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fecret alliance with the princes of Guife, and had entered CHA P. into a mutual concert for the protection of the antient faith, and the fuppreffion of herefy. He now fent fix thousand men, with fome fupply of money, to reinforce the catholic party; and the prince of Condé, finding himself unequal to fo great a combination, countenanced by the royal authority, was obliged to dispatch the Vidame of Chartres and Briguemaut to London, in order to crave the affiftance and protection of Elizabeth. Most of the province of Normandy was poffeffed by the hugonots And Condé offered to put Havre de Grace Havre de into the hands of the English on condition, that, to- Grace put gether with three thoufand men for the garrifon of that in poffeffion place, the queen fhould likewife fend over three thou- of the fand to defend Dieppe and Rouen, and fhould fur- English. nifh the prince with a fupply of a hundred thousand
ELIZABETH, befides the general and effential intereft of fupporting the proteftants, and of oppofing the rapid progrefs of her enemy, the duke of Guife, had other motives which engaged her to accept of this propofal. When the concluded the peace at Cateau-Cambrefis, fhe 20th Sept. had good reafon to forefee, that France never would voluntarily fulfil the articles which regarded the reftitution of Calais; and many fubfequent incidents had tended to confirm this fufpicion. Confiderable fums of money had been expended on the fortifications; long leafes had been granted of the lands; and many inhabitants had been encouraged to build and fettle there, by affurances that Calais fhould never be restored to the English. The queen, therefore, wifely concluded, that could fhe get poffeffion of Havre, a place which commanded the mouth. of the Seine, and was of greater importance than Calais, she should eafily constrain the French to execute the treaty, and should have the glory of restoring to the crown that antient poffeffion, fo much the favourite of the nation.
No measure could be more generally odious in France, than the conclufion of this treaty with Elizabeth. Men were naturally led to compare the conduct of Guife, who had finally chafed the English from France, and had debarred thefe dangerous and deftructive enemies
CHA P. from all accefs into it, with the treasonable politics of Condé, who had again granted them an entry 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 poffeffion of Havre and Dieppe, under the command of Sir Edward Poinings; but the latter place was found fo little capable of defence, that it was immediately abandoned R. The fiege of Rouen was already formed by the catholics, under the command of the king of Navarre and the conftable Montmorency; and it was with difficulty that Poinings could throw a fmall reinforcement into the place. Though these Englifh troops behaved with gallantry 5, and the king of Navarre was mortally wounded during the flege; the catholics ftill continued the attack of the place, and carrying it at last by affault, put the whole garrifon to the fword. The earl of Warwic, eldeft fon of the late duke of Northumberland, arrived foon after at Havre, with another body of three thousand English, and took on him the command of that place.
IT was expected, that the French catholics, flushed with their fuccefs at Rouen, would immediately have formed the fiege of Havre, which was not as yet in any condition of defence; but the inteftine diforders of the kingdom foon diverted their attention to another enterprize. Andelot, feconded by the negotiations of Elizabeth, had levied a confiderable body of protestants in Germany; and having arrived at Orleans, the feat of the hugonots' power, he enabled the prince of Condé and the admiral to take the field, and oppofe the progrefs of their enemies. After threatening Paris during fome time, they took their march towards Normandy, with a view of engaging the English to act in conjunction with them, and of fortifying themfelves with the farther af fiftance, which they expected from the zeal and vigour of Elizabeth T. The catholics, commanded by the conftable, and under him by the duke of Guife, followed on their rear; and overtaking them at Dreux, obliged them to give battle. The field was fought with great obitinacy on both fides: And the action was distinguished
R Forbes, vol. ii. p. 199. bes, p 230. Davila, lib. iii.
s Ibid. p. 161.
by this fignal event, that Condé and Montmorency, the CHA P.
