History of England (Froude)/Chapter 30
QUEEN JANE AND QUEEN MARY.
July 7.THE death of Edward VI. was ushered in with signs and wonders, as if heaven and earth were in labour with revolution. The hail lay upon the grass in the London gardens as red as blood. At Middleton Stony in Oxfordshire, anxious lips reported that a child had been born with one body, two heads, four feet and hands. About the time when the letters patent were signed there came a storm such as no living Englishman remembered. The summer evening grew black as night. Cataracts of water flooded the houses in the city and turned the streets into rivers; trees were torn up by the roots and whirled through the air, and a more awful omen—the forked lightning—struck down the steeple of the church where the heretic service had been read for the first time.
The King died a little before nine o'clock on Thursday evening. His death was made a secret; but in the same hour a courier was galloping through the twilight to Hunsdon to bid Mary mount and fly. Her plans had been for some days prepared. She had been directed to remain quiet, but to hold herself ready to be up and away at a moment's warning. The lords who were to close her in would not be at their posts, and for a few hours the roads would be open. The Howards were looking for her in Norfolk; and thither she was to ride at her best speed, proclaiming her accession as she went along, and sending out her letters calling loyal Englishmen to rise in her defence.
So Mary's secret friends had instructed her to act, as her one chance. Mary, who, like all the Tudors, was most herself in the moments of greatest danger, followed a counsel boldly which agreed with her own opinion; and when Lord Robert Dudley came in the morning with a company of horse to look for her, she was far away. Relays of horses along the road, and such other precautions as could be taken without exciting suspicion, had doubtless not been overlooked.
Far different advice had been sent to her by the new ambassadors of the Emperor. Scheyfne, who understood England and English habits, and who was sanguine of her success, had agreed to a course which had probably been arranged in concert with him; but on the 6th, the day of Edward's death, Renard and M. de Courieres, arrived from Brussels. To Renard, accustomed to countries where governments were everything and peoples nothing, for a single woman to proclaim herself Queen in the face of those who had the armed force of the kingdom in their hands, appeared like madness. Little confidence could be placed in her supposed friends, since they had wanted resolution to refuse their signatures to the instrument of her deposition. The Emperor could not move; although he might wish well to her cause, the alliance of England was of vital importance to him, and he would not compromise himself with the faction whose success, notwithstanding Scheyfne's assurance, he looked upon as certain. Henard, therefore, lost not a moment in entreating the Princess not to venture upon a course from which he anticipated inevitable ruin. If the nobility or the people desired to have her for Queen, they would make her Queen. There was no need for her to stir. The remonstrance agreed fully with the opinion of Charles himself, who replied to Renard's account of his conduct with complete approval of it. The Emperor's power was no longer equal to an attitude of menace; he had been taught, by the repeated blunders of Reginald Pole, to distrust accounts of popular English sentiment; and he disbelieved entirely in the ability of Mary and her friends to cope with a conspiracy so broadly contrived, and supported by the countenance of France. But Mary was probably gone from Hunsdon before advice arrived, to which she had been lost if she had listened. She had ridden night and day without a halt for a hundred miles to Keninghall, a castle of the Howards on the Waveney river. There, in safe hands, she would try the effect of an appeal to her country. If the nation was mute, she would then escape to the Low Countries.
In London, during Friday and Saturday, the death of Edward was known and unknown. Every one talked of it as certain. Yet the Duke still spoke of him as living, and public business was carried on in his name. July 8.On the 8th the mayor and aldermen were sent for to Greenwich to sign the letters patent. From them the truth could not be concealed, but they were sworn to secrecy before they were allowed to leave the palace. The conspirators desired to have Mary under safe custody in the Tower before the mystery was published to the world, and another difficulty was not yet got over.
The novelty of a female sovereign, and the supposed constitutional objection to it, were points in favour of the alteration which Northumberland was unwilling to relinquish. The 'device' had been changed in favour of Lady Jane; but Lady Jane was not to reign alone: Northumberland intended to hold the reins tight- grasped in his own hands, to keep the power in his own family, and to urge the sex of Mary as among the prominent occasions of her incapacity. England was still to have a king, and that king was to be Guilford Dudley.
Jane Grey, eldest daughter of the Duke of Suffolk, was nearly of the same age with Edward. Edward had been unhealthily precocious; the activity of his mind had been a symptom, or a cause, of the weakness of his body. Jane Grey's accomplishments were as extensive as Edward's; she had acquired a degree of learning rare in matured men, which she could use gracefully, and could permit to be seen by others without vanity or consciousness. Her character had developed with their talents. At fifteen she was learning Hebrew and could write Greek; at sixteen she corresponded with Bullinger in Latin at least equal to his own; but the matter of her letters is more striking than the language, and speaks more for her than the most elaborate panegyrics of admiring courtiers. She has left a portrait of herself drawn by her own hand; a portrait of piety, purity, and free, noble innocence, uncoloured, even to a fault, with the emotional weaknesses of humanity. While the effects of the Reformation in England had been chiefly visible in the outward dominion of scoundrels and in the eclipse of the hereditary virtues of the national character, Lady Jane Grey had lived to show that the defect was not in the Reformed faith, but in the absence of all faith,—that the graces of a St Elizabeth could be rivalled by the pupil of Cranmer and Ridley. The Catholic saint had no excellence of which Jane Grey was without the promise; the distinction was in the freedom of the Protestant from the hysterical ambition for an unearthly nature, and in the presence, through a more intelligent creed, of a vigorous and practical understanding.
When married to Guilford Dudley, Lady Jane had entreated that, being herself so young, and her husband scarcely older, she might continue to reside with her mother. Lady Northumberland had consented; and the new-made bride remained at home till a rumour went abroad that Edward was on the point of death, when she was told that she must remove to her father-in-law's house, till 'God should call the King to his mercy;' her presence would then be required at the Tower, the King having appointed her to be the heir to the Crown.
This was the first hint which she had received of the fortune which was in store for her. She believed it to be a jest, and took no notice of the order to change her residence, till the Duchess of Northumberland came herself to fetch her. A violent scene ensued with Lady Suffolk. At last the Duchess brought in Guilford Dudley, who commanded Lady Jane, on her allegiance as a wife, to return with him; and, 'not choosing to be disobedient to her husband,' she consented. The Duchess carried her off, and kept her for three or four days a prisoner. Afterwards she was taken to a house of the Duke's at Chelsea, where she remained till July 9.Sunday, the 9th of July, when a message was brought that she was wanted immediately at Sion House, to receive an order from the King.
She went alone. There was no one at the palace when she arrived; but immediately after Northumberland came, attended by Pembroke, Northampton, Huntingdon, and Arundel. The Earl of Pembroke, as he approached, knelt to kiss her hand. Lady Northumberland and Lady Northampton entered, and the Duke, as President of the Council, rose to speak.
'The King,' he said, 'was no more. A godly life had been followed, as a consolation to their sorrows, by a godly end, and in leaving the world he had not forgotten his duty to his subjects. His Majesty had prayed on his death-bed that Almighty God would protect the realm from false opinions, and especially from his unworthy sister; he had reflected that both the Lady Mary and the Lady Elizabeth had been cut off by Act of Parliament from the succession as illegitimate; the Lady Mary had been disobedient to her father; she had been again disobedient to her brother; she was a capital and principal enemy of God's word; and both she and her sister were bastards born; King Henry did not intend that the crown should be worn by either of them; King Edward, therefore, had, before his death, bequeathed it to his cousin the Lady Jane; and, should the Lady Jane die without children, to her younger sister; and he had entreated the council, for their honours' sake and for the sake of the realm, to see that his will was observed.'
Northumberland, as he concluded, dropt on his knees; the four lords knelt with him, and, doing homage to the Lady Jane as Queen, they swore that they would keep their faith or lose their lives in her defence.
Lady Jane shook, covered her face with her hands, and fell fainting to the ground. Her first simple grief was for Edward's death; she felt it as the loss of a dearly loved brother. The weight of her own fortune was still more agitating; when she came to herself, she cried that it could not be; the crown was not for her, she could not bear it—she was not fit for it. Then, knowing nothing of the falsehoods which Northumberland had told her, she clasped her hands, and, in a revulsion of feeling, she prayed God that if the great place to which she was called was indeed justly hers, He would give her grace to govern for his service and for the welfare of his people.
So passed Sunday, the 9th of July, at Sion House. In London, the hope of first securing Mary being disappointed, the King's death had been publicly acknowledged; circulars were sent out to the sheriifs, mayors, and magistrates in the usual style, announcing the accession of Queen Jane, and the troops were sworn man by man to the new sovereign. Sir William Petre and Sir John Cheke waited on the Emperor's ambassador to express a hope that the alteration in the succession would not affect the good understanding between the Courts of England and Flanders. The preachers were set to work to pacify the citizens; and, if Scheyfne is to be believed, a blood cement was designed to strengthen the new throne; and Gardiner, the Duke of Norfolk, and Lord Courtenay, were directed to prepare for death in three days. But Northumberland would scarcely have risked an act of gratuitous tyranny. Norfolk, being under attainder, might have been put to death without violation of the forms of law, by warrant from the Crown; but Gardiner was uncondemned, and Courtenay had never been accused of crime.
July 10.The next day, Monday, the 10th of July, the royal barges came down the Thames from Richmond; and at three o'clock in the afternoon Lady Jane landed at the broad staircase at the Tower, as Queen, in undesired splendour. A few scattered groups of spectators stood to watch the arrival; but it appeared, from their silence, that they had been brought together chiefly by curiosity. As the gates closed, the heralds-at-arms, with a company of the archers of the guard, rode into the city, and at the cross in Cheapside, Paul's Cross, and Fleet-street they proclaimed 'that the Lady Mary was unlawfully begotten, and that the Lady Jane Grey was Queen.' The ill-humour of London was no secret, and some demonstration had been looked for in Mary's favour; but here, again, there was only silence. The heralds cried 'God save the Queen!' The archers waved their caps and cheered, but the crowd looked on impassively. One youth only, Gilbert Potter, whose name for those few days passed into Fame's trumpet, ventured to exclaim, 'The Lady Mary has the better title.' Gilbert's master, one 'Ninian Sanders,' denounced the boy to the guard, and he was seized. Yet a misfortune, thought to be providential, in a few hours befell Ninian Sanders. Going home to his house down the river, in the July evening, he was overturned and drowned as he was shooting London Bridge in his wherry; the boatmen, who were the instruments of Providence, escaped.
Nor did the party in the Tower rest their first night there with perfect satisfaction. In the evening messengers came in from the eastern counties with news of the Lady Mary, and with letters from herself. She had written to Renard and Scheyfne to tell them that she was in good hands, and for the moment was safe. She had proclaimed herself Queen. She had sent addresses to the peers, commanding them on their allegiance to come to her; and she begged the ambassadors to tell her instantly whether she might look for assistance from Flanders; on the active support of the Emperor, so far as she could judge, the movements of her friends would depend.
The ambassadors sent a courier to Brussels for instructions; but, pending Charles's judgment to the contrary, they thought they had better leave Mary's appeal unanswered till they could see how events would turn. There was a rumour current indeed that she had from ten to fifteen thousand men with her; but this they could ill believe. For themselves, they expected every hour to hear that she had been taken by Lord Warwick and Lord Robert Dudley, who were gone in pursuit of her, and had been put to death.
The Lords who were with the new Queen were not so confident. They were sitting late at night in consultation with the Duchess of Northumberland and the Duchess of Suffolk, when a letter was brought in to them from Mary. The Lords ordered the messenger into arrest. The seal of the packet was broken, and the letter read aloud. It was dated the day before, Sunday, July 9:—
'My Lords,' wrote Mary, 'we greet you well, and have received sure advertisement that our deceased brother the King, our late Sovereign Lord, is departed to God's mercy; which news how they be woeful to our heart He only knoweth to whose will and pleasure we must and do submit us and all our wills. But in this so lamentable a case that is, to wit, now, after his Majesty's departure and death, concerning the crown and governance of this realm of England, that which hath been provided by Act of Parliament and the testament and last will of our dearest father, you know—the realm and the whole world knoweth. The rolls and records appear, by the authority of the King our said father, and the King our said brother, and the subjects of this realm; so that we verily trust there is no true subject that can pretend to be ignorant thereof; and of our part we have ourselves caused, and as God shall aid and strengthen us, shall cause, our right and title in this behalf to be published and proclaimed accordingly.
'And, albeit, in this so weighty a matter, it seemeth strange that the dying of our said brother upon Thursday at night last past, we hitherto had no knowledge from you thereof; yet we consider your wisdom and prudence to be such, that having eftsoons amongst you debated, pondered, and well-weighed the present case, with our estate, with your own estate, the commonwealth, and all our honours, we shall and may conceive great hope and trust, with much assurance in your loyalty and service; and therefore, for the time, we interpret and take things not for the worst; and that ye yet will, like noblemen, work the best. Nevertheless, we are not ignorant of your consultation to undo the provisions made for our preferment, nor of the great banded provisions forcible whereunto ye be assembled and prepared, by whom and to what end God and you know; and nature can fear some evil. But be it that some consideration politic, or whatsoever thing else, hath moved you thereunto; yet doubt ye not, my Lords, but we can take all these your doings in gracious part, being also right ready to remit and also pardon the same, with that freely to eschew bloodshed and vengeance against all those that can or will intend the same; trusting also assuredly you will take and accept this grace and virtue in good part as appertaineth, and that we shall not be enforced to use the service of other our true subjects and friends which, in this our just and rightful cause, God, in whom our whole affiance is, shall send us.
'Whereupon, my Lords, we require and charge you, and every of you, on your allegiance, which you owe to God and us, and to none other, that for our honour and the surety of our realm, only you will employ yourselves; and forthwith, upon receipt hereof, cause our right and title to the Crown and Government of this realm to be proclaimed in our city of London, and such other places as to your wisdom shall seem good, and as to this cause appertaineth, not failing hereof, as our very trust is in you; and this our letter, signed with our own hand, shall be your sufficient warrant.'
The Lords, when the letter was read to the end, looked uneasily in each other's faces. The ladies screamed, sobbed, and were carried off in hysterics. There was yet time to turn back; and had the Reformation been, as he pretended, the true concern of the Duke of Northumberland, he would have brought Mary back himself, bound by conditions which, in her present danger, she would have accepted. But Northumberland cared as little for religion as for any other good thing. He was a great criminal, throwing a stake for a crown; and treason is too conscious of its guilt to believe retreat from the first step to be possible.
Another blow was in store for him that night before he laid his head upon his pillow. Lady Jane, knowing nothing of the letter from Mary, had retired to her apartment, when the Marquis of Winchester came in to wish her joy. He had brought the crown with him, which she had not sent for; he desired her to put it on, and see if it required alteration. She said it would do very well as it was. He then told her that, before her coronation, another crown was to be made for her husband. Lady Jane started; and it seemed as if for the first time the dreary suspicion crossed her mind that she was, after all, but the puppet of the ambition of the Duke to raise his family to the throne. Winchester retired, and she sat indignant till Guilford Dudley appeared, when she told him that, young as she was, she knew that the crown of England was not a thing to be trifled with. There was no Dudley in Edward's will, and, before he could be crowned, the consent of Parliament must be first asked and obtained. The boy-husband went whining to his mother, while Jane sent for Arundel and Pembroke, and told them that it was not for her to appoint kings. She would make her husband a duke if he desired it; that was within her prerogative; but king she would not make him. As she was speaking, the Duchess of Northumberland rushed in with her son, fresh from the agitation of Mary's letter. The mother stormed; Guilford cried like a spoilt child that he would be no duke, he would be a king: and, when Jane stood firm, the Duchess bade him come away, and not share the bed of an ungrateful and disobedient wife.
The first experience of royalty had brought small pleasure with it. Dudley's kingship was set aside for the moment, and was soon forgotten in more alarming matters. To please his mother, or to pacify his vanity, he was called 'Your Grace.' He was allowed to preside in the council, so long as a council remained, and he dined alone—tinsel distinctions, for which the poor wretch had to pay dearly.
July 11.The next day restored the conspirators to their courage. No authentic accounts came in of disturbances. London was still quiet; so quiet, that it was thought safe to nail Gilbert Potter by the ears in the pillory, and after sufficient suffering, to slice them off with a knife. Lord Warwick and Lord Robert were still absent, and no news had come from them—a proof that they were still in pursuit. The Duke made up his mind that Mary was watching only for an opportunity to escape to Flanders; and the ships in the river, with a thousand men-at-arms on board them, were sent to watch the Essex coast, and to seize her, could they find opportunity. Meanwhile he himself penned a reply to her letter. 'The Lady Jane,' he said, 'by the antient laws of the realm,' and 'by letters patent of the late King,' signed by himself, and countersigned by the nobility, was rightful Queen of England. The divorce of Catherine of Arragon from Henry VIII. had been prescribed by the laws of God, pronounced by the Church of England, and confirmed by Act of Parliament; the daughter of Catherine was, therefore, illegitimate, and could not inherit; and the Duke warned her to forbear, at her peril, from molesting her lawful sovereign, or turning her people from their allegiance. If she would submit and accept the position of a subject, she should receive every reasonable attention which it was in the power of the Queen to show to her.
During the day rumours of all kinds were flying, but Mary's friends in London saw no reasonable grounds for hope. Lord Robert was supposed by Renard to be on his way to the Tower with the Princess as his prisoner; and if she was once within the Tower walls, all hope was over. July 12.It was not till Wednesday morning that the Duke became really alarmed. Then at once, from all sides, messengers came in with unwelcome tidings. The Dudleys had come up with Mary the day before, as she was on her way from Keninghall to Framlingham. They had dashed forward upon her escort but their own men turned sharp round, declared for the Princess, and attempted to seize them; they had been saved only by the speed of their horses. In the false calm of the two preceding days, Lord Bath had stolen across the country into Norfolk. Lord Mordaunt and Lord Wharton had sent their sons; Sir William Drury, Sir John Skelton, Sir Henry Bedingfield, and many more, had gone in the same direction. Lord Sussex had declared also for Mary; and, worse than all, Lord Derby had risen in Cheshire, and was reported to be marching south with twenty thousand men. Scarcely were these news digested, when Sir Edmund Peckham, cofferer of the household, was found to have gone off with the treasure under his charge. Sir Edward Hastings, Lord Huntingdon's brother, had called out the musters of Buckinghamshire in Mary's name, and Peckham had joined him; while Sir Peter Carew, the very hope and stay of the western Protestants, had proclaimed Mary in the towns of Devonshire.
Now, when too late, it was seen how large an error had been committed in permitting the Princess's escape. But it was vain to waste time in regrets. Her hasty levies, at best, could be but rudely armed; the Duke had trained troops and cannon, and, had he been free to act, with no enemies but those in the field against him, he had still the best of the game. But Suffolk and Northampton, the least able of the council, were, nevertheless, the only members of it on whom he could rely. To whom but to himself could he trust the army which must meet Mary in the field? If he led the army in person, whom could he leave in charge of London, the Tower, and Lady Jane? Winchester and Arundel knew his dilemma, and deliberately took advantage of it. The guard, when first informed that they were to take the field, refused to march. After a communication with the Marquis of Winchester, they withdrew their objections, and professed themselves willing to go. Northumberland, uneasy at their conduct, or requiring a larger force, issued a proclamation offering tenpence a day to volunteers who would go to bring in the Lady Mary. The lists were soon filled, but filled with the retainers and servants of his secret enemies.
The men being thus collected, Suffolk was first thought of to lead them, or else Lord Grey de Wilton; but Suffolk was inefficient, and his daughter could not bring herself to part with him; Grey was a good soldier, but he had been a friend of Somerset, and the Duke had tried hard to involve him with Arundel and Paget in Somerset's ruin. Northampton's truth could have been depended upon, but Northampton four years before had been defeated by a mob of Norfolk peasants. Northumberland, the council said, must go himself—'there was no remedy.' No man, on all accounts, could be so fit as he; 'he had achieved the victory in Norfolk once already, and was so feared, that none durst lift their weapons against him:' Suffolk in his absence should command the Tower. Had the Duke dared, he would have delayed; but every moment that he remained inactive added to Mary's strength, and whatever he did he must risk something. He resolved to go, and as the plot was thickening, he sent Sir Henry Dudley to Paris to entreat the King to protect Calais against Charles, should the latter move upon it in his cousin's interest.
Noailles had assured him that this and larger favours would be granted without difficulty; while, as neither Renard nor his companions had as yet acknowledged Lady Jane, and were notoriously in correspondence with Mary, the French ambassador suggested also that he would do wisely to take the initiative himself, to send Renard his passports, and commit the country to war with the Emperor. Northumberland would not venture the full length to which Noailles invited him; but he sent Sir John Mason and Lord Cobham to Renard, with an intimation that the English treason laws were not to be trifled with. If he and his companions dared to meddle in matters which did not concern them, their privileges as ambassadors should not protect them from extremity of punishment.
