Tilts and tournaments were still the favorite amusements of all the courts of Europe; and it was in these splendid exhibitions that the rival courtiers of Elizabeth found the happiest occasions of displaying their magnificence, giving proof of their courage and agility, and at the same time insinuating, by a variety of ingenious devices, their hopes and fears, their amorous pains, and their profound devotedness to her service.
In the purer ages of chivalry, no other cognisances on shields were adopted, either in war or in these games which were its image, than the armorial bearings which each warrior had derived from his ancestors, or solemnly received at the hands of the heralds before he entered on his first campaign. But as the spirit of the original institution declined, and the French fashion of gallantry began to be engrafted upon it, an innovation had taken place in this matter, which is thus commemorated and deplored by the worthy Camden, Clarencieux king-at-arms, who treats the subject with a minuteness and solemnity truly professional. "Whoever," says he, "would note the manners of our progenitors,—in wearing their coat-armour over their harness, and bearing their arms in their shields, their banners and pennons, and in what formal manner they were made bannerets, and had license to rear their banner of arms, which they presented rolled up, unto the prince, who unfolded and re-delivered it with happy wishes; I doubt not but he will judge that our ancestors were as valiant and gallant as they have been since they left off their arms and used the colors and curtains of their mistress' bed instead of them." The same author afterwards observes, that these fopperies, as well as the adoption of impresses, first prevailed in the expedition of Charles VIII. against Naples in 1494, and that it was about the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII. that the English wits first thought of imitating the French and Italians in the invention of these devices.
An impress, it seems, was an emblematical device assumed at the will of the bearer, and illustrated by a suitable motto; whereas the coat of arms had either no motto, or none appropriate. Of this nature therefore was the representation of an English archer, with the words "Cui adhaereo praeest" (He prevails to whom I adhere), used by Henry VIII. at his meeting with Charles and Francis.
Elizabeth delighted in these whimsical inventions. Camden says that she "used upon different occasions so many heroical devices as would require a volume," but most commonly a sieve without a word. Her favorite mottos were "Video taceo" (I see and am silent), and "Semper eadem" (Always the same). Thus patronized, the use of impresses became general. Scarcely a public character of that age, whether statesman, courtier, scholar, or soldier, was unprovided with some distinction of this nature; and at tournaments in particular, the combatants all vied with each other in the invention of occasional devices, sometimes quaintly, sometimes elegantly, expressive of their situation or sentiments, and for the most part conveying some allusion at once gallant and loyal.
It may be worth while to cite a few of the most remarkable of these out of a considerable number preserved by Camden. The prevalence amongst them of astronomical emblems is worthy of observation, as indicative of that general belief of the age in the delusions of judicial astrology, which rendered its terms familiar alike to the learned, the great, and the fair.
A dial with the sun setting, "Occasu desines esse" (Thy being ceases with its setting). The sun shining on a bush, "Si deseris pereo" (Forsake me, and I perish). The sun reflecting his rays from the bearer, "Quousque avertes" (How long wilt thou avert thy face)? Venus in a cloud, "Salva me, Domina" (Mistress, save me). The letter I, "Omnia ex uno" (All things from one). A fallow field, "At quando messis" (When will be the harvest)? The full moon in heaven, "Quid sine te coelum" (What is heaven without thee)? Cynthia, it should be observed, was a favorite fancy-name of the queen's; she was also designated occasionally by that of Astraea, whence the following devices. A man hovering in the air, "Feror ad Astraeam" (I am borne to Astraea). The zodiac with Virgo rising, "Jam redit et Virgo" (The Maid returns); and a zodiac with no characters but those of Leo and Virgo, "His ego praesidiis" (With these to friend). A star, "Mihi vita Spica Virginis" (My life is in Spica Virginis)—a star in the left hand of Virgo so called: here the allusion was probably double; to the queen, and to the horoscope of the bearer. The twelve houses of heaven with neither sign nor planet therein, "Dispone" (Dispose). A white shield, "Fatum inscribat Eliza" (Eliza writes my fate). An eye in a heart, "Vulnus alo" (I feed the wound). A ship sinking and the rainbow appearing, "Quid tu si pereo" (To what avail if I perish)? As the rainbow is an emblem seen in several portraits of the queen, this device probably reproaches some tardy and ineffectual token of her favor. The sun shining on a withered tree which blooms again, "His radiis rediviva viresco" (These rays revive me). A pair of scales, fire in one, smoke in the other, "Ponderare errare" (To weigh is to err).
At one tilt were borne all the following devices, which Camden particularly recommends to the notice and interpretation of the reader. Many flies about a candle, "Sic splendidiora petuntur" ("Thus brighter things are sought). Drops falling into a fire, "Tamen non extinguenda" (Yet not to be extinguished). The sun, partly clouded over, casting its rays upon a star, "Tantum quantum" (As much as is vouchsafed). A folded letter, "Lege et relege" (Read and reread).
[Note 47: See Camden's "Remains."]
It would have increased our interest in these very significant impresses, if our author could have informed us who were the respective bearers. Perhaps conjecture would not err in ascribing one of the most expressive to sir William Pickering, a gentleman whose name has been handed down to posterity as an avowed pretender to the royal marriage. That a person illustrious neither by rank nor ancestry, and so little known to fame that no other mention of him occurs in the history of the age, should ever have been named amongst the suitors of his sovereign, is a circumstance which must excite more curiosity than the scanty biographical records of the time will be found capable of satisfying. A single paragraph of Camden's Annals seems to contain nearly all that can now be learned of a man once so remarkable.
"Nor were lovers wanting at home, who deluded themselves with vain hopes of obtaining her in marriage. Namely sir William Pickering, a man of good family though little wealth, and who had obtained reputation by the cultivation of letters, by the elegance of his manners, and by his embassies to France and Germany." &c.
Rapin speaks of him as one who was encouraged to hope by some distinguished mark of the queen's favor, which he does not however particularize. Lloyd in his "Worthies" adds nothing to Camden's information but the epithet "comely" applied to his person, the vague statement that "his embassies in France and Germany were so well managed, that in king Edward's days he was by the council pitched upon as the oracle whereby our agents were to be guided abroad," and a hint that he soon retired from the court of Elizabeth to devote himself to his studies.
The earl of Arundel might be the bearer of another of these devices. We have already seen with what magnificence of homage this nobleman had endeavoured to bespeak the favorable sentiments of his youthful sovereign; and if illustrious ancestry, vast possessions, established consequence in the state, and long experience in public affairs, might have sufficed to recommend a subject to her choice, none could have advanced fairer pretensions than the representative of the ancient house of Fitzalan. The advanced age of the earl was indeed an objection of considerable and daily increasing weight; he persevered however in his suit, notwithstanding the queen's visible preference of Dudley and every other circumstance of discouragement, till the year 1566. Losing then all hopes of success, and becoming sensible at length of pecuniary difficulties from the vast expense which he had lavished on this splendid courtship, he solicited the permission of his royal mistress to retire for a time into Italy.
While it lasted, however, the rivalry of Arundel and Dudley, or rather, in the heraldic phraseology of the day, that of the White Horse and the Bear, divided the court, inflamed the passions of the numerous retainers of the respective candidates, and but for the impartial vigilance of Cecil might have ended in deeds of blood.
In the Burleigh Papers is a confession of one Guntor, a servant or retainer of the earl of Arundel, who was punished for certain rash speeches relative to this competition, from which we learn some curious particulars. He says, that he once fell in talk with a gentleman named Cotton, who told him, that the queen, having supped one evening at lord Robert Dudley's, it was dark before she could get away; and some servants of the house were sent with torches to light her home. That by the way her highness was pleased to enter into conversation with the torch-bearers, and was reported to have said, that she would make their lord the best that ever was of his name. As the father of lord Robert was a duke, this promise was understood to imply nothing less than her design of marrying him. On this Guntor answered, that he prayed all men might take it well, and that no trouble might arise thereof; afterwards he said, that he thought if a parliament were held, some men would recommend lord Robert, and some his own master to the queen for a husband; and so it might fortune there would rise trouble among the noblemen, adding, "I trust the White Horse will be in quiet, and so shall we be out of trouble; it is well known his blood as yet was never attaint, nor was he ever man of war, wherefore it is likely that we shall sit still; but if he should stomach it, he were able to make a great power." In his zeal for the cause of his lord, he also wished that his rival had been put to death with his father, "or that some ruffian would have dispatched him by the way as he hath gone, with some dag (pistol) or gun."
So high did words run on occasion of this great contest.
On the conduct of Elizabeth as head of the church.—Sketch of the history of the reformation in England.—Notices of Parker, Grindal, and Jewel.
There was no part of the regal office the exercise of which appeared so likely to expose Elizabeth to invidious reflections, as that which comprehended the management of ecclesiastical affairs. Few divines, though protestant, could behold without a certain feeling of mingled jealousy and disdain, a female placed at the head of the religion of the country, and by the whole papal party such a supremacy was regarded perhaps as the most horrible, certainly as the most preposterous, of all the prodigies which heresy had yet brought forth. "I have seen the head of the English church dancing!" exclaimed, it is said, with a sarcastic air, an ambassador from one of the catholic courts of Europe.
A more striking incongruity indeed could scarcely be imagined, than between the winning manners and sprightly disposition of this youthful princess, as they displayed themselves amid the festivities of her court and the homage of her suitors, and the grave and awful character of Governess of the church, with which she had been solemnly invested.
In virtue of this office, it was the right and duty of the queen to choose a religion for the country; to ordain its rites and ceremonies, discipline, and form of church government; and to fix the rank, offices and emoluments of its ministers. She was also to exercise this power entirely at her own discretion, free from the control of parliament or the interference of the clerical body, and assisted only by such commissioners, lay or ecclesiastical, as it should please herself to appoint.
