Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAPTER XIII.-CIVIL AND MILITARY HISTORY.-A.D. 1558—1560.

ELIZABETH. —ACCESSION, A.D. 1558—DEATH, A.D. 1630.

Elizabeth proclaimed queen-Popular joy at her accession-Her ambignous conduct about the settlement of religion

-Pageants at her entrance into London-Her coronation-She is urged to declare her intentions about religion -Enactments of parliament for its settlement—Dissatisfaction of the Papists--Elizabeth rejects the advice of parliament to marry–Protestantism re-established in England-Penalties inflicted on Papists—Deprivation and imprisonment of the Popish bishops—Elizabeth's legitimacy denied by the Guises-Reformation in ScotlandEffects of John Knox's preaching-Demolition of abbeys and monasteries — Mary Stuart becomes Queen of France-Contention between Mary of Guise, Regent of Scotland, and the Protestants—Elizabeth aids the Scottish Protestants—Negotiations between them and her ministers—The contest maintainod in Scotland by French and English money--Leith fortified by French troops against the Scottish Protestants—The Scots aided by troops from England-Siege of Leith—Death of Mary of Guise-Capitulation of Leith-Suitors to Elizabeth for marriage.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

T the time of Mary's demise the par- | eating, drinking, and making merry;" and at

liament was sitting. Her death was night bonfires were lighted in all directions, and concealed from the public for some the skies were reddened by flames which had hours; but, before noon, Heath, not consumed human victims.? Elizabeth was Archbishop of York, who had been | at Hatfield when she received the news of her

lord - chancellor since Gardiner's easy accession. She fell upon her knees, exdecease, went down to the House of Lords, and claiming, in Latin, “It is the Lord's doing, and sent immediately to the speaker of the commons, it is marvellous in our eyes." On the following desiring him, with the knights and burgesses, to day several noblemen of the late queen’s council repair without delay to the upper house, in repaired to her: she gave them a kind reception, order to give their as

but presently showed sent in a case of great

her decided preference importance. Heath

for Sir William Cecil then announced in due

—the astute, the most form that God had cal

politic Cecil -- whom led to his mercy the

she instantly appointlate sovereign lady

ed principal secretary Queen Mary-a heavy

of state. On the 230 and grievous woe, but

of November the queen relieved by the blessing

removed from HatGod had left them in a

field, with a joyous eg. true, loyal, and right

cort of more than 1000 inheritress to the crown

persons. At Highgate -the Lady Elizabeth,

she was met by the second daughter to the

bishops, who, kneeling, late sovereign lord of

acknowledged their alnoble memory, King

legiance: she received Henry VIII., and sis

them very graciously, ter unto the said late

giving to every one of queen. Not a chal

them her hand to kiss lenge was raised to her

with the exception of title: the Lady Eliza

Bishop Bonner. At beth was acknowledged QUEEN ELIZABETH.-After Zucchero.

the foot of Highgate in both houses, which

Hill she was very dutiresounded with the shouts of “God save Queen | fully and honourably met by the lord-mayor and Elizabeth, and long and happy may she reign !" whole estate of London, and so conducted to the and in the course of the day she was proclaimed

Stow; Holinshed; Burnet. amidst lively demonstrations of popular joy. The ? A Domino factum est istud, et est mirabile oculis nostris. These bells of all the churches were set ringing; tables words were afterwards stamped on her gold coin, a motto sa were sprrad in the streets, “where was plentiful have chosen God for my bolper).

chose for her silver coin being Posui Deum adjutorem meum (I

[graphic]

