The Reign of Mary Tudor
by James Anthony Froude
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[Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected, all other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has been maintained.

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London: J. M. DENT & SONS, Ltd. New York: E. P. DUTTON & CO.







The memory of no English sovereign has been so execrated as that of Mary Tudor. For generations after her death her name, with its horrid epithet clinging round it like the shirt of Nessus, was a bugbear in thousands of Protestant homes. It is true that nearly 300 persons were burnt at the stake in her short reign. But she herself was more inclined to mercy than almost any of her predecessors on the throne. Stubbs speaks of her father's "holocausts" of victims. The persecution of Papists under Edward was not less rigorous than that of Protestants under Mary. When her record is compared with that of Philip of Spain, with his Council of Blood in the Netherlands, or of Charles IX. in France, she appears as an apostle of toleration. Why, then, has her memory been covered through centuries with scorn and obloquy?

Froude will have it that it was due to a national detestation of the crimes which were committed in the name of religion. Those who take a more detached view of history can find little evidence to support the assumption. The nation as a whole seemed to acquiesce in the persecution. The government was weak, there was no standing army, and Mary, like all the Tudors, rested her authority on popular sanction. Plots against her were few, and they were all easily suppressed. Parliament met regularly. It was not the submissive parliament of Henry VIII. It thwarted some of Mary's dearest projects. For some time it offered opposition to, if it did not actively resist, the Spanish marriage. It was inexorably opposed to the restitution of church property. It refused to alter the succession to the Crown as Mary wished. But it never remonstrated against the persecution of Protestants. It cheerfully revived the old acts for the burning of Lollard heretics. Froude suggests that Englishmen were aghast at the use to which they were afterwards put. But though parliament after parliament was summoned after the Smithfield fires had been lit, there was no sign of disapproval or of condemnation. When Edward died, there was an instantaneous return to Catholicism. When Mary died, Elizabeth {p.viii} had to walk warily in bringing about innovations in religion. Mary was crowned with the ceremonies of the Catholic Church. When Elizabeth was crowned, nearly all the bishops, including the "bloody" Bonner, attended, and the service of the mass was used. Harpsfield, the notorious Archdeacon of Canterbury, the last man to condemn heretics to the stake in England, publicly stated, weeks after the accession of Elizabeth, that there should be no change in religion. Later generations, judging events and characters by their own standard, have pitilessly condemned the Marian persecutions. The Englishmen of those days were not so squeamish or so indifferent.

There can be no doubt that Mary was unpopular among her own contemporaries. Two reasons probably account for it. The first was her marriage with Philip of Spain. There is no nation in Europe which has shown itself more tolerant of alien sovereigns than the English. They submitted to William of Normandy almost without a struggle after Senlac. They adopted the Plantagenet as their national line of kings. The Tudors were Welsh; the Stuarts Scotch; William III. was a Dutchman; the Hanoverian dynasty was German. But though tolerant of foreign dynasties, the English have, since the days of John, been excessively jealous of foreign influences. One of the main causes of Henry III.'s unpopularity was the overweening influence of his foreign favourites. From Edward I. downwards the Plantagenets ruled as English sovereigns. Henry VII., though he was crowned on the field of battle and claimed the throne by right of conquest, was too discreet to maintain his power, as Mary was once tempted to do, by the aid of Welsh guards. The fiercest hostility was evoked by James I., William III., and the first two Georges, because they surrounded themselves with favourites from their own countries. Foreigners might sit on the throne of England, but they had to rule as English sovereigns and rest their power on the support of the English people. This intense national jealousy was unhappily aroused by Mary. The strict limitations which were placed on her husband's powers should have warned her of her danger. Philip was allowed the empty title of king, but from the realities of power he was studiously excluded. Philip was careful to maintain the spirit as well as the letter of his obligations. He made no attempt to encroach upon the sovereignty of Mary. He advised her, as it was his duty to do, but he did not interfere with the government of the country. No {p.ix} Spanish troops were landed in England, even when war had broken out with France, and the coasts of England were unguarded. Yet the morbid suspicions of the people were not allayed. The Dudley plot and the Stafford invasion were justified by their authors, not on the ground of Mary's bloody persecutions, but because it was feared that Philip was planning a coup d'etat. Mary's popularity began to wane with her marriage; it sunk lower and lower till it almost disappeared when England was dragged into a war with France in the interests of Spain. St. Quintin and Gravelines for a time roused a feeble enthusiasm for the war, but the loss of Calais finally extinguished the Queens popularity. Mary is reported to have said that if her body were opened Calais would be found written on her heart. Froude disbelieves the report. But whether the story be apocryphal or not, there is no doubt that the loss of Calais was accountable, if not for the death of the Queen, for the permanent destruction of her fame.

Calais was called the "brightest jewel in the English crown." It was the last relic of the French possessions of the Plantagenets. It was the Gibraltar of the sixteenth century. It helped to make of the narrow seas an English channel. It was a mart for English goods. It afforded a foothold for Continental enterprises. To some extent it linked England with her traditional allies, the old Burgundian possessions in the Netherlands. By us, looking back over the chequered story of the last three centuries, the loss of Calais is seen to have been a blessing in disguise. England gained by it as she did by the loss of Normandy under John, and of Hanover at the accession of Queen Victoria. But to Mary's subjects it was a corroding humiliation.

"If Spain should rise suddenly into her ancient strength," Froude truly remarks, "and tear Gibraltar from us, our mortification would be faint, compared to the anguish of humiliated pride with which the loss of Calais distracted the subjects of Mary."

It was the galling reflection that Calais was lost to the French in a Spanish quarrel that crowned the poor Queen's obloquy. She had lost it through wanton neglect. Had the warnings of Wentworth and Grey been heeded, Calais might have been saved. Calais need never have been imperilled had the Queen thought more of English interests and less of the needs of her Spanish husband.

{p.x} The odium in which Mary's memory was held was turned to account by the friends of the new religion. Early in the next reign there appeared one of the most remarkable books ever written—Foxe's Book of Martyrs. The authenticity of its narrative has been impugned by Lingard and other Catholic historians; Froude bears testimony to its trustworthiness wherever it can be tested, except when it deals with purely hearsay evidence. When Foxe's narrative of the horrible Guernsey case was challenged by a Catholic controversialist in the reign of Elizabeth, the matter was inquired into, and the account was found to be absolutely true. No one will be found, however, in these days to assert that a book, written by an avowed partisan, in an uncritical age, recording transactions of which from the very nature of things he could have had no personal knowledge, was not too highly coloured in parts and in others absolutely untrustworthy. Few books, nevertheless, have exercised a more abiding influence on the course of our national life. Its simplicity, its directness, its poignant style, and its dramatic power combined to make it an English classic. If it loaded Bonner and Gardiner with shame and hatred, it fixed for three centuries the popular estimate of Mary Tudor. Froude used it with extraordinary skill. His relation of the death of a young Protestant martyr, an apprentice from Essex, taken as it is almost bodily from Foxe, must thrill even yet the least emotional of his readers. The permanence of Mary's hideous title and her abiding unpopularity are more due to the compelling power of a work of genius than to any outstanding demerits, as judged by contemporary standards, in the Catholic Queen.

Instead of being condemned to eternal infamy, poor Mary Tudor might well have expected a juster as well as a more charitable verdict from posterity. From her girlhood to her grave her story was tragic in its sadness. When she was in the first bloom of maidenhood, she was taken by her father to hold her Court of the Welsh Marches at Ludlow in 1525. The title of Princess of Wales was not conferred upon her, but she was surrounded by all the pomps and emblems of sovereignty. The Court was the Princess's Court, as it had been Prince Henry's Court in her father's youth. Three years later she was degraded from her high estate, and deprived of her Court. Henceforth, throughout her father's reign, she was known as the Lady, not the Princess, Mary. She was old {p.xi} enough to feel all the bitterness of her mother's tragedy. She remembered to her dying day the humiliation of the Boleyn marriage. She never ceased to resent the birth of her sister Elizabeth. Her brother Edward was born in lawful wedlock after Queen Catherine's death, and Mary was always perfectly loyal and obedient to him as she was to her father. But she looked with cold disfavour, mingled with morbid jealousy, on the budding promise of Elizabeth. Her very existence was an insult to Mary's mother and a menace to Mary's religion. If Elizabeth was legitimate, Catherine of Arragon was rightly divorced, and Mary herself had no claim to the throne other than by her father's will. Elizabeth could never be reconciled to Rome without casting an aspersion on Anne Boleyn's honour.

