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ANNO DOMINI 1576
The French propound marriage to Queene Elizabeth. | She perswadeth them to Peace. | She laboureth to divert the French from the Netherlands. | The Zeelanders infest the English. | They are restrained. | Confusion in the Netherlands. | Andwerp sacked. | Queene Elizabeth laboureth to compound the Netherland variances. | Don John of Austria commeth into the Netherlands. | She relieveth the Estates with money. | To keepe the Netherlanders in obedience to the King. | Commerce restored betwixt the English and the Portugals. | A way sought to Cathay by the West Ocean. | With what probability. | Forbishers voyage to discovere the straight. | The death of Maximilian the Emperor. | And of the Elector Palatine. | The suspected death of Walter Earle of Essex. | The death of Sir Anthony Cooke. | A tumult in Ireland. | Sir William Drury President of Munster. | A Ceass what it is. | The Irish complain of exactions. | The Queene pittyeth them.
N the beginning of the new yeare, those two marriage-brokers Mota Fenelon and Porte began againe to tickle Queene Elizabeths eares with Love-baites about her marriage with Alencon. To whom it was answered that it was now out of season, when Alencon could not come, France beeing embroyled with civill Warres, and Alencon deepely engaged therein. Yet was there one or two sent into France to renew the brotherly Love betwixt the King and Alencon and to disswade them from the affaires of the Netherlands, least the Spaniard should raise new combustions of Warre in France. And to deterre the French King from the Netherlands, shee put him in minde how easie a matter it would be for the Spaniard, who was now most fully provided of all munition for Warre in Italy, either to seize upon Saluzes, or to set forces on land in Province, and make himselfe Master of the Coast of the Mediterranean Sea, France being so exhausted of wealth; and other such like matters she warned him of.
2. For the Prince of Aurange, for his owne private respects, and in hope to retaine the principalitie of Aurange, which is scituate in France, ceased not to invite the French into the Netherlands, and promised the Zealanders and Hollanders (who infested the Seas round about with their pyraticall vessels, being men borne as it were in the Sea) to robbe the English Marchant ships, whom they accused to carry victuals to their Enemies the Dunkirkers, and to transport the Marchandize of the Andwerpers and others into Spaine under counterfeit names, which they were wont themselves to export, to their own commodity, and now durst not being guilty of their revolt. For restraining of these, Holstock being sent forth againe with ships of Warre, tooke above 200 Pirates, and put them in prisons all along the Sea Coast. But to demaund restitution of goods, there were sent into Zealand Sir William Winter Knight, and Robert Beale Clarke of the Councell, to consider of the value of the things in controversie, and make restitution upon certain condition to be agreed on. But through the avarice of the English Marchants, and the insolencie of the Zealanders, the variances were renewed again, which were shortly after compounded with the losse of both Nations.
3. In the Netherlands all things were now most confused, whilest the Spaniards without authoritie thrust certaine Counsailors of the Estates into prison, and committed all outrages against the Country, rifeling their goods and doing them all kindes of injuries, in such sort that the Estates were driven of necessitie to take armes. And forthwith they sent abroad their Messengers to all parts, and by Obigny signified the injuries to Queene Elizabeth, and the causes of their taking armes. The Queene by Doctor Wilson earnestly exhorteth both the Estates and the Spaniards to lay downe armes, and carefully searcheth out the causes why the Estates Counsailors were committed. In the meane time Andwerp, the most excellent of all Cities, which scarce yeelded to any the most flourishing Mart townes of all Europe, was miserably sacked by the Spaniards, the house of the English Marchants spoyled and rifeled, and they (though guiltlesse of all blame) constrained to pay the Souldiers a great summe of Gold for their ransome. Obigny, laying hold on this importunitie, importunately craved to borrow a great summe of money of Queene Elizabeth in the Estates name, to restraine such insolence of the Spaniards. The Queene, who had received certaine intelligence that they had formerly craved mony of the French King, denyed him, but promised to make most diligent intercession to the Spaniard for a peace. And in that behalfe she sent into Spaine Sir John Smith, cousin German to King Edward the sixth, a man of Spanish gesture, and well knowne to the Spaniard; who being most graciously entertained by the King, retorted with such wisedome the disgracefull injuries of Gaspar Quiroga Archbyshop of Toledo against the Queene in hatred of her religion, and of the Inquisitors of Civil [Seville], who allowed not the attribute of Defender of the Faith in the Queenes title, that he received thankes from the King, who was somewhat displeased with the Archbyshop, and prayed the Embassadour to conceale the matter from the Queene, and straightly commanded the said attribute to be admitted. For he knew the Queenes advice to be expedient for his affaires, though he followed it not, the fate of the Netherlands (if I may so speake) thrusting him forward to run another course.
