Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

in procuring the space and the materials for that magnificent structure. A cry was also raised against him on account of a proposition he had made in the council for a peace with France on the condition of resigning Boulogne for a sum of money. In the beginning of October he learned that measures were about to be immediately taken against him. In fact Warwick and his associates in the council had collected their armed retainers, and were now ready to employ force if other means should fail. They had retired from Hampton Court, where the king resided, and fised themselves in London, where they had contrived to obtain possession of the Tower. Somerset, on the first notice of their proceedings, carried off the king to Windsor Castle, and shut himself up there as if with the intention of holding out ; but he soon found himself nearly deserted by all ; and after a few days the king himself was obliged to sanction the vote for his deposition passed by the majority of the council. On the 14th he was brought to London in custody, and sent to the Tower. From this moment Warwick, though without his title of protector, enjoyed his power. Soinerset, reduced to insignificance by this usage, but especially by an abject submission which he made in the first moments of danger, was some time after this released from confinement, and was even allowed again to take his seat at the council-table ; but he either engaged in designs to regain his lost place, or Warwick, now duke of Northumberland, and possessed almost of undivided power in the state, felt that he should not be quite secure so long as his old rival lived. An apparent reconciliation had been effected between the two, and ratified by the marriage of Warwick's eldest son to Somerset's daughter: but this connerion was no shelter to the overthrown protector : on the 1st of December, 1551, he was brought to trial before the high steward and a committee of the House of Lords, ou charges both of high treason and of felony; he was convicted of the latter crime, and was executed on Tower-Hill, the 22nd January, 1552. He met his death with great manliness, and the popular sympathy was deeply excited in his favour, both by the feeling that, with some faults, he had fallen the victim of a much worse man than himself, and by the apprehension that in his destruction the great stay which had hitherto supported the Reformation in England was thrown down.

Warwick however (although at his death, a few years after this, he declared that he had always been a Catholic) did not feel himself strong enough to take any measures openly in favour of the antient faith, opposed as he knew he would be in that course by the great mass of the nation. It is probable that he cared little which religion prevailed, so that he remained at the head of affairs. The government accordingly continued to be conducted in all respects nearly as it had heretofore been. In March, 1550, a peace had been concluded with France, one of the articles stipulating for the surrender of Boulogne, the support of which very propositiou had been made the principal charge against Somerset a few months before. In the following July another treaty between the two countries was signed at ångers, by which it was agreed that the king of England should receive in marriage Elizabeth, the daughter of the king of France. Meanwhile at home the matter of religion continued to be treated by the new government much as it had been by the old. No Roman Catholics were put to death during this reign, though many were fined, imprisoned, and otherwise not capitally punished ; but on the 2nd of May, 1530, an unfortunate fanatic, Joan Becher, commonly called Joan of Kent, was burnt for certain opinions considered to be neither Catholic nor Protestant, in conformity with a warrant extorted by Cranmer from the king about a year before ; and on the 2ud of May, 1551, an eminent surgeon, named Von Panis, of Dutch extraction, but

resident in London, paid the sanie penalty for his adherence to a similar heresy. · Bishop Bonner was deprived of his see in September, 1549 ; Gardiner, in January,

1551; and Day of Chichester, and Heath of Worcester, in October of the same year. The forty-two articles of belief, afterwards reduced to thirty-three, were promulgated in the early part of this year.

In April, 1552, Edward was attacked by small-pox; and, although he recovered from that disease, the debility in which it left him produced other complaints, which ere long began to assume an alarming appearance. By the beginning of the following year he was very ill. Northumberland now lost no time in arranging his plans for bringing the crown into his own family. In May his son Lord Guildford Dudley married the Lady Jane Grey, the eldest daughter of the duchess of Suffolk, who was herself the eldest daughter, by her second marriage with Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, of Mary Tudor, the ex-queen of France, and the daughter of Henry VII., upon whose descendants Henry VIII, had by his will settled the crown on failure of the lines of his son Edward and of his daughters Mary and Elizabeth. This settlement, it is to be remembered, had been made by Henry under the express authority of an act of parliament, which empowered him to dispose of the kingdom to whomsoever he chose, on failure of his three children. Northumberland now applied himself to induce Edward to make a new settlement excluding Mary and Elizabeth, who had both been declared illegitimate by parliament, and to nominate Lady Jane Grey (in whose favour her mother the duchess of Suffolk, still alive, agreed to renounce her claim) as his immediate successor.

The interest of the Protestant religion, which it was argued would be more secure with a sovereign on the throne whose attachment to the principles of the Reformation was undoubted, and upon whose birth there was no stain, than if the succession were left to be disputed between the king's two sisters, one of whom was a bigoted Catholic, and the legitimacy of either of whom almost implied the illegitimacy of the other, is believed to have been the chief consideration that was urged upon the dying prince. Edward at all events was brought over to his minister's views. On the 11th of Jane, Montague, the chief justice of the Common Pleas, and two of his brethren, were sent for to Greenwich, and desired to draw up a settlement of the crown upon the Lady Jane. After some hesitation they agreed, on the 14th, to comply with the king's commands, on his assurance that a parliament should be immediately called to ratify what was done. When the settlement was drawn up, an engagement to maintain it was subscribed by fifteen lords of the council and nine of the judges. Edward sunk rapidly after this, and lived only till the evening of the 6th of July, when he expired at Greenwich. His death, however, was concealed for two days, and it was not till the 9th that Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed.

Edward VI. is stated by the famous Jerome Cardan, who was brought to see him in his last illness, to have spoken both French and Latin with perfect readiness and propriety, and to have been also master of Greek, Italian, and Spanish. In his conversation with Cardan, which the latter has preserved, he showed an intelligence and dexterity which appear to have rather puzzled the philosopher. Walpole has set him down among his royal authors on the strength of his 'Diary,' printed by Burnet in his History of the Reformation, and the original of which is still preserved among the Cottonian manuscripts ; a lost comedy which is attributed to him; some Latin epistles and orations, of which specimens are given by Strype ; a translation into French of several passages of scripture, preserved in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge ; a tract in French against popery, entitled, 'L'Encontre des abus du monde ;' and a few other productions of a similar kind which have not been printed.

The act of the 1st Edward VI. gave to the king all the colleges, free-chapela, chauntries, hospitals, &c., which were not in the possession of his father by the

act passed in the 37th year of Henry's reign. This act was much abused; for though one professed object of it was the encouragement of learning, many places of learning were actually suppressed under it. The king, however, afterwards founded a considerable number of grammar-schools, which still exist and are popularly known as King Edward's Schools.

167.-SONNETS.

WORDSWORTEL

EDWARD VI.
“Sweet is the holiness of youth”—so felt
Time-honoured Chaucer when he framed the lay
By which the Prioress beguiled the way,
And many a Pilgrim's rugged heart did melt.
Hadst thou, loved Bard ! whose spirit often dwelt
In the clear land of vision, but foreseen
King, child, and seraph, blended in the mien
Of pious Edward kneeling as he knelt
In meek and simple infancy, what joy
For universal Christendom had thrilled
Thy heart! What hopes inspired thy genius, skilled
(O great Precursor, genuine morning star)
The lucid shafts of reason to employ,
Piercing the Papal darkness from afar !

REVIVAL OF POPERY.

Melts into silent shades the youth, discrowned
By unrelenting Death. O People keen
For change, to whom the new looks always green !
They cast, they cast with joy upon the ground
Their Gods of wood and stone ; and, at the sound
Of counter-proclamation, now are seen,
(Proud triumph is it for a sullen queen !)
Lifting them up, the worship to confound
Of the Most High. Again do they invoke
The Creature, to the Creature glory give ;
Again with frankincense the altars smoke
Like those the Heathen served ; and mass is sung;
And prayer, man's rational prerogative,
Runs through blind channels of an unknown toogue.

168.--THE REIGN OF MARY.

[PENNY CYCLOPÆDIA. Mary I. Queen of England, was the daughter of Henry VIII., by his first wife Catherine of Aragon, and was born at Greenwich, on the 18th (Burnet says 19th) of February, 1516. She was the only one of several children borne by her mother that lived ; and on this account, according to Burnet, and because her father was then “out of hopes of more children,” he in 1518 “declared his daughter princess of Wales, and sent her to Ludlow to hold her court there, and projected divers matches for her.” It was first settled that she should be married to the dauphin by a treaty with the king of France, dated 9th November, 1518, which however was soon after broken. Then it was arranged, 22nd June, 1522, that her hand should be given to the emperor Charles V. On Charles declining to fulfil this bargain, some overtures of a Scottish marriage followed in September, 1524. Finally, in April, 1527, it was agreed that the princess should be given in marriage either to the French king Francis, or to his second son, the duke of Orleans; but before it was determined whether she should be married to the father or the son, the affair of her mother's divorce, implying her own illegitimacy, came to be agitated, and stopped all match-making for some years.

