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Anjou's Return to the Low Countries; his Treachery,
The Jesuit Campion and others tortured, condemned, and
1583,1584. High ecclesiastical Commission Court
Treatment of the Queen of Scots
Employment of Spies, Informers, and forged Letters
Association for the Queen's Safety against popish Con-
1584,1585. Parry's Plot
Incapacity of Leicester as Commander-in-chief and Go
FROM THE ACCESSION OF ELIZABETH TO THE COUNCIL OF TRENT.
WHEN the lords and commons, assembled under Mary's writs of summons, met on the 17th of November, 1558, they found parliament, according to the ancient constitution, legally dissolved by the decease of the sovereign who had called it together. The lords, however, desired the attendance of the members of the house of commons to receive an important communication; and when they came to the bar, archbishop Heath, the chancellor, desired their concurrence, as considerable men of the realm, in the solemnities which the demise of the crown required. "The cause of your calling hither,” said he to those who had just ceased to be the knights, citizens, and burgesses, "is to signify to you that the lords are certified that God has this morning called to his mercy our late sovereign; a mishap heavy and grievous to us; but we have no less cause to rejoice that God has left unto us a true, lawful, and right inheritress in the person of the lady Elizabeth, of whose title to the same (thanks be to God) we need not to doubt."* Wherefore
* Holinshed, iv. 155. The information in the Journals is scanty.
the lords have determined, with your consent, to pass from hence unto the palace, and there to proclaim the lady Elizabeth queen of this realm. The commons answered by cries of "Long live queen Elizabeth!” and the lords and commons proceeded to the great gate of Westminster Hall, where she was proclaimed by the heralds with the accustomed solemnities, in the midst of shouts of joy from the surrounding multitude. The lords, perhaps, considered themselves to be acting as counsellors of the crown; but their desire of the consent of the dissolved commons gave an appearance of parliamentary proclamation to the solemnity.
Elizabeth received the tidings of this great change in her fortune at Hatfield, where she had resided for several years in the mild custody of sir Thomas Pope, but under the watchful eye of a guard. On being apprised of her accession, she fell down on her knees, saying, "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes." "'* She almost instantly gave an earnest of the principles which were to govern her reign, by accepting, on the same day, a note of advice † on the most urgent matters from sir William Cecil, whom she restored to the post of secretary of state, which he had occupied under Edward, and from which he was removed by Mary. Although he was charged by some with a few compliances in the latter years of that princess, he was, nevertheless, known and trusted as a zealous and tried adherent of the protestant cause. He was sworn a privy counsellor on the 20th, with his friends and followers, Parry, Rogers, and Cave. On that day, also, the earl of Bedford, who had only a short time before returned from a visit to the protestant exiles at Zurich, took his seat at the same board. Though many of the privy counsellors of Mary were re-appointed, the principles of the majority of the queen's confidential servants,
*Naunton's Fragmenta Regalia.
† Strype, Ann. i. 5. Oxford edition, 1824. The records of the privy council, in the first three years of Elizabeth, are wanting at the Council Office.
who held their sittings at Hatfield *, left no doubt of her policy. Of the doubtful three who were present there, the earl of Pembroke was a perpetual conformist to the religion of the court. Lord Clinton received trusts and honours from Elizabeth, which showed him to be no enemy of her faith; and lord William Howard was retained, in part, perhaps, from the queen's recollection that she was the grand niece of a duke of Norfolk, which seems to have tinged the policy of her earlier years.
The council at Hatfield performed all the duties of a supreme administration. They gave orders to the admirals in the Channel; they despatched instructions to the English plenipotentiaries at Cambray; they thanked the magistrates for staying prosecutions for religion; they released such as were prisoners for that cause. Two of the exiles at Zurich returned so quickly, that no time could have been lost in giving them assurances before their departure of the good reception which they actually experienced. No reasonable man could, indeed, have doubted that the daughter of Anne Boleyn, the favourite sister of Edward VI., educated by learned and zealous protestants, should prefer the religion of which the adherents respected her legitimate birth, and maintained her royal title, on which their own hopes of safety depended, to followers of the catholic faith, who viewed her as the fruit of an unhallowed union, to whom no other obedience could be due than might have been claimed by Nero.+
The council at Hatfield issued their orders on Monday the 21st, for the ceremonial of the queen's entrance into London, which was fixed for Wednesday the 23d, and
* Lodge's Illustrations, i. 302. 306.
+ Jewel to Peter Martyr, 26th January, 1559. Burnet, book vi. Appendix. The names of these persons were Sands and Horn. Jewel, who was then at Strasburgh, had, before the date of his letter, received from Zurich the account sent from England to that town of the favourable re ception of these two men.
"Elisabetta, minor sorella di Maria, che della reina fin a quel tempo erasi tenuta in custodia, per timore humano avea simulata la religion cattolica, ma con velo cosi sottile, che agli occhi perspicaci ne transpariva la scoperta eresia. - Pallavic. Hist. di Conc. Trident. lib. xiv. c. 8.
on that day she made her solemn entrance into her capital. At the age of twenty-five years, which she had just passed, it is easy for a queen to be applauded for personal attractions. We are told by a Venetian mi. nister, that she was then " a lady of great elegance both of mind and body; of a countenance rather pleasing than beautiful; tall and well made; her complexion fine, though rather dark; her eyes beautiful; and, above all, her hands, which she did not conceal." She is described by some as majestic, by others as haughty; but all representations concur in showing that her countenance and port were rather commanding than alluring, yet not without a certain lofty grace which became a ruler. The literary instruction which she had received from Roger Ascham had familiarised her mind, in her sixteenth year, with the two ancient languages which were at that time almost the sole inlets to the treasures of knowledge and the masterpieces of genius. Latin she acquired from the complete perusal of Cicero and Livy, the greatest prose writers of Rome. She compared the philosophical works of Plato with the abridgments of a Grecian philosophy by which Cicero instructed and delighted his fellow citizens; and she would be taught by Ascham how much the orations of Demosthenes, which she read under his eye, surpassed those of the greatest masters of Roman eloquence. She is mentioned by her preceptor as at the head of the lettered ladies of England, excelling even Jane Grey and Margaret Roper.
Within a very few days of her arrival in London, Cecil laid before her his plan for a religious revolution, which was to take from her enemies the power and influence of the establishment, and arm her friends with these formidable weapons. † He advises that the change should neither be attempted before the next parliament, nor delayed after its meeting. He owned that it would be
"Di faccia più tosto gratiosa che bella; grande e ben formata; di bella carne, ancor che olivastra; belli occhj; e sopra 'l tutto bella mano, de la quale fa professione."-- Michele, in Ellis's Second Series, ii. 216.
+ A Device for the Alteration of Religion, Strype, i. Appendix, No, iv.