection known by his name. He was well fitted
for the post. Brave, skilful, and secret, he was, says Noailles, “un
gentilhomme le plus vaillant et assuré que j’ai jamais ouï parler”; and
whether or not he had been deserted by the man to whom it was due that
he had taken up arms, he was not disposed to submit to defeat without a
struggle.

Fixing his headquarters at Rochester, he had gathered together a body
of some fifteen thousand men, and was there found by the Duke of
Norfolk, sent at the head of the Queen’s forces against him. The utmost
enthusiasm prevailed amongst the insurgents, and when a herald arrived
in Rochester commissioned by the Duke to proclaim a pardon for all who
would consent to lay down arms, “each man cried that they had done
nothing wherefore they should need any pardon, and that quarrel which
they took they would die and live in it.”[211] Sir George Harper was in
fact the sole rebel who accepted the proffered boon.

Worse was to follow. At the first encounter of the royal troops with
the Kentish men Captain Bret, leading five hundred Londoners, went
over to the rebels, explaining in a spirited speech the grounds for
his desertion, the miseries which might be expected to befall the
nation should the Spaniards bear rule over it, and expressing his
determination to spend his blood “in the quarrel of this worthy
captain, Master Wyatt.”[212]

It was an ominous beginning to the struggle, and at the applause
greeting Bret’s announcement, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Ormond,
and Jerningham, Captain of the Guard, fled. Wyatt, taking instant
advantage of the situation, rode in amongst the Queen’s troops, crying
out that any who desired to join him should be welcome and that those
who wished might depart.

Most of the men accepted the alternative of throwing in their lot with
Wyatt and his company, leaving their leaders to return without them
to London. “Ye should have seen,” adds the diarist, from whom these
details and many others of this episode are taken, “some of the Guard
come home, their coats turned, all ruined, without arrows or string in
their bow, or sword, in very strange wise; which discomfiture, like
as it was very heart-sore and displeasing to the Queen and Council,
even so it was almost no less joyous to the Londoners and most part of
others.”

With the capital in this temper, the juncture was a critical one. Wyatt
was marching on London, and who could say what reception he would
meet with at the hands of the discontented populace? The fact that he
was encountered at Deptford by a deputation from the Council, sent to
inquire into his demands, is proof of the apprehensions entertained.
The interview did not end amicably. Flushed with victory, Wyatt was not
disposed to be moderate. To Sir Edward Hastings, who asked the reason
why, calling himself a true subject, he played the part of a traitor,
he answered boldly that he had assembled the people to defend the realm
from the danger of being overrun by strangers, a result which must
follow from the proposed marriage of the Queen.

Hastings temporised. No stranger was yet come who need be suspected.
Therefore, if this was their only quarrel, the Queen would be content
they should be heard.

“To that I yield,” returned Wyatt warily, “but for my further surety I
would rather be trusted than trust.”

In carrying out this principle of caution it was reported that he had
pressed his demand for confidence so far as to require that the custody
of the Tower, and the Queen’s person within it, should be conceded to
him. If this was the case, he can scarcely have felt much surprise
that the negotiations were brought to an abrupt conclusion, Hastings
replying hotly that before his traitorous conditions should be granted,
Wyatt and twenty thousand with him should die. And thus the conference
ended.[213]

London was in a ferment. Mayor, aldermen, and many of the citizens went
about in armour, “the lawyers pleaded their causes in harness,” and
when Dr. Weston said Mass before the Queen on Ash Wednesday he wore
a coat of mail beneath his vestments. There had been no need to bid
the Spanish ambassadors to depart, those gentlemen having prudently
decamped as speedily as possible. Upon February 2 Mary in person
proceeded to the Guildhall, and, there meeting the chief amongst the
citizens, made them a speech which was an admirable combination of
appeal and independence, and showed that if outwardly she bore no
resemblance to father or sister the Tudor spirit was alive in her. She
had come, she said, to tell them what they already knew--of the treason
of the Kentish rebels, who demanded the possession of her person, the
keeping of the Tower, and the placing and displacing of her counsellors.

That day marked the crisis in the progress of the insurrection. Mary’s
visit to the Guildhall had taken place on February 2. When on the
following day Wyatt, leaving Deptford, marched to Southwark the tide
had turned. His followers were falling away; no other part of the
country was in arms to support him; and his position was becoming
desperate. His daring, nevertheless, did not fail. A price had been
put upon his head, and, aware of the proclamation, he caused his name
to be “fair written,” and set it on his cap. The act of bravado was
characteristic of the spirit of the popular leader.

Meantime the measures to be taken against him were anxiously
discussed. On the 4th Sir Nicholas Poynings, on duty at the Tower,
waited upon the Queen to receive her orders, and to learn whether the
ordnance was to be directed upon Southwark, and the houses knocked down
upon the heads of Wyatt and his men, quartered in that district.

Mary, to her honour, refused to authorise the drastic mode of attack.

“Nay,” she replied, “that were pity; for many poor men and householders
are like to be undone there and killed. For, God willing, they shall be
fought with to-morrow.”

The innocent were not to be involved in the destruction of the guilty.
Her decision was unwelcome at the Tower. The night before Sir John
Bridges had expressed his surprise to the sentinel on duty that the
rebels had not yet been fought.

“By God’s mother,” he added, “I fear there is some traitor abroad, that
they be suffered all this while. For surely if it had been about my
sentry [or beat] I would have fought with them myself, by God’s grace.”

Wyatt, strangely enough, was no less pitiful than the Queen. Although
she had refused permission for the discharge of the guns, they had been
directed by those responsible for them upon the spot where the rebel
body was stationed; and, in terror of a cannonade, the inhabitants, men
and women, approached the insurgent leader “in most lamentable wise,”
setting forth the danger his presence was bringing upon them, and
praying him for the love of God to have pity. The appeal was not made
in vain.

“At which words he, being partly abashed, stayed awhile, and then said
these, or much like words, ‘I pray you, my friends, content yourselves
a little, and I will soon ease you of this mischief. For God forbid
that you, or the least child here, should be hurt or killed on my
behalf,’ and so in most speedy manner marched away.”

A meeting was to have taken place before sunrise with some of the
disaffected in the City. By this means it had been hoped that a
surprise might be contrived. But a portion of Kingston Bridge, where
the river was to be crossed, had been destroyed; time was lost in
repairing it, and the assignation at Ludgate was missed. The scheme
had supplied Wyatt’s last chance and failure was staring him in the
face. Rats were leaving the sinking vessel. The Protestant Bishop of
Winchester, who had hitherto lent the countenance of his presence in
the camp to the insurgents, fled beyond seas; Sir George Harper, having
rejoined Wyatt’s forces, deserted for the second time, and made his
way to St. James’s to give warning to the Court of the approach of the
rebel leader.

Such being the condition of things, it is singular to find that at the
palace something like a panic was prevailing. Mary was entreated by
her ministers to seek safety at the Tower; and, though deciding in the
end to remain at her post, she appears at first to have been inclined
to act upon the suggestion. A plan of action was determined upon in
a hurried consultation. Wyatt, it was agreed, was to be permitted to
reach the City, with a certain number of his followers, and having been
thus detached from the main body of his troops it was hoped that he
would be trapped and seized.

In the meantime arrangements were made for the defence of the Queen and
the palace. Edward Underhyll, the Hot-Gospeller for whose child Lady
Jane had stood godmother six months earlier, and who was on duty as a
gentleman-pensioner at St. James’s, has left a graphic account of the
scene there that night, and of the terror of the Queen’s ladies when
the pensioners, armed with pole-axes, were placed on guard in their
mistress’s apartments. The breach of etiquette appears to have struck
them as an earnest of the peril to which it was owing. Was such a sight
ever seen, they cried, wringing their hands, that the Queen’s chamber
should be full of armed men?

Underhyll, for his part, soon received his dismissal. As the usher
charged with the duty looked at the list of the pensioners before
calling them over, his eye was caught by the well-known name of the
Hot-Gospeller.

