The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part D. - From Elizabeth to James I.
by David Hume
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* Keith, p. 179.

** Keith, p. 202.

*** Keith, p. 189.

*** Keith, p. 192.

v Knox, p. 292. Buchan. lib. xvii. c. 20. Haynes, vol. i. p. 372.

v* Keith, p. 202.

But all the insolence of the people was inconsiderable in comparison of that which was exercised by the clergy and the preachers, who took a pride in vilifying, even to her face, this amiable princess. The assembly of the church framed an address, in which, after telling her that her mass was a bastard service of God, the fountain of all impiety, and the source of every evil which abounded in the realm, they expressed their hopes, that she would ere this time have preferred truth to her own preconceived opinion, and have renounced her religion, which, they assured her, was nothing but abomination and vanity. They said, that the present abuses of government were so enormous, that if a speedy remedy were not provided, God would not fail in his anger to strike the head and the tail, the disobedient prince and sinful people. They required, that severe punishment should be inflicted on adulterers and fornicators. And they concluded with demanding for themselves some addition both of power and property.[*]

The ringleader in all these insults on majesty was John Knox; who possessed an uncontrolled authority in the church and even in the civil affairs of the nation, and who triumphed in the contumelious usage of his sovereign. His usual appellation for the queen was Jezebel; and though she endeavored by the most gracious condescension to win his favor, all her insinuations could gain nothing on his obdurate heart. She promised him access to her whenever he demanded it; and she even desired him, if he found her blamable in any thing, to reprehend her freely in private, rather than vilify her in the pulpit before the whole people: but he plainly told her, that he had a public ministry intrusted to him; that if she would come to church, she should there hear the gospel of truth, and that it was not his business to apply to every individual, nor had he leisure for that occupation.[**] The political principles of the man, which he communicated to his brethren, were as full of sedition, as his theological were of rage and bigotry. Though he once condescended so far as to tell the queen that he would submit to her, in the same manner as Paul did to Nero,[***] he remained not long in this dutiful strain. He said to her, that "Samuel feared not to slay Agag the fat and delicate king of Amalek, whom King Saul had saved; neither spared Elias Jezebel's false prophets, and Baal's priests, though King Ahab was present. Phineas," added he, "was no magistrate; yet feared he not to strike Cosbi and Zimri in the very act of filthy fornication. And so, madam, your grace may see that others than chief magistrates may lawfully inflict punishment on such crimes as are condemned by the law of God."[****] Knox had formerly, during the reign of Mary of England, written a book against female succession to the crown: the title of it is, "The first blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regimen of women." He was too proud either to recant the tenets of this book, or even to apologize for them; and his conduct showed that he thought no more civility than loyalty due to any of the female sex.

* Knox, p. 311, 312.

** Knox, p. 310.

*** Knox, p. 288.

**** Knox, p. 326.

The whole life of Mary was, from the demeanor of these men, filled with bitterness and sorrow. This rustic apostle scruples not, in his history, to inform us, that he once treated her with such severity, that she lost all command of temper, and dissolved in tears before him: yet so far from being moved with youth, and beauty, and royal dignity reduced to that condition, he persevered in his insolent reproofs; and when he relates this incident, he discovers a visible pride and satisfaction in his own conduct.[*] The pulpits had become mere scenes of railing against the vices of the court; among which were always noted as the principal, feasting, finery, dancing, balls, and whoredom, their necessary attendant.[**] Some ornaments, which the ladies at that time wore upon their petticoats, excited mightily the indignation of the preachers; and they affirmed, that such vanity would provoke God's vengeance not only against these foolish women, but against the whole realm.[***]

Mary, whose age, condition, and education, invited her to liberty and cheerfulness, was curbed in all amusements by the absurd severity of these reformers; and she found every moment reason to regret her leaving that country, from whose manners she had in her early youth received the first impressions.[****] Her two uncles, the duke of Aumale and the grand prior, with the other French nobility, soon took leave of her: the marquis of Elbeuf remained some time longer; but after his departure, she was left to the society of her own subjects; men unacquainted with the pleasures of conversation, ignorant of arts and civility, and corrupted, beyond their usual rusticity, by a dismal fanaticism, which rendered them incapable of all humanity or improvement. Though Mary had made no attempt to restore the ancient religion, her Popery was a sufficient crime: though her behavior was hitherto irreproachable, and her manners sweet and engaging, her gayety and ease were interpreted as signs of dissolute vanity. And to the harsh and preposterous usage which this princess met with may, in part, be ascribed those errors of her subsequent conduct which seemed so little of a piece with the general tenor of her character.

* Knox, p. 332, 333.

** Knox, p. 322.

*** Knox, p. 330.

**** Knox, p. 294

There happened to the marquis of Elbeuf, before his departure, an adventure which, though frivolous, might enable him to give Mary's friends in France a melancholy idea of her situation. This nobleman, with the earl of Bothwell and some other young courtiers, had been engaged, after a debauch, to pay a visit to a woman called Alison Craig, who was known to be liberal of her favors; and because they were denied admittance, they broke the windows, thrust open the door, and committed some disorders in searching for the damsel. It happened that the assembly of the church was sitting at that time, and they immediately took the matter under their cognizance. In conjunction with several of the nobility, they presented an address to the queen, which was introduced with this awful prelude: "To the queen's majesty, and to her secret and great council, her grace's faithful and obedient subjects, the professors of Christ Jesus's holy evangil, wish the spirit of righteous judgment." The tenor of the petition was that the fear of God, the duty which they owed her grace, and the terrible threatenings denounced by God against every city or country where horrible crimes were openly committed, compelled them to demand the severe punishment of such as had done what in them lay to kindle the wrath of God against the whole realm; that the iniquity of which they complained was so heinous and so horrible that they should esteem themselves accomplices in it, if they had been engaged by worldly fear, or servile complaisance, to pass it over in silence, or bury it in oblivion: that as they owed her grace obedience, in the administration of justice, so were they entitled to require of her, in return, the sharp and condign punishment of this enormity, which, they repeated it, might draw down the vengeance of God on the whole kingdom: and that they maintained it to be her duty to lay aside all private affections towards the actors in so heinous a crime, and so enormous a villany, and without delay bring them to a trial, and inflict the severest penalty upon them. The queen gave a gracious reception to his peremptory address, but because she probably thought that breaking the windows of a brothel merited not such severe reprehension, she only replied, that her uncle was a stranger, and that he was attended by a young company; but she would put such order to him and to all others that her subjects should henceforth have no reason to complain. Her passing over this incident so slightly was the source of great discontent, and was regarded as a proof of the most profligate manners.[*]

* Knox, p. 302, 303, 304. Keith, p. 509.

It is not to be omitted, that Alison Craig, the cause of all the uproar was known to entertain a commerce with the earl of Arran, who, on account of his great zeal for the reformation, was, without scruple, indulged in that enormity.[*]

Some of the populace of Edinburgh broke into the queen's chapel during her absence, and committed outrages; for which two of them were indicted, and it was intended to bring them to a trial. Knox wrote circular letters to the most considerable zealots of the party, and charged them to appear in town and protect their brethren. The holy sacraments, he there said, are abused by profane Papists; the mass has been said; and in worshipping that idol, the priests have omitted no ceremony, not even the conjuring of their accursed water, that had ever been practised in the time of the greatest blindness. These violent measures for opposing justice were little short of rebellion; and Knox was summoned before the council to answer for his offence. The courage of the man was equal to his insolence. He scrupled not to tell the queen that the pestilent Papists who had inflamed her against these holy men were the sons of the devil; and must therefore obey the directions of their father, who had been a liar and a manslayer from the beginning. The matter ended with the full acquittal of Knox.[**] Randolph, the English ambassador in Scotland, had reason to write to Cecil, speaking of the Scottish nation, "I think marvellously of the wisdom of God, that gave this unruly, inconstant, and cumbersome people no more power nor substance; for they would otherwise run wild."[***]

* Knox.

** Knox, p. 336, 342.

*** Keith, p. 202.

We have related these incidents at greater length than the necessity of our subject may seem to require; but even trivial circumstances, which show the manners of the age, are often more instructive, as well as entertaining, than the great transactions of wars and negotiations, which are nearly similar in all periods and in all countries of the world.