This exorbitant authority was first assumed by her arbitrary father when it became his will that his people should acknowledge no other pope than himself; and the servile spirit of the age, joined to the ignorance and indifference on religious subjects then general, had caused it to be submitted to without difficulty. In consequence, the title of Head of the Church had quietly devolved upon Edward VI. as part of his regal style; and while the duties of the office were exercised by Cranmer and the Protector, the nation, now generally favorable to the cause of reform, was more inclined to rejoice in its existence than to dispute the authority by which it had been instituted. Mary abhorred the title, as a badge of heresy and a guilty usurpation on the rights of the sovereign pontiff, and in the beginning of her reign she laid it aside, but was afterwards prevailed upon to resume it, because there was a convenience in the legal sanction which it afforded to her acts of tyranny over the consciences of men.
The first parliament of Elizabeth, in the fervor of its loyalty, decreed to her, as if by acclamation, all the honors or prerogatives ever enjoyed by her predecessors, and it was solely at her own request that the appellation of Head, was now exchanged for the less assuming one of Governess, of the English church. The power remained the same; it was, as we have seen, of the most absolute nature possible; since, unlimited by law, it was also, owing to its recent establishment, equally uncontrolled by custom. It remains to the delineator of the character of Elizabeth to inquire in what manner she acquitted herself, to her country and to posterity, of the awful responsibility imposed upon her by its possession.
A slight sketch of the circumstances attending the introduction of the reformation into England, will serve to illustrate this important branch of her policy.
On comparing the march of this mighty revolution in our own country with its mode of progress amongst the other nations of Europe, one of the first remarks which suggests itself is, that in no other country was its course so immediately or effectually subjected to the guidance and control of the civil power.
In Switzerland, the system of Zwingle, the earliest of the reformers, had fully established itself in the hearts of his fellow-citizens before the magistracies of Zurich and its neighbouring republics thought proper to interfere. They then gave the sanction of law to the religion which had become that of the majority, but abstained from all dictation on points of which they felt themselves incompetent judges.
In Germany, the impulse originating in the daring mind of Luther, was first communicated to the universities, to the lower orders of the clergy, and through them to the people. The princes of the empire afterwards took their part as patrons or persecutors of the new opinions; but in either case they acted under the influence of ecclesiastics, and no where arrogated to themselves the character of lawgivers in matters of faith.
At Geneva, the vigor and dexterity of Calvin's measures brought the magistracy under a complete subjection to the church, of which he had made himself the head, and restricted its agency in religious concerns to the execution of such decrees as the spiritual ruler saw good to promulgate.
The system of the same reformer had recently been introduced into Scotland by the exertions of John Knox, a disciple who equalled his master in the fierceness of his bigotry, in self-opinion, and in the love of power, whilst he exceeded him in turbulence of temper and ferocity of manners: and here the independence of the church on the state, or rather its paramount legislative authority in all matters of faith, discipline and worship, was held in the loftiest terms. The opposition which this doctrine, so formed for popularity, experienced from the government in the outset, was overborne or disregarded, and it was in despite of the utmost efforts of regal authority that the new religion was established by an act of the Scottish parliament.
In England, on the contrary, the passions of Henry VIII. had prompted him to disclaim submission to the papal decrees before the spirit of the people demanded such a step,—before any apostle of reformation had arisen in the land capable of inspiring the multitude with that zeal which makes its will omnipotent, and leaves to rulers no other alternative than to comply or fall,—yet not before the attachment of men to the ancient religion was so far weakened, that the majority could witness its overthrow with patience if not with complacency.
To have timed this momentous step so fortunately for the cause of prerogative might in some princes have been esteemed the result of profound combinations,—the triumph of political sagacity; in Henry it was the pure effect of accident: but the advantages which he derived from the quiescent state of the public mind were not on this account the less real or the less important, nor did he suffer them to go unimproved. On one hand, no considerable opposition was made to his assumption of the supremacy; on the other, the spoil of the monasteries was not intercepted in its passage to the royal coffers by the more rapid movements of a populace intoxicated with fanatical rage or fired with hopes of plunder. What appeared still more extraordinary, he found it practicable, to the end of his reign, to keep the nation suspended, as to doctrine and the forms of worship, in that nice equilibrium between protestant and papist which happened best to accord with his individual views or prejudices.
Cranmer, who has a better title than any other to be revered as the father of the Anglican church, showed himself during the life of Henry the most cautious and complaisant of reformers. Aware that any rashness or precipitation on the part of the favorers of new opinions might expose them to all the fury of persecution from a prince so dogmatical and violent, he constantly refrained from every alarming appeal to the sense of the people on theological questions, and was content to proceed in his great work step by step, with a slow, uncertain, and interrupted progress, at the will of that capricious master whose vacillations of humor or opinion he watched with the patience, and improved with the skill, of a finished courtier.
Administered in so qualified and mitigated a form, the spirit of reformation exhibited in this country little of its stronger and more turbulent workings. No sect at that time arose purely and peculiarly English: our native divines did not embrace exclusively, or with vehemence, the tenets of any one of the great leaders of reform on the continent, and a kind of eclectic system became that of the Anglican church from its earliest institution.
The respective contributions to this system of the most celebrated theologians of the age may be thus stated. It was chiefly from Zwingle,—the first, in point of time, of all the reformers of the sixteenth century, and the one whose doctrine on the eucharist and on several other points diverged most widely from the tenets of the church of Rome,—that our principal opponents of popery in the reign of Henry VIII. derived their notions. Latimer, Ridley, Cranmer himself, were essentially his disciples.
By others, the system of Luther was in the whole or in part adopted. But this reformer was personally so obnoxious to Henry, on account of the disrespectful and acrimonious style of his answer to the book in which that royal polemic had formerly attacked his doctrine, that no English subject thought proper openly to profess himself his follower, or to open any direct communication with him. Thus the Confession of Augsburg, though more consonant to the notions of the English monarch than any other scheme of protestant doctrine, failed to obtain the sanction of that authority which might have rendered it predominant in this country.
A long and vehement controversy on the subject of the eucharist had been maintained between the German and Swiss divines during the later years of Henry; but at the period of Edward's accession, when Cranmer first undertook the formation of a national church according to his own ideas of gospel truth and political expediency, this dispute was in great measure appeased, and sanguine hopes were entertained that a disagreement regarded as dangerous in a high degree to the common cause of religious reform might soon be entirely reconciled.
Luther, the last survivor of the original disputants, was lately dead; and to the post which he had held in the university of Wittemberg, as well as to the station of head of the protestant church, Melancthon had succeeded. This truly excellent person, who carried into all theological debates a spirit of conciliation equally rare and admirable, was earnestly laboring at a scheme of comprehension. His laudable endeavours were met by the zealous co-operation of Calvin, who had by this time extended his influence from Geneva over most of the Helvetic congregations, and was diligent in persuading them to recede from the unambiguous plainness of Zwingle's doctrine,—which reduced the Lord's supper to a simple commemoration,—and to admit so much of a mystical though spiritual presence of Christ in that rite, as might bring them to some seeming agreement with the less rigid of the followers of the Lutheran opinion. At the same time Bucer, who presided over the flourishing church of Strasburg, was engaged in framing yet another explication of this important rite, by which he vainly hoped to accommodate the consciences of all these zealous and acute polemics.
Bucer was remarkable among the theologians of his time by a subtility in distinction resembling that of the schoolmen, and by a peculiar art of expressing himself on doctrinal points in terms so nicely balanced, and in a style of such labored intricacy, that it was scarcely possible to discover his true meaning, or pronounce to which extreme of opinion he most inclined. These dubious qualifications, by which he disgusted alternately both Calvin and the more zealous Lutherans, were however accompanied and redeemed by great learning and diligence; by a remarkable talent for public business, which rendered him eminently useful in all the various negotiations with temporal authorities, or with each other, in which the leaders of the reformation found it necessary to engage; by a mild and candid spirit, and by as much of sincerity and probity as could co-exist with the open defence of pious frauds.
The whole character of the man appeared to Cranmer admirably fitted for co-operation in the work which he had in hand. On the difficult question of the eucharist Bucer would preserve the wariness and moderation which appeared essential in the divided state of protestant opinion: on justification and good works he held a middle doctrine, which might conciliate the catholics, and was capable of being so interpreted as not greatly to offend the moderate Lutherans: on the subject of church government he had not yet committed himself, and there was little doubt that he would cheerfully submit to the natural predilection of the archbishop for prelacy. His erudition and his morals could not fail to prove serviceable and creditable to the great cause of national instruction and reformed religion. Accordingly an invitation was sent to him, in the name of the young king, to come and occupy the theological chair in the university of Cambridge; and in the year 1549 he reached England, and began to discharge with much assiduity the duties of his office.
The name and influence of Bucer became very considerable in this country, though his career was terminated by death within two years after his arrival. A public funeral, attended by all the members of the university and many other persons of eminence, attested the consideration in which he was held by Edward's ministers; the subsequent disinterment of his remains by order of cardinal Pole, for the purpose of committing his bones to the flames, gave further evidence of his merits in the protestant cause; and in the composition of our national Articles, it has been said that no hand has left more distinguishable traces of itself than that of Bucer.