“By God’s Body,” he said, “that heretic shall not watch here!” and
Underhyll, taking his men with him, and professing satisfaction at his
exemption from duty, went his way.

By the morning he had reconsidered the matter, and thought it well to
ignore his rebuff and return to his post. For the present, he joined
company with one of the Throckmortons, who had just left the palace
after reporting there the welcome tidings of the capture of the Duke of
Suffolk at Coventry, the two proceeding together to Ludgate, intending
to pass the remainder of the night in the City. The gate, however, was
found to be fast locked, and those on guard within explained, with much
ill-timed laughter, to the tired wayfarers outside, that they were not
entrusted with the keys, and could give admittance to none.

It was disconcerting intelligence to men in search of a lodging and
repose; and Throckmorton, in especial, fresh from his hurried journey,
felt that he was hardly treated.

“I am weary and faint,” he complained, “and I wax now cold.” No man
would open his door in this dangerous time, and he would perish that
night. Such was his piteous lament.

Underhyll, a man of resource, had a plan to propose.

“Let us go to Newgate,” he suggested. He thought himself secure of
an entrance there into the city. At the worst, he had acquaintances
within the prison--like most men at that day--having recently been
in confinement there. The door of the keeper of the gaol was without
the gate, and Underhyll entertained no doubts of finding a hospitable
reception in his old quarters. Throckmorton, it was true, declared
at first that he would almost as soon die in the street as seek so
ill-omened a refuge; but in the end the two proceeded thither, and, a
friend of Underhyll’s being fortunately in command of the guard placed
outside the gate, the wanderers were permitted to enter the City.

Whilst consternation and alarm were felt at the palace at the tidings
of Wyatt’s approach, the rebel leader himself must have been aware that
the game had been played and lost. Yet he kept up a bold front, and
refused to acknowledge that he was beaten.

“Twice have I knocked, and not been suffered to enter,” he was reported
to have said. “If I knock the third time I will come in, by God’s
grace.”

They were brave words. An incident of his march to Kingston
nevertheless sounds the note of a consciousness of impending defeat.
Meeting, as he went, a merchant of London who was known to him, he
charged him with a greeting to his fellow-citizens. “And say unto them
from me that when liberty and freedom was offered them they would not
accept it, neither would they admit me within their gates, who for
their freedom and the disburthening of their griefs and oppression by
strangers would have frankly spent my blood in that their cause and
quarrel; ... therefore they are the less to be bemoaned hereafter when
the miserable tyranny of strangers shall oppress them.”

It may be that by some amongst the men to whom the message was sent his
words were remembered thereafter.

Still the insurgents pushed on. By nine in the morning Knightsbridge
was reached. Disheartened, weary, and faint for lack of food, they
were in no condition to stand against the Queen’s troops. But the mere
fact of their vicinity was disquieting to those in no position to form
a correct estimate of their strength or weakness, and when Underhyll
returned to the palace he found confusion and turmoil there.

His men were stationed in the hall, which was to be their special
charge. Sir John Gage, with part of the guard, was placed outside the
gate, the rest of the guard were within the great courtyard; the Queen
occupying the gallery by the gatehouse, whence she could watch what
should befall.

This was the disposition of the defenders, when suddenly a body of the
rebels made their way to the very gates of the palace. A struggle took
place; Gage and three of the judges who had been with him retreated
hurriedly within the gates, Sir John, who was old, stumbling in his
haste and falling in the mire. Within all was in disorder. The gates
had clanged to behind Gage, his soldiers, and the men of law, as
they gained the shelter of the courtyard. Without the rebels were
using their bows and arrows. The guard stationed in the outer court,
attempting to make good their entrance to the hall, were forcibly
ejected by the gentlemen pensioners in charge of it. Poor Gage--“so
frighted that he could not speak to us”--and the three judges, also in
such terror that force would have been necessary to keep them out, were
alone admitted to the comparative safety it afforded.

There was in truth little reason for alarm. The manœuvre decided upon
during the night had been executed. The Queen’s troops, Pembroke at
their head, had deliberately permitted Wyatt to break through their
lines, and, with some hundreds of his men, to proceed eastward. Behind
him the enemy had closed up, and he was separated from the main body of
the rebels, thus left leaderless to be engaged by the royal forces. The
Queen’s orders had been successfully carried out. But to the anxious
watchers in the palace the affair may have worn the aspect of a defeat,
if not of a treason, and there were not wanting those who suspected
Pembroke of a betrayal of his trust. A shout was raised that all was
lost.

“Away, away! a barge, a barge!--let the Queen be placed in safety!” was
the cry.

Again Mary was to show that she was a Tudor. She would not beat a
retreat before rebels. Where, she inquired, was the Earl of Pembroke?
and receiving the answer that he was in the field, “Well then,” she
said, “fall to prayer, and I warrant you that we shall have better news
anon, for my lord will not deceive me, I know well. If he would, God
will not, in Whom my chief trust is, Who will not deceive me.”

Though it was well to have confidence in God, men with arms in their
hands would have liked to use them, and the pensioners entreated
Sir Richard Southwell, in authority within the palace, to have the
gates opened that they might try a fall with the enemy; else, they
threatened, they would break them down. It was too much shame that the
doors should be shut upon a few rebels.

Southwell was quite of the same mind; and, interceding with Mary,
obtained her leave for the pensioners to have their way, provided they
would not go out of her sight, since her trust was in them--a command
she reiterated as, the gates being thrown open, the band marched under
the gallery, where she still kept her place. It was not long before her
confidence in the commander of the royal troops was justified, and news
was brought that put an end to all fear. Wyatt was taken.

At the head of that body of his men who had been allowed to clear the
enemy’s lines, he had ridden on towards the City, had passed Temple
Bar and Fleet Street, till Ludgate was reached. There he halted. He
had kept his tryst, fulfilled the pledge he had given, and knocked,
as he had promised, at the gate. Let them open to him; Wyatt was
there--successful so long, he may have thought there was magic in the
name--Wyatt was there; the Queen had granted their requests.

The City remained unmoved; and, in terms of insult, Sir William Howard
refused him entrance.

“Avaunt, traitor,” he said, barring the way, “thou shalt not come in
here.”

It was the last blow. The poor chance that the City might have lent its
aid had constituted the single remaining possibility of a retrieval
of the fortunes of the insurrection. That vanished, the end was
inevitable. London had blustered, had expressed its detestation for the
Spanish match, had paraded its Protestantism; it was now plain that it
had not meant business, and the man who had taken it at its word was
doomed.

A strange little scene followed--a scene forming an interlude, as it
were, in the tumult and excitement of the hour. It may be that the
effects of the strain and fatigue of the last weeks, of the hopes
and fears that had filled them, of the march of the night before,
unlightened by any genuine anticipation of victory, were suddenly felt
by the man who had borne the burden and heat of the day. At any rate,
turning without further parley, he made his way back to the Bel Savage
Inn, and there “awhile stayed, and, as some say, rested him upon a
seat.” Sitting there, trapped by his enemies, in “the shirt of mail,
with sleeves very fair, velvet cassock, and the fair hat of velvet with
broad bone-work lace” he had worn that day, he may have looked on and
seen the future bounded by a scaffold. Then, rousing himself, he rose,
and returned by the way he had come, until Temple Bar was reached.

Though the combat was there renewed, all must have known that further
resistance was vain, and at length, yielding to a remonstrance at the
shedding of useless blood, Wyatt consented to acknowledge his defeat
and to yield himself a prisoner to Sir Maurice Berkeley. He had fought
the battle of many men who had taken no weapon in hand to support him.
When false hopes had at one time been entertained of his success “many
hollow hearts rejoiced in London at the same.” But scant sympathy will
have been shown to the vanquished.

It remained to consign the captives to the universal house of
detention. By five o’clock in the afternoon, as the spring day was
closing in, Wyatt and five of his comrades had been conducted to the
Tower by Jerningham. They arrived by water, and were met at the
bulwark by Sir Philip Denny, who greeted the prisoners with words of
fierce upbraiding.

“Go, traitor,” he said, as Wyatt passed by, “there was never such a
traitor in England.”

Wyatt turned upon him.

“I am no traitor,” he answered. “I would thou should well know thou art
more traitor than I; and it is not the part of an honest man to call me
so.”

He was right; but courtesy to the defeated was no article of the code
of the day. At the Tower Gate Sir John Bridges, the Lieutenant, stood,
likewise ready to receive and to revile his prisoners. To each in turn
he addressed some varied form of abuse, taking Wyatt, who came last, by
the collar “in very rigorous manner,” and shaking him.

“‘Thou villain and unhappy traitor,’ he cried, ... ‘if it were not that
the law must justly pass upon thee, I would strike thee through with my
dagger.’

“To whom Wyatt made no answer, but, holding his arms under his side,
and looking grievously with a grim look upon the said Lieutenant, said,
‘It is no mastery now,’ and so they passed on.”

Thus ended Wyatt’s rebellion. Together with her father’s treason, it
had sealed Lady Jane’s fate, and that of the boy-husband who shared her
captivity.



CHAPTER XXIII

1554

  Lady Jane and her husband doomed--Her dispute with
    Feckenham--Gardiner’s sermon--Farewell messages--Last
    hours--Guilford Dudley’s execution--Lady Jane’s death.


Those anxious days when the fortunes of England and its Queen appeared
once more to hang in the balance had sealed the fate of the prisoners
in the Tower. They must die. Mary had been warned that the clemency
shown to her little cousin was unwise; she had struggled against the
counsellors who had striven to convince her that the usurper, so long
as she lived, was a menace to the peace of the realm, and the stability
of her government. Their warnings had been justified, and Jane must pay
the penalty.

What was to be done was to be done quickly. It was perhaps feared
that, with leisure to reconsider the matter, the Queen would even now
retract her consent to deliver up the victim; nor was there any excuse
for delay. The boy and girl already lay under sentence of death; it
was only necessary to carry it into effect. So far as this life was
concerned Lady Jane’s doom was fixed.

It remained to take thought for her soul. With death staring them in
the face, many had been lately found willing to conform their faith
to the Queen’s. Why should it not be so with the Queen’s cousin? To
compass this object Mary’s chaplain, Dr. Feckenham, the new Dean of St.
Paul’s, was sent to plead with the captive, and to strive to reconcile
her with God and the Church before she went hence.

The ambassador was well chosen. Learned and devout, he had been bred
a Benedictine, and had, under Henry VIII., suffered imprisonment
on account of his faith; until Sir Philip Hoby, in his own words,
“borrowed him of the Tower.” Since then it had been his habit to hold
disputations, “earnest yet modest,” according to Fuller, in defence of
his religion, and was honoured by Mary and Elizabeth alike. This was
the man to whom was entrusted the difficult task of convincing Lady
Jane of her errors. It was scarcely to be anticipated that he would
succeed, but he seems to have performed the thankless duty laid upon
him with gentleness and good feeling.

Arrived at the Tower--his whilom place of captivity--Feckenham, after
some preliminary courtesies, disclosed the object of his visit, adding
certain persuasive arguments, to which the prisoner made reply that
he had delayed too long, and time was over-short to allow her to give
attention to these matters. The answer, in whatever sense it was
meant, was sufficiently ambiguous to afford a sanguine and anxious
man grounds for hope that, with leisure for discussion, he might
win a favourable hearing; considering his proposed convert “in very
good dispositions,” he went to seek the Queen; and, describing his
interview, had no difficulty in inducing her to grant a three-days’
reprieve. Friday, February 9, had been at first appointed for the
execution, and when--for reasons undisclosed to the public--it was
deferred until the following Monday, the change may have given rise
in some quarters to expectations unwarranted by the event. There were
those determined to hold Mary to her purpose.

On Sunday, the 11th, Gardiner preached before the Queen, dealing first
with the doctrine of free will; secondly, with the institution of
Lent; thirdly, with the necessity of good works; and fourthly, with
Protestant errors. After which he came to the practical question in all
men’s minds. He asked a boon of the Queen’s Highness--that, like as
she had beforetime extended her mercy, particularly and privately, so
through her lenity and gentleness much conspiracy and open rebellion
were grown, according to the proverb, _nimia familiaritas parit
contemptum_, which he brought in for the purpose that she would now
be merciful to the body of the Commonwealth and conservation thereof,
which could not be unless the rotten and hurtful members thereof
were cut off and consumed. “And thus he ended soon after, whereby all
the audience did gather there should shortly follow sharp and cruel
execution.”[214]

Whether or not Gardiner’s discourse was directed against a tendency to
waver in her intention on the part of his mistress, it was proved that
there was nothing in that direction to be apprehended. Meantime, armed
with the boon he had obtained, Feckenham had returned to the Tower, to
beg the captive to make use of the reprieve for the salvation of her
soul.

Lady Jane’s reply was not encouraging. She had not, she told him,
intended her words to be repeated to the Queen; she had already
abandoned worldly things, had no thought of fear, and was prepared to
meet death patiently in whatsoever form might please the Queen. To the
flesh it was indeed painful, but her soul was joyful at quitting this
darkness, and rising, as by God’s mercy she hoped to rise, to eternal
light.[215]

It was not to be expected that the priest, a good man, full of zeal for
his religion and of solicitude for the dying culprit, would consent
to relinquish, without an effort, the attempt to utilise the respite
he had been granted. Of what followed accounts vary, according to
the theological proclivities of the narrator of the scene, an early
pamphlet asserting that Feckenham, finding himself, in reasoning,
“in all holy gifts so short of [Lady Jane’s] excellence that he
acknowledged himself fitter to be her disciple than teacher, thereupon
humbly besought her to deliver unto him some brief sum of her faith
which he might hereafter keep, and as a faithful witness publish to
the world; to which she willingly condescended, and bade him boldly
question her in what points of religion soever it pleased him.”[216]

The attitude ascribed to Queen Mary’s chaplain would seem more likely
to be due to imagination than to fact. It appears, however, that a
species of “catechising argument” did in truth take place in the
presence of witnesses, an account of which was set down in writing, and
received Lady Jane’s signature. The only result of the discussion was
the strengthening rather than shaking of her convictions; and though it
was not until she stood upon the scaffold that the last farewells of
the disputants were taken, Feckenham must soon have been aware that his
efforts would be made in vain. It may be hoped that to the imagination
of the chronicler is again to be ascribed the manner of the parting of
the two on this first occasion, when, feeling himself to be worsted
in argument, Feckenham is said to have “grown into a little choler,”
and used language unsuitable to his gravity, received with smiles and
patience by the cause of his irritation. It is further stated that to
a final speech of her visitor, to the effect that he was sorry for her
obstinacy, and was certain that they would meet no more, Lady Jane, not
altogether with the meekness attributed to her, retorted that his words
were indeed most true, since, unless he should repent, he was in a sad
and desperate case, and she prayed God that, as He had given him His
great gift of utterance, He might open his heart to His truth.[217]

So the days passed, and the fatal one was at hand. On Saturday,
February 10, the Duke of Suffolk, with his brother, Lord John Grey,
had been brought prisoners to the Tower; but it does not appear
that any meeting took place between father and daughter, and Lady
Jane’s leave-taking was made in writing; sentences of farewell being
inscribed by her and her husband in a manual of prayers belonging, as
is conjectured, to the Lieutenant of the Tower, and used by her on the
scaffold. In this volume three sentences were written.

  “Your loving and obedient son,” wrote Guilford, “wisheth unto your
    Grace long life in this world, with as much joy and comfort as
    ever I wished to myself, and in the world to come joy everlasting.

  G. DUDDELEY.”

Jane’s farewell followed:

  “The Lord comfort your Grace, and that in His word wherein all
    creatures only are to be comforted. And though it has pleased God
    to take away two of your children, yet think not, I most humbly
    beseech your Grace, that you have lost them, but trust that we,
    by leaving this mortal life, have won an immortal life. And I,
    for my part, as I have honoured your Grace in this life, will
    pray for you in another life.

  “Your Grace’s humble daughter,
  “JANE DUDDELEY.”