No woman was ever more lonely or loveless than the ill-starred and ill-favoured Queen Mary. She had no near relatives in England except Elizabeth, and Elizabeth, by the irony of fate, was worse than a stranger to her. The awful solitude of a throne excluded her, even more than her own ill-health and brooding temper, from the joys of friendship. Philip of Spain was at once her nearest relation on her mother's side, and the only man she ever confided in except Cardinal Pole. She lavished all the pent-up affection of an unloved existence on her husband. She was repaid by cold neglect, studied indifference, and open and vulgar infidelity. Philip made no pretence to care for his wife. She was older in years, she was ungainly in person, she possessed no charm of manner or grace of speech, her very voice was the deep bass of a man. In the days of her joyous entrance into London, amid the acclamations of the populace, her high spirit, her kind heart, and the excitement of adventure lent a passing glow to her sallow cheeks. But ill-health and disillusion followed. She became morbid and sullen, sometimes remaining for days in a dull stupor, at other times giving way to gusts of hysterical passion. But beneath her forbidding exterior there beat a warm, tender, womanly heart, which yearned for some one to love and to cherish. Her mother had died when she was yet young, her father never encouraged her to display her affection for him, and she was verging on middle age before she saw Philip. He became her hero, her master. Wifely obedience became to her the greatest of virtues; she held herself and England at his service. She longed for a son who would bind her husband more closely to herself and who {p.xii} would save England from the hated Elizabeth, and still more from Elizabeth's hated religion. When old and ill, and on the brink of the grave, she still cherished the vain dream of giving birth to the saviour of England and the champion of the faith.

But Froude dwells with malicious irony on the frustration of the poor woman's hopes. He covers the incident with a ridicule which must jar on all sensitive minds. The fact that Cardinal Pole encouraged her belief adds zest to Froude's satisfaction. No purer soul ever set himself to right the world than Reginald Pole; no one failed more completely in his cherished plans. He and Mary died on the same day; the bells that tolled their knell rang out the order for which they stood. But the utter failure of their hopes roused no emotion save that of bitter contempt in Froude. He saw no merit in the "hysterical dreamer" who had sacrificed his all for his religion; he saw no pathos in the life of that lone woman who was condemned, almost from her cradle, to a loveless existence and a forlorn death. His final epitaph on her is that "she had reigned little more than five years, and she descended into the grave amidst curses deeper than the acclamations which had welcomed her accession." The only excuse he can find for her is that she was suffering from "hysterical derangement" akin to insanity, which placed her absolutely under the domination of Gardiner and Pole. When we remember her magnanimity towards Lady Jane Grey at her accession, when we contrast her conduct towards the formidable Elizabeth with Elizabeth's subsequent conduct towards Mary Queen of Scots, her generosity to the causes she had at heart with Elizabeth's unfailing parsimony, and her open and straightforward dealings both in matters of Church and of State with her sister's mean and tortuous subterfuges, we may well extend not only our pity to the woman, but some tribute of admiration to the Queen. At least we may agree with Froude that "few men or women have lived less capable of doing knowingly a wrong thing."

W. LLEWELYN WILLIAMS. February 3, 1910.

{p.xiii} Bibliography

The following is a list of the published works of J. A. Froude—

Life of St. Neot (Lives of the English Saints, edited by J. H. Newman), 1844; Shadows of the Clouds (Tales), by Zeta (pseud.), 1847; A Sermon (on 2 Cor. vii. 10) preached at St. Mary's Church on the Death of the Rev. George May Coleridge, 1847; Article on Spinoza (Oxford and Cambridge Review), 1847; The Nemesis of Faith (Tale), 1849; England's Forgotten Worthies (Westminster Review), 1852; Book of Job (Westminster Review), 1853; Poems of Matthew Arnold (Westminster Review), 1854; Suggestions on the Best Means of Teaching English History (Oxford Essays, etc.), 1855; History of England, 12 vols., 1856-70; The Influence of the Reformation on the Scottish Character. 1865; Inaugural Address delivered to the University of St. Andrews, March 19, 1869, 1869; Short Studies on Great Subjects, 1867, 2 vols., series 2-4, 1871-83 (articles from Fraser's Magazine, Westminster Review, etc.); The Cat's Pilgrimage, 1870; Calvinism: Address at St. Andrews, 1871; The English in Ireland, 3 vols., 1872-74; Bunyan (English Men of Letters), 1878; Caesar: a Sketch, 1879; Two Lectures on South Africa, 1880; Thomas Carlyle (a history of the first forty years of his life, etc.), 2 vols., 1882; Luther: a Short Biography, 1883; Thomas Carlyle (a history of his life in London, 1834-81), 2 vols., 1884; Oceana, 1886; The English in the West Indies, 1888; Liberty and Property: an Address [1888]; The Two Chiefs of Dunboy, 1889; Lord Beaconsfield (a Biography), 1890; The Divorce of Catherine of Arragon, 1891; The Spanish Story of the Armada, 1892; Life and Letters of Erasmus, 1894; English Seamen in the Sixteenth Century, 1895; Lectures on the Council of Trent, 1896; My Relations with Carlyle, 1903.

Edited:—Carlyle's Reminiscences, 1881; Mrs. Carlyle's Letters, 1883.


Chapter Page

I. Queen Jane and Queen Mary 1

II. The Spanish Marriage 79

III. Reconciliation With Rome 147

IV. The Martyrs 201

V. Calais 260

VI. Death of Mary 305

Index 321

{p.001} MARY TUDOR



On the 7th of July the death of Edward VI. was ushered in with signs and wonders, as if heaven and earth were in labour with revolution. The hail lay upon the grass in the London gardens as red as blood. At Middleton Stony in Oxfordshire, anxious lips reported that a child had been born with one body, two heads, four feet and hands.[1] About the time when the letters patent were signed there came a storm such as no living Englishman remembered. The summer evening grew black as night. Cataracts of water flooded the houses in the city and turned the streets into rivers; trees were torn up by the roots and whirled through the air, and a more awful omen—the forked lightning—struck down the steeple of the church where the heretic service had been read for the first time.[2]

[Footnote 1: Grey Friars' Chronicle: Machyn.]

[Footnote 2: Baoardo's History of the Revolution in England on the Death of Edward VI., printed at Venice, 1558. A copy of this rare book is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.]

The king died a little before nine o'clock on Thursday evening. His death was made a secret; but in the same hour a courier was galloping through the twilight to Hunsdon to bid Mary mount and fly. Her plans had been for some days prepared. She had been directed to remain quiet, but to hold herself ready to be up and away at a moment's warning. The lords who were to close her in would not be at their posts, and for a few hours the roads would be open. The Howards were looking for her in Norfolk; and thither she was to ride at her best speed, proclaiming her accession as she went along, and sending out her letters calling loyal Englishmen to rise in her defence.

So Mary's secret friends had instructed her to act as her one chance. Mary, who, like all the Tudors, was most herself in the moments of greatest danger, followed a counsel boldly which agreed with her own opinion; and when Lord Robert Dudley {p.002} came in the morning with a company of horse to look for her, she was far away. Relays of horses along the road, and such other precautions as could be taken without exciting suspicion, had doubtless not been overlooked.

Far different advice had been sent to her by the new ambassadors of the emperor. Scheyfne, who understood England and English habits, and who was sanguine of her success, had agreed to a course which had probably been arranged in concert with him; but on the 6th, the day of Edward's death, Renard and M. de Courieres arrived from Brussels. To Renard, accustomed to countries where governments were everything and peoples nothing, for a single woman to proclaim herself queen in the face of those who had the armed force of the kingdom in their hands, appeared like madness. Little confidence could be placed in her supposed friends, since they had wanted resolution to refuse their signatures to the instrument of her deposition. The emperor could not move; although he might wish well to her cause, the alliance of England was of vital importance to him, and he would not compromise himself with the faction whose success, notwithstanding Scheyfne's assurance, he looked upon as certain. Renard, therefore, lost not a moment in entreating the princess not to venture upon a course from which he anticipated inevitable ruin. If the nobility or the people desired to have her for queen, they would make her queen. There was no need for her to stir.[3] The remonstrance agreed {p.003} fully with the opinion of Charles himself, who replied to Renard's account of his conduct with complete approval of it.[4] The emperor's power was no longer equal to an attitude of menace; he had been taught, by the repeated blunders of Reginald Pole, to distrust accounts of popular English sentiment; and he disbelieved entirely in the ability of Mary and her friends to cope with a conspiracy so broadly contrived, and supported by the countenance of France.[5] But Mary was probably gone from Hunsdon before advice arrived, to which she had been lost if she had listened. She had ridden night and day without a halt for a hundred miles to Keninghal, a castle of the Howards on the Waveney river. There, in safe hands, she would try the effect of an appeal to her country. If the nation was mute, she would then escape to the Low Countries.[6]

[Footnote 3: Avant nostre arrivee elle mist en deliberation avec aulcungs de ses plus confidens ce qu'elle debvroit faire, advenant la dicte morte; la quelle treuva, que incontinant la dicte morte decouverte, elle se debvoit publier royne par lettres et escriptz, et qu'en ce faisant, elle conciteroit plusieurs a se declairer pour la maintenir telle, (et aussy que y a quelque observance par de ca que celuy ou celle qui est appele a la couronne se doit incontinent tel declairer et publier) pour la haine qu'ilz portent audict duc, le tenant tiran et indigne; s'estant absolument resolue qu'elle debvoit suyvre ceste conclusion et conseil, aultrement elle tomberoit en danger de sa personne plus grand qu'elle n'est et perdroit l'espoir de parvenir a la couronne. La quelle conclusion avons treuve estrange, difficile, et dangereuse, pour les raisons soubzcriptes: pour aultant que toutes les forces du pays sont es mains dudict duc: que la dicte dame n'a espoir de contraires forces ny d'assistance pour donner pied a ceulx qu'ilz adherer luy vouldroient; que se publiant royne, le roy et royne designes par le dict testament (encores qu'il soit mal) prendroient fondement, de l'invahir par la force et que n'y aura moien d'y resister si vostre majeste ne s'en empesche; ce que avons pese pour les grands affaires et empeschemens qu'elle a contre les Francoys et en divers lieux, que ne semble convenir que l'on concite en ceste saison les Angloys contre vostre Majeste et ses pays.