From Strasburg also the university of Oxford was destined to receive a professor of divinity in the person of the celebrated Peter Martyr. This good and learned man, a Florentine by birth and during some years principal of a college of Augustines at Naples, having gradually become a convert to the doctrines of the reformers, and afterwards proceeding openly to preach them, was compelled to quit his country in order to avoid persecution. Passing into Switzerland, he was received with affectionate hospitality by the disciples of Zwingle at Zurich; and after making some abode there he repaired to Basil, whence Bucer caused him to be invited to fill the station of theological professor at Strasburg. He was also appointed the colleague of this divine in the ministry, and their connexion had subsisted about five years in perfect harmony when the offers of Cranmer induced the two friends to remove into England.
It is to be presumed that no considerable differences of opinion on points deemed by themselves essential could exist between associates so united; but a greater simplicity of character and of views, and superior boldness in the enunciation of new doctrines, strikingly distinguished the proceedings of Peter Martyr from those of his friend. With respect to church government, he, like Bucer, was willing to conform to the regulations of Cranmer and the English council; but he preached at Oxford on the eucharist with so Zwinglian a cast of sentiment, that the popish party raised a popular commotion against him, by which his life was endangered, and he was compelled for a time to withdraw from the city. Tranquillity was soon however restored by the interference of the public authority, and the council proceeded vigorously in obliterating the last vestiges of Romish superstition. Ridley throughout his own diocese now caused the altars to be removed from the churches, and communion-tables to be placed in their room; and, as if by way of comment on this alteration, Martyr and others procured a public recognition of the Genevan as a sister church, and the admission into the English service-book of the articles of faith drawn up by Calvin.
During the remainder of Edward's reign the tide of public opinion continued running with still augmenting velocity towards Geneva. Calvin took upon him openly to expostulate with Bucer on the preference of state expediency to Scripture truth, betrayed, as he asserted, by the obstinate adherence of this divine to certain doctrines and observances which savoured too much of popery; and it is probable that a still nearer approach might have been made to his simpler ritual, but for the untimely death of the zealous young king, and the total ruin of the new establishment which ensued.
Just before the persecutions of Mary drove into exile so many of the most zealous and conscientious of her protestant subjects, the discord between the Lutherans and those whom they styled Sacramentarians had burst out afresh in Germany with more fury than ever. The incendiary on this occasion was Westphal, superintendant of the Lutheran church of Hamburgh, who published a violent book on the subject of the eucharist; and through the influence of this man, and of the outrageous spirit of intolerance which his work had raised, Latimer and Ridley were stigmatized by fellow protestants as "the devil's martyrs," and the Lutheran cities drove from their gates as dangerous and detestable heretics the English refugees who fled to them for shelter. By those cities or congregations, on the contrary,—whether in Germany, France, or Switzerland,—in which the tenets either of Zwingle or Calvin were professed, these pious exiles were received with open arms, venerated as confessors, cherished as brethren in distress, and admitted with perfect confidence into the communion of the respective churches.
Treatment so opposite from the two contending parties, between which they had supposed themselves to occupy neutral ground, failed not to produce corresponding effects on the minds of the exiles. At Frankfort, where the largest body of them was assembled, and where they had formed an English congregation using king Edward's liturgy, this form of worship became the occasion of a division amongst themselves, and a strong party soon declared itself in favor of discarding all of popish forms or doctrine which the English establishment, in common with the Lutheran, had retained, and of adopting in their place the simpler creed and ritual of the Genevan church.
It was found impracticable to compromise this difference; a considerable number finally seceded from the congregation, and it was from this division at Frankfort that English nonconformity took its birth. No equally strong manifestation of opinion occurred amongst the exiles in other cities; but on the whole it may be affirmed, that the majority of these persons returned from their wanderings with their previous predilection for the Calvinistic model confirmed and augmented by the united influence of the reasonings and persuasions of its ablest apostles, and of those sentiments of love and hatred from which the speculative opinions of most men receive an irresistible though secret bias.
Their more unfortunate brethren, in the mean time, who, unwilling to resign their country, or unable to escape from it, had been compelled to look persecution in the face and deliberately acquaint themselves with all its horrors, were undergoing other and in some respects opposite influences.
An overpowering dread and abhorrence of the doctrines of the church of Rome must so have absorbed all other thoughts and feelings in the minds of this dispersed and affrighted remnant of the English church, as to leave them little attention to bestow upon the comparatively trifling objects of dispute between protestant and protestant. They might even be disposed to regard such squabbles with emotions of indignation and disgust, and to ask how brethren in affliction could have the heart to nourish animosities against each other. The memory of Edward VI. was deservedly dear to them, and they would contemplate the restoration of his ritual by the successor of Mary as an event in which they ought to regard all their prayers as fulfilled:—yet the practice, forced upon them by the vigilance of persecution, of holding their assemblies for divine worship in places unconsecrated, with the omission of every customary ceremonial and under the guidance frequently of men whom zeal and piety alone had ordained to the office of teachers and ministers of religion, must amongst them also have been producing a secret alienation from established forms and rituals, and a propensity to those extemporaneous effusions of devotion, or urgencies of supplication, which seem best adapted to satisfy the wants of the pious soul under the fiery trial of persecution and distress. The Calvinistic model therefore, as the freest of all, and that which most industriously avoided any resemblance of popish forms, might be the one most likely to obtain their suffrage also.
Such being the state of religious opinion in England at the accession of Elizabeth, it will not appear wonderful that the Genevan reformer should have begun to indulge the flattering expectation of seeing his own scheme established in England as in Scotland, and himself revered throughout the island as a spiritual director from whose decisions there could be no appeal. Emboldened at once by zeal and ambition, he hastened to open a communication with the new government, in the shape of an exhortation to the queen to call a protestant council for establishing uniformity of doctrine and of church government; but his dream of supremacy was quickly dissipated on receiving for answer, that England was determined to preserve her episcopacy.
This decisive rejection of the presbyterian form was followed up by other acts on the part of the queen which gave offence to all the real friends of reformed religion, and went far to prove that Elizabeth was at heart little more of a protestant than her father. The general prohibition of preaching, which was strictly enforced during the first months of her reign, was understood as a measure of repression levelled full as much against the indiscreet zeal of the returned exiles, as against the disaffection of the catholics. An order that until the next meeting of parliament no change should be made in the order of worship established by the late queen, except the reading of the creed and commandments in English, implied, at least, a determination in the civil power to take the management of religion entirely out of the hands of a clergy whose influence over the minds of the people it viewed with a jealous eye. It was soon also discovered, to the increasing horror of all true protestants, that the queen was strongly disposed to insist on the celibacy of the clergy; and even when the strenuous efforts of Cecil and others had brought her to yield with reluctance this capital point, she still pertinaciously refused to authorize their marrying by an express law. She would not even declare valid the marriages contracted by them during the reign of her brother; so that it became necessary to procure private bills of legitimation in behalf of the offspring of these unions, though formed under the express sanction of then existing laws. The son of Cranmer himself, and the son of archbishop Parker, were of the number of those who found it necessary to resort to this disagreeable and degrading expedient.
Other things which offended the reformists were, the queen's predilection, already mentioned, for crucifixes, which she did not cause to be removed from the churches till after considerable delay and difficulty, and retained in her private chapel for many years longer,—and her wish to continue the use of altars. This being regarded as a dangerous compliance with the Romish doctrine, since an altar could only suit with the notion of a sacrifice of Christ in the mass, earnest expostulations on the subject were addressed to her by several of the leading divines; and in the end the queen found it expedient, with whatever reluctance, to ordain the substitution of communion-tables.
She was also bent upon retaining in the church of which she was the head the use of vestments similar to those worn by the different orders of popish priests in the celebration of the various offices of their religion. A very natural association of ideas caused the protestant clergy to regard with suspicion and abhorrence such an approximation in externals to that worship which was in their eyes the abomination of idolatry; and several of the returned exiles, to whom bishoprics were now offered, scrupled to accept of them under the obligation of wearing the appointed habits. Repeated and earnest representations were made to the queen against them, but she remained inflexible. In this dilemma, the divines requested the advice of Peter Martyr, who had quitted England on the accession of Mary and was now professor of theology at Zurich. He persuaded compliance, representing to them that it was better that high offices in the church should be occupied by persons like themselves, though with the condition of submitting to some things which they did not approve, than that such posts should be given to Lutherans or concealed catholics, who, instead of promoting any further reformation, would labor continually to bring back more and more of the ancient ceremonies and superstitions. This argument was deemed conclusive, and the bishoprics were accepted. But such a plea, though it might suffice certain men for a time, could not long satisfy universally; and we shall soon have occasion to take notice of scruples on this point, as the source of the first intestine divisions by which the Anglican church was disturbed, and of the first persecutions of her own children by which she disgraced herself.
On the whole, it must be admitted that the personal conduct of Elizabeth in this momentous business exhibited neither enlargement of mind nor elevation of soul. Considerably attached to ceremonial observances, and superior to none of the superstitions which she might have imbibed in her childhood, she was however more attached to her own power and authority than to these. Little under the influence of any individual amongst her clergy, and somewhat inclined to treat that order in general with harshness, if not cruelty,—as in the article of their marriages, in the unmitigated rigor with which she exacted from them her first fruits, and in the rapacity which she permitted her courtiers to exercise upon the temporalities of the bishoprics,—the only view which she took of the subject was that of the sovereign and the politician. Aware on one hand of the manner in which her title to the crown was connected with the renunciation of papal authority, of the irreconcileable enmity borne her by the catholic powers, and of the general attachment of her subjects to the cause of the reformation, she felt herself called upon to assume the protection of the protestant interest of Europe, and to re-establish that worship in her own dominions. On the other hand, she remarked with secret dread and aversion the popular spirit and republican tendency of the institutions of Calvin, and she resolved at all hazards to check the growth of his opinions in England. Accordingly, it was the scope of every alteration made by her in the service-book of Edward, to give it more of a Lutheran aspect, and it was for some time apprehended that she would cause the entire Confession of Augsburg to be received into it.
