Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

CHA P. XLII.

Affairs of Scotland
Drake- A parliament-
with the duke of Anjou Affairs of Scotland
of queen Mary to Elizabeth-

Spanish affairs-Sir Francis
-Negociations of marriage
Letter
-Confpiracies in England

A parliament The ecclefiaftical commiffion-
Affairs of the Low Countries-Hoftilities
Hoftilities with

Spain.

[ocr errors]

THE

HE greatest and moft abfolute fecurity, which Eli- CHA P. zabeth enjoyed during her whole reign, never. XLII. exempted her from vigilance and attention; but the fcene began now to be more overcaft, and dangers 1580. gradually multiplied on her from more than one quar

ter.

[ocr errors]

THE earl of Morton had hitherto retained Scotland Affairs of in strict alliance with the queen, and had also restored Scotland. domestic tranquillity to that kingdom: But it was not to be expected, that the factitious and legal authority of a regent would long maintain itself in a country unacquainted with law and order; where even the natural dominion of hereditary princes fo often met with oppofition and controul. The nobility began anew to break into factions: The people were disgufted with fome inftances of Morton's avarice: And the clergy, who complained of farther encroachments on their narrow revenue, joined and encreased the difcontent of the other orders. The regent was fenfible of his dangerous fitua tion; and having dropped fome peevish expreffions, as if he were willing or defirous to refign the government, the noblemen of the oppofite party, favourites of the young king, laid hold of this conceffion, and required that demiffion, which he seemed fo frankly to offer them. James was at this time but eleven years of age; yet Morton, having fecured himself, as he imagined, by a general pardon, refigned his authority into the hands of the king, who pretended to conduct, in his own name, the administration of the kingdom. The regent retired from the government, and feemed to employ himself. entirely in the care of his domeftic affairs; but either tired with this tranquillity, which appeared infipid after

the

CHA P. the agitations of ambition, or thinking it time to throw XLII. off diffimulation, he returned again to court; acquired an ascendant in the council; and though he resumed not 1580. the title of regent, governed with the fame authority as before. The oppofite party, after holding separate conventions, took to arms, on pretence of delivering their prince from captivity, and restoring him to a free exercife of his government: queen Elizabeth interpofed by her ambaffador, fir Robert Bowes, and mediated an agreement between the factions: Morton kept poffeffion of the government; but his enemies were numerous and vigilant, and his authority seemed to become every day more precarious.

THE Count d' Aubigney, of the house of Lenox, coufin-german to the king's father, had been born and educated in France; and being a young man of good addrefs and a sweet difpofition, he appeared to the duke of Guise a proper inftrument for detaching James from the English intereft, and connecting him with his mother and her relations. He no fooner appeared at Stirling, where James refided, than he acquired the affections of the young monarch; and joining his interests with James Stuart of the houfe of Ochiltree, a man of proAigate manners, who had acquired the king's favour, he employed himself, under the appearance of play and amufement, in inftilling into the tender mind of the prince new fentiments of politics and government. He repefented to him the injuftice which had been done Mary in her depofition, and made him entertain thoughts, either of refigning the crown into her hands, or of affociating her with him in the adminiftration G. Elizabeth, alarmed with the danger, which might enfue from the prevalence of this intereft in Scotland, fent anew fir Robert Bowes to Stirling; and accufing d' Aubigney, now created earl of Lenox, of an attachment to the French, warned James against entertaining fuch fufpicious and dangerous connections H. The king excufed himself, by Alexander Hume his ambassador; and Lenox, finding that the queen had openly declared against him, was farther confirmed in his intention of overturning the English intereft, and particularly of ruining H Spotf

G Digges, p. 412, 428. Melvil, p. 130. wood, p. 309.

1580.

ruining Morton, who was regarded as the head of it. CHA P. That nobleman was arrested in council, accused as an XLII. accomplice in the late king's murder, committed to prison, brought to trial, and condemned to fuffer as a traitor. He confeffed, that Bothwell had communicated to him the defign, had pleaded Mary's confent, and had defired his concurrence; but he denied, that he had ever expreffed any approbation of that crime; and in excuse for his concealing it, he alledged the danger of revealing the fecret, either to Henry, who had no refolution nor constancy, or to Mary, who appeared to be an accomplice in the murder. Sir Thomas Randolph was sent by the queen to intercede in favour of Morton; and that ambaffador, not content with discharging this duty of his function, engaged, by his perfuafion, the earls of Argyle, Montrofe, Angus, Mar, and Glencarne, to enter into a confederacy for protecting, even by force of arms, the life of the prifoner. The more to overawe that nobleman's enemies, Elizabeth ordered forces to be affembled on the borders of England; but this expedient ferved only to haften his fentence and execution K. Morton died with that conftancy and refolution, which had attended him through all the various events of his life; and left a reputation, which was lefs difpated with regard to ability than probity and virtue. But this conclufion of the fcene happened not till the fubfequent year.