The same book bears another inscription addressed to the Lieutenant of
the Tower, Bridges, apparently at his own request.

  “Forasmuch as you have desired,” Jane wrote, “so simple a woman to
    write in so worthy a book, good Master Lieutenant, therefore I
    shall as a friend desire you, and as a Christian require you, to
    call upon God to incline your heart to His laws, to quicken you
    in His way, and not to take the word of truth utterly out of your
    mouth. Live still to die, that by death you may purchase eternal
    life, and remember the end of Methuselah, who, as we read in the
    Scriptures, was the longest liver that was of a man, died at the
    last; for as the preacher saith, there is a time to be born and a
    time to die, and the day of death is better than the day of our
    birth. Yours, as the Lord knoweth, as a friend,

  “JANE DUDDELEY.”

Such an admonition to the Lieutenant, written when death was very near,
is characteristic. It was ever Lady Jane’s custom to use her pen, and
the habit clung to her. Tradition asserts that three sentences, the one
in Greek, the other in Latin, and the third in English, were written by
her in yet another book; and though it has been argued that she would
have been in no condition to compose epigrams in the dead languages
at a moment when death was staring her in the face, there is nothing
improbable in the story, unsupported as it is by evidence. As a man
lives, he dies; and Jane had been a scholar and a moralist from her
cradle.

“If justice dwells in my body”--thus the sentences are said to have
run--“my soul will receive it from the mercy of God.--Death will pay
the penalty of my fault, but my soul will be justified before the Face
of God.--If my fault merited chastisement, my youth, at least, and my
imprudence, deserved excuse. God and posterity will show me grace.”

A letter of exhortation addressed to her sister Katherine likewise
remains, another proof of her desire to impress upon others the lessons
life had taught her. Having been reading, the night before her death,
in “a fair New Testament in Greek,” she found, on closing it, some
few leaves of clean paper, unwritten, at the end of the volume, and
made use of them to convey her final farewell to the sister she was
leaving behind, giving it in charge to her servant as a token of love
and remembrance. As might have been expected, with the thought of
the morrow before her, death was the recurrent burden of her theme.
“Live still to die,” she told little Katherine, as she had told the
Lieutenant of the Tower, “and that by death you may purchase eternal
life; and trust not that the tenderness of your age shall lengthen your
life ... for as soon will the Lord be glorified in the young as in
the old.... Once more let me entreat thee to learn to die.... Desire
with St. Paul to be dissolved and to be with Christ, with whom even in
death there is life.... As touching my death, rejoice as I do ... that
I shall be delivered of this corruption and put on incorruption; for I
am assured that I shall, for losing of a mortal life, win one that is
immortal, joyful, and everlasting.”

Another composition is extant, said to belong to this last period, and
showing the writer, it may be, in a more pathetic light than that
thrown upon her by disputes with controversialists, or exhortations to
those she left behind. This is a prayer, exhibiting not so much the
premature woman as the child--a child, it is true, facing death with
steadfast faith and resignation, but nevertheless frightened, unhappy,
“unquieted with troubles, wrapped in cares, overwhelmed with miseries,
vexed with temptations ... craving Thy mercy and help, without the
which so little hope of deliverance is left that I may utterly despair
of my liberty.”[218]

Of liberty it was, in truth, time to despair. It is said that for two
hours on this last night two bishops, with other divines, made a vain
attempt to accomplish the conversion that Feckenham had failed to
effect[218]; after which we may hope that, worn out and exhausted, the
prisoner forgot her troubles in sleep. And so the night passed away.

In another part of the great fortress young Guilford Dudley was also
preparing for the end. It is said[219] that, “desiring to give his wife
the last kisses and embraces,” he begged for an interview, but that she
refused the request--not disallowed by Mary--replying that, could sight
have given souls comfort, she would have been very willing; that since
it would only increase the misery of each, and bring greater grief, it
would be best to put off their meeting, since soon they would see each
other in another place and live joined for ever by an indissoluble tie.
If the story is true, there is something a little inhuman--or perhaps
only belonging to the coldness of a child--in the wisdom which, at that
moment, could weigh and balance the disadvantages of a leave-taking and
refuse it. It is not, however, out of character.

It had been at first intended that the two should suffer together
on Tower Hill. Fearing the effect upon the populace, the order was
cancelled, and it was decided that, whilst Guilford’s execution should
take place as originally arranged, Lady Jane should meet her death
within the precincts of the Tower itself. As the lad, led to his doom,
passed below her window, the two looked upon each other for the last
time. Young Dudley met the end bravely. Taking Sir Anthony Browne,
John Throckmorton and others by the hand, he asked their prayers;
then, attended by no priest or minister, he knelt to pray, “holding up
his eyes and hands to God many times,” before the executioner did his
work and he went to join the father who was responsible for his fate,
“bewailed with lamentable tears” even by those of the spectators who
till that day had never seen him.[220]

A ghastly incident, variously recorded, followed. His body thrown into
a cart, and his head wrapped in a cloth, he was brought into the
Tower chapel, where Lady Jane, having probably left her apartments
on her way to her own place of execution, encountered the cart and
those in charge of it, seeing the husband who had passed beneath her
window a few minutes earlier living, taken from it a corpse--a sight
to her, says the chronicler, no less than death. It “a little startled
her,” observes another narrator, “and many tears were seen to descend
and fall upon her cheeks, which her silence and great heart soon
dried.”[221] According to a third account, she addressed the dead.

“Oh, Guilford, Guilford,” she is made to exclaim, “the antepast that
you have tasted and I shall soon taste, is not so bitter as to make
my flesh tremble; for all this is nothing to the feast that you and I
shall partake this day in Paradise.”

It had been ten o’clock when Guilford had left his prison. By the time
that the first act of the tragedy was over, a scaffold had been erected
upon the green over against the White Tower, and led by the Lieutenant,
the chief victim was brought forth, “her countenance nothing abashed,
neither her eyes moisted with tears,”[222] as she moved onwards, a book
in her hand--the same she gave afterwards to Sir John Bridges--from
which she prayed all the way until the scaffold was reached. With
her were her two gentlewomen, Elizabeth Tylney and Eleyn, who both
“wonderfully wept” as they accompanied their mistress; and Feckenham
was also present, her kindly opponent, perhaps even now hoping against
hope that success might crown his efforts. As the two stood together at
the place of execution, she took him by the hand, and, embracing him,
bade him leave her--desiring, it may be, to spare him the sight of what
was to follow. Might God our Lord, she said, give him all his desires;
she was grateful for his company, although it had given her more
disquiet than, now, the fear of death.[223]

Like most of her fellow-sufferers she had come prepared with a speech.
That her sentence was lawful she admitted, but reasserted the absence
on her part of any desire for her elevation to the throne, “touching
the procurement and desire thereof by me or my half, I do wash my hands
in innocency before God and the face of you, good Christian people,
this day,” and therewith she wrung her hands, in which she had her
book; proceeding to make confession of the faith in which she died,
owning that she had neglected the word of God, and loved herself and
the world, and thereby merited her punishment. “And yet I thank God
that He hath thus given me time and respite to repent. And now, good
people, while I am alive, I pray you to assist me with your prayers.”

After this, kneeling down, she turned to Feckenham, who had not availed
himself of her suggestion that he should leave her.

“Shall I say this psalm?” she asked him; and on his assenting repeated
the _Miserere_ in English, before, rising again, she prepared for the
end, giving her book to Bridges, brother to the Lieutenant, who stood
by, and her gloves and handkerchief to one of her ladies. With her
own hands she untied her gown, rejecting the aid of the executioner,
and, turning to her maids for assistance, removed her “frose
paast”--probably some kind of head-dress--let down her hair, throwing
it over her eyes, and knit a “fair handkerchief” about them.

After kneeling for her forgiveness, the executioner directed her to
take her place on the straw.

“Then she said,

“‘I pray you despatch me quickly.’

“Then she kneeled down, saying,

“‘Will you take it off before I lay me down?’

“And the hangman answered her,

“‘No, madame.’”

