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KD 438

MAR 1 1940

Gift of Arthur Houghton

From the His






Elizabeth's birth-Parentage-Christening-Infancy-Early misfortunes- Letter from her governess-Attends the christening of Edward the Sixth-Resides with him-Precociousness-Friendship with Anne of Cleves; with Katherine Howard; with Katherine Parr-Restored to her right of succession-Futile overtures for her marriage with Philip of Spain.

HE illustrious Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry the Eighth by the beautiful and unfortunate Queen Anne Boleyn, was born on Sunday, the seventh of September, 1533, between three and four in the afternoon, at the royal palace of Greenwich. Although the King had earnestly hoped that the babe would prove a son, he stifled his disappointment. Te Deum was sung, and bonfires blazed, in honour of her birth; and preparations were made for her christening, which, on the tenth of September, was celebrated with extraordinary pomp and splendour. On that day, the lord mayor, with the aldermen and council of the city of London, in their robes and chains, all these things were ready, the child took to their barges at one in the after-was brought into the hall of the palace, noon, and rowed to Greenwich, where and the procession proceeded to the

they found assembled lords, knights, and gentlemen, in great numbers. The walls between Greenwich Palace and the Convent of the Grey Friars were hung with tapestry, and the way strewn with green rushes; the Friars' church, of which not a vestige now remains, was also hung with rich tapestry. The fount was of silver; it was placed in the middle of the church, raised three steps high, the steps being covered with fine cloth, surmounted by a square canopy of crimson satin, fringed with gold, enclosed by a rail covered with red ray, and guarded by several gentlemen with aprons and towels about their necks. Between the quire and body of the church a closet was erected, with a pan of fire in it, that the child might be dismantled for the ceremony without taking cold. When



cession dispersed.

Grey Friars' church. The citizens led | been served in abundance, the procezthe way, two and two; then followed sion returned to the palace, in the same gentlemen esquires, chaplains. After order as it had set out, excepting that the them the aldermen, then the mayor by Earl of Worcester, Lord Thomas Howhimself, then the privy council in robes, ard, the Lord Fitzwalter, and Sir John then the gentlemen of the King's chapel Dudley, preceded by trumpeters, carried in copes, then barons, bishops, earls, the gifts of the sponsors before the then the Earl of Essex, bearing the gilt Princess. Five hundred staff torches, covered basin; after him the Marquis of carried by the yeomen of the guard and Exeter, with a taper of virgin wax, fol- the King's servants, lit up the way homelowed by the Earl of Dorset, bearing the ward; and twenty gentlemen, bearing salt, and the Lady Mary of Norfolk, bear- large wax flambeaux, walked on each ing the chrism, which was very rich with side of the Princess, who was carried to pearls and precious stones; lastly, came the Queen's chamber door, when a flouthe Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, bear-rish of trumpets sounded, and the proing in her arms the roval infant, wrapped in a mantle of purple velvet, having a long train furred with ermine, which was borne by the Countess of Kent, assisted by the Earls of Wiltshire and Derby. The Duchess was supported on the right side by the Duke of Norfolk, with his marshal's rod, and on the left by the Duke of Suffolk-the only dukes then existing in the peerage of England -and a rich canopy was borne over the babe by the Lords Rochford, Hussey, and William and Thomas Howard. At the church door the child was received by the Bishop of London, who performed the ceremony, and a grand cavalcade of bishops and mitred abbots. The sponsors were Archbishop Cranmer, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, and the Marchioness of Dorset. The future Queen was carried to the fount, and, with the ceremony of the Catholic church, christened Elizabeth, after her grandmother, Elizabeth of York; and that done, Garter Kingat-Arms cried aloud, "God, of his infinite goodness, send prosperous life, and long, to the high and mighty Princess of England, Elizabeth!" then the trumpets sounded, the Princess was carried up to the altar, the Gospel read over her, and she was confirmed by Archbishop Cranmer, and presented with the following gifts-A standing cup of gold by Cranmer; a similar cup, fretted with pearls, by the Duchess of Norfolk; three gilt bowls, pounced, with covers, by the Marchioness of Dorset; and three standard bowls, graven and gilt, with covers, by the Marchioness of Exeter. Then, after wafers, comfits, and ipocras had