Charter-house, then occupied as a town residence would have left the Roman church undisturbed. by her friend Lord North. On the afternoon of She was too cool and calculating for a zealot ; Monday, the 23th, she entered into the city at and even the fate of her mother, and the circumCripplegate, "and rode in state along by the Wall stances of her own birth, failed to excite her. In to the Tower:" here she remained till Monday, the fact, Elizabeth seems to have adopted, at the be5th of December, when she removed by water to ginning of her reign, the maxim recommended Soinerset House. The ambiguity of her conduct by the most crafty of then living politicians, with regard to religion had been well studied : that the Protestants should be kept in hope, the and it appears quite certain that her compliances Papists not cast into despair.' Her real intenin the former reign had deceived many into a tions were kept a profound secret from the manotion that she was really the good Catholic she jority of her council; and her measures of change professed herself to be; otherwise it is difficult and reform were concerted only with Cecil and to understand the unanimity of the lords, for one or two others, who appear to have been most the majority of the upper house were Catholics, thoroughly aware of the fact that the Protestant and both the bishops and the lay peers would party had become infinitely stronger than the have been disposed to resist her claim if they Catholic. On the 13th of December the body of had expected that she would venture to disturb Mary was very royally interred in Westminster the established order of things. The mistake Abbey, with all the solemn funeral rites used by was confirmed by her retaining in her privy the Roman church, and a mass of requiem; and council no fewer than thirteen known and sincere on the 24th day of the same month a grand funeCatholics who had been members of that of her ral service for the late Emperor Charles V. was sister, and the seven new counsellors she ap-celebrated in the same place and in the same pointed, though probably known to herself to be manner, with a great attendance of Catholic zealous Protestants, did not bear that character priests, English and foreign, and of noble lords with the rest of the world; for one and all of and ladies of the realm. And yet, if we are to

believe a letter written at the time, Elizabeth, on the very day after these obsequies, refused to hear mass in her own house.

On the 12th of January the queen took her barge, and went down the river, being attended by the lord-mayor and citizens, and greeted with peals of ordnance, with music, and many

triumphant shows on the water. She landed at the Tower; but, this time, it was not as a criminal, at the Traitors' Gate, but as a triumphant queen preparing for her coronation. Upon the morrow there was a creation of peers: it was not numerous, but Henry Carey, brother to Lady Knowles, and son to Mary Boleyn, her majesty's aunt, was included in it under the title of Lord Hunsdon. On the morrow, being the 14th of January, 1559, the queen rode with great majesty out of the Tower. The lord-mayor and citizens had been lavish of their loyalty and their money; the artists had exhausted their ingenuity and inven

tion; and all the streets through which the pro8.R WILLIAM CFCn., afterwards Lord Burghley. From a rare print by Vertue.

cession passed on its way to Westminster were

furnished with stately pageants, sumptuous shows, them, like her favourite minister Cecil, had and cunning devices. The figures of the queen's shrank under the fiery bigotry of Mary, and grandfather and grandmother, father and mother, had conformed to the Roman Church. Even were brought upon the stage, and Henry VIII. decency demanded some little time, but policy and Anne Boleyn, with a glorious forgetfulness required more; and we feel convinced that if it of the past, were seen walking lovingly together. Jiad not been established beyond the reach of a Prophecies and Latin verses were prodigally exdoubt that the Catholics had lost ground im- pended on the queen; nor was there a parsiniony inensely, and were no longer the majority of the of English verse or rhyme. In another pageant nation, Elizabeth, who was never in her heart a Time led forth his daughter Truth, and Truth, thorough Protestant—who scarcely went farther greeting her majesty, presented to her an English with the Reformers than her father had done

1 Sir Ralph Sadler.

[graphic]

Bible. In the last pageant of all there stood a restorer over the house of Israel.'” Gog and Maseeinly and meek personage, richly apparelled in gog, deserting their posts in Guildhall, stood to parliament robes, with a sceptre in her hand, over honour the queen, one on each side of Temple Bar, whose head was written · Deborah, the judge and supporting a wondrous tablet of Latin verse,

STATE BARGE OF THE PERIOD, AND WATER PROCESSION.From a print by Vischer.