The reformed clergy in Scotland had at that time a very natural reason for their ill humor; namely, the poverty, or rather beggary, to which they were reduced. The nobility and gentry had at first laid their hands on all the property of the regular clergy, without making any provision for the friars and nuns, whom they turned out of their possessions. The secular clergy of the Catholic communion, though they lost all ecclesiastical jurisdiction, still held some of the temporalities of their benefices; and either became laymen themselves and converted them into private property, or made conveyance of them at low prices to the nobility, who thus enriched themselves by the plunder of the church. The new teachers had hitherto subsisted chiefly by the voluntary oblations of the faithful; and in a poor country, divided in religious sentiments, this establishment was regarded as very scanty and very precarious. Repeated applications were made for a legal settlement to the preachers; and though almost every thing in the kingdom was governed by their zeal and caprice, it was with difficulty that their request was at last complied with. The fanatical spirit which they indulged, and their industry in decrying the principles and practices of the Romish communion, which placed such merit in enriching the clergy, proved now a very sensible obstacle to their acquisitions. The convention, however, passed a vote,[*] by which they divided all the ecclesiastical benefices into twenty-one shares: they assigned fourteen to the ancient possessors: of the remaining seven they granted three to the crown; and if that were found to answer the public expenses, they bestowed the overplus on the reformed ministers. The queen was empowered to levy all the seven; and it was ordained that she should afterwards pay to the clergy what should be judged to suffice for their maintenance. The necessities of the crown, the rapacity of the courtiers, and the small affection which Mary bore to the Protestant ecclesiastics, rendered their revenues contemptible as well as uncertain; and the preachers, finding that they could not rival the gentry, or even the middling rank of men, in opulence and plenty, were necessitated to betake themselves to other expedients for supporting their authority. They affected a furious zeal for religion, morose manners, a vulgar and familiar, yet mysterious cant; and though the liberality of subsequent princes put them afterwards on a better footing with regard to revenue, and thereby corrected in some degree those bad habits, it must be confessed that, while many other advantages attend Presbyterian government, these inconveniences are not easily separated from the genius of that ecclesiastical polity.

* Knox, p. 296. Keith, p. 210.

The queen of Scots, destitute of all force, possessing a narrow revenue, surrounded with a factious, turbulent nobility, a bigoted people, and insolent ecclesiastics, soon found that her only expedient for maintaining tranquillity was to preserve a good correspondence with Elizabeth,[*] who, by former connections and services, had acquired such authority over all these ranks of men.

* Jebb, vol. ii. p. 456.

Soon after her arrival in Scotland, Secretary Lidington was sent to London, in order to pay her compliments to the queen, and express her desire of friendship and a good correspondence; and he received a commission from her, as well as from the nobility of Scotland, to demand, as a means of cementing this friendship, that Mary should, by act of parliament or by proclamation, (for the difference between these securities was not then deemed very considerable,) be declared successor to the crown. No request could be more unreasonable, or made at a more improper juncture. The queen replied, that Mary had once discovered her intention not to wait for the succession, but had openly, without ceremony or reserve, assumed the title of Queen of England, and had pretended a superior right to her throne and kingdom: that though her ambassadors and those of her husband, the French king, had signed a treaty, in which they renounced that claim, and promised satisfaction for so great an indignity, she was so intoxicated with this imaginary right, that she had rejected the most earnest solicitations, and even, as some endeavored to persuade her, had incurred some danger, in crossing the seas, rather than ratify that equitable treaty: that her partisans every where had still the assurance to insist on her title, and had presumed to talk of her own birth as illegitimate: that while affairs were on this footing; while a claim thus openly made, so far from being openly renounced, was only suspended till a more favorable opportunity; it would in her be the most egregious imprudence to fortify the hands of a pretender to her crown by declaring her the successor: that no expedient could be worse imagined for cementing friendship than such a declaration; and kings were often found to bear no good will to their successors, even though their own children; much more when the connection was less intimate, and when such cause of disgust and jealousy had already been given, and indeed was still continued, on the part of Mary: that though she was willing, from the amity which she bore her kinswoman, to ascribe her former pretensions to the advice of others, by whose direction she was then governed, her present refusal to relinquish them could proceed only from her own prepossessions, and was a proof that she still harbored some dangerous designs against her: that it was the nature of all men to be disgusted with the present, to entertain flattering views of futurity, to think their services ill rewarded, to expect a better recompense from the successor; and she should esteem herself scarcely half a sovereign over the English, if they saw her declare her heir, and arm her rival with authority against her own repose and safety: that she knew the inconstant nature of the people; she was acquainted with the present divisions in religion; she was not ignorant that the same party, which expected greater favor during the reign of Mary, did also imagine that the title of that princess was superior to her own: that for her part, whatever claims were advanced, she was determined to live and die queen of England; and after her death it was the business of others to examine who had the best pretensions, either by the laws or by right of blood, to the succession: that she hoped the claim of the queen of Scots would then be found solid; and, considering the injury which she herself had received, it was sufficient indulgence if she promised, in the mean time, to do nothing which might in any respect weaken or invalidate it: and that Mary, if her title were really preferable—a point which, for her own part, she had never inquired into—possessed all advantages above her rivals; who, destitute both of present power and of all support by friends, would only expose themselves to inevitable ruin, by advancing any weak, or even doubtful pretensions.[*]

These views of the queen were so prudent and judicious, that there was no likelihood of her ever departing from them: but that she might put the matter to a fuller proof, she offered to explain the words of the treaty of Edinburgh, so as to leave no suspicion of their excluding Mary's right of succession;[**] and in this form she again required her to ratify that treaty. Matters at last came to this issue, that Mary agreed to the proposal, and offered to renounce all present pretensions to the crown of England, provided Elizabeth would agree to declare her the successor.[***] But such was the jealous character of this latter princess, that she never would consent to strengthen the interest and authority of any claimant by fixing the succession; much less would she make this concession in favor of a rival queen, who possessed such plausible pretensions for the present, and who, though she might verbally renounce them, could easily resume her claim on the first opportunity.

* Buchanan, lib. xvii. c. 14-17. Camden, p. 385. Spotswood, p. 180, 181.

** Spotswood, p. 181.

*** Haynes, vol. i. p. 377.

Mary's proposal, however, bore so specious an appearance of equity and justice, that Elizabeth, sensible that reason would, by superficial thinkers, be deemed to lie entirely on that side, made no more mention of the matter; and though further concessions were never made by either princess, they put on all the appearances of a cordial reconciliation and friendship with each other.

The queen observed that, even without her interposition, Mary was sufficiently depressed by the mutinous spirit of her own subjects; and instead of giving Scotland for the present any inquietude or disturbance, she employed herself, more usefully and laudably, in regulating the affairs of her own kingdom, and promoting the happiness of her people. She made some progress in paying those great debts which lay upon the crown; she regulated the coin, which had been much debased by her predecessors; she furnished her arsenals with great quantities of arms from Germany and other places; engaged her nobility and gentry to imitate her example in this particular; introduced into the kingdom the art of making gunpowder and brass cannon; fortified her frontiers on the side of Scotland; made frequent reviews of the militia; encouraged agriculture, by allowing a free exportation of corn; promoted trade and navigation; and so much increased the shipping of her kingdom, both by building vessels of force herself, and suggesting like undertakings to the merchants, that she was justly styled the restorer of naval glory, and the queen of the northern seas.[*] The natural frugality of her temper, so far from incapacitating her for these great enterprises, only enabled her to execute them with greater certainty and success; and all the world, saw in her conduct the happy effects of a vigorous perseverance in judicious and well-concerted projects.

* Camden, p. 388. Strype, vol. i. p. 230, 336, 337.

