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PARLIAMENT SWEEPING CHANGES.
[1558. declaring void so much of the statute of Henry VIII. as illegitimates queen Mary, and indeed the whole tenour of the Act, confirmed the illegitimacy of the princess Elizabeth, as also declared by that statute. That this was a deep offence to Elizabeth, and to those protestants who looked to her as their future hope, was a consequence of this unnecessary insult. Mary had resolved on marriage with Philip, the son of Charles V., and she flattered
herself that with a Catholic husband, and with successors to be bred up in the ancient faith, the nation would soon abandon its heresies. The second Act of this session, "for the repeal of certain statutes made in the time of the reign of king Edward the Sixth," deals in a very summary manner with the labours of the preceding six years. The act for adminis tering the Sacrament in two kinds; for the election of bishops; for legalising priest's marriages; for uniformity of service; for putting away divers books and images; and for regulating holy-days and fasting-days, are all annihilated by one comprehensive clause.* But something connected with the Reformation was retained. Divine service is to be performed as in the last year of Henry VIII. This was a concession to the prudence of Gardiner and others, who were not prepared to drive the reformers into open resistance by venturing upon too much in the outset of this ecclesiastical reaction. The queen still retained the title of Supreme Head of the Church; the name of
1 Mariæ, st. 2, c. 2.
HATRED OF THE SPANISH MARRIAGE.
the Pope was carefully kept out of view. Cardinal Pole, who was earnest and conscientious, pointed out the anomaly between the act repealing the Divorce and the retention of the Supremacy. The emperor recommended prudence
On the 13th of November, a special commission was held at Guildhall for the trial of prisoners under charges of high-treason. These were the lady Jane Grey, her husband and his two brothers, and archbishop Cranmer. Another Dudley was arraigned in the following January. They all pleaded "guilty," Cranmer having originally pleaded "not guilty" and then withdrew the plea. The hope of mercy in thus pleading had probably been held out to all. But there were personal considerations working upon the queen which left the fate of the Dudleys still uncertain. In the Diary of the Resident in the Tower, we find it recorded, on the 18th December, "the lady Jane had the liberty of the Tower, so that she might walk in the queen's garden and on the hill; and the lord Robert and lord Guildford the liberty of the leads in the Bell Tower." But in a very short time the people, who had borne patiently enough the sudden change in the offices of religion, and who had heard the proclamation for the re-establishment of the mass, without any expression of general dislike, began to be stirred about the Spanish marriage. The emperor Charles V. proceeded in this matter with his accustomed caution. His minister, Renard, had hinted to the queen, in September, how desirable an alliance would be with the prince of Spain; and she said that whatever she should do would only be for the public good. It was hinted in the next reign, by sir Thomas Smith, that "a certain lady, having the picture sent unto her of one whom she never saw, who should be her husband, was so enamoured thereon and so ravished, that she languished for love, and was in a measure out of her wits for his long tarrying and absence." * Her faithful Commons represented the temper of the people when they resolved upon a petition to the queen that she would marry, but that she would select one of her own nation. The queen manifested most strikingly her own disposition when, on the evening of the 30th of October, she sent for the Spanish ambassador into her chamber, and having repeated the "Veni Creator," she knelt before the host, and gave him her sacred promise that she would marry no other man but the prince of Spain. She dismissed the Commons with a short answer when they came with their petition, saying that she should only look to God for counsel in a matter so important; and the ambassador of Charles soothed many scruples by a liberal distribution of eloquent gold. But the people were not so easily satisfied. They abhorred the notion of a Spanish alliance. "The Spaniards," they said, "were coming into the realm with harness and hand-guns. * * *This realm should be brought to bondage by them as it was never afore, but should be utterly conquered." So ran the talk at `a Kentish farrier's shop. There was a political instinct in this discontent, which has often guided the English people rightly in difficult cases. An embassy departed from Brussels in December, to make a solemn tender of Philip's hand to the queen. Wotton, our ambassador to France, thus writes at this time to the Council, to communicate the opinion of Montmorency, the constable. The sagacious statesman and the English mob were of the same
+ State Paper, quoted in Tytler, vol. ii. p. 278.