The handkerchief was bound about her eyes, blinding her.

“What shall I do?” she said, feeling for the block. “Where is it?”

Then, as some one standing near guided her, she laid down her head,
and saying, “Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” met the blow of
the executioner.

Thus died Lady Jane Grey, most guiltless of traitors; who, to quote
Fuller’s panegyric, possessed, at sixteen, the innocency of childhood,
the beauty of youth, the solidity of middle, and the gravity of old,
age; who had had the birth of a princess, the learning of a clerk, the
life of a saint, and the death of a malefactor.



INDEX


  Annebaut, Admiral d’, French ambassador, 33

  Arundel, Earl of, 222, 236, 240, 241, 242, 247, 249-51, 253, 262, 287

  Ascham, Roger, 141-4, 152

  Ashley, Katherine, Princess Elizabeth’s governess, 88-91, 110, 115,
          116

  Ashridge, Princess Elizabeth at, 294

  Askew, Anne, Trial and execution of, 36-41

  Aylmer, John, Lady Jane’s tutor, 143, 149, 150, 152, 154-7, 165


  Baker, Sir Richard, 204

  Barnes, Dr., burnt, 6

  Bath, Earl of, 231

  Baynard’s Castle, Meeting at, 240

  Bel Savage Inn, Wyatt at, 309

  Berkeley, Sir Maurice, Wyatt surrenders to, 309

  Bloody Statute, The, 4

  Bodoaro, Venetian ambassador to Charles V., 198

  Bonner, Dr., Bishop of London, 32, 38, 175, 255, 256

  Borough, Lord, Katherine Parr’s first husband, 19

  Bradgate Park, 25 _seq._

  Brandon, Charles, Duke of Suffolk, 24

  Bret, Captain, 296

  Bridges, Sir John, Lieutenant of the Tower, 300, 310, 317, 318

  Bromley, Sir Thomas, 204

  Browne, Sir Anthony, 61, 166, 261, 321

  Bucer, the reformer, 150, 151

  Bullinger, Henry, 145-55, 161, 165, 179, 180, 211

  Burgoyne, 159


  Calvin, 159

  Cecil, Secretary, 160, 179, 227, 240

  Charles V., The Emperor, 2, 49, 176, 277, 288

  Cheke, John, Edward VI.’s tutor, 22

  Clerkenwell, Lady Jane visits Mary at, 183

  Commendone, the Pope’s agent, 262

  Corriers, Sieur de, 290

  Courtenay, Edward, afterwards Earl of Devonshire, 255, 275-7, 280,
          290, 292-4

  Cox, Dr., tutor to Edward VI., 22

  Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 7, 8-10, 59, 62, 72, 131, 133, 135,
          152, 153, 174, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285

  Crofts, Sir John, 294

  Crome, Dr., 34

  Cromwell, Thomas, 5;
    executed, 6, 7

  Culpeper, Thomas, 11


  Darcy, Lord, 240, 256

  Day, Bishop, 175

  Denmark, King of, 277

  Denny, Sir Anthony, 58

  -- Sir Philip, 310

  Deptford, Wyatt at, 297

  Diego, Don, 229

  Dorset, Marchioness of, afterwards Duchess of Suffolk. _See_ Suffolk

  Dorset, Marquis of, afterwards Duke of Suffolk. _See_ Suffolk

  Dudley, Lord Guilford, married to Lady Jane Grey, 196 _seq._, 221,
          222, 229, 237, 238, 283;
    attainted and sentenced, 284-6, 289, 316, 320;
    executed, 321, 322

  -- Sir Ambrose, 284

  -- _See_ Warwick and Northumberland


  Edward, Prince, afterwards Edward VI., 1;
    education, 22, 23;
    relations with Lady Jane, 28;
    and with Elizabeth, 29;
    his coronation, 62;
    his uncles, 83-85, 134-8, 162, 163, 169-71;
    illness, 172, 173, 175;
    religious scruples, 176;
    dying, 189, 193, 194, 199;
    his will, 202-7;
    death, 209;
    funeral, 256

  Egmont, Count of, 290

  Eleyn, Lady Jane Grey’s attendant, 323

  Elizabeth, Princess, 1, 13, 20, 29;
    Seymour her suitor, 70, 71, 73, 78;
    relations with Seymour, 88-91, 95, 108 _seq._, 155, 156;
    set aside by Edward’s will, 203;
    enters London with Mary, 253-5, 278, 279;
    at Mary’s coronation, 280, 281, 283, 292, 294

  Eyre, Christopher, 122


  Feckenham, Dr., Dean of St. Paul’s, 312, 314, 315, 316, 323, 324

  Fitzpatrick, Barnaby, 23, 162, 172, 208

  Florio, Michel Angelo, 192, 245

  Fowler, John, 85

  Fuller, quoted, 69, 159, 325


  Gage, Sir John, Constable of the Tower, 263, 305, 306

  Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, 7, 13, 16, 32, 39, 42 _seq._, 60, 64,
          175, 255, 262, 286, 287, 288, 313, 314

  Garrard, burned, 6

  Gates, Sir John, 204, 215, 256;
    sentenced, 263, 265;
    executed, 266

  Grey, Lady Jane, 2, 23;
    childhood and education, 26;
    relations with her cousins, 28-30;
    consigned to Seymour’s custody, 67 _seq._;
    her parents’ severity, 69;
    with Queen Katherine Parr, 77 _seq._;
    reclaimed by her parents, 100-104;
    sent back to Seymour, 105-107, 166;
    return to Bradgate, 139;
    interview with Ascham, 141-4;
    intercourse with Protestant divines, 145-52;
    love of dress, 154, 155, 156, 165;
    visits Mary, 173;
    letter to Bullinger, 178, 179;
    visit to Mary, 183;
    at Tylsey, 188;
    her eulogists, 190, 191;
    Florio’s description of her, 192;
    her marriage, 196 _seq._;
    made Edward’s heiress, 203, _seq._;
    receives the news, 212, 217-220;
    at the Tower, 220;
    quarrels with Guilford Dudley, 221, 222;
    proclaimed, 223;
    her reign, 225;
    begs that her father may remain in London, 232;
    takes leave of Northumberland, 233;
    deposed, 244-6;
    returns to Sion House, _ibid._, 264;
    her fate uncertain, 269, 270, 271;
    conversation in the Tower, 271-4;
    letter to Hardinge 279, 280;
    attainted, 284;
    tried and sentenced, 285;
    indulgence shown her, 289, 295;
    her fate sealed, 311;
    interviews with Feckenham, 312, 314-16;
    her written farewells, 317-19;
    refuses to see Guilford Dudley, 320, 321;
    meets his body, 322;
    her execution, 323-5

  Grey, Lady Katherine, 196;
    Lady Jane’s letter to, 319

  -- Lord John, 293, 316

  -- Lord Leonard, 293

  -- _See_ Suffolk


  Haddon, James, 148, 149, 165, 179-83

  Hardinge, Lady Jane’s letter to, 279, 280

  Harper, Sir George, 296, 301

  Harrington, Lord Seymour’s servant, 67, 68, 104

  Hastings, Lord, 196

  -- Sir Edward, 298

  Heath, Bishop, 175

  Henry VIII., King, 1 _seq._, 34, 35, 36;
    displeased with his wife, 44 _seq._;
    reconciled with her, 47;
    dying, 48;
    death, 56 _seq._

  Herbert, Lady, 43, 45, 75

  -- Lord, of Cherbury, quoted, 44

  Hertford, Lord, son of the Protector, 87, 106

  -- _See_ Somerset

  Hoby, Sir Philip, 228, 229, 313

  Hooper, Bishop, 149

  Howard, Sir William, 308

  Hunsdon, Mary at, 184

  Huntingdon, Earl of, 218, 256

  Huyck, Dr. Robert, 98


  Jerningham, Captain of the Guard, 297, 309

  Jerome, burned, 6


  Katherine, Queen, of Aragon, 3

  -- Howard, Queen, 10, 11, 12

  -- Parr, Queen, 12;
    marriage to Henry, 13;
    her past, 14, 15;
    as Queen, 17 _seq._;
    Protestant sympathies, 41;
    plot against her, 43 _seq._;
    her escape, 47;
    Queen-dowager, 65;
    marriage to Lord Seymour, 69-77;
    married life, 80 _seq._;
    illness and death, 96-9