It is easy to imagine that so great a princess, who enjoyed such singular felicity and renown, would receive proposals of marriage from every one that had any likelihood of succeeding; and though she had made some public declarations in favor of a single life, few believed that she would persevere forever in that resolution. The archduke Charles, second son of the emperor,[*] as well as Casimir, son of the elector palatine, made applications to her; and as this latter prince professed the reformed religion, he thought himself, on that account, better entitled to succeed in his addresses. Eric, king of Sweden, and Adolph, duke of Holstein, were encouraged by the same views to become suitors: and the earl of Arran, heir to the crown of Scotland, was, by the states of that kingdom, recommended to her as a suitable marriage.

* Haynes, vol. i. p. 233.

Even some of her own subjects, though they did not openly declare their pretensions, entertained hopes of success. The earl of Arundel, a person declining in years, but descended from an ancient and noble family, as well as possessed of great riches, flattered himself with this prospect; as did also Sir William Pickering, a man much esteemed for his personal merit. But the person most likely to succeed, was a younger son of the late duke of Northumberland, Lord Robert Dudley, who, by means of his exterior qualities, joined to address and flattery, had become in a manner her declared favorite, and had great influence in all her counsels. The less worthy he appeared of this distinction, the more was his great favor ascribed to some violent affection, which could thus seduce the judgment of this penetrating princess; and men long expected that he would obtain the preference above so many princes and monarchs. But the queen gave all these suitors a gentle refusal, which still encouraged their pursuit; and thought that she should the better attach them to her interest, if they were still allowed to entertain hopes of succeeding in their pretensions. It is also probable that this policy was not entirely free from a mixture of female coquetry; and that, though she was determined in her own mind never to share her power with any man, she was not displeased with the courtship, solicitation, and professions of love, which the desire of acquiring so valuable a prize procured her from all quarters.

What is most singular in the conduct and character of Elizabeth is, that though she determined never to have any heir of her own body, she was not only very averse to fix any successor to the crown, but seems, also, to have resolved, as far as it lay in her power, that no one who had pretensions to the succession should ever have any heirs or successors. If the exclusion given by the will of Henry VIII. to the posterity of Margaret, queen of Scotland, was allowed to be valid, the right to the crown devolved on the house of Suffolk; and the lady Catharine Gray, younger sister to the lady Jane, was now the heir of that family. This lady had been married to Lord Herbert, son of the earl of Pembroke; but having been divorced from that nobleman, she had made a private marriage with the earl of Hertford, son of the protector; and her husband, soon after consummation, travelled into France. In a little time she appeared to be pregnant, which so enraged Elizabeth, that she threw her into the Tower, and summoned Hertford to appear, in order to answer for his misdemeanor. He made no scruple of acknowledging the marriage, which, though concluded without the queen's consent, was entirely suitable to both parties; and for this offence he was also committed to the Tower. Elizabeth's severity stopped not here: she issued a commission to inquire into the matter; and as Hertford could not, within the time limited, prove the nuptials by witnesses, the commerce between him and his consort was declared unlawful, and their posterity illegitimate. They were still detained in custody, but by bribing their keepers, they found means to have further intercourse; and another child appeared to be the fruit of their commerce. This was a fresh source of vexation to the queen; who made a fine of fifteen thousand pounds be set on Hertford by the star chamber and ordered his confinement to be thenceforth more rigid and severe. He lay in this condition for nine years, till the death of his wife, by freeing Elizabeth from all fears, procured him his liberty.[*] This extreme severity must be accounted for, either by the unrelenting jealousy of the queen, who was afraid lest a pretender to the succession should acquire credit by having issue; or by her malignity, which, with all her great qualities, made one ingredient in her character, and which led her to envy in others those natural pleasures of love and posterity, of which her own ambition and desire of dominion made her renounce all prospect for herself.

* Haynes, vol. i. p. 369, 378, 396. Camden, p. 389. Heylin, p. 154.

There happened, about this time, some other events in the royal family where the queen's conduct was more laudable. Arthur Pole and his brother, nephews to the late cardinal, and descended from the duke of Clarence, together with Anthony Fortescue, who had married a sister of these gentlemen, and some other persons, were brought to their trial for intending to withdraw into France, with a view of soliciting succors from the duke of Guise, of returning thence into Wales, and of proclaiming Mary queen of England, and Arthur Pole duke of Clarence. They confessed the indictment, but asserted that they never meant to execute these projects during the queen's lifetime: they had only deemed such precautions requisite in case of her demise, which some pretenders to judicial astrology had assured them they might with certainty look for before the year expired. They were condemned by the jury; but received a pardon from the queen's clemency.[*]

* Strype, vol. i. p. 333. Heylin, p. 154.



{1562.} After the commencement of the religious wars in France, which rendered that flourishing kingdom, during the course of near forty years, a scene of horror and devastation, the great rival powers in Europe were Spain and England; and it was not long before an animosity, first political, then personal, broke out between the sovereigns of these countries.

Philip II. of Spain, though he reached not any enlarged views of policy, was endowed with great industry and sagacity, a remarkable caution in his enterprises, an unusual foresight in all his measures; and as he was ever cool, and seemingly unmoved by passion, and possessed neither talents nor inclination for war, both his subjects and his neighbors had reason to expect justice, happiness, and tranquillity from his administration. But prejudices had on him as pernicious effects as ever passion had on any other monarch; and the spirit of bigotry and tyranny by which he was actuated, with the fraudulent maxims which governed his counsels, excited the most violent agitation among his own people, engaged him in acts of the most enormous cruelty, and threw all Europe into combustion.

After Philip had concluded peace at Chateau-Cambresis and had remained some time in the Netherlands, in order to settle the affairs of that country, he embarked for Spain; and as the gravity of that nation, with their respectful obedience to their prince, had appeared more agreeable to his humor than the homely, familiar manners and the pertinacious liberty of the Flemings, it was expected that he would for the future reside altogether at Madrid, and would govern all his extensive dominions by Spanish ministers and Spanish counsels. Having met with a violent tempest on his voyage, he no sooner arrived in harbor than he fell on his knees; and after giving thanks for his deliverance, he vowed that his life, which was thus providentially saved, should thenceforth be entirely devoted to the extirpation of heresy.[*] His subsequent conduct corresponded to these professions. Finding that the new doctrines had penetrated into Spain, he let loose the rage of persecution against all who professed them, or were suspected of adhering to them; and by his violence he gave new edge even to the usual cruelty of priests and inquisitors. He threw into prison Constantine Ponce, who had been confessor to his father, the emperor Charles; who had attended him during his retreat; and in whose arms that great monarch had terminated his life: and after this ecclesiastic died in confinement, he still ordered him to be tried and condemned for heresy, and his statue to be committed to the flames. He even deliberated whether he should not exercise like severity against the memory of his father, who was suspected, during his later years, to have indulged a propensity towards the Lutheran principles: in his unrelenting zeal for orthodoxy, he spared neither age, sex, nor condition: he was present, with an inflexible countenance, at the most barbarous executions: he issued rigorous orders for the prosecution of heretics in Spain, Italy, the Indies, and the Low Countries: and having founded his determined tyranny on maxims of civil policy, as well as on principles of religion, he made it apparent to all his subjects, that there was no method, except the most entire compliance or most obstinate resistance, to escape or elude the severity of his vengeance.

* Thuanns, lib. xxiii. cap. 14.

During that extreme animosity which prevailed between the adherents of the opposite religions, the civil magistrate, who found it difficult, if not impossible, for the same laws to govern such enraged adversaries, was naturally led, by specious rules of prudence, in embracing one party, to declare war against the other, and to exterminate by fire and sword those bigots who, from abhorrence of his religion, had proceeded to an opposition of his power and to a hatred of his person. If any prince possessed such enlarged views as to foresee, that a mutual toleration would in time abate the fury of religious prejudices, he yet met with difficulties in reducing this principle to practice; and might deem the malady too violent to await a remedy, which, though certain, must necessarily be slow in its operation. But Philip, though a profound hypocrite, and extremely governed by self-interest seems also to have been himself actuated by an imperious bigotry; and as he employed great reflection in all his conduct, he could easily palliate the gratification of his natural temper under the color of wisdom, and find in this system no less advantage to his foreign than his domestic politics. By placing himself at the head of the Catholic party, he converted the zealots of the ancient faith into partisans of Spanish greatness; and by employing the powerful allurement of religion, he seduced every where the subjects from that allegiance which they owed to their native sovereign.