4. At this time was come into the Netherlands, with supreame power to governe the same, Don John of Austria, base or naturall Sonne to the Emperour Charles the fifth. To whom the Queene in like manner sent Sir Edward Horsey, Captaine of the Isle of Wight, to congratulate his comming, and offer him ayde in case the Estates should call the French into the Netherlands. But Swevingham making most importunate suite of the Estates, she sent over unto them twenty thousand pounds of English mony, upon condition they should neither change their religion nor their Prince, nor receive the French into the Netherlands, nor refuse a Peace, if Don John of Austria would condiscend to reasonable conditions. And that if he did embrace peace, the Spanish Souldiers should be satisfied with the said mony, who mutined for lacke of pay. So carefull was she to retaine the wavering Provinces in their fidelitie and obedience to the Spaniard, that she omitted no occasion of deserving well of him, and preserving peace.
5. In England there was in these dayes a generall joyfull tranquilitie, and the traffique betwixt the English and the Portugals opened againe, which through the private avarice of certain persons had of late beene barred; and it was permitted unto the English to trade in Portugall, Algerbe, the Isles of Madera and the Azores, and the Portugals in England and Ireland, for the tearme of three yeares. In which time the controversies about deteinings of Marchandizes might be debated. And this was proclaimed by the publicke voyce of the Cryer.
6. Some learned wits also, being kindled with an honest desire to discovere the most remote regions of the world and the secrets of the Ocean, excited well monyed men no less inflamed with a desire of having, to discover if there were any straight in the North part of America, through which men might sayle to the rich Country of Cathay, and the wealth of the East and West might bee conjoyned by mutuall commerce. These learned men argued probably that there was a Straight open on that part, taking it for granted that the nearer the shore a man commeth, the shallower are the waters. But they which sayle from the West Coast of Island find by experience the Sea to be deeper, so as it may seeme to joyne unto that Sea which the Mariners call Del Sur, on the other side of America. Then, that whereas the Ocean is carried with the dayly motion of the Prtimum Mobile, or the uppermost Heaven, being beaten backe by the opposition of America, it runneth Northward to Cabo Fredo, that is, the cold cape or Promontary, about that place, it should be empyred [disgorged] through some straight, into the sea Del Sur; or otherwise, it would be beaten backe with the like violence upon Lapland and Finmarch, as it is in the South part of the world beaten backe from the straight of Magellan (a straight full of Isles, and by reason of the narrownesse of the straight being full of Iles, uncapable of so great a quantity of waters), along the East Coast of America to Cabo Fredo. For witnesses they bring Athony Jrnkinson an Englishmen, then whom no man had fuller knowledge of the North part of the world; who hath shewed that an huge quantity of waters must needs be powred forth out of the Cronian or frozen Sea into the Sea Del Sur; also Bernard Le Torr a Spaniard, who hath affirmed that he, returning from the Isles of the Moluckaes into America, was driven backe again to the Moluckaes by force of Waters rushing against his ship from the North, when hee was about the Aequator Northwards; and other things they alledged for proofe hereof. Wherewith those monyed men being perswaded, sent Martin Forbisher with three Pinaces to discover this straight, who setting from Harwich the 18th of June, entred the ninth of August into a Bay or straight under the Latitude of 63 degrees, where he found men with blacke haire, broad faces, flat noses, swarty coloured, apparelled in Sea-calves skinnes, the women painted about the eyes and bals of the cheeke, with a blew colour like the ancient Britaines. But for that all was so frozen with Ice in the moneth of August, that he could not hold on his voyage, he returned, and arrived in England the 24th of September, having lost five sailers whom the Barbarians had intercepted. Neverthelesse, the two yeares next following, he sailed to the same Coasts to finish his enterprize; but being incountred every where with heapes of ice like Mountaines, he was kept from winning any farther into the bay. Beiing therefore tossed up and downe with fowle weather, snowes, and unconstant windes, he gathered a great quantitity of stones, which he thought to be minerals, and so turned homewards; from which stones wheyn their could be drawne neyther gold nor silver, nor any other metall, we have seene them cast forth to mend the high-wayes. But these matters are described at large, and openly to be sold.
7. In these dayes dyed Maximilian the Emperour; a Prince prudent, just, profitable to the Empire, and one that had well deserved of Queene Elizabeth and the English. As soone as Queene Elizabeth heard the certaintie of his death, she sorrowed greatly, and sent Sir Philip Sidney in Embassage to Rodolph King of the Romans, most officiously to signifie both her griefe for his father, and her joy for his succession. And also in his way, to condole the Elector Palatines sons the death of their Father Frederick the third. And by the way also to put Casimier in mind of the mony she had disbursed in the French War. For by that Warre was peace restored to France, to Alencon were joyned for Appenage, as they tearme it, the Dukedomes of Anjou, Tours, and Berry; to Casimier were promised eleven millions of Franks for pay for his Germaine Horsemen, and some of the French Queenes Jewels were layed to pawne for three hundred thousand Crownes. But nothing at all was payed backe againe to Queene Elizabeth, who notwithstanding held her selfe fully recompenced in that it was well bestowed in a good cause. Casimier answered ingenuously, and in his German sincerity, that the French King had failed of his word, and that it was not long of him that the mony was not repayed.
8. As in Germany the Emperour Maximilian and the Elector Palatine, Princes of Christian vertue, left a great misse of them in regard of singular moderation, so in England and Ireland, Walter DEvereux Earle of Essex left no lesse, though in degree far inferiour unto them. A very excellent man certainely hee was, in whom honesty of manners strived with nobility of birth; both which notwithstanding could not prevaile against Envie. For after he was constrained to give over his laudable enterprize in Ireland, he returned into England, having much wasted his patrimonie, where openly threatning Leicester, whom he suspected to have done him injuries, he was by his cunning Court tricks, who stood in feare of him, and by a perculiar mysterie of the Court, to strike and overthrow men by honours, sent backe againe into Ireland with the vaine Title of Earle Marshall of Ireland. Where pining away with griefe and sorrow, he piously rendred his soule to Christ, daying of a flux with most grievious torments, after he had prayed the standers by to warne his Sonne, being then scarce ten yeares old, to set alwayes before his syes the sixe and thirtieth yeare of his age as the uttermost scope of his life, which neither he nor his Father had passed, and his Sonne ever attained unto, as in proper place we will shew. This death of so noble a man was not without suspicion of poyson amongst the vulgar sort (who alwayes suspect them to be poysoned whom they hold deere), although Sidney Lord Deputie of Ireland, after diligent inquisition made, wrote to the Council in England that the Earle as soone as he tooke his bed said many times that this was a thing peculiar to him, that whensoever he was sicke and perplexed in minde, he fell into the bloudy flux, and that he suspected no poyson, and that his body retained the same colour in his sicknesse which it had in his perfect health, no spot, no infection, no shedding of the haire nor of the nayles, and being bowelled no signe at all of poyson; but the Phisitians agreed not well together, yet applyed they nothing against the force of poyson; but that he who waited on his Cup was falsely accused of infusing * * * in water, and mingled it with his wine. Yet have we seene the man openly pointed at for a poysoner. This increased the suspition that Leicester presently with mony and great promises put away Douglasse Shefeld (whether his Paramour, or his wife I cannot say) on whom hee had begotten a Sonne, and now openly showed love to Letice Essex his Widow, to whom afterwards he joyned himselfe in a dubled marriage. For though it was reported that hee thad taken her to wife secretly, yet Sir Francis Knolles, who was father to Letice, and was acquainted with Leicesters straying loves, would not beleeve it (fearing least hee should delude his daughter) unlesse hee might see the wedlock knit in his owne presence, with some few witnesses and a publicke notary. But these things were done a yeare or two after.
9. At this time ended his life in England Sir Anthony Cooke Knight, a man of seventy yeares of age, grave severity, and manifold learning, having beene Schoole-master to King Edward the sixt in his childhood; a man happy in his daughters, whom having brought in learning of Greeke and Latine above their sexe, hee married to men of great note, namely, to Sir William Cecyl who was Treasurer of England, Sir Nicholaus Bacon Lord Keeper, and Sir Thomas Hobbey who dyed Embassadour in France, Sir Ralph Houllet, Sir Henry Killegrew.
10. Before Essex his death (to returne a little backe), the Earle of Clan-Richards sonnes, who scant two moneths before had obtained of the Lord Deputy a pardon for their Rebellion, gathered together againe a rabble of lewd fellowes, and cruelly practised their robberies and depredations all over Connacht; the Towne of Athenry, which the inhabitants were now about to repaire, they burnt, and put the workemen to sword, out of a barbarous hatred against the inhabitants, who had begun to conforme themselves to lawes and civility. But upon the Lord Deputies comming, their theeving troopes were dispersed, and fled after their wonted manner into their lurking-holes, and the Earle of Clan-Richard himselfe their Father was thrust into prison at Dublin as accessary to their crimes. The Lord Deputy being returned backe, they crept out of their holes, and in vaine besieged Balla-Reoth Castle with losse of men, being their Fathers chiefe seate, wherein a garrison was put, under the command of Thomas Strange. The lands of Mac-William Eughter, that is, the younger, they wasted, joyning unto them the Iland-Scottes. But at the coming of the Lord Deputy, they vanished againe hiding themselves in their holes.
11. Sir William Drury, who was late Marshall of Barwick, being now newly made President of Munster, by his wisdome and fortitude brought the whole Countrey to subjection and obedience to the Lawes, save only the land and County Palatine of Kerry, whither as into a sincke many malefactors, theeves, men in debt, and suspected of capitall crimes, had resorted, growing insolent, presuming upon a kind of impunity by reason of the priviledge of the place. For King Edward the third had granted to the Earles of Desmond All royalties which the Kings of England had in that County, except fiering, rape, forestall, and Treasure found. The President notwithstanding, who judged that those Royalties were graunted for the preservation of Justice, and not for impunitie of offences, entred thereinto, resolutely put to flight the choisest Companies of those lewd people, which Desmund has placed in ambush, hunted out the malefactors all over Kerry, and severely punished many of them, while Desmund fretted, and made a most grievous complaint to the Lord Deputie against Drury, both of this, and of the payment which they <call> Ceass. This payment is an exaction of victuals, that is, a custome of paying Corne yearly, for the maintenance of the Lord Deputies household, and the garison Souldiers. Hereof not onely he, but also in Leinster, the more civill part of Ireland, the Lord Vicount Baltinglass, the Barons of Delvin, Hoth, and Trimleston, and all the better sort of the Nobility and gentry complained, refusing to pay it, as not to be exacted but by authority of Parliament. They which were sent in this behalfe from them into England were heard by the Councell of England, and committed to prison; and in like manner were those in Ireland which sent them, till they did submit themselves, forasmuch as it appeared by the Records of the Kingdome that it had beene instituted of ancient time, and that it was a certaine priviledge of Majestie (which they call the Royall Prerogative) which is not subjected under the Lawes, and yet is not repugnant to the Lawes, as the learned in the Lawes have judged. But the Queen commanded that the Lord Deputy should use a moderation in such exactions, by that old proverbe that she would have her Subjects While they powled not to be flayed. And it is reported that she said, Ah, how doe I feare least it be objected to us concerning the Irish, which was objected in old time to Tyberius by Cato concerning the Dalmation Commotions: You, you it is that are in fault, which have committed your stockes not to Shepheards but to Wolves.