which expounded to her majesty the hidden sense from re-lighting the fires at Smithfield. Yet, at of all the pageants in the city.” Her behaviour the same time, to the scandal of all Protestants, during this day was popular in the extreme; and she forbade the destruction of images, kept her from the beginning to the end of her reign she crucifix and holy water in her private chapel, possessed the art of delighting the people, when and strictly prohibited preaching on controvershe thought necessary, with little condescensions, sial points generally, and all preaching whatsosmiles, and cheerful words. On the following ever at Paul's Cross, where, be it said, neither day, being Sunday, the 15th of January, Eliza- sect had been in the habit of preaching peace beth was crowned in Westminster Abbey by Dr. and good-will toward men. There was an addi. Oglethorpe, Bishop of Carlisle, and afterwards tional cause for the queen's slowness and circumshe dined in Westminster Hall. The ceremony spection. Upon the death of her sister the Engof the coronation was regulated strictly in the lish exiles for religious opinions flocked back to ancient manner of the most Catholic times, but their country with a zeal sharpened by persecuthere was one remarkable circumstance attend- tion. Of these men many would have carried ing it. Either from a suspicion of the course she the Reformation wholly into the path of Calvin intended to pursue, or from a somewhat tardy and Zwingle, being disposed, after their theolorecollection that, by the laws of the Roman gical studies in Switzerland, to dissent widely church, Elizabeth was not legitimate, or in con- from the Anglican church as established in the sequence of orders received from Rome since the reign of Edward VI.; and, what was not of less cleath of Mary and their congratulatory visit to importance, some of them thought that the reElizabeth at Highgate, every one of the bishops, publican system, which they had seen to suit the with the exception of Oglethorpe, refused to per- little cantons among the Alps, would be a preform the coronation service. From whatever ferable form of government for England, and cause it might proceed, this refractoriness of the they were well furnished with texts of Scripture bishops was a great political mistake on the part to prove the uselessness and wickedness of roy. of the Catholics.

alty. In a moment of indecision the queen had On the very day after her coronation the Pro-directed Sir Edward Carne, her sister's ambassatestants pressed her for a declaration of her in- dor at Rome, to notify her accession to the pope; tentions as to religion. They must have felt and the Protestants must have been delighted alarmed at the Popish celebrations in the Abbey; and re-assured when Paul IV. hastily replied but it was some time before the cautious queen that he looked upon her as illegitimate, and that would in any way commit herself. Before this she ought therefore to lay down the government, application, however, Elizabeth had taken the and expect what he might decide. After this, important step of authorizing the reading of the she could not be expected to become an adherent Liturgy in English, and had shown at least a of Popery. fixed determination to prevent the Catholics Ten days after the coronation (on the 25th of

This rare work of Vischer, Hollar's predecessor, is the earliest connected by a tow line, holds a band of four musicians, trumdelineation of a royal procession by water, The thistle and peters and drummers.

? Holinshed; Stow. royal arms of England on the banner and drapery of the prin- 3 Even the Bishop of Carlisle reluctantly consented to put the cipal barge, are probably the insignia of James I.; but the fashion crown on her head. At her coronation, Elizabeth, of course, of those vessels remained unchanged from the time of Elizabeth partook of the mass; but it appears from one account that she nearly to the present century. Four barges contain guards with had forbidden the elevation of the host, and that this was pro partizans; and a fifth, which precedes the state barge, and is bably the cause of the bishops refusing to crown her.