Comme n'avons peu communiquer verbalement avec elle, l'avons advertie desdicts difficultes.... Que si la noblesse ses adherens, ou le peuple la desiroit et maintenoit pour royne, il le pourroit demonstrer par l'effect; que la question estoit grande mesme entre barbares et gens de telle condition que les Angloys ... luy touchant ces difficultez pour le respect de sa personne et pour suyvre la fin de la dicte instruction qu'est de non troubler le royaulme au desadvantaige de vostre Majeste—The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor: Papiers d'Etat du Cardinal de Granvelle, vol. iv. pp. 19, 20.]

[Footnote 4: Nous avons veu par vos lectres l'advertissement qu'avez donne soubz main a Madame la princesse nostre cousine, affin qu'elle ne se laisse forcompter par ceulx qui luy persuadent qu'elle se haste de se declairer pour royne, que nous a semble tres bien pour les raisons et considerations touschez en vosdictes lectres.—The Emperor to the Ambassadors: Ibid. pp. 24, 25.]

[Footnote 5: Ne se pouvoient faire grand fondement sur la faveur et affection que aulcuns particuliers et le peuple peuvent porter a nostredicte cousine, ne fust que y en y eust plus grant nombre ou des principaulx, n'estant cela souffisant pour contreminer la negociation si fondee et de si longue main que le dict duc de Northumberland a empris avec l'assistance que doubtez de France.—Ibid. pp. 25, 26.]

[Footnote 6: Baoardo.]

In London, during Friday and Saturday, the death of Edward was known and unknown. Every one talked of it as certain. Yet the Duke of Northumberland still spoke of him as living, and public business was carried on in his name. On the 8th of July the mayor and aldermen were sent for to Greenwich to sign the letters patent. From them the truth could not be concealed, but they were sworn to secrecy before they were allowed to leave the palace. The conspirators desired to have Mary under safe custody in the Tower before the mystery was published to the world, and another difficulty was not yet got over.

The novelty of a female sovereign, and the supposed constitutional objection to it, were points in favour of the alteration which Northumberland was unwilling to relinquish. The "device" had been changed in favour of Lady Jane; but Lady Jane was not to reign alone: Northumberland intended to hold {p.004} the reins tight-grasped in his own hands, to keep the power in his own family, and to urge the sex of Mary as among the prominent occasions of her incapacity.[7] England was still to have a king, and that king was to be Guilford Dudley.

[Footnote 7: In the explanation given on the following Tuesday to the Emperor's ambassadors, Madame Marie was said—"N'estre capable dudict royaulme pour le divorce faict entre le feu Roy Henry et la Royne Katherine; se referant aux causes aians meu ledict divorce; et mesme n'estre suffisante pour l'administration d'icelluy comme estant femme, et pour la religion."—Papiers d'Etat du Cardinal de Granvelle, p. 28. Noailles was instructed to inform the King of France of the good affection of "the new King" ("le nouveaulx Roy"). He had notice of the approaching coronation of "the King;" and in the first communication of Edward's death to Hoby and Morryson in the Netherlands, a "king," and not a "queen," was described as on the throne in his place.]

Jane Grey, eldest daughter of the Duke of Suffolk, was nearly of the same age with Edward. Edward had been precocious to a disease; the activity of his mind had been a symptom, or a cause, of the weakness of his body. Jane Grey's accomplishments were as extensive as Edward's; she had acquired a degree of learning rare in matured men, which she could use gracefully, and could permit to be seen by others without vanity or consciousness. Her character had developed with their talents. At fifteen she was learning Hebrew and could write Greek; at sixteen she corresponded with Bullinger in Latin at least equal to his own; but the matter of her letters is more striking than the language, and speaks more for her than the most elaborate panegyrics of admiring courtiers. She has left a portrait of herself drawn by her own hand; a portrait of piety, purity, and free, noble innocence, uncoloured, even to a fault, with the emotional weaknesses of humanity.[8] While the effects of the Reformation of England had been chiefly visible in the outward dominion of scoundrels and in the eclipse of the hereditary virtues of the national character, Lady Jane Grey had lived to show that the defect was not in the reformed faith, but in the absence of all faith—that the graces of a St. Elizabeth could be rivalled by the pupil of Cranmer and Ridley. The Catholic saint had no excellence of which Jane Grey was without the promise; the distinction was in the freedom of the Protestant from the hysterical ambition for an unearthly nature, and in the presence, through a more intelligent creed, of a vigorous and practical understanding.

[Footnote 8: Letters of Lady Jane Grey to Bullinger: Epistolae Tigurinae, pp. 3-7.]

When married to Guilford Dudley, Jane Lady had entreated that, being herself so young, and her husband scarcely older, {p.005} she might continue to reside with her mother.[9] Lady Northumberland had consented; and the new-made bride remained at home till a rumour went abroad that Edward was on the point of death, when she was told that she must remove to her father-in-law's house, till "God should call the king to his mercy;" her presence would then be required at the Tower, the king having appointed her to be the heir to the crown.

[Footnote 9: Baoardo—who tells the story as it was told by Lady Jane herself to Abbot Feckenham.]

This was the first hint which she had received of the fortune which was in store for her. She believed it to be a jest, and took no notice of the order to change her residence, till the Duchess of Northumberland came herself to fetch her. A violent scene ensued with Lady Suffolk. At last the duchess brought in Guilford Dudley, who commanded Lady Jane, on her allegiance as a wife, to return with him; and, "not choosing to be disobedient to her husband," she consented. The duchess carried her off, and kept her for three or four days a prisoner. Afterwards she was taken to a house of the duke's at Chelsea, where she remained till Sunday, the 9th of July, when a message was brought that she was wanted immediately at Sion House, to receive an order from the king.

She went alone. There was no one at the palace when she arrived; but immediately after Northumberland came, attended by Pembroke, Northampton, Huntingdon, and Arundel. The Earl of Pembroke, as he approached, knelt to kiss her hand. Lady Northumberland and Lady Northampton entered, and the duke, as President of the Council, rose to speak.

"The king," he said, "was no more. A godly life had been followed, as a consolation to their sorrows, by a godly end, and in leaving the world he had not forgotten his duty to his subjects. His majesty had prayed on his death-bed that Almighty God would protect the realm from false opinions, and especially from his unworthy sister; he had reflected that both the Lady Mary and the Lady Elizabeth had been cut off by act of parliament from the succession as illegitimate;[10] the Lady Mary had been disobedient to her father; she had been again disobedient to her brother; she was a capital and principal enemy of God's word; and both she and her sister were bastards born; King Henry did not intend that the crown should be worn by either of them; King Edward, therefore, had, before his death, bequeathed {p.006} it to his cousin the Lady Jane; and, should the Lady Jane die without children, to her younger sister; and he had entreated the council, for their honours' sake and for the sake of the realm, to see that his will was observed."

[Footnote 10: La detta maesta haveva ben considerato un atto di Parliamento nel quale fu gia deliberato che qualunque volesse riconoscere Maria overo Elizabetha sorelle per heredi della corona fusse tenuto traditore.—Baoardo.]

Northumberland, as he concluded, dropped on his knees; the four lords knelt with him, and, doing homage to the Lady Jane as queen, they swore that they would keep their faith or lose their lives in her defence.

Lady Jane shook, covered her face with her hands, and fell fainting to the ground. Her first simple grief was for Edward's death; she felt it as the loss of a dearly loved brother. The weight of her own fortune was still more agitating; when she came to herself, she cried that it could not be; the crown was not for her, she could not bear it—she was not fit for it. Then, knowing nothing of the falsehoods which Northumberland had told her, she clasped her hands, and, in a revulsion of feeling, she prayed God that if the great place to which she was called was indeed justly hers, He would give her grace to govern for his service and for the welfare of his people.[11]

[Footnote 11: Mr. John Gough Nichols, the accomplished editor of so many of the best publications of the Camden Society, throws a doubt on the authenticity of this scene, being unable to find contemporary authority for it. It comes to us, through Baoardo, from Lady Jane herself.]