ANNO DOMINI 1577
Don John of Austria inclineth to peace. | Queene Elizabeth perswadeth him thereunto. | The Prince of Aurange diverteth her. | Don John aspireth to marriage with the Queen of Scots. | And by her to the Kingdome of England. | Copley made Baron by the French King. | Don Johns dissimulation. | He reneweth the Warre. | The Estates desire to borrow money of the Queene. | Queene Elizabeths Confederacie with the Estates. | Shee informeth the Spaniard of the causes thereof. | The Spaniard heareth them, not discontentedly. | England the ballance-holder in Europe. | A pestilent sicknesse arising from a stinke. | Mayne a Priest put to death. | he death of the Lord Latimer. | The Death of Sir Thomas Smith Secretary. | Rebellion in Ireland. | Rory Oge.
ON John of Austria, when hee found himselfe too weake for the Estates of the Netherlands, beeing of themselves very strong, and backed also with the amitie of theyr Neighbour Princes, sent Gastelle to Queene Elizabeth, to thanke her for the ayde offered him against the French, and to declare unto her his forward affection for peace. She by Sir Edward Horsey, who was now sent the second time, commendeth his affection to peace, and withall treated that the Englishmens goods stayed at Andwerp may be restored. Slowly was answere made hereunto, because hee was much letted [obstructed] (as he pretended) with other cares, being wholly busied about a Perpetuall Edict of Peace (as he called it) which nothwithstanding scarce lasted a yeare. Queene Elizabeth being seriously most desirous of a Peace, sent Sir Thomas Leighton to the Prince of Aurange, to perswade him to attempt nothing against the peace till Sir Thomas Smiths returne, who was sent to the Spaniard to procure a peace. The Prince of Aurange who from his heart contemned that Perpetuall Edict, had now heard in fit time, that Don John cast in his minde to marrie with the Queene of Scots; which he gladly layed hold on, and by Famier presently acquainted Queene Elizabeth therewith, to divert her minde from the Peace. Yet shee, as if she understood it not, congratulated to Don John by Daniel Rogers the perpetuall Edict of Peace, though she knew now for certaine that Don John through the perswasion of the Earle of Westmerland and the English fugitives, and the forward favour of the Byshop of Rome and the Guises, had already swallowed in hope the said marriage, and withall, the Kingdomes of England and Scotland; and had now determined to seize upon the Isle of Mann in the Irish Sea, as commodious to invade England out of Ireland, and from the West Coast of Scotland, where the Queene of Scottes had very many devoted unto her, as also in the opposite part of England, namely Northwales, and the Counties of Cumberland, Lancashire, and Cheshire, where the greatest part of the Inhabitants were most addicted to the Popish Religion.
2. And certainly Don John (as we have learned out of Perez, who was Secretary to the Spaniard), being before this time transported with ambition when he was disappointed of his hope of the Kingdome of Tunis, had dealt privily with the Byshop of Rome, about deposing of Queene Elizabeth, marrying the Queene of Scottes, and conquering of England, and had so farre prevailed without the privitie of King Philip, that the Pope, as it were out of a desire of the publique good, excyted King Philip to Warre against England, and Don John himselfe, being readie to goe into the Netherlands, prosecuted the same in Spaine, and afterwards made suite by Escovedo, who was sent out of the Netherlands, that some Port Towne might bee granted him in Biscay, from whence he might invade England with a Fleet. But King Philip ,mislyking these projects, began to neglect the man as too ambitious. And these things Queene Elizabeth never perfectly understood, until (as I said) the Prince of Aurange had informed her hereof.