AMBASSADORS ARRIVE TO ARRANGE THE MARRIAGE
[1553. belief. "Because," quoth the constable, " that I have used to talk ever frankly with you, I cannot but say unto you as I think, that I do much lament your state of England." "Why so, sir ?" quoth I,-"Why so?" quoth the constable. "You are a man that hath travelled abroad, and you know in what state all countries are where Spaniards bear any rule. Sicily, Naples, Lombardy, Sienna when they had it, and all other places where they have had any authority, do you not know how they are oppressed by the Spaniards? in what a bondage and misery they live? Even so must you look to be in England; for at the beginning, as they do everywhere, they will speak fair and genteely unto you, till the time they have made themselves somewhat strong in the realm, and won to them some great men of the realm; and then will they begin to get your ships into their hands, and likewise those few forts which you have, yea, and will build in new places meet for their purpose: and so a little and a little usurp still more and more, till they have all at their commandment."*
The reception of the embassy to arrange the terms of the marriage is quaintly recorded in the Diary of the Resident in the Tower. The ambassador was the famous count of Egmont, the Flemish noble, whose subsequent career has furnished so striking a theme for history and poetry. The count and other personages landed at the Tower-wharf; and "the lord of Devonshire, giving him the right-hand, brought him through Cheapside, and so forth to Westminster; the people, nothing rejoicing, held down their heads sorrowfully. The day before his coming in, as his retinue and harbingers came riding through London, the boys pelted at them with snow-balls; so hateful was the sight of their coming in to them." The "boys" of London who have ever been a peculiar race in intelligence and boldness, made a still more marked demonstration of popular disgust. After the terms of the treaty of marriage had been promulgated by the lord chancellor in a solemn assembly at Westminster, the boys had their games of English and Spaniards, in which one unlucky wight of their number, personating the prince of Spain, was hanged by his comrades, and narrowly escaped with his life.
The terms of the marriage treaty, which were assiduously promulgated, were in some degree calculated to diminish the public jealousy of the Spanish alliance. But few had received the benefit of a share in the million two hundred thousand crowns with which Charles V. had resolved the doubts of the Lords and Commons: The sceptical populace did not believe that all offices would be conferred upon English-born subjects; that the national laws and privileges would be preserved; that the English language would be used in the direction of English affairs; that the queen should not be taken out of the realm, nor her children; that in the case of the queen's death Philip should take no part in the government of the country; that England, at peace with France, should not be compromised by hostility of the house of Austria to that kingdom. The nation would not be satisfied with elaborate writings. A sturdy member of parliament asked, if the bond be violated, who is to sue upon the bond. The people knew the vast power of the emperor, and they dreaded that England might become a province of Spain. The insurrection of sir Thomas Wyat was the exposition of the feeling of a great number of
Tytler, Vol. II., p. 269.
INSURRECTION OF WYAT.
the English nation, who felt that their enthusiasm for a legitimate successor to the crown was involving them in evils that could only be redressed by an appeal to arms. The insurrection, although it was deliberately organised and boldly conducted, was a failure. The evil to be resisted was not imminent enough; public opinion was too divided, to give an open attack upon the government a chance of success. It is fortunate for the cause of order, that established legal authority has a natural superiority over those who seek its overthrow; and that the remedy of grievances by violence is never obtained till the grievance becomes intolerable and the resistance universal.
