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the same. In Norfolk and Suffolk, Mary gave orders for seizing all the corn for the victualling of the fleet, and levied an army by conscription of ten thousand men, designed for the assistance of Philip against the French; but as the council were extremely adverse to involving England in a war with France for the sake of Spanish interests, it was detained. Philip, now the most powerful monarch of Europe, being master of Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and New World, visited England with the hopes of overcoming these scruples. In this he succeeded, aided by his English auxiliaries; he defeated the constable of France and took St. Quintin, but in the course of the war Calais, the last remaining fruits of the glorious victories of the Plantagenets, was lost to the English crown, after having been in its possession above two hundred years. In reality the loss of Calais was a real advantage to England, as it put a stop to those injudicious schemes of conquest and continental dominion which only expended the blood and treasure of England without any profitable return; but the nation at that time regarded it as a public disgrace, and Mary felt it most acutely. Amid the many blemishes of this queen's reign, her concern for the national honour shines out as a noble trait in her character. "If you open my breast," said she, when on her death-bed, "you will find Calais engraved upon my heart." She died of an epidemic fever on the 17th of November, 1558, one day before her friend and relation cardinal Pole, little regretted by her own party and greatly hated by the protestants. She had the elements of a noble mind, had it been unclogged by superstition and expanded under a more genial influence; she was, however, devout, charitable, and just, and capable of great mental energy; but all her virtues were nipped in the bud by the blighting influence of intolerant superstition; and, as a political act, the execution of the lady Jane must always meet with the severest censure.
State of parties on the accession of Elizabeth-Claim of Mary queen of Scots -Protestantism definitively established-Act of uniformity--The commons petition the queen to marry-Treaty of Château Cambresis-- Elizabeth supports the national party in Scotland--Calvinistic doctrines-Return of Mary to Scotland--Holy League--Question of the succession--Suitors to the British queens--Civil contests in Scotland--Murder of Darnley, and escape of Mary to England--Her arraignment before the lords commissioners Norfolk's conspiracy -- League of the catholic states against Elizabeth--Massacre of St. Bartholomew--Assistance sent to the protestants in France and the Netherlands--Stringent laws against catholicsStrength of religious parties in England-Persecution of the puritans-Increased influence of parliament-Babington's conspiracy-Trial of MaryHer condemnation and execution - The armada - Ascendency of the English at sea- -Irish rebellion-Execution of Essex-Debate on monopolies-Defeat of Tyrone, and subjugation of Ireland--Elizabeth's deathHigh prerogative of the crown-Star Chamber and high commissionInterference with parliaments and juries-Abuse of power by privy councillors-Prosperous government of Elizabeth--Advancement of commerce and manufactures--Maritime enterprise-Literature.
THE news of Mary's death was received with universal satisfaction throughout the country. Many of the leading men hastened to acknowledge Elizabeth as the rightful heir to the crown, her position was extremely doubtful. It was by no means sure that the country would submit without opposition to her authority; in the rural districts the Romish party were still very strong, and Mary queen of Scots had assumed the arms and title of queen of England and Ireland. The prelates too, perceiving the course affairs were likely to take, had withdrawn from Elizabeth their support, and not one out of the fifteen bishops who then occupied the bench (eleven of the sees being vacant) volunteered his services to perform the ceremony of coronation. Oglethorpe, bishop of Carlisle, was at length prevailed on; but archbishop Heath and many of the clergy absented themselves from the ceremony; for although acknowledged by the nation, it was evident to all that if the late queen was the legitimate daughter of Henry VIII., Elizabeth must be regarded as illegitimate, and the Roman catholic cabinets had actually pledged themselves to support the cause of Mary, queen of Scots and dauphiness of
France, who was considered the legitimate heir, by reason of her descent from Margaret, eldest sister of Henry VIII. The pope, whose authority had been re-acknowledged in England, declared in her favour. France and Scotland were already at war with England: it was therefore to protestantism that Elizabeth could alone look for the support of her title; and assisted by the advice of sir Nicholas Bacon and sir William Cecil, men of great capacity and application, she proceeded by slow and moderate steps to dissolve the courts for the trial of heretics, and to release those who had been imprisoned for their religion, and next to proclaim religious toleration here she paused, till the assembling of parliament should evidence more clearly the disposition of the nation. The cruelties of Mary's reign had disgusted all moderate men with the creed of Rome, and as soon as the queen's inclinations were known, almost the whole nation became protestant by choice. On the 25th of January, 1559, when parliament assembled, the sentiments expressed by a majority in both houses were full of devotion to the crown. Elizabeth accordingly proceeded to make other reforms; she proposed the establishment of religion as it existed in her father's days, notwithstanding the remonstrances of the bishops and the strenuous opposition of the clergy and universities. Tithes and first-fruits were restored to the crown, and the queen was declared supreme head of the church, with full powers to make and repeal canons, alter discipline and ceremonies, and suppress heresies, without even consulting parliament or convocation. It was made incumbent on all who received any office in the state to accept the oath of supremacy, and those rejecting it were declared to have incurred the penalties of forfeiture for the first offence, for the second those of præmunire,the third was treason. The patronage of the church was likewise invested in the crown, and bishops were prohibited alienating or leasing the revenues of their sees for more than twenty-one years; but as an exception was made in favour of the crown, the church derived but comparatively small advantage from this well-meant measure. A bill was brought into the commons for restoring the liturgy of Edward VI., but the queen wisely objected to any measures which might bear even the semblance of severity, and would not permit the Book of Common Prayer to be used in the churches until it had been reconsidered and such passages expunged as bore hardly on the catholics, or were the subject of animadversion amongst the protestant communities in Germany. She left to parliament and convocation the right of judging heretics, and only reserved to herself the power of punishing bishops who should refuse the oath of supremacy, by depriving them of their dignities. The matters in dispute be