3. It was not without suspition also that Thomas Copley one of the prime men among the English Fugitives, being commended to the French King by Vaux, Don Johns Secretarie, had received from him the Dignity of Knighthood and title of Baron. Yet Copley laboured to remove from himselfe all suspition, protesting obedience towards his Princesse, and that he had received the title to no other intent, but that the greater honour might acrew to his wife being his consort in his exile, and the larger pension to himselfe from the Spaniard, forasmuch as Noble men with a title are in better reckoning amongst the Spaniards, and the title of Baron he thought did belong unto him in right, whose Grandmother was eldest Daughter of the Lord Hoo, and his great Grandmother the eldest Daughter to the Heyres of the Lord Welles.
4. Don John in the meane time secretly prosecuted the said Mariage, and withall, to cloake the matter, sent the Viscount of Gaunt in Embassage to Queene Elizabeth to shew unto her the conditions of the Peace, and to request a longer day for the payment of the mony which the Estates had borrowed. To this latter she willingly granted, and dealt with him againe by Wilson, for recompence of damages done to the English Marchants at the sacking of Andwerp. He deluded her and while hee seemed to plye the Perpetuall Edict of Peace, brake forth into Warre, surprized Townes and Castles by craft, and wrote to the Spaniard that the best course was to assaile the Ilands of Zealand before he set upon the innermore Provinces; and, inclining to his owne hopes, he went about to perswade him by Escovedo his Secretarie that England might easilier be wonne then Zealand.
5. Heereupon, when all things in the Netherlands tended to Warre, the Estates sent the Marquesse of Haures and Adoph Metherk in Embassage to Queene Elizabeth, to borrow of her a hundred thousand pound sterling for eight Moneths. To whom shee answered that if they could borrow it any where else, shee and the City of London would very willingly give securitie for it, so as certaine Townes of the Netherlands which she should name would become bound to repaye the money within a yeare. A Confederacie also was contracted with the Estates of mutuall ayde by Sea and Land, upon these conditions. The Queene shall send in ayde to the Estates one thousand Horse and five thousand foote, whose pay and charges the Estates shall defray at London the third moneth after they take Shipping; and after the war ended they shall send them backe at their charges into England. The Generall or Commander of this Army, being by Nation an Englishman, shall be admitted into the Councell of the Estates. Nothing shall be determined concerning Warre or Peace without acquainting the Queene or him. They shall enter into no league with any whosoever without her approbation; and in the same, if shee will, she shall be comprehended. If any Prince do attempt any hostility against the Queen or Kingdome of England under any pretext whatsoever, the Estates shall to their power resist him, and shall send succours of men to the Queene in the same number and upon the same conditions. If any discord arise amongst the Estates, it shall be referred to the Queenes arbitrement. If any Fleet to be rigged and prepared by the Queene against her Enemies, the Estates shall furnish forty Ships of reasonable burden with Saylers and all necessaries, which shall be under the command of the Admirall of England, and shall serve under the Queenes pay. The Estates shall in no wise receive into the Netherlands such Englishmen as the Queene shall proclaime Rebels. If they make peace with the Spaniard, they shall procure these Articles to be confirmed withall, or apart by themselves, at the Queenes choise.
