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feditious fermons A: Nor could that prelate fave himfelf CHA P. by any expedient from this terrible fentence, but by renouncing all pretenfions to ecclefiaftical authority. One Gibson faid in the pulpit, that captain James Stuart 1586, (meaning the late earl of Arran) and his wife, Jezabel, had been deemed the chief perfecutors of the church; but it was now seen, that the king himself was the great offender: And for this crime the preacher denounced against him the curfe which fell on Jeroboam, that he should die childless, and be the last of his race B.
THE fecretary, perceiving the king fo much molested with ecclefiaftical affairs, and with the refractory difpofition of the clergy, advised him to leave them to their own courses: For that in a short time they would become fo intolerable, that the people would rife against them, and chace them out of the country. "True," replied the king: "If I purposed to undo the church and religion, 66 your counsel were good: But my intention is to main"tain both; therefore cannot I fuffer the clergy to fol"low fuch a conduct as will, in the end, bring religion. "into contempt and derifion C"
B Ibid. p. 344.
A Spotfwood, p. 345, 346.
Zeal of the catholics-Babington's confpiracy- Mary
СНАР.” HE dangers which arofe from the character, principles, and pretenfions of the queen of Scots, had engaged, very early, Elizabeth to confult, in her treatment of that unfortunate princess, the dictates of jealousy and politics, rather than of friendship or generofity: Refentment of this ufage. had pushed Mary into enterprizes, which had nearly threatened the repofe and authority of Elizabeth: The rigour and reftraint, thence redoubled upon the captive queen D, ftill impelled her to attempt greater extremities; and while her impatience of confinement, her revenge E, and her high fpirit concurred with religious zeal, and the fuggeftions of defperate bigots, she was at laft engaged in defigns which afforded her enemies, who watched the opportunity, a pretence or reason for effecting her final ruin.
Zeal of the THE English feminary at Rheims had wrought themcatholics. felves up to a high pitch of rage and animofity against the queen. The recent perfecutions, from which they had escaped; the new rigours which they knew awaited them, in the course of their miffions; the liberty which, for the prefent, they enjoyed, of declaiming against that princefs; and the contagion of that religious fury, which every where surrounded them in France: All these causes had obliterated with them every maxim of common sense, and every principle of morals or humanity. Intoxicated with
See note at the
D Digges, p. 139. Haynes, p. 607. end of the volume.
with admiration of the omnipotence and infallibility of the CHAP.
ABOUT the fame time, John Ballard, a priest of that feminary, had returned to Paris from his miffion in England and Scotland; and as he had obferved a spirit of mutiny and rebellion to be very prevalent among the catholic devotees in these countries, he had founded on that difpofition the project of dethroning Elizabeth, and of restoring by force of arms the exercife of the antient religion in England F. The fituation of affairs abroad feemed favourable to this enterprize: The pope, the Spaniard, the duke of Guife, concurring in interefts, had formed a refolution to make fome attempt upon the queen And Mendoza, the Spanish ambaffador at Paris, ftrongly encouraged Ballard to hope for fuccours from thefe princes. Charles Paget alone, a zealous catholic and a devoted partizan of the queen of Scots, being well acquainted with the prudence, vigour, and general popularity of Elizabeth, always maintained, that, fo long as that princess was allowed to live, it was in vain to expect any fuccess from an enterprize upon England. Ballard, perfuaded of this truth, faw more clearly the neceffity of executing the defign, formed at Rheims: He came over to England in the disguise of a foldier, and affumed the name of captain Fortefcue: And, he bent his endeavours to effectuate at once the project of an affaffination, an infurrection, and an invafion G.
G Camden, P. 515.
F Murden's State papers, p.517.
CHAP. THE first perfon, to whom he addreffed himself, was XLII. Anthony Babington of Dethic in the county of Derby. This young gentleman was of a good family, poffeffed a 1586. plentiful fortune, had discovered an excellent capacity, Babing and was accomplished in literature beyond most of his years or ftation. Being zealously devoted to the catholic communion, he had fecretly made a journey to Paris some time before; and had fallen into intimacy with Thomas Morgan, a bigotted fugitive from England, and with the bishop of Glasgow, Mary's ambaffador at the court of France. By continually extolling the amiable accomplishments and heroical virtues of that princess, they impelled the fanguine and unguarded mind of young Babington to make fome attempt for her fervice; and they employed every principle of ambition, gallantry, and religious zeal, to give him a contempt of thofe dangers, which attended any enterprize against the vigilant government of Elizabeth. Finding him well difpofed for their purpose, they fent him back to England, and fecretly, unknown to himfelf, recommended him to the queen of Scots, as a perfon worth engaging in her service. She wrote him a letter, full of friendship and confidence; and Babington, ardent in his temper and zealous in his principles, thought, that thefe advances now bound him in honour to devote himself entirely to the fervice of that unfortunate princefs. During fome time, he had found means of conveying to her all her foreign correfpondence; but after he was put under the cuftody of Sir Amias Paulet, and reduced to a more rigorous confinement, he experienced so much difficulty and danger in rendering her this fervice, that he had defifted from every attempt of
WHEN Ballard began to open his intentions to Babington, he found his zeal fufpended, not extinguifhed: His former ardour revived on the mention of any enterprize, which feemed to promife fuccess in the cause of Mary and of the catholic religion. He had entertained fentiments. conformable to thofe of Paget, and reprefented the folly of all attempts, which, during the life-time of Elizabeth, could be formed against the established religion and government of England. Ballard, encouraged by this hint, proceeded to discover to him the defign undertaken by Savage; and was pleafed to obferve, that, instead of
H Camden, State Trials, p. 114.
being fhocked with that project, Babington only thought CHA P. it not secure enough, when entrusted to one fingle hand, XLIII. and propofed to join four others with Savage in this defperate enterprize.
IN prosecution of these views, Babington employed himself in encreafing the number of his affociates; and he fecretly drew into the confpiracy many catholic gentlemen, difcontented with the prefent government. Barnwel, of a noble family in Ireland, Charnoc, a gentleman of Lancashire, and Abington, whofe father had been cofferer to the household, readily undertook the affaffination of the queen. Charles Tilney the heir of an antient family, and Titchborne of Southampton, when the defign was proposed to them, expreffed fome fcruples, which were at laft removed by the arguments of Babington and Ballard. Savage alone refufed, during fome time, to share the glory of the enterprize with any others; he challenged the whole to himself; and it was with fome difficulty he was induced to depart from this preposterous ambition.
THE delivery of the queen of Scots, at the very fame inftant, when Elizabeth fhould be affaffinated, was requifite for effecting the purpose of the confpirators; and Babington undertook, with a party of an hundred horse, to attack her guards, while the fhould be taking the air on horseback. In this enterprize, he engaged Edward Windfor, brother to the lord of that name, Thomas Salisbury, Robert Gage, John Travers, John Jones, and Henry Donne; most of them men of family and intereft. The confpirators much wanted, but could not find, any nobleman of name, whom they might place at the head of the enterprize; but they trusted, that the great events, of the queen's death and Mary's delivery, would rouze all the zealous catholics to arms; and that foreign forces, taking advantage of the general confufion, would eafily fix the queen of Scots on the throne, and re-establish the antient religion.
THESE defperate projects had not efcaped the vigilance of Elizabeth's council, particularly of Walfingham, fecretary of state. That artful minifter had engaged Maud, a catholic priest, whom he retained in pay, to
I State Trials, vol. i. p. 111.