ELIZABETH was, during this period, extremely anx- Spanish ious on account of every revolution in Scotland; both affairs. because that country alone, not being feparated from England by fea, and bordering on all the catholic and malcontent countries, afforded her enemies a fafe and eafy method of attacking her; and because she was senfible, that Mary, thinking herself abandoned by the French monarch, had been engaged by the Guifes to have recourse to the powerful protection of Philip, who, tho' he had not yet come to an open rupture with the queen, was every day, both by the injuries which he committed and fuffered, more exafperated against her. That he might retaliate for the affiftance, which she gave to his rebels in the Low Countries, he had fent, under

the

I Spotfwood, p. 314. Crawford, p. 333. Moyfe's Memoirs, p. 54. K. Ibid. p. 312.

CHA P. the name of the pope, a body of seven hundred SpaXLII. niards and Italians into Ireland; where the inhabitants, always turbulent, and discontented with the English 1580. government, were now more alienated by religious prejudices, and were ready to join every invader. The Spanish general, San Jofepho, built a fort in Kerry ; and being there befieged. by the earl of Ormond, prefident of Munfter, who was soon after joined by lord Gray, the deputy, he made a weak and cowardly defence. After some affaults, feebly fuftained, he furrendered at difcretion ; and Gray, who was attended with a small force, finding himself embarraffed with fo many prifoners, put all the Spaniards and Italians to the fword without mercy, and hanged about fifteen hundred Irish: A cruelty which gave great displeasure to Elizabeth M.

Sir Fran

WHEN the English ambaffador made complaints of cis Drake. this invafion, he was anfwered by like complaints of the pyracies committed by Francis Drake, a bold feaman, who had affaulted the Spaniards in the place where they deemed themselves most secure, in the new world. This man, fprung from mean parents in the county of Devon, having acquired confiderable riches by depredations made in the ifthmus of Panama, and having there got a fight of the Pacific Ocean, was fo ftimulated by ambition and avarice, that he fcrupled not to employ his whole fortune in a new adventure through thofe feas, so much unknown at that time to all the European nations N. By means of fir Chriftopher Hatton, then vice chamberlain, a great favourite of the queen's, he obtained her consent and approbation; and he fet fail from Plymouth in 1577, with four ships and a pinnace, on board of which were 164 able failors o. He paffed into the South. Seas by the Straits of Magellan, and attacking the Spaniards, who expected no enemy in these quarters, he took many rich prizes, and prepared to return with the booty, which he had acquired. Apprehenfive of being intercept ed by the enemy, if he took the fame way homewards, by which he had reached the Pacific Ocean, he attempted to find a paffage by the north of California; and failing in that enterprize, he fet fail for the East Indies, and returned

L Digges, P. 359, 370. Hiftory of Ireland, p. 368. 689. o Camden, p. 478. 730, 748. Purchas's Pilgrim,

M Camden, p. 475. Cox's N Camden, p. 478. Stowe, p. Hakluyt's Voyages, vol. iii. p. vol. i. p. 46.

[ocr errors]

191

1581.

turned fafely this year by the Cape of Good Hope. He CHA P.
was the first Englishman who failed round the globe; and XLII.
the first commander in chief: for Magellan, whofe fhip
executed the fame adventure, died in his paffage. His
His
name became celebrated on account of fo bold and fortu-
nate an attempt; but many, apprehending the resentment
of the Spaniards, endeavoured to perfuade the queen, that
it would be more prudent to difown the enterprize, to
punish Drake, and to restore the treasure. But Elizabeth,
who admired valour, and who was allured by the prospect
of sharing in the booty, determined to countenance that
gallant failor: She conferred on him the honour of
knighthood, and accepted of a banquet from him at Dept-
ford, on board the fhip, which had atchieved fo memo-
rable a voyage. When Philip's ambaffador, Mendoza,
exclaimed against Drake's pyracies, she told him, that the
Spaniards, by arrogating a right to the whole new world,
and excluding thence all other European nations, who
would fail thither, even with a view of exercising the most
lawful commerce, naturally tempted others to make a vi-
olent irruption into these countries P. To pacify, how-
ever, the Spanish monarch, the caufed part of the booty
to be restored to Pedro Sebura, a Spaniard, who pretend-
ed to be agent for the merchants, whom Drake had spoil-
ed. Having learned afterwards, that Philip had feized the
money, and had employed part of it against herself in Ire-
land, part of it in the pay of the prince of Parma's troops,
fhe determined to make no more reftitutions.

.

THERE was another cause, which induced the queen to take this resolution: She was in fuch want of money, that she was obliged to affemble a parliament, a measure, which, Jan. 16. as the herself openly declared, fhe never embraced, ex- A parlicept when constrained by the neceffity of her affairs. The ament. parliament, befides granting her a fupply of one fubfidy and two fifteenths, enacted fome ftatutes for the security of her government, chiefly against the attempts of the catholics. Whoever, in any way, reconciled any one to the church of Rome, or was himself reconciled, was declared to be guilty of treafon; to fay mafs was fubjected to the penalty of a year's imprisonment, and a fine of two hundred marks; the being present was punishable by a year's imprisonment and a fine of an hundred marks: A fine of twenty pounds a month was imposed on every one

who

P Camden, p. 480.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »