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attended with danger from Rome, perhaps from France and Scotland, certainly from Ireland, as well as from Mary's ministers and favourites, and from the bishops and clergy, who " see in it their ruin." Some zealous protestants, he foresaw, would consider the retention of the most harmless parts of the ancient system as a cloaked papistry." Against these perils he recommended every effort to make peace with France, which would be followed by peace with Scotland; but if these efforts failed "to augment the hope of those who incline to good religion in both those countries." The agents of Mary were to be dismissed and discouraged; her highness's old and sure servants, who had not shrunk in the late storms, were to be advanced. In Ireland, the evil was to be remedied "by gentle and dulce handling;" accompanied, however, by readiness and boldness in suppressing disorder and revolt. For the particulars of the ecclesiastical reformation, he recommended seven commissioners, who were to be called together by sir Thomas Smith. The noblemen to whom he wished these measures to be communicated before they were opened to the whole, were, the marquess of Northampton, the earls of Bedford and Pembroke, and lord John Grey. The wary statesman advised a proclamation against premature and unauthorised innovations, which was accordingly issued on the 28th of December, allowing the use of the Epistles, Gospels, and Decalogue, together with the Lord's Prayer, Creed, and Litany, in the English language; a concession apparently limited, but in truth involving the point in dispute with the see of Rome, inasmuch as it was an assertion of the authority inherent in the state to regulate the established worship. The practice is said to have been permitted before the proclamation.* In the service to be performed before the queen, she was advised to admit no more changes than her conscience absolutely required, until the whole should be reformed by parliamentary authority. Oglethorpe, bishop of Car
* Hallam, Const. Hist. i. c. 3. The sagacity and accuracy of Mr. Hallam are such, that I consider his assertion, though he quotes no authority, as almost equivalent to testimony.
lisle, was commanded by her, when officiating in her chapel on Christmas-day, 1558, to omit the elevation of the host, as giving occasion to what she deemed idolatry; which that prelate conscientiously refused.* The queen immediately withdrew, with her ladies and courtiers, into her privy chamber, to mark her dissent and displeasure. All these recent circumstances, combined as they were with the tenour of Elizabeth's former life, were considered as such decisive symptoms of her intention, that the catholic prelates of England honestly refused to take a part in the approaching solemnity of her coronation; except Oglethorpe, who is said to have been haunted by remorse for his compliance during the short remainder of his life. ‡ They alleged as the ground of their disobedience, that the queen was manifestly preparing to violate the coronation oath according to the sense in which they understood it. In the course of a pageant, on the day before the coronation, she was presented with an English bible; “ at the receipt of which, how reverendlie did she, with both her hands, take it, kiss it, and lay it upon her breast!" § Sir Nicholas Bacon, a lawyer of distinguished learning and integrity, was raised to the rank of lord keeper of the great seal. He and Cecil had married two daughters of sir Anthony Cook, renowned for their learning even in that age of female erudition. His zeal for the reformed religion was as conspicuous as that of Cecil. The peerages usually conferred at the accession of an English monarch announced Elizabeth's determination to favour the cause of reformation. The opposite policy of Mary was intelligibly condemned, by restoring the marquess of Northampton and the earl of Hertford, whose honours had been forfeited in the reign of that princess; while the peerages conferred on Henry Cary, the son of Mary Boleyn, the aunt of Elizabeth, and on Thomas Howard, a more remote relation through Anne Boleyn, proclaimed the honour in which the queen held the * Strype, i. 73.
+Ellis's Second Series, ii. 262.
Allen's Answer to English Justice asserted. Dod, Ch. Hist. ii. 417.
memory of her mother. St. John, the remaining peer
seems, like the others, to have been a protestant.*
Since her accession, every measure of her government was a step towards the reformation, daily cutting off more and more her retreat to the church of Rome, from which every part of her personal conduct evinced her irreclaimable estrangement. She proceeded to its completion without hesitation, and without any other delay than was required by the necessity, in a measure obnoxious to so many acute opponents, of procuring the concurrence of parliament, and of observing all the principles and forms of the constitution.
The particulars of her coronation on the 14th of January, are preserved in Holinshed, for the amusement of those whose languid and somewhat vulgar fancy is delighted by the description of such splendour as the gilder and the embroiderer can furnish. But even this pageantry afforded to Elizabeth—who, though capricious and harsh to individuals, well knew the secret of dealing with a people, an opportunity of gaining the hearts of her subjects by that union of habitual dignitý with general fellow feeling, and seasonable familiarity, which characterises the deportment of those who rule nations with quiet and success.
