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rationally be supposed, that the "woman who owned him" was to be pitied! Such, indeed, was the case; for a few curious scenes took place at Grafton, illustrative of the matrimonial infelicity of the redoubted Clifford of Cumberland's wedded lady, while Anne of Denmark sojourned there. The countess of Cumberland, who had previously been received by her majesty very graciously, joined the royal party at Grafton, thinking that her lord, at such a time, could not deny her the proper privilege of doing the honours of her own house. She was mistaken; earl George merely tolerated the presence of the wife, whom he hated. "My mother was at Grafton," says her daughter, lady Anne, "but not held as the mistress of the house, by reason of the difference between my lord and her, which was grown to a great height." Besides playing the courteous host to his royal guests, earl George found time nearly to demolish Henry Alexander, one of their majesties' Scottish favourites, who ventured to break a lance with "Clifford of Cumberland," in the jousts, which formed part of the entertainment-stirring employments for the hottest midsummer that ever shone on a royal progress. Lady Cumberland found no shelter, for the night of the festival, at Grafton, and took refuge with her daughter, at Dr. Challoner's, of Amersham, an old friend of her father, the earl of Bedford. "The next day," continues lady Anne, "the queen went to a gentleman's house, where there met her many great ladies, to kiss her hand." It was at Salden House, the seat of the Fortescues. The principal ladies were the marchioness of Winchester, and the countesses of Northumberland and Southampton. Lady Anne Clifford observes, elsewhere, "that queen Anne gave great dissatisfaction for slighting the stately old dames of Elizabeth's court, and bestowing all her attention on young, sprightly women of her own age." This, if impolitic, was by no means unnatural, since Anne was but twenty-eight when she became queen of England.
The royal progress ended at Windsor Castle, where the king held a solemn chapter of the Garter, July 2, when he made his son, prince Henry, knight of the order, with the duke of Lenox and other nobles. Half a century had elapsed since a king of England had held one of these high
festivals. The prince was presented to his royal mother in his robes of the Garter, which he was considered especially to become. The queen's brother, the king of Denmark, was likewise elected to the order. The princess Elizabeth and lady Anne Clifford stood together in the shrine, in the great hall, to behold the feast, but it does not seem that the queen, her daughter, or ladies, appeared in any way, at this celebration, excepting as spectators. The queen held a great court at Windsor, where all the nobility of England were presented to her. The unhealthy state of the metropolis kept the court at a distance, the great heat of the weather having produced many instances of the plague.
The very day of the great Garter festival, the hatred and jealousy, which had, during the progress, began to shew itself between the English and Scottish nobles, broke out, and some very sharp quarrels took place, while they were settling themselves in their several lodgings in the royal castle, and when these feuds were, with much exertion, pacified, the very next day, the English nobles began to quarrel among themselves, and not only with one another, but with the queen herself. She, instead of feeling her way on the unknown ground, and, with delicate tact, accommodating differences instead of inflaming them, plunged boldly at once into a stock dispute, on which party spirit still ran high, and expressed her opinion of the rash conduct of the late earl of Essex. The queen's observation was ungracious, if not ungrateful, for Essex had been a faithful supporter of king James's title to the throne of England.
Lord Southampton, the friend of Essex, took fire, and retorted, fiercely," that if her majesty made herself a party against the friends of Essex, of course, they were bound to submit, but none of their private enemies durst thus have expressed themselves !"
Lord Grey, of Wilton, a professed enemy of Essex, imagined that this defiance was peculiarly addressed to him; he made a sharp reply. The lie was exchanged on the spot, between these fiery spirits, in the queen's presence, and a personal combat was likely to ensue. The queen, not celebrated for much foresight, had certainly not calculated on the result of her observation. She was astonished at the storm her careless words had raised on a sudden; but, nevertheless, assumed a tone of royal command, bade
the belligerents "remember where they were," and, forthwith, ordered them off to their sleeping apartments, escorted by a guard. This was by no means a prosperous commencement of the career of Anne of Denmark as queen of England. The next day the delinquents were ordered into the council-chamber, at Windsor, and were severely lectured by the king, for the wrong and injury they had offered to her majesty. They were, as a punishment, confined for a short time in the Tower, from whence the king had, very recently, released lord Southampton, who had been prisoner there since the execution of Essex. It is extremely probable that this quarrel was connected with the mysterious plot discovered a few days after, in which lord Grey, lord Cobham, sir Walter Raleigh, and the faction which had brought Essex to the block, were deeply implicated. Their object was to prevent the coronation of the king and queen, and effect a revolution in favour of lady Arabella Stuart.