Of toleration, of the rights of conscience, she had as little feeling or understanding as any prince or polemic of her age. Her establishment was formed throughout in the spirit of compromise and political expediency; she took no pains to ascertain, either by the assembling of a national synod or by the submission of the articles to free discussion in parliament, whether or not they were likely to prove agreeable to the opinions of the majority; it sufficed that she had decreed their reception, and she prepared, by means of penal statutes strictly executed, to prevent the propagation of any doctrines, or the observance of any rites, capable of interfering with the exact uniformity in religion then regarded as essential to the peace and stability of every well constituted state.
To Cecil her chief secretary of state and to Nicholas Bacon her keeper of the seals, assisted by a select number of divines, the management of this great affair was chiefly intrusted by the queen: and much might be said of the sagacity displayed by her in this appointment, and of the wisdom and moderation exercised by them in the discharge of their office; much also might be, much has been said, of the excellencies of the form of worship by them established;—but little, alas! of moral or of religious merit can be awarded by the verdict of impartial history to the motives or conduct of the heroine of protestantism in a transaction so momentous and so memorable.
Three acts of the parliament of 1559 gave the sanction of law to the new ecclesiastical establishment; they were those of Supremacy, of Uniformity, and a third empowering the queen to appoint bishops. By the first, the authority of the pope was solemnly renounced, and the whole government of the church vested in the queen, her heirs and successors; and an important clause further enabled her and them to delegate their authority to commissioners of their own appointment, who amongst other extraordinary powers were to be invested with the cognisance of all errors and heresies whatsoever. On this foundation was erected the famous High Commission Court, which grew into one of the principal grievances of this and the two following reigns, and of which, from the moment of its formation, the proceedings assumed a character of arbitrary violence utterly incompatible with the security and happiness of the subject, and hostile to the whole tenor of the ancient charters.
The act of Uniformity ordained an exact compliance in all points with the established form of worship and a punctual attendance on its offices; it also rendered highly penal the exercise, public or private, of any other; and of this law it was not long before several unfortunate catholics were doomed to experience the utmost rigor.
Many parish priests who had been open and violent papists in the last reign, permitted themselves to take the oath of supremacy and retain their cures under the new order of things, a kind of compliance with the times which the court of Rome is said sometimes to have permitted, sometimes even to have privately enjoined,—on the principle of Peter Martyr, that it was better that its secret adherents should continue to occupy the churches, on whatever conditions, than that they should be surrendered entirely into the hands of an opposite party. The bishops, on the contrary, considered themselves as called upon by the dignity of their character and office to bear a public testimony against the defection of England from the holy see; and those of them who had not previously been deprived on other grounds, now in a body refused the oaths and submitted themselves to the consequences. All were deprived, a few imprisoned, several committed to honorable custody. The policy of Elizabeth, unlike the genuine bigotry of her sister, contented itself with a kind of negative intolerance; and as long as the degraded bishops abstained from all manifestations, by words or deeds, of hostility against her government and ecclesiastical establishment, and all celebration of the peculiar rites of their religion, they were secure from molestation; and never to them, as to their unfortunate protestant predecessors, were articles of religion offered for signature under the fearful alternative of compliance or martyrdom.
To supply the vacancies of the episcopal bench became one of the earliest cares of the queen and her ministers; and their choice, which fell on the most eminent of the confessors and exiles, was generally approved by the nation.
Dr. Parker, formerly her mother's chaplain and the religious instructor of her own childhood, was designated by Elizabeth for the primacy. This eminent divine had likewise been one of the chaplains of Edward VI., and enjoyed under his reign considerable church preferments. He had been the friend of Cranmer, Bucer, Latimer, and Ridley; of Cook, Cheke, and Cecil; and was the ardent coadjutor of these meritorious public characters in the promotion of reformed religion, and the advancement of general learning,—two grand objects, which were regarded by them as inseparable and almost identical.
On the accession of Mary, being stripped of all his benefices as a married priest, Parker with his family was reduced to poverty and distress; and it was only by a careful concealment of his person, by frequent changes of place, and in some instances by the timely advertisements of watchful friends, that he was enabled to avoid a still severer trial of his constancy. During this period of distress he found support and solace from the pious task of translating into English metre the whole of the Psalms. The version still exists in manuscript, and is executed with some spirit, and not inelegantly, in the old measure of fourteen syllables.
Parker's "Nolo episcopari" is supposed to have been more than ordinarily sincere: in fact, the station of metropolitan must at this juncture have been felt as one of considerable difficulty, perhaps even of danger; and the stormy temper of the queen afterwards prepared for the prelate so much of contradiction and humiliation as caused him more than once to bewail his final acceptance of the highest dignity of the English church.
With all her personal regard for the primate, Elizabeth could not always refrain in his presence from reflections against married priests, which gave him great pain.
During a progress which she made in 1561 into Essex and Suffolk, she expressed high displeasure at finding so many of the clergy married, and the cathedrals and colleges so filled with women and children; and in consequence she addressed to the archbishop a royal injunction, "that no head or member of any college or cathedral should bring a wife or any other woman into the precincts of it, to abide in the same, on pain of forfeiture of all ecclesiastical promotion." Parker regarded it as his duty to remonstrate with her in person against so popish a prohibition; on which, after declaring to him that she repented of having made any married bishops, she went on to treat the institution of matrimony itself with a satire and contempt which filled him with horror.
It was to his wife that her majesty, in returning acknowledgements for the magnificent hospitality with which she had been received at the archiepiscopal palace, made use of the well-known ungracious address; "Madam I may not call you, mistress I am ashamed to call you, and so I know not what to call you; but howsoever I thank you."
But these fits of ill-humor were transient; for Parker learned the art of dispelling them by submissions, or soothing them by the frequent and respectful tender of splendid entertainments and costly gifts. He did not long remain insensible to the charms of rank and fortune; and it must not be concealed that an inordinate love of power, and a haughty intolerance of all opposition, gradually superseded that candor and Christian meekness of which he had formerly been cited as an edifying example. Against that sect amongst the clergy who refused to adopt the appointed habits and scrupled some of the ceremonies, soon after distinguished by the appellation of Puritans, he exercised his authority with unsparing rigor; and even stretched it by degrees so far beyond all legal bounds, that the queen herself, little as she was inclined to tolerate this sect or to resent any arbitrary conduct in her commissioners, was moved at length to interpose and reverse some of his proceedings. The archbishop, now become incapable of yielding his own will even to that of his sovereign, complained and remonstrated instead of submitting: reproaches ensued on the part of Elizabeth; and in May 1575 the learned prelate ended in a kind of disgrace the career which he had long pursued amid the warmest testimonies of royal approbation.
The fairest, at least the most undisputed, claim of this eminent prelate to the gratitude of his contemporaries and the respect of posterity, is founded on the character which his high station enabled him to assume and maintain, of the most munificent patron of letters of his age and country. The study which he particularly encouraged, and to which his own leisure was almost exclusively devoted, was that of English antiquities; and he formed and presented to Corpus Christi college a large and valuable collection of the manuscripts relative to these objects which had been scattered abroad at the dissolution of the monasteries, and must have been irretrievably lost but for his diligence in inquiring after them and the liberality with which he rewarded their discovery. He edited four of our monkish historians; was the first publisher of that interesting specimen of early English satire and versification, Pierce Plowman's Visions; composed a history in Latin of his predecessors in the see of Canterbury, and encouraged the labors of many private scholars by acts of generosity and kindness.
Grindal, a divine of eminence, who during his voluntary exile at Frankfort had taken a strong part in favor of king Edward's Service-book, was named as the successor of Bonner in the bishopric of London; but a considerable time was spent in overcoming his objections to the habits and ceremonies, before he could be prevailed upon to assume a charge of which he deeply felt the importance and responsibility.
To the reputation of learning and piety which this prelate enjoyed in common with so many of his clerical contemporaries, he added an extraordinary earnestness in the promotion of Christian knowledge, and a courageous inflexibility on points of professional duty, imitated by few and excelled by none. His manly spirit disdained that slavish obsequiousness by which too many of his episcopal brethren paid homage to the narrow prejudices and state-jealousies of an imperious mistress, and it soon became evident that strife and opposition awaited him.
His first difference was with archbishop Parker, whom he highly offended by his backwardness in proceeding to extremities against the puritans, a sect many of whose scruples Grindal himself had formerly entertained, and was still inclined to view with respect or pity rather than with indignation. Cecil, who was his chief friend and patron, apprehensive of his involving himself in trouble, gladly seized an occasion of withdrawing him from the contest, by procuring his appointment in 1570 to the vacant archbishopric of York; a hitherto neglected province, in which his efforts for the instruction of the people and the reformation of the state of the church were peculiarly required and eminently successful.
For his own repose, Grindal ought never to have quitted this sphere of unmolested usefulness; but when, on the death of Parker in 1575, the primacy was offered to him, ambition, or perhaps the hope of rendering his plans more extensively beneficial, unfortunately prompted its acceptance. Thus was he brought once more within the uncongenial atmosphere of a court, and subjected to the immediate control of his sovereign in matters on which he regarded it as a duty, on the double ground of conscience and the rights of his office, to resist the fiat of a temporal head of the church.