Newmarket was chosen for the rendezvous of the army. The men were to go down in companies, in whatever way they could travel most expeditiously, with the guns and ammunition waggons. The Duke himself intended to set out on Friday at dawn. In his calculations of the chances, hope still predominated—his cannon would give him the advantage in the field, and he trusted to the Protestant spirit in London to prevent a revolution in his absence. But he took the precaution of making the council entangle themselves more completely by taking out a commission under the Great Seal, as general of the army, which they were forced to sign; and before he left the Tower, he made a parting appeal to their good faith. If he believed they would betray him, he said, he could still provide for his own safety; but, as they were well aware that Lady Jane was on the throne by no will of her own, but through his influence and theirs, so he trusted her to their honours to keep the oaths which they had sworn. 'They were all in the same guilt,' one of them answered; 'none could excuse themselves.' Arundel especially wished the Duke God speed upon his way, and regretted only that he was not to accompany him to the field.
This was on Thursday evening. Northumberland slept that night at Whitehall. July 14.The following morning he rode out of London, accompanied by his four sons, Northampton, Grey, and about six hundred men. The streets were thronged with spectators, but all observed the same ominous silence with which they had received the heralds' proclamation. 'The people press to see us,' the Duke said, 'but not one saith God speed us.'
The principal conspirator was now out of the way; his own particular creatures—Sir Thomas and Sir Henry Palmer, and Sir John Gates, who had commanded the Tower guard, had gone with him. Northampton was gone. The young Dudleys were gone all but Guilford. Suffolk alone remained of the faction definitely attached to the Duke; and the Duke was marching to the destruction which had been prepared for him. But prudence still warned those who were loyal to Mary to wait before they declared themselves; the event was still uncertain; and the disposition of the Earl of Pembroke might not yet, perhaps, have been perfectly ascertained.
Pembroke, in the black volume of appropriations, was the most deeply compromised. Pembroke, in Wilts and Somerset, where his new lands lay, was hated for his oppression of the poor, and had much to fear from a Catholic sovereign, could a Catholic sovereign obtain the reality as well as the name of power; Pembroke, so said Northumberland, had been the first to propose the conspiracy to him, while his eldest son had married Catherine Grey. But, as Northumberland's designs began to ripen, he had endeavoured to steal from the Court; he was a distinguished soldier, yet he was never named to command the army which was to go against Mary; Lord Herbert's marriage was outward and nominal merely—a form, which had not yet become a reality, and never did. Although Pembroke was the first of the council to do homage to Jane, Northumberland evidently doubted him. He was acting and would continue to act for his own personal interests only. With his vast estates and vast hereditary influence in South Wales and on the Border, he could bring a larger force into the field than any other single nobleman in England; and he could purchase the secure possession of his acquisitions by a well-timed assistance to Mary as readily as by lending his strength to buttress the throne of her rival.
Of the rest of the council, Winchester and Arundel had signed the letters patent with a deliberate intention of deserting or betraying Northumberland, whenever a chance should present itself, and of carrying on their secret measures in Mary's favour with greater security, The other noblemen in the Tower perhaps imperfectly understood each other. Cranmer had taken part unwillingly with Lady Jane; but he meant to keep his promise, having once given it. Bedford had opposed the Duke up to the signature, and might be supposed to adhere to his original opinion; but he was most likely hesitating, while Lord Russell had been trusted with the command of the garrison at Windsor. Sir Thomas Cheyne and Shrewsbury might be counted among Mary's friends; the latter certainly. Of the three secretaries, Cecil's opposition had put his life in jeopardy; Petre was the friend and confidant of Paget, and would act as Paget should advise; Cheke, a feeble enthusiast, was committed to the Duke.
The task of bringing the council together was undertaken by Cecil. Cecil and Winchester worked on Bedford; and Bedford made himself responsible for his son, for the troops at Windsor, and generally for the western counties. The first important step was to readmit Paget to the council. Fresh risings were reported in Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire; Sir John Williams was proclaiming Mary round Oxford; July 15.and on Friday night or Saturday morning news came from the fleet which might be considered decisive as to the Duke's prospects. The vessels, so carefully equipped, which left the Thames on the 12th, had been driven into Yarmouth Harbour by stress of weather. Sir Henry Jerningham was in the town raising men for Mary; and knowing that the crews had been pressed, and that there had been desertions among the troops before they were embarked, he ventured boldly among the ships. 'Do you want our captains?' some one said to him. 'Yea, marry,' was the answer. 'Then they shall go with you,' the men shouted, 'or they shall go to the bottom.' Officers, sailors, troops, all declared for Queen Mary, and landed with their arms and artillery. The report was borne upon the winds; it was known in a few hours in London; it was known in the Duke's army, which was now close to Cambridge, and was the signal for the premeditated mutiny. 'The noblemen's tenants refused to serve their lords against Queen Mary.' Northumberland sent a courier at full speed to the council for reinforcements. The courier returned 'with but a slender answer.'
The Lords in London, however, were still under the eyes of the Tower garrison, who watched them narrowly. Their first meeting to form their plans was within the Tower walls, and Arundel said 'he liked not the air.' Pembroke and Cheyne attempted to escape, but failed to evade the guard; Winchester made an excuse to go to his own house, but he was sent for and brought back at midnight. Though Mary might succeed, they might still lose their own lives, which they were inclined to value.
July 16.On Sunday, the 16th, the preachers again exerted themselves. Ridley shrieked against Mary at Paul's Cross; John Knox, more wisely, at Amersham, in Buckinghamshire, foretold the approaching retribution from the giddy ways of the past years; Buckinghamshire, Catholic and Protestant, was arming to the teeth; and he was speaking at the peril of his life among the troopers of Sir Edward Hastings.
'Oh England!' cried the saddened Reformer, 'now is God's wrath kindled against thee—now hath he begun to punish as he hath threatened by his true prophets and messengers. He hath taken from thee the crown of thy glory, and hath left thee without honour, and this appeareth to be only the beginning of sorrows. The heart, the tongue, the hand of one Englishman is bent against another, and division is in the realm, which is a sign of desolation to come. Oh, England, England! if thy mariners and thy governors shall consume one another, shalt not thou suffer shipwreck? Oh England, alas! these plagues are poured upon thee because thou wouldst not know the time of thy most gentle visitation.'
At Cambridge, on the same day, another notable man preached—Edwin Sandys, then Protestant Vice-Chancellor of the University, and afterwards Archbishop of York. Northumberland the preceding evening brought his mutinous troops into the town. He sent for Parker, Lever, Bill, and Sandys to sup with him, and told them he required their prayers, or he and his friends were like to be 'made deacons of.' Sandys, the vice-chancellor, must address the University the next morning from the pulpit.
Sandys rose at three o'clock in the summer twilight, took his Bible, and prayed with closed eyes that he might open at a fitting text. His eyes, when he lifted them, were resting on the 16th of the ist of Joshua: 'The people answered Joshua, saying, All thou commandest us we will do; and whithersoever thou sendest us we will go; according as we hearkened unto Moses, so will we hearken unto thee, only the Lord thy God be with thee as he was with Moses.'
The application was obvious. Edward was Moses, the Duke was Joshua; and if a sermon could have saved the cause, Lady Jane would have been secure upon her throne.
But the comparison, if it held at all, held only in its least agreeable features. The deliverers of England from the Egyptian bondage of the Papacy had led the people out into a wilderness where the manna had been stolen by the leaders, and there were no tokens of a promised land. To the Universities the Reformation had brought with it desolation. To the people of England it had brought misery and want. The once open hand was closed; the once open heart was hardened; the ancient loyalty of man to man was exchanged for the scuffling of selfishness; the change of faith had brought with it no increase of freedom, and less of charity. The prisons were crowded, as before, with sufferers for opinion, and the creed of a thousand years was made a crime by a doctrine of yesterday; monks and nuns wandered by hedge and highway, as missionaries of discontent, and pointed with bitter effect to the fruits of the new belief, which had been crimsoned in the blood of thousands of English peasants. The English people were not yet so much in love with wretchedness that they would set aside for the sake of it a princess whose injuries pleaded for her, whose title was affirmed by Act of Parliament. In the tyranny under which the nation was groaning, the moderate men of all creeds looked to the accession of Mary as to the rolling away of some bad black nightmare.
On Monday Northumberland made another effort to move forward. His troops followed him as far as Bury, and then informed him decisively that they would not bear arms against their lawful sovereign. July 17.He fell back on Cambridge, and again wrote to London for help. As a last resource, Sir Andrew Dudley, instructed, it is likely, by his brother, gathered up a hundred thousand crowns' worth of plate and jewels from the treasury in the Tower, and started for France to interest Henry to bribe him, it was said, by a promise of Guisnes and Calais, to send an army into England. The Duke foresaw and dared the indignation of the people; but he had left himself no choice except between treason to the country or now inevitable destruction. When he called in the help of France he must have known well that his ally, with a successful army in England, would prevent indeed the accession of Mary Tudor, but as surely would tear in pieces the paper title of the present Queen and snatch the crown for his own Mary, the Queen of Scots, and the bride of the Dauphin.
But the council was too quick for Dudley. A secret messenger followed or attended him to Calais, where he was arrested, the treasure recovered, and his despatches taken from him.
The counter-revolution could now be accomplished without bloodshed and without longer delay. July 19.On Wednesday the 19th word came that the Earl of Oxford had joined Mary. A letter was written to Lord Rich admonishing him Dot, to follow Oxford's example, but to remain true to Queen Jane, which the council were required to sign. Had they refused, they would probably have been massacred. Towards the middle of the day, Winchester, Arundel, Pembroke, Shrewsbury, Bedford, Cheyne, Paget, Mason, and Petre found means of passing the gates, and made their way to Baynard's Castle, where they sent for the mayor, the aldermen, and other great persons of the city. When they were all assembled, Arundel was the first to speak.
The country, he said, was on the brink of civil war, and if they continued to support the pretensions of Lady Jane Grey to the crown, civil war would inevitably break out. In a few more days or weeks the child would be in arms against the father, the brother against the brother; the quarrels of religion would add fury to the struggle; the French would interfere on one side, the Spaniards on the other, and in such a conflict the triumph of either party would be almost equally injurious to the honour, unity, freedom, and happiness of England. The friends of the commonwealth, in the face of so tremendous a danger, would not obstinately persist in encouraging the pretensions of a faction. It was for his hearers where they sat to decide if there should be peace or war, and he implored them, for the sake of the country, to restore the crown to her who was their lawful sovereign.
Pembroke rose next. The words of Lord Arundel, he said, were true and good, and not to be gainsaid. What others thought he knew not; for himself, he was so convinced, that he would fight in the quarrel with any man; and if words are not enough, he cried, flashing his sword out of the scabbard, 'this blade shall make Mary Queen, or I will lose my life.'
Not a voice was raised for the Twelfth-day Queen, as Lady Jane was termed, in scornful pity, by Noailles. Some few persons thought that, before they took a decisive step, they should send notice to Northumberland, and give him time to secure his pardon. But it was held to be a needless stretch of consideration; Shrewsbury and Mason hastened off to communicate with Renard; while a hundred and fifty men were marched directly to the Tower gates, and the keys were demanded in the Queen's name.
It is said that Suffolk was unprepared: but the goodness of his heart and the weakness of his mind alike saved him from attempting a useless resistance: the gates were opened, and the unhappy father rushed to his daughter's room. He clutched at the canopy under which she was sitting, and tore it down; she was no longer Queen, he said, and such distinctions were not for one of her station. He then told her briefly of the revolt of the council. She replied that his present words were more welcome to her than those in which he had advised her to accept the crown; her reign being at an end, she asked innocently if she might leave the Tower and go home. But the Tower was a place not easy to leave, save by one route too often travelled.
Meanwhile the Lords, with the mayor and the heralds, went to the Cross at Cheapside to proclaim Mary Queen. Pembroke himself stood out to read; and this time there was no reason to complain of a silent audience. He could utter but one sentence before his voice was lost in the shout of joy which thundered into the air. 'God save the Queen,' 'God save the Queen,' rung out from tens of thousands of throats. 'God save the Queen,' cried Pembroke himself, when he had done, and flung up his jewelled cap and tossed his purse among the crowd. The glad news spread like lightning through London, and the pent-up hearts of the citizens poured themselves out in a torrent of exultation. Above the human cries, the long- silent church-bells clashed again into life; first began St Paul's, where happy chance had saved them from destruction; then, one by one, every peal which had been spared caught up the sound; and through the summer evening and the summer night, and all the next day, the metal tongues from tower and steeple gave voice to England's gladness. The Lords, surrounded by the shouting multitude, walked in state to St Paul's, where the choir again sang a Te Deum, and the unused organ rolled out once more its mighty volume of music. As they came out again, at the close of the service, the apprentices were heaping piles of wood for bonfires at the crossways. The citizens were spreading tables in the streets, which their wives were loading with fattest capons and choicest wines; there was free feasting for all comers; and social jealousies, religious hatreds, were forgotten for the moment in the ecstasy of the common delight. Even the retainers of the Dudleys, in fear or joy, tore their badges out of their caps, and trampled on them.
At a night session of the council, a letter was written to Northumberland, which Cranmer, Suffolk, and Sir John Cheke consented to sign, ordering him in the name of Queen Mary to lay down his arms. If he complied, the Lords undertook to intercede for his pardon. If he refused, they said that they would hold him as a traitor, and spend their lives in the field against him
While a pursuivant bore the commands of the council to the Duke, Arundel and Paget undertook to carry to Mary at Framlingham their petition for forgiveness, in which they declared that they had been innocent at heart of any share in the conspiracy, and had only delayed coming forward in her favour from a desire to prevent bloodshed.
The two lords immediately mounted and galloped off into the darkness, followed by thirty horse, leaving the lights of illuminated London gleaming behind them.
The Duke's position was already desperate: on the 18th, before the proclamation in London, Mary had felt herself strong enough to send orders to the Mayor of Cambridge for his arrest; and, although he had as yet been personally unmolested, he was powerless in the midst of an army which was virtually in Mary's service. The news of the revolution in London first reached him by a private hand. He at once sent for Sandys, and, going with him to the market cross, he declared, after one violent clutch at his beard, that he had acted under orders from the council; the council, he understood, had changed their minds, and he would change his mind also; therefore he cried, 'God save Queen Mary,' and with a strained effort at a show of satisfaction, he, too, like Pembroke, threw up his cap. The Queen, he said to Sandys, was a merciful woman, and there would be a general pardon. 'Though the Queen grant you a pardon,' Sandys answered, 'the Lords never will; you can hope nothing from those who now rule.'
It was true that he could hope nothing—the hatred of the whole nation, which before his late treasons he had brought upon himself, would clamour to the very heavens for judgment against him. July 20.An hour after the proclamation of Mary, Rouge-cross herald arrived with the Lords' letter from London. An order at the same time was read to the troops informing them that they were no longer under the Duke's command, and an alderman of the town then ventured to execute the Queen's warrant for his arrest. Northumberland was given in charge to a guard of his own soldiers; he protested, however, that the council had sent no instructions for his detention; and in some uncertainty, or perhaps in compassion for his fate, the soldiers obeyed him once more, and let him go. It was then night. He intended to fly; but he put it off till the morning, and in the morning his chance was gone. Before he could leave his room he found himself face to face with Arundel, who, after delivering the council's letter to the Queen, had hastened to Cambridge to secure him.
Northumberland, who, while innocent of crime, had faced death on land and sea like a soldier and a gentleman, flung himself at the Earl's feet. 'Be good to me, for the love of God/ he cried; 'consider I have done nothing but by the consent of you and the council.' He knew what kind of consent he had extorted from the council. 'My Lord,' said Arundel, 'I am sent hither by the Queen's Majesty; and in her name I do arrest you.'—'I obey, my Lord,' the Duke replied; 'yet show me mercy, knowing the case as it is.'—'My Lord,' was the cold answer, 'you should have sought for mercy sooner; I must do according to my commandment.'
At the same moment Sandys was paying the penalty for his sermon. The University, in haste to purge itself of its heretical elements, met soon after sunrise to depose their vice-chancellor. Dr Sandys, who had gone for an early stroll among the meadows to meditate on his position, hearing the congregation-bell ringing, resolved, like a brave man, to front his fortune; he walked to the Senate-house, entered, and took his seat. 'A rabble of Papists' instantly surrounded him. He tried to speak, but the masters of arts shouted 'Traitor;' rough hands shook or dragged him from his chair: and the impatient theologian, in sudden heat, drew his dagger, and 'would have done a mischief with it,' had not some of his friends disarmed him. He, too, was handed over to a guard, lashed to the back of a lame horse, and carried to London.
Mary, meanwhile, notwithstanding the revolution in her favour, remained a few more days at Framlingham, either suspicious of treachery or uncertain whether there might not be another change. But she was assured rapidly that the danger was at an end by the haste with which the lords and gentlemen who were compromised sought their pardon at her feet. July 21.On the 21st and 22nd Clinton, Grey, Fitzgerald, Ormond, Fitzwarren, Sir Henry Sidney, and Sir James Crofts presented themselves and received forgiveness. Cecil wrote, explaining his secret services, and was taken into favour. Lord Robert and Lord Ambrose Dudley, Northampton, and a hundred other gentlemen—Sir Thomas Wyatt among them, who had accompanied the Duke to Bury—were not so fortunate. The Queen would not see them, and they were left under arrest. Ridley set out for Norfolk, also, to confess his offences; but, before he arrived at the Court, he was met by a warrant for his capture, and carried back a prisoner to the Tower.
The conspiracy was crushed, and crushed, happily, without bloodshed. The inquiry into its origin, and the punishment of the guilty, could be carried out at leisure. There was one matter, however, which admitted of no delay. Mary's first anxiety, on feeling her crown secure, was the burial of her dead brother, who, through all these scenes, was still lying in his bed in his room at Greenwich. In her first letter to the Imperial ambassadors, the day after the arrival of Arundel and Paget at the Court, she spoke of this as her greatest care; to their infinite alarm, she announced her intention of inaugurating her reign with Requiem and Dirige, and a mass for the repose of his soul.
Their uneasiness requires explanation.
While on matters of religion there was in England almost every variety of opinion, there was a very general consent that the Queen should not marry a foreigner. The dread that Mary might form a connection with some Continental prince, had formed the strongest element in Northumberland's cause; all the Catholics, except the insignificant faction who desired the restoration of the Papal authority, and all the moderate Protestants, wished well to her, but wished to see her married to some English nobleman; and, while her accession was still uncertain, the general opinion had already fixed upon a husband for her in the person of her cousin Edward Courtenay, the imprisoned son of the Marquis of Exeter. The interest of the public in the long confinement of this young nobleman had invested him with all imaginary graces of mind and body. He was the grandchild of a Plantagenet, and a representative of the White Rose. He had suffered from the tyranny, and was supposed to have narrowly escaped murder at the hands of the man whom all England most hated. Nature, birth, circumstances, all seemed to point to him as the king-consort of the realm. The Emperor had thought of Mary for his son; and it has been seen that the fear of such an alliance induced the French to support Northumberland. To prevent the injury which the report, if credited in England, would have done to her cause, Mary, on her first flight to Keninghall, empowered Renard to assure the council that she had no thought at all of marrying a stranger. The Emperor and the Bishop of Arras, in assuring Sir Philip Hoby that the French intended to strike for the Queen of Scots, declared that, for themselves they wished only to see the Queen settled in her own realm, as her subjects desired; and especially they would prevent her either from attempting innovations in religion without their consent, or from marrying against their approbation.
But the Emperor's disinterestedness was only the result of his despondency. While the crisis lasted, neither Charles nor Henry of France saw their way to a distinct course of action. Charles, on the 20th of July, ignorant of the events in London, had written to Renard, despairing of Mary's success. Jane Grey he would not recognize; the Queen of Scots, he thought, would shortly be on the English throne. Henry, considering, at any rate, that he might catch something in troubled waters, volunteered to Lord William Howard, in professed compliance with the demands of Northumberland, to garrison Guisnes and Calais for him. Howard replied that the French might come to Calais if they desired, but their reception might not be to their taste. The revolution of the 19th altered the aspect of the situation both at the Courts of Paris and of Brussels. The accession of Mary would be no injury to France, provided she could be married in England; and Henry at once instructed Noailles to congratulate the council on her accession. Noailles himself indeed considered, that, should she take Courtenay for a husband, the change might, after all, be to their advantage. The Emperor, on the other hand, began to think again of his original scheme. Knowing that the English were sincere in their detestation of the Papacy, and imperfectly comprehending the insular distinction between general attachment to Catholic tradition and indifference to Catholic unity, he supposed that the country really was, on the whole, determined in its adherence to the Reformed opinions. But the political alliance was still of infinite importance to him; and therefore he was anxious beyond everything that the Princess, whom he intended to persuade to break her word about her marriage, should be discreet and conciliatory about religion. He lost not a moment, after hearing that she was proclaimed Queen, in sending her his congratulations; but he sent with them an earnest admonition to be cautious; to be content with the free exercise for herself of her own creed, to take no step whatever without the sanction of Parliament, and to listen to no one who would advise her, of her own authority, to set aside the Act of Uniformity. Her first duty was to provide for the quiet of the realm; and she must endeavour, by prudence and moderation, to give reasonable satisfaction to her subjects of all opinions. Above all things, let her remember to be a good Englishwoman (bonne Anglaise).