  Kett’s Rebellion, 130, 232


  Laing, Count of, 290

  Lane, Lady, Katherine Parr’s cousin, 43, 45

  Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, 5, 6, 94, 129, 130, 281, 282

  -- Lord, Katherine Parr’s second husband, 18

  Lee, Sir Richard a, 131

  Lovell, Thomas, 236, 251


  Maeterlinck, quoted, 78

  Mary Stuart, 1, 2, 128

  -- Tudor, Princess, afterwards Queen, 1, 13, 18, 19, 29-32, 59, 73,
          76, 155;
    quarrels with Council, 174-7;
    visited by Ridley, 184-6;
    set aside in Edward’s will, 203;
    plot against, 214;
    escape, 215, 216;
    at Kenninghall, 226, 227;
    popular enthusiasm for, 230, 231;
    successful, 238 _seq._;
    proclaimed, 242, 247, 248;
    enters London, 253, 254;
    at the Tower, 255, 256, 258, 268, 269-71;
    marriage question, 275 _seq._;
    coronation, 280, 281;
    Spanish match, 286 _seq._;
    at the Guildhall, 299;
    conduct during Wyatt’s Rebellion, 300 _seq._, 311, 313, 314

  Mary of Lorraine, Queen-Dowager of Scotland, 156, 165

  Michele, Venetian ambassador, 198

  Montagu, Sir Edward, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, 204, 205, 206

  Morysine, Sir Richard, 228, 229


  Newhall, Mary and Lady Jane at, 173

  Noailles, French ambassador, 193, 194, 207, 208, 243, 276, 279, 280,
          281, 296

  Norfolk, Duke of, 52;
    imprisoned, 55, 159, 255, 259, 296, 297

  Northampton, Earl of, at first Lord Parr, 16, 93, 106, 158, 204, 255,
          259, 269

  Northumberland, Duchess of, 212, 218, 222, 228

  -- Duke of, at first Earl of Warwick, 82, 128, 132, 133, 145, 157;
    his unpopularity, 160, 161, 164, 169, 170, 171;
    his schemes, 189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 200;
    his character, 201;
    dictates Edward’s will, 202, 203, 205, 206, 207, 208, 212;
    his conspiracy, 215, 216;
    at Sion House with Lady Jane, 218 _seq._;
    commander of the forces, 232-6;
    fall and arrest, 247-51;
    trial and sentence, 259 _seq._;
    recantation, 263;
    execution, 266;
    burial, 268;
    discussed by Lady Jane, 272, 273


  Ormond, Earl of, 297

  Owen, Dr., 209


  Paget, Lady, 72

  -- Secretary, 72, 131, 132, 133, 135, 247

  Palmer, Sir Thomas, 262, 266, 267, 268

  Parkhurst, Rev. John, 98

  Parr, Lord. _See_ Northampton

  Parry, Princess Elizabeth’s Cofferer, 88, 114, 115, 116

  Partridge’s lodging in the Tower, Lady Jane at, 271 _seq._

  Pellican, Conrad, 147

  Pembroke, Earl of, 196, 218, 222, 238, 241;
    proclaims Mary, 242, 243, 306, 307

  Petre, Secretary of the Council, 240

  Philip, Prince of Spain, 277, 286, 291, 292, 293

  Piedmont, Prince of, 277

  Pinkie, Battle of, 128

  Pole, Cardinal, 275

  “Poor Pratte,” 230

  Portugal, Infant of, 277

  Powell, Dr., hanged, 6

  Poynings, Sir Nicholas, 300


  Raleigh, Sir Walter, quoted, 1, 58

  Renard, Simon, imperial envoy, 270, 286, 287

  “Resident in the Tower,” The, 271 _seq._

  Rich, Lord Chancellor, 159, 160

  Richmond, Duchess of, 52, 53

  Ridley, Bishop, 184-6, 239, 252, 281

  Russell, Lord, Privy Seal, 113


  Sandys, Dr., Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, 248, 249

  Seymour, Sir Thomas, Lord Admiral, afterwards Lord Seymour of
          Sudeley, 13;
    Katherine Parr’s lover, 14, 15, 17;
    opposes his brother, 64;
    obtains Lady Jane’s custody, 66, 67, 68;
    is suitor to Elizabeth, 70, 71;
    marries Katherine Parr, 72-7, 81, 82, 83 _seq._;
    relations with Elizabeth, 88-91;
    his wife’s death, 96 _seq._;
    again Elizabeth’s suitor, 108 _seq._;
    in the Tower, 117, 122, 123;
    trial and execution, 124, 125

  -- _See_ Somerset

  Shaxton, Nicholas, 40

  Shrewsbury, Earl of, 242

  Sion House, Lady Jane at, 213 _seq._

  Somerset, Duchess of, 82, 83, 136, 255

  -- Edward Seymour, Duke of, at first Earl of Hertford, 13;
    rivalry between him and Surrey, 50 _seq._;
    Lord Protector, 61;
    and Duke of Somerset, 63;
    campaign in Scotland, 64;
    dissensions with his brother, 64, 65, 71, 81, 82, 83, 84, 92, 96,
          109;
    his wealth, 127;
    in danger, 130 _seq._;
    prisoner, 135;
    pardoned, 136;
    in the Tower, 157 _seq._;
    trial, 161;
    execution, 165, 166, 167;
    his spoils, 197, 213

  Southwell, Sir Richard, 307

  Sudeley Castle, 80, 93

  Suffolk, Duchess of, at first Marchioness of Dorset, Lady Jane Grey’s
          mother, 24, 27, 36, 102, 103, 105, 142, 145, 148, 218

  Suffolk, Duke of, at first Marquis of Dorset, 24, 62, 67, 68, 100-7,
          142, 148;
    created Duke, 178, 179, 231, 232, 233, 242, 243, 244, 245, 252, 253,
          293, 295, 316, 317

  Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of, 48 _seq._, 54;
    trial, 55;
    execution, 56

  Sydney, Lady, 213


  Throckmorton House, 215

  -- John, 321

  -- Lady, 243, 244

  -- Sir Nicholas, 111, 202, 215, 216, 243 note

  Traheron, 152

  Tudor, Mary, daughter of Henry VII., 24

  -- _See_ Mary

  Tunstall, Bishop of Durham, 255

  Tylney, Elizabeth, 323

  Tyrwhitt, Lady, 43, 97, 98, 112, 120, 121

  Tyrwhitt, Sir Robert, 112, 118, 119, 120, 121


  Ulmis, John ab, 146, 147, 153, 161, 180

  Underhyll, Edward, the “Hot-Gospeller,” 243, 302-5


  Warwick, Earl of. _See_ Northumberland

  -- Earl of, son to Duke of Northumberland, 249, 259, 265, 268, 269

  Weston, Dr., 298

  Wharton, Sir Thomas, 186

  Wightman, Sir Thomas Seymour’s servant, 111

  Winchester, Marquis of, 221, 239, 240, 256

  Wriothesley, Chancellor, and afterwards Earl of Southampton, 16, 32,
          40, 47, 60, 61

  Wyatt, Sir Thomas, rebel leader, 293, 295 _seq._, 307, 309, 310


_Printed by Hazell, Watson & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury._



FOOTNOTES


[1] Hall’s _Chronicle_.

[2] Martin Hume, _The Wives of Henry VIII._, p. 447.

[3] Ellis’s _Original Letters_, Series III., vol. iii., p. 203.

[4] _Grey Friar’s Chronicle_ (Camden Society), p. 44.

[5] Martin Hume, _Wives of Henry VIII._, p. 344.

[6] Holinshed.

[7] Strype’s _Memorials of Archbishop Cranmer_.

[8] Hall’s _Chronicle_.

[9] _Spanish Chronicle of Henry VIII._, translated by Martin Hume.

