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PORTUGAL ANNEXED TO SPAIN.
invasion of England, so by the consequences of his defeat and disappearance, Portugal became the immediate object of Philip's designs: his chief care was devoted to obtaining the succession for himself; and the forces which had been levied against Elizabeth were employed in establishing his ill-founded claim against a pretender whose pretensions were weaker than his own, and who had nothing to support them but the favour of the populace.
A few years earlier, Cecil, the greatest of English statesmen, thought that, if an enemy were at hand to assail the realm, it were a fearful thing to consider, because of its growing weakness, what the resistance might be. The cause of that weakness he perceived" in the queen's celibacy, and the want of a suitable successor, and the lack of foreign alliances; in the feebleness which long peace had induced, the weakness of the frontier, the ignorance of martial knowledge in the subjects, the lack of meet captains and trained soldiers, the rebellion which had then recently broken out in Ireland, the over-much boldness which the mildness of the queen's government had encouraged, the want of treasure, the excess of the ordinary charges, the poverty of the nobility and gentlemen of service (the wealth being in the meaner sort), the lack of mariners and munition, and the decay of morals and religion ;" but the greatest danger he considered to be that which arose from “the determination of the two monarchies, next neighbours to England, to subvert not only their own subjects, but also all others refusing the tyranny of Rome, and their earnest desire to have the queen of Scots possess this throne of England.' One alone of these causes of danger had been remedied, the lack of mariners: a race of seamen such as no former times had equalled, and no after ones have surpassed, was then training in voyages of discovery and of mercantile adventure. For the predatory spirit by which the speculators at home, as well
* Memorial of the state of the realm, quoted by Turner, 513.
as the adventurers themselves, were influenced, some provocation had been given; and when Elizabeth, in answer to the demand made by the Spanish ambassador for restitution of the treasure which Drake had brought home from that voyage which has immortalised his name, told him that Drake should be forthcoming to answer according to law, if he were convicted by good evidence of having committed any thing against law or right; and that the property was set apart, in order that it might be restored to its just claimants; she reminded him that a greater sum than Drake had brought home she had been compelled to expend in putting down those rebellions which the Spaniards had raised and encouraged both in Ireland and England: and as to the complaint which he preferred against the English for sailing in the Indian Ocean, she answered, she could not persuade herself that the bishop of Rome's donation had conferred upon the kings of Spain any just title to the Indies: she acknowledged no prerogative in that bishop to lay any restriction upon princes who owed him no obedience; nor could she allow that he had any authority to enfeoff, as it were, the Spaniard in that new world, and invest him with the possession thereof. Neither was their only other claim to be admitted, which was no more than that they had touched here and there upon the coast, built huts there, and given names to a river or a cape. This donation of that which was another's, and this imaginary propriety, did not preclude other princes from trading to those countries, nor from transporting colonies (without breach of the law of nations), into those parts which were not inhabited by Spaniards (for prescription without possession was little worth); nor from navigating that vast ocean, seeing that the sea and air are common to all. A title to the ocean belonged not to any people or private persons, forasmuch as neither nature nor public custom warranted any possession thereof. She observed, also, that the Spaniards, by their hard dealing with the English, whom they had, contrary to the law of nations,
SPANIARDS IN IRELAND.
prohibited from commerce, had drawn upon themselves the mischiefs which they now complained of.*
The charge against the Spanish government, of having instigated rebellion, was incontestable. Stukely's preparations had not been secret, and an English fleet had been stationed on the Irish coast to intercept him; and that fleet had not long returned to England, in the belief that all present danger was past, before a body of Spaniards were landed in Ireland, in aid of the first Irish rebellion, into which the Romish religion entered as an exciting cause,. . a cause from whence have arisen the greatest evils that have afflicted, and are afflicting, and will long continue to afflict, that unhappy island. The Spaniards fortified themselves in Kerry; and when the lord deputy, Arthur lord Grey of Wilton, marched against them, and sent a trumpet "to demand who they were, what they had to do in Ireland, who sent them, and wherefore they had built a fort in queen Elizabeth's dominions, and withal to command them to depart with speed;" they answered, that they were sent 66 some from the most holy father the pope, and some from the king of Spain, to whom the pope had given Ireland, queen Elizabeth having, as a heretic, forfeited her title to it. They would, therefore, hold what they had gotten, and get more if they could." The confidence which seemed to themselves to justify this language soon failed them; they discovered too late the vanity of the promises which had been held out to them, the condition of the people with whom they were to act, and the dreadful character of the war which, in reliance upon their support, had been begun. They were besieged by land; the protecting squadron was remanded from England, and cut off their escape by sea: they were compelled to surrender at discretion, and were put to the sword; a measure which grieved Elizabeth, and which she disapproved, even when she admitted that the plea of stern necessity was strongly urged in its vindication.†
It was easy for Elizabeth to justify the views of her + Ibid. 243.