The course of events, guiding and concurring with choice, had placed Elizabeth in a situation diametrically opposite; and had raised her to be the glory, the bulwark, and the support of the numerous, though still persecuted Protestants, throughout Europe. More moderate in her temper than Philip, she found, with pleasure, that the principles of her sect required not such extreme severity in her domestic government as was exercised by that monarch; and having no object but self-preservation, she united her interests in all foreign negotiations with those who were every where struggling under oppression, and guarding themselves against ruin and extermination. The more virtuous sovereign was thus happily thrown into the more favorable cause; and fortune, in this instance, concurred with policy and nature.

During the lifetime of Henry II. of France, and of his successor, the force of these principles was somewhat restrained, though not altogether overcome, by motives of a superior interest; and the dread of uniting England with the French monarchy engaged Philip to maintain a good correspondence with Elizabeth. Yet even during this period he rejected the garter which she sent him; he refused to ratify the ancient league between the house of Burgundy and England;[*] he furnished ships to transport French forces into Scotland; he endeavored to intercept the earl of Arran, who was hastening to join the malecontents in that country; and the queen's wisest ministers still regarded his friendship as hollow and precarious.[**]

* Digges's Complete Ambassador, p. 369. Haynes, p. 585. Strype vol. iv. No. 246.

** Haynes, vol. i. p. 280, 281, 283, 284.

But no sooner did the death of Francis II. put an end to Philip's apprehensions with regard to Mary's succession, than his animosity against Elizabeth began more openly to appear; and the interests of Spain and those of England were found opposite in every negotiation and transaction.

The two great monarchies of the continent, France and Spain, being possessed of nearly equal force, were naturally antagonists; and England, from its power and situation, was entitled to support its own dignity, as well as tranquillity, by holding the balance between them. Whatever incident, therefore, tended too much to depress one of these rival powers, as it left the other without control, might be deemed contrary to the interests of England; yet so much were these great maxims of policy overruled, during that age, by the disputes of theology, that Philip found an advantage in supporting the established government and religion of France, and Elizabeth in protecting faction and innovation.

The queen regent of France, when reinstated in authority by the death of her son Francis, had formed a plan of administration more subtle than judicious; and balancing the Catholics with the Hugonots, the duke of Guise with the prince of Conde, she endeavored to render herself necessary to both, and to establish her own dominion on their constrained obedience.[*] But the equal counterpoise of power, which, among foreign nations, is the source of tranquillity, proves always the ground of quarrel between domestic factions; and if the animosity of religion concur with the frequent occasions which present themselves of mutual injury, it is impossible during any time, to preserve a firm concord in so delicate a situation. The constable Montmorency, moved by zeal for the ancient faith, joined himself to the duke of Guise: the king of Navarre, from his inconstant temper, and his jealousy of the superior genius of his brother, embraced the same party: and Catharine, finding herself depressed by this combination, had recourse to Conde and the Hugonots, who gladly embraced the opportunity of fortifying themselves by her countenance and protection.[**]

* Davila, lib. ii.

** Davila, lib. iii

An edict had been published, granting a toleration to the Protestants; but the interested violence of the duke of Guise, covered with the pretence of religious zeal, broke through this agreement; and the two parties, after the fallacious tranquillity of a moment, renewed their mutual insults and injuries. Conde, Coligny, Andelot assembled their friends and flew to arms: Guise and Montmorency got possession of the king's person, and constrained the queen regent to embrace their party: fourteen armies were levied and put in motion in different parts of France;[*] each province, each city, each family, was agitated with intestine rage and animosity. The father was divided against the son; brother against brother; and women themselves, sacrificing their humanity as well as their timidity to the religious fury, distinguished themselves by acts of ferocity and valor.[**] Wherever the Hugonots prevailed, the images were broken, the altars pillaged, the churches demolished, the monasteries consumed with fire: where success attended the Catholics, they burned the Bibles, rebaptized the infants, constrained married persons to pass anew through the nuptial ceremony: and plunder, desolation, and bloodshed attended equally the triumph of both parties. The parliament of Paris itself, the seat of law and justice, instead of employing its authority to compose these fatal quarrels, published an edict by which it put the sword into the hands of the enraged multitude, and empowered the Catholics every where to massacre the Hugonots:[***] and it was during this period, when men began to be somewhat enlightened, and in this nation, renowned for polished manners, that the theological rage, which had long been boiling in men's veins, seems to have attained its last stage of virulence and ferocity.

* Father Paul, lib. vii.

** Father Paul, lib. vii.

*** Father Paul, lib. vii. Haynes, p. 391.

Philip, jealous of the progress which the Hugonots made in France, and dreading that the contagion would spread into the Low Country provinces, had formed a secret alliance with the princes of Guise, and had entered into a mutual concert for the protection of the ancient faith and the suppression of heresy. He now sent six thousand men, with some supply of money, to reenforce the Catholic party; and the prince of Conde, finding himself unequal to so great a combination, countenanced by the royal authority, was obliged to despatch the Vidame of Chartres and Briguemaut to London, in order to crave the assistance and protection of Elizabeth. Most of the province of Normandy was possessed by the Hugonots: and Conde offered to put Havre de Grace into the hands of the English; on condition that, together with three thousand man for the garrison of that place, the queen should likewise send over three thousand to defend Dieppe and Rouen, and should furnish the prince with a supply of a hundred thousand crowns.[*]

Elizabeth, besides the general and essential interest of supporting the Protestants, and opposing the rapid progress of her enemy the duke of Guise, had other motives which engaged her to accept of this proposal. When she concluded the peace at Chateau-Cambresis, she had good reason to foresee that France never would voluntarily fulfil the article which regarded the restitution of Calais; and many subsequent incidents had tended to confirm this suspicion. Considerable sums of money had been expended on the fortifications; long leases had been granted of the lands; and many inhabitants had been encouraged to build and settle there, by assurances that Calais should never be restored to the English.[**] The queen therefore wisely concluded, that, could she get possession of Havre, a place which commanded the mouth of the Seine, and was of greater importance than Calais, she should easily constrain the French to execute the treaty, and should have the glory of restoring to the crown that ancient possession, so much the favorite of the nation.

No measure could be more generally odious in France than the conclusion of this treaty with Elizabeth. Men were naturally led to compare the conduct of Guise, who had finally expelled the English, and had debarred these dangerous and destructive enemies from all access into France, with the treasonable politics of Conde, who had again granted them an entrance into the heart of the kingdom. The prince had the more reason to repent of this measure, as he reaped not from it all the advantage which he expected. Three thousand English immediately took possession of Havre and Dieppe, under the command of Sir Edward Poinings; but the latter place was found so little capable of defence, that it was immediately abandoned.[***] The siege of Rouen was already formed by the Catholics, under the command of the king of Navarre and Montmorency; and it was with difficulty that Poinings could throw a small reenforcement into the place. Though these English troops behaved with gallantry,[****] and though the king of Navarre was mortally wounded during the siege, the Catholics still continued the attack of the place, and carrying it at last by assault, put the whole garrison to the sword.

* Forbes, vol. ii. p. 48.

** Forbes, vol. ii. p. 54, 257.

*** Forbes, vol. ii. p. 199.

**** Forbes, vol. ii. p. 161.

The earl of Warwick, eldest son of the late duke of Northumberland, arrived soon after at Havre with another body of three thousand English, and took on him the command of the place.