Elizabeth passed the first six weeks of her existence at Greenwich; the Lady Margaret Bryan was appointed governess to her; in December she was removed to Hatfield, where she resided till the subsequent April, when she was conveyed to the Bishop of Winchester's palace at Chelsea. She was created Princess of Wales when three months old, and weaned in her thirteenth month with extraordinary ceremony. About this time a futile attempt was made to betroth her to the Duke D'Angoulême, the third son of Francis the First of France. In compliance with the act of Parliament, passed in March, 1534, which pronounced the marriage between Henry the Eighth and Katherine of Arragon unlawful and null, and that between him and Anne Boleyn lawful and valid, Elizabeth was honoured as heiress presumptive, and the Princess Mary forced to yield precedence to her, and to dwell under the same roof with her, more like a bondmaid than a sister and a princess. But this unjust elevation was of short continuance. The divorce and tragic death of Anne Boleyn rendered Elizabeth motherless in her third year, and placed her in a situation at once precarious and embarrassing. On the day immediately succeeding the Queen's death, the King, with the most unblushing effrontery, was publicly married to Jane Seymour; and shortly afterwards an act of Parliament was passed, illegitimatizing Elizabeth, and settling the succession to the throne on the offspring of Henry VIII. by his present Queen.

The following interesting letter from the governess of Elizabeth, Lady Bryan, to Mr. Secretary Cromwell, will afford an idea of the neglect and contempt to which she was for a period exposed :—

"MY LORD, "When your Lordship was last here, it pleased you to say that I should not mistrust the King's Grace nor your Lordship, which word was more comfort to me than I can write, as God knoweth. And now it boldeth me to shew you my poor mind. My Lord, when the Lady Mary's Grace was born, it pleased the King's Grace to appoint me lady mistress, and make me a Baroness; and so I have been, and am so still, to the children his Grace have had since. Now it is so, my Lady Elizabeth is put from that degree she was before, and what degree she is at now I know not, but by hearsay; therefore, I know not how to order her, nor myself, nor none of hers that I have the rule of, that is, her woman and her groomes: beseeching you to be good Lord to my Lady, and to all hers, and that she may have some raiment, for she hath neither gown, nor kirtel, nor petticoat, nor no manner of linen for smocks, nor kerchiefs, nor sleeves, nor rails, nor body-stitchet, nor handkerchiefs, nor mufferlers, nor biggens. All this her Grace must take, I have driven off as long as I can, that, by my troth, I cannot drive it no longer; beseeching you, my Lord, that ye will see that her Grace may have that is needful for her, as my trust is ye will do; beseeching you, my own good Lord, that I may know from your writing how I shall order myself, and what is the King's Grace's pleasure and yours that I shall do, in everything and whatsoever it shall please the King's Grace or your Lordship to command me at all times, I shall fulfill it to the best of my power.

it hath been aforetime; and, if it please you, that I may know what your order is, and if it be not performed, I shall certify to your Lordship of it, for I fear Ime it will be hardly now performed; for if the head of knew what honour meaneth, it would be the better ordered, if not, it will be hard to bring it to pass. My Lord, Master Shelton would have the Lady Elizabeth to dine and sup every day at the board of estate. Alas! my Lord, it is not meet for a child of her age to keep such a rule yet. I promise you, my Lord, I dare not take it upon me to keep her Grace in health if she keep that rule, for there she shall see divers meat, and fruits, and wine, which would be hard for me to refrain her Grace from it. Ye know, my Lord, there is no place of correction there, and she is yet too young to correct greatly. I know well, if she be there, I shall not bring her up to the King's Grace's honour, nor hers, nor to her health, nor my poor honesty; wherefore, I shew your Lordship this my discharge, beseeching you, my Lord, that my Lady may have a mess of meat to her own longing, with a good dish or two that is meet for her Grace to eat of, and the reversion of the mess shall satisfy all her women, a gentleman usher, and a groom, which being eleven persons on her side, sure I am it will be (into right little) as great profit to the King's Grace this way as the other way, for if all this should be set abroad, they must have three or four messes of meat, where this one mess shall suffice them all, with bread and drink. According as my Lady Mary's Grace had before, and to be ordered in all things as her Grace was before; God knoweth my Lady hath great pain with her great teeth, and they come very slowly forth, and causeth me to suffer her Grace to have her will more than I would, I trust to God her teeth were well grafte to have her Grace after another fashion than she is yet, so as, I trust, the King's Grace shall have great comfort in her Grace, for she is as toward a child, and as gentle of conditions as ever I knew one in my life, Jesu preserve her Grace. And as for a day or two at a time, or whensoever it

"My Lord, Mr. Shelton sayes, he is master of this house; what fashion that shall be, I cannot tell, for I have not seen it before. My Lord, ye be so honourable yourself, and every man reporteth your Lordship loveth honour, that I trust your Lordship will see this house honourably ordered, howsomever


shall please the King's Grace to have her set abroad, I trust so to endeavour me that she shall so do as shall be to the King's honour and hers, and then after to take her ease again.

"I think Master Shelton will not be content with this; he may not know it is my desire, but that it is the King's pleasure and yours it should be so. Good, my Lord, have my Lady's Grace and us, her poor servants, in your remembrance, and your Lordship shall have our hearty prayers by the grace of Jesu. O, ever preserve your Lordship with long life, and as much honour as your noble heart can desire! From Hunsdon, with the evil hand of her that is your daily bed-precocious. Wriothesley says, "when MARGET BRYAN." he visited her in December, 1539, she enquired after, the King's welfare with as great gravity as if she had been forty years old;" and he adds, "if she be no worse educated than she then appeared to me, she will prove an honour and a blessing to her father, whom the Lord long preserve."

Queen, Jane Seymour, she carried the chrism for her new-born half-brother, and on returning, walked with infant dignity in the procession, the Princess Mary leading her by the hand, and the Lady Herbert bearing her train. For some time after Prince Edward's birth, Elizabeth was permitted to reside under the same roof with him. Between the brother and sister a sincere affection sprang up, and the day Edward was two years old the Princess made him a birth-day present of "a shyrte of cam' yke of her owne woorkynge." Shehad then just entered the seventh year of her age, and was remarkably attractive and


"I beseech you, my own good Lord, be not miscontent that I am so bold to write thus to your Lordship; but, I take God to my judge, I do it of true heart, and for my discharge; beseeching you accept my good mind."

"To the right noble and my singular good Lord, my Lord Privy Seal, be this delivered."

This letter, an evidence of the minute details on which the first minister of the state was expected in those days to

With Henry the Eighth's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, Elizabeth formed an ardent friendship. The first letter, said to have been written by the Princess, was a compliment to that august lady on her marriage. The original is lost, but the following is a copy, moderbestow his attention, rendered it ap-nized in phraseology as well as orthoparent that the Lady Bryan and Mr.graphy Shelton, the chief officers at Hunsdon, where Elizabeth then resided, each "MADAM, desired to bring up the Princess after their own notion. However, we may presume that the reasonable request of Lady Bryan was granted, for we hear no more of the vexatious dispute, and are assured that much of the greatness of Elizabeth, as a Queen, was due to Lady Bryan's judicious training and education, combined with the adversity which at once bastardized her, and deprived her of the injurious magnificence and adulation which, ere she could lisp, had been showered upon her as the heiress to the throne.

The first public ceremony in which Elizabeth took part, was the christening of Edward the Sixth. She was just four years old when, borne in the arms of the Earl of Hertford, brother to the

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"I am anxiously desirous to see your Majesty, but as the King, my father, has commanded me not to leave my house for the present, I cannot as yet gratify my wish. In the meantime I beg of your Grace to accept this my written devotion and respects to you as my Queen and my mother. My youth prevents me from doing more than heartily felicitating you on your marriage, and sincerely wishing that your good will for me equals my zeal for your service."

By one of the terms of her divorce, Anne of Cleves was granted permission to see Elizabeth as often as she wished, provided that the Princess did not address her as Queen. Katherine Howard,

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