6. Presently after this confederacie was made, the Queene, least shee should be calumniated as if she fostered the Rebellion in the Netherlands, sent Thomas Wilkes to the Spaniard to informe him as followeth: That forasmuch as there were not lacking some ill disposed persons which sought by cunning practises to breake off amities betweene Princes, and by unjust backbitings to blot her reputation, as if shee gave fire to the Netherlandish combustions, First, shee prayeth the King, and the Governours of the Netherlands, to call to mind how often and how earnestly shee had long agone friendly fore-warned them of the mischiefes hanging over the Netherlands; And then when they cast in their mindes to revolt, how carefully shee laboured by often messages to the Prince of Aurange and the Estates to keepe them in their duty and Obedience to the King; Yea, when those most wealthy Provinces were offered into her possession, how sincerely shee not so much as tooke them into her protection; And lastly, when all things were in a most desperate and deplorable state, how largely she supplyed money that the Estates might not upon urgent necessity subject themselves under another Prince, and interrupt the designe of Peace very lately before propounded. And when shee heard that the Prince of Aurange would not imbrace the Peace that was made, shee not onely advised him to imbrace it, but also (as she most religiously protesteth) did by threat in a manner commaund him. Whether these bee things unworthy of a Christian Princesse that is affected to Peace, and most desirous to deserve well of her confederate the Spaniard, let the Spaniard himselfe and all Christian Princes judge. And now, that the warres may bee stilled, and hee may have the Netherlanders most obedient to him, shee admonisheth him to receive his afflicted people into former grace, restore their Priviledges, keepe the Conditions of the last Peace, and substitute another Governour of his owne family. Which things could not (as shee signified) bee effected, unlesse Don John were removed, whom the Estates distrusted with hatred more than hostile and implacable; and whom shee her selfe knew for certaine by his secret practises with the Queene of Scots to bee her most mortall Enemy, insomuch as shee should expect nothing out of the Netherlands but assured perils, as long as hee was Governour there. But now, when shee saw how great forces Don John had leavied, and how many auxiliary Companies of French were in a readinesse, shee professeth that to preserve the Netherlands to the Spaniard, and avert the danger from England, shee had promised assistance to the Estates. Who had reciprocally promised that they would persist in the Kings Obedience, and innovate nothing in Religion. But if shee perceived that the King would not accept of these things, but resolved to breake the barres of their priviledges and right, and to draw the miserable Provinces into servitude, as taken by right of Warre, shee could not faile both to defend her neighbours and provide for her own security. And if the Estates would shake off their Alleageance towards their King, and attempt any thing contrary to that they have promised, shee would forthwith turne her Forces against them.
7. These things hee was not very willing to heare. But yet for that hee knew there was in Queene Elizabeth very much importance eyther to compound or disturbe the affaires of the Netherlands; and understood also for certaine that there was a plot layd by Don John against her, hee dissembled the matter, and withall prayed her to hold on her purpose of making a Peace, and not rashly beleeve false rumours spred abroad, or that hee attempted any thing unworthy of a Prince in amitie with her.
8. Whilest Wilkes layeth open these things in Spaine, Don John of Austria sent Gastelle to Queene Elizabeth (whom at once he both feared, and wished her confusion), and grievously accused the Estates, laying fowle crimes and aspersions upon them; and declared the causes at large why he armed his men againe. Thus sate she as an heroicall Princesse and Umpier, betwixt the Spaniards, the French, and the Estates; so as she might well have usurped that saying of her father, cui adhaereo, praeest, that is, The partie to whom I adhere, getteth the upper hand. And true it was which one hath written that France and Spaine are as it were the scales in the ballance of Europe, and England the tongue or the holder of the ballance.
9. In these dayes, while the Judges of Assizes sate at Oxford, and one Rowland Jenkes, a fowle-mouthed bookseller, was indited for slaunderous words against his Princesse, the greatest part of those which were present, whether through a poysonous and pestilent vapour, or the stinkes of the prisoners, or dampe of the ground, were taken in such sort that they dyed almost every one within forty dayes or thereabouts, saving the women and children, and none else touched with the contagion. Amongst those that dyed were Robert Bell Lord chiefe Baron of the Exchequer, a grave man, and famous for his knowledge in the law, Sir Robert Doiley, and Sir William Babington, Knights, DOiley, Sheriffe of Oxfordshire, Harcourt, Weneman, Pheteplace, men of great note in this tract, Barham an excellent Lawer, almost all the Jury (as they call them) and others to the number of 300 or thereabouts.
