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and delicate tact, is not exactly defined, but we suppose he was drafted from her Scotch establishment; and having a southern name, and connexions long used to the English court, he was retained, when many a douce and faithful Scot was dismissed to humour the English jealousy. The passion of this presuming official for lady Arabella Stuart, formed the amusement of the court of Anne of Denmark.
The following is a specimen of the mode in which Mr. secretary Fowler used to communicate the compliments, or commands, of his royal mistress, queen Anne, to the magnates of the English court:
TO THE EARL AND COUNTESS OF SHREWSBURY.1 "May it please your honours,
"True it is that I did, with all respect, present your honours' humble duties, accompanied with your fervent prayers, for and to her majesty, who not only lovingly accepted of them, but did demand of me if I had any letters from your honours;' which being excused by me, through your reverent regards for her, avoiding always presumption and importunity. The queen answered, That in case your honours had written unto her, she should have returned you answer in the same manner;' and I had commission to assure both your honours of her constant affections towards you, both in absence and in time coming.' So that your honours shall do well to continue her purchased (obtained) affection by such officious insinuations, which will be thankfully embraced; to which, if I may give or bring any increase, I shall think me happy in such occasions to serve and honour you."
The court sojourned, after the coronation, at Woodstock. On their way thither, the king and queen dined at the lodge at Ditchley, with sir Henry Lee. They remained at Woodstock Palace till the middle of September. Yet, the pestilence seemed to pursue their steps, and again great alarm was occasioned by several servants dying of the plague, in the tents at the palace gateways. The queen's court was nevertheless brilliant with foreign ambassadors extraordinary, who came on errands of congratulation. Count Aremberg came to compliment her on the king's accession, from the sovereigns of Flanders, the archduke Albert, and the infanta Clara Eugenia, and presented her with the miniatures of their imperial highnesses, most excellently drawn. The Spanish ambassador, too, was in attendance; and, sad to say, was in far greater favour with queen Anne and her ladies than the illustrious Sully, who
1 Lodge's Illustrations, vol. iii.
"He merely meant to say that he had told the queen he had brought no letters from either lord or lady Worcester.
Letter of lady Arabella Stuart; Lodge's Illustrations, vol. iii. p. 26.
(under the title of the marquis of Rosny) had lately been on especial embassy of congratulation from his master, Henry the Great. Queen Anne, and even the highlygifted Arabella, joined in preferring, to Sully, the ambas sador of Spain-a coxcomb of the first water, who distributed exquisitely embroidered Spanish gloves to the ladies, and perfumed leather jerkins to the gentlemen of the queen's court, a mode of proceeding which made him very popular with them. So much for the appreciation of contemporaries! They preferred this flatterer to "him of the pen and the sword," the warrior-statesman and historian of his times, whose renown is as immortal as that of his royal master and friend, Henry the Great, and, in truth, is far better deserved.
The brother of queen Anne, Ulric, duke of Holstein, had arrived, to congratulate his sister. He was reckoned comely, but was suspected by the English of poverty-a deadly sin in the seventeenth century. Duke Ulric was charmed with lady Arabella, who only laughed at his wooing, and called him the Dutchkin to her familiar friends. Although she flouted the brother, she cherished a sincere esteem for his royal sister, whom she considered the only person whose manners were unexceptionable at her own court. The queen became very popular in Oxfordshire, by graciously acknowledging the acclamations and blessings of the people, when she rode out, taking off her mask,' whenever they thronged round her, and speaking to them courteously, after the example of queen Elizabeth. Lady Arabella deprecated the idea of "telling tales out of the queen's coach," but this intelligence is gathered out of her charming letters, which rival those of Madame de Sévigné.
The whole court removed to Winchester Palace, on the 17th of September, where they were obliged to spend the entire autumn, perhaps for personal security, for the king and council determined that the conspirators of the RaleighCobham plot should be tried at Winchester. These precautions imply that this conspiracy was really more dangerous than it has been considered in after times. The king and his council were wholly absorbed in deep deliberation on this dismal occasion; and the abode of the queen and her ladies in the antique quarter of Winchester Palace,
1 The fashion of masks, worn by the ladies to preserve the complexion in riding or hunting, had been prevalent from the earliest years of Elizabeth's reign.
called "the queen's side," was very dull, and devoid of amusement. In November, the conspirators were brought from the Tower to Winchester in coaches, when the populace pelted Raleigh with tobacco-pipes.' The king had contrived a curious drama in real life, in the course of which, when the conspirators condemned to death were brought on the scaffold, they were separately reprieved from death, by means of a warrant written by the king's hand, and sent by his faithful servant, Johnnie Gibb. It was the first time such an experiment of mercy had been tried by an English sovereign, but had king James decimated half the villages in a county, as his predecessor did, so much abuse would certainly have not been levelled at him by historians, who wrote in his century, as for this act. The sentences of these conspirators, who, to use their own words, had agreed to "kill the king and his cubs," were commuted either to banishment or imprisonment. Raleigh was not among those publicly reprieved, and his sentence remained to be put in force against him at pleasure. The queen regarded him with pity and interest, and he owed most of his indulgences to her intercession,* through which, though a prisoner in the Tower circle, he retained not only his actual property, but his income of 2007. per annum, as governor of Jersey.