The parliament met on the 25th of January, 1559; and Cox, one of the English exiles for religion, who was soon afterwards raised to the episcopal dignity, was chosen to preach a sermon on this memorable occasion. Sir Nicholas Bacon opened the session by a grave and wise speech, in which he said that the parliament was called together to make laws for the uniting of the people of the realm in one uniform order of religion; for reforming all mischiefs in civil policy; and to supply the queen's wants. In the performance of their task, he exhorted all the members to avoid sophistical disputations, "meeter for ostentation of wit, than for consultation on weighty matters;" and to banish from
*It appears in Dugdale that all these peerages bear date the 12th and 13th of January, 1559.
their mouths all those opprobrious words which are the utter enemies of concord and unity. He warned them alike to resist idolatry and superstition on the one hand, and, on the other, to avoid a licentiousness which might suffer irreverence, and even irreligion, to creep into the kingdom.* In his allusion In his allusion to the catholics, the orator perhaps deviated somewhat from his own recommendation. The language in which he alluded to those reformers who began to seek a further reformation than that of Edward VI. is chosen with more tenderness to their feelings, and is more guarded against the risk of offending their zeal.
An act for the recognising and declaring the queen's title was unanimously passed by the lords, and adopted without any apparent opposition by the commons. This statute declares her to be rightly, lineally, and lawfully descended from the blood royal, and pronounces "" all sentences and acts of parliament derogatory from this declaration to be void."+
These words imply a confirmation of the marriage of Anne Boleyn; and the latter clause undoubtedly comprehends the divorce for pre-contract, in which Cranmer unhappily performed a blamable part. Why express words declaring the legitimacy of Anne's marriage were not introduced, it is not easy to judge with certainty. This departure from the example of Mary, who obtained an express declaration of the legality of the marriage of Catherine, has been insinuated by some to arise from doubts respecting the success of the like boldness in Elizabeth. But it cannot be doubted that so zealous a protestant parliament would have been ready to do that expressly, which they did by necessary implication. The case of Elizabeth was different from that of Mary. The marriage of Catherine involved only a simple question of law, which parliament had in effect decided by returning to the communion of the see of Rome. The marriage of Anne depended in part upon matters of fact
*D'Ewes's Journal, 14. From a copy of the speech in his possession. +1 Eliz. c. 3. Statutes of the Realm.
respecting the alleged pre-contract with Henry Piercy, of which, at the distance of thirty-five years, and when all the principal parties had been long dead, it might have been difficult to produce satisfactory evidence.* The investigation must, if successful, have revived the remembrance of Cranmer's criminal weakness, and placed in the most glaring light the cruel impatience of Henry. It was not, probably, thought politic to bring into question the acts of Mary, or to dispel that obscurity respecting the succession, of which the removal would present the queen of Scots to the nation as seated by the side of the throne.
The acts by which the ecclesiastical revolution was accomplished occupied the whole session of parliament, which continued from January to May. The first of these measures consisted in the revival of all the statutes of Henry VIII. against foreign jurisdiction, which, in imitation of that monarch's equivocal language, they called "restoring the ancient jurisdiction of the crown over the state ecclesiastical," + together with the revival of the protestant statute of Edward respecting the sacrament of the altar. All spiritual jurisdiction was by the same act expressly annexed to the crown, and the sovereign was empowered to exercise it by commissioners appointed under the great seal. All ecclesiastical, and most civil magistrates and officers, were required, under pain of loss of office and deprivation of benefice, with disability to hold either in future, to take an oath "that the queen was the only supreme governor of the realm in spiritual as well as temporal causes" (for Elizabeth forbore to assume the unseemly title of head of the church), "and that no foreign prince or prelate had, or ought to have ‡, any spiritual authority within this
*Henry Piercy, earl of Northumberland, died in 1538. Dugdale, i. 283. Had he been so contracted to Anne as to avoid a subsequent marriage, his own children would have been illegitimate.
+1 Eliz. c. 1. Stat. of the Realm.
The words "ought to have," if jurisdiction be confined to its only proper sense, that of outward and coercive power, were perhaps the only terms in this oath which were repugnant to the conscience of a true catholic. Even that difficulty has not always been deemed insurmountable.