Mary was brought up from her infancy in a strong attachment to the antient religion, under the care of her mother, and Margaret, countess of Salisbury, the effect of whose instructions was not impaired by the subsequent lessons of the learned Ludovicus Vives, who, though somewhat inclined to the reformed opinions, was appointed by Henry to be her Latin tutor. After her mother's divorce, Mary was deprived of her title of princess of Wales, which was transferred to the princess Elizabeth soon after she came into the world ; and during all the time that Anne Boleyn lived, Mary, who clung to her mother's cause and her own, remained in a state of estrangement from her father. In the mean time, according to Lord Herbert, negotiations for disposing of her in marriage were twice entered into by her near relation the emperor, without her father's consent having been asked ; in 1533 he offered her to James V. of Scotland, and in 1535 to her old suitor the dauphin. But immediately after the execution of Queen Anne in 1536, a reconcilement took place between Henry and his eldest daughter, who, with great reluctance, was now prevailed upon to make a formal acknowledgement both of Henry's ecclesiastical supremacy-utterly refusing the bishop of Rome's pretended authority, power, and jurisdiction within this realm heretofore usurped”—and of the nullity of the marriage of her father and mother, which she declared was " by God's law and man's law incestuous and unlawful.” (See the “Confession of me, the Lady Mary," as printed by Burnet, “ Hist. Ref.,” from the original, “all written with her own hand.”) By the new act of succession, however, passed this year, she was again, as well as her sister Elizabeth, declared illegitimate, and for ever excluded from claiming the inheritance of the crown as the king's lawful heir by lineal descent. While she was thus circumstanced, "excluded," as Lord Herbert expresses it,“ by act of parliament from all claim to the succession except such as the king shall give her" by the powers reserved to him of nominating his own successor after failure of the issue of Queen Jane, or of any other queen whom he might afterwards marry, she was in 1538 offered to Don Louis, prince of Portugal, and the next year to William, son of the duke of Cleves. Meanwhile continuing to yield an outward conformity to all her father's capriciots movements in the matter of religion, she so far succeeded in regaining his favour, that in the new act of sucsession, passed in 1544, the inheritance to the crown was expressly secured to her

next after her brother Edward and his heirs, and any issue the king might have by his then wife Catherine Parr.

Mary's compliance with the innovations in religion in her father's time had been dictated merely by fear or self-interest; and when, after the accession of her brother, his ministers proceeded to place the whole doctrine, as well as discipline, of the national church upon a new foundation, she openly refused to go along with them ; nor could all their persuasions and threats, aided by those of her brother himself, move her from her ground. Full details of the various attempts that were made to prevail upon her may be found in Burnet's "History," and in King Edward's “Journal.” Mention is made in the latter, under date of April, 1549, of a demand for the hand of the Lady Mary by the Duke of Brunswick, who was informed by the council that “there was talk for her marriage with the infant of Portugal, which being determined, he should have answer.” About the same time it is noted that “whereas the emperor's ambassador desired leave, by letters patents, that my Lady Mary might have mass, it was denied him.” On the 18th of March of the following year, the king writes : “ The Lady Mary, my sister, canie to me at Westminster, where, after salutations, she was called, with my council, into a chamber ; where was declared how long I had suffered her mass, in hope of her reconciliation, and how now being no hope, which I perceived by her letters, except I saw some short amendment, I could not bear it. She answered, that her soul was God's, and her faith she wouid not change, nor dissemble her opinion with contrary doings. It was said, I constrained not her faith, but wished her not as a king to rule, but as a subject to obey; and that her example might breed too much inconvenience.” In fact throughout this reign the princess Mary was the centre of the intrigues of the Catholic party, and the hope of her succession their main strength and support. In the summer of this same year a project was entered into by her friends at home and abroad for removing her from England, where her faith at least, if not her person, was probably supposed to be in some danger. On the 29th of August, her brother writes : "Certain pinnaces were prepared to see that there should be no conveyance over sea of the Lady Mary secretly done. Also appointed that the lord chancellor, lord chamberlain, the vice-chamberlain, and the secretary Petre should see by all means they could whether she used the mass ; and if she did, that the laws should be executed on her chaplains.”

Mary's firm adherence to the Roman faith finally induced Edward, under the interested advice of his minister Northumberland, to attempt at the close of his life to exclude her from the succession, and to make over the crown by will to the Lady Jane Grey, an act which was certainly without any shadow of legal force. Although Lady Jane however was actually proclaimed, scarcely any resistance was made to the accession of Mary, the commencement of whose reign accordingly is dated from the 6th of July, 1553, the day of her brother's death.

Mary was scarcely seated on the throne, when she proceeded to re-establish the ancient religion. In the course of the month of August, Bonner, Gardiner, and three other bishops, who had been deposed for nonconformity in the late reign, were restored to their sees, and the mass began again to be celebrated in many churches. In the following month archbishop Cranmer and bishop Latimer were committed to the Tower; and in November the parliament passed an act repealing all the acts, nine in number, relating to religion, that had been passed in the late reign, and replacing the church in the same position in which it had stood at the death of Henry VIII. These measures, and the other indications given by the court of a determination to be completely reconciled with Rome, were followed by the insurrection, commonly known as that of Sir Thomas Wyatt, its principal leader, which broke out in the end of January, 1554, but was in a few days effectus

« AnteriorContinuar »