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consent of the inward man in the Virgin, took flesh of her." Such was the unintelligible jargon for which she suffered. execution was delayed for a year, owing, it is said, to the compassionate scruples of Edward, who refused to sign the warrant, but whose hesitation was borne down by the authority and importunity of Cranmer. This story is much doubted.



EDWARD VI. Reigned six years and five months, from January 28th, 1547, to July 6th, 1553. Born October 12th, 1537. Died in Greenwich Palace, July 6th, 1553.




1. First proceedings of the Council of Executors. The executors whom Henry appointed to hold the office of governors of his son and of the kingdom were composed almost entirely of "the new nobility," who owed their fortune and rank to their share in the spoils of the church. The chief of them were Cranmer; Executors. Lord Wriothesley, lord chancellor; Lord St. John, great master; the Earl of Hertford, the King's uncle, great chamberlain; Lord Russell, privy seal; Viscount Lisle, high admiral; Tunstall, bishop of Durham; Montague, chief justice of the Common Pleas; Mr. Justice Bromley; North, chancellor of the Court of Augmentations; Sir William Paget, chief secretary; Sir Edward Wotton, treasurer of Calais; and Dr. Wotton, dean of Canterbury and York. To them were added twelve councillors, the chief of whom were the Earls of Arundel and Essex; Sir Thomas Cheyney, treasurer, and Sir John Gage, comptroller of the household; Sir Anthony Wingfield, vice-chamberlain; Sir Ralph Sadler; Sir Thomas Seymour, brother to the protector; and Sir Richard Rich; who had no authority, but were privileged to tender their advice when occasion required. The first act of the new council was the elevation of many of the executors to higher rank. The Earl of Hertford was made Duke of Somerset, and was enriched with incomes and lands taken from the church; the Earl of Essex, Catherine Parr's brother, was made Marquis of Northampton; Viscount Lisle was made Earl of Warwick; and Wriothesley became Earl of Southampton. The next act of the

Somerset made

executors was to appoint Somerset protector of the King Protector. and realm; but they afterwards illegally enlarged his


authority, by giving him full power to act as he thought proper, without the advice or intervention of the council. Wriothesley boldly resisted these proceedings, and was compelled to resign his chancellorship to Lord St. John. His own misconduct, however, led to his fall. He preferred his political power to his judicial duties; and, without the knowledge of his colleagues, he authorised four persons to hear and determine all causes in his court during his absence, an act which was declared by the judges to be a high misdemeanour. The council thus no longer restrained by his presence proceeded to the work of Reformation.

2. The Protector's invasion of Scotland. While this was doing, Somerset invaded Scotland, to enforce the late King's projected marriage of his son with the young Queen of Scots. The murderers of Cardinal Beaton were now being besieged by the Earl of Arran, in the castle of St. Andrews; but, aided by English ships, they compelled Arran to raise the siege, and then concluded a treaty of alliance with Somerset (March 15th, 1547). Before the treaty could be carried into effect, the relations of the two countries were materially affected by the death of Francis I., whose successor, Henry II., was not inclined to continue Death of the alliance with England. Advised by the Duke of Francis I. Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine, the brothers of the Queen Dowager of Scotland, who, with Arran, now stood at the head of the Roman Catholic party in that country, he sent a strong force to assist the regent in reducing St. Andrews. The castle was taken, and the garrison sent prisoners to France. Amongst them was John Knox (July, 1547). In the meantime, Somerset had 'assembled 20,000 men, and a fleet of 24 galleys, with which he determined to lay siege to Edinburgh. Arran, with 30,000 men, met him on Pinkie Brae, near Musselburgh (September Battle of 10th), and was totally defeated. The battle had no decisive effect, for the young Queen of Scots was soon after sent to France, and married to the Dauphin.


3. Political intrigues of Lord Seymour. The protector's younger brother, Sir Thomas Seymour, was apparently a dangerous and unprincipled man, whose ambition it His was natural that Somerset should dread, conscious as he character. was of his own usurped authority. A broad distinction had been drawn between the brothers by the late King: while one was raised to rank and office, the other was left without a title, and only admitted to the council. The protector endeavoured to modify this inequality of fortune by granting his brother a * Hallam's Const. Hist., I., 38.


peerage, with the title of Baron Seymour, of Sudley, the office of lord high admiral, and extensive estates in various counties. But these did not satisfy the ambition of Seymour, whose abilities were far superior to his brother's, -whose boldness and determination contrasted strongly with the other's timidity and want of self-dependence, and whose popularity with the nobility was as great as the other's was with the people.


Seymour first endeavoured to improve his fortune by marrying Catherine Parr, the Queen Dowager. The jealousy of rank which Marries thus sprang up between the wives of the two brothers Parr. considerably embittered the ill feeling between them; Anne Stanhope, the protector's second wife, could not brook the superiority allowed by all to the Queen Dowager, over whom she claimed precedence, as the wife of the first subject in the realm. The next object of the admiral was to win and monopolise the affections of the King. For this purpose he indulged the young Edward in all his wishes, secretly supplied him with money, blamed the severity with which he was used by the protector, and purchased the goodwill of his preceptors and attendants. He Intrigues contended that the offices of protector and guardian the King. ought not to be joined in the same person; the King eagerly imbibed his opinions; and it was resolved that Edward should write a letter of complaint, that the admiral should lay it before parliament, and that he should endeavour to procure the guardianship for himself. This plot was betrayed to the protector, and Seymour was called before the council, when he confessed his fault and was pardoned.


the hand of the Princess

But a new prospect soon opened to his restless ambition, He Aspires to began to aspire to the hand of the Princess Elizabeth, and this so openly, that when his wife died, it was said that Elizabeth. she had been poisoned, to make room for a still nobler consort. The protector therefore determined to crush so dangerous a competitor. Sharington, master of the mint at Bristol, being taken and examined on a charge of coining and issuing base money, confessed that he had done so for Seymour's benefit, on which the admiral was committed to the Tower, and attainted of high treason. The bill was passed in the House of Lords without one dissenting voice, Somerset being present during the readings. But the Commons petitioned that they might hear the witnesses and the accused; their prayer was rejected, and the bill of attainder was carried in their house with a few negative voices. Somerset himself signed the death warrant, and on the 27th of March, the


admiral was beheaded on Tower Hill, without having been once heard in his own defence.*

4. The Rebellions in the Western and Eastern counties. In the following summer a series of popular tumults broke out, such as had not been known in England since the rebellion of Jack Cade. The most conspicuous, if not the most efficient cause of Causes these commotions, was the popular feeling regarding the rebellion. religious innovations which had been made, especially the ceremonies of public worship. But there were also other agents at work, from which most of the disorders of the sixteenth century

of the



(1) Unlike the abbots and priors who, residing in their convents, had lived in the centre of their estates, and had spent their money among their tenants, and afforded a ready market for commodities, the nobility and nobility courtiers lived in the capital, where they spent their incomes, while their tenants were left to the rapacity of stewards, and made to pay a higher estates. rent than the monks had ever demanded.

did not live on their

(2) This grievance was heightened by the new proprietors enclosing and appropriating the commons, the cultivation of which had formed the chief Inclosure means of subsistence to the poorer classes. The lands thus inclosed were of converted into pasturages; so that tillage was discouraged, and thousands of labourers were deprived of their accustomed employments.


(3) While this lessened demand for labour was followed by its Wages necessary consequence, a lower rate of wages, the price of saleable lower, commodities was considerably increased.

provisions dearer.


(4) The immediate cause of the risings was a proclamation which the protector issued against inclosures, enjoining the landowners to lay open tion against the commons against a certain day. This unwise injunction was generally disregarded, and the labourers accepting it as their warrant, proceeded to demolish the inclosures. Risings took place almost at the same time in all the counties between Cornwall and Suffolk.

tion in

On the 9th of June, 1549, being Whit Sunday, the new liturgy was read for the first time in the church of Sampford Insurrec Courtenay. The parishioners were dissatisfied, and the Cornwall. next day they compelled the priest to array himself in his old popish attire, and say mass, as in times past. This was the signal for a general insurrection, and 10,000 men, under Humphrey Arundel, governor of St. Michael's Mount, laid siege to Exeter. They demanded the restoration of the mass, and of the abbey lands; that the Bloody Statute should be re-enforced; and Cardinal Pole recalled from exile. Instead of sending troops to suppress this rebellion, the council only issued proclamations; but at length Lord Russell was joined by Lord Grey with some foreign mercenaries then in the kingdom, and the rebels were forced to retreat to Lancaster, where they were utterly defeated. Severe military execution was inflicted on the west country, about

* Hallam's Const. Hist., I., 38-39; Mackintosh, II., 255-257.


4,000 perishing by the sword and the gibbet; Arundel and the mayor of Bodmin were tried and executed in London, and the vicar of St. Thomas, in Exeter, was hanged from his own tower, "in his popish apparel."

lion in

The insurrection in Norfolk was much more formidable than Ket's rebel- this, and of a wholly different character; the general Norfolk. disaffection assuming the form of a war against the gentry on account of the inclosures. It began at Weymondham, on the 6th of July, during the performance of the annual public play in that town, and one Robert Ket, a tanner, and a considerable landowner, placed himself at its head. He encamped on Mousehold Hill, near Norwich, with a body of 20,000 men, and erected for himself a throne, under a spreading oak, which he called "the Oak of Reformation," where he established courts of Chancery, King's Bench, and Common Pleas, in imitation of those at Westminster Hall. He repulsed the Marquis of Northampton in an assault on the city, and it was not before the protector sent the Earl of Warwick against him, with 6,000 troops brought from Scotland, that he was defeated (August 27th). Ket was hanged on Norwich Castle, and others were hanged on the Oak of Lords- Reformation. It is to these disturbances "that we owe appointed. the institution of the lords-lieutenant of counties, who were now appointed to inquire of treason, misprision of treason, insurrection, and riots, with authority to levy men and lead them against the enemies of the King."*

5. Somerset compelled to resign his protectorship. The suppression of the Norfolk rebellion gave Warwick political power, which he now began to employ against the protector. Many causes combined to bring Somerset to ruin, but the chief one was the arrogance with which he treated his fellow councillors and executors. The ex-chancellor Southampton, whom he had expelled from office; the crafty chancellor Rich; Warwick, his deadliest rival; St. John, Northampton, Arundel, Shrewsbury, all powerful nobles, hated him; some because he was a reformer, others because he was arrogant, but all because he courted the favour of the people. The nobility and gentry ascribed all the insults they had received in the late rebellions to his impolitic proclamations about the inclosures; and they were disgusted with his administering justice to the people in his own house, by a court of requests, without the interposition of the judges. The Catholic priesthood, who still retained a mighty influence over the lower orders, were his declared enemies; they took advantage * Lingard, VII., 48.

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