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sumably, they supposed it would be considered good enough, but the Lord Mayor opposed the request (p. 148), on the ground of the great dearth, of wheat especially, which in April had reached the price of 98. the bushel, and the great discontentment and murmuring of the people which he expected to follow. In the south-west corner of England people clearly wanted it badly enough (p. 160). Corn was to be had from the Emperor of Russia (p. 192), if it could be paid for in gold, in Spanish money or dollars ; but for the shipment of the necessary bullion licence from the Privy Council was necessary. By September “ the late dearth of all kinds of grain, butter, and cheese” had abated, but now the Privy Council found it to be necessary to take measures against persons "liker to wolves or cormorants " than to natural men, that do most covetously seek to uphold the “ prices of grain, &c. by bargaining aforehand for corn and in “ some parts for grain growing, before it be reaped, and for “ butter and cheese before it be ready to be brought to the “ ordinary market." Among these wolfish persons was a kinsman of Sir Robert Sydney, for whom Sydney's sister, Lady Essex, pleaded (p. 442), begging that Cecil, to prevent public disgrace, would draw into his own examination the whole matter in connexion with which this gentleman, Mr. Harry Sydney of Norfolk, “ever reputed honest and religious," had been sent for by warrant to answer before the Council, and had been threatened by Coke, the Attorney-General, with a summons before the Star Chamber. In December, as before hinted, the dearth, which had passed away for the time, was again spreading (p. 526) and had reached Colchester, " abounding with so great multitude of poor people as without " some present provisions numbers must perish, notwithstanding " the excessive charge wherewith each man's best liberty is “ already burdened.”
The manner of dealing with the poor is illustrated (p. 160) Relief of by the measures adopted by the justices of the peace in Corn-' wall. These regulations (p. 161) afford matter of interest, and show how the parish church and the Sabbath Day might both be utilised for civil purposes. One of the chief events of the year was the meeting of Meeting of
Parliament. Parliament, with regard to which a considerable body of infor
mation is forthcoming. No Parliament had met since the spring of 1593. The first hint of the intention to call a Parliament is contained in a letter of Essex (p. ), who deprecated its meeting until the result of the expedition which he was about to lead against the Spaniards was known. In August (p. 359) the Lord Keeper reminds Cecil of the necessary warrant for summoning the body, “if Her Majesty do still continue her “ former resolution.” He also reminds him that some one to fill the office of clerk of the Parliament should be thought of and time given him to make himself acquainted with the nature of his duties. New Lord Keeper, new Speaker, new Clerk, and all newly to learn their duties, he had the fear that some would say of them, Ecce nova facta sunt omnia.
. Writs were sent out on the 10th of September, and in most places the elections were quickly over. In the cases of several boroughs Sir Robert Cecil took pains to control the elections, desiring to nominate the members to be chosen. East Grinstead was one of these. But although a signification of his wish reached the town on the 14th, it was then too late (p. 385), the election having been already made, and the writ returned to the sheriff. Not the smallest disinclination to comply with his wishes, however, is signified. On the contrary, the bailiff and burgesses acknowledged their obligation to do what he had asked, and expressed their readiness to undo what had been already done in the matter if that were possible. At Ripon Cecil was more successful. This was the only borough in the diocese of the Archbishop of York which returned burgesses. This town, having elected John Benet, the Archbishop's Chancellor, to one of the places, left a blank for the Archbishop to appoint the other. The Archbishop, who had himself asked for (p. 383), and received (p. 404), a dispensation from attendance in Parliament, quite contentedly passed the choice on to Cecil, suggesting, however, as a suitable person Sir William Cornwallis, or (what is somewhat remarkable in view of present disabilities) the Dean of Carlisle. To a similar request for permission to noininate burgesses made to the Bishop of Durham, Cecil received the reply that the Bishop could not discover that “ever any such were allowed in the Parliament “ house, though writs sent out in error have been received."
The town of Colchester was likewise unable to comply with Cecil's demand, but here again because it came too late. It was the opinion of the Queen and her advisers that the choice of burgesses in the towns was a matter which required special attention. The Privy Council, therefore, adınonished the boroughs in general (p. 410), that while the election of knights of the shire might safely be left to the principal persons in the counties, yet in the boroughs “many unmeet men and un“ acquainted with the state of the boroughs” might be nominated, and added the warning that; if any answering to this description made their appearance in Parliament, there would be "Occasion to inquire by whose default it so happened.” Such were the views that then obtained upon the point of freedom of election,
The election of knights of the shire was not in Yorkshire the Yorkshire tame affair that it was elsewhere, and long accounts given by e the opposing parties of the proceedings at the Castle of York will be found in the text of this volume. In this county Sir Jobo Savile and Sir Thomas Fairfax carried their election against Sir John Stanhope, Treasurer of Her Majesty's Chamber, and Sir Thomas Posthumus Hoby, after some disorderly scenes and by the partial conduct, as alleged, of the undersheriff. The Council at York were directed by the Privy Council (p. 426) to commit Sir John Savile to prison, but this direction arrived too late, he having already started on his journey to London (p. 436). The under-sheriff maintained that he had done nothing which he could not lawfully justify. For the details of this election the student must be referred to pp. 411, 416, 418, &c.