It was, in consequence, with no light anxiety that Renard learnt from Mary her intention of commencing her reign with an act which was so far at variance with the Emperor's advice, and which would at once display the colours of a party. To give the late King a public funeral with a ceremonial forbidden by the law, would be a strain of the prerogative which could not fail to create jealousy even among those to whom the difference between a Latin mass and an English service was not absolutely vital; and the judicious latitudinarianism to which the lay statesmen of the better sort were inclining, would make them dread the appearance of a disposition that would encourage the revolutionists. She owed her crown to the Protestants as well as to the Catholics. If she broke the law to please the prejudices of the latter, Renard was warned that her present popularity would not be of long continuance.
Yet, as the ambassador trembled to know, a carelessness of consequences and an obstinate perseverance in a course which she believed to be right were the principal features in Mary's character. He wrote to her while she was still at Framlingham, using every argument which ought, as he considered, to prevail. He reminded her of the long and unavailing struggle of the Emperor to bring back Germany out of heresy, where the obstinacy of the Romanists had been as mischievous to him as the fanaticism of the Lutherans. 'Her duty to God was of course the first thing to be considered; but at such a time prudence was a part of that duty. The Protestant heresies had taken a hold deep and powerful upon her subjects. In London alone there were fifteen thousand French, Flemish, and German refugees, most of them headstrong and ungovernable enthusiasts. The country dreaded any fresh convulsions, and her Majesty should remember that she had instructed him to tell the council that she was suspected unjustly, and had no thought of interfering with the existing settlement of the realm,'
With all his efforts, however, Renard could but bring the Queen to consent to a few days' delay; and fearing that she would return to her purpose, he sent to the Emperor a copy of his letter, which he urged him to follow up. July 29.Charles on the 29th replied again, lauding the ambassador's caution, and suggesting an argument more likely to weigh with his cousin than the soundest considerations of public policy. Edward had lived and died in heresy, and the Catholic services were intended only for the faithful sons of the Church. He desired Renard to remind her that those who had been her most valuable friends were known to hold opinions far from orthodox; and he once more implored her to be guided by Parliament, and to take care that the Parliament was free. She had asked whether she should imitate Northumberland and nominate the members of the House of Commons. He cautioned her against so dangerous an example; she might make a selection among the towns and counties, but he advised her to let them choose for themselves; and if the writs were sent into Cornwall and the North, which had remained most constant to the Catholic religion, these places might be expected to return persons who would support her own sentiments.
If the Emperor had been equally earnest in urging Mary to consult the wishes of her subjects on her marriage, he would have been a truer friend to her than he proved to be. But prudential arguments produced no effect on the eager Queen; Renard had warned her not to resist Northumberland; she had acted on her own judgment, and Northumberland was a prisoner, and she was on the throne. By her own will she was confident that she could equally well restore the mass, and in good time the Pope's authority. The religious objection to the funeral was more telling, and on this point she hesitated. Meantime she began to move slowly towards London, and at the end of the month she reached her old house of Newhall in Essex, where she rested till the preparations were complete for her entry into the city.
The first point on which she had now to make up her mind concerned the persons with whom she was to carry on the Government. The Emperor was again clear in his advice, which here she found herself obliged to follow. She was forced to leave undisturbed in their authorities such of her brother's late ministers as had contributed to the revolution in her favour. Derby, Sussex, Bath, Oxford, who had hurried to her support at Framlingham, were her loyal subjects, whom she could afford to neglect, because she could depend upon their fidelity. Pembroke and Winchester, Arundel and Shrewsbury, Bedford, Cobham, Cheyne, Petre, too powerful to affront, too uncertain to be trusted as subjects, she could only attach to herself, by maintaining them in their offices and emoluments. She would restore the Duke of Norfolk to the council; Gardiner should hold office again; and she could rely on the good faith of Paget, the ablest, as well as the most honest, of all the professional statesmen. But Norfolk was old, and the latitudinarian Paget and the bigoted Gardiner bore each other no good will; so that, when the Queen had leisure to contemplate her position, it did not promise to be an easy one. She would have to govern with the assistance of men who were gorged with the spoils of the Church, suspected of heresy, and at best indifferent to religion.
In Mary's absence, the Lords in London carried on the government as they could on their own responsibility. On the 21st Courtenay was released from the Tower. Gardiner was offered liberty, but he waited to accept it from the Queen's own hand. He rejoined the council, however, and on the first or second day of his return to the board, he agitated their deliberations by requiring the restoration of his house in Southwark, which had been appropriated to the Marquis of Northampton, and by reminding Pembroke that he was in possession of estates which had been stolen from the See of Winchester.
On the 25th Northumberland and Lord Ambrose Dudley were brought in from Cambridge, escorted by Grey and Arundel, with four hundred of the guard. Detachments of troops were posted all along the streets from Bishopsgate where the Duke would enter, to the Tower, to prevent the mob from tearing him in pieces. It was but twelve days since he had ridden out from that gate in the splendour of his power; he was now assailed from all sides with yells and execrations; bareheaded, with cap in hand, he bowed to the crowd as he rode on, as if to win some compassion from them; but so recent a humility could find no favour. His scarlet cloak was plucked from his back; the only sounds which greeted his ears were, 'Traitor, traitor, death to the traitor!' He hid his face, sick at heart with shame, and Lord Ambrose, at the gate of the Tower, was seen to burst into tears. Edwin Sandys, Northampton, Ridley, Lord Robert Dudley, the offending judges Cholmley and Montague, with many others, followed in the few next days. Montague had protested to the Queen that he had acted only under compulsion, but his excuses were not fully received. Lady Northumberland went to Newhall to beg for mercy for her sons, but Mary refused to admit her.
In general, however, there was no desire to press hard upon the prisoners. Few had been guilty in the first degree; in the second degree so many were guilty, that all could not be punished, and to make exceptions would be unjust and invidious. The Emperor recommended a general pardon, from which the principal offenders only should be excluded, and Mary herself was as little inclined to harshness. Her present desire was to forget all that had passed, and take possession of her throne for the objects nearest to her heart. Her chief embarrassment for the moment was from the over-loyalty of her subjects. The old-fashioned lords and country gentlemen who had attended her with their retainers from Norfolk, remained encamped round Newhall, unable to persuade themselves that they could leave her with safety in the midst of the men who had been the ministers of the usurpation.
Her closest confidence the Queen reserved for Renard. On the 28th of July she sent for him at midnight. August 2.On the 2nd of August he was again with her, and the chief subject of her thoughts was still the funeral. 'She could not have her brother committed to the ground like a dog,' she said. While her fortunes were uncertain, she had allowed Renard to promise for her that she would make no changes in religion, but 'she had now told the Lords distinctly that she would not recognize any of the laws which had been passed in the minority, and she intended to act boldly; timidity would only encourage the people to be insolent;' 'the Lords were all quarrelling among themselves, and accusing one another; she could not learn the truth on any point of the late conspiracy; she did not know who were guilty or who were innocent; and, amidst the distracted advices which were urged upon her, she could not tell whether she could safely venture to London or not. But outward acquiescence in the course which she chose to follow she believed that she could compel, and she would govern as God should direct her. The Emperor, she added, had written to her about her marriage, not specifying any particular person, but desiring her to think upon the subject. She had never desired to marry while princess, nor did she desire it now; but if it were for the interests of the Church, she would do whatever he might advise.'
On this last point Renard knew more of the Emperor's intentions than Mary, and was discreetly silent; on other points he used his influence wisely. He constrained her, with Charles's arguments, to relinquish her burial scheme. 'Edward, as a heretic, should have a heretic funeral at Westminster Abbey; she need not be present, and might herself have a mass said for him in the Tower. As to removing to London, in his opinion she had better go thither at once, take possession of her throne, and send Northumberland to trial. Her brother's body ought to be examined also, that it might be ascertained whether he had been poisoned; and if poisoned, by whom and for what purpose.'
Mary rarely paused upon a resolution. Making up her mind that, as Renard said, it would be better for her to go to London, Aug. 3.she set out thither the following day, Thursday, the 3rd of August. Excitement lent to her hard features an expression almost of beauty, as she rode in the midst of a splendid cavalcade of knights and nobles. Elizabeth, escorted by two thousand horse and a retinue of ladies, was waiting to receive her outside the gates. The first in her congratulations, after the proclamation, yet fearful of giving offence, Elizabeth had written to ask if it was the Queen's pleasure that she should appear in mourning; but the Queen would have no mourning, nor would have others wear it in her presence. The sombre colours which of late years had clouded the Court, were to be banished at once and for ever; and with the dark colours, it seemed for a time as if old dislikes and suspicions were at the same time to pass away. The sisters embraced, the Queen was warm and affectionate, kissing all the ladies in Elizabeth's train; and side by side the daughters of Henry VIII. rode through Aldgate at seven in the evening, amidst the shouts of the people, the thunder of cannon, and pealing of church bells. At the Tower gates the old Duke of Norfolk, Gardiner, Courtenay, and the Duchess of Somerset were seen kneeling as Mary approached. 'These are my prisoners,' she said, as she alighted from her horse and stooped and kissed them. Charmed by the enthusiastic reception and by the pleasant disappointment of her anxieties, she could find no room for hard thoughts of any one; so far was she softened, Renard wrote, that she could hardly be brought to consent to the necessary execution of justice. Against Northumberland himself she had no feeling of vindictiveness, and was chiefly anxious that he should be attended by a confessor; Northampton was certainly to be pardoned; Suffolk was already free; Northumberland should be spared, if possible; and, as to Lady Jane, justice forbade, she said, that an innocent girl should suffer for the crimes of others.
The Emperor had recommended mercy; but he had not advised a general indemnity, as Renard made haste to urge. The Imperialist conception of clemency differed from the Queen's; and the same timidity which had first made the ambassadors too prudent, now took the form of measured cruelty. Renard entreated that Lady Jane should not be forgiven; 'conspirators required to be taught that for the principals in treason there was but one punishment; the Duke must die, and the rival Queen and her husband must die with him.' 'We set before her'—Renard's own hand is the witness against him—'the examples of Maximus and his son Victor, both executed by the Emperor Theodosius; Maximus, because he had usurped the purple; Victor, because, as the intended heir of his father, he might have been an occasion of danger had he lived.'
Looking also, as Renard was already doing, on the scenes which were round him, chiefly or solely as they might affect the interests of his master's son, he had been nervously struck by the entourage which surrounded Elizabeth, and the popularity which she, as well as the Queen, was evidently enjoying.
Elizabeth, now passing into womanhood, was the person to whom the affections of the liberal party in England most definitely tended. She was the heir-presumptive to the crown after her sister; in matters of religion she was opposed to the mass, and opposed as decidedly to factious and dogmatic Protestantism; while from the caution with which she had kept aloof from political entanglements, it was clear that her brilliant intellectual abilities were not her only or her most formidable gifts. Already she shared the favour of the people with the Queen. Let Mary offend them (and in the intended marriage offence would unquestionably have to be given), their entire hearts might be transferred to her. The public finger had pointed to Courtenay as the husband which England desired for the Queen. When Courtenay should be set aside by Mary, he might be accepted by Elizabeth; and Elizabeth, it was rumoured, looked upon him with an eye of favour. On all accounts, therefore, Elizabeth was dangerous. She was a figure on the stage whom Renard would gladly see removed; and a week or two later he bid Mary look to her, watch her, and catch her tripping if good fortune would so permit: 'it was better to prevent than to be prevented.'
The Queen did not close her ears to these evil whispers; but for the first few days after she came to the Tower her thoughts were chiefly occupied with religion, and her first active step was to release and to restore to their sees the deprived and imprisoned bishops. The first week in August, Ponet, by royal order, was ejected from Winchester, Ridley from London, and Scory from Chichester. The See of Durham was reconstituted. Tunstal, Day, and Heath were set at liberty, and returned to their dioceses. The Bishop of Ely was deposed from the chancellorship, and the seals were given to Gardiner. August 5.'On the 5th of August,' says the Grey Friars' Chronicle, 'at seven o'clock at night, Edmond Bonner came home from the Marshalsea like a bishop, and all the people by the wayside bade him welcome home, both man and woman, and as many of the women as might kissed him; and so he came to Paul's, and knelt on the steps, and said his prayers, and the people rang the bells for joy.'
While Mary was repairing acts of injustice, Gardiner, with Sir William Petre, was looking into the public accounts. The debts of the late Government had been reduced, the currency unconsidered, to 190,000l. A doubt had been raised whether, after the attempt to set aside the succession, the Queen was bound to take the responsibility of these obligations, but Mary preferred honour to convenience; she promised to pay everything as soon as possible. Further, there remain, partly in Gardiner's hand, a number of hasty notes, written evidently in these same first weeks of Mary's reign, which speak nobly for the intentions with which both Mary and himself were setting generally to work. The expenses of the household were to be reduced to the scale of Henry VII., or the early years of Henry VIII.; the garrisons at Berwick and Calais were to be placed on a more economical footing, the navy reduced, the irregular guard dismissed or diminished. Bribery was to be put an end to in the courts of Westminster, at quarter sessions, and among justices of the peace; 'the laws were to be restored to their authority without suffering any matters to be ordered otherwise than as the laws should appoint.' These first essentials having been attended to, the famous or infamous book of sales, grants, and exchanges of the Crown lands was to be looked into; the impropriation of benefices was to cease, and decency to be restored to the parish churches, where the grooms and game-keepers should give way to competent ministers. Economy, order, justice, and reverence were to heal the canker of profligate profanity which had eaten too long into the moral life of England.
In happier times Mary might have been a worthy Queen, and Gardiner an illustrious minister; but the fatal superstition which confounded religion with orthodox opinion was too strong for both of them.
Edward's body was meanwhile examined. The physicians reported that without doubt he had died of poison, and there was a thought of indicting the Duke of Northumberland for his murder: hut it was relinquished on further inquiry; the poison, if the physicians were right, must have been administered by negligence or accident. The corpse was then August 6.buried with the forms of the Church of England at Westminster Abbey; the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had so far been left at liberty, read the service; it was the last and saddest function of his public ministry which he was destined to perform. Simultaneously, as Mary had determined, requiems were chanted in the Tower Chapel; and Gardiner, in the presence of the Queen and four hundred persons, sung the mass for the dead with much solemnity. The ceremony was, however, injured by a misfortune; after the gospel the incense was carried round, and the chaplain who bore it was married; Doctor Weston, who was afterwards deprived of the deanery of Windsor for adultery, darted forward and snatched the censer out of the chaplain's hand. 'Shamest thou not to do thine office,' he said, 'having a wife, as thou hast? The Queen will not be censed by such as thou.' Nor was scandal the worst part of it. Elizabeth had been requested to attend, and had refused; angry murmurs and curses against the Bishop of Winchester were heard among the yeomen of the guard; while the Queen made no secret of her desire that the example which she had set should be imitated. Renard trembled for the consequences; Noailles anticipated a civil war; twenty thousand men, the latter said, would lose their lives before England would be cured of heresy; yet Mary had made a beginning, and as she had begun she was resolved that others should continue.
In the Tower she felt her actions under restraint. She was still surrounded by thousands of armed men, the levies of Derby and Hastings, the retainers of Pembroke and Arundel and Bedford; the council were spies upon her actions; the sentinels at the gates were a check upon her visitors. She could receive no one whose business with her was not made public to the Lords, and whose reception they were not pleased to sanction; even Renard was for a time excluded from her, and in her anxiety to see him she suggested that he might come to her in disguise. Such a thraldom was irksome and inconvenient. She had broken the promise which Renard had been allowed to make for her about religion; she had been troubled, it is easy to believe, with remonstrances to which she was not likely to have answered with temper; Pembroke absented himself from the presence; he was required to return and to reduce the number of his followers; the quarrels which began while the Queen was at New Hall broke out with worse violence than ever; Lord Derby complained to Renard that those who had saved her crown were treated with neglect, while men like Arundel, Bedford, and Pembroke, who had been parties to the treasons against her, remained in power; Lord Russell was soon after placed under arrest; Pembroke and Winchester were ordered to keep their houses, and the Court was distracted with suspicion, discord, and uncertainty.
From such a scene Mary desired to escape to some place where she could be at least mistress of her own movements; her impatience was quickened by a riot at St Bartholomew's, where a priest attempted to say mass; and on Saturday, the 12th of August, she removed to Richmond. Her absence encouraged the insubordination of the people. On Sunday, the 13th, another August 13priest was attacked at the altar; the vestments were torn from his back, and the chalice snatched from his hands. Bourne, whom the Queen had appointed her chaplain, preached at Paul's Cross. A crowd of refugees and English fanatics had collected round the pulpit; and when he spoke something in praise of Bonner, and said that he had been unjustly imprisoned, yells rose of 'Papist, Papist! Tear him down!' A dagger was hurled at the preacher, swords were drawn, the mayor attempted to interfere, but he could not make his way through the dense mass of the rioters; and Bourne would have paid for his rashness with his life, had not Courtenay, who was a popular favourite, with his mother the Marchioness of Exeter, thrown themselves on the pulpit steps, while Bradford sprung to his side, and kept the people back till he could be carried off. But the danger did not end there. The Protestant orators sounded the alarm through London. Meetings were held, and inflammatory placards were scattered about the streets. If religion was to be tampered with, men were heard to say, it was better at once to fetch Northumberland from the Tower.
August 16.Uncertain on whom she could rely, Mary sent for Renard, who could only repeat his former cautions, and appeal to what had occurred in justification of them. He undertook to pacify Lord Derby; but in the necessity to which she was so soon reduced of appealing to him, a foreigner, in her emergencies, he made her feel that she could not carry things with so high a hand. She had a rival in the Queen of Scots, beyond her domestic enemies, whom her wisdom ought to fear; she would ruin herself if she flew in the face of her subjects; and he prevailed so far with her that she promised to take no further steps till the meeting of Parliament. After a consultation with the mayor, she drew up a hasty proclamation, granting universal toleration till further orders, forbidding her Protestant and Catholic subjects to interrupt each other's services, and prohibiting at the same time all preaching on either side without license from herself.
Being on the spot, the ambassador took the opportunity of again trying Mary's disposition upon the marriage question. His hopes had waned since her arrival in London; he had spoken to Paget, who agreed that an alliance with the Prince of Spain was the most splendid which the Queen could hope for; but the time was inopportune and the people were intensely hostile. The exigencies of the position, he thought, might oblige the Queen to yield to wishes which she could not oppose, and accept Lord Courtenay; or possibly her own inclination might set in the same direction; or, again, she might wish to renew her early engagement with the Emperor himself. The same uncertainty had been felt at Brussels; the Bishop of Arras, therefore, had charged Renard to feel his way carefully and make no blunder. If the Queen inclined to the Emperor, he might speak of Philip as more eligible; if she fancied Courtenay, it would be useless to interfere—she would only resent his opposition. Renard obeyed his instructions, and the result was reassuring. When the ambassador mentioned the word 'marriage,' the Queen began to smile significantly, not once, but many times: she plainly liked the topic: plainly, also, her thoughts were not turning in the direction of any English husband; she spoke of her rank, and of her unwillingness to condescend to a subject; Courtenay, the sole remaining representative of the White Rose except the Poles, was the only Englishman who could in any way be thought suitable for her; but she said that she expected the Emperor to provide a consort for her, and that, being a woman, she could not make the first advances. Renard satisfied himself from her manner that if the Prince of Spain was proposed, the offer would be most entirely welcome.
The trials of the conspirators were now resolved upon. The Queen was determined to spare Lady Jane Grey, in spite of all which Renard could urge; but the state of London showed that the punishment of the really guilty could no longer be safely delayed. On this point all parties in the council were agreed. August 18.On Friday, the 18th of August, therefore, a court of peers was formed in Westminster Hall, with the aged Duke of Norfolk for High Steward, to try John Dudley Duke of Northumberland, the Earl of Warwick, and the Marquis of Northampton, for high treason. Forty-four years before, as the curious remarked, the father of Norfolk had sat on the commission which tried the father of Northumberland for the same crime.
The indictments charged the prisoners with levying war against their lawful sovereign. Northumberland, who was called first to the bar, pleaded guilty of the acts which were laid against him, but he submitted two points to the consideration of the court.
1. Whether, having taken the field with a warrant under the Great Seal, he could be lawfully accused of treason.
2. Whether those peers from whom he had received his commission, and by whose letters he had been directed in what he had done, could sit upon his trial as his judges.
The Great Seal, he was answered briefly, was the seal of a usurper, and could convey no warrant to him. If the Lords were as guilty as he said, yet, 'so long as no attainder was on record against them, they were persons able in law to pass upon any trial, and not to be challenged but at the prince's pleasure.'
The Duke bowed and was silent.
Northampton and Warwick came next, and, like Northumberland, confessed to the indictment. Northampton, however, pleaded in his defence, that he had held no public office during the crisis; that he had not been present at the making of Edward's device, and had been amusing himself hunting in the country. Warwick, with proud sadness, said merely that he had followed his father, and would share his father's fortunes; if his property was confiscated, he hoped that his debts would be paid.
