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of every opportunity to decry his conduct, so that he found his popularity considerably diminished when the hour of peril came. The attainder and execution of his brother told heavily against him; the employment of foreign troops in quelling the insurrection was unacceptable; the great estates which he had suddenly acquired at the expense of the church and the crown, rendered him obnoxious, and Somerset House, the palace which he Erection of was building in the Strand, served by its magnificence, House. and still more by other circumstances which attended it, to expose him to the censure of the public. Architects were brought from Italy to construct it; the parish church of St. Mary, besides three bishops' houses, was pulled down in order to furnish ground and materials for the building, A chapel in St. Paul's churchyard, with a cloister and charnel house belonging to it, and a church of St. John of Jerusalem, were also demolished to obtain stones. But that which rendered these acts of violence more odious to the people, was the defacement and destruction of the tombs, and other monuments of the dead, whose bones were carried away and buried in unconsecrated ground.

On the 6th of October, 1549, St. John, president of the council, Warwick, Southampton, and Arundel, with five other members, met at Ely House, accompanied by a numerous retinue secretly armed. They called upon the nobility and gentry to assist them; they enjoined the mayor and aldermen of London, and the lieutenant of the Tower, to obey no orders but theirs, and the next day they were joined by several of the leading courtiers. On the evening of the same day Somerset removed the King from Hampton Court to Windsor Castle, and summoned his friends to repair thither with all their force, for the defence of the King. But none obeyed, and he was compelled to resign his Somerset authority. He was conducted to the Tower, where he the Tower. remained till the 6th of February, when he was released upon the payment of a heavy fine.

sent to

USURPATION. 1549-1553.

6. Execution of the Duke of Somerset. This revolution at once placed the government in the hands of Warwick, The new who obtained the offices of great master and lord high rulers. admiral; the Marquess of Northampton became great chamberlain, and Lords Russell and St. John, created Earls of Bedford and Wiltshire, were appointed lord privy seal and lord treasurer. The Popish party expected to obtain a large share in the new govern


ment, because Warwick was generally considered to be a Romanist at heart; but they were disappointed; the earl was an unprincipled man, who was Protestant or Papist just as his interest required, and he removed the Popish party altogether from the council.

Release of



The first act of the new government was to make peace with France and Scotland, and surrender Boulogne. After this the former friendship between Warwick and Somerset seemed to revive; the late protector was re-admitted to the council, Somerset. and Lord Lisle, Warwick's eldest son, was married to Lady Jane Seymour, Somerset's eldest daughter. But Somerset could not forget what he had suffered, and felt that he was unsafe so long as he remained without power; and Warwick did not trust the man he had injured. Both were beset with spies and informers; both were deceived and exasperated by false friends and interested advisers. Somerset surrounded himself with armed of Warwick retainers, intrigued with the peers to procure his restoraSomerset. tion to the protectorship, and sought to recover his influence with the King by a marriage between Edward and his third daughter. Secret intrigues were carried on by both parties; at one time Somerset was preparing to go to the northern counties, and there assemble his friends, but was detained in London by the council. Then the two rivals were solemnly reconciled, the lords of each party gave costly entertainments to each other, and the eldest sons of the rival earls, with many other lords and gentlemen, were sent to France to demand the hand of the French King's daughter, Elizabeth, for the young King (July, 1551). In October, Warwick was made Duke of Northumberland, a title which had been extinct since the attainder of Lord Thomas Percy in 1537; his chief partisans were also elevated to higher rank, St. John, Earl of Wiltshire, being made Marquess of Winchester, Sir William Herbert Earl of Pembroke, and Cecil and others raised to knighthood. A few days afterwards (October 17th), the Arrest and Duke and Duchess of Somerset, with many of their friends, Somerset. were committed to the Tower, and in December, the Duke was brought to trial before the Marquess of Winchester, as lord high steward, and twenty-seven peers, three of whom, Northumberland, Northampton, and Pembroke, were accusers, as well as judges.

trial of

The indictment accused the duke of traitorously conspiring to seize the King, and of feloniously inciting several of the King's subjects to imprison the above three lords, and procure their death, they being privy councillors. He was acquitted of the treason, but found guilty of the felony. Conspiracy against a privy councillor had been erected into a felony without benefit of clergy, in the late session (2 & 3 Ed. VI., c. 5); and though it is not improbable that Somerset was innocent of this


charge, the evidence against him, false or not, was not legally insufficient to condemn him. He demanded to be confronted with the witnesses; a favour rarely granted in that age to state criminals, and which he could not very decently solicit after causing his brother to be condemned unheard.*

After his condemnation, the axe not being carried naked before him as he left Westminster Hall, the people conceived that he had been acquitted, and they expressed their joy by loud and repeated acclamations. Six weeks afterwards, the warrant for his execution was signed by the King, and on the 22nd of January, 1552, he was executed on Tower Hill, amidst great crowds of spectators, many of whom rushed to the scaffold and dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, which they showed to Northumberland when that nobleman underwent a similar doom. Four of Somerset's friends shared his fate: Lord Paget, his confidential adviser, and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, was deprived of his office, and heavily fined; lord chancellor Rich, Arundel, Grey, and others, were imprisoned. The parliament which met the day after this execution betrayed some sense of the unjust mode of proceeding against Somerset, by reforming one of the most grievous abuses which then existed in the criminal law. In the act which made it high treason to call the King or his successors under Henry's act of settlement, usupers, heretics, or schismatics, a clause was introduced, providing that no person should be convicted of these or any other treasons unless he was accused by two lawful witnesses who, if alive, should be confronted with him on his trial. But the law was seldom observed.