January) Elizabeth met her first parliament, with ration of all such clergymen as had been deprived a wise resolution of leaving them to settle the for marriage during the late reign. The last bill religion of the state, merely giving out, through the was given up by command of Elizabeth herself, ahle Cecil, and the scarcely less able Sir Nicho- who was not Protestant enough to overcome a las Bacon, now keeper of the seals, what were prejudice against married priests, and who, to her real wishes. Lords and commons showed a the end of her days, could never reconcile herself wonderfully eager desire, as they had done in the to married bishops. The two other bills also days of her imperious father, to adapt themselves failed, for the bishops whom it was proposed to to precisely such a church regimen as she in her restore were married men; and as for the comwisdom might propose. They enacted that the mission for a canonical code, Elizabeth enterfirst-fruits and tenths should be restored to the tained a salutary dread of the zealots. Crown—that the queen, notwithstanding her sex,' It was not possible altogether to avoid recrimishould in right of her legitimacy, be supreme nation. Nor did the Catholics--now the weaker head of the church-that the laws made con- party—on all occasions submit in silence to such cerning religion in Edward's time should be re- castigation. Dr. Story, who had acted as royal established in full force—that his Book of Com- proctor in the proceedings against Cranmer, and mon Prayer in the mother-tongue should be re- who had given other proofs of his zeal and instored and used to the exclusion of all others in tolerance, had the boldness to lament that he and all places of worship. The Act of Supremacy, others had not been more vehement in executing though the most ridiculous or the most horrible the laws against heresy. “It was my counsel," of all to the Catholics on the Continent, met with said this doughty priest, “that heretics of emino opposition whatever; but nine temporal peers nence should be plucked down as well as the and the whole bench of bishops protested in the ordinary sort, nor do I see anything in all those lords against the bill of uniformity, establishing affairs which ought to make me feel shame or the Anglican Liturgy, notwithstanding the pains sorrow. My sole grief, indeed, is, that we which had been taken to qualify it, and to soften laboured only about the little twigs : we should certain passages most offensive to Catholic ears. have struck at the roots." It was understood A rubric directed against the doctrine of the real that he meant hereby—what, indeed, had been presence was omitted, to the avoidance of the proposed by several—that Elizabeth should have long-standing and bitter controversies on this been removed out of the way while her sister head.?

lived. Soon after delivering this speech Dr. One of the first measures taken up by Queen Story escaped out of the kingdom, and fixed Mary had been to vindicate the fame of her himself at Antwerp under the protection of the mother Catherine of Aragon and her own legi- Spaniards. There he ought to have been left, timacy; and it was expected that Elizabeth, if particularly as his notions were every day beonly out of filial reverence, would pursue the coming less dangerous; but Elizabeth caused same course for her mother, Anne Boleyn, who, him to be kidnapped, to be brought over to Enyas the law stood, had never been a lawful wife; land by stratagem, and executed as a traitorbut she carefully avoided all discussion on this proceeding as base as that of her sister Mary point, and satisfied herself with an act declara- with regard to that zealous Protestant refugee tory, in general terms, of her right of succession Sir John Cheke. Bishop Bonner, notwithstandto the throne, in which act all the bishops ing the unequivocal marks of the queen's disagreed.