* Camden, 255.
government, and the peaceable course which it had hitherto pursued. Upon general principles, too, the right of her subjects to explore distant seas and countries might well be asserted and maintained, but she made no attempt to defend what was not strictly defensible, and a great part of the money which Drake had brought home was restored to the Spaniards*; and some of the chief persons belonging to the court refused to accept the money which he offered them, because they considered it to have been gained by piracy. This is said to have troubled him greatly, for he no doubt was of opinion that the conduct of the Spaniards in their American conquests warranted any hostile proceedings. against them; and he had this to encourage him, that, while statesmen openly condemned his conduct, or only covertly protected him, "the common sort of people admired and extolled his actions, as deeming it no less honourable to have enlarged the bounds of the English name and glory, than of their empire." + Indeed, however desirous Elizabeth's ministers were of avoiding a war, they saw, what the people felt, that it must soon be forced upon them, and that overt acts on the part of Philip would soon follow the covert hostility which had long been carried on. The Jesuits, who were now the moving spirits in every conspiracy, were at that time (to use a word current in that age) completely hispaniolized, and this was not because the founder, and the architect, and the great thaumaturgic saint of their order were Spaniards, but because the chimerical hope was entertained of establishing an universal monarchy, of which Spain was to be the temporal and Rome the spiritual head. The important step of rendering Spain in all spiritual affairs absolutely subservient to Rome had been effected; and they who laboured to extend the Spanish dominion perceived that the succession of the Scottish line to the throne of
*It was paid to a certain Pedro Sebura, of whom Camden says, that he 'pretended himself an agent for retrieving the gold and silver, though he had no letters of evidence or commission so to do; and that he "never repaid it to the right owners, but employed it against the queen, and converted it to the pay of the Spaniards in the Netherlands, as was at length, when it was too late, understood." P. 255.
+ Fuller's Church History, 16th century, 180-182.
VIEWS OF THE JESUITS.
England must be unfavourable to the interests of Spain, because of Mary's connection with the Guises; that of her son would be detrimental to the Romish church, because he had been carefully and well educated in the principles of the protestant faith, and it was now evident that those principles were well rooted in his mind. They set up, therefore, a title of the king of Spain to the English crown, by which, preposterous as it was, not a few of the English papists were deluded.* Some of the queen's counsellors proposed to her, as a counterproject, that she should foment the difference which then existed between Philip and the pope concerning the kingdom of Naples, and assist Gregory not as pope but in his character of temporal prince with ships; thus, they argued, she might bring about a diversion of the Spanish forces, and prevent an invasion of her own dominions. It might have been a sufficient objection to any such proposal that the papal claim rested upon papal grounds, and was not maintainable as a political question. But Elizabeth saw it at once in the right point of view as a question of honour and of conscience: she refused to "entertain compliance with the pope in any capacity, or any conditions, as dishonourable to herself, and distasteful to the protestant princes; nor would she," says our good church-historian, "touch pitch in jest, for fear of being defiled in earnest.”†
Part of the system which the hispaniolised faction pursued was to blacken the character of Elizabeth by every imaginable calumny, knowing that no calumnies can be too absurd for itching ears, and hearts that are
*This title, Fuller says (180.), was " as much admired by their own party, as slighted by the queen and her loyal subjects. Indeed, it is easy for any indifferent herald so to devise a pedigree, as in some seeming probability to entitle any prince in Christendom to any principality in Christendom; but such will shrink on serious examination. Yea, I believe queen Elizabeth might pretend a better title to the kingdoms of Leon and Castille in Spain, as descended by the house of York, from Edmond earl of Cambridge, and his lady coheir to king Pedro, than any claim that the king of Spain could make out to the kingdom of England. However much mischief was done hereby, many papists paying their good wishes where they were not due, and defrauding the queen (their true creditor) of the allegiance belonging unto her."
+ Fuller's Church History, 16th century, 180-182.