But Northampton had indisputably been in the field with the army, and, as his judges perfectly well knew, had been, with Suffolk, the Duke's uniform supporter in his most extreme measures; the Queen had resolved to pardon him; but the court could not recognize his excuse. Norfolk rose, in a few words pronounced the usual sentence, and broke his wand; the cold glimmering edge of the Tower axe was turned towards the prisoners, and the peers rose. Northumberland, before he was led away, fell upon his knees; his children were young, he said, and had acted under orders from their father; to them let the Queen show mercy; for himself he had his peace to make with Heaven; he entreated for a few days of life, and the assistance of a confessor; if two of the council would come to confer with him, he offered to communicate important secrets of state; and, finally, he begged that he might die by the axe like a nobleman.
August 19.On the 19th, Sir John and Sir Henry Gates, Sir Andrew Dudley, and Sir Thomas Palmer were tried before a special commission. Dudley had gone with the treasonable message to France; the three others were the boldest and most unscrupulous of the Duke's partisans, while Palmer was also especially hated for his share in the death of Somerset. These four also pleaded guilty, and were sentenced, Palmer only scornfully telling the commissioners that they were traitors as well as he, and worse than he.
Seven had been condemned; three only, the Duke, Sir John Gates, and Palmer, were to suffer.
Crime alone makes death terrible: in the long list of victims whose bloody end, at stake or scaffold, the historian of England in the sixteenth century has to relate, two only showed signs of cowardice, and one of those was a soldier and a nobleman, who, in a moment of extreme peril, four years before, had kissed swords with his comrades, and had sworn to conquer the insurgents at Norwich, or die with honour.
The Duke of Northumberland, who since that time had lived very emphatically without God in the world, had not lived without religion. He had affected religion, talked about religion, played with religion, till fools and flatterers had told him that he was a saint; and now, in his extreme need, he found that he had trifled with forms and words, till they had grown into a hideous hypocrisy. The Infinite of death was opening at his feet, and he had no faith, no hope, no conviction, but only a blank and awful horror, and perhaps he felt that there was nothing left for him but to fling himself back in agony into the open arms of superstition. He had asked to speak with some member of the council; he had asked for a confessor. In Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, he found both.
After the sentence Gardiner visited him in the Tower, where he poured out his miserable story; he was a Catholic, he said, he always had been a Catholic; he had believed nothing of all the doctrines for which he had pretended to be so zealous under Edward. 'Alas!' he cried, 'is there no help for me?' 'Let me live but a little longer to do penance for my many sins.' Gardiner's heart was softened at the humiliating spectacle; he would speak to the Queen, he said, and he did speak, not wholly without success; he may have judged rightly, that the living penitence of the Joshua of the Protestants would have been more useful to the Church than his death. Already Mary had expressed a wish that, if possible, the wretched man should be spared; and he would have been allowed to live except for the reiterated protests of Renard in his own name and in the Emperor's.
It was decided at last that he should die; and a priest was assigned him to prepare his soul. Doctor Watts or Watson, the same man whom Cranmer long ago had set in the stocks at Canterbury, took charge of Palmer and the rest—to them, as rough soldiers, spiritual consolation from a priest of any decent creed was welcome.
August 21.The executions were fixed originally for Monday the 21st; but the Duke's conversion was a triumph to the Catholic cause too important not to be dwelt upon a little longer. Neither Northampton, Warwick, Andrew Dudley, nor Sir Henry Gates were aware that they were to be respited, and, as all alike availed themselves of the services of a confessor and the forms of the Catholic faith, their compliance could be made an instrument of a public and edifying lesson. The lives of those who were to suffer were prolonged for twenty-four hours. On Monday morning 'certain of the citizens of London' were requested to be in attendance at the Tower chapel, where Northumberland, Northampton, Dudley, Henry Gates, and Palmer were brought in; and, 'first kneeling down, every one of them, upon his knees, they heard mass, saying devoutedly, with the Bishop, every one of them, Confiteor.'
After the mass was done, the Duke rose up, and looked back upon my lord marquis, and came unto him, asking them all forgiveness, the one after the other, upon their knees, one to another; and the one did heartily forgive the other. And then they came, every one of them, before the altar, every one of them kneeling, and confessing to the Bishop that they were the same men in the faith according as they had confessed to him before, and that they all would die in the Catholic faith.' When they had all received the sacrament, they rose and turned to the people, and the Duke said:—
'Truly, good people, I profess here before you all, that I have received the sacrament according to the true Catholic faith: and the plague that is upon the realm and upon us now is that we have erred from the faith these sixteen years; and this I protest unto you all from the bottom of my heart.'
Northampton, with the rest, 'did affirm the same with weeping tears.
Among the spectators were observed the sons of the Duke of Somerset.
In exhibiting to the world the humiliation of the professors of the gospel, the Catholic party enjoyed a pardonable triumph. Northumberland, in playing a part in the pageant, was hoping to save his wretched life. When it was over he wrote a passionate August 22.appeal to Arundel.
'Alas, my lord,' he said, 'is my crime so heinous as no redemption but my blood can wash away the spots thereof? An old proverb there is, and that most true—A living dog is better than a dead lion. Oh that it would please her good Grace to give me life, yea, the life of a dog, if I might but live and kiss her feet, and spend both life and all in her honourable service.'
But Arundel could not save him—would not have saved him, perhaps, had he been able—and he had only to face the end with such resolution as he could command.
The next morning at nine o'clock, Warwick and Sir John Gates heard mass in the Tower chapel; the two Seymours were again present with Courtenay: and before Gates received the sacrament he said a few words of regret to the latter for his long imprisonment, of which he admitted himself in part the cause. On leaving the chapel Warwick was taken back to his room, and learned that he was respited. Gates joined Palmer, who was walking with Watson in the garden, and talking with the groups of gentlemen who were collected there. Immediately after the Duke was brought out. 'Sir John,' he said to Gates, 'God have mercy on us; forgive me as I forgive you, although you and your council have brought us hither.' 'I forgive you, my Lord,' Gates answered, 'as I would be forgiven; yet it was you and your authority that was the only original cause of all.' They bowed each. The Duke passed on, and the procession moved forward to Tower Hill.
The last words of a worthless man are in themselves of little moment; but the effect of the dying speech of Northumberland lends to it an artificial importance. Whether to the latest moment he hoped for his life, or whether, divided between atheism and superstition, he thought, if any religion was true, Romanism was true, and it was prudent not to throw away a chance, who can tell? At all events, he mounted the scaffold with Heath, the Bishop of Worcester, at his side; and then deliberately said to the crowd, that his rebellion. and his present fall were owing to the false preachers who had led him to err from the Catholic faith of Christ; the fathers and the saints had ever agreed in one doctrine; the present generation were the first that had dared to follow their private opinions; and in England and in Germany, where error had taken deepest root, there had followed war, famine, rebellion, misery, tokens all of them of God's displeasure. Therefore, as they loved their country, as they valued their souls, he implored his hearers to turn, all of them, and turn at once, to the Church which they had left; in which Church he, from the bottom of his heart, avowed his own steadfast belief. For himself he called them all to witness that he died in the one true Catholic faith; to which, if he had been brought sooner, he would not have been in his present calamity.
He then knelt; 'I beseech you all,' he said again, 'to believe that I die in the Catholic faith.' He repeated the Miserere psalm, the psalm De Profundis, and the Paternoster. The executioner, as usual, begged his pardon. 'I have deserved a thousand deaths,' he muttered. He made the sign of the cross upon the sawdust, and kissed it, then laid down his head, and perished.
The shame of the apostasy shook down the frail edifice of the Protestant constitution, to be raised again in suffering, as the first foundations of it had been laid, by purer hands and nobler spirits. In his better years Northumberland had been a faithful subject and a fearless soldier, and, with a master's hand over him, he might have lived with integrity and died with honour. Opportunity tempted his ambition—ambition betrayed him into crime—and, given over to his lower nature, he climbed to the highest round of the political ladder, to fall and perish like a craven. He was one of those many men who can follow worthily, yet cannot lead; and the virtue of the beginning was not less real than the ignominy of the end.
Gates was the second sufferer. He, too, spoke in the same key. He had been a great reader of Scripture, he said, but he had not read it to be edified, but to be seditious—to dispute, to interpret it after his private affection; to him, therefore, the honey had been poison, and he warned all men how they followed his ill example; God's holy mysteries were no safe things to toy or play with. Gates, in dying, had three strokes of an axe;—'Whether,' says an eye-witness, 'it was by his own request or no was doubtful'—remarkable words as if the everlasting fate of the soul depended on its latest emotion, and repentance could be intensified by the conscious realization of death.
Last came Sir Thomas Palmer, in whom, to judge by his method of taking leave of life, there was some kind of nobleness. It was he who led the cavalry forlorn hope, at Haddington, when the supplies were thrown in for the garrison.
He leapt upon the scaffold, red with the blood of his companions. 'Good morning to you all, good people,' he said, looking round him with a smile; 'ye come hither to see me die, and to see what news I have; marry, I will tell you: I have seen more in yonder terrible place [he pointed towards the Tower] than ever I saw before throughout all the realms that ever I wandered in; for there I have seen God, I have seen the world, and I have seen myself; and when I beheld my life, I saw nothing but slime and clay, full of corruption; I saw the world nothing else but vanity, and all the pleasures and treasures thereof nought worth; I saw God omnipotent, his power infinite, his mercy incomprehensible; and when I saw this, I most humbly submitted myself unto him, beseeching him of mercy and pardon, and I trust he hath forgiven me; for he called me once or twice before, but I would not turn to him, but even now by this sharp kind of death he hath called me unto him. I trust the wings of his mercy shall spread over me and save me; and I do here confess, before you all, Christ to be the very Son of God the Father, born of the Virgin Mary, which came into the world to fulfil the law for us, and to bear our offences on his back, and suffered his passion for our redemption, by the which I trust to be saved.'
Like his fellow-sufferers, Palmer then said a few prayers, asked the Queen's forgiveness, knelt, and died.
Stunned by the apostasy on the scaffold of the man whom they had worshipped as a prophet, the ultrafaction among the Protestants became now powerless. The central multitude, whose belief was undefined, yielded to the apparent sentence of Heaven upon a cause weakened by unsuccessful treason, and disavowed in his death by its champion. Edward had died on the anniversary of the execution of More; God, men said, had visited his people, and 'the Virgin Mary' had been set upon the throne for their redemption. Dr Watson, on the 20th of August, preached at Paul's Cross under a guard of soldiers; August 24.on the 24th, two days after the scene on Tower Hill, so little was a guard necessary, that mass was said in St Paul's Church in Latin, with matins and vespers. The crucifix was placed in the roodloft, the high altar was re-decorated, the real presence was defended from the pulpit, and except from the refugees not a murmur was heard. Catching this favourable opportunity, the Queen charmed the country with the announcement that the second portion of the last subsidy granted by Parliament should not be collected; she gave her word that the currency at the earliest moment should be thoroughly restored; while she gained credit on all sides for the very moderate vengeance with which she appeared to be contenting herself. Ridley only, Renard wrote, on the 9th of September, would now be executed; the other prisoners were to be all pardoned. The enthusiasm was slightly abated, indeed, when it was announced that their forgiveness would not be wholly free. Montague and Bromley, on their release from the Tower, were fined 7000l. a-piece; Suffolk, Northampton, and other noblemen and gentlemen, as their estates would bear. But, to relieve the burdens of the people at the expense of those who had reaped the harvest of the late spoliations was, on the whole, a legitimate retribution; the moneyed men were pleased with the recognition of Edward's debts, and provided a loan of 25,000 crowns for the present necessities of the Government. London streets rang again with shouts of 'God save the Queen;' and Mary recovered a fresh instalment of popularity to carry her a few steps further.
The refugees were the first difficulty. They were too numerous to imprison; and the most influential among them—men like Peter Martyr—having come to England on the invitation of the late Government, it was neither just nor honourable to hand them over to their own sovereigns. But both Mary and her Flemish adviser were anxious to see them leave the country as quickly as possible. The Emperor recommended a general intimation to be given out that criminals of all kinds taking refuge in England would be liable to seizure, offences against religion being neither specially mentioned nor specially excepted. The foreign preachers were ordered to depart by proclamation; and Peter Martyr, who had left Oxford, and was staying with Cranmer at Lambeth, expecting an arrest, received, instead of it, a safe-conduct, of which he instantly availed himself. The movements of others were quickened with indirect menaces; while Gardiner told Renard, with much self-satisfaction, that a few messages desiring some of them to call upon him at his house had given them wings.
Finding her measures no longer opposed, the Queen refused next to recognize the legality of the marriage of the clergy. Married priests should either leave their wives or leave their benefices; and on the 29th of August, Gardiner, Bonner, Day, and Tunstal, late prisoners in the Tower, were appointed commissioners to examine into the conditions of their episcopal brethren. Convocation was about to meet, and must undergo a preliminary purification. Unhappy Convocation! So lately the supreme legislative body in the country, it was now patched, clipped, mended, repaired, or altered, as the secular Government put on its alternate hues. The Protestant bishops had accepted their offices on Protestant terms—Quamdiu se bene gesserint, on their good behaviour; and, with the assistance of so pliant a clause, a swift clearance was effected. Barlow, to avoid expulsion, resigned Bath. Paul Bush retreated from Bristol. Hooper, ejected from Worcester by the restoration of Heath, was deprived of Gloucester for heresy and marriage, and, being a dangerous person, was committed on the September.1st of September to the Fleet. Ferrars, of St David's, left in prison by Northumberland for other pretended offences, was deprived on the same grounds, but remained in confinement. Bird, having a wife, was turned out of Chester; Archbishop Holgate out of York. Coverdale, Ridley, Scory, and Ponet had been already disposed of. The bench was wholesomely swept.
The English Protestant preachers seeing that priests everywhere held themselves licensed ex officio to speak as they pleased from the pulpit, began themselves also, in many places, to disobey the Queen's proclamation. They were made immediately to feel their mistake, and were brought to London to the Tower, the Marshalsea, or the Fleet, to the cells left vacant by their opponents. Among the rest came one who had borne no share in the late misdoings, but had long foreseen the fate to which those doings would bring him and many more. Sept. 4.When Latimer was sent for, he was at Stamford. Six hours' notice was given him of his intended arrest; and so obviously his escape was desired that the pursuivant who brought the warrant left him to obey it at his leisure; his orders, he said, were not to wait. But Latimer had business in England. While the fanatics who had provoked the catastrophe were slinking across the Channel from its consequences, Latimer determined to stay at home, and help to pay the debts which they had incurred. He went quietly to London, appeared before the council, where his 'demeanour' was what they were pleased to term 'seditious,' and was committed to the Tower. 'What, my friend,' he said to a warder who was an old acquaintance there, 'how do you? I am come to be your neighbour again.' Sir Thomas Palmer's rooms in the garden were assigned for his lodging. In the winter he was left without a fire, and, growing infirm, he sent a message to the Lieutenant of the Tower to look better after him, or he should give him the slip yet.
And there was another besides Latimer who would not fly when the chance was left open to him. Archbishop Cranmer had continued at Lambeth unmolested, yet unpardoned; his conduct with respect to the letters patent had been more upright than the conduct of any other member of the council by whom they had been signed; and on this ground, therefore, an exception could not easily be made in his disfavour. But his friends had interceded vainly to obtain the Queen's definite forgiveness for him; treason might be forgotten; the divorce of Catherine of Arragon could never be forgotten. So he waited on, watching the reaction gathering strength, and knowing well the point to which it tended. In the country the English service was set aside and the mass restored with but little disturbance. No force had been used or needed; the Catholic majorities among the parishioners had made the change for themselves. The Archbishop's friends came to him for advice; he recommended them to go abroad; he was urged to go himself while there was time; he said, 'it would be in no ways fitting for him to go away, considering the post in which he was; and to show that he was not afraid to own all the changes that were by his means made in religion in the last reign.'
Neither was it fitting for him to sit by in silence. The world, misconstruing his inaction, believed him false like Northumberland; the world reported that he had restored mass at Canterbury; the world professed to have ascertained that he had offered to sing a requiem at Edward's funeral. In the second week of September, therefore, he made a public offer, in the form of a letter to a friend, to defend the communion service, and all the alterations for which he was responsible, against any one who desired to impugn them; he answered the stories against himself with a calm denial; and, though the letter was not printed, copies in manuscript were circulated through London so numerously that the press, said Renard, would not have sent out more.
The challenge was answered by an immediate summons before the council; the Archbishop was accused of attempting to excite sedition among the people, and was forthwith committed to the Tower to wait, with Ridley and Latimer, there, till his fate should be decided on. Meantime the eagerness with which the country generally availed itself of the permission to restore the Catholic ritual, proved beyond a doubt that, except in London and a few large towns, the popular feeling was with the Queen. The English people had no affection for the Papacy. They did not wish for the re-establishment of the religious orders, or the odious domination of the clergy. But the numerical majority among them did desire a celibate priesthood, the ceremonies which the customs of centuries had sanctified, and the ancient faith of their fathers, as reformed by Henry VIII. The rights of conscience had found no more consideration from the Protestant doctrinalists than from the most bigoted of the persecuting prelates; and the facility with which the professors of the gospel had yielded to moral temptations, had for the time inspired moderate men with much distrust for them and for their opinions.
Could Mary have been contented to pursue her victory no further, she would have preserved the hearts of her subjects; and the reaction, left to complete its own tendencies, would in a few years, perhaps, have accomplished in some measure her larger desires. But few sovereigns have understood less the effects of time and forbearance. She was deceived by the rapidity of her first success; she flattered herself that, difficult though it might be, she could build up again the ruined hierarchy, could compel the holders of Church property to open their hands, and could reunite the country to Rome. Before she had been three weeks on the throne, she had received, as will be presently mentioned, a secret messenger from the Vatican; and she had opened a correspondence with the Pope, entreating him, as an act of justice to herself and to those who had remained true to their Catholic allegiance, to remove the interdict.
Other actors in the great drama which was approaching were already commencing their parts.
Reginald Pole having attempted in vain to recover a footing in England on the accession of Edward, having seen his passionate expectations from the Council of Trent melt into vapour, and Germany confirmed in heresy by the Peace of Passau, was engaged, in the summer of 1553, at a convent on the Lago di Garda, in re-editing his book against Henry VIII., with an intended dedication to Edward, of whose illness he was ignorant. The first edition, on the failure of his attempt to raise a Catholic crusade against his country, had been withdrawn from circulation; the world had not received it favourably, and there was a mystery about the publication which it is difficult to unravel. In the interval between the first despatch of the book into England as a private letter in the summer of 1536, and the appearance of it in print at Rome in the winter of 1538–9, it was re-written, as I have already stated, enlarged and divided into parts. In a letter of apology which Pole wrote to Charles V., in the summer or early autumn of 1538, he spoke of that division as having been executed by himself; he said that he had kept his book secret till the Church had spoken; but Paul having excommunicated Henry, he could no longer remain silent; he dwelt at length on the history of the work which he was then editing, and he sent a copy at the same time with a letter, or he wrote a letter with the intention of sending a copy, to James V. of Scotland.
But Charles had refused to move; the book injured Henry not at all, and injured fatally those who were dear to Pole; he checked the circulation of the copies, and he declared to the Cardinal of Naples that it had been published only at the command of the Pope—that his own anxiety had been for the suppression of it. Thirteen years after this, however, writing to Edward VI., he forgot that he had described himself to Charles as being himself engaged in the publication; and he assured the young King that he had never thought of publishing the book, that he had abhorred the very thought of publishing it; that it was prepared, edited, and printed by his friends at Rome during his own absence; now, at length, he found himself obliged in his own person to give it forth, because an edition was in preparation elsewhere from one of the earlier copies; and he selected the son of Henry as the person to whom he could most becomingly dedicate the libel against his father's memory.
Edward did not live to receive this evidence of Pole's good feeling. He died before the edition was completed; and as soon as Northumberland's failure and Mary's accession were known at Rome, England was looked upon in the Consistory as already recovered to the faith, and Pole was chosen by the unanimous consent of the cardinals as the instrument of the reconciliation. August.The account of the proclamation of the Queen was brought to the Vatican on the 6th of August by a courier from Paris: the Pope in tears of joy drew his commission and despatched it on the instant to the Lago di Garda; and on the 9th Pole himself wrote to Mary to say that he had been named legate, and waited her orders to fly to England. He still clung to his conviction that the revolution in all its parts had been the work of a small faction, and that he had but himself to set his foot upon the shore to be received with an ovation; his impulse was therefore to set out without delay; but the recollection, among other things, that he was attainted by Act of Parliament, forced him to delay unwillingly till he received formal permission to present himself.
