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XXXVIII.

1561.

CHAP. of that princess was superior to her own: That

for her part, whatever claims were advanced, she was determined to live and die queen of England; and after her death, it was the business of others to determine who had the best pretensions, either by the laws, or by the right of blood, to the succession: That she hoped the claim of the queen of Scots would then be found solid; and, considering the injury which she herself had received, it was sufficient indulgence, if she promised, in the mean time, to do nothing which might, in any respect, weaken or invalidate it: And that Mary, if her title were really preferable, a point which, for her own part, she had never inquired into, possessed all advantages above her rivals; who, destitute both of present power, and of all support by friends, would only expose themselves to inevitable ruin, by advancing any weak, or even doubtful, pretensions."

These views of the queen were so prudent and judicious, that there was no likelihood of her ever departing from them: But that she might put the matter to a fuller proof, she offered to explain the words of the treaty of Edinburgh, so as to leave no suspicion of their excluding Mary's right of succession;" and in this form she again required her to ratify that treaty. Matters at last came to this issue, that Mary agreed to the proposal, and offered to renounce all present pretensions to the crown of England, provided Elizabeth would agree to declare her the successor.' But such was the jealous character of this latter princess, that she never would consent to strengthen the interest and authority of any claimant, by fixing the succession ; much less would she make this concession in favour of a rival queen, who possessed such plausible pre

tensions u Buchanan, lib. xvii. c. 14-17. Camden, p. 385. Spotswood, p. 180, 181. w Ibid, p. 181. X Haynes, vol. i,

p. 377.

XXXVIII.

1561.

tensions for the present, and who, though she might CHAP. verbally renounce them, could easily resume her claim on the first opportunity. Mary's proposal, however, bore so specious an appearance of equity and justice, that Elizabeth, sensible that reason would, by superficial thinkers, be deemed to lie entirely on that side, made no more mention of the matter; and, though farther concessions were never made by either princess, they put on all the appearances of a cordial reconciliation and friendship with each other.

The queen observed that, even without her in- Wise goterposition, Mary was sufficiently depressed by the of Elizamutinous spirit of her own subjects ; and instead of beth. giving Scotland, for the present, any inquietude or disturbance, she employed herself, more usefully and laudably, in regulating the affairs of her own kingdom, and promoting the happiness of her people. She made some progress in paying those great debts which lay upon the crown; she regulated the coin, which had been much debased by her predecessors; she surnished her arsenals with great quantities of arms from Germany and other places; engaged her nobility and gentry to imitate her example in this particular; introduced into the kingdom the art of making gunpowder and brass cannon; fortified her frontiers on the side of Scotland; made frequent reviews of the militia ; encouraged agriculture, by allowing a free exportation of corn; promoted trade and navigation; and so much increased the shipping of her kingdom, both by building vessels of force herself, and suggesting like undertakings to the merchants, that she was justly styled the restorer of naval glory, and the queen of the northern seas. The natural frugality of her temper, so far from incapacitating her from these

great

y Camden, p. 388. Strype, vol. i. p. 230. 336, 337,

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1561.

CHÁP: great enterprises, only enabled her to execute them XXXVIII.

with greater certainty and success; and all the world saw in her conduct the happy effects of a vigorous perseverance in judicious and well-concerted projects.

It is easy to imagine that so great a princess, who enjoyed such singular felicity

and renown, would receive proposals of marriage from every one that had

any likelihood of succeeding; and though she had made some public declarations in favour of a single life, few believed that she would persevere for ever in that resolution. The archduke Charles, second son of the emperor,” as well as Casimir, son of the elector Palatine, inade applications to her; and as this latter prince professed the reformed religion, he thought himself on that account better entitled to succeed in his addresses. Eric king of Sweden, and Adolph duke of Holstein, were encouraged, by the same views, to become suitors: And the earl of Arran, heir to the crown of Scotland, was, by the states of that kingdom, recommended to her as a suitable marriage. Even some of her own subjects, though they did not openly declare their pretensions, entertained hopes of success.

The earl of Arundel, a person declining in years, but descended from an ancient and noble family, as well as possessed of great riches, flattered himself with this prospect; as did also sir William Pickering, a man much esteemed for his personal merit. But the person most likely to succeed, was a younger son of the late duke of Northumberland, lord Robert Dudley, who by means of his exterior qualities, joined to address and flattery, had become, in a manner, her declared favourite, and had great influence in all her counsels. The less worthy he appeared of this distinction, the more was his great favour ascribed to some vio

lent ? Haynes, vol. i. p. 233,

XXXVIII

But the queen

lent affection, which could thus seduce the judg- CHAP
ment of this penetrating princess; and men long
expected that he would obtain the preference above 1561.
so many princes and monarchs.
gave all these suitors a gentle refusal, which still
encouraged their pursuit ; and she thought that she
should the better attach them to her interests if they
were still allowed to entertain hopes of succeeding
in their pretensions. It is also probable that this
policy was not entirely free from a mixture of fe-
male coquetry; and that, though she was deter-
mined in her own mind never to share her power
with any man, she was not displeased with the
courtship, solicitation, and professions of love,
which the desire of acquiring so valuable a prize
procured her from all quarters.

What is most singular in the conduct and cha-
racter of Elizabeth is, that though she determined
never to have any heir of her own body, she was
not only very averse to fix any successor to the
crown; but seems also to have resolved, as far as
it lay in her power, that no one who had preten-
sions to the succession should ever have any heirs or
successors. If the exclusion given by the will of
Henry VIII. to the posterity of Margaret queen
of Scotland was allowed to be valid, the right to
the crown devolved on the house of Suffolk; and
the lady Catherine Gray, younger sister to the lady
Jane, was now the heir of that family. This lady
had been married to lord Herbert, son of the earl
of Pembroke; but having been divorced from that
nobleman, she made a private marriage with the
earl of Hertford, son of the protector; and her
husband, soon after consummation, travelled into
France. In a little time she appeared to be preg-
Dant, which so enraged Elizabeth, that she threw
her into the Tower, and summoned Hertford to
appear, in order to answer for his misdemeanor.

He

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1561.

CHA P. He made no scruple of acknowledging the marriage, XXXVIII

, which, though concluded without the queen's consent, was entirely suitable to both parties; and for this offence he was also committed to the Tower. Elizabeth's severity stopped not here: She issued a commission to inquire into the matter; and as Hertford could not, within the time limited, prove the nuptials by witnesses, the commerce between him and his consort was declared unlawful, and their posterity illegitimate. They were still detained in custody; but by bribing their keepers, they found means to have farther intercourse; and another child appeared to be the fruit of their commerce.

This was a fresh source of vexation to the queen ; who made a fine of fifteen thousand pounds be set on Hertford by the star-chamber, and ordered his confinement to be thenceforth more rigid and severe. He lav in this condition for nine

years, till the death of his wise, by freeing Elizabeth from all fears, procured him his liberty. This extreme severity must he accounted for, either by the unrelenting jealousy of the queen, who was afraid lest a pretender to the succession should acquire credit by having issue; or by her malignity, which, with all her great qualities, made one ingredient in her character, and which led her to envy, in others, those natural pleasures of love and posterity, of which her own ambition and desire of dominion made her renounce all prospect for herself. :

THERE happened, about this time, some other events in the royal family, where the queen's con duct was more laudable. Arthur Pole, and his brother, nephews to the late cardinal, and descended from the duke of Clarence, together with Anthony Fortescue, who had married a sister of these gen:

tlemen,

a Haynes, vol. i. p. 369. 378. 396. Camden, p. 389. Hey lin, p. 151.

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