So passed Sunday, the 9th of July, at Sion House. In London, the hope of first securing Mary being disappointed, the king's death had been publicly acknowledged; circulars were sent out to the sheriffs, mayors, and magistrates in the usual style, announcing the accession of Queen Jane, and the troops were sworn man by man to the new sovereign. Sir William Petre and Sir John Cheke waited on the emperor's ambassador to express a hope that the alteration in the succession would not affect the good understanding between the courts of England and Flanders. The preachers were set to work to pacify the citizens; and, if Scheyfne is to be believed, a blood cement was designed to strengthen the new throne; and Gardiner, the Duke of Norfolk, and Lord Courtenay[12] were directed to prepare for death in three days.[13] But Northumberland would scarcely have risked an act of gratuitous tyranny. Norfolk, being under attainder, might have been put to death {p.007} without violation of the forms of law, by warrant from the crown; but, Gardiner was uncondemned, and Courtenay had never been accused of crime.

[Footnote 12: Edward Lord Courtenay was son of the executed Marquis of Exeter and great grandson of Edward IV. He was thrown into the Tower with his father when a little boy, and in that confinement, in fifteen years, he had grown to manhood. Of him and his fortunes all that need be said will unfold itself.]

[Footnote 13: Scheyfne to Charles V., July 10: MS. Rolls House.]

The next day, Monday, the 10th of July, the royal barges came down the Thames from Richmond; and at three o'clock in the afternoon Lady Jane landed at the broad staircase at the Tower, as queen, in undesired splendour. A few scattered groups of spectators stood to watch the arrival; but it appeared, from their silence, that they had been brought together chiefly by curiosity. As the gates closed, the heralds-at-arms, with a company of the archers of the guard, rode into the city, and at the cross in Cheapside, Paul's Cross, and Fleet Street they proclaimed "that the Lady Mary was unlawfully begotten, and that the Lady Jane Grey was queen." The ill-humour of London was no secret, and some demonstration had been looked for in Mary's favour;[14] but here, again, there was only silence. The heralds cried "God save the queen!" The archers waved their caps and cheered, but the crowd looked on impassively. One youth only, Gilbert Potter, whose name for those few days passed into fame's trumpet, ventured to exclaim, "The Lady Mary has the better title." Gilbert's master, one "Ninian Sanders," denounced the boy to the guard, and he was seized. Yet a misfortune, thought to be providential, in a few hours befell Ninian Sanders. Going home to his house down the river, in the July evening, he was overturned and drowned as he was shooting London Bridge in his wherry; the boatmen, who were the instruments of Providence, escaped.

[Footnote 14: Noailles.]

Nor did the party in the Tower rest their first night there with perfect satisfaction. In the evening messengers came in from the eastern counties with news of the Lady Mary, and with letters from herself. She had written to Renard and Scheyfne to tell them that she was in good hands, and for the moment was safe. She had proclaimed herself queen. She had sent addresses to the peers, commanding them on their allegiance to come to her; and she begged the ambassadors to tell her instantly whether she might look for assistance from Flanders; on the active support of the emperor, so far as she could judge, the movements of her friends would depend.

The ambassadors sent a courier to Brussels for instructions; but, pending Charles's judgment to the contrary, they thought they had better leave Mary's appeal unanswered till they could see how events would turn. There was one rumour current {p.008} indeed that she had from ten to fifteen thousand men with her; but this they could ill believe. For themselves, they expected every hour to hear that she had been taken by Lord Warwick and Lord Robert Dudley, who were gone in pursuit of her, and had been put to death.[15]

[Footnote 15: Renard to Charles V.: Papiers d'Etat du Cardinal Granvelle, vol. iv.]

The lords who were with the new queen were not so confident. They were in late consultation with the Duchess of Northumberland and the Duchess of Suffolk, when, after nightfall, a letter was brought in to them from Mary. The lords ordered the messenger into arrest. The seal of the packet was broken, and the letter read aloud. It was dated the day before, Sunday, July 9:—

"My lords," wrote Mary, "we greet you well, and have received sure advertisement that our deceased brother the king, our late Sovereign Lord, is departed to God's mercy; which news how they be woeful to our heart He only knoweth to whose will and pleasure we must and do submit us and all our wills. But in this so lamentable a case that is, to wit, now, after his majesty's departure and death, concerning the crown and governance of this realm of England, that which hath been provided by act of parliament and the testament and last will of our dearest father, you know—the realm and the whole world knoweth. The rolls and records appear, by the authority of the king our said father, and the king our said brother, and the subjects of this realm; so that we verily trust there is no true subject that can pretend to be ignorant thereof; and of our part we have ourselves caused, and as God shall aid and strengthen us, shall cause, our right and title in this behalf to be published and proclaimed accordingly.

"And, albeit, in this so weighty a matter, it seemeth strange that the dying of our said brother upon Thursday at night last past, we hitherto had no knowledge from you thereof; yet we consider your wisdom and prudence to be such, that having eftsoons amongst you debated, pondered, and well-weighed the present case, with our estate, with your own estate, the commonwealth, and all our honours, we shall and may conceive great hope and trust, with much assurance in your loyalty and service; and therefore, for the time, we interpret and take things not for the worst; and that ye yet will, like noblemen, work the best. Nevertheless, we are not ignorant of your consultation to undo the provisions made for our preferment, nor of the great banded provisions forcible whereunto ye be assembled {p.009} and prepared, by whom and to what end God and you know; and nature can fear some evil. But be it that some consideration politic, or whatsoever thing else, hath moved you thereunto; yet doubt ye not, my lords, but we can take all these your doings in gracious part, being also right ready to remit and also pardon the same, with that freely to eschew bloodshed and vengeance against all those that can or will intend the same; trusting also assuredly you will take and accept this grace and virtue in good part as appertaineth, and that we shall not be enforced to use the service of other our true subjects and friends which, in this our just and rightful cause, God, in whom our whole affiance is, shall send us.

"Whereupon, my lords, we require and charge you, and every of you, on your allegiance, which you owe to God and us, and to none other, that for our honour and the surety of our realm, only you will employ yourselves; and forthwith, upon receipt hereof, cause our right and title to the crown and government of this realm to be proclaimed in our city of London, and such other places as to your wisdom shall seem good, and as to this cause appertaineth, not failing hereof, as our very trust is in you; and this our letter, signed with our own hand, shall be your sufficient warrant."[16]

[Footnote 16: Holinshed.]

The lords, when the letter was read to the end, looked uneasily in each other's faces. The ladies screamed, sobbed, and were carried off in hysterics. There was yet time to turn back; and had the Reformation been, as he pretended, the true concern of the Duke of Northumberland, he would have brought Mary back himself, bound by conditions which, in her present danger, she would have accepted. But Northumberland cared as little for religion as for any other good thing. He was a great criminal, throwing a stake for a crown; and treason is too conscious of its guilt to believe retreat from the first step to be possible.

Another blow was in store for him that night, before he laid his head upon his pillow. Lady Jane, knowing nothing of the letter from Mary, had retired to her apartment, when the Marquis of Winchester came in to wish her joy. He had brought the crown with him, which she had not sent for; he desired her to put it on, and see if it required alteration. She said it would do very well as it was. He then told her that, before her coronation, another crown was to be made for her husband. Lady Jane started; and it seemed as if for the first time the dreary {p.010} suspicion crossed her mind that she was, after all, but the puppet of the ambition of the duke to raise his family to the throne. Winchester retired, and she sat indignant[17] till Guilford Dudley appeared, when she told him that, young as she was, she knew that the crown of England was not a thing to be trifled with. There was no Dudley in Edward's will, and, before he could be crowned, the consent of Parliament must be first asked and obtained. The boy-husband went whining to his mother, while Jane sent for Arundel and Pembroke, and told them that it was not for her to appoint kings. She would make her husband a duke if he desired it; that was within her prerogative; but king she would not make him. As she was speaking, the Duchess of Northumberland rushed in with her son, fresh from the agitation of Mary's letter. The mother stormed; Guilford cried like a spoilt child that he would be no duke, he would be a king: and, when Jane stood firm, the duchess bade him come away, and not share the bed of an ungrateful and disobedient wife.[18]

[Footnote 17: Le quale parole io senti con mio gran dispiacere.—Baoardo.]

[Footnote 18: Baoardo.]

The first experience of royalty had brought small pleasure with it. Dudley's kingship was set aside for the moment, and was soon forgotten in more alarming matters. To please his mother, or to pacify his vanity, he was called "Your Grace." He was allowed to preside in the council, so long as a council remained, and he dined alone[19]—tinsel distinctions, for which the poor wretch had to pay dearly.