Anxious for authentic information as to the state of England and the Queen's disposition, Julius had before despatched also a secret agent, Commendone, afterwards a cardinal, with instructions to make his way to London to communicate with Mary, and if possible to learn her intentions from her own lips. Eapid movement was possible in Europe even with the roads of the sixteenth century. Commendone was probably sent from Rome as soon as Edward was known to be dead; he was in London, at all events, on the 8th of August, disguised as an Italian gentleman in search of property which he professed had been bequeathed him by a kinsman. By the favour of Providence, he fell in with an acquaintance, a returned Catholic refugee, who had a place in the household; and from this man he learnt that the Queen was virtually a prisoner in the Tower, and that the heretics on the council allowed no one of whose business they disapproved to have access to her. Mary, however, was made acquainted with his arrival; a secret interview was managed, at which she promised to do her very best in the interests of the Church; but she had still, she said, to conquer her kingdom, and Pole's coming, much as she desired it, was for the moment out of the question; before she could draw the spiritual sword she must have the temporal sword more firmly in her grasp, and she looked to marriage as the best means of strengthening herself. If she married abroad, she thought at that time of the Emperor; if she accepted one of her subjects, she doubted—in her dislike of Courtenay—whether Pole might not return in a less odious capacity than that of Apostolic Legate; as the Queen's intended husband the country might receive him; he had not yet been ordained priest, and deacon's orders, on a sufficient occasion, could perhaps be dispensed with. The visit, or visits, were concealed even from Renard. Commendone was forbidden, under the strictest injunctions, to reveal what the Queen might say to him, except to the Pope or to Pole; and it is the more likely that she was serious in her expressions about the latter, from the care with which she left Renard in ignorance of Commendone's presence.
The Papal messenger remained long enough to witness a rapid change in her position; he saw the restoration of the mass; he was in London at the execution, and he learnt the apostasy, of Northumberland; and he carried letters from Mary to the Pope with assurances of fidelity, and entreaties for the absolution of the kingdom. But Mary was obliged to say, notwithstanding, that for the present she was in the power of the people, of whom the majority mortally detested the Holy See; that the Lords of the Council were in possession of vast estates which had been alienated from the Church, and they feared their titles might be called in question; and, although she agreed herself in all which Pole had urged (she had received his letter before Commendone left England), yet that, nevertheless, necessity acknowledged no law. Her heretical sister was in every one's mouth, and might at any moment take her place on the throne, and for the present, she said, to her deep regret, she could not, with prudence or safety, allow the legate to come to her.
The Queen's letters were confirmed by Commendone himself; he had been permitted to confer in private with more than one good Catholic in the realm; and every one had given him the same assurances, although he had urged upon them the opposite opinion entertained by Pole: he had himself witnessed the disposition with which the people regarded Elizabeth, and he was satisfied that the Queen's alarm on this head was not exaggerated.
In opinions so emphatically given, the Pope was obliged to acquiesce, and the same view was enforced upon him equally strongly by the Emperor. Charles knew England tolerably well; he was acquainted perfectly well with the moral and intellectual unfitness of the intended legate for any office which required discretion; and Julius, therefore, was obliged to communicate to the eager Cardinal the necessity of delay, and to express his fear that, by excess of zeal, he might injure the cause and alienate the well-affected Queen. Though Pole might not go to England, however, he might go, as he went before, to the immediate neighbourhood; he might repair to Flanders, with a nominal commission to mediate in the peace which was still hoped for. In Flanders, though the Pope forbore to tell him so, he would be under the Emperor's eyes and under the Emperor's control, till the vital question of the Queen's marriage had been disposed of, or till England was in a calmer humour.
September.About the marriage Charles was more anxious than ever; Pole was understood to have declined the honour of being a competitor; Renard had informed the Emperor of the present direction of the Queen's own inclinations; and treating himself, therefore, as out of the question on the score of age and infirmities, he instructed his minister to propose the Prince of Spain as a person whom the religious and the political interests of the world alike recommended to her as a husband. The alliance of England, Spain, and Flanders would command a European supremacy; their united fleets would sweep the seas, and Scotland, deprived of support from France, must become an English province; while sufficient guarantees could be provided easily for the security of English liberties. These, in themselves, were powerful reasons; Eenard was permitted to increase their cogency by promises of pensions, lands, and titles, or by hard money in hand, in whatever direction such liberality could be usefully employed.
The external advantages of the connection were obvious; it recommended itself to the Queen from the Spanish sympathies which she had contracted in her blood, and from the assistance which it promised to afford her in the great pursuit of her life. The proposal was first suggested informally. Mary affected to find difficulties; yet, if she raised objections, it was only to prolong the conversation upon a subject which delighted her. She spoke of her age; Philip was twenty-seven, she ten years older; she called him 'boy;' she feared she might not be enough for him; she was unsusceptible; she had no experience in love; with such other phrases, which Renard interpreted at their true importance. With the Queen there would be no difficulty; with the council it was far otherwise. Lord Paget was the only English statesman who listened with any show of favour.
The complication of parties is not to be easily disentangled. Some attempt, however, may be partially successful.
The council, the peers, the commons, the entire lay voices of England, liberal and conservative alike, were opposed to Rome; Gardiner was the only statesman in the country who thought a return to Catholic union practicable or desirable; while there was scarcely an influential family, titled or untitled, which was not, by grant or purchase, in possession of confiscated Church property.
There was an equal unanimity in the dread that if Mary became the wife of a Spanish sovereign England would, like the Low Countries, sink into a provincial dependency; while, also, there was the utmost unwillingness to be again entangled in the European war. The French ambassador insisted that the Emperor only desired the marriage to secure English assistance; and the council believed that, whatever promises might be made, whatever stipulations insisted on, such a marriage, sooner or later, would implicate them. The country was exhausted, the currency ruined, the people in a state of unexampled suffering, and the only remedy was to be looked for in quiet and public economy. There were attractions in the offer of a powerful alliance, but the very greatness of it added to their reluctance; they desired to isolate England from European quarrels, and marry their Queen at home. With these opinions Paget alone disagreed, while Gardiner was loudly national.
On the other hand, though Gardiner held the restoration of the Papal authority to be tolerable, yet he dreaded the return of Pole, as being likely to supersede him in the direction of the English Church. The party who agreed with the Chancellor about the marriage, and about Pole, disagreed with him about the Pope; while Paget, who was in favour of the marriage, was with the lords on the supremacy, and, as the Romanizing views of the Queen became notorious, was inclining, with Arundel and Pembroke, towards the Protestants.
No wonder, therefore, that the whole council were in confusion and at cross purposes. No sooner were Charles's proposals definitely known than the entire machinery of the Government was dislocated. Mary represented herself to Renard as without a friend whom she could trust; and the letters, both of Renard and Noailles, contain little else but reports how the Lords were either quarrelling, or had, one after the other, withdrawn in disgust to their country houses. Now it was Pembroke that was gone, now Mason, now Paget; then Courtenay was a prisoner in his house; then Lord Winchester was forbidden to appear at Court: the ministers were in distrust of each other and of their mistress; the Queen was condemned to keep them in their offices because she durst not make them enemies; while the Stanleys, Howards, Talbots, and Nevilles were glooming apart, indignant at the neglect of their own claims.
The Queen herself was alternately angry and miserable; by the middle of September Renard congratulated Charles on her growing ill-humour; the five Dudleys and Lady Jane, he hoped, would be now disposed of, and Elizabeth would soon follow.
Elizabeth's danger was great, and proceeded as much from her friends' indiscretion as from the hatred of her enemies. Every one who disliked the Queen's measures, used Elizabeth's name. Renard was for ever hissing his suspicions in the Queen's ear, and, unfortunately, she was a too willing listener—not, indeed, that Renard hated Elizabeth for her own sake, for he rather admired her—or for religion's sake, for he had a most statesmanlike indifference to religion; but he saw in her the Queen's successful rival in the favour of the people, the heir-presumptive to the crown, whose influence would increase the further the Queen travelled on the road on which he was leading her, and, therefore, an enemy who, if possible, should be destroyed. An opportunity of creating a collision between the sisters was not long wanting. The Lords of the Council were now generally present at mass in the royal chapel. Elizabeth, with Anne of Cleves, had as yet refused to appear. Her resistance was held to imply a sinister intention; and on the 2nd and 3rd of September the council were instructed to bring her to compliance. Yet the days passed, the priest sang, and the heir to the crown continued absent. Gardiner, indeed, told Renard that she was not obdurate; he had spoken to her, and she had seemed to say that, if he could convince her, her objections would cease; but they had not ceased so far; she did not attend. In the happiness of her first triumph Mary had treated Elizabeth like a sister; but her manner had relapsed into coldness; and the princess, at length, knowing how her name was made use of, requested a private interview, which, with difficulty, was granted. The sisters, each accompanied by a single lady, met in a gallery with a half-door between them. Elizabeth threw herself on her knees. She said that she perceived her Majesty was displeased with her; she could not tell what the cause might be, unless it was religion; and for this, she said, she might be reasonably forgiven; she had been educated, as the Queen was aware, in the modern belief, and she understood no other; if her Majesty would send her books and teachers, she would read, she would listen, she could say no more.
Mary, at the moment, was delighted. Like a true Catholic, however, she insisted that obedience must precede faith; come to the mass, she said, and belief will be the reward of your submission; make your first trial on the mass of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin.
Elizabeth consented. She was present, but present reluctantly; pretending, as Renard said, to be ill. The next Sunday she was again absent. The Queen, knowing the effect which her conduct would produce, again sent for her, and asked her earnestly what she really believed; the world said that, although she had complied once, her compliance was feigned, and that she had submitted out of fear; she desired to hear the truth. Elizabeth could reply merely that she had done as the Queen had required her to do, with no ulterior purpose; if her Majesty wished, she would make a public declaration to that effect. The Queen was obliged to receive her answer; but she told Renard that her sister trembled as she spoke, and well, Renard said, he understood her agitation; she was the hope of the heretics, and the heretics were raising their heads; the Papists, they said, had had their day, but it was waning; if Elizabeth lived, England would again apostatize.
There was no difficulty in keeping the Queen's jealousy alive against her sister. Courtenay was another offence in the eye of the ambassador, as the rival to Philip, who found favour with the English council. The Queen affected to treat Courtenay as a child; she commanded him to keep to his house; she forbade him to dine abroad without special permission; the title of Earl of Devon was given to him, and he had a dress made for him to take his seat in, of velvet and gold, but the Queen would not allow him to wear it: and yet, to her own and the ambassador's mortification, she learnt that he affected the state of a prince; that he spoke of his marriage with her as certain; that certain prelates, Gardiner especially, encouraged his expectation, and one or more of them had knelt in his presence. The danger had been felt from the first that, if she persisted in her fancy for the Prince of Spain, Courtenay might turn his addresses to Elizabeth; the Lords would in that case fall off to his support, and the crown would fall from her head as easily as it had settled there.
More afflicting to Mary than these personal grievances, was the pertinacity with which the council continued, in their public documents, to describe her as Head of the Church, the execrable title which was the central root of the apostasy. In vain she protested; the hateful form—indispensable till it was taken away by Parliament—was thrust under her eyes in every paper which was brought to her for signature, and she was obliged to acknowledge the designation with her own hand and pen.
Amidst these anxieties, September wore away. Parliament was to open on the fifth of October, and either before or after the meeting the Queen was to be crowned. The ceremony was an occasion of considerable agitation; Mary herself was alarmed lest the Holy Oil should have lost its efficacy through the interdict; and she entreated Renard to procure her a fresh supply from Flanders, blessed by the excellent hands of the Bishop of Arras. But the oil was not the gravest difficulty. As the rumour spread of the intended Spanish marriage, libellous handbills were scattered about London; the people said it should not be till they had fought for it. A disturbance at Greenwich, on the 25th of September, extended to Southwark, where Gardiner's house was attacked, and a plot was discovered to murder him: in the day he wore a shirt of mail under his robes, and he slept with a guard of a hundred men. Threatening notices were even found on the floor of the Queen's bed-room, left there by unknown hands. Noailles assured the Lords that his own Government would regard the marriage as little short of a declaration of war, so inevitably would war be the result of it; and Gardiner, who was unjustly suspected of being in the Spanish interest, desired to delay the coronation till Parliament should have met; intending that the first act of the assembly should be to tie Mary's hands with a memorial which she could not set aside. She inherited under her father's will, by which her accession was made conditional on her marrying not without the consent of the council; Parliament might remind her both of her jwn obligation to obey her father's injunctions, and of theirs to see that those injunctions were obeyed.
With the same object, though not with the same object only, the Lords of the Council supported the Bishop of Winchester. They proposed to alter the form of the coronation oath, and to bind the Queen by an especial clause to maintain the independence of the English Church—a precaution, as it proved, not unnecessary, for the existing form was already inconvenient, and Mary was meditating how, when called on to swear to observe the laws and constitutions of the realm, she could introduce an adjective sub silentio; she intended to swear only that she would observe the just laws and constitutions. But she looked with the gravest alarm to the introduction of more awkward phrases; if words were added which would be equivalent (as she would understand them) to a denial of Christ and his Church, she had resolved to refuse at all hazards.
But her courage was not put to the test. The true grounds on which the delay of the coronation was desired could not be avowed. The Queen was told that her passage through the streets would be unsafe until her accession had been sanctioned by Parliament, and the Act repealed by which she was illegitimatized. With Paget's help she faced down these objections, and declared that she would be crowned at once; she appointed the 1st of October for the ceremony; Sept. 28.on the 28th she sent for the council to attempt an appeal to their generosity. She spoke to them at length of her past life and sufferings, of the conspiracy to set her aside, and of the wonderful Providence which had preserved her and raised her to the throne; her only desire, she said, was to do her duty to God and to her subjects; and she hoped, turning as she spoke pointedly to Gardiner, that they would not forget their loyalty, and would stand by her in her extreme necessity. Observing them hesitate, she cried, 'My Lords, on my knees I implore you—' and flung herself on the ground at their feet.
The most skilful acting could not have served Mary's purpose better than this outburst of natural emotion; the spectacle of their kneeling sovereign overcame for a time the scheming passions of her ministers; they were affected, burst into tears, and withdrew their opposition to her wishes.
On the 30th, the procession from the Tower to Westminster through the streets was safely accomplished. The retinues of the Lords protected the Queen from insult, and London put on its usual outward signs of rejoicing; St Paul's spire was rigged with yards like a ship's mast, an adventurous sailor sitting astride on the weathercock five hundred feet in the air: there was October 1no interruption; and the next day, Arras having sent the necessary unction, the ceremony was performed at the Abbey without fresh burdens being laid on Mary's conscience.
The banquet in the Great Hall passed off with equal success; Sir Edward Dymocke, the champion, rode in and flung down his gage, and was listened to with becoming silence: on the whole, Mary's friends were agreeably disappointed; only Renard observed that, between the French ambassador and the Lady Elizabeth there seemed to be some secret understanding; the princess saluted Noailles as he passed her; Renard she would neither address nor look at—and Renard was told that she complained to Noailles of the weight of her coronet, and that Noailles 'bade her have patience, and before long she would exchange it for a crown.'
The coronation was a step gained; it was one more victory, yet it produced no material alteration. Rome, and the Spanish marriage, remained as before, insoluble elements of difficulty; the Queen, to her misfortune, was driven to rely more and more on Renard; and at this time she was so desperate and so ill-advised as to think of surrounding herself with an Irish body-guard; she went so far as to send a commission to Sir George Stanley for their transport.
The scheme was abandoned, but not because her relations with her own people were improved. Before Parliament met, an anonymous pamphlet appeared by some English nobleman on the encroachments of the House of Austria, and on the treatment of other countries which had fallen through marriages into Austrian hands. In Lombardy and Naples every office of trust was described as held by a Spaniard; the Prince of Salerno was banished, the Prince of Benevento was a prisoner in Flanders, the Duke of Calabria a prisoner in Spain. Treating Mary's hopes of children as ridiculous, the writer pictured England, bound hand and foot, at the mercy of the insolent Philip, whose first step, on entering the country, would be to seize the Tower and the fleet, the next, to introduce a Spanish army and suppress the Parliament. The free glorious England of the Plantagenets would then be converted into a prostrate appanage of the dominions of Don Carlos. The pamphlet was but the expression of the universal feeling. Gardiner, indeed, perplexed between his religion and his country, for a few days wavered. Gardiner had a long debt to pay off against the Protestants, and a Spanish force, divided into garrisons for London and other towns, would assist him materially. Partly, however, from attachment to Courtenay, partly from loyalty to his country, he shook off the temptation and continued to support the opposition. Mary, except for the cautious support of Paget, stood otherwise alone coquetting with her fancy, and played upon by the skilful Renard. The Queen and the ambassador were incessantly together, and Philip was the never-tiring subject of conversation between them. She talked of his disposition. She had heard, she said, that he was proud; that he was inferior to his father in point of ability; and then he was young, and she had been told sad stories about him; if he was of warm temperament, he would not suit her at all, she said, considering the age at which she had arrived. Moreover, when she was married, she must obey as God commanded; her husband, perhaps, might wish to place Spaniards in authority in England, and she would have to refuse; and that he would not like. To all of which, being the fluttering of the caught fly, Renard would answer that his Highness was more like an angel than a man; his youth was in his favour, for he might live to see his child of age, and England had had too much experience of minorities. Life, he added remarkably, was shorter than it used to be; sixty was now a great age for a king; and as the world was, men were as mature at thirty as in the days of his grandfather they were considered at forty. Then touching the constant sore—'her Majesty,' he said, 'had four enemies, who would never rest till they had destroyed her or were themselves destroyed—the heretics, the friends of the late Duke of Northumberland, the Courts of France and Scotland, and, lastly, her sister Elizabeth. Her subjects were restless, turbulent, and changeable as the ocean of which they were so fond; the sovereigns of England had been only able to rule with a hand of iron, and with severities which had earned them the name of tyrants; they had not spared the blood royal in order to secure their thrones, and she too must act as they had acted, leaning for support, meanwhile, on the arm of a powerful prince.
To these dark hints Mary ever listened eagerly. Meantime she was harassed painfully from another quarter.
Reginald Pole, as might have been expected from his temperament, could ill endure the delay of his return to England. The hesitation of the Queen and the objections of the Emperor were grounded upon arguments which he assured himself were fallacious; the English nation, he continued to insist, was devoted to the Holy See; so far from being himself unpopular, the Cornish in the rebellion under Edward had petitioned for his recall, and had even designated him by the forbidden name of Cardinal; they loved him and they longed for him; and, regarding himself as the chosen instrument of Providence to repair the iniquities of Henry VIII., he held the obstructions to his return not only to be mistaken, but to be impious. The duty of the returning prodigal was to submit; to lay aside all earthly considerations—to obey God, God's vicegerent the Pope, and himself the Pope's representative.
Mendoza had been sent by Charles to meet Pole on his way to Flanders, and reason him into moderation. In return the legate wrote himself to Charles's confessor, commanding him to explain to his master the sin which he was committing. 'The objection to his going to England,' as Pole understood, 'was the supposed danger of an outbreak. Were the truth as the Emperor feared, the Queen's first duty would be, nevertheless, to God, her own soul, and the souls of the millions of her subjects who were perishing in separation from the Church; for no worldly policy or carnal respect ought she to defer for a moment to apply a remedy to so monstrous a calamity. But the danger was imaginary—or, rather, such danger as there was, arose from the opposite cause. The right of the Queen to the throne did not rest on an Act of Parliament; it rested on her birth as the lawful child of the lawful marriage between Henry and Catherine of Arragon. Parliament, he was informed, would affirm the marriage legitimate, if nothing was said about the Pope; but, unless the Pope's authority was first recognized, Parliament would only stultify itself; the Papal dispensation alone made valid a connection which, if the Pope had no power to dispense, was incestuous, and the offspring of it illegitimate. God had made the peaceful settlement of the kingdom dependent on submission to the Holy See, and for Parliament to interfere and give an opinion upon the subject would be but a fresh act of schism and disobedience.
The original letter, being in our own State Paper Office, was probably given by the confessor to Charles, and by Charles sent over to England. Most logical it was; so logical that it quite outwitted the intention of the writer. While it added to the Queen's distress, it removed, nevertheless, all objections which might have been raised by the anti-papal party against the Act to legitimatize her. So long as there was a fear that, by a repeal of the Act of Divorce between her father and mother, the Pope's authority might indirectly be admitted, some difficulty was to be anticipated; as a new assertion of English independence, it could be carried with unanimous alacrity.
What Parliament would or would not consent to, however, would soon cease to be a mystery. The advice of the Emperor on the elections had been, for the most part, followed. It was obvious, indeed, that a sovereign who was unable to control her council was in no position to dictate to constituencies. There were no circulars to the lords-lieutenants of counties, such as Northumberland had issued, or such as Mary herself, a year later, was able to issue; while the unusual number of members returned to the Lower House—four hundred and thirty, it will be seen, voted on one great occasion—shows that the issue of writs had been on the widest scale. On the whole, it was, perhaps, the fairest election which had taken place for many years. In the House of Lords the ejection of the Reforming bishops and the restoration of their opponents—the death, imprisonment, or disgrace of three noblemen on the Reforming side, and the return to public life of the peers who, in the late reign, had habitually absented themselves, had restored a conservative majority. How the representatives of the people would conduct themselves was the anxious and all-agitating question. The Queen, however, could console herself with knowing that Protestantism, as a system of belief, had made its way chiefly among the young; the votes were with the middle-aged and the old.