The queen, whose dread and hatred of the puritans augmented with the severities which she exercised against them, had conceived a violent aversion to certain meetings called prophesyings, at this time held by the clergy for the purpose of exercising their younger members in expounding the Scriptures, and at which the laity had begun to attend as auditors in great numbers and with much interest. Such assemblies, her majesty declared, were nothing else than so many schools of puritanism, where the people learned to be so inquisitive that their spiritual superiors would soon lose all influence over them, and she issued positive commands to Grindal for their suppression. At the same time she expressed to him her extreme displeasure at the number of preachers licensed in his province, and required that it should be very considerably lessened, "urging that it was good for the world to have few preachers, that three or four might suffice for a county; and that the reading of the homilies to the people was enough." But the venerable primate, so far from consenting to abridge the means of that religious instruction which he regarded it as the most sacred duty of a protestant church to afford, took the freedom of addressing to her majesty a very plain and earnest letter of expostulation. In this piece, after showing the great necessity which existed for multiplying, rather than diminishing, opportunities of edification both to the clergy and the people, and protesting that he could not in conscience be instrumental to the suppression either of preaching or prophesyings, he proceeded to remonstrate with her majesty on the arbitrary, imperious, and as it were papal manner, in which she took upon herself to decide points better left to the management of her bishops. He ended by exhorting her to remember that she also was a mortal creature, and accountable to God for the exercise of her power, and that she ought above all things to be desirous of employing it piously for the promotion of true religion.
The event showed this remonstrance to be rather well-intended than well-judged. Indignation was the only sentiment which it awakened in the haughty mind of Elizabeth, and she answered it by an order of the Star-chamber, in virtue of which the archbishop was suspended from his functions for six months, and confined during the same period to his house. At the end of this time he was urged by Burleigh to acknowledge himself in fault and beg the queen's forgiveness but he steadily refused to compromise thus a good cause, and his sequestration was continued. It even appears that nothing but the honest indignation of some of her ministers and courtiers restrained the queen from proceeding to deprive him.
At the end of four or five years, her anger being somewhat abated, it pleased her to take off the sequestration, but without restoring the primate to her favor; and as he was now old and blind, he willingly consented to resign the primacy and retire on a pension: but in 1583, before the matter could be finally arranged, he died.
Archbishop Grindal was a great contributor to Fox's "Acts and Monuments," for which he collected many materials; but he was the author of no considerable work, and on the whole he seems to have been less admirable by the display of any extraordinary talents than revered and exemplary for the primitive virtues of probity, sincerity, and godly zeal. These were the qualities which obtained for him the celebration of Spenser in his "Shepherd's Calendar," where he is designated by the name of Algrind, and described as a true teacher of the Gospel and a severe reprover of the pride and worldliness of the popish clergy. The lines were written during the period of the prelate's disgrace, which is allegorically related and bewailed by the poet.
Another distinguished ornament of the episcopal bench was Jewel, consecrated to the see of Salisbury in 1560. It is remarkable that this learned apologist of the church of England had expressed at first a stronger repugnance to the habits than most of his colleagues; but having once brought himself to compliance, he thenceforth became noted for the rigor with which he exacted it of others.
In the time of Henry VIII. Jewel had become suspected of opinions which he openly embraced on the accession of Edward, and he was sufficiently distinguished amongst the reformers of this reign to be marked out as one of the first objects of persecution under Mary. As a preliminary step, on which proceedings might be founded, the Romish articles were offered for his signature, when he disappointed alike his enemies and his friends by subscribing them without apparent reluctance. But his insincerity in this act was notorious, and it was in contemplation to subject him to the fierce interrogatories of Bonner, when timely warning enabled him, through many perils, to escape out of the country. Safe arrived at Frankfort, he made a public confession, before the English congregation, of his guilt in signing articles which his conscience abhorred, and humbly entreated forgiveness of God and the church. After this, he repaired to Strasburgh and passed away the time with his friend Peter Martyr.
The erudition of Jewel was profound and extensive, his private life amiable, his performance of his episcopal duties sedulous; and such was the esteem in which his celebrated "Apology" was held, that Elizabeth, and afterwards James I., ordained that a copy of it should be kept in every parish-church in England.
Of Dr. Cox, elevated to the see of Ely, mention has already been made; and it would be superfluous here to enter more largely into the ecclesiastical history of the reign.
A careful consideration of the behaviour of Elizabeth towards the two successive primates Parker and Grindal, will furnish a sufficiently accurate notion of the spirit of her religious policy, besides affording a valuable addition to the characteristic traits illustrative of her temper and opinions.
Tragedy of Ferrex and Porrex.—Translations of ancient tragedies.—Death of Francis II.—Mary refuses to ratify the treaty of Edinburgh—returns to Scotland.—Enmity between Mary and Elizabeth.—Philip II. secretly encourages the English papists.—Measures of rigor adopted against them by Elizabeth.—Anecdote of the queen and Dr. Sampson.—St. Paul's struck by lightning.—Bishop Pilkington's sermon on the occasion.—Paul's Walk.—Precautions against the queen's being poisoned.—The king of Sweden proposes to visit her.—Steps taken in this matter.
The eighteenth of January 1561 ought to be celebrated as the birthday of the English drama; for it was on this day that Thomas Sackville caused to be represented at Whitehall, for the entertainment of Elizabeth and her court, the tragedy of Ferrex and Porrex, otherwise called Gorboduc, the joint production of himself and Thomas Norton. From the unrivalled force of imagination, the vigor and purity of diction, and the intimate knowledge and tasteful adaptation of the beauties of the Latin poets displayed in the contributions of Sackville to the Mirror of Magistrates, a lettered audience would conceive high expectations from his attempt in a new walk of poetry; but in the then barbarous state of our Theatre, such a performance as Gorboduc must have been hailed as not only a novelty but a wonder. It was the first piece composed in English on the ancient tragic model, with a regular division into five acts, closed by lyric choruses.
It offered the first example of a story from British history, or what passed for history, completely dramatized and represented with an attempt at theatrical illusion; for the earlier pieces published under the title of tragedies were either ballads or monologues, which might indeed be sung or recited, but were incapable of being acted. The plot of the play was fraught with those circumstances of the deepest horror by which the dormant sensibilities of an inexperienced audience require and delight to be awakened. An unwonted force of thought and dignity of language claimed the patience, if not the admiration, of the hearers, for the long political disquisitions by which the business of the piece was somewhat painfully retarded.
The curiosity of the public respecting a drama which had been performed with general applause both at court and before the society of the Middle Temple, encouraged its surreptitious appearance in print in 1565, and a second stolen edition was followed, some years after, by a corrected one published under the inspection of the authors themselves. The taste for the legitimate drama thus awakened, may be supposed to have led to the naturalization amongst us of several of its best ancient models. The Phoenissae of Euripides appeared under the title of Jocasta, having received an English dress from Gascoigne and Kinwelmershe, two students of Gray's Inn. The ten tragedies of Seneca, englished by different hands, succeeded. It is worthy of note, however, that none of these translators had the good taste to imitate the authors of Ferrex and Porrex in the adoption of blank verse, and that one only amongst them made use of the heroic rhymed couplet; the others employing the old alexandrine measure, excepting in the choruses, which were given in various kinds of stanza. Her majesty alone seems to have perceived the superior advantages, or to have been tempted by the greater facility of Sackville's verse; and amongst the MSS. of the Bodleian library there is found a translation by her own hand of part of Seneca's Hercules Oetaeus, which is in this measure. Warton however adds, that this specimen "has no other recommendation than its royalty."
The propensity of Elizabeth, amid all the serious cares of government and all the pettinesses of that political intrigue to which she was addicted, to occupy herself with attempts in polite literature, for which she possessed no manner of talent, is not the least remarkable among the features of her extraordinary and complicated character.
At the period of her reign however which we are now considering, public affairs must have required from her an almost undivided attention. By the death of Francis II. about the end of the year 1560, the queen of Scots had become a widow, and the relations of England with France and Scotland had immediately assumed an entirely novel aspect.
The change was in one respect highly to the advantage of Elizabeth. By the loss of her royal husband, Mary was deprived of that command over the resources of the French monarchy by which she had hoped to render effective her claim to the English crown, and she found it expedient to discontinue for the present the use of the royal arms of England. The enmity of the queen-mother had even chased her from that court where she had reigned so lately, and obliged her to retire to her uncle, the cardinal of Lorrain at Rheims. But from the age and temper of the beautiful and aspiring Mary, it was to be expected that she would ere long be induced to re-enter the matrimonial state with some one of the princes of Europe; and neither as a sovereign nor a woman could Elizabeth regard without jealousy the plans for her reestablishment already agitated by her ambitious uncles of the house of Guise. Under these circumstances, it was the first object of Elizabeth to obtain from her rival the formal ratification, which had hitherto been withheld, of the treaty of Edinburgh, by one article of which Mary was pledged never to resume the English arms; and Throgmorton, then ambassador to France, was instructed to urge strongly her immediate compliance with this certainly not inequitable demand. The queen of Scots, however, persisted in evading its fulfilment, and on pleas so forced and futile as justly to confirm all previous suspicions of her sincerity.
Matters were in this state between the two sovereigns, when Mary came to the resolution of acceding to the unanimous entreaties of her subjects of both religions, by returning to govern in person the kingdom of her ancestors; and she sent to request of Elizabeth a safe-conduct. The English princess promptly replied, that the queen had only to ratify the treaty of Edinburgh, and she should obtain not merely a safe-conduct but free permission to shorten the fatigues of her voyage by passing through England, where she should be received with all the marks of affection due to a beloved sister. By this answer Mary chose to regard herself as insulted; and declaring to the English ambassador in great heat that nothing vexed her so much as to have exposed herself without necessity to such a refusal, and that she doubted not that she should be able to return to her country without the permission of Elizabeth, as she had quitted it in spite of all the vigilance of her brother, she abruptly broke off the conference.