In January, 1554, sir Thomas Carew and a band of friends "were up in Devonshire, resisting the king of Spain's coming." Carew failed in his demonstration, and fled to France. The precipitancy of Carew forced his confederate, sir Thomas Wyat, to take the field without full preparation. On the news arriving in London on the 25th of January, that Wyat was up in Kent, the duke of Suffolk fled from his house at Sheen; and in Leicester, and other places, caused proclamation to be made against the queen's match. Those who follow bishop Cooper in the assertion that the duke again proclaimed his daughter as queen are contradicted by Holinshed and Stow. He was betrayed by his own park-keeper at Astley, near Coventry, and conducted to London as a prisoner. The rising of Wyat was not so easily put down. He was in arms in the neighbourhood of Rochester when the duke of Norfolk, who had been fighting from the day of Flodden in intervals of his long life, was again sent to march against rebels, as he marched in 1536. Norfolk arrived at Rochester-bridge with the queen's guard, and a band of five hundred men hastily raised in London, of whom one Alexander Brett was the Captain. A herald proclaimed the queen's pardon, which the insurgents refused. Norfolk was about to attack their position, when Brett cried out, "Masters, we go to fight against our native countrymen of England and our friends," and then set forth how those against whom they were led were in arms to resist the coming in of the proud Spaniards. The Londoners then cried, "A Wyat-A Wyat;" and forthwith the duke, and the earl of Ormond, and the captain of the guards, fled; and Brett and his men, and three-fourths of the duke's retinue, went into the camp of the Kentishmen. Some of the guards came home, their bows without strings, their arrows gone. The cannon and ammunition of Norfolk were left behind in his flight. On the 1st of February, Wyat reached Deptford; and the same day the queen, who conducted herself with the self-command and determination of her race, went to the Guildhall, and demanded the assistance of the city in a spirited speech, which was sure to produce a stirring effect, coming from a woman's lips: "I am come unto you in mine own person, to tell you that which already you do see and know, that is, how traitorously and seditiously a number of Kentish rebels have assembled themselves together against both us and you. Their pretence, as they said at the first, was only to resist a marriage determined between us and the prince of Spain. To the which pretended quarrel, and to all the rest of their evil contrived articles ye have been made privy. Since which time, we have caused divers of our privy council to resort eftsoons to the said rebels, and to demand of them the cause of their continuance in their seditious enterprise. By whose answers made again to our said council, it appeared that the marriage is found to be the least of
CONDUCT OF THE QUEEN.
[1554. their quarrel. For they now swerving from their former articles, have betrayed the inward treason of their hearts, as most arrogantly demanding the possession of our person, the keeping of our Tower, and not only the placing and displacing of our councillors, but also to use them and us at their pleasures. Now, loving subjects, what I am, you right well know. I am your queen, to whom at my coronation when I was wedded to the realm, and to the laws of the same (the spousal ring whereof I have on my finger, which never hitherto was, nor hereafter shall be left off) ye promised your obedience unto me. And that I am the right and true inheritor to the crown of this realm of England, I not only take all christendom to witness, but also your Acts of parliament confirming the same. . . . . And certainly, if I either did know or think, that this marriage should either turn to the danger or loss of any of you my loving subjects, or to the detriment or impairing of any part or parcel of the royal estate of this realm of England, L would never consent thereunto, neither would I ever marry while I lived. And in the word of a queen, I promise and assure you, that if it shall not probably appear before the nobility and commons in the high court of parliament, that this marriage shall be for the singular benefit and commodity of all the whole realm; that then I will abstain, not only from this marriage, but also from any other, whereof peril may ensue to this most noble realm. Wherefore now as good faithful subjects pluck up your hearts, and like true men stand fast with your lawful prince against these rebels, both our enemies and yours, and fear them not."
Of this speech, which Fox has preserved as well as Holinshed, the martyrologist says, it is given "as near out of her own mouth as could be penned." The people of London were strangely moved by her courage and address, Protestant was as ready for her defence as catholic. The day after the queen went to Guildhall, the householders of London were in armour in the streets; "yea," says Stow, "this day and other days, the justices, serjeants-at-the-law, and other lawyers in Westminster-hall, pleaded in harness." On the 3rd of February, Wyat marched from Deptford with two thousand men, and as they passed on the Surrey side, ordnance was discharged at them out of the White Tower. They passed on without injury from the unskilful cannoneers. The gates of London-bridge were closed; its drawbridge cut down; the shops in the city were shut; there was running up and down for weapons and harness; with aged men astonished and women weeping. At Southwark the rebels were favourably received; and bands from the country, raised by lord William Howard, took part with them. Wyat issued a proclamation that no soldier should take anything without payment, and that he came only to resist the bringing in of the Spanish king. When he heard that it was proclaimed that whoever took him should have a thousand pounds, he set hiș name of Thomas Wyat, fair written, on his cap. He lingered in Southwark till Shrove Tuesday, the sixth of February, finding it impossible to gain a passage at London-bridge; and all boats being forbidden to be taken to the Surrey side of the Thames, under pain of death. He then marched to Kingston, which he reached at night-fall. There was then no bridge over the Thames between London-bridge and Kingston-bridge. That bridge was broken down; but Wyat dispersed the men who disputed his passage, and crossed in boats. The weary and hungry band kept