It was expected that the French Catholics, flushed with their success at Rouen, would immediately have formed the siege of Havre, which was not as yet in any condition of defence; but the intestine disorders of the kingdom soon diverted their attention to another enterprise. Andelot, seconded by the negotiations of Elizabeth, had levied a considerable body of Protestants in Germany; and having arrived at Orleans, the seat of the Hugonots' power, he enabled the prince of Conde and the admiral to take the field, and oppose the progress of their enemies. After threatening Paris during some time, they took their march towards Normandy, with a view of engaging the English to act in conjunction with them, and of fortifying themselves by the further assistance which they expected from the zeal and vigor of Elizabeth.[*] The Catholics, commanded by the constable, and under him by the duke of Guise, followed on their rear; and overtaking them at Dreux, obliged them to give battle. The field was fought with great obstinacy on both sides; and the action was distinguished by this singular event, that Conde and Montmorency, the commanders of the opposite armies, fell both of them prisoners into the hands of their enemies. The appearances of victory remained with Guise, but the admiral, whose fate it ever was to be defeated, and still to rise more terrible after his misfortunes, collected the remains of the army; and inspiring his own unconquerable courage and constancy into every breast, kept them in a body, and subdued some considerable places in Normandy. Elizabeth, the better to support his cause, sent him a new supply of a hundred thousand crowns; and offered, if he could find merchants to lend him the money, to give her bond for another sum of equal amount.[**]

* Forbes, vol. ii. p. 320. Davila, lib. iii.

** Forbes, vol. ii. p. 322, 347.

{1563.} The expenses incurred by assisting the French Hugonots had emptied the queen's exchequer; and in order to obtain supply, she found herself under a necessity of summoning a parliament: an expedient to which she never willingly had recourse. A little before the meeting of this assembly, she had fallen into a dangerous illness, the small-pox; and as her life, during some time, was despaired of, the people became the more sensible of their perilous situation, derived from the uncertainty, which, in case of her demise, attended the succession of the crown. The partisans of the queen of Scots, and those of the house of Suffolk, already divided the nation into factions; and every one foresaw, that, though it might be possible at present to determine the controversy by law, yet, if the throne were vacant, nothing but the sword would be able to fix a successor. The commons, therefore, on the opening of the session, voted an address to the queen; in which, after enumerating the dangers attending a broken and doubtful succession, and mentioning the evils which their fathers had experienced from the contending titles of York and Lancaster, they entreated the queen to put an end to their apprehensions, by choosing some husband, whom they promised, whoever he were, gratefully to receive, and faithfully to serve, honor, and obey: or if she had entertained any reluctance to the married state, they desired that the lawful successor might be named, at least appointed by act of parliament. They remarked, that, during all the reigns which had passed since the conquest, the nation had never before been so unhappy as not to know the person who, in case of the sovereign's death, was legally entitled to fill the vacant throne. And they observed, that the fixed order which took place in inheriting the French monarchy, was one chief source of the usual tranquillity, as well as of the happiness, of that kingdom.[*]

* Sir Simon d'Ewes's Journ. p. 81.

This subject, though extremely interesting to the nation, was very little agreeable to the queen; and she was sensible that great difficulties would attend every decision. A declaration in favor of the queen of Scots would form a settlement perfectly legal; because that princess was commonly allowed to possess the right of blood; and the exclusion given by Henry's will, deriving its weight chiefly from an act of parliament, would lose all authority whenever the queen and parliament had made a new settlement, and restored the Scottish line to its place in the succession. But she dreaded giving encouragement to the Catholics, her secret enemies, by this declaration. She was sensible that every heir was, in some degree, a rival; much more one who enjoyed a claim for the present possession of the crown, and who had already advanced, in a very open manner, these dangerous pretensions. The great power of Mary, both from the favor of the Catholic princes, and her connections with the house of Guise, not to mention the force and situation of Scotland, was well known to her; and she saw no security, that this princess, if fortified by a sure prospect of succession, would not revive claims which she could never yet be prevailed on formally to relinquish. On the other hand, the title of the house of Suffolk was supported by the more zealous Protestants only; and it was very doubtful whether even a parliamentary declaration in its favor would bestow on it such validity as to give satisfaction to the people. The republican part of the constitution had not yet acquired such an ascendant as to control, in any degree, the ideas of hereditary right, and as the legality of Henry's will was still disputed, though founded on the utmost authority which a parliament could confer, who could be assured that a more recent act would be acknowledged to have greater validity? In the frequent revolutions which had of late taken place, the right of blood had still prevailed over religious prejudices; and the nation had ever shown itself disposed rather to change its faith than the order of succession. Even many Protestants declared themselves in favor of Mary's claim of inheritance;[*] and nothing would occasion more general disgust, than to see the queen, openly and without reserve, take part against it.

* Keith, p. 322.

The Scottish princess also, finding herself injured in so sensible a point, would thenceforth act as a declared enemy; and uniting together her foreign and domestic friends, the partisans of her present title and of her eventual succession, would soon bring matters to extremities against the present establishment. The queen, weighing all these inconveniences, which were great and urgent, was determined to keep both parties in awe, by maintaining still an ambiguous conduct; and she rather chose that the people should run the hazard of contingent events, than that she herself should visibly endanger her throne, by employing expedients, which, at best, would not bestow entire security on the nation. She gave, therefore, an evasive answer to the applications of the commons; and when the house, at the end of the session, desired, by the mouth of their speaker, further satisfaction on that head, she could not be prevailed on to make her reply more explicit. She only told them, contrary to her declarations in the beginning of her reign, that she had fixed no absolute resolution against marriage; and she added, that the difficulties attending the question of the succession were so great that she would be contented, for the sake of her people, to remain some time longer in this vale of misery; and never should depart life with satisfaction, till she had laid some solid foundation for their future security.[*]

The most remarkable law passed this session, was that which bore the title of "Assurance of the queen's royal power over all states and subjects within her dominions."[**] By this act, the asserting twice, by writing, word, or deed, the pope's authority, was subjected to the penalties of treason. All persons in holy orders were bound to take the oath of supremacy; as also all who were advanced to any degree, either in the universities or in common law; all schoolmasters, officers in court, or members of parliament: and the penalty of their second refusal was treason. The first offence, in both cases, was punished by banishment and forfeiture. This rigorous statute was not extended to any of the degree of a baron; because it was not supposed that the queen could entertain any doubt with regard to the fidelity of persons possessed of such high dignity. Lord Montacute made opposition to the bill; and asserted, in favor of the Catholics, that they disputed not, they preached not, they disobeyed not the queen, they caused no trouble, no tumults among the people.[***] It is, however, probable, that some suspicions of their secret conspiracies had made the queen and parliament increase their rigor against them; though it is also more than probable, that they were mistaken in the remedy.

There was likewise another point, in which the parliament, this session, showed more the goodness of their intention than the soundness of their judgment. They passed a law against fond and fantastical prophecies, which had been observed to seduce the people into rebellion and disorder:[****] but at the same time they enacted a statute, which was most likely to increase these and such like superstitions: it was levelled against conjurations, enchantments, and witchcraft.[v]

* Sir Simon D'Ewes's Journal, p. 75.

** 5 Eliz. c. 1.

*** Strype, vol. i. p 260.

**** 5 Eliz. c. I

v 5 Eliz. c. 16.

Witchcraft and heresy are two crimes which commonly increase by punishment, and never are so effectually suppressed as by being totally neglected. After the parliament had granted the queen a supply of one subsidy and two fifteenths, the session was finished by a prorogation. The convocation likewise voted the queen a subsidy of six shillings in the pound, payable in three years.

While the English parties exerted these calm efforts against each other in parliamentary votes and debates, the French factions, inflamed to the highest degree of animosity, continued that cruel war which their intemperate zeal, actuated by the ambition of their leaders, had kindled in the kingdom. The admiral was successful in reducing the towns of Normandy which held for the king; but he frequently complained that the numerous garrison of Havre remained totally inactive, and was not employed in any military operation against the common enemy. The queen, in taking possession of that place, had published a manifesto,[*] in which she pretended that her concern for the interests of the French king had engaged her in that measure, and that her sole intention was to oppose her enemies of the house of Guise, who held their prince in captivity, and employed his power to the destruction of his best and most faithful subjects. It was chiefly her desire to preserve appearances, joined to the great frugality of her temper, which made her at this critical juncture keep her soldiers in garrison, and restrain them from committing further hostilities upon the enemy.[**]

* Forbes, vol. ii.