[10] Hayward’s _Life of Edward VI._

[11] Sir H. Ellis, _Original Letters_.

[12] _Calendar, Henry VIII._, vol. xviii., p. 1.

[13] Speed.

[14] _Chronicle of Henry VIII._, translated by Martin Hume.

[15] Martin Hume, _Wives of Henry VIII._, p. 438.

[16] Heylyn’s _Reformation_.

[17] Heylyn’s _Reformation_.

[18] Andrew Bloxam.

[19] _Calendar of State Papers_ (Venetian), p. 346.

[20] It is stated in the _Dictionary of National Biography_ that Lady
Jane was attached to the Queen’s household in 1546, but I am unable
to discover any proof of the fact. Speed, in his chronicle, makes two
or three mentions of her, from which other biographers have concluded
that she was in close attendance on Katherine Parr during the King’s
lifetime. But it seems clear that he made a confusion between Lady
_Jane_, the King’s great-niece, and Lady _Lane_, Katherine’s cousin,
born Maud Parr, who was at that time a member of her household.

[21] Naunton.

[22] Foxe, _Acts and Monuments_.

[23] _Grey Friars’ Chronicle_ (Camden Society), p. 50.

[24] G. Leti, _Vie d’Elizabeth, Reine d’Angleterre_, t. i., p. 153.

[25] _Grey Friars’ Chronicle_ (Camden Society), p. 51.

[26] Ellis’s _Original Letters_, Series II., vol. ii., p. 176.

[27] Lord Herbert of Cherbury, _Life of Henry VIII._, p. 537.

[28] N. D., quoted, with disapproval, by Speed.

[29] Lingard, _History_, vol. v., p. 200.

[30] Foxe, _Acts and Monuments_.

[31] Dr. Lingard, quoting the narrative attributed to Anne, credits
neither it nor the addition for which Foxe is responsible, stating
that there is no other instance of a woman being subjected to
torture, that a written order from the Lords of the Council was
necessary before it could be inflicted, and that it was not customary
for either the Chancellor or his colleagues to be present on these
occasions.--_History_, vol. v., p. 201.

[32] Foxe, _Acts and Monuments_.

[33] _Life of Henry VIII._, p. 561.

[34] Speed, and Miss Strickland following him, read the name “Jane.”

[35] _Acts and Monuments_, Speed’s _Chronicle_, Lord Herbert of
Cherbury, etc.

[36] Bapst, _Deux Gentilshommes Poëtes_, p. 275.

[37] Bapst, _Deux Gentilshommes Poëtes_, p. 287.

[38] Lord Herbert of Cherbury, _Life of Henry VIII._, p. 564.

[39] _Ibid._, p. 563.

[40] _Chronicle of King Henry VIII. of England_ (translated by Martin
Hume), p. 182.

[41] _Chronicle of Henry VIII._ (tr. by Martin Hume), p. 152.

[42] Bapst, _Deux Gentilshommes Poëtes_, p. 346.

[43] _Grey Friars’ Chronicle_, p. 52.

[44] _Chronicle of Henry VIII._ (tr. by Martin Hume), p. 147.

[45] _Chronicle of Henry VIII._ (tr. by Martin Hume), p. 148.

[46] Foxe, _Acts and Monuments_, vol. v., p. 689.

[47] _History of the World._

[48] _Chronicle of Henry VIII._ (tr. by Martin Hume), p. 152.

[49] _Acts and Monuments_, vol. v., p. 689.

[50] _Acts and Monuments_, vol. v., p. 691.

[51] _Literary Remains of Edward VI._, Roxburgh Club, ed. Nichols.

[52] Hayward’s _Life of Edward VI._, p. 82.

[53] Leti, _Vie de la Reine Elizabeth_, p. 166.

[54] Haynes, _State Papers_. It is difficult to distinguish between
statements relating to the negotiations with regard to Lady Jane
carried on at this date, and those taking place eighteen months later.

[55] Tytler, _England under Edward VI. and Mary_, vol. i.

[56] Fuller’s _Worthies_.

[57] Leti, _Vie de la Reine Elizabeth_, p. 163.

[58] _Chronicle of Henry VIII._, p. 158.

[59] Leti, _Vie de la Reine Elizabeth_, p. 170.

[60] Haynes, _State Papers_.

[61] _An Historical Account of Sudeley Castle._

[62] Quoted by Strype.

[63] _Chronicle of Henry VIII._, p. 156.

[64] Hayward, _Life of Edward VI._, p. 82.

[65] Heylyn’s _Reformation_, p. 71.

[66] Haynes, _State Papers_.

[67] _Ibid._

[68] Haynes, _State Papers_.

[69] _State Papers._ Quoted in Strickland’s _Queens of England_, vol.
iii., p. 272.

[70] Haynes, _State Papers_.

[71] Haynes, _State Papers_.

[72] Leti is responsible for it.

[73] Haynes, _State Papers_, p. 96.

[74] Tytler, _Edward and Mary_, vol. i., p. 70.

[75] Haynes, _State Papers_, p. 61.

[76] _Ibid._

[77] Quoted _Remains of Edward VI._

[78] Tytler, _Edward and Mary_, vol. i.

[79] Haynes, _State Papers_, pp. 103, 104.

[80] Miss Strickland, _Queens of England_, vol. iii., p 281.

[81] Haynes, _State Papers_, pp. 77, 78.

[82] Haynes, _State Papers_, pp. 78, 79.

[83] Tytler, _Edward VI. and Mary_, vol. i., p. 134.

[84] Haynes, _State Papers_, p. 76.

[85] _Ibid._, pp. 79, 80.

[86] _Chronicle of King Henry VIII._, p. 163.

[87] Haynes, _State Papers_, p. 89.

[88] Haynes, _State Papers_.

[89] Haynes, _State Papers_, p. 109.

[90] Haynes, _State Papers_, p. 98.

[91] Haynes, _State Papers_, p. 108.

[92] Haynes, _State Papers_, p. 71.

[93] Haynes, _State Papers_, p. 106.

[94] Latimer’s _Sermons_, quoted by Lingard, _History_, vol. v., p. 279.

[95] Leti, _Vie de la Reine Elizabeth_.

[96] Lingard, _History_, vol. v., p. 293.

[97] Strype’s _Ecclesiastical Memorials_, vol. ii., p. 2.

[98] Tytler, _Edward VI. and Mary_, vol. i., p. 174.

[99] Holinshed, vol. iii., p. 1014.

[100] _Chronicle of King Henry VIII._, p. 187.

[101] See Tytler, _Edward VI. and Mary_, vol. i., p. 241. Dr. Lingard
expresses doubts as to the document upon which Tytler relies, and
Froude acquits the Council of treachery.

[102] Tytler, _Edward VI. and Mary_, vol. i., p. 242.

[103] _Chronicle of King Henry VIII._, p. 192.

[104] Foxe, _Acts and Monuments_, vol. vi., pp. 351, 352.

[105] Ascham describes her as fifteen--a manifest error.

[106] Roger Ascham, _The Schoolmaster_, bk. ii.

[107] Ascham, _The Schoolmaster_, bk. i.

[108] _Zurich Letters_, Parker Society.

[109] _Ibid._

[110] _Zurich Letters_, vol. ii., Parker Society, p. 399.

[111] _Ibid._, p. 427.

[112] _Zurich Letters_, vol. ii., p. 430.

[113] _Zurich Letters_, p. 433.

[114] There is little mention of Lady Jane’s mother in contemporary
records. But the nature of the woman, and her heritage of Tudor blood,
is sufficiently indicated by the fact that not a fortnight after her
husband had been executed, and about a month after Lady Jane’s death
she bestowed herself in marriage upon her equerry.

[115] Becon’s _Jewel of Joy_, Parker Society.

[116] _Zurich Letters_, p. 103.

[117] _Zurich Letters_, vol. i., p. 5.

[118] _Zurich Letters_, vol. i., p. 72.

[119] _Zurich Letters_, vol. i., pp. 76, 77.

[120] _Church History_, vol. i., p. 338.