[Footnote 19: Se faisoit servir de mesme.—Renard to Charles V.: MS. Rolls House.]

The next day (July 11) restored the conspirators to their courage. No authentic accounts came in of disturbances. London was still quiet; so quiet, that it was thought safe to nail Gilbert Potter by the ears in the pillory, and after sufficient suffering, to slice them off with a knife. Lord Warwick and Lord Robert were still absent, and no news had come from them—a proof that they were still in pursuit. The duke made up his mind that Mary was watching only for an opportunity to escape to Flanders; and the ships in the river, with a thousand men-at-arms on board them, were sent to watch the Essex coast, and to seize her, could they find opportunity. Meanwhile he himself penned a reply to her letter. "The Lady Jane," he said, "by the antient laws of the realm," and "by letters patent of the late king," signed by himself, and countersigned by the nobility, was rightful queen of England. The divorce of Catherine of Arragon from Henry VIII. had been prescribed by {p.011} the laws of God, pronounced by the Church of England, and confirmed by act of parliament; the daughter of Catherine was, therefore, illegitimate, and could not inherit; and the duke warned her to forbear, at her peril, from molesting her lawful sovereign, or turning her people from their allegiance. If she would submit and accept the position of a subject, she should receive every reasonable attention which it was in the power of the queen to show to her.

During the day rumours of all kinds were flying, but Mary's friends in London saw no reasonable grounds for hope. Lord Robert was supposed by Renard[20] to be on his way to the Tower with the princess as his prisoner; and if she was once within the Tower walls, all hope was over. It was not till Wednesday morning (July 12) that the duke became really alarmed. Then at once, from all sides, messengers came in with unwelcome tidings. The Dudleys had come up with Mary the day before, as she was on her way from Keninghal to Framlingham. They had dashed forward upon her escort, but their own men turned sharp round, declared for the princess, and attempted to seize them; they had been saved only by the speed of their horses.[21] In the false calm of the two preceding days, Lord Bath had stolen across the country into Norfolk. Lord Mordaunt and Lord Wharton had sent their sons; Sir William Drury, Sir John Skelton, Sir Henry Bedingfield, and many more, had gone in the same direction. Lord Sussex had declared also for Mary; and, worse than all, Lord Derby had risen in Cheshire, and was reported to be marching south with twenty thousand men.[22] Scarcely were these news digested, when Sir Edmund Peckham, cofferer of the household, was found to have gone off with the treasure under his charge. Sir Edward Hastings, Lord Huntingdon's brother, had called out the musters of Buckinghamshire in Mary's name, and Peckham had joined him; while Sir Peter Carew, the very hope and stay of the western Protestants, had proclaimed Mary in the towns of Devonshire.

[Footnote 20: Renard to Charles V.: MS. Rolls House.]

[Footnote 21: Ibid.]

[Footnote 22: Queen Jane and Queen Mary. Renard to Charles V.]

Now, when too late, it was seen how large an error had been committed in permitting the princess's escape. But it was vain to waste time in regrets. Her hasty levies, at best, could be but rudely armed; the duke had trained troops and cannon, and, had he been free to act, with no enemies but those in the field against him, he had still the best of the game. But Suffolk and {p.012} Northampton, the least able of the council, were, nevertheless, the only members of it on whom he could rely. To whom but to himself could he trust the army which must meet Mary in the field? If he led the army in person, whom could he leave in charge of London, the Tower, and Lady Jane? Winchester and Arundel knew his dilemma, and deliberately took advantage of it. The guard, when first informed that they were to take the field, refused to march. After a communication with the Marquis of Winchester, they withdrew their objections, and professed themselves willing to go. Northumberland, uneasy at their conduct, or requiring a larger force, issued a proclamation offering tenpence a day to volunteers who would go to bring in the Lady Mary.[23] The lists were soon filled, but filled with the retainers and servants of his secret enemies.[24]

[Footnote 23: Grey Friars' Chronicle.]

[Footnote 24: "Ille impigre quidem, utpote cujus res agebatur, proponit magna stipendia; conducit militem partim invitum partim perfidum; constabant enim majori ex parte satellitia nobilium qui secreto Mariae favebant."—Julius Terentianus to John 'ab Ulmis: Epistolae Tigurinae, p. 243.]

The men being thus collected, Suffolk was first thought of to lead them, or else Lord Grey de Wilton;[25] but Suffolk was inefficient, and his daughter could not bring herself to part with him; Grey was a good soldier, but he had been a friend of Somerset, and the duke had tried hard to involve him with Arundel and Paget in Somerset's ruin.[26] Northampton's truth could have been depended upon, but Northampton four years before had been defeated by a mob of Norfolk peasants. Northumberland, the council said, must go himself—"there was no remedy." No man, on all accounts, could be so fit as he; "he had achieved the victory in Norfolk once already, and was so feared, that none durst lift their weapons against him:"[27] Suffolk in his absence should command the Tower. Had the duke dared, he would have delayed; but every moment that he remained inactive added to Mary's strength, and whatever he did he must risk something. He resolved to go, and as the plot was thickening, he sent Sir Henry Dudley to Paris to entreat the king to protect Calais against Charles, should the latter move upon it in his cousin's interest.

[Footnote 25: Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.]

[Footnote 26: Ibid.]

[Footnote 27: Chronicle of Queen Jane.]

Noailles had assured him that this and larger favours would be granted without difficulty; while, as neither Renard nor his companions had as yet acknowledged Lady Jane, and were notoriously in correspondence with Mary, the French ambassador {p.013} suggested also that he would do wisely to take the initiative himself, to send Renard his passports, and commit the country to war with the emperor.[28] Northumberland would not venture the full length to which Noailles invited him; but he sent Sir John Mason and Lord Cobham to Renard, with an intimation that the English treason laws were not to be trifled with. If he and his companions dared to meddle in matters which did not concern them, their privileges as ambassadors should not protect them from extremity of punishment.[29]

[Footnote 28: Noailles, vol. ii.]

[Footnote 29: Ajoutant menace de la rigeur de leurs lois barbares.—Renard to Charles V.: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.]

Newmarket was chosen for the rendezvous of the army. The men were to go down in companies, in whatever way they could travel most expeditiously, with the guns and ammunition waggons. The duke himself intended to set out on Friday at dawn. In his calculations of the chances, hope still predominated—his cannon would give him the advantage in the field, and he trusted to the Protestant spirit in London to prevent a revolution in his absence. But he took the precaution of making the council entangle themselves more completely by taking out a commission under the Great Seal, as general of the army, which they were forced to sign; and before he left the Tower, he made a parting appeal to their good faith. If he believed they would betray him, he said, he could still provide for his own safety; but, as they were well aware that Lady Jane was on the throne by no will of her own, but through his influence and theirs, so he trusted her to their honours to keep the oaths which they had sworn. "They were all in the same guilt," one of them answered; "none could excuse themselves." Arundel especially wished the duke God speed upon his way, and regretted only that he was not to accompany him to the field.[30]

[Footnote 30: Chronicle of Queen Jane.]

This was on Thursday evening. Northumberland slept that night at Whitehall. The following morning he rode out of London, accompanied by his four sons, Northampton, Grey, and about six hundred men. The streets were thronged with spectators, but all observed the same ominous silence with which they had received the heralds' proclamation. "The people press to see us," the duke said, "but not one saith God speed us."[31]

[Footnote 31: Ibid.]

The principal conspirator was now out of the way; his own particular creatures—Sir Thomas and Sir Henry Palmer, and {p.014} Sir John Gates, who had commanded the Tower guard, had gone with him. Northampton was gone. The young Dudleys were gone all but Guilford. Suffolk alone remained of the faction definitely attached to the duke; and the duke was marching to the destruction which they had prepared for him. But prudence still warned those who were loyal to Mary to wait before they declared themselves; the event was still uncertain; and the disposition of the Earl of Pembroke might not yet, perhaps, have been perfectly ascertained.

Pembroke, in the black volume of appropriations, was the most deeply compromised. Pembroke, in Wilts and Somerset, where his new lands lay, was hated for his oppression of the poor, and had much to fear from a Catholic sovereign, could a Catholic sovereign obtain the reality as well as the name of power; Pembroke, so said Northumberland, had been the first to propose the conspiracy to him, while his eldest son had married Catherine Grey. But, as Northumberland's designs began to ripen, he had endeavoured to steal from the court; he was a distinguished soldier, yet he was never named to command the army which was to go against Mary; Lord Herbert's marriage was outward and nominal merely—a form, which had not yet become a reality, and never did. Although Pembroke was the first of the council to do homage to Jane, Northumberland evidently doubted him. He was acting and would continue to act for his own personal interests only. With his vast estates and vast hereditary influence in South Wales and on the Border, he could bring a larger force into the field than any other single nobleman in England; and he could purchase the secure possession of his acquisitions by a well-timed assistance to Mary as readily as by lending his strength to buttress the throne of her rival.