** Forbes, vol. ii. p. 276, 277.

The duke of Guise, meanwhile, was aiming a mortal blow at the power of the Hugonots; and had commenced the siege of Orleans, of which Andelot was governor, and where the constable was detained prisoner. He had the prospect of speedy success in this undertaking; when he was assassinated by Poltrot, a young gentleman whose zeal, instigated (as is pretended, though without any certain foundation) by the admiral, and Beza, a famous preacher, led him to attempt that criminal enterprise. The death of this gallant prince was a sensible loss to the Catholic party; and though the cardinal of Lorraine, his brother, still supported the interests of the family, the danger of their progress appeared not so imminent either to Elizabeth or to the French Protestants. The union, therefore, between these allies, which had been cemented by their common fears, began thenceforth to be less intimate; and the leaders of the Hugonots were persuaded to hearken to terms of a separate accommodation. Conde and Montmorency held conferences for settling the peace; and as they were both of them impatient to relieve themselves from captivity, they soon came to an agreement with regard to the conditions. The character of the queen regent, whose ends were always violent, but who endeavored by subtlety and policy, rather than force, to attain them, led her to embrace any plausible terms; and in spite of the protestations of the admiral, whose sagacity could easily discover the treachery of the court, the articles of agreement were finally settled between the parties. A toleration under some restrictions was anew granted to the Protestants; a general amnesty was published; Conde was reinstated in his offices and governments; and after money was advanced for the payment of arrears due to the German troops, they were dismissed the kingdom.

By the agreement between Elizabeth and the prince of Conde, it had been stipulated,[*] that neither party should conclude peace without the consent of the other; but this article was at present but little regarded by the leaders of the French Protestants. They only comprehended her so far in the treaty, as to obtain a promise that, on her relinquishing Havre, her charges, and the money which she had advanced them, should be repaid her by the king of France, and that Calais, on the expiration of the term, should be restored to her. But she disdained to accept of these conditions; and thinking the possession of Havre a much better pledge for effecting her purpose, she sent Warwick orders to prepare himself against an attack from the now united power of the French monarchy.

The earl of Warwick, who commanded a garrison of six thousand men, besides seven hundred pioneers, had no sooner got possession of Havre, than he employed every means for putting it in a posture of defence;[**] and after expelling the French from the town, he encouraged his soldiers to make the most desperate defence against the enemy. The constable commanded the French army; the queen regent herself and the king were present in the camp; even the prince of Conde joined the king's forces, and gave countenance to this enterprise; the admiral and Andelot alone, anxious still to preserve the friendship of Elizabeth, kept at a distance, and prudently refused to join their ancient enemies in an attack upon their allies.

* Forbes, vol. ii. p. 79.

** Forbes, vol. ii. p. 158.

From the force, and dispositions, and situation of both sides it was expected that the siege would be attended with some memorable event; yet did France make a much easier acquisition of this important place than was at first apprehended. The plague crept in among the English soldiers; and being increased by their fatigue and bad diet, (for they were but ill supplied with provisions,[*]) it made such ravages, that sometimes a hundred men a day died of it; and there remained not, at last, fifteen hundred in a condition to do duty.[**] The French, meeting with such feeble resistance, carried on their attacks successfully; and having made two breaches, each of them sixty feet wide, they prepared for a general assault, which must have terminated in the slaughter of the whole garrison.[***] Warwick, who had frequently warned the English council of the danger, and who had loudly demanded a supply of men and provisions, found himself obliged to capitulate, and to content himself with the liberty of withdrawing his garrison. The articles were no sooner signed, than Lord Clinton, the admiral, who had been detained by contrary winds, appeared off the harbor with a reenforcement of three thousand men; and found the place surrendered to the enemy. To increase the misfortune, the infected army brought the plague with them into England, where it swept off great multitudes, particularly in the city of London. Above twenty thousand persons there died of it in one year.[****] [6]

* Forbes, vol. ii. p. 377, 498.

** Forbes, vol. ii. p. 450, 458.

*** Forbes, vol. ii. p. 498.

**** See note F, at the end of the volume.

Elizabeth, whose usual vigor and foresight had not appeared in this transaction, was now glad to compound matters; and as the queen regent desired to obtain leisure, in order to prepare measures for the extermination of the Hugonots, she readily hearkened to any reasonable terms of accommodation with England.[*]

* Davila, lib. iii.

{1564.} It was agreed, that the hostages which the French had given for the restitution of Calais, should be restored for two hundred and twenty thousand crowns; and that both sides should retain all their claims and pretensions.

The peace still continued with Scotland and even a cordial friendship seemed to have been cemented between Elizabeth and Mary. These princesses made profession of the most entire affection; wrote amicable letters every week to each other; and had adopted, in all appearance, the sentiments as well as style of sisters. Elizabeth punished one Hales, who had published a book against Mary's title;[*] and as the lord keeper Bacon was thought to have encouraged Hales in this undertaking, he fell under her displeasure, and it was with some difficulty he was able to give her satisfaction, and recover her favor.[**] The two queens had agreed in the foregoing summer to an interview at York,[***] in order to remove all difficulties with regard to Mary's ratification of the treaty of Edinburgh, and to consider of the proper method for settling the succession of England; but as Elizabeth carefully avoided touching on this delicate subject, she employed a pretence of the wars in France, which, she said, would detain her in London; and she delayed till next year the intended interview. It is also probable, that being well acquainted with the beauty, and address, and accomplishments of Mary, she did not choose to stand the comparison with regard to those exterior qualities, in which she was eclipsed by her rival; and was unwilling that a princess, who had already made great progress in the esteem and affections of the English, should have a further opportunity of increasing the number of her partisans.

* Keith, p. 252.

** Keith, p. 253.

*** Haynes, p. 388.

Mary's close connections with the house of Guise, and her devoted attachment to her uncles, by whom she had been early educated and constantly protected, was the ground of just and insurmountable jealousy to Elizabeth, who regarded them as her mortal and declared enemies, and was well acquainted with their dangerous character and ambitious projects. They had made offer of their niece to Don Carlos, Philip's son; to the king of Sweden, the king of Navarre, the archduke Charles, the duke of Ferrara, the cardinal of Bourbon, who had only taken deacon's orders, from which he might easily be freed by a dispensation; and they were ready to marry her to any one who could strengthen their interests, or give inquietude and disturbance to Elizabeth.[*]

* Forbes, vol. ii. p. 287. Strype, vol. i. p. 400.

Elizabeth, on her part, was equally vigilant to prevent the execution of their schemes, and was particularly anxious lest Mary should form any powerful foreign alliance, which might tempt her to revive her pretensions to the crown, and to invade the kingdom on the side where it was weakest and lay most exposed.[*] As she believed that the marriage with the archduke Charles was the one most likely to have place, she used every expedient to prevent it; and besides remonstrating against it to Mary herself, she endeavored to draw off the archduke from that pursuit, by giving him some hopes of success in his pretensions to herself, and by inviting him to a renewal of the former treaty of marriage.[**] She always told the queen of Scots, that nothing would satisfy her but her espousing some English nobleman, who would remove all grounds of jealousy, and cement the union between the kingdoms; and she offered on this condition to have her title examined, and to declare her successor to the crown.[***] After keeping the matter in these general terms during a twelvemonth, she at last named Lord Robert Dudley, now created earl of Leicester, as the person on whom she desired that Mary's choice should fall.

The earl of Leicester, the great and powerful favorite of Elizabeth, possessed all those exterior qualities which are naturally alluring to the fair sex; a handsome person, a polite address, an insinuating behavior; and by means of these accomplishments he had been able to blind even the penetration of Elizabeth, and conceal from her the great defects, or rather odious vices, which attended his character. He was proud, insolent, interested, ambitious; without honor, without generosity, without humanity; and atoned not for these bad qualities by such abilities or courage as could fit him for that high trust and confidence with which she always honored him. Her constant and declared attachment to him had naturally emboldened him to aspire to her bed; and in order to make way for these nuptials, he was universally believed to have murdered, in a barbarous manner, his wife, the heiress of one Robesart. The proposal of espousing Mary was by no means agreeable to him; and he always ascribed it to the contrivance of Cecil, his enemy; who, he thought, intended by that artifice to make him lose the friendship of Mary from the temerity of his pretensions, and that of Elizabeth from jealousy of his attachments to another woman.[****]

* Keith, p 247, 284.