1 Lodge's Illustrations, vol. iii. p. 15. George Brooke and the priests had been put to death, at Winchester, previously. Raleigh had been, during the last years of Elizabeth, one of the most unpopular men in England.
Sir Walter Raleigh's own words, regarding the protection the queen extended to him, are as follow, in a letter of his to secretary Winwood, quoted in Howell's Remarkable Trials in Great Britain, p. 134: "The queen's majesty informed herself, from the beginning, of the nature of my offences; and the king of Denmark, her brother, at both times of his being here, was thoroughly satisfied of mine innocency; they would never otherwise have moved his majesty on my behalf." He likewise mentioned the interest prince Henry took in him, and added "The wife, brother, and son of a king do not use to sue for men suspect(ed)." This quotation is by no means brought forward as a proof that Raleigh was innocent of the conspiracy for which he was tried, but to shew that queen Anne took pity on him at the time when he was so cruelly browbeat and reviled by Coke, on his trial. Coke was not Raleigh's judge, according to the common version of his story, but the attorney-general, who pleaded on the side of the crown against the conspirators. His judge was lord chief-justice Anderson, who behaved with more decency towards him. Great abuse has been levelled against James I., because he restored Durham House, in the Strand, (of which queen Elizabeth had given Raleigh possession during her life,) to the see of Durham, from which it had originally been reft.
Queen Anne and her ladies, while king James and his councillors were deliberating on the delinquencies of this plot, were so dull and moped, immured in Winchester Palace, that they were reduced to play at all sorts of childish games, to enliven the long November evenings. The queen and her maidens constituted a mistress of the revels, and all the ladies were forced to tax their youthful recollections, in order to furnish some babyish play that might be new to the rest of the court. They played at "Rise pig and go;" "One penny follow me;" and "I pray, my lord, give me a course in your park;" and another game called "Fire" They began these amusements at twilight, and did not cease till supper-time. Such were the queenly diversions of Anne of Denmark, when oppressed with ennui, in the antique palace of Winchester.
The only diversions the queen had at this time, were the entertainments she received at Basing House, where that experienced courtier, the marquis of Winchester, gave some. grand fêtes, and her majesty was pleased to dance indefatigably. At these balls the king's fair kinswoman, the lady Margaret Stuart, conquered the valiant heart of the ancient hero of the Armada, lord Howard of Effingham. This lady and the queen were never on the best of terms, and we shall see, hereafter, that their differences rose to a great height. The king made himself exceedingly busy in promoting the marriage of his blooming cousin of nineteen with the great captain, who had out-numbered the years allotted to man by the Psalmist. Anne of Denmark surveyed the whole comedy, in which her king was a very active agent, with a sort of laughing scorn, as we may gather from her lively billet to her royal spouse, whom she designates as Mercury, and the lady Margaret and her mature lover as Mars and Venus.
QUEEN ANNE TO THE KING.2
"Your majesty's letter was welcome to me. I have been as glad of the fair weather as yourself. In the last part of your letter you have guessed right that I would laugh. Who would not laugh both at the persons and
Autograph letter of lady Arabella Stuart, quoted in Nichols' Progresses of king James, vol. iv. Appendix.
The fac-simile, from the original (a very well-written holograph), may be seen in the Letters of the Family of James VI., published by the Maitland Club.
the subject? But more so, at so well chosen a Mercury, between Mars and Venus, and you know that women can hardly keep counsel.
"I humbly desire your majesty to tell me how I should keep this secret, that have already told it, and shall tell it to as many as I speak with. If I were a poet, I would make a song of it, and sing it to the tune of 'Three fools well met.' So kissing your hands I rest
The Christmas festivals atoned for the dismal manner in which her majesty spent the autumn, by a commencement of those magnificent masques and ballets, for which the court of Anne was afterwards so much celebrated. Sir Thomas Edmonds wrote to the earl of Shrewsbury, that a very grand ballet was in preparation.
"Both the king and the queen's majesty have a humour to have some masques this Christmas time; the young lords and the gentlemen took one part, and the queen and her ladies the other. As there was great ingenuity in the ballet, Mr. Sanford had the drilling of the noble dancers. I have been at sixpence charge to send you the book." This was the programme of the ballet, in which was noted the names of the ladies who acted the parts of goddesses; but this little pamphlet was a contraband article, suppressed by the king as soon as beheld in print. "The king dined abroad, with the Florentine ambassador, who was, with his majesty, at the play last night, and then supped with my lady Rich in her chamber. The French queen," (Mary de Medicis,) "hath sent our queen a very fine present, but not yet delivered, in regard she was not well these two days, and came not abroad. One part is a cabinet very cunningly wrought, and inlaid all over with musk and ambergris, which maketh a sweet savour, and in every box was a different present of jewels and flowers, for head tiring." The excellence of French artificial flowers, for ladies' caps, is thus proved to be coeval with Camden, Spelman, and Stowe that elder race of antiquarian historians, who have perversely neglected to leave any information on so important a subject. Gifts from the queen of Spain were, likewise, presented to the queen; one of them, a gown of murrey-coloured satin, ornamented with cut leather, gilded. The Spanish am
1 Lodge's Illustrations, vol. iii.
2 This was Penelope, the sister of Essex, who has been frequently mentioned in the preceding biography.