Of the rest of the council, Winchester and Arundel had signed the letters patent with a deliberate intention of deserting or betraying Northumberland, whenever a chance should present itself, and of carrying on their secret measures in Mary's favour[32] {p.015} with greater security. The other noblemen in the Tower perhaps imperfectly understood each other. Cranmer had taken part unwillingly with Lady Jane; but he meant to keep his promise, having once given it. Bedford had opposed the duke up to the signature, and might be supposed to adhere to his original opinion; but he was most likely hesitating, while Lord Russell had been trusted with the command of the garrison at Windsor. Sir Thomas Cheyne and Shrewsbury might be counted among Mary's friends; the latter certainly. Of the three secretaries, Cecil's opposition had put his life in jeopardy; Petre was the friend and confidant of Paget, and would act as Paget should advise; Cheke, a feeble enthusiast, was committed to the duke.

[Footnote 32: "Aliqui subscripserunt, id quod postea compertum est, ut facilius fallerent Northumbrum, cujus consilio haec omnia videbant fieri et tegerent conspirationem quam adornabant in auxilium Mariae."—Julius Terentianus to John ab Ulmis: Epistolae Tigurinae, p. 242. John Knox allowed his vehemence to carry him too far against the Marquis of Winchester, who unquestionably was not one of those who advised the scheme of Northumberland. In the "aliqui" of Julius Terentianus, the letters of Renard, of Scheyfne, enable us to identify both him and Arundel; but there must have been many more, in the council or out of it, who were acting in concert with them.]

The task of bringing the council together was undertaken by Cecil. Cecil and Winchester worked on Bedford; and Bedford made himself responsible for his son, for the troops at Windsor, and generally for the western counties. The first important step was to readmit Paget to the council. Fresh risings were reported in Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire;[33] Sir John Williams was proclaiming Mary round Oxford; and on Friday night or Saturday morning (July 15) news came from the fleet which might be considered decisive as to the duke's prospects. The vessels, so carefully equipped, which left the Thames on the 12th, had been driven into Yarmouth Harbour by stress of weather. Sir Henry Jerningham was in the town raising men for Mary; and knowing that the crews had been pressed, and that there had been desertions among the troops before they were embarked,[34] he ventured boldly among the ships. "Do you want our captains?" some one said to him. "Yea, marry," was the answer. "Then they shall go with you," the men shouted, "or they shall go to the bottom." Officers, sailors, troops, all declared for Queen Mary, and landed with their arms and artillery. The report was borne upon the winds; it was known in a few hours in London; it was known in the duke's army, which was now close to Cambridge, and was the signal for the premeditated mutiny. "The noblemen's tenants refused to serve their lords against Queen Mary."[35] Northumberland sent a courier at full speed to the council for reinforcements. The courier returned "with but a slender answer."[36]

[Footnote 33: Cecil's Submission, printed by Tytler, vol. ii.]

[Footnote 34: Scheyfne to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.]

[Footnote 35: Chronicle of Queen Jane.]

[Footnote 36: Ibid.]

The lords in London, however, were still under the eyes of the Tower garrison, who watched them narrowly. Their first {p.016} meeting to form their plans was within the Tower walls, and Arundel said "he liked not the air."[37] Pembroke and Cheyne attempted to escape, but failed to evade the guard; Winchester made an excuse to go to his own house, but he was sent for and brought back at midnight. Though Mary might succeed, they might still lose their own lives, which they were inclined to value.

[Footnote 37: Cecil's Submission: Tytler, vol. ii.]

On Sunday, the 16th, the preachers again exerted themselves. Ridley shrieked against Mary at Paul's Cross;[38] John Knox, more wisely, at Amersham, in Buckinghamshire, foretold the approaching retribution from the giddy ways of the past years; Buckinghamshire, Catholic and Protestant, was arming to the teeth; and he was speaking at the peril of his life among the troopers of Sir Edward Hastings.

[Footnote 38: Stow.]

"Oh England!" cried the saddened Reformer, "now is God's wrath kindled against thee—now hath he begun to punish as he hath threatened by his true prophets and messengers. He hath taken from thee the crown of thy glory, and hath left thee without honour, and this appeareth to be only the beginning of sorrows. The heart, the tongue, the hand of one Englishman is bent against another, and division is in the realm, which is a sign of desolation to come. Oh, England, England! if thy mariners and thy governors shall consume one another, shalt not thou suffer shipwreck? Oh England, alas! these plagues are poured upon thee because thou wouldst not know the time of thy most gentle visitation."[39]

[Footnote 39: Account of a Sermon at Amersham: Admonition to the Faithful in England, by John Knox.]

At Cambridge, on the same day, another notable man preached—Edwin Sandys, then Protestant Vice-Chancellor of the University, and afterwards Archbishop of York. Northumberland the preceding evening brought his mutinous troops into the town. He sent for Parker, Lever, Bill, and Sandys to sup with him, and told them he required their prayers, or he and his friends were like to be "made deacons of."[40] Sandys, the vice-chancellor, must address the university the next morning from the pulpit.

[Footnote 40: Some jest, perhaps, upon a shorn crown; at any rate, a euphemism for decapitation; for Foxe, who tells the story, says, "and even so it came to pass, for he and Sir John Gates, who was then at table, were made deacons ere it was long after on the Tower Hill."—Foxe, vol. viii. p. 590.]

Sandys rose at three o'clock in the summer twilight, took his Bible, and prayed with closed eyes that he might open at a {p.017} fitting text. His eyes, when he lifted them, were resting on the 16th of the 1st of Joshua: "The people answered Joshua, saying, All thou commandest us we will do; and whithersoever thou sendest us we will go; according as we hearkened unto Moses, so will we hearken unto thee, only the Lord thy God be with thee as he was with Moses."

The application was obvious. Edward was Moses, the duke was Joshua; and if a sermon could have saved the cause, Lady Jane would have been secure upon her throne.[41]

[Footnote 41: Foxe, vol. viii. p. 590.]

But the comparison, if it held at all, held only in its least agreeable features. The deliverers of England from the Egyptian bondage of the Papacy had led the people out into a wilderness where the manna had been stolen by the leaders, and there were no tokens of a promised land. To the universities the Reformation had brought with it desolation. To the people of England it had brought misery and want. The once open hand was closed; the once open heart was hardened; the ancient loyalty of man to man was exchanged for the scuffling of selfishness; the change of faith had brought with it no increase of freedom, and less of charity. The prisons were crowded, as before, with sufferers for opinion, and the creed of a thousand years was made a crime by a doctrine of yesterday; monks and nuns wandered by hedge and highway, as missionaries of discontent, and pointed with bitter effect to the fruits of the new belief, which had been crimsoned in the blood of thousands of English peasants. The English people were not yet so much in love with wretchedness that they would set aside for the sake of it a princess whose injuries pleaded for her, whose title was affirmed by act of parliament. In the tyranny under which the nation was groaning, the moderate men of all creeds looked to the accession of Mary as to the rolling away of some bad black nightmare.

On Monday Northumberland made another effort to move forward. His troops followed him as far as Bury, and then informed him decisively that they would not bear arms against their lawful sovereign. He fell back on Cambridge, and again wrote to London for help. As a last resource, Sir Andrew Dudley, instructed, it is likely, by his brother, gathered up a hundred thousand crowns' worth of plate and jewels from the treasury in the Tower, and started for France to interest Henry—to bribe him, it was said, by a promise of Guisnes and Calais—to send an army into England.[42] The duke foresaw, and dared {p.018} the indignation of the people; but he had left himself no choice except between treason to the country or now inevitable destruction.[43] When he called in the help of France he must have known well that his ally, with a successful army in England, would prevent indeed the accession of Mary Tudor, but as surely would tear in pieces the paper title of the present queen and snatch the crown for his own Mary, the Queen of Scots, and the bride of the Dauphin.

[Footnote 42: Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.]

[Footnote 43: La peine ou se retreuve ledict due est qu'il ne se ose fier en personne, pour n'avoir faict ou donne occasion a personne de l'aimer,—que a meu envoyer en France le Millor Dudley son frere, pour l'assurer du secours que luy a este promis par le roy de France, et le prier en faire demonstration pour intimider ceulx de par deca. Car encores qu'il entende qu'il degoustera davantage ceulx du pays pour y amener Francois, si est ce craignant d'estre reboute de son emprinse, et d'estre massacre du peuple et sa generation, et que ma dicte dame Marie ne parvienne a la couronne, il ne respectera chose quelconque: plustot donnera il pied aux Francois ou peys: tel est le couraige d'ung homme tiran, obstine, et resolu, signamment quant il est question de se demesurer pour regner.—Renard to Charles V.: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 38.]