THE expences, incurred by affifting the French hu- 1563. gonots, had emptied the queen's exchequer; and in or- Jan. 12. der to obtain supply, she found herself under a neceffity A parliaof fummoning a parliament: An expedient to which the ment. never voluntarily had recourse. A little before the meeting of this assembly, she had fallen into a dangerous illnefs, the fmall-pox; and as her life, during some time, was defpaired of, the people became the more fenfible of their perilous fituation derived from the uncertainty, which, in case of her decease, attended the fucceffion of the crown. The partizans of the queen of Scots, and thofe of the house of Suffolk, already divided the nation into factions; and every one forefaw, that, though it might be possible at present to determine the controverfy by law, yet, if the throne were vacant, nothing but the fword would be able to fix a fucceffor. The commons, therefore, on the opening of the feffion, voted an addrefs to the queen; in which, after enumerating the dangers attending a broken and doubtful fucceffion, 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 apprehenfions, by choofing fome husband, whom, they promised, whoever he was, gratefully to receive, and faithfully to ferve, honour and obey: Or if she had entertained reluctance any to the married state, they defired, that the lawful fuc-: ceffor might be named, or at least appointed by act of parliament. They remarked, that, during all the reigns
Forbes, voi. ii. p. 322. 347.
CHAP. which had paffed fince the conqueft, the nation had never before been fo unhappy, as not to know the perfon, who, in cafe of the fovereign's death, was legally entitled to 1563. fill the vacant throne. And they obferved, that the certain and fixed order, which took place in the inheritance of the French monarchy, was one chief fource of the ufual tranquillity, as well as of the happiness of that kingdom Z.
THIS fubject, though extremely interesting to the nation, was very little agreeable to the queen; and fhe was fenfible, that great difficulties would attend every decifion. A declaration in favour of the queen of Scots would form a fettlement perfectly legal; because that princess was commonly allowed to poffefs the right of blood; and the exclufion given by Henry's will, deriving its weight chiefly from an act of parliament, would lofe all authority, whenever the queen and parliament had made a new fettlement, and restored the Scottish line to its place in the fucceffion. But the dreaded the giving encouragement to the catholics, her fecret enemies, by this declaration. She was fenfible, that every heir was, in fome degree, a rival; much more one who enjoyed a claim for the prefent poffeffion of the crown, and who had already advanced, in a very open manner, thefe dangerous pretenfions. The great power of Mary, both from the favour 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 fhe faw no fecurity, that this princefs, if fortified by a fure prospect of fucceffion, would not revive claims, which fhe could never yet be prevailed on formally to relinquish. On the other hand, the title of the house of Suffolk was fupported only by the more zealous proteftants; and it was very doubtful, whether even a parliamentary declaration in its favour would bestow on it fuch validity as to give fatisfaction to the people. The republican part of the conftitution had not as yet acquired fuch an afcendent as to controul, in any degree, the ideas of hereditary right; and as the legality of Henry's will was ftill difputed, though founded on the utmost authority which a parliament could bestow; who could be affured, that a more recent act would be acknowledged to have any
x Sir Simon D'Ewes's Journ. p. 81.
greater force or validity? In the frequent revolutions, CHA P. which had of late taken place, the right of blood had ftill prevailed over religious prejudices; and the nation had ever fhewed itself difpofed rather to change its faith 1563. than the order of fucceffion. Even many proteftants declared themselves in favour of Mary's claim of inheritance; and nothing would occafion more general difguft, than to fee the queen, openly and without reserve, take party against it. The Scottish princefs also, finding herself injured in fo fenfible a point, would thenceforth act as a declared enemy; and uniting together her foreign and domestic friends, the partizans of her prefent title and of her eventual fucceffion, would foon bring matters to extremity against the prefent establishment. The queen, weighing all these inconveniencies, which were great and urgent, was determined to keep both parties in awe, by maintaining ftill an ambiguous conduct; and fhe chose rather, that the people fhould run the hazard of contingent events, than that the herself should visibly endanger her throne, by employing expedients, which, at beft, would not bestow entire fecurity on the nation. She gave, therefore, an evasive answer to the applications of the commons; and when the house, at the end of the feffions, defired, by the mouth of their speaker, farther fatisfaction 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 abfolute refolution against marriage; and she added, that the difficulties, attending the question of the fucceffion, were fo great, that she would be contented, for the fake of her people, to remain fome time longer in this vale of mifery; and never should depart life with fatisfaction, till she had laid fome folid foundation for their future fecurity Z.
THE most remarkable law paffed this feffion was that which bore the title of Affurance of the queen's royal power over all ftates and fubjects within her dominions A. By this act, the afferting twice, by writing, word, or deed, the pope's authority, was fubjected to the penalties of treason. All perfons in holy orders were bound to take the oath of fupremacy; as also, all advanced to any degree, either
z Sir Simon D'Ewes's Journal. p 75.
y Keith, p. 322.
Eliz. C. I.