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Hunsdon; another, of 32,000 foot and 1000 horse, was stationed near London for the defence of the capital; and the third, 20,000 strong, was to be in readiness to resist the enemy wherever he should land: the queen went in person to inspect the preparations at Tilbury, and on the 9th, when the enemy was hourly expected, addressed this memorable speech to her army: "My loving people, we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but, assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself, that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects. And therefore I am come amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all ; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms; to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and trowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the meantime my lieutenant-general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble and worthy subject; not doubting by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people."
The Spaniards, having failed in their plan of a simultaneous insurrection and invasion of England, now resorted to reprisals, and sent aid to the queen's enemies in Ireland, where the earls of Tyrone and Desmond* were in open rebellion, and had thrown
* James Mc Thomas Fitzgerald, the titular earl of Desmond, for James, son of the great rebel earl, had been sent to England, where he was confined in the Tower, after the suppression of Desmond's rebellion in 1583. A commission was issued for settling a composition in Connaught in the place of assessments, for the maintenance of troops, when an ample composition was granted in consequence of it; and every obstacle being removed to Elizabeth's favourite scheme of re-peopling Munster with an English colony, where, in the havoc of war, pestilence and famine had in a manner depopulated the country, letters were addressed to every county in England to encourage younger brothers to become undertakers of such a plantation in Ireland. To these, estates were
off the English yoke. The alleged ground of this revolt was the defence of the Roman catholic religion, but its primary cause was the reluctance of the Irish to submit to English laws and customs, which were now for the first time imposed on them. Under the Plantagenets the eastern portion of the island had been reduced to an English province, but the west and north still continued under the government of their native princes, and paid but a nominal obedience to the English crown: even that portion which was known as the English pale, comprehending the counties of Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Longford, Louth, Meath, Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, and Tipperary, during the civil wars was greatly curtailed, and many of the English and Scotch families, who had settled in the island, adopted the language and manners of the native Irish, so that when Elizabeth endeavoured to render the execution of the laws more certain, and divided the country into shires, as in England, the English, as well as the native Irish, resisted the attempt, and defied the power of the lord-lieutenant to enforce it. This war being unsuccessfully conducted by sir Henry Bagnal, who was defeated and slain, with 1500 of his men, Elizabeth sent the earl of Essex with instructions to reduce the enemy at all hazards, and to re-establish peace on whatever
On landing in Ireland, in April, 1599, instead of marching
offered on the most advantageous terms, while none of the native Irish were to be admitted among the tenantry. Assurances were given that sufficient garrisons should be stationed on their frontiers, and that commissioners should be appointed to decide all controversies. Sir Christopher Hatton, sir Walter Raleigh, sir Thomas Norris, sir Warham St. Leger, sir George Bourchier, and a number of other gentlemen of influence and distinction, received grants of different portions of land. The lands forfeited by Desmond's rebellion are generally said to have amounted to 574,628 acres. Cox, from the MSS. of Lambeth, reckons up thirty seignories--according to a MS. in Trinity college, Dublin, thirty-three seignories-granted to as many adventurers, amounting to 208,890 acres by the first, or to 244,080 by the second computation. There remained, therefore, 330,548 acres: these were restored to such as had been pardoned, or were abandoned to the old possessors. Leases and conveyances were made, therefore, after all, to the native Irish tenantry. It will not be requisite to specify the terms, since the rank and consequence of the principal English grantees caused a neglect of all the conditions of the above grants. In many instances the new undertakers, as they were called, unjustly encroached upon the estates of the old, innocent, and loyal inhabitants. Not residing themselves, they entrusted the settlement and support of their respective colonies to agents, who were ignorant, negligent, and corrupt. In truth, the whole government in Ireland stood in all ages in this very kind of predicament: it was a mere agency for the state of England, which, by the neglect and contempt of parliament, was, to all real intents and purposes, until the Union, the only grand and perpetual absentee.-Liber Hiberniæ, part 1. p. 41.
directly against Tyrone, Essex was induced, at the instigation of some of the council, who hoped to recover their estates in Munster, to lead his forces thither: here he spent the best months of summer in excursions against minor rebels, and when urged by imperative letters from home to march into the north, he found his forces so wasted by fatigue and desertion that he was obliged to write to the council for a reinforcement of 2000 men. Even with this aid he was unable to encounter the power of O'Neal, and consented to an interview, which took place on the banks of the Blackwater, where a truce was concluded till the following year. Conscious that his enemies at court would take advantage of this apparent failure to traduce his character to the queen in his absence, and perceiving by her letters that she was highly incensed at his delay in bringing the war to a close, he determined, notwithstanding her late injunction to remain in Ireland,* to hasten to court with all speed, and throw himself at the feet of his sovereign. Taken by surprise, Elizabeth at first received him graciously, but afterwards sent the lord admiral to him with orders to keep his room: he was then committed to the charge of the lord keeper Egerton, but anxiety of mind and fatigue of body brought on a fever which endangered his life. The queen was much concerned for his safety, and told the physician to assure him that were it not inconsistent with her honour, she would visit him in his confinement: this gracious message and the assurance of pardon so revived his spirits that he soon recovered, and was again permitted to return to his own house, being restrained from the exercise of his offices until the queen's further pleasure should be known. In all probability Essex would have been restored to his former favour, had not an unfortunate circumstance occurred which again involved him in a dispute at court: his patent for sweet wines having expired, he applied to the queen for its renewal, but she, knowing the opposition of the house of commons to these grants, replied that "she must first know its value, and that an unruly beast must be first stinted in its provender." Essex was now convinced that there was a concerted scheme amongst his enemies at court to ruin him. He commenced a secret correspondence with the earl of Southampton, to seize on the queen's person and cause her to dismiss her ministers, and even wrote to the king of Scots, advising him to assert his right to the succession to the English crown, and offering to aid him with his life and fortune. This scheme being discovered to Cecil and the other
*Before his departure from England, Essex had obtained a general warrant, dated March 27th, 1599, to return to England whensoever he might please, leaving the government to the lords justices: he had several times notified his intention of returning, but it had always been disallowed by the queen.