New law of treason.

7. Northumberland's schemes for securing his own power and the succession of Lady Jane Grey. The Duke of Northumberland now ruled the kingdom with absolute authority. But the health of Edward began to occasion serious apprehensions; his constitution, originally weak and puny, was considerably reduced by successive attacks of the measles and the small pox, during the spring of 1553; in the latter part of the summer he was seized with an inflammation of the lungs, and when the new parliament assembled (March 1st, 1553), he received the members in his own residence at Whitehall. After the prorogation he removed to Greenwich for his health, and partially recovered; but this did not prevent Northumberland from aggrandising himself, and providing for the security of a Protestant successor. He had already obtained immense possessions in the northern counties, and in Somerset, Warwick, and Worcester; he had placed his brothers and sons in confidential situations near the throne, and his friends in every office at court; and still further to extend and *Hallam's Const. Hist., I., 39. + Mackintosh, II., 266.

Marriages of

Warwick's children.


strengthen his influence, he brought about three marriages; the first between his fourth son, Guildford Dudley, and the Lady Jane Grey; the second between his own daughter, Catherine and the Lord Hastings, eldest son of the Earl of Huntingdon; and the third between the Lady Catherine Grey and Lord Herbert, the son of the Earl of Pembroke. Durham House, his residence, in the Strand, was a scene of continued festivity during these nuptials; the King gave them magnificent presents; and to conciliate the Lady Mary, the castle of Hertford, and several manors and parks in the counties of Hertford and Essex, were granted to her. In the following month, the King's health grew worse, and Northumberland immediately brought forward a project for altering the succession, by setting aside the devise of the crown by Henry to his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and giving it to Lady Jane Grey, the eldest daughter of the Duchess of Suffolk. It was easy to practise on the religious sensibilities of the young King. Edward was told that he was bound to provide for the security of that pure system of faith and worship, by the establishment of which, he had secured to himself an immortal reputation and everlasting happiness: if he allowed Mary to succeed him this great work would be entirely undone; the Princess Elizabeth had only a secondary claim, and had been declared illegitimate; and Mary, Queen of Scots, was a Romanist, and was, moreover, espoused to Edward the Dauphin. Only by the succession, therefore, of the makes a house of Suffolk, could the Reformation be maintained. settlement To these suggestions the dying prince listened with Crown. approbation; a will was drawn up, to which he put his signature; and Montague, chief justice of the Common Pleas, and two judges of the court, were summoned before him at Greenwich, and ordered to frame the new settlement of the crown, in the form of letters patent. But the judges objected to do this, because it was contrary to the statute of the 35 Henry VIII., and would subject both those who had drawn, and those who had advised it, to the penalties of treason. Next day, the judges were again summoned before the council, when they declared that the King had no authority to alter the succession without the advice and sanction of parliament. Edward then promised that the deed should be ratified by parliament, on which the judges yielded; not, however, before the King had signed under the great seal, first, a commission to the judges to refuse to draw up the instrument; and next, a full pardon for




assent to the deed.

having drawn it. One hundred and one signatures were


last prayer

attached to this document, Cranmer's being the first. Whatever were the motives of Northumberland and his party in this irregular and unjust proceeding, the prayer of Edward in his dying hour discloses the purity of his spirit, and proves that he consented to deviate from the law, only because the deviation seemed to be warranted by the necessity of defending Edward's religion. "O Lord God," he prayed, on the evening of and death. the 6th of July, "save thy chosen people of England. O my Lord God, defend this realm from papistry, and maintain thy true religion." On the day before the King's death, the council made an attempt to lure the Princess Mary into their hands, by requiring her to repair to London. She actually set forward from Hunsdon, in Norfolk, where she resided; but being warned on the road, she fled to Kenninghall, and thence proceeded to Framlingham Castle, on the coast of Suffolk, with the intention of escaping to Flanders, if fortune went against her. The Princess Elizabeth had also been summoned to the court; but warned, it is supposed by Cecil, she remained at one of her houses in Hertfordshire.



8. Lady Jane Grey's nine days. The death of Edward VI. was anticipated with considerable anxiety by both the chief sovereigns of the continent, Charles V. and Henry II.; and both despatched ambassadors extraordinary to the English court to watch proceedings. The imperialists were instructed to declare that if Mary succeeded, the Emperor would approve her marrying an Intrigues Englishman, and of her promising to make no change in French and religion, if the people required. But they were to threaten Imperial war if she was excluded from the succession. The French envoys were instructed to counteract the attempts of the imperial envoys; but their mission was already anticipated by the industry and address of Noaillis, the resident ambassador, who led Northumberland and the council to expect French aid against the attempts of Mary's partisans. Three days passed before the death of Edward was publicly announced by the council, and the accession of Lady Jane Grey was formally proclaimed. The latter was then residing at Sion House, whither she had been removed from her retirement at Chelsea. On the 10th of July she was conveyed, according to custom, to the Tower of London, and there publicly received as Queen. But her cause was unpopular, because it was that of Northumberland; the people were cold and silent as she passed to the Tower; the Protestants were divided; a great part of them, through hatred of Northumberland because of the execution of Somerset, co-operated with the

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