But the council was too quick for Dudley. A secret messenger followed or attended him to Calais, where he was arrested, the treasure recovered, and his despatches taken from him.

The counter-revolution could now be accomplished without bloodshed and without longer delay. On Wednesday the 19th July word came that the Earl of Oxford had joined Mary. A letter was written to Lord Rich admonishing him not to follow Oxford's example, but to remain true to Queen Jane, which the council were required to sign. Had they refused, they would probably have been massacred.[44] Towards the middle of the day, Winchester, Arundel, Pembroke, Shrewsbury, Bedford, Cheyne, Paget, Mason, and Petre found means of passing the gates, and made their way to Baynard's Castle,[45] where they sent for the mayor, the aldermen, and other great persons of the city. When they were all assembled, Arundel was the first to speak.

[Footnote 44: The letter is among the Lansdowne MSS. It is in the hand of Sir John Cheke, and dated July 19. The signatures are Cranmer, Goodrich, Winchester, Bedford, Suffolk, Arundel, Shrewsbury, Pembroke, Darcy, Paget, Cheyne, Cotton, Petre, Cheke, Baker, Bowes.]

[Footnote 45: Fronting the river, about three-quarters of a mile above London Bridge. The original castle of Baynard the Norman had fallen into ruins at the end of the fifteenth century. Henry VII. built a palace on the site of it, which retained the name.]

The country, he said, was on the brink of civil war, and if they continued to support the pretensions of Lady Jane Grey to the crown, civil war would inevitably break out. In a few more days or weeks the child would be in arms against the {p.019} father, the brother against the brother; the quarrels of religion would add fury to the struggle; the French would interfere on one side, the Spaniards on the other, and in such a conflict the triumph of either party would be almost equally injurious to the honour, unity, freedom, and happiness of England. The friends of the commonwealth, in the face of so tremendous a danger, would not obstinately persist in encouraging the pretensions of a faction. It was for them where they sate to decide if there should be peace or war, and he implored them, for the sake of the country, to restore the crown to her who was their lawful sovereign.

Pembroke rose next. The words of Lord Arundel, he said, were true and good, and not to be gainsaid. What others thought he knew not; for himself, he was so convinced, that he would fight in the quarrel with any man; and if words are not enough, he cried, flashing his sword out of the scabbard, "this blade shall make Mary Queen, or I will lose my life."[46]

[Footnote 46: E quando le persuasioni del conte d'Arundel non habiano luogo appresso di voi, o questa spada fara Reina Maria, o perdero io la vita.—Baoardo.]

Not a voice was raised for the Twelfth-day Queen, as Lady Jane was termed, in scornful pity, by Noailles. Some few persons thought that, before they took a decisive step, they should send notice to Northumberland, and give him time to secure his pardon. But it was held to be a needless stretch of consideration; Shrewsbury and Mason hastened off to communicate with Renard;[47] while a hundred and fifty men were marched directly to the Tower gates, and the keys were demanded in the queen's name.

[Footnote 47: Renard had been prepared, by a singular notice, to expect their coming, and to suspect their good faith. Ce matin, he wrote, relating the counter-revolution to the Emperor; ce matin, a bonne heure, il y a venu une vieille femme de soixante ans en nostre logis pour nous advertir que l'on deust faire scavoir a madicte dame Marie qu'elle se donna garde de ceulx de conseil car its la vouloient tromper soubz couleur de luy monstrer affection.—Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.]

It is said that Suffolk was unprepared: but the goodness of his heart and the weakness of his mind alike saved him from attempting a useless resistance: the gates were opened, and the unhappy father rushed to his daughter's room. He clutched at the canopy under which she was sitting, and tore it down; she was no longer queen, he said, and such distinctions were not for one of her station. He then told her briefly of the revolt of the council. She replied that his present words were more welcome to her than those in which he had advised her to accept {p.020} the crown;[48] her reign being at an end, she asked innocently if she might leave the Tower and go home.[49] But the Tower was a place not easy to leave, save by one route too often travelled.

[Footnote 48: Baoardo to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.]

[Footnote 49: Narrative of Edward Underhill: Harleian MSS. 425.]

Meanwhile the lords, with the mayor and the heralds, went to the Cross at Cheapside to proclaim Mary Queen. Pembroke himself stood out to read; and this time there was no reason to complain of a silent audience. He could utter but one sentence before his voice was lost in the shout of joy which thundered into the air. "God save the queen," "God save the queen," rung out from tens of thousands of throats. "God save the queen," cried Pembroke himself, when he had done, and flung up his jewelled cap and tossed his purse among the crowd. The glad news spread like lightning through London, and the pent-up hearts of the citizens poured themselves out in a torrent of exultation. Above the human cries, the long-silent church-bells clashed again into life; first began St. Paul's, where happy chance had saved them from destruction; then, one by one, every peal which had been spared caught up the sound; and through the summer evening and the summer night, and all the next day, the metal tongues from tower and steeple gave voice to England's gladness. The lords, surrounded by the shouting multitude, walked in state to St. Paul's, where the choir again sang a Te Deum, and the unused organ rolled out once more its mighty volume of music. As they came out again, at the close of the service, the apprentices were heaping piles of wood for bonfires at the cross-ways. The citizens were spreading tables in the streets, which their wives were loading with fattest capons and choicest wines; there was free feasting for all comers; and social jealousies, religious hatreds, were forgotten for the moment in the ecstasy of the common delight. Even the retainers of the Dudleys, in fear or joy, tore their badges out of their caps, and trampled on them.[50]

[Footnote 50: Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS. All authorities agree in the general description of the state of London. Renard, Noailles, and Baoardo are the most explicit and interesting.]

At a night session of the council, a letter was written to Northumberland, which Cranmer, Suffolk, and Sir John Cheke consented to sign, ordering him in the name of Queen Mary to lay down his arms. If he complied, the lords undertook to intercede for his pardon. If he refused, they said that they {p.021} would hold him as a traitor, and spend their lives in the field against him.[51]

[Footnote 51: This letter is among the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. It was printed by Stowe.]

While a pursuivant bore the commands of the council to the duke, Arundel and Paget undertook to carry to Mary at Framlingham their petition for forgiveness, in which they declared that they had been innocent at heart of any share in the conspiracy,[52] and had only delayed coming forward in her favour from a desire to prevent bloodshed.

[Footnote 52: "Our bounden duties most humbly remembered to your excellent Majesty. It may like the same to understand, that we, your most humble, faithful, and obedient subjects, having always, God we take to witness, remained your Highness's true and humble subjects in our hearts, ever since the death of our late Sovereign Lord and master your Highness's brother, whom God pardon, and seeing hitherto no possibility to utter our determination without great destruction and bloodshed, both of ourselves and others, till this time, have this day proclaimed in your city of London your Majesty to be our true natural sovereign liege Lady and Queen; most humbly beseeching your Majesty to pardon and remit our former infirmities, and most graciously to accept our meanings, which have been ever to serve your Highness truly, and so shall remain with all our power and force, to the effusion of our blood, as these bearers, our very good Lords, the Earls of Arundel and Paget, can, and be ready more particularly to declare—to whom it may please your excellent Majesty to give firm credence; and thus we do and shall daily pray to Almighty God for the preservation of your most royal person long to reign over us."—Lansdowne MSS. 3. Endorsed, in Cecil's hand, "Copy of the Letter of the Lords to the Queen Mary from Baynard's Castle." The signatures are, unfortunately, wanting.]

The two lords immediately mounted and galloped off into the darkness, followed by thirty horse, leaving the lights of illuminated London gleaming behind them.

The duke's position was already desperate: on the 18th, before the proclamation in London, Mary had felt herself strong enough to send orders to the Mayor of Cambridge for his arrest;[53] and, although he had as yet been personally unmolested, he was powerless in the midst of an army which was virtually in Mary's service. The news of the revolution in London first reached him by a private hand. He at once sent for Sandys, and, going with him to the market cross, he declared, after one violent clutch at his beard, that he had acted under orders from the council; the council, he understood, had changed their minds, and he would change his mind also; therefore he cried, "God save Queen Mary," and with a strained effort at a show of satisfaction, he, too, like Pembroke, threw up his cap. The queen, he said to Sandys, was a merciful woman, and there would be a general pardon. "Though the queen grant you a {p.022} pardon," Sandys answered, "the lords never will; you can hope nothing from those who now rule."[54]

[Footnote 53: Renard to Charles V.: Rolls House MSS.]

[Footnote 54: Foxe, vol. viii.]

It was true that he could hope nothing—the hatred of the whole nation, which before his late treasons he had brought upon himself, would clamour to the very heavens for judgment against him. An hour after the proclamation of Mary (July 20), Rouge-cross herald arrived with the lords' letter from London. An order at the same time was read to the troops informing them that they were no longer under the duke's command, and an alderman of the town then ventured to execute the queen's warrant for his arrest. Northumberland was given in charge to a guard of his own soldiers; he protested, however, that the council had sent no instructions for his detention; and in some uncertainty, or perhaps in compassion for his fate, the soldiers obeyed him once more, and let him go. It was then night. He intended to fly; but he put it off till the morning, and in the morning his chance was gone. Before he could leave his room he found himself face to face with Arundel, who, after delivering the council's letter to the queen, had hastened to Cambridge to secure him.