[121] _Church History_, vol. i., p. 340.

[122] _Zurich Letters_, vol. ii., p. 441.

[123] Fuller’s _Church History_, vol. i., p. 341.

[124] Ellis’s _Original Letters_, Series III., vol. i., p. 216.

[125] Heylyn’s _Reformation_, vol. ii., p. 7.

[126] Soranzo’s Report (_Venetian Calendar_), p. 535.

[127] Strype’s _Ecclesiastical Memorials_, vol. ii., p. 2.

[128] _Venetian Calendar_, p. 535.

[129] Fuller’s _Church History_, vol, i., p. 345.

[130] _Zurich Letters_, vol. ii., p. 466. Meaning that Cranmer, who had
already been married some years, had brought his wife from Germany, and
owned her openly. See Strype.

[131] Two victims were burnt for heresy, Joan Bocher and a Dutch
surgeon, named Pariss. A priest is also stated by Wriothesley to have
been hanged and quartered, July 7, 1548.

[132] _Zurich Letters_, pp. 281 _et seq._

[133] Foxe, _Acts and Monuments_, vol. vi., pp. 354-5. Heylyn’s
_Reformation_.

[134] Speed’s _Chronicle_, p. 1122.

[135] Heylyn’s _Reformation_, vol. i., p. 291.

[136] Rosso, _Succesi d’Inghilterra_, p. 5.

[137] Wriothesley’s _Chronicle_, vol. ii., p. 82.

[138] _Ibid._

[139] Florio’s _Life_, p. 27.

[140] _Ibid._, p. 28.

[141] _Ibid._

[142] Heylyn’s _Reformation_, p. 297.

[143] _Ambassades de Noailles_; Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements sur
l’Histoire de Marie_.

[144] Wriothesley’s _Chronicle_, vol. ii., p. 79.

[145] _Reformation_, vol. i., p. 294.

[146] Heylyn’s _Reformation_, vol. i., p. 294.

[147] Griffet, _Éclaircissements_, etc., p. 16.

[148] _Ambassades de Noailles_, vol. i., p. 49.

[149] _Ibid._, p. 57.

[150] Quoted in Strickland’s _Queen Mary_.

[151] Fuller’s _Church History_, vol. i., pp. 369 _et seq._

[152] Rosso, _Succesi d’Inghilterra_.

[153] Griffet’s _Éclaircissements_, etc.

[154] Foxe’s _Acts and Monuments_, vol. vi., p. 352.

[155] The paper is only to be found in two Italian histories, Pollini’s
_Istoria Ecclesiastica della Rivoluzione d’Inghilterra_ and Raviglio
Rosso’s account of the events following upon Edward’s death, stated to
be partly drawn from the despatches of Bodoaro. The discrepancies here
and there in the translation point to both having had access to an
English version.

[156] _History of Syon Monastery_, Aungier.

[157] _Chronicle of Queen Jane_ (Camden Society), p. 2.

[158] Speed’s _Chronicle_, p. 1127.

[159] Heylyn makes Durham House the scene of the announcement. In
this he seems clearly to be mistaken, as it is stated in the _Grey
Friar’s Chronicle_ that she was brought down the river from Richmond to
Westminster, and so to the Tower.

[160] _The Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_ (Camden Society), p.
3.

[161] Letter from Jane to Mary, Pollini’s _Istoria Ecclesiastica della
Rivoluzione d’Inghilterra_, pp. 355-8.

[162] Rosso, _Succesi d’Inghilterra_, p. 13.

[163] Rosso, _Succesi d’Inghilterra_, p. 9.

[164] Heylyn’s _Reformation_.

[165] Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements_.

[166] Strype’s _Memorials_.

[167] _Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_, ed. John Nichols
(Camden Society), App., pp. 116-121.

[168] The foregoing details are mostly taken from Stowe’s _Chronicle_.
At this point _The Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_ by a
Resident in the Tower (Camden Society), takes up the tale. The
anonymous author plainly speaks from personal knowledge, and is the
principal authority for this period.

[169] Grafton’s _Chronicle_.

[170] Heylyn’s _Reformation_.

[171] Fuller’s _Worthies_.

[172] Tytler’s _Edward and Mary_, vol. ii., p. 202.

[173] Rosso’s _Succesi_.

[174] Rosso’s _Succesi_.

[175] Quoted in _Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_, p. 11.

[176] This fact, together with Sir Nicholas’s subsequent trial, seems
to throw doubt upon the veracity of his versified account of the
services he had rendered to Mary.

[177] _Biog. Brit._ Quoted in _Lady Jane Grey’s Literary Remains_.

[178] _L’Istoria Ecclesiastica della Rivoluzione d’Inghilterra._
Pollini, pp. 274, 275. Rosso’s _Succesi_, p. 20.

[179] M. A. Florio, _Vita_, pp. 58, 59.

[180] _Dictionary of National Biography._

[181] Rosso, _Succesi_, p. 23.

[182] _Chronicle of Queen Jane_, etc., pp. 10, 11.

[183] Foxe, _Acts and Monuments_.

[184] _Chronicle of Queen Jane_, etc. p. 16.

[185] Rosso.

[186] _Vie d’Elizabeth_, p. 198.

[187] Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements_, p. 23.

[188] _Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_, p. 16.

[189] Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements_, p. 25.

[190] Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements_, pp. 26, 27.

[191] _Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_, p. 24.

[192] _Edward and Mary_, vol. ii., p. 224.

[193] _Peerage of England_ (1799), vol. ii., p. 406. Quoted in
_Strickland’s Queens of England_.

[194] Lingard, _History_, vol. v., pp. 390, 391.

[195] _Ibid._, p. 391.

[196] Tytler, _Edward and Mary_, vol. ii., p. 227.

[197] _Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_, from which the
following details of the execution are mostly taken.

[198] _Peerage of England_ (1709), vol. ii., p. 406. Quoted in Miss
Strickland’s _Queens_.

[199] Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements_, p. 55.

[200] Dr. Nichols suggests that Partridge may have been Queen Mary’s
goldsmith of that name, apparently resident in the Tower during the
following year.

[201] Lingard, _History_, vol. v., p. 393.

[202] Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements_, p. 65.

[203] Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements_, p. 60.

[204] Lingard, _History_, vol. v., p. 401.

[205] Speed’s _Chronicle_.

[206] Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements_, pp. 125-6.

[207] Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements_, p. 127.

[208] Lingard, _History_, vol. v., p. 411.

[209] _Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_, p. 34.

[210] Griffet, _Nouveaux Éclaircissements_, p. 118.

[211] _Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_, p. 38 _et seq._

[212] _Ibid._

[213] Speed’s _Chronicle_, p. 1133.

[214] _Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_, p. 54.

[215] Rosso, _Succesi d’Inghilterra_, p. 53.

[216] _Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey_, 1615, p. 22.

[217] It will be seen that the bearing of the two opponents on the
scaffold would seem to give the lie to this account of their interview;
unless, the heat of argument over, both should have regretted what had
passed.

[218] _Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey_, 1615, p. 25.

[219] Rosso, _Succesi_, etc., p. 57.

[220] _Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary._

[221] _Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey_, 1615, p. 30.

[222] _Chronicle of Queen Jane and Queen Mary_, pp. 54-6. The author,
“resident in the Tower,” was doubtless an eye-witness of the scene.

[223] Rosso, _Succesi d’Inghilterra_, etc., pp. 57, 58.



Transcriber’s Notes


Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not
changed.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced
quotation marks retained.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.

Index not checked for proper alphabetization or correct page references.

Index often used semi-colons between page number references. They have
been replaced by commas in this eBook. Semi-colons between sub-entries
have been retained.

Frontispiece: The original caption attributes the painting to “Lucas
? Heere” where the “?” represents an indistinct letter. It should be
“de”, and that is what is used in this eBook.

The illustrations on the Title Page are just very small decorations.

Page 13: The chapter number was misprinted as “I”; changed here to “II”.

Page 29: “to my cousin, Jane Gray,” was printed with the surname
spelled that way.

Page 35: Closing quotation mark added after “and served.”





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