** Melvil, p. 41.

*** Keith, p. 213, 249, 259. 265.

**** Camden, p. 396

The queen herself had not any serious intention of effecting this marriage, but as she was desirous that the queen of Scots should never have any husband, she named a man who, she believed, was not likely to be accepted of; and she hoped by that means to gain time, and elude the project of any other alliance. The earl of Leicester was too great a favorite to be parted with; and when Mary, allured by the prospect of being declared successor to the crown, seemed at last to hearken to Elizabeth's proposal, this princess receded from her offers, and withdrew the bait which she had thrown out to her rival.[*] This duplicity of conduct, joined to some appearance of an imperious superiority assumed by her, had drawn a peevish letter from Mary; and the seemingly amicable correspondence between the two queens was, during some time, interrupted. In order to make up the breach, the queen of Scots despatched Sir James Melvil to London; who has given us in his memoirs a particular account of his negotiation.

Melvil was an agreeable courtier, a man of address and conversation; and it was recommended to him by his mistress, that, besides grave reasonings concerning politics and state affairs, he should introduce more entertaining topics of conversation, suitable to the sprightly character of Elizabeth, and should endeavor by that means to insinuate himself into her confidence. He succeeded so well, that he threw that artful princess entirely off her guard,[**] and made her discover the bottom of her heart, full of all those levities, and follies, and ideas of rivalship which possess the youngest and most frivolous of her sex.

* Keith, p. 269, 270. Appendix, p, 158. Strype, vol. i. p. 414.

** Haynes, p. 447.

He talked to her of his travels, and forgot not to mention the different dresses of the ladies in different countries, and the particular advantages of each in setting off the beauties of the shape and person. The queen said, that she had dresses of all countries; and she took care thenceforth to meet the ambassador every day apparelled in a different habit: sometimes she was dressed in the English garb, sometimes in the French, sometimes in the Italian; and she asked him which of them became her most. He answered, the Italian; a reply that he knew would be agreeable to her, because that mode showed to advantage her flowing locks, which, he remarked, though they were more red than yellow, she fancied to be the finest in the world. She desired to know of him what was reputed the best color of hair: she asked whether his queen or she had the finest hair: she even inquired which of them he esteemed the fairest person; a very delicate question, and which he prudently eluded, by saying that her majesty was the fairest person in England and his mistress in Scotland. She next demanded which of them was tallest: he replied, his queen. "Then is she too tall," said Elizabeth; "for I myself am of a just stature." Having learned from him that his mistress sometimes recreated herself by playing on the harpsichord, an instrument on which she herself excelled, she gave orders to Lord Hunsdon, that he should lead the ambassador, as it were casually, into an apartment where he might hear her perform; and when Melvil, as if ravished with the harmony, broke into the queen's apartment, she pretended to be displeased with his intrusion; but still took care to ask him whether he thought Mary or her the best performer on that instrument.[*] From the whole of her behavior, Melvil thought he might, on his return, assure his mistress, that she had no reason ever to expect any cordial friendship from Elizabeth, and that all her professions of amity were full of falsehood and dissimulation.

* Melvil, p, 49, 50., Keith, p 264.

After two years had been spent in evasions and artifices, Mary's subjects and counsellors, and probably herself, began to think it full time that some marriage were concluded; and Lord Darnley, son of the earl of Lenox, was the person in whom most men's opinions and wishes centred. He was Mary's cousin-german, by the lady Margaret Douglas, niece to Henry VIII., and daughter of the earl of Angus, by Margaret, queen of Scotland. He had been born and educated in England, where the earl of Lenox had constantly resided, since he had been banished by the prevailing power of the house of Hamilton; and as Darnley was now in his twentieth year, and was a very comely person, tall and delicately shaped, it was hoped that he might soon render himself agreeable to the queen of Scots. He was also by his father a branch of the same family with herself; and would, in espousing her, preserve the royal dignity in the house of Stuart: he was, after her, next heir to the crown of England; and those who pretended to exclude her on account of her being a foreigner, had endeavored to recommend his title, and give it the preference. It seemed no inconsiderable advantage, that she could, by marrying him, unite both their claims; and as he was by birth an Englishman, and could not by his power or alliances give any ground of suspicion to Elizabeth, it was hoped that the proposal of this marriage would not be unacceptable to that jealous princess.

Elizabeth was well informed of these intentions;[*] and was secretly not displeased with the projected marriage between Darnley and the queen of Scots.[**] She would rather have wished that Mary had continued forever in a single life; but finding little probability of rendering this scheme effectual, she was satisfied with a choice which freed her at once from the dread of a foreign alliance, and from the necessity of parting with Leicester, her favorite. In order to pave the way to Darnley's marriage, she secretly desired Mary to invite Lenox into Scotland, to reverse his attainder, and to restore him to his honors and fortune.[***] And when her request was complied with, she took care, in order to preserve the friendship of the Hamiltons and her other partisans in Scotland, to blame openly this conduct of Mary.[****]

* Keith, p. 261.

** Keith, p. 280, 282. Jebb, vol. ii. p. 46.

*** Keith, p. 255, 259, 272.

**** Melvil, p. 42.

{1565.} Hearing that the negotiation for Darnley's marriage advanced apace, she gave that nobleman permission, on his first application, to follow his father into Scotland: but no sooner did she learn that the queen of Scots was taken with his figure and person, and that all measures were fixed for espousing him, than she exclaimed against the marriage; sent Throgmorton to order Darnley immediately, upon his allegiance, to return to England; threw the countess of Lenox and her second son into the Tower, where they suffered a rigorous confinement; seized all Lenox's English estate; and, though it was impossible for her to assign one single reason for her displeasure,[*] she menaced, and, protested, and complained, as if she had suffered the most grievous injury in the world.

* Keith, p. 274, 275.

The politics of Elizabeth, though judicious, were usually full of duplicity and artifice; but never more so than in her transactions with the queen of Scots, where there entered so many little passions and narrow jealousies, that she durst not avow to the world the reasons of her conduct, scarcely to her ministers, and scarcely even to herself. But besides a womanish rivalship and envy against the marriage of this princess, she had some motives of interest for feigning a displeasure on the present occasion. It served her as a pretence for refusing to acknowledge Mary's title to the succession of England; a point to which, for good reasons, she was determined never to consent. And it was useful to her for a purpose still more unfriendly and dangerous, for encouraging the discontents and rebellion of the Scottish nobility and ecclesiastics.[*]

Nothing can be more unhappy for a people than to be governed by a sovereign attached to a religion different from the established; and it is scarcely possible that mutual confidence can ever, in such a situation, have place between the prince and his subjects. Mary's conduct had been hitherto in every respect unexceptionable, and even laudable; yet had she not made such progress in acquiring popularity, as might have been expected from her gracious deportment and agreeable accomplishments. Suspicions every moment prevailed on account of her attachment to the Catholic faith, and especially to her uncles, the open and avowed promoters of the scheme for exterminating the professors of the reformed religion throughout all Europe. She still refused to ratify the acts of parliament which had established the reformation; she made attempts for restoring to the Catholic bishops some part of their civil jurisdiction;[**] and she wrote a letter to the council of Trent, in which, besides professing her attachment to the Catholic faith, she took notice of her title to succeed to the crown of England, and expressed her hopes of being able, in some period, to bring back all her dominions to the bosom of the church.[***] The zealots among the Protestants were not wanting, in their turn, to exercise their insolence against her, which tended still more to alienate her from their faith. A law was enacted, making it capital, on the very first offence, to say mass any where, except in the queen's chapel;[****] and it was with difficulty that even this small indulgence was granted her: the general assembly importuned her anew to change her religion; to renounce the blasphemous idolatry of the mass, with the tyranny of the Roman Antichrist; and to embrace the true religion of Christ Jesus.[v]

* Keith, p. 290.

** Spotswood, p. 198.

*** Father Paul, lib. vii.

**** Keith, p. 268.

v Keith, p, 545. Knox. p. 374.