10. Till this time a faire calme weather shone upon the Papists in England, who through a certaine mercifull connivence had their owne service of God in their private houses in a manner without punishment, although it were prohibited by the Law, a pecuniary mulct being inflicted; neyther did the Queene thinke that their consciences were to bee forced. But after such time as that thunderbolt of Excommunication was shot forth at Rome against the Queene, this faire weather vanished by little and little into clouds and tempests, and drew forth a law in the the yeere 1571 against those should bring into the realme such Bulls, Agnus Deies, and blessed graines, privy tokens of Papall obedience, or should reconcile any man to the Church of Rome. Yet was there no man in full sixe yeares proceeded against by that Law, though some were apprehended which had faulted against it. The first that was convicted by this law was one Curthbert Mayne a Priest, who was put to death at Saint Stephens fane (commonly called Launston) in Cornewall; and Trugion, a Gentleman who had harboured him, was turned out of his Estate and condemned to perpetuall imprisonment. But these and such like Ecclesiasticall matters I will but lightly touch, because others there in hand with the Ecclesiasticall Hystory of these times, and I trust with sincere faithfulnesse, though scarce to be hoped for, from exulcerate mindes in this difference of Religion.
11. This yeare the title of Lord Latimer, after it had flourished with great honour and wealth in the house of the Nevils, from the dayes of King Henry the sixth, was extinct in John Nevil, who having begotten no heyre male, left a rich inheritance to foure Daughters; whereof the first was marryed to Henry Earle of Notherumberland, the second to Thomas Cecyl who was afterwards Earle of Excester, the third to Sir William Cornewallis, and the fourth to Sir John Davers; from which Daughters hath issued a plentifull progenie.
12. Sir Thomas Smith also, one of the Queenes Secretaries, dyed of a consumption, a man worthy to bee remembered for his manifold learning, and wisedome in many Embassages. Borne hee was of honest Parentage at Saffron-Walton in Essex, brought up in Queene Margarets Colledge in Cambridge, and at riper yeares selected to be sent into Italy at the Queenes charges. (For even to our dayes certaine young men of the best hope out of both the Universities were maintained in foraigne Countries at the Kings charges, for the more plentifull polishing of their wits.) From thence he returned with the title of a Doctour of the Civlll Law, and found such favour with the Duke of Somerset Protector to King Edwrd the sixth, that he was made one of the Kings Secretaries next after Cecyl, Steward of the Stannaries, Deane of Carleol, and Provost of Eton Colledge, whereof he deserved passing well. Queene Mary deprived him of these dignities, assigning him a hundred pounds a yeare pension for life, howbeit with condition that he should not depart the Realme. As soone as Queene Elizabeth enjoyed the Scepter, he was called againe to the service of the Common-wealth, and was present with the Divines at the amending of the English Liturgie, and afterwards performed with commendations those Embassies whereof I have spoken in their proper places. In the yeare 1571, being made one of the Queenes Secretaries, he sent his base Sonne being all the Sons he had, to lead a Colony into Ardes a byland of Ireland, who dyed there unfortunately, as I have said. He was very beneficiall to the state of learning in England, by a law concerning Corne for Colledges of Students which he had first procured; and indeed more beneficiall then by writings, though he left a worke unperfected, of the Common wealth of England, a singular booke of the Orthography of the English tongue, another of the pronunciation of the Greeke, and an exact Commentary of mony matters most worthy to be published. In the Office if the Queenes Secretary was substituted next after him Thomas Wilson Doctor of Law, Master of St. Catharines neere London, who departed his life within foure yeares.
13. In Ireland the O-Moores and O-Conors, and others, whose ancestors Sussex Lord Deputy had in the raigne of Queene Mary, for their misdeeds, turned out of their patrimonies in Leise and Ophale, and had assigned them no other place to live in, brake forth into rebellion, Rory Oge, that is Roderic the younger, being their leader; the Towne of Naas they fiered, Lachlin they assaulted, but being repulsed through the valour of George Carew the Governour, they intercepted by a guileful parley Henry Harrington and Alexander Cosbey; whom when Harpoole a Captaine of a Company undertooke to recover, and set upon a Cottage by night, in which Rory was, having them bound to a poast, Rory being awakened with the uprore, wounded Harrington and Cosbey with redoubled blowes in the darke, and being desperately hardy escaped by the benefit of the night, through the middest of the soldiers which had beset him. But within a few dayes after, when hee lad layed a trap for the Baron of the upper Ossery, he was intercepted himselfe and cut in peeces, thereby freeing the neighbour people from feare.
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