Henceforth the breach between these illustrious kinswomen became irreparable. In vain did Mary, after her arrival in Scotland, endeavour to remedy the imprudence which she was conscious of having committed, by professions of respect and friendship; for with these hollow compliments she had the further indiscretion to mingle the demand that Elizabeth should publicly declare her next heir to the English throne; a proposal which this high-spirited princess could never hear without rage. Neither of the queens was a novice in the arts of dissimulation, and as often as it suited the interest or caprice of the moment, each would lavish upon the other, without scruple, every demonstration of amity, every pledge of affection; but jealousy, suspicion, and hatred dwelt irremoveably in the inmost recesses of their hearts. The protestant party in Scotland was powerfully protected by Elizabeth, the catholic party in England was secretly incited by Mary; and it became scarcely less the care and occupation of each to disturb the administration of her rival than to fix her own on a solid basis.
Mary had been attended on her return to Scotland by her three uncles, the duke of Aumale, the grand prior and the marquis of Elbeuf, with a numerous retinue of French nobility; and when after a short visit the duke and the grand prior took their leave of her, they with their company consisting of more than a hundred returned through England, visiting in their way the court of Elizabeth. Brantome, who was of the party, has given incidentally the following particulars of their entertainment in the short memoir which he has devoted to the celebration of Henry II. of France.
"Bref, c'estoit un roy tres accomply & fort aymable. J'ay ouy conter a la reigne d'Angleterre qui est aujourd'huy, que c'estoit le roy & le prince du monde qu'elle avoit plus desire de voir, pour le beau rapport qu'on luy en avoit fait, & pour sa grande renommee qui en voloit par tout. Monsieur le connestable qui vit aujourd'huy s'en pourra bien ressouvenir, ce fut lorsque retournant d'Escosse M. le grand prieur de France, de la maison de Lorreine, & luy, la reigne leur donna un soir a soupper, ou apres se fit un ballet de ses filles, qu'elle avoit ordonne & dresse, representant les vierges de l'evangile, desquelles les unes avoient leurs lampes allumees & les autres n'avoient ny huile ny feu & en demandoient. Ces lampes estoient d'argent fort gentiment faites & elabourees, & les dames etoient tres-belles & honnestes & bien apprises, qui prirent nous autres Francois pour danser, mesme la reigne dansa, & de fort bonne grace & belle majeste royale, car elle l'avoit & estoit lors en sa grande beaute & belle grace. Rien ne l'a gastee que l'execution de la pauvre reigne d'Escosse, sans cela c'estoit une tres-rare princesse.
"...Estant ainsi a table devisant familierement avec ces seigneurs, elle dit ces mots, (apres avoir fort louee le roy): C'estoit le prince du monde que j'avois plus desire de voir, & luy avois deja mande que bientost je le verrois, & pour ce j'avois commande de me faire bien appareiller mes galeres (usant de ces mots) pour passer en France expres pour le voir. Monsieur le connestable, d'aujourd'huy, qui estoit lors Monsieur d'Amville, respondit, Madame, je m'asseure que vous eussiez este tres-contente de le voir, car son humeur & sa facon vous eussent pleu; aussi lui eust il este tres-content de vous voir, car il eust fort aime votre belle humeur & vos agreables facons, & vous eust fait un honorable accueil & tres-bonne chere, & vous eust bien fait passer le temps. Je le croy & m'en asseure, dit elle." &c.
By the death of the king of France, and the increasing distractions of that unhappy country under the feeble minority of Charles IX., the politics of the king of Spain also were affected. He had not now to fear the union of the crowns of England France and Scotland under the joint rule of Francis and Mary, which he had once regarded as a not improbable event; consequently his strongest inducement for keeping measures with Elizabeth ceased to operate, and he began daily to disclose more and more of that animosity with which he could not fail to regard a princess who was at once the heroine and patroness of protestantism. From this time he began to furnish secret aids which added hope and courage to the English partisans of popery and of Mary; and Elizabeth judged it a necessary policy to place her catholic subjects under a more rigid system of restraint. It was contrary to her private inclinations to treat this sect with severity, and she was the more reluctant to do so as she thus gratified in an especial manner the wishes of the puritanical or Calvinistic party in the church, their inveterate enemies; and by identifying in some measure her cause with theirs, saw herself obliged to conform in several points to their views rather than her own wishes.
The law which rendered it penal to hear mass was first put in force against several persons of rank, that the example might strike the more terror. Sir Edward Waldegrave, in Mary's reign a privy-councillor, was on this account committed to the Tower, with his lady and some others; and lord Loughborough, also a privy-councillor much favored and trusted by the late queen, was brought into trouble on the same ground. Against Waldegrave it is to be feared that much cruelty was exercised during his imprisonment; for it is said to have occasioned his death, which occurred in the Tower a few months afterwards. The High Commission court now began to take cognisance of what was called recusancy, or the refusal to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy; it also encouraged informations against such as refrained from joining in the established worship; and numerous professors of the old religion, both ecclesiastics and laity, were summoned on one account or other before this tribunal. Of these, some were committed to prison, others restricted from entering certain places, as the two universities, or circumscribed within the limits of some town or county; and most were bound in great penalties to be forthcoming whenever it should be required.
As a further demonstration of zeal against popery, the queen caused all the altars in Westminster abbey to be pulled down; and about the same time a remarkable scene occurred between her majesty and Dr. Thomas Sampson dean of Christ-church.
It happened that the queen had appointed to go to St. Paul's on New Year's day to hear the dean preach; and he, thinking to gratify her on that day with an elegant and appropriate present, had procured some prints illustrative of the histories of the saints and martyrs, which he caused to be inserted in a richly bound prayer-book and laid on the queen's cushion for her use. Her majesty opened the volume; but no sooner did the prints meet her eye, than she frowned, blushed, and called to the verger to bring her the book she was accustomed to use. As soon as the service was ended, she went into the vestry and inquired of the dean who had brought that book? and when he explained that he had meant it as a present to her majesty, she chid him severely, inquired if he was ignorant of her proclamation against images, pictures, and Romish reliques in the churches, and of her aversion to all idolatry, and strictly ordered that no similar mistake should be made in future. What renders this circumstance the more curious is, that Elizabeth at this very time kept a crucifix in her private chapel, and that Sampson was so far from being popishly inclined, that he had refused the bishopric of Norwich the year before, on account of the habits and ceremonies, and was afterwards deprived of his deanery by archbishop Parker for nonconformity.
Never did parties in religion run higher than about this period of the reign of Elizabeth; and we may remark as symptomatic of the temper of the times, the manner in which a trivial accident was commented upon by adverse disputants. The beautiful steeple of St. Paul's cathedral, the loftiest in the kingdom, had been stricken by lightning and utterly destroyed, together with the bells and roof. A papist immediately dispersed a paper representing this accident as a judgement of Heaven for the discontinuance of the matins and other services which had used to be performed in the church at different hours of the day and night. Pilkington bishop of Durham, who preached at Paul's cross after the accident, was equally disposed to regard it as a judgement, but on the sins of London in general, and particularly on certain abuses by which the church had formerly been polluted. In a tract published in answer to that of the papist he afterwards gave an animated description of the practices of which this cathedral had been the theatre; curious at the present day as a record of forgotten customs. He said that "no place had been more abused than Paul's had been, nor more against the receiving of Christ's Gospel; wherefore it was more wonder that God had spared it so long, than that he overthrew it now.... From the top of the spire, at coronations or other solemn triumphs, some for vain glory had used to throw themselves down by a rope, and so killed themselves, vainly to please other men's eyes. At the battlements of the steeple, sundry times were used their popish anthems, to call upon their Gods, with torch and taper, in the evenings. In the top of one of the pinnacles was Lollards' Tower, where many an innocent soul had been by them cruelly tormented and murdered. In the middest alley was their long censer, reaching from the roof to the ground; as though the Holy Ghost came down in their censing, in likeness of a dove. In the arches, men commonly complained of wrong and delayed judgments in ecclesiastical causes: and divers had been condemned there by Annas and Caiaphas for Christ's cause. Their images hung on every wall, pillar and door, with their pilgrimages and worshipings of them: passing over their massing and many altars, and the rest of their popish service. The south alley was for usury and popery, the north for simony; and the horse fair in the midst for all kind of bargains, meetings, brawlings, murders, conspiracies. The font for ordinary payments of money as well known to all men as the beggar knows his dish.... So that without and within, above the ground and under, over the roof and beneath, from the top of the steeple and spire down to the low floor, not one spot was free from wickedness."
The practice here alluded to, of making the nave of St. Paul's a kind of exchange for the transaction of all kinds of business, and a place of meeting for idlers of every sort, is frequently referred to by the writers of this and the two succeeding reigns; and when or by what means the custom was put an end to, does not appear. It was here that sir Nicholas Throgmorton held a conference with an emissary of Wyat's; it was here that one of the bravoes engaged in the noted murder of Arden of Feversham was hired. It was in Paul's that Falstaff is made to say he "bought" Bardolph.
In bishop Earl's admirable little book called Micro-cosmography the scene is described with all the wit of the author and somewhat of the quaintness of his age, which was that of James I.
"Paul's walk is the land's epitome, or you may call it the lesser isle of Great Britain. It is, more than this, the whole world's map, which you may here discern in its perfectest motion, justling, and turning. It is the great exchange of all discourse, and no business whatsoever but is here stirring and afoot. It is the synod of all pates politic, joined and laid together in most serious posture, and they are not half so busy at the parliament.... It is the market of young lecturers, whom you may cheapen here at all rates and sizes. It is the general mint of all famous lies, which are here, like the legends of popery, first coined and stamped in the church. All inventions are emptied here, and not a few pockets. The best sign of a temple in it is, that it is the thieves sanctuary.... The visitants are, all men without exception, but the principal inhabitants and possessors are, stale knights, and captains out of service, men of long rapiers and breeches which, after all, turn merchants here, and traffic for news. Some make it a preface to their dinner, but thriftier men make it their ordinary, and board here very cheap."