October 5.The session opened on the 5th of October with the ancient form, so long omitted, of the mass of the Holy Ghost. Two Protestant bishops, Taylor of Lincoln and Harley of Hereford, who had been left as yet undisturbed in their sees, on the service commencing, rose and went out; they were not allowed to return. Two prebendaries, Alexander Nowel and Doctor Tregonwell, had been returned to the Lower House; Nowel as a member of Convocation was declared ineligible; Tregonwell being a layman was on consideration allowed to retain his seat. These were the only ejections which can be specifically traced, and the silence of those who were interested in making the worst of Mary's conduct, may be taken to prove that they did not know of any more. The Houses purged of these elements then settled to their work; and plunging at once into the great question of the time, the Commons came to an instant understanding that the lay owners of Church lands should not be disturbed in their tenures under any pretext whatsoever.
Commendone, on returning to Rome, had disregarded his obligations to secrecy, and had related all that the Queen had said to him in the open Consistory; from the Consistory the account travelled back to England, and arrived inopportunely at the opening of Parliament. The fatal subject of the lands had been spoken of, and the Queen had expressed to Commendone her intention to restore them, if possible, to the Church. The council cross-questioned her, and she could neither deny her words nor explain them away; the Commons first, the Lords immediately after, showed her that whatever might be her own hopes or wishes, their minds on that point were irrevocably fixed.
No less distinct were the opinions expressed in the Lower House on the Papacy. The authority of the Pope, as understood in England, was not a question of doctrine, nor was the opposition to it of recent origin It had been thrown off after a struggle which had lasted for centuries, and a victory so hardly won was not to be lightly parted with. Lord Paget warned the Queen that Pole's name must not be so much as mentioned, or some unwelcome resolution about him would be immediately passed; and she was in hourly dread that before they would consent to anything, they would question her whether she would or would not maintain the royal supremacy. On the other hand, if no difficulties were raised about the Pope or the Church lands, the preliminary discussion, both among Lords and Commons, showed a general disposition to re-establish religion in the condition in which Henry left it—provided, that is to say, no penalties were to attach to nonconformity; and the Houses were ready also to take the step so much deprecated by Pole, and pass a measurf legitimatizing the Queen, provided no mention was to be made of the Papal dispensation. Some difference of opinion on the last point had shown itself in the House of Commons, but the legate's ingenuity had removed all serious obstacles.
Again Parliament seemed determined that the Act of Succession, and the will of Henry VIII., should not be tampered with, to the disfavour of Elizabeth. It is singular that Renard and probably therefore Mary, were unaware of the position in which Elizabeth was placed towards the crown. They imagined that her only title was as a presumptively legitimate child; that if the Act of Divorce between Catherine of Arragon and Henry was repealed, she must then, as a bastard, be cut off from her expectations, Had Elizabeth's prospects been liable to be affected by the legitimization of her sister, the Queen would have sued as vainly for it as she sued afterwards in favour of her husband. With unmixed mortification Renard learnt that Elizabeth, in the eye of the law, had been as illegitimate as Mary, and that her place in the order of succession rested on her father's will. He flattered himself, at first, that Henry's dispositions could be set aside; but he very soon found that there was no present hope of it.
These general features of the temper of Parliament were elicited in conversation in the first few days of the session. The Marchioness of Exeter, during the same days, was released from her attainder, Courtenay was restored in blood, while a law, similar to that with which Somerset commenced his Protectorate, repealed all late treason Acts, restricted the definition of treason within the limits of the statute of Edward III., and relieved the clergy of the recent extensions of the Premunire. The Queen gave her assent to these three measures on the 21st of October; and there was then an interval of three days, during which the bishops were consulted on the view taken by Parliament of the Queen's legitimacy. Renard told the Bishop of Norwich, Thirlby, that they must bend to the times, and leave the Pope to his fortunes. They acted on the ambassador's advice. An Act was passed, in which the marriage from which the Queen was sprung, was declared valid, and the Pope's name was not mentioned; but the essential point being secured, the framers of the statute were willing to gratify their mistress by the intensity of the bitterness with which the history of the divorce was related. The bishops must have been glad to escape from so mortifying a subject, and to apply themselves to the more congenial subject of religion.
As soon as the disposition of Parliament had been generally ascertained, the restoration of the mass was first formally submitted, for the sake of decency, to the clergy of Convocation.
The bench had been purged of dangerous elements. The Lower House contained a small fraction of Protestants just large enough to permit a controversy, and to ensure a triumph to their antagonists. The proceedings opened with a sermon from Harpsfeld, then chaplain of the Bishop of London, in which, in a series of ascending antitheses, Northumberland was described as Holofernes, and Mary as Judith; Northumberland was Haman, and Mary was Esther; Northumberland was Sisera, and Mary was Deborah. Mary was the sister who had chosen the better part: religion ceased and slept until Mary arose a virgin in Israel, and with the mother of God Mary might sing, 'Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.' The trumpet having thus sounded, the lists were drawn for the combat; the bishops sat in their robes, the clergy stood bareheaded, and the champions appeared. Hugh Weston, Dean of Windsor, Dean of Westminster afterwards, Dr Watson, Dr Moreman, and the preacher Harpsfeld undertook to defend the real presence against Phillips Dean of Rochester, Philpot, Cheny, Aylmer, and Young.
The engagement lasted for a week. The reforming theologians fought for their dangerous cause bravely and temperately; and Weston, who was at once advocate and prolocutor, threw down his truncheon at last, and told Philpot that he was meeter for Bethlehem than for a company of grave and learned men, and that he should come no more into their house. The orthodox thus ruled themselves the victors: but beyond the doors of the Convocation House they did not benefit their cause. The dispute, according to Renard, resolved itself, in the opinion of the laity, into scandalous railing and recrimination; the people were indignant; and the Houses of Parliament, disgusted and dissatisfied, resumed the discussion among themselves, as more competent to conduct it with decency. In eight days the various changes introduced by Edward VI. were argued in the House of Commons, and points were treated of there, said Renard, which a general council could scarcely resolve. At length, by a majority, which exceeded Gardiner's most sanguine hopes, of 350 against 80, the mass was restored, and the clergy were required to return to celibacy.
The precipitation with which Somerset, Cranmer, and Northumberland had attempted to carry out the Reformation, was thus followed by a natural recoil. Protestant theology had erected itself into a system of intolerant dogmatism, and had crowded the gaols with prisoners who were guilty of no crime but Nonconformity; it had now to reap the fruits of its injustice, and was superseded till its teachers had grown wiser. The first Parliament of Mary was indeed more Protestant, in the best sense of that word, than the statesmen and divines of Edward. While the House of Commons reestablished the Catholic services, they decided, after long consideration, that no punishment should be inflicted on those who declined to attend those services. There was to be no Pope, no persecution, no restoration of the abbey lands,—resolutions, all of them disagreeable to a reactionary Court. On the Spanish marriage both Lords and Commons were equally impracticable. The Catholic noblemen—the Earls of Derby, Shrewsbury, Bath, and Sussex were in the interest of Courtenay. The chancellor had become attached to him in the Tower when they were fellow-prisoners there; and Sir Robert Rochester, Sir Francis Englefield, Sir Edward Waldegrave, the Queen's tried and faithful officers of the household, went with the chancellor. Never, on any subject, was there greater unanimity in England than in the disapproval of Philip as a husband for the Queen, and, on the 29th of October, the Lower House had a petition in preparation to entreat her to choose from among her subjects.
To Courtenay, indeed, Mary might legitimately object. Since his emancipation from the Tower he had wandered into folly and debauchery; he was vain and inexperienced, and his insolence was kept in check only by the quality so rare in an Englishman of personal timidity. But to refuse Courtenay was one thing, to fasten her choice on the heir of a foreign kingdom was another. Paget insisted, indeed, that, as the Queen of Scots was contracted to the Dauphin, unless England could strengthen herself with a connection of corresponding consequence, the union of the French and Scottish Crowns was a menace to her liberties. But the argument, though important in itself, was powerless against the universal dread of the introduction of a foreign sovereign, and it availed only to provide Mary with an answer to the protests and entreaties of her other ministers.
Perhaps, too, it confirmed her in her obstinacy, and allowed her to persuade herself that, in following her own inclination, she was consulting the interests of her subjects. Obstinate, at any rate, she was beyond all reach of persuasion. Once only she wavered, after her resolution was first taken. Some one had told her that, if she married Philip, she would find herself the stepmother of a large family of children who had come into the world irregularly. A moral objection she was always willing to recognize. She sent for Renard, and conjured him to tell her whether the prince was really the good man which he had described him; Renard assured her that he was the very paragon of the world.
She caught the ambassador's hand.
'Oh!' she exclaimed, 'do you speak as a subject whose duty is to praise his sovereign, or do you speak as a man?'
'Your Majesty may take my life,' he answered, 'if you find him other than I have told you.'
'Oh that I could but see him!' she said. She dismissed Renard gratefully. A few days after she sent for him again, when she was expecting the petition of the House of Commons. 'Lady Clarence,' one of the Queen's attendants, was the only other person present. The holy wafer was in the room on an altar, which she called her protector, her guide, her adviser. Mary told them that she spent her days and nights in tears and prayers before it, imploring God to direct her; and as she was speaking her emotions overcame her; she flung herself on her knees with Renard and Lady Clarence at her side, and the three together before the altar sang the 'Veni Creator.' The invocation was heard in the breasts from which it was uttered. As the chant died into silence, Mary rose from the ground as if inspired, and announced the divine message. The Prince of Spain was the chosen of Heaven for the virgin Queen; if miracles were required to give him to her, there was a stronger than man who would work them; the malice of the world should not keep him from her; she would cherish him and love him, and him alone; and never thenceforward, by a wavering thought, would she give him cause for jealousy.
It was true that she had deliberately promised not to do what she was now resolved on doing, but that was no matter.
November.The Commons' petition was by this time ready, but the agitation of the last scene brought on a palpitation of the heart which for the time enabled the Queen to decline to receive it; while Renard assailed the different ministers, and extracted from them their general views on the state of the country, and the measures which should be pursued.
The Bishop of Winchester he found relaxing in his zeal for Rome, and desiring a solid independent English Government, the re-enactment of the Six Articles, and an Anglican religious tyranny supported by the lords of the old blood. Nobles and people were against the Pope, Gardiner said, and against foreign interference of all sorts; Mary could not marry Philip without a Papal dispensation, which must be kept secret, for the country would not tolerate it; the French would play into the hands of the heretics, and the Spanish alliance would give them the game; there would be a cry raised that Spanish troops would be introduced to inflict the Pope upon the people by force. If the Emperor desired the friendship of England, he would succeed best by not pressing the connection too close. Political marriages were dangerous. Cromwell tied Henry VIII. to Anne of Cleves; the marriage lasted a night, and destroyed him and his policy. Let the Queen accept the choice of her people, marry Courtenay, send Elizabeth to the Tower, and extirpate heresy with fire and sword.
These were the views of Gardiner, from whom Renard turned next to Paget.
If the Queen sent Elizabeth to the Tower, Lord Paget said, her life would not be safe for a day. Paget wished her to be allowed to choose her own husband; but she must first satisfy Parliament that she had no intention of tampering with the succession. Should she die without children, the country must not be left exposed to claims from Spain on behalf of Philip, or from France on behalf of the Queen of Scots. His own advice, therefore, was, that Mary should frankly acknowledge her sister as her presumptive successor; Elizabeth might be married to Courtenay, and, in default of heirs of her own body, it might be avowed and understood that those two should be king and queen. Could she make up her mind to this course, could she relinquish her dreams of restoring the authority of the Pope, of meddling with the Church lands, and interfering with the liberties of her people, she might rely on the loyalty of the country, and her personal inclinations would not be interfered with.
Both the lines of conduct thus sketched were consistent and intelligible, and either might have been successfully followed. But neither the one nor the other satisfied Mary. She would have Philip, she would have the Pope, and she would not recognize her sister. If she insisted on choosing a husband for herself, she felt it would be difficult to refuse her; her object was to surprise the council into committing themselves, and she succeeded. Nov. 8.On the 8th of November, when they were in session in a room in the palace, Renard presented Mary in th Emperor's name with a formal offer of Philip's hand, and requested a distinct answer, Yes or no. The Queen said she would consult her ministers, and repaired in agitation to the council-room. Distrusting one another, unprepared for the sudden demand, and unable to consult in her presence, the Lords made some answer, which she interpreted into acquiescence: Mary returned radiant with joy, and told the ambassador that his proposal was accepted.
Nov. 13.A momentary lull followed, during which Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lady Jane Grey, Lord Guilford, Lord Ambrose and Lord Henry Dudley were taken from the Tower on foot to the Guildhall, and were there tried, found guilty of high treason, and sentenced to die. Lady Jane the Queen still intended to spare; the Dudleys she meant to pause upon. Cranmer, in a grave, mild letter, explained what his conduct had been with respect to his so-called treason; but his story, creditable to him as it was, produced no effect; Cranmer was immediately to be put to death. That was the first intention, though it was found necessary to postpone his fate through a superstitious scruple. The Archbishop had received the pallium from Rome, and, until degraded by apostolic authority, he could not, according to Catholic rule, be condemned by a secular tribunal. But there was no intention of sparing him at the time of his trial; in a few days, Renard wrote on the 17th of November, 'the Archbishop' will be executed; and Mary triumphant, as she believed herself, on the question nearest to her heart, had told him that the melancholy which had weighed upon her from childhood was rolling away; she had never yet known the meaning of happiness, and she was about to be rewarded at last.
The struggle had told upon her. She was looking aged and worn, and her hopes of children, if she married, were thought extremely small. But she considered that she had won the day, and was now ready to face the Commons; the House had chafed at the delay: they had talked largely of their intentions; if the Queen's answer was unsatisfactory, they threatened to dissolve of themselves, and return to their counties. On the 16th of November a message was brought that the Speaker would at last be admitted to the presence. The interview which followed, Mary thus herself described to Renard. The council were present; the Speaker was introduced, and the Queen received him standing.
In an oration which she described as replete to weariness with fine phrases and historic precedents, the Speaker requested her, in the name of the commonwealth, to marry. The succession was perplexed; the Queen of Scots made pretensions to the Crown; and in the event of her death, a civil war was imminent. Let her Majesty take a husband, therefore, and with God's grace the kingdom would not be long without an heir whose title none would dispute. Yet, in taking a husband, the Speaker said, her Majesty's faithful Commons trusted she vould not choose from abroad. A foreign prince had interests of his own which might not be English interests; he would have command of English armies, fleets, and fortresses, and he might betray his trust; he might involve the country in wars; he might make promises and break them; he might carry her Highness away out of the realm; or he might bring up her children in foreign courts and in foreign habits. Let her marry, therefore, one of her own subjects.
Nov. 10.The Speaker was so prolix, so tedious, so confused, the Queen—said his sentences were so long drawn and so little to the purpose—that she sat down before he had half finished. When he came to the words 'marry a subject,' she could remain silent no longer.
Replies to addresses of the House of Commons were usually read by the chancellor; but, careless of forms, she again started, to her feet, and spoke:—
'For your desire to see us married we thank you; your desire to dictate to us the consort whom we shall choose we consider somewhat superfluous; the English Parliament has not been wont to use such language to their sovereigns, and where private persons in such cases follow their private tastes, sovereigns may reasonably challenge an equal liberty. If you, our Commons, force upon us a husband whom we dislike, it may occasion the inconvenience of our death; if we marry where we do not love, we shall be in our grave in three months, and the heir of whom you speak will not have been brought into being. We have heard much from you of the incommodities which may attend our marriage; we have not heard from you of the commodities thereof one of which is of some weight with us, the commodity, namely, of our private inclination. We have not forgotten our coronation oath. We shall marry as God shall direct our choice, to his honour and to our country's good.'
Nov. 16.She would hear no reply. The Speaker was led out, and as he left the room Arundel whispered to Gardiner that he had lost his office; the Queen had usurped it. At the same moment the Queen herself turned to the chancellor—'I have to thank you, my Lord, for this business,' she said.
The chancellor swore in tears that he was innocent; the Commons had drawn their petition themselves; for himself it was true he was well inclined towards Courtenay; he had known him in the Tower.
'And is your having known him in the Tower,' she cried, 'a reason that you should think him a fitting husband for me? I will never, never marry him—that I promise you—and I am a woman of my word; what I say I do.'
'Choose where you will,' Gardiner answered, 'your Majesty's consort shall find in me the most obedient of his subjects.'
Mary had now the bit between her teeth, and, resisting all efforts to check or guide her, was making her own way with obstinate resolution.
The next point was the succession, which, notwithstanding the humour of Parliament, should be rearranged, if force or skill could do it. There were four possible claimants after herself, she told Renard, and in her own opinion the best title was that of the Queen of Scots. But the country objected, and the Emperor would not have the English crown fall to France. The Greys were out of the question, but their mother, the Duchess of Suffolk, was eligible; and there was Lady Lennox, also, Darnley's mother, who perhaps, after all, would be the best choice that could be made. Elizabeth, she was determined, should never, never succeed. She had spoken to Paget about it, she said, and Paget had remonstrated; Paget had said, marry her to Courtenay, recognize her as presumptive heir, and add a stipulation, if necessary, that she become a Catholic; but, Catholic or no Catholic, she said, her sister should never reign in England with consent of hers; she was a heretic, a hypocrite, and a bastard, and her infamous mother had been the cause of all the calamities which had befallen the realm.
Even Renard was alarmed at this burst of passion. He had fed Mary's suspicions till they were beyond either his control or her own; and the attitude of Parliament had lately shown him that, if any step were taken against Elizabeth without provocation on her part, it would infinitely increase the difficulty of concluding the marriage. He was beginning to believe, and he ventured to hint to the Queen, that Paget' s advice might be worth consideration; but on this subject she would listen to nothing.
Elizabeth, had hitherto, when at Court, taken precedence of all other ladies. The Queen now compelled her to walk behind Lady Lennox and the Duchess of Suffolk, as a sign of the meditated change; and the ladies of the Court were afraid to be seen speaking to her. But in reply to Mary's derogatory treatment the young lords, knights, and gentlemen gathered ostentatiously round the princess when she rode abroad, or thronged the levees at her house; old-established statesmen said, in Renard's ear, that, let the Queen decide as she would, no foreigner should reign in England; and Lord Arundel believed that Elizabeth's foot was already on the steps of the throne. A large and fast-growing party, which included more than one member of the privy council, were now beginning to consider as the best escape from Philip, that Courtenay should fly from the Court, taking Elizabeth with him—call round him in their joint names all who would strike with him for English independence, and proclaim the Queen deposed.
There was uncertainty about Elizabeth herself; both Noailles and Renard believed that she would consent to this dangerous proposal; but she had shown Courtenay, hitherto, no sign of favour; while Courtenay, on his side, complained that he was frightened by her haughty ways. Again, there was a serious difficulty in Courtenay's character; he was too cowardly for a dangerous enterprise, too incapable for an intricate one, and his weak humour made men afraid to,, trust themselves to a person who, to save himself, might at any moment betray them. Noailles, however, said emphatically that, were Courtenay anything but what he was, his success would be certain.
The plot grew steadily into definite form. Devonshire and Cornwall were prepared for insurrection, and thither, as to the stronghold of the Courtenay family, Elizabeth was to be first carried. Meantime the ferment of popular feeling showed in alarming symptoms through the surface. The council were in continual quarrel. Parliament, since the rebuff of the Speaker, had not grown more tractable, and awkward questions began to be asked about a provision for the married clergy. All had been already gained which could be hoped for from the present House of Commons; December.and, on the 6th of December, the session ended in a dissolution. The same day a dead dog was thrown through the window of the presence chamber with ears cropped, a halter about its neck, and a label saying that all the priests in England should be hanged.
Renard, who, though not admitted, like Noailles, into the confidence of the conspirators, yet knew the drift of public feeling, and knew also Arundel's opinion of the Queen's prospects, insisted that Mary should place some restraint upon herself, and treat her sister at least with outward courtesy; Philip was expected at Christmas, should nothing untoward happen in the interval; and the ambassador prevailed on her, at last, to pretend that her suspicions were at an end. His own desire, he said, was as great as Mary's that Elizabeth should be detected in some treasonable correspondence; but harshness only placed her on her guard; she would be less careful, if she believed that she was no longer distrusted. The princess, alarmed perhaps at finding herself the unconsenting object of dangerous schemes, had asked permission to retire to her country house. It was agreed that she should go; persons in her household were bribed to watch her; and the Queen, yielding to Renard's entreaties, received her, when she came to take leave, with an appearance of affection so well counterfeited, that it called out the ambassador's applause. She made her a present of pearls, with a headdress of sable; and the princess, on her side, implored the Queen to give no more credit to slanders against her. They embraced; Elizabeth left the Court; and, as she went out of London, five hundred gentlemen formed about her as a voluntary escort. There were not wanting fools, says Renard, who would persuade the Queen that her sister's last words were honestly spoken; but she remembers too acutely the injuries which her mother and herself suffered at Anne Boleyn's hands; and she has a fixed conviction that Elizabeth, unless she can be first disposed of, will be a cause of infinite calamities to the realm.
- Grey Friars' Chronicle: Machyn.
- Baoardo's History of the Revolution in England on the Death of Edward VI., printed at Venice, 1558. A copy of this rare book is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.