Northumberland, who, while innocent of crime, had faced death on land and sea like a soldier and a gentleman, flung himself at the earl's feet. "Be good to me, for the love of God," he cried; "consider I have done nothing but by the consent of you and the council." He knew what kind of consent he had extorted from the council. "My lord," said Arundel, "I am sent thither by the Queen's Majesty; and in her name I do arrest you."—"I obey, my lord," the duke replied; "yet show me mercy, knowing the case as it is."—"My lord," was the cold answer, "you should have sought for mercy sooner; I must do according to my commandment."[55]

[Footnote 55: Holinshed.]

At the same moment Sandys was paying the penalty for his sermon. The university, in haste to purge itself of its heretical elements, met soon after sunrise to depose their vice-chancellor. Dr. Sandys, who had gone for an early stroll among the meadows to meditate on his position, hearing the congregation-bell ringing, resolved, like a brave man, to front his fortune; he walked to the senate-house, entered, and took his seat. "A rabble of Papists" instantly surrounded him. He tried to speak, but the masters of arts shouted "Traitor;" rough hands shook or dragged him from his chair: and the impatient theologian, in sudden heat, drew his dagger, and "would have done a mischief {p.023} with it," had not some of his friends disarmed him.[56] He, too, was handed over to a guard, lashed to the back of a lame horse, and carried to London.

[Footnote 56: Foxe, vol. viii. pp. 591-2.]

Mary, meanwhile, notwithstanding the revolution in her favour, remained a few more days at Framlingham, either suspicious of treachery or uncertain whether there might not be another change. But she was assured rapidly that the danger was at an end by the haste with which the lords and gentlemen who were compromised sought their pardon at her feet. On the 21st and 22nd Clinton, Grey, Fitzgerald, Ormond, Fitzwarren, Sir Henry Sidney, and Sir James Crofts presented themselves and received forgiveness. Cecil wrote, explaining his secret services, and was taken into favour. Lord Robert and Lord Ambrose Dudley, Northampton and a hundred other gentlemen—Sir Thomas Wyatt among them—who had accompanied the duke to Bury, were not so fortunate. The queen would not see them, and they were left under arrest. Ridley set out for Norfolk, also, to confess his offences; but, before he arrived at the court, he was met by a warrant for his capture, and carried back a prisoner to the Tower.

The conspiracy was crushed, and crushed, happily, without bloodshed. The inquiry into its origin, and the punishment of the guilty, could be carried out at leisure. There was one matter, however, which admitted of no delay. Mary's first anxiety, on feeling her crown secure, was the burial of her dead brother, who, through all these scenes, was still lying in his bed in his room at Greenwich. In her first letter to the Imperial ambassadors, the day after the arrival of Arundel and Paget at the court, she spoke of this as her greatest care; to their infinite alarm, she announced her intention of inaugurating her reign with Requiem and Dirige, and a mass for the repose of his soul.

Their uneasiness requires explanation.

While on matters of religion there was in England almost every variety of opinion, there was a very general consent that the queen should not marry a foreigner. The dread that Mary might form a connection with some continental prince, had formed the strongest element in Northumberland's cause; all the Catholics, except the insignificant faction who desired the restoration of the Papal authority,[57] all the moderate Protestants, {p.024} wished well to her, but wished to see her married to some English nobleman; and, while her accession was still uncertain, the general opinion had already fixed upon a husband for her in the person of her cousin Edward Courtenay, the imprisoned son of the Marquis of Exeter. The interest of the public in the long confinement of this young nobleman had invested him with all imaginary graces of mind and body. He was the grandchild of a Plantagenet, and a representative of the White Rose. He had suffered from the tyranny, and was supposed to have narrowly escaped murder at the hands of the man whom all England most hated. Nature, birth, circumstances, all seemed to point to him as the king-consort of the realm.[58] The emperor had thought of Mary for his son; and it has been seen that the fear of such an alliance induced the French to support Northumberland. To prevent the injury which the report, if credited in England, would have done to her cause, Mary, on her first flight to Keninghal, empowered Renard to assure the council that she had no thought at all of marrying a stranger. The emperor and the bishop of Arras, in assuring Sir Philip Hoby that the French intended to strike for the Queen of Scots, declared that, for themselves they wished only to see the queen settled in her own realm, as her subjects desired; and especially they would prevent her either from attempting innovations in religion without their consent, or from marrying against their approbation.[59]

[Footnote 57: I must again remind my readers of the distinction between Catholic and Papist. Three-quarters of the English people were Catholics; that is, they were attached to the hereditary and traditionary doctrines of the Church. They detested, as cordially as the Protestants, the interference of a foreign power, whether secular or spiritual, with English liberty.]

[Footnote 58: "Adversity is a good thing. I trust in the Lord to live to see the day her Grace to marry such an one as knoweth what adversity meaneth; so shall we have both a merciful queen and king to their subjects; and would to God I might live to have another virtuous Edward."—Epistle of Poor Pratt to Gilbert Potter, written July 13: Queen Jane and Queen Mary, Appendix, p. 116. The occasion of this curious epistle was the punishment of Gilbert on the pillory. The writer was a Protestant, and evidently thought the Reformation in greater danger from Northumberland than Mary. "We have had many prophets and true preachers," he said, "which did declare that our king shall be taken away from us, and a tyrant shall reign. The gospel shall be plucked away, and the right heir shall be dispossessed; and all for our unthankfulness. And, thinkest thou not, Gilbert, this world is now come? Yea! truly! and what shall follow, if we repent not in time? The same God will take from us the virtuous Lady Mary our lawful Queen, and send such a cruel Pharaoh as the Ragged Bear to rule us, which shall pull and poll us, and utterly destroy us, and bring us in great calamities and miseries."]

[Footnote 59: MS. Harleian, 523.]

But the emperor's disinterestedness was only the result of his despondency. While the crisis lasted, neither Charles nor Henry of France saw their way to a distinct course of action. Charles, on the 20th of July, ignorant of the events in London, {p.025} had written to Renard, despairing of Mary's success. Jane Grey he would not recognise; the Queen of Scots, he thought, would shortly be on the English throne. Henry, considering, at any rate, that he might catch something in troubled waters, volunteered to Lord William Howard,[60] in professed compliance with the demands of Northumberland, to garrison Guisnes and Calais for him. Howard replied that the French might come to Calais if they desired, but their reception might not be to their taste.[61] The revolution of the 19th altered the aspect of the situation both at the courts of Paris and of Brussels. The accession of Mary would be no injury to France, provided she could be married in England; and Henry at once instructed Noailles to congratulate the council on her accession. Noailles himself indeed considered, that, should she take Courtenay for a husband, the change might, after all, be to their advantage. The emperor, on the other hand, began to think again of his original scheme. Knowing that the English were sincere in their detestation of the Papacy, and imperfectly comprehending the insular distinction between general attachment to Catholic tradition and indifference to Catholic unity, he supposed that the country really was, on the whole, determined in its adherence to the reformed opinions. But the political alliance was still of infinite importance to him; and therefore he was anxious beyond everything that the princess whom he intended to persuade to break her word about her marriage should be discreet and conciliatory about religion. He lost not a moment, after hearing that she was proclaimed queen, in sending her his congratulations; but he sent with them an earnest admonition to be cautious; to be content with the free exercise for herself of her own creed, to take no step whatever without the sanction of parliament, and to listen to no one who would advise her, of her own authority, to set aside the Act of Uniformity. Her first duty was to provide for the quiet of the realm; and she must endeavour, by prudence and moderation, to give reasonable satisfaction to her subjects of all opinions. Above all things, let her remember to be a good Englishwoman (bonne Anglaise).[62]

[Footnote 60: Governor of Calais.]

[Footnote 61: Noailles.]

[Footnote 62: Charles V. to Renard, July 22: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.]

It was, in consequence, with no light anxiety that Renard learnt from Mary her intention of commencing her reign with an act which was so far at variance with the emperor's advice, and which would at once display the colours of a party. To give the late king a public funeral with a ceremonial forbidden {p.026} by the law, would be a strain of the prerogative which could not fail to create jealousy even among those to whom the difference between a Latin mass and an English service was not absolutely vital; and the judicious latitudinarianism to which the lay statesmen of the better sort were inclining, would make them dread the appearance of a disposition that would encourage the revolutionists. She owed her crown to the Protestants as well as to the Catholics. If she broke the law to please the prejudices of the latter, Renard was warned that her present popularity would not be of long continuance.[63]

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