tween the two religious parties having been solemnly debated before parliament by the most learned divines on either side, the commons decided in favour of the Reformation, and proceeded to pass the Act of Uniformity, establishing the revised edition of the second Service-book of Edward VI. as the authorized form of public worship, and prohibiting the use of any other service under pain of forfeiture and imprisonment. The better to enforce this law, an additional clause was added, imposing a fine of one shilling on all who absented themselves from church on Sundays and holydays, and a penalty of £20 a month on those who continued refractory. Having thus effectually established the reformed religion, the commons concluded their labours by the vote of a subsidy; followed by a respectful but urgent address to the queen, entreating her to secure the succession to the throne by marriage. She thanked them for their zeal, but decidedly refused their application, saying, that she regarded herself as solemnly espoused to her kingdom at her coronation, that she viewed her subjects as her children, and required no fairer remembrance of herself to go down to posterity than this inscription on her tomb, "Here lies Elizabeth, who lived and died a maiden queen." Philip of Spain, shortly after the death of Mary, had offered his hand to her sister Elizabeth, and promised to procure a dispensation from Rome in the event of her acceptance, for he knew that the pope would gladly retain England at any price in the communion of the church. Elizabeth steadfastly declined his overtures, but managed the affair with such courtesy and tact, that amity with Spain still continued, and Philip even volunteered to continue the war with France till Calais should have been restored to his former ally, if Elizabeth would undertake not to make peace for six years; but she wisely foresaw the difficulty and expense of so tedious a campaign, and consented to a truce, which was entered into at Château Cambresis, by which Calais was to be held by the French for eight years, Henry giving security in 500,000 crowns for its restoration within that period. The loss of Calais was a great advantage to the English, although not so considered at the time, for it freed England from a continual source of dispute with foreign countries, and, above all, checked the growth of a regular
The intimate connection between the crowns of France and Scotland naturally extended the English negotiations with the former kingdom to the latter also, and it was proposed that Mary should resign her present title to the English throne on condition of being declared heir to Elizabeth. But in the following summer, 1559, Francis II. having succeeded his father Henry II. on the throne of France, the aspect of affairs became entirely changed.
Elizabeth was jealous of the union of the crowns of France and Scotland, and the majority of the Scottish nation were equally averse to a measure which threatened to deprive them of their national independence. Elizabeth therefore dropped all negotiations with the queen-regent of Scotland, who was sister of the Guises and aunt of Francis II., and lent her support to the national party, most of whom were in favour of the reformed religion. The regent, a woman of extraordinary ability and untiring energy, for a long time sustained the catholic cause; but on her death in 1560, the earl of Arran succeeded to the regency, and the protestants became the dominant party. The conditions under which the Reformation had been introduced into England and Scotland were widely different in the former country it was the work of the state, while the people were comparatively passive agents in the hands of the crown; in the latter it was the sincere conviction of the majority of the nation opposed to all the constituted authorities of their land, and this necessarily gave to it a revolutionary tendency; the people too were less prepared by learning than in England, and the state of society was far less advanced: the Reformation in Scotland was therefore much more nearly allied to that of Germany; and Knox, who had travelled in Switzerland and Germany, led the national movement with all the fiery zeal characteristic of the Calvinistic school: he condemned the episcopal church of England as little better than the papal superstitions; and demanded a republican form of government in the church, to be administered by elders and presided over by the pastors of the more considerable towns, who were to be designated by the title of superintendents. This latter aristocratic element was at first borne with patience, but it was soon found that the interference of a hierarchy was equally oppressive to the inferior clergy, whether under the title of bishops or superintendents, and the congregations therefore determined that in future each church should regulate its own internal discipline, only subject to the supervision of the general meeting; and hence the supporters of these opinions received the name of Independents. The Scottish government had been for one year under the direction of the earl of Arran, who had been appointed regent on the death of the queen dowager, and the friends of the Reformation were in full power when Mary returned to Scotland, having lost her husband Francis II. She promised not to interfere with the religion of the people, but Knox could not even endure that mass should be celebrated in the royal chapel; and on the first Sunday after her arrival the popular indignation was so great, that the reformers would have broken open the door of the chapel, had not Murray, the queen's half-brother, defended the entrance during the time of service with