The king did not confine his reproofs to the contumacious English lords; he likewise blamed the queen for her hastiness. These circumstances gave rise to an angry epistle from her majesty, beginning with a stiff" Sir," instead of her usual loving address to her royal spouse, of "My Heart."
The witness to whom she appeals, in her billet, is sir Roger Aston-a favourite and factotum in the royal household, who was withal the bearer of the despatch. Although her words would induce the supposition, she is certainly not angry with sir Roger Aston, but with the king himself, for receiving one of the noblemen who had defied her, with whom his majesty considered it politic to remain on good terms. The queen's letter is much scribbled, being evidently written in an access of choler:
1 QUEEN ANNE TO KING JAMES.
"Sir,-What I have said to sir Roger is trew: I could not but think it strange that any about your majesty durst presume to bring near where your matie is, on (one) that had offered me such a publicke scorn, for honore gois (goes) befor lyfe, I must ever thing." So humble kissing your majestie's hands, I rest ever yours, "ANNA R.
"I refarre the rest to sir Roger."
This is taken from the fac-simile published by the Maitland Club. 2 The queen, in her flurry, has spelled this word first rightly, then wrongly; it is at first think, which she has scratched out. All the small words are spelled according to modern orthography, in general far better than the best of her contemporaries, excepting she has spelled one on, a mistake which rendered the whole incoherent; but the sense is comprehensible if read as now printed.
The approaching coronation fortunately absorbed all the queen's attention, and forced her to forget this wrangle with her new subjects.
St. James's day was appointed for the coronation, but fears of pestilence, and the discovery of the revolutionary plot of Cobham and Raleigh, threatened to diminish its splendours. The court had left Windsor Castle, and were abiding at Hampton Court, when several persons died of the plague, in the tents pitched for the accommodation of some of the queen's servants, at the gates of the palace. The king issued, in consequence, several sanitary proclamations, and, as much for fear of plots as of the plague, required the nobility to retrench their retinues to the smallest possible numbers, and the attendance of all those who had not positive claims and offices was declined. When their majesties removed to St. James's, about the 23rd of July, the king made knights of the Bath for the occasion at that palace, instead of holding court for that purpose at the Tower. He forbade the usual fair to be held adjacent to the palace, called, in ancient time, "St. James's Fair," lest the pestilence should be increased by it.
These precautions were not without cause, for the plague, which had been dallying with London, at various times, in unhealthy seasons, during the last years of Elizabeth's reign, now concentrated its powers, and began to rage in London, during the coronation-week, with a violence only equalled by the pestilence, called the "black death," in the 14th century. The king's coronation, although a ceremony more than usually requisite in his case, had been delayed from time to time; and, when it did take place, the ancient procession from the Tower, through the city, to Westminster, was, for the first time, dispensed with, on account of the infected state of the metropolis, to the infinite disappointment of the populace, who were extremely desirous of beholding their new king, his queen, (still a young and pretty woman,) and their children. The lamentations of London for this disappointment, and its cause, were not inelegantly rendered by Henry Petowe, in his poem on the coronation, called "England's Cæsar."1
1 See the reprint of this scarce tract, in Nichols' excellent work, the Progresses of King James.
"Thousands of treasure had her bounty wasted,
For royal James on silver Thames doth swim.
Upon those pearly streams unto his crown,
Saying, 'Alas! she should have this renown!'
No queen-consort had been crowned since the days of Anne Boleyn; neither had any king and queen been crowned together, since Henry VIII. and Katharine of Arragon; yet the dreadful state of the pestilence, restrained public curiosity so much, that the august ceremony of the double coronation, was almost performed in private. The royal party went by water the short distance between Whitehall stairs, and privy stairs of Westminster Palace, on the morning of the coronation; their only processions were, therefore, the short distance between the abbey and the hall. A describer of the scene,' mentions, "that queen Anne went to the coronation with her seemly hair down-hanging on her princely shoulders, and on her head a crownet of gold. She so mildly saluted her new subjects, that the women, weeping, cried out with one voice, God bless the royal queen! Welcome to England, long to live and continue!"
This coronation took place on St. James's day. A promise was made, that after the pestilence had abated, the king, the queen, and prince Henry, should visit the city, and share in the high festival, the civic authorities were to prepare for them; and this took place with great splendour in the succeeding spring. Thus the original procession of the English sovereign through the metropolis from the Tower, which had been observed, from a very early period, as a species of recognition by the citizens, was, for the first time, infringed through the accident of the plague. At this coronation, queen Anne gave great scandal to her new subjects, by refusing to receive the sacrament, according to the rites of the church of England. This refusal caused
1 Gilbert Dugdale. See Nichols' Progresses, vol. i. p. 414.