- Avant nostre arrivée elle mist en delibération avec aulcungs de ses plus confidens ce qu'elle debvroit faire, advenant la dicte morte; la quelle treuva, que incontinant la dicte morte decouverte, elle se debvoit publier royne par lettres et escriptz, et qu'en ce faisant, elle conciteroit plusieurs à se déclairer pour la maintenir telle, (et aussy que y a quelque observance par de çà, que celuy ou celle qui est appelé à la couronne se doit incontinent tel déclairer et publier) pour la haine qu'ilz portent audict due, le tenant tiran et indigne; s'estant absolument resolue qu'elle debvoit suyvre ceste conclusion et conseil, aultrement elle tomberoit en danger de sa personne plus grand qu'elle n'est et perdroit l'espoir de parvenir à la couronne. La quelle conclusion avons treuvé estrange, difficile, et dangereuse, pour les raisons soubzcriptes: pour aultant que toutes les forces du pays sont ès mains dudiet duc: que la dicte dame n'a espoir de contraires forces ny d'assistance pour donner pied à ceulx qu'ilz adhérer luy vouldroient; que se publiant royne, le roy et royne désignés par le diet testament (encores qu'il soit mal) prendroient fondement, de l'invahir par la force et que n'y aura rnoieu d'y résister si vostre majesté ne s'en empesche; ce que avons pesé pour les grands affaires et empeschemens qu'elle a contre les Françoys et en divers lieux, que ne semble convenir que l'on concite en ceste saison les Angloys contre vostre Majesté et ses pays. Comme n'avons peu communiquer verbalement avec elle, l'avons advertie desdicts difficultés.… Que si la noblesse ses adhérens, ou le peuple la desiroit et maintenoit pour royne, il le pourroit démonstrer par l'effect; que la question estoit grande mêsme entre barbares et gens de telle condition que les Angloys.… luy touchant ces difficultez pour le respect de sa personne et pour suyvre la fin de la dicte instruction qu'est de non troubler le royaulme au désadvantaige de vostre Majesté.—The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor: Papiers d'Etat du Cardinal de Granvelle, vol. iv. pp. 19, 20.
- Nous avons veu par vos lectres l'advertissement qu'avez donné soubz main à Madame la princesse nostre cousine, affin qu'elle ne se laisse forcompter par ceulx qui luy persuadent qu'elle se haste de se déclairer pour royne, que nous a semblé tres bien pour les raisons et considerations touschez en vosdictes lectres.—The Emperor to the Ambassadors: Ibid, pp. 24, 25.
- Ne se pouvoient faire grand fondement sur la faveur et affection que aulcuns particuliers et le peuple peuvent porter à nostredicte cousine, ne fust que y en y eust plus grant nombre ou des principaulx, n'estant cela souffisant pour contreminer la negociation si fondée et de si longue main que le diet due de Northumberland a empris avec l'assistance que doubtez de France.—Ibid. pp. 25, 26.
- In the explanation given on the following Tuesday to the Emperor's ambassadors, Madame Marie was said—'N'estre capable dudict royaulme pour le divorce faict entre le feu Roy Henry et la Royne Katherine; se référant aux causes aians meu ledict divorce; et mesme n'estre suffisante pour l'administration d'icelluy comme estant femme, et pour la religion.—Papiers d'Etat du Cardinal de Granvelle, p. 28. Noailles was instructed to inform the King of France of the good affection of 'the new King' ('le nouveaulx Roy'). He had notice of the approaching coronation of 'the King;' and in the first communication of Edward's death to Hoby and Morryson in the Netherlands, a 'king,' and not a 'queen,' was described as on the throne in his place.
- Letters of Lady Jane Grey to Bullinger: Epistolæ Tigurinæ, pp. 3–7.
- Baoardo—who tells the story as it was told by Lady Jane herself to Abbot Feckenham.
- La delta maestà haveva ben considerato un atto di Parliamento nel quale fu già deliberato che qualunque volesse riconoscere Maria overo Elizabetha sorelle per heredi della corona fusse tenuto traditore.—Baoardo.
- Mr John Gough Nichols, the accomplished editor of so many of the best publications of the Camden Society, throws a doubt on the authenticity of this scene, being unable to find contemporary authority for it. It comes to us, through Baoardo, from Lady Jane herself.
- Edward Lord Courtenay was son of the executed Marquis of Exeter and great-grandson of Edward IV. He was thrown into the Tower with his father when a little boy, and in that confinement, in fifteen years, he had grown to manhood. Of him and his fortunes all that need be said will unfold itself.
- Scheyfne to Charles V., July 10: MS. Rolls House.
- Renard to Charles V.: Papiers d'Etat du Cardinal Granvelle, vol. iv.
- Le quale parole io senti con mio gran dispiacere. Baoardo.
- Se faisoit servir de mesme.—Renard to Charles V.: MS. Rolls House.
- Renard to Charles V.: MS. Rolls House.
- Renard to Charles V.: MS. Rolls House.
- Queen Jane and Queen Mary. Renard to Charles V.
- Grey Friars' Chronicle.
- 'Ille impigre quidem, utpote cujus res agebatur, proponit magna stipendia; conducit militem partim invitum partim perfidum; constabant enim majori ex parte satellitia nobilium qui secreto Mariæ favebant.'—Julius Terentianus to John ab Ulmis: Epistolæ Tigurinæ, p. 243.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Chronicle of Queen Jane.
- Noailles, vol. ii.
- Ajoutant menace de la rigeur de leurs lois barbares.—Renard to Charles V.: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
- Chronicle of Queen Jane.
- Chronicle of Queen Jane.
- 'Aliqui subscripserunt, id quod postca compertum est, ut facilius fallerent Northumbrum, cujus consilio hæc omnia videbant fieri et tegerent conspirationem quara adornabant in auxilium Mariæ.'—Julius Terentianus to John ab Ulmis: Epistolæ Tigurinæ, p. 242. John Knox allowed his vehemence to carry him too far against the Marquis of Winchester, who unquestionably was not one of those who advised the scheme of Northumberland. In the 'aliqui' of Julius Terentianus, the letters of Renard, of Scheyfne, enable us to identify both him and Arundel; but there must have been many more, in the council or out of it, who were acting in concert with them.
- Cecil's Submission, printed by Tytler, vol. ii.
- Scheyfne to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Chronicle of Queen Jane.
- Cecil's Submission: Tytler, vol. ii.
- Account of a Sermon at Amersham: Admonition to the Faithful in England, by John Knox.
- Some jest, perhaps, upon a shorn crown; at any rate, a euphemism for decapitation; for Foxe, who tells the story, says, 'and even so it came to pass, for he and Sir John Gates, who was then at table, were made deacons ere it was long after on the Tower Hill.'—Foxe, vol. viii. p. 590.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls Home MSS.
- La peine où se retreuve ledict duc est qu'il ne se ose fier en personne, pour n'avoir faict ou donné occasion à personne de l'aimer,—que a meu envoyer en France le Millor Dudley son frère, pour l'assurer du secours que luy a esté promis par le roy de France, et le prier en faire demonstration pour intimider ceulx de par deça. Car encores qu'il entende qu'il dégoustera davantage ceulx du pays pour y amener Francois, si est ce craignant d'estre rebouté de son emprinse, et d'estre massacré du peuple et sa generation, et que ma dicte dame Marie ne parvienne à la couronne, il ne respectera chose quelconque: plustôt donnera il pied aux François ou peys: tel est le couraige d'ung homme tiran, obstiné, et resolu, signamment quant il est question de se démesurer pour regner.—Renard to Charles V.: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 38.
- The letter is among the Lansdowne MSS. It is in the hand of Sir John Cheke, and dated July 19. The signatures are Cranmer, Goodrich, Winchester, Bedford, Suffolk, Arundel, Shrewsbury, Pembroke, Darcy, Paget, Cheyne, Cotton, Petre, Cheke, Baker, Bowes.
- Fronting the river, about three-quarters of a mile above London Bridge. The original castle of Baynard the Norman had fallen into ruins at the end of the fifteenth century. Henry VII. built a palace on the site of it, which retained the name.
- E quando le persuasioni del conte d'Arundel non habiano luogo appresso di voi, o questa spada fara Reina Maria, o perderò io la vita.—Baoardo.
- Renard had been prepared, by a singular notice, to expect their coming, and to suspect their good faith. Ce matin, he wrote, relating the counter-revolution to the Emperor; ce matin, à bonne heure, il y a venu une vieille femme de soixante ans en nostre logis pour nous advertir que l'on deust faire sçavoir à madicte dame Marie qu'elle se donna garde de ceulx de conseil car ils la vouloient tromper soubz couleur de luy monstrer affection.—Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
- Baoardo to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Narrative of Edward Underhill: Harleian MSS. 425.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS. All authorities agree in the general description of the state of London. Renard, Noailles, and Baoardo are the most explicit and interesting.
- This letter is among the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. It was printed by Stowe.
- 'Our bounden duties most humbly remembered to your excellent Majesty. It may like the same to understand, that we, your most humble, faithful, and obedient subjects, having always, God we take to witness, remained your Highness's true and humble subjects in our hearts, ever since the death of our late Sovereign Lord and master your Highness's brother, whom God pardon, and seeing hitherto no possibility to utter our determination without great destruction and bloodshed, both of ourselves and others, till this time, have this day proclaimed in your city of London your Majesty to be our true natural sovereign liege Lady and Queen; most humbly beseeching your Majesty to pardon and remit our former infirmities, and most graciously to accept our meanings, which have been ever to serve your Highness truly, and so shall remain with all our power and force, to the effusion of our blood, as these bearers, our very good Lords, the Earls of Arundel and Paget, can, and be ready more particularly to declare—to whom it may please your excellent Majesty to give firm credence; and thus we do and shall daily pray to Almighty God for the preservation of your most royal person long to reign over us.'—Lansdowne MSS. 3. Endorsed, in Cecil's hand, 'Copy of the Letter of the Lords to the Queen Mary from Baynard's Castle.' The signatures are, unfortunately, wanting.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Foxe, vol. viii.
- Foxe, vol. viii. pp. 591–2.
- I must again remind my readers of the distinction between Catholic and Papist. Three-quarters of the English people were Catholics; that is, they were attached to the hereditary and traditionary doctrines of the Church. They detested, as cordially as the Protestants, the interference of a foreign power, whether secular or spiritual, with English liberty.
- 'Adversity is a good thing. I trust in the Lord to live to see the day her Grace to marry such an one as knoweth what adversity meaneth; so shall we have both a merciful queen and king to their subjects; and would to God I might live to have another virtuous Edward.'—Epistle of Poor Pratt to Gilbert Potter, written July 13: Queen Jane and Queen Mary, Appendix, p. 116. The occasion of this curious epistle was the punishment of Gilbert on the pillory. The writer was a Protestant, and evidently thought the Reformation in greater danger from Northumberland than Mary. 'We have had many prophets and true preachers,' he said, 'which did declare that our King shall be taken away from us, and a tyrant shall reign. The gospel shall be plucked away, and the right heir shall be dispossessed; and all for our unthankfulness. And, thinkest thou not, Gilbert, this world is now come? Yea! truly! and what shall follow, if we repent not in time? The same God will take from us the virtuous Lady Mary our lawful Queen, and send such a cruel Pharaoh as the Ragged Bear to rule us, which shall pull and poll us, and utterly destroy us, and bring us in great calamities and miseries.'
- MS. Harleian, 523.
- Governor of Calais.
- Charles V, to Renard, July 22: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
- Elle sera odieuse, suspecte, et dangereuse.—Renard to the Emperor: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Queen Mary, copy enclosed to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Vous avez tres bien faict do desconseillier à la dicte Royne qu'elle fist les obsèques du feu Roy, ce qu'elle peult tant plus delaisser avecque le repos de sa conscience, puisque comme escripvez il est décede soustenant jusques à la fin, selon qu'il avoit esté persuadé de depuis sa jeunesse, les opinions de desvoyez de nostre ancienne religion: par on l'on ne peult sans scrupule luy faire l'enterrement et obsèques accoustumez en nostre dicte religion. Et est bien que l'ayez persuadé par vostre dicte lettre à la dicte dilation.—Charles V. to Renard, July 29: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
- Et il seroit a esperer que y appellant ceulx du Noort et de Cornuailles avec les autres comme ce sont ceulx qui sont demeurez plus ferme en la religion, et qui ont démonstré plus d'affection en son endroit qu'elle trouveroit envers iceulx pour tout ce qu'elle vouldroit ordonner plus de faveur.—Ibid.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS. Baoardo. Grey Friars' Chronicle.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- She, perhaps, imagined that she was not exceeding her statutable right in the refusal. The 17th of the 28th of Henry VIII. empowered any one of the heirs to the crown named in the King's will, on arriving at the age of twenty-four, to repeal laws passed not only in his or her own minority; but under circumstances such as those which had actually occurred, where the first heir had died before coming of age. The 11th of the 1st of Edward VI. modified the Act of Henry, limiting the power of repeal to the sovereign in whose own reign the law to be repealed had been passed. But this Act of Edward's was, itself, passed in a minority, and Mary might urge that she might repeal that as well as any other statute passed in his reign in virtue of the Act of her father.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- 'La beauté de visage plus que médiocre,' are Renard's words to Charles.
- Renard; Noailles; Machyn; Grey Friars' Chronicle.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Et luy fust proposé l'exemple de Maxinius et Victor son filz que Theodose l'Empereur feit mourir pour s'estre attribué le nom d'Empereur par tyrannie et l'avoir voulu continuer en son dict filz Victor, escripvant l'histoire que l'on fait mourir le filz pour le scandale et danger qu'en eust peu advenir.—Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS. For the story, see Gibbon, cap. xxvii.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Signantment sembleroit que vostre majesté ne se deust confier en Madame Elizabeth que Men a point, et discouvrir sur ce qu'elle ne se voit en espoir d'entrer en règne, ne avoir voulu fleschir quant au point de la religion ny ouyr la messe; ce que l'on jugeoit elle deust faire pour la respect de vostre majesté, et pour les courtoysies dont elle use en son endroit encores qu'elle ny eust faict sinon l'assister et l'accompaigner. Et davantage l'on peult discouvrir comme elle se maintient en la nouvelle religion par practique, pour attirer et gaigner a sa dévotion ceulx quilz sont de la dicte religion en s'en aider, si elle avoit intention de maligner; et jaçois l'on se pourroit fourcompter quant à son intention, si est en ce commencement, qu'il est plus sure prévenir que d'estre prévenu et penser a ce que peult advenir; actendu que les objects sont evidens.—Les Ambassadeurs de l'Empereur à Marie, Reine d'Angleterre: Granvelle Papers, vol. ii. pp. 64–69.
- Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London, p. 82.
- August 1553. Debts of the crown. Irish debt, 36,094l. 18s. Household debts, 14,574l. 16s. Further household debts, 7,450l. 5s. Berwick debt, with the wages of the officers, 16,639l. 18s. Calais debt, beside 17,000l. of loans and other things, 21,184l. 10s. Ordnance Office, 3,134l. 7s. Public works, 3,200l. Admiralty debt, 3,923l. 4s. Debts in the Office of the Chamber, 17,968l. Debts beyond the seas by Sir Thomas Gresham's particular bill, 61,068l. Alderney's debt, 3,028l. Scilly debt, 3,071l.—MS. Mary, Domestic, vol. i. State Paper Office.
- Note of things to be attended to: MS. Mary, Domestic, vol. i.
- Another natural feature of these curious days was the arrest of suspected persons; one of whom, Edward Underhill, the Hot Gospeller, has left behind him, in the account of his own adventures, a very vivid picture of the time. Underhill was a yeoman of the guard. He had seen service in the French wars, but had been noted chiefly for the zeal which he had shown in the late reign in hunting Catholics into gaol. He had thus worked his way into Court favour. During the brief royalty of Jane Grey, his wife was confined. His child was christened at the Tower church, and Suffolk and Pembroke were 'gossips,' and Jane herself was godmother. The day that Mary was proclaimed, he put out a ballad, which, as he expected, brought him into trouble. 'The next day,' he is telling his own story, 'after the Queen was come to the Tower, the foresaid ballad came into the hands of Secretary Bourne, who straightway made inquiry for the said Edward, who dwelt in Lymehurst; which he having intelligence of, sent the sheriff of Middlesex with a company of bills and glaives, who came into my house, being in my bed, and my wife newly laid in childbed. The high constable, whose name is Thomas Joy, dwelled at the house nextto me, whom the sheriff brought also with him. He being my very friend, desired the sheriff and his company to stay without for frighting of my wife, and he would go fetch me unto him; who knocked at the door, saying, he must speak with me. I, lying so near that I might hear him, called unto him, willing him to come unto me, for that he was always my very friend and earnest in the gospel, who declared unto me that the sheriff and a great company was sent for me. Whereupon I rose and made me ready to come unto him.'
Sir, said he, I have commandment from the council to apprehend you and bring you unto them.
'Why, said I, it is now ten of the clock at night; you cannot now carry me unto them.
'No, sir, said he, you shall go with me to my house in London, where you shall have a bed, and tomorrow I will bring you unto them in the Tower.
'In the name of God, quoth I, and so went with him, requiring him if I might understand the cause. He said he knew none.'
Underhill, however, conjectured that it was the ballad. He 'was nothing dismayed;' and in the morning went readily to the Tower, where he waited in the presence chamber talking to the pensioners.
Sir Edward Hastings passed through, and as he saw him, 'frowned earnestly.' 'Are you come?' said Hastings, 'we will talk with you ere you part, I warrant you.' They were old acquaintances. Underhill had been controller of the ordnance at Calais when Lord Huntingdon was in command there. The Earl being in bad health, his brother Sir Edward was with him, assisting in the duties of the office; and Underhill, being able to play and sing, had been a frequent visitor at the Government House. The Earl, moreover, 'took great delight to hear him reason' with Sir Edward, on points of controversy—chiefly on the real presence—where the controller of the ordnance (according to his own account), would quote Scripture, and Sir Edward would 'swear great oaths,' 'especially by the Lord's foot;' on which Underhill would say, 'Nay, then, it must needs be so, and you prove it with such oaths,' and the Earl would laugh and exclaim, 'Brother, give him over, Underhill is too good for you.'
Hastings, it seemed, could not forgive these passages of wit, and Underhill was to smart for them. While he stood waiting, Secretary Bourne came in, 'looking as the wolf at the lamb,' and seeing the man that he had sent for, carried him off into the council room. Hastings was gone, Bedford sat as President, 'and Bedford,' says Underbill, 'was my friend, for that my chance was to be at the recovery of his son, my Lord Russell, when he was cast into the Thames by Lymehurst, whom I received into my house, and gate him to bed, who was in great peril of his life, the weather being very cold.'
Bedford, however, made no sign of recognition. Bourne read the ballad; on which Underhill protested that there was no attack on the Queen's title in it. No! Bourne said, but it maintains the Queen's title with the help of an arrant heretic, Tyndal. Underbill used the word Papist. Sir John Mason asked what be meant by that: 'Sir,' he says that he replied, 'I think, if you look among the priests in Paul's, you shall find some old mumpsimusses there.
'Mumpsimusses, knave, said he, mumpsimusses! Thou art an heretic knave, by God's blood!
'Yea! by the mass, said the Earl of Bath, I warrant him an heretic knave indeed.
'I beseech your honours,' Underhill said, 'speaking to the Lords that sat at the table (for those others stood by and were not of the council), be my good Lords. I have offended no laws. I have served the Queen's Majesty's father and brother long time, and spent and consumed my living therein. I went not forth against her Majesty, notwithstanding I was commanded.'
He was interrupted by Arundel, who said that, 'by his writing,' 'he wished to set them all by the ears.' Hastings re-entered at the moment, telling the council that they must repair to the Queen, and the Hot Gospeller was promptly ordered to Newgate.
The sheriff led him through the streets, his friend Joy 'following afar off, as Peter followed Christ.' He wrote a few words to his wife at the door of Newgate, asking her to send him 'his nightgown, his Bible, and his lute;' and then entered the prison, his life in which he goes on to describe.
In the centre of Newgate was 'a great open hall.' 'As soon as it was supper time,' the board was covered in the same hall. The keeper, whose name was 'Alisander,' with his wife, came and sat down, and half a dozen prisoners that were there for felony,' Underhill 'being the first that for religion was sent unto that prison.' One of the felons had served with him in France. 'After supper,' the story continues, 'this good fellow, whose name was Bristow, procured me to have a bed in his chamber, wbo could play well upon a rebeck. He was a tall fellow, and after one of Queen Mary's guard; yet a Protestant, which he kept secret, for else, he said, he should not have found such favour as he did at the keeper's hands and his wife's, for to such as loved the gospel they were very cruel. Well, said Underhill, I have sent for my Bible, and, by God's grace, therein shall be my daily exercise; I will not hide it from them. Sir, said he, I am poor; but they will bear with you, for they see your estate is to pay well; and I will shew you the nature and manner of them; for I have been here a good while. They both do love music very well. Wherefore you with your lute, and I to play with you on my rebeck, will please them greatly. He loveth to be merry, and to drink wine, and she also. If you will bestow upon them, every dinner and supper, a quart of wine and some music, you shall be their white son, and have all the favour they can shew you.'
The honour of being 'white son' to the governor and governess of Newgate was worth aspiring after. Underhill duly provided the desired entertainments. The governor gave him the best room in the prison, with all other admissible indulgences.