The vigilant ministers of Elizabeth had now begun to alarm themselves and her with apprehensions of plots against her life from the malice of the papists; and it would be rash to pronounce that such fears were entirely void of foundation; but we may be permitted to smile at the ignorant credulity on the subject of poisons,—universal indeed in that age,—which dictated the following minute of council, extant in the handwriting of Cecil. "We think it very convenient that your majesty's apparel, and specially all manner of things that shall touch any part of your majesty's body bare, be circumspectly looked unto; and that no person be permitted to come near it, but such as have the trust and charge thereof.
"Item. That no manner of perfume either in apparel or sleeves, gloves or such like, or otherwise that shall be appointed for your majesty's savor, be presented by any stranger or other person, but that the same be corrected by some other fume.
"Item. That no foreign meat or dishes being dressed out of your majesty's court, be brought to your food, without assured knowledge from whom the same cometh; and that no use be had hereof.
"Item. That it may please your majesty to take the advice of your physician for the receiving weekly twice some preservative 'contra pestem et venena,' as there be many good things 'et salutaria.'
"Item. It may please your majesty to give order who shall take the charge of the back doors to your chamberers chambers, where landresses, tailors, wardrobers, and the like, use to come; and that the same doors be duly attended upon, as becometh, and not to stand open but upon necessity.
"Item. That the privy chamber may be better ordered, with an attendance of an usher, and the gentlemen and grooms."
[Note 48: "Burleigh Papers" by Haynes, p. 368.]
It was fortunate that the same exaggerated notions of the power of poisons prevailed amongst papists as protestants. Against the ill effects of a drug applied by direction of a Spanish friar to the arms of a chair and the pommel of a saddle, the antidotes received twice a week might be depended upon as an effectual preservative.
From these perils, real and imaginary,—none of which however appear to have taken strong hold of the cheerful and courageous temper of the queen,—her attention and that of her council was for some time diverted by the expectation of a royal suitor.
Eric king of Sweden,—whose hopes of final success in his addresses were kept up in spite of the repeated denials of the queen, by the artifice of some Englishmen at his court who deluded him by pretended secret intelligence,—had sent to her majesty a royal present, and declared his intention of following in person. The present consisted of eighteen large piebald horses, and two ship-loads of precious articles which are not particularized. It does not appear that this offering was ill-received; but as Elizabeth was determined not to relent in favor of the sender, she caused him to be apprized of the impositions passed upon him by the English to whom he had given ear, at the same time expressing her anxious hope that he would spare himself the fatigues of a fruitless voyage. Fearing however that he might be already on his way, she occupied herself in preparations for receiving him with all the hospitality and splendor due to his errand, his rank and her own honor. It was at the same time a business of some perplexity so to regulate all these matters of ceremony that neither Eric himself nor others might conclude that he was a favored suitor. Among the state papers of the time we find, first a letter of council to the lord mayor, setting forth, that, "Whereas certain bookbinders and stationers did utter certain papers wherein were printed the face of her majesty and the king of Sweden; although her majesty was not miscontented that either her own face or that of this king should be pourtrayed; yet to be joined in the same paper with him or any other prince who was known to have made request for marriage to her, was what she could not allow. Accordingly it was her pleasure that the lord mayor should seize all such papers, and pack them up so that none of them should get abroad. Otherwise she might seem to authorize this joining of herself in marriage to him, which might seem to touch her in honor." Next we have a letter to the duke of Norfolk directing the manner in which he should go to meet the king, if he landed at any part of Norfolk or Suffolk: and lastly, we have the solemn judgement of the lord-treasurer, the lord-steward, and the lord-chamberlain, on the ceremonial to be observed towards him on his arrival by the queen herself.
One paragraph is conceived with all the prudery and the deep policy about trifles, which marked the character of Elizabeth herself. "Bycause the queen's majesty is a maid, in this case would many things be omitted of honor and courtesy, which otherwise were mete to be showed to him, as in like cases hath been of kings of this land to others, and therefore it shall be necessary that the gravest of her council do, as of their own judgement, excuse the lack thereof to the king; and yet on their own parts offer the supplement thereof with reverence."
After all, the king of Sweden never came.
1561 TO 1565.
Difficulties respecting the succession.—Lady C. Grey marries the earl of Hertford.—Cruel treatment of them by Elizabeth.—Conspiracy of the Poles.—Law against prophecies.—Sir H. Sidney ambassador to France.—Some account of him.—Defence of Havre under the earl of Warwick.—Its surrender.—Proposed interview between Elizabeth and Mary.—Plague in London.—Studies of the queen.—Proclamation respecting portraits of her.—Negotiations concerning the marriage of Mary.—Elizabeth proposes to her lord R. Dudley.—Hales punished for defending the title of the Suffolk line.—Sir N. Bacon and lord J. Grey in some disgrace on the same account.—Queen's visit to Cambridge.—Dudley created earl of Leicester.—Notice of sir James Melvil and extracts from his memoirs.—Marriage of Mary with Darnley.—Conduct of Elizabeth respecting it.—She encourages, then disavows the Scotch malcontent lords.—Behaviour of sir N. Throgmorton.—The puritans treated with greater lenity.
The situation of Elizabeth, amid its many difficulties, presented none so perplexing, none which the opinions of her most prudent counsellors were so much divided on the best mode of obviating, as those arising out of the doubt and confusion in which the right of succession was still involved. Her avowed repugnance to marriage, which was now feared to be insurmountable, kept the minds of men continually busy on this dangerous topic, and she was already incurring the blame of many by the backwardness which she discovered in designating a successor and causing her choice to be confirmed, as it would readily have been, by the parliament.
But this censure must be regarded as unjust. Even though the jealousy of power had found no entrance into the bosom of Elizabeth, sound policy required her long to deliberate before she formed a decision, and perhaps, whatever that decision might be, forbade her, under present circumstances, to announce it to the world.
The title of the queen of Scots, otherwise unquestionable, was barred by the will of Henry VIII., ratified by an unrepealed act of parliament, and nothing less solemn than a fresh act of the whole legislature would have been sufficient to render it perfectly free from objection: and could Elizabeth be in reason expected to take such a step in behalf of a foreign and rival sovereign, professing a religion hostile to her own and that of her people; of one, above all, who had openly pretended a right to the crown preferable to her own, and who was even now exhausting the whole art of intrigue to undermine and supplant her?
On the other hand, to confirm the exclusion of the Scottish line, and adopt as her successor the representative of that of Suffolk, appeared neither safe nor equitable.
The testamentary disposition of Henry had evidently been dictated by caprice and resentment, and the title of Mary was nevertheless held sacred and indisputable not only by all the catholics, but by the partisans of strict hereditary right in general, and by all who duly appretiated the benefits which must flow from an union of the English and Scottish sceptres. To inflict a mortal injury on Mary might be as dangerous as to give her importance by an express law establishing her claims, and against any perils in which Elizabeth might thus involve herself the house of Suffolk could afford her no accession of strength, since their allegiance,—all they had to offer,—was hers already.
The lady Catherine Grey, the heiress of this house, might indeed have been united in marriage to some protestant prince, whose power would have acted as a counterpoise to that of Scotland. But a secret and reluctant persuasion that the real right was with the Scottish line, constantly operated on the mind of Elizabeth so far as to prevent her from taking any step towards the advancement of the rival family; and the unfortunate lady Catherine was doomed to undergo all the restraints, the persecutions and the sufferings, which in that age formed the melancholy appanage of the younger branches of the royal race, with little participation of the homage or the hopes which some minds would have accepted as an adequate compensation.
It will be remembered, that the hand of this high-born lady was given to lord Herbert, son of the earl of Pembroke, on the same day that Guildford Dudley fatally received that of her elder sister the lady Jane; and that on the accession of Mary this short-lived and perhaps uncompleted union had been dissolved at the instance of the politic father of lord Herbert. From this time lady Catherine had remained in neglect and obscurity till the year 1560, when information of her having formed a private connexion with the earl of Hertford, son of the Protector Somerset, reached the ears of Elizabeth. The lady, on being questioned, confessed her pregnancy, declaring herself at the same time to be the lawful wife of the earl: her degree of relationship to the queen was not so near as to render her marriage without the royal consent illegal, yet by a stretch of authority familiar to the Tudors she was immediately sent prisoner to the Tower. Hertford, in the mean time, was summoned to produce evidence of the marriage, by a certain day, before special commissioners named by her majesty, from whose decision no appeal was to lie. He was at this time in France, and so early a day was designedly fixed for his answer, that he found it impracticable to collect his proofs in time, and to the Tower he also was committed, as the seducer of a maiden of royal blood.
By this iniquitous sentence, a color was given for treating the unfortunate lady and those who had been in her confidence with every species of harshness and indignity, and the following extract from a warrant addressed in the name of her majesty to Mr. Warner, lieutenant of the Tower, sufficiently indicates the cruel advantage taken of her situation.
..."Our pleasure is, that ye shall, as by our commandment, examine the lady Catherine very straightly, how many hath been privy to the love between her and the earl of Hertford from the beginning; and let her certainly understand that she shall have no manner of favor except she will show the truth, not only what ladies or gentlewomen of this court were thereto privy, but also what lords and gentlemen: For it doth now appear that sundry personages have dealt herein, and when it shall appear more manifestly, it shall increase our indignation against her, if she will forbear to utter it.