ministers, they laid it before the queen, and on the 8th of February, 1601, when it was ripe for execution, a deputation of the privy council was sent to Essex house, where the confederate lords were assembled: they were admitted by a trap-door, but their attendants were excluded, and after having challenged the earl of Essex to surrender and appear before the council, they were shut up in a room, while Essex and his friends proceeded in armour down the Strand, exclaiming that he was betrayed, and requesting the citizens to arm and march with him to the royal palace, where he hoped to compel the queen to dismiss her ministers and restore him to her favour; but few joined him, and when he endeavoured to return he was opposed by the guard at Ludgate, so he embarked on the river, and, entering Essex house, found it surrounded by troops: Lord Sands advised him to make a sally, sword in hand; but he did not yet despair of mercy, and surrendered on promise of a fair trial. On the 19th of February he was arraigned before a committee of the lords, and found guilty of treasonably attempting to overthrow the government; but as some of them were his personal enemies he claimed the right to challenge them: this was disallowed, and there being no doubt as to the facts, although he declared that he had no intention of injuring the queen, a warrant was signed for his execution.
In this year the question of monopolies, which had been agitated without effect for thirty-six years, was finally determined. Finding that the commons were resolved on carrying their point, the queen thought it most prudent to make a virtue of necessity, and sent a message to them, that if they would leave it to her she would revise all the royal grants which had been made without the sanction of parliament, and such as were oppressive to the commonalty should be revoked, it having always been her desire to live no longer than to see the prosperity of her people. On receiving the thanks of the house, she added that she never set her pen to any grant which was not represented to her to be for the good of her subjects, and that as soon as the evil tendency of monopolies was pointed out to her, she could give no rest to her thoughts till the abuse was reformed, nor should they escape punishment who had oppressed her people under colour of her authority.
The brilliant career of Elizabeth was now fast drawing towards its close; the melancholy which had come over her mind since the execution of Essex was followed by physical debility, and in the beginning of March she fell into a swoon, from which she never entirely recovered. Seeing her dissolution approaching, her ministers ventured to inquire whom she wished to succeed her. My seat," said the queen, "has always been the seat of kings:
I will have no mean person for my successor, but a king." Cecil urged her to speak more plainly. "My successor," repeated she, "must be a king; and who should this be but our cousin of Scotland?" Thus in her death did this princess, by the union of the three kingdoms, perform for her country as true a service as ever she had rendered it in life. She expired on the 24th of March, 1603, in the 70th year of her age and the 45th of her reign.
The only event of importance which occurred in the last two years of Elizabeth's reign was the success of the earl of Mountjoy over the Spaniards and rebels in Ireland. There 6000 Spaniards, having landed near Kinsale, took possession of that town and fortified it, with the intention of awaiting the arrival of reinforcements from Spain, and the coming of the earl of Tyrone with his forces from the north of Ireland: before, however, these succours could arrive, the lord deputy laid siege to the town; and when Alphonso Ocampo landed at Castlehaven with a reinforcement of 2000 troops, he found it requisite to march immediately to the relief of his friends. Having effected a junction with the earl of Tyrone, who was advancing with the flower of his Ulster forces, the two generals determined to raise the siege of Kinsale, and, avoiding the detachment under the president of Munster, which had been sent against them, came suddenly upon the English camp. Tyrone, knowing the character of the enemy with whom he had to contend, was for avoiding a general action, and took up a strong position at the distance of six miles from the camp of the besiegers, intending to cut off all communication between them and Cork, but Don Juan, seconded by the other chieftains, pressed him to advance against the English camp: at last, overruled by their united influence on the daring but rash temper of his countrymen, he reluctantly quitted his advantageous position, and advanced. The lord deputy, observing this movement, determined to commence an attack: he took with him 1200 foot and 400 horse, leaving the lord president to carry on the siege with the remainder of the army. Meanwhile, the Spaniards, little suspecting the separation of the besiegers, kept within their walls, so that the lord deputy had but one enemy to encounter at a time. But the confederate Irish, who had been considering only how they should dispose of their prisoners, retired full of dismay at the first appearance of the English forces: upon being pursued they halted, and offered battle. Lord Clanricard and Wingfield, marshal of the army, vigorously charged their horse, who had covered the retreat: after some short resistance, this body, composed of the northern chieftains and of other men of note, gave way, to the amazement and terror of their associates. The van