As she answered in temper, that she was not yet convinced of the falsity of her religion or the impiety of the mass, and that her apostasy would lose her the friendship of her allies on the continent, they replied by assuring her, that their religion was undoubtedly the same which had been revealed by Jesus Christ, which had been preached by the apostles, and which had been embraced by the faithful in the primitive ages; that neither the religion of Turks, Jews, nor Papists was built on so solid a foundation as theirs; that they alone, of all the various species of religionists spread over the face of the earth, were so happy as to be possessed of the truth; that those who hear, or rather who gaze on the mass, allow sacrilege, pronounce blasphemy, and commit most abominable idolatry; and that the friendship of the King of kings was preferable to all the alliances in the world.[*]

The marriage of the queen of Scots had kindled afresh the zeal of the reformers, because the family of Lenox was believed to adhere to the Catholic faith; and though Darnley, who now bore the name of King Henry, went often to the established church, he could not, by this exterior compliance, gain the confidence and regard of the ecclesiastics. They rather laid hold of the opportunity to insult him to his face; and Knox scrupled not to tell him from the pulpit, that God, for punishment of the offences and ingratitude of the people, was wont to commit the rule over them to boys and women.[**] The populace of Edinburgh, instigated by such doctrines, began to meet and to associate themselves against the government.[***] But what threatened more immediate danger to Mary's authority, were the discontents which prevailed among some of the principal nobility.

* Keith, p. 550, 551.

** Keith, p. 546. Knox, p. 381.

*** Knox, p. 377.

The duke of Chatelrault was displeased with the restoration, and still more with the aggrandizement of the family of Lenox, his hereditary enemies; and entertained fears lest his own eventual succession to the crown of Scotland should be excluded by his rival, who had formerly advanced some pretensions to it. The earl of Murray found his credit at court much diminished by the interest of Lenox and his son; and began to apprehend the revocation of some considerable grants which he had obtained from Mary's bounty. The earls of Argyle, Rothes, and Glencairne, the lords Boyde and Ochiltry, Kirkaldy of Grange, Pittarow, were instigated by like motives; and as these were the persons who had most zealously promoted the reformation, they were disgusted to find that the queen's favor was entirely engrossed by a new cabal, the earls of Bothwell, Athole, Sutherland, and Huntley; men who were esteemed either lukewarm in religious controversy, or inclined to the Catholic party. The same ground of discontent which in other courts is the source of intrigue, faction, and opposition, commonly produced in Scotland either projects of assassination or of rebellion; and besides mutual accusations of the former kind, which it is difficult to clear up,[*] [7] the malecontent lords, as soon as they saw the queen's marriage entirely resolved on, entered into a confederacy for taking arms against their sovereign. They met at Stirling; pretended an anxious concern for the security of religion; framed engagements for mutual defence; and made applications to Elizabeth for assistance and protection.[**] That princess, after publishing the expressions of her displeasure against the marriage, had secretly ordered her ambassadors, Randolf and Throgmorton, to give in her name some promises of support to the malecontents; and had even sent them a supply of ten thousand pounds, to enable them to begin an insurrection.[***]

Mary was no sooner informed of the meeting at Stirling, and the movements of the lords, than she summoned them to appear at court, in order to answer for their conduct; and having levied some forces to execute the laws, she obliged the rebels to leave the low countries, and take shelter in Argyleshire. That she might more effectually cut off their resources, she proceeded with the king to Glasgow, and forced them from their retreat. They appeared at Paisley, in the neighborhood, with about a thousand horse, and passing the queen's army, proceeded to Hamilton, thence to Edinburgh, which they entered without resistance. They expected great reenforcements in this place, from the efforts of Knox and the seditious preachers; and they beat their drums, desiring all men to enlist, and receive wages for the defence of God's glory.[****]

* See note G, at the end of the volume.

** Keith, p. 293, 294, 300, 301.

*** Knox, p. 380. Keith, Append, p. 164. Anderson, vol. iii. p. 194.

**** Knox, p. 381.

But the nation was in no disposition for rebellion: Mary was esteemed and beloved: her marriage was not generally disagreeable to the people: and the interested views of the malecontent lords were so well known, that their pretence of zeal for religion had little influence even on the ignorant populace.[*] The king and queen advanced to Edinburgh at the head of their army: the rebels were obliged to retire into the south; and being pursued by a force which now amounted to eighteen thousand men,[**] they found themselves under a necessity of abandoning their country, and of taking shelter in England.

Elizabeth, when she found the event so much to disappoint her expectations, thought proper to disavow all connections with the Scottish malecontents, and to declare every where, that she had never given them any encouragement, nor any promise of countenance or assistance. She even carried further her dissimulation and hypocrisy. Murray had come to London, with the abbot of Kilwinning, agent for Chatelrault; and she seduced them, by secret assurances of protection, to declare before the ambassadors of France and Spain that she had nowise contributed to their insurrection. No sooner had she extorted this confession from them, than she chased them from her presence, called them unworthy traitors, declared that their detestable rebellion was of bad example to all princes; and assured them, that as she had hitherto given them no encouragement, so should they never thenceforth receive from her any assistance or protection.[***] Throgmorton alone, whose honor was equal to his abilities, could not be prevailed on to conceal the part which he had acted in the enterprise of the Scottish rebels; and being well apprised of the usual character and conduct of Elizabeth, he had had the precaution to obtain an order of council to authorize the engagements which he had been obliged to make with them.[****]

* Knox, p. 380, 385.

** Knox, p. 388.

*** Melvil, p. 57. Knox, p. 388. Keith, p. 319. Crawford, p, 62, 63.

**** Melvil, p. 60.

The banished lords, finding themselves so harshly treated by Elizabeth, had recourse to the clemency of their own sovereign; and after some solicitation and some professions of sincere repentance, the duke of Chatelrault obtained his pardon, on condition that he should retire into France. Mary was more implacable against the ungrateful earl of Murray and the other confederates, on whom she threw the chief blame of the enterprise; but as she was continually plied with applications from their friends, and as some of her most judicious partisans in England thought, that nothing would more promote her interests in that kingdom, than the gentle treatment of men so celebrated for their zeal against the Catholic religion, she agreed to give way to her natural temper, which inclined not to severity, and she seemed determined to restore them to favor.[*] In this interval, Rambouillet arrived as ambassador from France, and brought her advice from her uncle, the cardinal of Lorraine, to whose opinion she always paid an extreme deference, by no means to pardon these Protestant leaders, who had been engaged in a rebellion against her.[**]

The two religions, in France, as well as in other parts of Europe, were rather irritated than tired with their acts of mutual violence; and the peace granted to the Hugonots, as had been foreseen by Coligny, was intended only to lull them asleep and prepare the way for their final and absolute destruction. The queen regent made a pretence of travelling through the kingdom, in order to visit the provinces, and correct all the abuses arising from the late civil war; and after having held some conferences on the frontiers with the duke of Lorraine and the duke of Savoy, she came to Bayonne, where she was met by her daughter, the queen of Spain, and the duke of Alva. Nothing appeared in the congress of these two splendid courts, but gayety, festivity, love, and joy; but amidst these smiling appearances were secretly fabricated schemes the most bloody, and the most destructive to the repose of mankind, that had ever been thought of in any age or nation. No less than a total and universal extermination of the Protestants by fire and sword was concerted by Philip and Catharine of Medicis; and Alva, agreeably to his fierce and sanguinary disposition, advised the queen regent to commence the execution of this project, by the immediate massacre of all the leaders of the Hugonots.[***]

* Melvil, p. 59, 60, 61, 62, 63. Keith, p. 322.

** Keith p. 325. Melvil, p. 63.

*** Davila, lib iii.

But that princess, though equally hardened against every humane sentiment, would not forego this opportunity of displaying her wit and refined politics; and she purposed rather by treachery and dissimulation, which she called address, to lead the Protestants into the snare, and never to draw the sword till they were totally disabled from resistance. The cardinal of Lorraine, whose character bore a greater affinity to that of Alva, was a chief author of this barbarous association against the reformers; and having connected his hopes of success with the aggrandizement of his niece, the queen of Scots, he took care that her measures should correspond to those violent counsels which were embraced by the other Catholic princes. In consequence of this scheme, he turned her from the road of clemency, which she intended to have followed, and made her resolve on the total ruin of the banished lords.[*]

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