pleasure, attended at his post in parliament, and Acts were passed empowering the queen upon even presented to the Lord-keeper Bacon certain the avoidance of any bishopric to exchange her articles drawn up by the convocation, and endeatenths and parsonages appropriate within the voured, in part by ingenious compromises, in diocese for an equivalent portion of the landed part by more open proceedings, to limit the auestates belonging to the see. But the more active thority of the queen, and maintain that of the of the Protestants were checked and disappointed pope, in matters of faith and ecclesiastical discipwhen they brought a bill into the commons for line. Bacon received the said articles courteously, the restoration to their sees of Bishops Barlow, but no further notice was taken of them, and Scory, and Coverdale; another, for the revival of the convocation, after a series of adjournments, former statutes, passed in the reign of Edward separated in dismay. The way in which the VI., authorizing the crown to nominate a commis- parliament had recognized her title was highly sion for drawing up a complete body of Church satisfactory to Elizabeth; but they were less forof England canon law; and a third for the resto- tunate in their treatment of another high question. In the course of this session a deputation would rely on her determination of never marrywas sent to her majesty by the commons with ing, she assured them that at all events she would an address, “the principal matter whereof most never choose a husband but one who should be specially was to move her grace to marriage, as careful for the realm and their safety as she whereby to all their comforts they might enjoy herself was; and she made an end of a very long the royal issue of her body to reign over them.' speech by saying—“And for me it shall be suffiElizabeth received the deputation in the great cient that a marble stone declare that a queen, gallery of her palace at Westminster, called the having reigned such a time, lived and died a Whitehall; and when the speaker of the House virgin.”' of Commons had solemnly and eloquently set At this moment Elizabeth had received one forth the message, she delivered a remarkable matrimonial proposal, the strangest of the many answer—the first of her many public declarations that were made to her. When she announced of her intention to live and die a virgin queen: to King Philip the death of his wife and her own -“From my years of understanding, knowing accession, that monarch, regardless of canonical myself a servitor of Almighty God, I chose this laws, made her an instant offer of his own hand; kind of life, in which I do yet live, as a life for, so long as he could obtain a hold upon Engmost acceptable unto him, wherein I thought I land, he cared little whether it was through a could best serve him, and with most quietness Mary or an Elizabeth. With a duplicity which do my duty unto him. From which my choice, was the general rule of her conduct she gave if either ambition of high estate offered unto me Philip a certaiu degree of hope, for she was very by marriages (whereof I have records in this anxious to recover Calais through his means, and presence), the displeasure of the prince, the es- England was still involved in a war both with chewing the danger of mine enemies, or the France and Scotland on his account. It would avoiding the peril of death (whose messenger, besides have been dangerous to give the Spaniard the prince's indignation, was po little time con- any serious offence at this monuent. tinually present before mine eyes, by whose On the 8th of May, Elizabeth's first parliament means if I knew, or do justly suspect, I will not was dissolved, and on the 15th of the same now utter them; or, if the whole cause were my month, the bishops, deans, and other churchmen sister herself, I will not now charge the dead), of note, were summoned before the queen and could have drawn or dissuaded me, I had not her privy council, and there admonished to make now remained in this virgin's estate wherein you themselves and their dependants conformable to see me. But so constant have I always con- the statutes which had just been enacted. Archtinued in this my determination that (although bishop Heath replied by reminding her majesty my words and youth may seem to some hardly of her sister's recent reconciliation with Rome, to agree together), yet it is true that to this day and of her own promise not to change the religion I stand free from any other meaning that either which she found by law established; and he told I have had in times past or have at this present. her that his conscience would not suffer him to In which state and trade of living wherewith I obey her present commands. All the bishops am so thoroughly acquainted God hath so hither- took precisely the same course as Heath; and to preserved me, and hath so watchful an eye the government, which evidently had expected to upon me, and so hath guided me and led me by | win over the majority of them, was startled at the hand, as my full trust is, he will not suffer their unanimous opposition. To terrify them me to go alone.” After these somewhat round- into compliance, certain papers, which had been about, ambiguous, and ascetic expressions—which sealed up in the royal closet at the death of the were anti-Protestant, inasmuch as they showed late queen, were produced by advice of the Earl a preference for a single life-she gave the com- of Sussex; and these documents, which had lain mons a foretaste of that absolute and imperative dormant during two short reigns, were found, or tone which she soon adopted :-“The manner of were made, to contain proofs that Heath, Bonner, your petition,” said she, “I do like, and take in and Gardiner, during the protectorate of Somergood part, for it is simple, and containeth no set, had carried on secret intrigues with Rome, limitation of place or person. If it had been with the view of overthrowing the English govotherwise I must have misliked it very much, and ernment of that time. But the bishops, feeling thought it in you a very great presumption, being themselves screened by two general pardons from unfit and altogether unmeet to require them the crown, continued as firm as ever; and the that may command.” In still plainer terms she council wisely determined that these papers wld them that it was their duty to obey, and not not fairly be acted upon, and resolved to proceed to take upon themselves to bind and limit her in merely upon the oath of supremacy, which they her proceedings, or even to press their advice saw the prelates were determined to refuse at all upon her. As if doubting whether the commons

The ambaseador of a Catholic court wrote, with a ludicrous horror, that he had seen the supreme head of the English church -dawing!

? Burnet; Strype; Blunt.

3 Harrington, in his Brief Viev, says, Caeteris paribus, and sometimes imparibus too, she preferred the single man before the married."

* Holinshed; Strype; Burnet.

could

Holinshed,

« PreviousContinue »