"We earnestly require you to use your diligence in this. Ye shall also send to alderman Lodge secretly for St. Low, and shall put her in awe of divers matters confessed by the lady Catherine; and so also deal with her that she may confess to you all her knowledge in the same matters. It is certain that there hath been great practices and purposes; and since the death of the lady Jane she hath been most privy. And as ye shall see occasion so ye may keep St. Low two or three nights more or less, and let her be returned to Lodge's or kept still with you as ye shall think meet." &c.
[Note 49: "Burleigh Papers" by Haynes.]
The child of which the countess of Hertford was delivered soon after her committal, was regarded as illegitimate, and she was doomed to expiate her pretended misconduct by a further imprisonment at the arbitrary pleasure of the queen. The birth of a second child, the fruit of stolen meetings between the captive pair, aggravated in the jealous eyes of Elizabeth their common guilt. Warner lost his place for permitting or conniving at their interviews, and Hertford was sentenced in the Star-chamber to a fine of fifteen thousand pounds for the double offence of vitiating a female of the royal blood, and of breaking his prison to renew his offence.
It might somewhat console this persecuted pair under all their sufferings, to learn how unanimously the public voice was in their favor. No one doubted that they were lawfully married,—a fact which was afterwards fully established,—and it was asked, by what right, or on what principle, her majesty presumed to keep asunder those whom God had joined? Words ran so high on this subject after the sentence of the Star-chamber, that some alarmists in the privy-council urged the necessity of inflicting still severer punishment on the earl, and of intimidating the talkers by strong measures. The further consequences of this affair to persons high in her majesty's confidence will be related hereafter: meantime it must be recorded, to the eternal disgrace of Elizabeth's character and government, that she barbarously and illegally detained her ill-fated kinswoman, first in the Tower and afterwards in private custody, till the day of her death in January 1567; and that the earl her husband, having added to the original offence of marrying a princess, the further presumption of placing upon legal record the proofs of his children's legitimacy, was punished, besides his fine, with an imprisonment of nine whole years. So much of the jealous spirit of her grandfather still survived in the bosom of this last of the Tudors!
On another occasion, however, she exercised towards a family whose pretensions had been viewed by her father with peculiar dread and hostility, a degree of forbearance which had in it somewhat of magnanimity.
Arthur and Edmund Pole, two nephews of the cardinal, with sir Anthony Fortescue their sister's husband, and other accomplices, had been led, either by private ambition, by a vehement zeal for the Romish faith, or both together, to meditate the subversion of the existing state of things, and to plan the following wild and desperate scheme.
Having first repaired to France, where they expected to receive aid and counsels from the Guises, the conspirators were to return at the head of an army and make a landing in Wales. Here Arthur Pole, assuming at the same time the title of duke of Clarence, was to proclaim the queen of Scots, and the new sovereign was soon after to give her hand to his brother Edmund. This absurd plot was detected before any steps were taken towards its execution: the Poles were apprehended, and made a full disclosure on their trial of all its circumstances; pleading however in excuse, that they had no thought of putting their design in practice till the death of the queen, an event which certain diviners in whom they placed reliance had confidently predicted within the year.
In consideration of this confession, and probably of the insignificance of the offenders, the royal pardon was extended to their lives, and the illustrious name of Pole was thus preserved from extinction. It is probable, however, that they were kept for some time prisoners in the Tower; and thither was also sent the countess of Lenox, on discovery of the secret correspondence which she carried on with the queen of Scots.
The confession of the Poles seems to have given occasion to the renewal, by the parliament of 1562, of a law against "fond and fantastical prophecies," promulgated with design to disturb the queen's government; by which act also it was especially forbidden to make prognostications on or by occasion of any coats of arms, crests, or badges; a clause added, it is believed, for the particular protection of the favorite, Dudley, whose bear and ragged staff was the continual subject of open derision or emblematical satire.
A legend in the "Mirror for Magistrates," relating the unhappy catastrophe of George duke of Clarence, occasioned by a prophecy against one whose name began with a G, appears to have been composed in aid of the operation of this law. The author takes great pains to impress his readers with the futility as well as wickedness of such predictions, and concludes with the remark, that no one ought to imagine the foolish and malicious inventors of modern prophecies inspired, though
..."learned Merlin whom God gave the sprite To know and utter princes' acts to come, Like to the Jewish prophets did recite In shade of beasts their doings all and some; Expressing plain by manners of the doom That kings and lords such properties should have As have the beasts whose name he to them gave!"
In France every thing now wore the aspect of an approaching civil war between the partisans of the two religions, under the conduct on one side of the Guises, on the other of the princes of the house of Conde. Elizabeth judged it her duty, or her policy, to make a last effort for the reconciliation of these angry factions, and she dispatched an ambassador to Charles IX. charged with her earnest representations on the subject. They were however ineffectual, and produced apparently no other valuable result than that of rendering her majesty better acquainted with the talents and merit of the eminent person whom she had honored with this delicate commission.
This person was sir Henry Sidney, one of the most upright as well as able of the ministers of Elizabeth:—that he was the father of sir Philip Sidney was the least of his praises; and it may be cited as one of the caprices of fame, that he should be remembered by his son, rather than his son by him. Those qualities which in sir Philip could afford little but the promise of active virtue, were brought in sir Henry to the test of actual performance; and lasting monuments of his wisdom and his goodness remain in the institutions by which he softened the barbarism of Wales, and appeased the more dangerous turbulence of Ireland by promoting its civilization.
Sir Henry was the son of sir William Sidney, a gentleman of good parentage in Kent, whose mother was of the family of Brandon and nearly related to the duke of Suffolk of that name, the favorite and brother-in-law of Henry VIII. Sir William in his youth had made one of a band of gentlemen of figure, who, with their sovereign's approbation, travelled into Spain and other countries of Europe to study the manners and customs of their respective courts. He likewise distinguished himself in the field of Flodden. The king stood godfather to his son Henry, born in 1529, and caused him to be educated with the prince of Wales, to whom sir William was appointed tutor, chamberlain, and steward.
The excellent qualities and agreeable talents of young Sidney soon endeared him to Edward, who made him his inseparable companion and often his bed-fellow; kept him in close attendance on his person during his long decline, and sealed his friendship by breathing his last in his arms.
During the short reign of this lamented prince Sidney had received the honor of knighthood, and had been intrusted, at the early age of one or two and twenty, with an embassy to the French king, in which he acquitted himself so ably that he was soon afterwards sent in a diplomatic character to Scotland. He had likewise formed connexions which exerted important influence on his after fortunes. Sir John Cheke held him in particular esteem, and through his means he had contracted a cordial friendship with Cecil, of which in various ways he found the benefit to the end of his life. A daughter of the all-powerful duke of Northumberland had also honored him with her hand,—a dangerous gift, which was likely to have involved him in the ruin which the guilty projects of that audacious man drew down upon the heads of himself and his family. But the prudence or loyalty of Sidney preserved him from the snare. No sooner had his royal master breathed his last, than, relinquishing all concern in public affairs, he withdrew to the safe retirement of his own seat at Penshurst, where he afterwards afforded a generous asylum to such of the Dudleys as had escaped death or imprisonment.
Queen Mary seems to have held out an earnest of future favor to Sidney, by naming him amongst the noblemen and knights appointed to attend Philip of Spain to England for the completion of his nuptials; and this prince further honored him by becoming sponsor to his afterwards celebrated son and giving him his own name. But Sidney soon quitted a court in which a man of protestant principles could no longer reside with satisfaction, if with safety, and accompanied to Ireland his brother-in-law viscount Fitzwalter, then lord-deputy. In that kingdom he at first bore the office of vice-treasurer, and afterwards, during the frequent absences of the lord-deputy, the high one of sole lord-justice.
The accession of Elizabeth enabled lord Robert Dudley to make a large return for the former kindness of his brother-in-law; and supported by the influence of this distinguished favorite, in addition to his personal claims, sir Henry Sidney rose in a few years to the dignities of privy-councillor and knight of the garter. After his embassy to France he was appointed to the post of lord-president of Wales, to which, in 1565, the still more important one of lord-deputy of Ireland was added;—an union of two not very compatible offices, unexampled in our annals before or since. Some particulars of sir Henry Sidney's government of Ireland may come under review hereafter: it is sufficient here to observe, that ample testimony to his merit was furnished by Elizabeth herself, in the steadiness with which she persisted in appointing and re-appointing him to this most perplexing department of public service, in spite of all the cabals, of English or Irish growth, by which, though his favor with her was sometimes shaken, her rooted opinion of his probity and sufficiency could never be overthrown.
The failure of Elizabeth's negotiations with the French court was followed by her taking up arms in support of the oppressed Hugonots; and Ambrose Dudley earl of Warwick, the elder brother of lord Robert, was sent to Normandy at the head of three thousand men. Of the two Dudleys it was said by their contemporaries, that the elder inherited the money, and the younger the wit, of his father. If this remark were well founded, which seems doubtful, the appointment of Warwick to an important command must probably be set down to the account of favoritism. It was not however the wish of the queen that her troops should often be led into battle. It was her main object to obtain lasting possession of the town of Havre, as an indemnification for the loss of Calais, so much deplored by the nation; and into this place Warwick threw himself with his chief force. In the next campaign, when it was assailed with the whole power of France, he prepared, according to the orders of Elizabeth, for a desperate defence, and no blame was ever imputed to him for a surrender, which became unavoidable through the ravages of the plague, and the delay of reinforcements by contrary winds. Warwick appears to have preserved through life the character of a man of honor and a brave soldier.