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PROGRESS OF THE REFORMATION.
After his death, Somerset continued the war, and entered Scotland at the head of seventy thousand men. The Scots raised a still larger force, but they were overthrown with great slaughter at Pinkie, near Musselburgh, in September, 1547. The injuries inflicted on them by England only made them the more determined that their little queen should not marry an English husband. They agreed to give her in marriage to the eldest son of Henry the Second, King of France, and Mary was sent to the French court, to be educated with Prince Francis, her future husband.
The Duke of Somerset favoured the Reformation, and allowed Cranmer to purify the services of the Church from all the false doctrines and idle ceremonies which had been mingled with them. The mass was abolished, and the communion office appointed in its stead; the Bible was allowed to be freely read; and on Whitsunday, 1549, the English Book of Common Prayer was enjoined to be used for the first time in every parish church throughout the kingdom. The images which the people had been used to worship were removed from the churches, and the gaudy fanciful processions were put an end to. In general, the priests consented to these changes; but some of the bishops refused to do so, and were deprived of their sees, which were given to other men.
The deeply learned and pious Ridley was made Bishop of London; Hooper became Bishop of Gloucester; and Coverdale, the translator of the Bible, was made Bishop of Exeter. Good old Bishop Latimer, who was nearly eighty years of age, had been imprisoned during several years by Henry the Eighth, but was set free now, and went about from place to
place preaching to the people. His sermons were very much liked for their homely, plain-spoken sense and earnest piety; and when he preached, as he often did, from the fine stone pulpit at the Cross in St. Paul's Churchyard, and the multitude stood around to listen, the little king might often be seen listening too at the open window of a house near the Cross.
But while Somerset allowed Cranmer and his fellowlabourers to reform the doctrine and worship of the Church, he would not listen to them when they told him it was wrong to destroy churches, or to take away the riches which belonged to them for himself and his friends. Somerset pulled down two churches to build a palace, and all the great men about the court behaved as they had done in the time of Henry the Eighth. They stripped the churches and other religious edifices of everything which could be taken away; destroyed the tombs that they might sell the brasses with which they were ornamented, and even sold the church bells into foreign countries.
Every one seemed intent chiefly upon making himself rich and great. Somerset even sacrificed his own brother for fear he should become more powerful than himself. Lord Thomas Seymour, the king's youngest uncle, was jealous of Somerset's great authority, and wanted to share the government of the kingdom with him; and for this Somerset caused him to be executed as a traitor. In less than three years afterwards the same fate fell upon himself. Dudley hated him, and wanted to step into his place; so he stirred up the other councillors of state to accuse Somerset of high treason, and, after a very unfair trial, he was beheaded.
THE MASS FORBIDDEN.
REIGN OF EDWARD VI.-(continued).
THE KING'S SISTERS.-SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS FOUNDED BY EDWARD VI. VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY TO THE NORTH-EAST.-LADY JANE
GREY.-DEATH OF EDWARD, 1553.
(From 1552 to 1553.)
THE young king had been made to sign the deathwarrant of both his uncles, and now Dudley (who had become Duke of Northumberland) kept him entirely under his own control, and would hardly allow him even to see his sisters. Edward was very fond of his sister Elizabeth; they had been brought up together when little children, and they possessed the same love for learning. They were still two of the most diligent students in the kingdom, but they no longer studied together; Elizabeth lived by herself at Hatfield House, and was only allowed to pay a formal visit now and then to the palace.
Edward loved her the more because she was attached, like himself, to the doctrines of the English Church. His eldest sister, Mary, was a zealous Roman Catholic, and her determination to have mass celebrated in her house gave great pain to the young king. He almost thought he was guilty of sin in permitting her to follow her own conscience, though she was so very much older than himself.
But in those days everyone thought it wrong that kings should allow their subjects to follow an erroneous religion. The Reformers would not indeed torture and burn the Roman Catholics as the Roman
Catholics had done to them; but they forbade them to say mass on pain of being fined and imprisoned. And even the Reformers thought that those persons ought to be put to death who refused to acknowledge the blessed Trinity, or who denied that our Lord was both God and man. Two persons were burnt in the reign of Edward for errors of that kind.
The young king was wiser than his advisers: he could not believe that it was right to put men to death because they followed a false religion; and when the sentence was brought to him, he refused to sign it: and it is said that it was only at the urgent recommendation of those about him, that he at last consented.
In general, Cranmer used his power in the Church with much gentleness. He was much more desirous to instruct and convert men than to punish them. By his advice, excellent public schools were founded in many parts of England: Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Bury St. Edmunds, and several other towns owe their schools to Edward the Sixth; and in the last months of his reign he founded the noble school of Christ's Hos
pital in London. He also gave the houses of St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew to be hospitals for the sick.
In every way in which so young a king could benefit the state, Edward tried to do good to England. He began already to form plans for increasing the trade and shipping of the country, and would often send for the wise old navigator Cabot, that he might talk with him about finding out new lands, so that
DEATH OF EDWARD VI.
his people might have plenty of employment; sending abroad the things they could make in England, and bringing back from strange countries all the useful and pleasant things they could find there.
He was greatly pleased when a few merchants and gentlemen fitted out three ships to search for a northeast passage to China and India. No one knew then that such a passage was impracticable on account of the ice; and the brave Sir Hugh Willoughby, who commanded the expedition, set sail in the highest spirits, after receiving many marks of favour from the young king. Edward watched the departing ships from his palace at Greenwich, little thinking of the sad fate which awaited most of those brave sailors. Sir Hugh and seventy of his companions were frozen up in a harbour on the east coast of Lapland, and died of cold and hunger. The others reached Archangel, and travelled overland to Moscow, where the czar took them into great favour, and willingly consented that his subjects should trade with England. Before this time Englishmen hardly knew that there was such a country as Russia (or, as it was then called, Muscovy); but ever since they have carried on a very profitable trade with the Russians.
Soon after this expedition left England, the young king died. His health had been declining for many months, and he thought anxiously what would become of his people when his sister Mary succeeded him. He foresaw that she would try to undo all that had been done for the reformation of religion; and he feared she would not only restore the Popish worship, but cruelly persecute the Protestants.
Northumberland represented to him that he might