The manner of election of burgessés is shown in a letter of E. Stanhope as regards Doncaster (p. 442).
Of the actual proceedings of the Parliament when it had assembled, there are some fragmentary accounts, some lists of comunittees, and some intimations of the contents of speeches (p. 489), and of the matters that engaged the attention of members.
In the introductions to preceding parts of this Calendar, The Queen. attention has been called to any particulars afforded by the
papers concerning the Queen's personality and her relations with her subjects. The papers of this year yield a few items of this kind. For example, letters from Sir John Stanhope (pp. 41, 55) give just a hint how portions of the Queen's days were parcelled out. Information of alleged intentions to attempt to compass her death came from abroad twice. On the first occasion the immediate source was Sir Robert Sydney, who while himself evidently giving no great amount of credit to the informant, yet considered the man's statements of sufficient importance to justify the despatch of a ship-of-war to England froin Flushing with the sole purpose of bringing the man into Essex's presence. A little later Sir Horatio Palavicino communicates to Cecil a warning received from Rizza Casa, the astronomer, of poison having been prepared for the Queen, the warning accompanied by an offer to name the man, but the further statement that the deadly concoction was five years old, and had been offered to the Archduke Ernest, appears to have raised doubts in Palavicino's mind of the value of the information. An account of some treasonable talk when the Queen was at Windsor, heard by the man telling the story while he was lingering “in the upper court at the conduit “ where the water comes out at a dragon's mouth," was obviously not even worthy of relation, but, nevertheless, it was carefully brought to Cecil's notice, for the same reason probably that induced Sydney to send his warship posting across the sea from Flushing, the reason, namely, that “in a “ matter whereupon depends the good of a whole state, not « only of England but of all Christendom, there cannot be too “ much carefulness.”
The Queen's powers of literary composition are mentioned in two connexions. Her "prayer" is only incidentally referred to in a request for a copy of it by the Archbishop of Canterbury (p. 278), who applauds “the worthiness of the thing itself,” but the other piece of eloquent expression is given at length. This was her oration to the Polish Ambassador at Greenwich (p. 315), which was of a character to surprise that too forward gentleman by its vigour and directness of speech. The Queen, however, could warmly praise other effusions than her own. It is Sir John Stanhope who passes on by command
to Cecil her opinion of his aged father's speech drawn in answer to the same Ambassador (p. 320). Her view was that Sir John "might have left off admiring that little she had " spoken to have wondered at the great learning expressed in “ his lordship's speech, with the elegancy of words and deep“ ness of judgment.” She suggested, however, a certain amplitude of style in its commencement where her queenly person was referred to, as both due and requisite under the circumstances, and also certain arrangements at the conference between her Ministers and the Ambassador such as would be calcu lated to teach him his proper place.
Her high appreciation of her aged servant, Lord Burghley, Lord and his son is pleasantly indicated in a letter from the Lord Burghley. Adiniral (p. 425). “By the Lord,” he tells Cecil, “ I am not " able to express in writing those gracious words and the “ manner she willed me to write to him. ..... Her “ Majesty laughed well, and so did I, at my lord's term of " her slender servant, but what she said in her favour to “ you I will keep till you come, to have some talk with you. “ Well, father and son are blessed of God for her love to you ; " and the Lord continue it to the end!” Her tender consideration of the old lord's bodily weakness is apparent in the postscript to this letter, “ Her Majesty giveth you many thanks " that you letted my lord your father from coming.”
In the month of January 1597 died Sir Robert Cecil's Sir Robert wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Cobham. The allusions to Cecil. his loss-a loss which he felt grievously-are not many, and occur only in letters of condolence. Lord Borough (p. 56) urges him to find a counterpoise to sorrow in the circumstance that “the High Disposer of all things” had constituted him a member for his country, raised him to public use, made him an instrument of His providence in matters of State, and "enabled” him to things which ought to be dearer than wife and children. His aunt, the Dowager Lady Russell, addresses to him a set of Latin verses on the occasion, and when, some months after the event, she learns that he is still “ without comfort of worldly light,” she endeavours to rouse him from a state of dejection by warning him (p. 281) against the fruits of melancholy, pamely, “stupidity, forgetfulness of your natural