'At last,' however, 'the evil savours, great unquietness, with over many drafts of air,' threw the poor gentleman into a burning ague. He shifted 'his lodgings,' but to no purpose; the 'evil savours' followed him. The keeper offered him his own parlour, where he escaped from the noise of the prison; but it was near the kitchen, and the smell of the meat was disagreeable. Finally, the wife put him away in her store-closet, amidst her best plate, crockery, and clothes, and there he continued to survive till the middle of September, when he was released on bail through the interference of the Earl of Bedford.—Underhill's Narrative: Harleian MSS. 425.
- Supra, p. 172.
- Noailles, vol. ii. p. 111.
- Monseigneur, je n'ay sceu trouver moien jusques à ceste heure de communiquer avec la royne, ce que je deliberois faive avec l'occasion des lectres do sa Majesté, si sans suspicion, j'eusse peu avoir accès, que n'a esté possible pour estre les portes en la Tour de Londres où elle este logée, si gardées que n'est possible y entrer que l'on ne soit congneu; elle m'avoit faict dire si je me pouvoys desguiser et prendre ung manteau, mais il m'a semblé pour le mieux et plus seur d'attendre qu'elle soit a Richemont.—Renard to Charles V.: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. pp. 71, 72.
- Renard to the Emperor: Rolls House MSS. Queen Jane and Queen Mary, p. 15.
- Renard says it was at these words that the exasperation broke out.
- Car si elle y avoit fantasie, elle ne laisseroit, si elle este du naturel des autres femmes, de passer oultre, et si se ressentiroit à jamais de ce que vous en pourriez avoir dit.—Arras to Renard: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 77.
- Renard to the Bishop of Arras: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 79. Renard to Charles V., August 16: Rolls House, MSS.
- Queen Jane and Queen Mary. The anomaly in the constitution of the Court amused Renard, who commented upon it to the Emperor, as an illustration of England and the English character.—Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS. Queen Jane and Queen Mary, Appendix. Baoardo says, Northampton pleaded—Ch' egli non si era mai messo in governo et che sempre attese alia caccia.
- Queen Jane and Queen Mary, p. 17. Renard says that he asked the council to intercede for his life.
- So Renard states. The author of the Chronicle of Queen Mary says merely that he denied that he had borne arms against the Queen, but admitted that he had been with the army.
- The authority for this story is Parsons the Jesuit, who learnt it from one of the council who was present at the interview. Parsons says, indeed, that Mary would have spared the Duke; but that some one wrote to the Emperor, and that the Emperor insisted that he should he put to death. This could not be, because there was no time for letters to pass and repass between Brussels and London, in the interval between the sentence and the execution; but Renard says distinctly that Mary did desire to pardon him, and that he was himself obliged to exert his influence to prevent it.
- Harleian MSS. 284. Compare the account of the chronicler Queen Jane and Queen Mary, pp. 18, 19.
- 'Not for any hatred towards you,' he added, 'but for fear that harm might come thereby to my late young master.' Queen Jane and Queen Mary, p. 20.
- Lady Jane Grey spoke a few memorable words on the Duke's conduct at the scaffold. 'On Tuesday, the 29th of August,' says the writer of the Chronicle of Queen Mary, 'I dined at Partridge's house (in the Tower) with my Lady Jane, she sitting at the board's-end, Partridge, his wife, and my Lady's gentlewoman. We fell in discourse of religion. I pray you, quoth she, have they mass in London. Yea, forsooth, quoth I, in some places. It may so be, quoth she. It is not so strange as the sudden conversion of the late Duke; for who could have thought, said she, he would have so done? It was answered her, perchance he thereby hoped to have had his Pardon. Pardon! quoth she, woe worth him! He hath brought me and our stock in most miserable calamity 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 in person against the Queen, 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 can 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 view no friend of mine die so. Should I, who am young and in my 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; for he that would have lived in chains to have had his life, by like would leave no other means unattempted. But God be merciful to us, for he saith, whoso denyeth him before men, he will not know him in his Father's kingdom.'—Queen Jane and Queen Mary, p. 24.
- Harleian MSS. 284.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Noailles; Renard.
- Renard to Queen Mary: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 65.
- Renard to Charles V., September 9: Rolls House MSS.
- Some of the Protestant bishops (Cranmer, Hooper, Ridley, and Ferrars were admirable exceptions) had taken care of themselves in the seven years of plenty. At the time of the deposition of the Archbishop of York, an inventory was taken of the personal property which was then in his possession. He had 'five houses, three very well provided, two meetly well.' At his house at Battersea he had, of coined gold, 300l.; plate gilt and parcel gilt, 1600 oz. Mitre, gold, with two pendants set with very fine diamonds, sapphires, and balists, and other stones and pearls weigbt 125 oz.; six great gold rings, with very fine sapphires, emeralds, diamonds, turquoises. 'At Cawood he had of money 900l.; mitres, 2. Plate gilt and parcel gilt, 770 oz.; broken cross of silver gilt, 46 oz.; two thousand five hundred sheep; two Turkey carpets, as big and as good as any subject had; a chest full of copes and vestments. Household stores: wheat, 200 quarters; malt, 500 quarters; oats, 60 quarters; wine, 5 or 6 tuns; fish and ling, 6 or 7 hundred; horses at Cawood, four or five score; harness and artillery sufficient for 7 score men.'—Strype's Cranmer, vol. i. p. 440.
- Privy Council Register, MS Mary.
- Strype's Cranmer.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS. In these late times, when men whose temper has not been tried by danger, feel themselves entitled, nevertheless, by their own innocence of large errors, to sit in judgment on the greatest of their forefathers, Cranmer has received no tender treatment. Because, in the near prospect of a death of agony, his heart for a moment failed him, the passing weakness has been accepted as the key to his life, and he has been railed at as a coward and a sycophant. Considering the position of the writer, and the circumstances under which it was issued, I regard the publication of this letter as one of the bravest actions ever deliberately ventured by man.
Let it be read, and speak for itself.
'As the devil, Christ's antient adversary, is a liar and the father of lying, even so hath he stirred his servants and members to persecute Christ and his true word and religion, which he ceaseth not to do most earnestly at this present. For whereas the most noble prince, of famous memory, King Henry VIII., seeing the great abuses of the Latin masses, reformed some things therein in his time, and also our late sovereign lord King Edward VI. took the same wholly away, for the manifold errours and abuses thereof, and restored in the place thereof Christ's holy supper, according to Christ's own institution, and as the Apostles in the primitive Church used the same in the beginning, the devil goeth about by lying to overthrow the Lord's holy supper, and to restore the Latin satisfactory masses, a thing of his own invention and device. And to bring the same more clearly to pass, some have abused the name of me, Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, bruiting abroad that I have set up the mass at Canterbury, and that I offered to say mass before the Queen's Highness at Paul's Cross and I wot not where. I have been well exercised these twenty years, to suffer and to bear evil reports and lies, and have not been much grieved thereat, and have borne all things quietly; yet where untrue reports and lies turn to the hindrance of God's truth, they be in no ways to be tolerated and suffered. Wherefore these be to signify to the world that it was not I that did set up the mass at Canteroury, but a false, nattering, lying, and dissembling monk, which caused the mass to be set up there without my advice and counsel: and as for offering myself to say mass before the Queen's Highness, or in any other place, I never did, as her Grace knoweth well. But if her Grace will give me leave, I shall be ready to prove against all that will say the contrary, that the Communion-book, set forth by the most innocent and godly prince King Edward VI., in his High Court of Parliament, is conformable to the order which our Saviour Christ did both observe and command to be observed, which his Apostles and primitive Church used many years; whereas the mass in many things not only hath no foundation of Christ, his Apostles, nor the primitive Church, but also is contrary to the same, and containeth many horrible blasphemies.'
- Renard to Charles V., September 9: Rolls House MSS.
- Before his embassy to Spain.
- Opus in quatuor libros sum partitus.
- 'Scripta quæ nunc edo,' are his own words in the apology, and therefore, in an earlier part of this work, I said that he published his book himself. There is no doubt, from the context, that in the word scripta, he referred to that book and to no other.
- 'Eum ad te librum Catholice princeps nunc mitto, et sub nominis tui auspiciis cujus te strenuum pietatis ministrum præbes in lucem exire volo.'—Epistola ad Regem Scotiæ: Poli Epistolæ, vol. i. p. 174.
- 'Qui si postea editus fuit magis id aliorum voluntate et illius qui mihi imperare potuit quam meâ est factum, mea vero fuit ut impressus supprimeretur.'—Ibid. vol. iv. p. 85.
- 'Nam cum ad urbern ex Hispaniâ rediens libros injussu meo typis excusos reperissem, toto volumine amicorum studio et operâ non sine ejus auctoritate qui jus imperandi haberet in plures libros disposito quod ego non feceram quippe qui de ejus editione nunquara cogitâssem,' &c.
'Quid aliud hoc significavit nisi me ab his libris divulgandis penitus abhorruisse ut certe abhorrui.'—Epistola ad Edwardum Sextum: Poli Epistolæ. The book being the sole authority for some of the darkest charges against Henry VIII., the history of it is of some importance. See vol. ii. of this history, appendix.
This was not the only instance in which his recollection of his own conduct was something treacherous. In the apology to Charles V., speaking of a war against Henry, he had said: 'Tempus venisse video, ad te primum missus, deinde ad Regem Christianissimum, ut hujus scelera per se quidem minime obscura detegam, et te Cæsar a bello Turcico abducere coner et quantum possum suadeam ut arma tua eo convertas si huic tanto malo aliter mederi non possis.' For thus 'levying war against his country,' Pole had been attainted. The name of traitor grated upon him. To Edward, therefore, he wrote: 'I invited the two sovereigns rather to win back the King, by the ways of love and affection, as a fallen friend and brother, than to assail him with arms as an enemy. This I never desired nor did I urge any such conduct upon them. Hoc ego nunquam profecto volui neque cum illis egi.'—Epistola ad Edwardura Sextum: Ibid.
- He remained fifteen days, and he left for Rome the day after the execution of Northumberland.—Pallavicino.
- Cælitum ductu.
- 'Nec destiterat regina id ipsum Commendono indicare, eum percontata an existimaret Pontificem ad id legem Polo relaxaturum, cum is nondum sacerdos sed diaconus esset, extarentque hujusmodi relaxionum exempla ingentis alicujus emolumenti gratiâ.'—Pallavicino.
- Mary described her throne as, 'acquistato per benevolenze di quei popoli, che per la maggior parte odiano a morte questa sancta sede, oitre gl' interessi dei beni ecclesiastici occupati da molti signori, che sono del suo consiglio.'—Julius III. to Pole: Poli Epistolæ, vol. iv.
- 'Le parole che haveva inteso da lei disse di haver inteso da persone Catholice et digne di fede in quel paese.'—Julius III. to Pole: Poli Epistolæ, vol. iv.
- 'Et similmente espose l' opinione vostra con le ragioni che vi movano.'—Ibid.
- Julius III. to Pole: Poli Epistolæ, vol. iv.
- 'Onde se per questa molta diligenza nostra, le avvenisse qualche caso sinistro, si rovinarebbe forse (il che Dio non voglie) ogni speranza della reduttione di quella patria, levando se le forze a questa buona e Catholica regina, overo alienando la de noi par offesa ricevuta.'—Ibid.
- 'Ayant le Cardinal Pole si expressement declairé qu'il n'a nul désir de soy marier, et que nous tenons, que pour avoir si longuement suivi l'état ecclesiastique, et s'accommodé aux choses duysant a icelluy et estant diacre.'—Charles V. to Renard: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
- 'Elle jura que jamais elle n'avoit senti esquillon de ce que l'on appelle amour, ny entre en pensement de volupté, &c.—Renard to the Bishop of Arras: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSSS.
- Noailles to the King of France: Ambassades, vol. ii. p. 147.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Charles V., September 23: Ibid.
- Renard to Charles V., September 19; Rolls House MSS.
- Noailles; Renard.
- Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- 'Devant les quelz elle se mist à genoulx.'—Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.
- The Hot Gospeller, half-recovered from his gaol fever, got out of bed to see the spectacle, and took his station at the west end of St Paul's. The procession passed so close as almost to touch him, and one of the train seeing him muffled up, and looking more dead than alive, said, There is one that loveth her Majesty well, to come out in such condition. The Queen turned her head and looked at him. To hear that any one of her subjects loved her just then was too welcome to be overlooked.—Underhill's Narrative: MS. Harleian, 425.
- Arras to Renard: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 105.
- Renard to the Regent Mary: Rolls House MSS.
- 'Mary, by the grace of God, Queen of England, &c.… to all mayors, sheriffs, justices of the peace, and other our subjects, these our letters, hearing or seeing: whereas we have appointed a certain number of able men to be presently levied for our service within our realm of Ireland, and to be transported hither with diligence, we let you wit that for that purpose we have authorized our trusty Sir George Stanley, Knight,' &c.—October 5, 1553. From the original Commission: Tanner MSS. 90, Bodleian Library.
- 'J'estime qu'il desire presentment y veoir une bonne partie de l'Espaigne et Allemaigne, y tenir grosses et fortes garnisons, pour mortifier ce peuple, et s'en venger,' &c.—Noailles to the King of France: Ambassades, vol. ii. p. 169.
- A look at Gardiner, at this time, through contemporary eyes, assists much towards the understanding him. Thomas Mountain, parson of St Michael's by the Tower, an ultra-Reformer, had been out with Northumberland at Cambridge. The following story is related by himself.
'Sunday, October 8,' Mountain says, 'I ministered service, according to the godly order set forth by that blessed prince King Edward, the parish communicating at the Holy Supper. Now, while I was even a breaking of bread at the table, saying to the communicants, Take and eat this, Drink this, there were standing by several servingmen, to see and hear, belonging to the Bishop of Winchester; among whom one of them most shamefully blasphemed God, saying:
'Yea, by God's blood, standest thou there yet, saying—Take and eat, Take and drink; will not this gear be left yet? You shall be made to sing another song within these few days, I trow, or else I have lost my mark.'
A day or two after came an order for Mountain to appear before Gardiner at Winchester House. Mountain said he would appear after morning prayers; but the messenger's orders were not to leave him, and he was obliged to obey on the instant.
The Bishop was standing when he entered, 'in a bay window, with a great company about him; among them Sir Anthony St Leger, reappointed Lord Deputy of Ireland.'
'Thou heretic,' the Bishop began; 'how darest thou be so bold as to use that schismatical service still, seeing God hath sent us a Catholic Queen. There is such an abominable company of you, as is able to poison a whole realm with heresies.'
'My lord,' Mountain replied, 'I am no heretic, for in that way you count heresy, so worship we the living God.'
'God's passion,' said the Bishop, 'did I not tell you, my Lord Deputy, how you should know a heretic. He is up with his living God as though there was a dead God. They have nothing in their mouths, these heretics, but the Lord liveth; the living God; the Lord! the Lord! and nothing but the Lord.'
'Here,' says Mountain, 'he chafed like a bishop; and as his manner was, many times be put off his cap, and rubbed to and fro up and down the forepart of his head, where a lock of hair was always standing up.'
'My good Lord Chancellor,' St Leger said to him, 'trouble not yourself with this heretic; I think all the world is full of them; God bless me from them. But, as your Lordship said, having a Christian Queen reigning over us, I trust there will shortly be a reformation and an order taken with these heretics.' 'Submit yourself unto my lord,' he said to Mountain, 'and you shall find favour.'
'Thank you, sir,' Mountain answered, 'ply your own suit, and let me alone.'
A bystander then put in that the parson of St Michael's was a traitor as well as a heretic. He had been in the field with the Duke against the Queen.
'Is it even so?' cried Gardiner; 'these be always linked together, treason and heresy. Off with him to the Marshalsea; this is one of our new broached brethren that speaketh against good works; your fraternity was, is, and ever will be unprofitable in all ages, and good for nothing but the fire.'—Troubles of Thomas Mountain: printed by Strype.
The portraits of Gardiner represent a fine, vehement-looking man. The following description of him, by Fonet, his rival in the See of Winchester, gives the image as it was reflected in Ponet's antipathies.
'The doctor hath a swart colour, hanging look, frowning brows, eyes an inch within his head, a nose, hooked like a buzzard's, nostrils like a horse, ever snuffing in the wind; a sparrow mouth, great paws like the devil, talons on his feet like a gripe, two inches longer than the natural toes, and so tied with sinews that he cannot abide to be touched.'
- 'Que s'il vouloit estre voluptueux ce n'est ce quelle desire pour estre de telle eaige.'—Renard to the Emperor: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to the Emperor; Rolls House MSS.
- 'Vostre Majesté seit les humeurs des Angloys et leur voluntez estre forte discordantes, désireux de nouvelleté, de mutation, et vindicatifz, soit pour estre insulaires, ou pour tenir ce natural de la marine.'—Renard to Mary: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 129.
- 'Les roys du passe on este forcés de traicter en rigueur de justice et effusion de sang par l'execution de plusieurs du royaulme, voir du sang royal, pour s'asseurer et maintenir leur royaulme, dont ils ont acquis le renom de tyrans et cruelz.'—Ibid.
- 'Quanto grave peccato et irreparabil danno sia il differir cosa che pertenga alle salute di tante anime, le quale mentre quel regno sta disunite dalla Chiesa, si trovano in manifesto pericolo della loro dannatione.'—Pole to the Emperor's Confessor: MS. Germany, bundle 16, State Paper Office.
- God, he said, had joined the title to the Crown, 'con l'obedientia della Sede Apostolica, che levata questa viene a cader in tutto, quella non essendo ella legitime herede del regno, se non per la legitimation del matrimonio della regina sua madre, et questa non valendo senon per l'autorita et dispensa del Papa.'—Pole to the Emperor's Confessor: MS. Germany, bundle 16, State Paper Office.
- 'Friday, October 13, it was declared by the commissioners that Alex. Nowel, being prebendary in Westminster, and thereby having a voice in the Convocation House, cannot be a member of this House, and so agreed by the House.'—Commons Journal, 1 Mary.
- Burnet and other Protestant writers are loud-voiced with eloquent generalities on the interference with the elections, and the ill-treatment of the Reforming members; but of interference with the elections they can produce no evidence, and of members ejected they name no more than the two bishops and the two prebends. Noailles, indeed, who had opportunities of knowing, says something on both points. 'Ne fault douter, sire,' he wrote to the King of France, 'que la dicte dame n'obtienne presque tout ce qu'elle vouldra en ce parlcment, de tant qu'elle a faict faire election de ceulx qui pourront estre en sa faveur, et jetter quelques uns à elle suspectz.' The Queen had probably done what she could; but the influence which she could exercise must obviously have been extremely small, and the event showed that the ambassador was entirely wrong in his expectations.
- Renard to Charles V., October 19: Rolls House MSS.
- Even the most reactionary clergy, men like Abbot Feckenham and Doctor Bourne, had no desire, as yet, to be re-united to Rome. In a discussion witb Ridley in the Tower, on the real presence, Feckenham argued that 'forty years before all the world was agreed about it. Forty years ago, said Ridley, all held that the Bishop of Rome was supreme head of the Universal Church. What then? was Master Feckenham beginning to say; but Master Secretary (Bourne) took the tale, and said that was a positive law. A positive law, quoth Ridley; he would not have it so; he challenged it by Christ's own word, by the words, 'Thou art Peter; thou art Cephas.' Tush, quoth Master Secretary, it was not counted an article of our faith.'—Foxe, vol. vi.
- Renard to Charles V., October 28: Rolls House MSS.'
- Ibid. October 15: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Charles V., October 21: Rolls House MSS.
- I Mary, cap. 1.
- Report of the Disputation in the Convocation House.—Foxe, vol. v. p. 395.
- Renard to Charles V., October 28: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Charles V., November 8: Rolls House MSS.
- Ibid. December 8.
- 'Elle l'avoit toujours invoqué comme son protecteur, conducteur, et conseilleur.'—Renard to Charles V., October 31: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Charles V., October 31: Rolls House MSS.
- 'Il fauldra obtenir dispense du Pape, pour le parentage, qui ne pourra estre publique ains secrete, autrement le peuple se revolteroit, pour l'auctorité du Pape qu'il ne veult admettre et revoir.'—Renard to Charles V., November 9: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Charles V., November 4: Rolls House MSS.
- 'Visage intimidé et gestes tremblans.'—Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS
- Renard to Charles V., November 17: Rolls House MSS.
- 'Fort envieillie et agée.'—Noailles.
- Renard is the only authority for this speech, which he heard from the Queen. Translated by him in to French, and retranslated by myself into English, it has, doubtless, suffered much in the process.
- 'Ceseroit procurer l'inconvenient de sa mort.'
- Renard to Charles V., November 28: Rolls House MSS.
- 'Elle l'a faict quelquefois aller apres la Comtesse de Lennox, que l'on appelle icy Madame Marguerite, et Madame Françoise, qu'est la susdicte Duchesse de Suffolk.'—Noailles to the King of France, November 30.
- Noailles to the King of France, December 6.
- 'La Reine a tres bien dissimulée, en son endroict.'—Renard to Charles V., December 8: Rolls House MSS.
- Renard to Charles V., December 8 : Rolls House MSS.