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THE AUTHOR TO THE READER
BOVE eighteene yeeres since William Cecyll, Baron of Burghley, Lord high Treasurer of England (when full little I thought of it), set open unto me first his owne, and then the Queenes Roles, Memorials, Records and thereout willed me to compile in an Historicall stile the first beginnings of the Raigne of Queene Elizabeth, with what intent I know not unlesse while he had a desire to eternize the memory of that renowned Queene, he would first see an introduction thereinto, by my paines of this kind. I obeyed his will, and not unwillingly, lest I might seeme to have neglected the memory of that most excellent Princesse, and to have failed both his expectation and (which I prized as the both) the truth. For there, or no where I hoped to finde her slipping away and hiding her selfe.
2. But at my very first entrance hereinto, a most intricate difficulty did in a manner discourage me. For I light upon most thicke piles and heapes of writings and instruments of all sorts, reasonably well digested in respect of the times, but in regard of the variety of the Arguments most confused. In rigging and searching whereof, whilest I laboured till I sweat, being covered ouer with dust, and gathered fit matter together (which was diligently sought for , but more rarely found then I expected), both he dyed, and my industry waxed very cold. After that incomparable Princesse also had rendered her celestiall soule to God, I listned a while with most greedy hope, not onely whether any man but also whether any of so great a number of learned men, which through her favour doe abound both with wealth and leasure, would render her this due and deserved thankefulnesse. But when I found for certaine that some which were best able could not for more weighty businesses, and others (I know not for what causes) fairely refused, praying to bee spared, I buckled myselfe againe to my intermitted study, and plied it harder than before. From all places I procured all the helpes I could to write: Charters and Letters patents of Kings and great personages, letters, consultations in the Councell Chamber, Embassadors Instructions, and Epistles, I carefully turned over and over. The Parliamentary Diaryes, Actes, and Statues I ran thorough, and read over every Edict or Proclamation. For the greatest part of all which, as I am beholden to that most excellent man Sir Robert Cotton, Knight and Baronet, who hath with great cost, and successefull industry, furnished himselfe with most choice store of matter of History and Antiquity (for from his light, he hath most willingly given great light to me). So (Reader) if I shall in any thing helpe or delight thee in this behalfe, thou art most worthily to give him thankes for the same.
3. Mine own writings and remembrances I searched over, who though I have been a studious regarder of venerable Antiquity, yet as one not altogether carelesse of late and fresh matters, I have seen, observed, and received many things from my Ancestors, and credible persons, which have beene present at the handling of matters, and such as have been addicted to the parties on both sides in this contrariety of Religion. All which I have with the Ballance of mine owne Judgement (such as it is) weighed and examined, lest I should at any time through beguiling credulity incline to that which is false. For the love of Truth, as it hath beene the onely spurre unto me to undertake this worke, so hath it also beene my onely scope and aime. Which truth to take from history, is nothing else but to plucke out the eyes of the beautifullest living creature, and in stead of wholesome nourishment, to offer a draught of poyson to the Readers mindes.
4. All such things therefore as use to darken the light of truth, I resolved to remove. Ignorance, and (which doe growe therefrom) doubtfulnesse and falsity I have to my power driven away by the brightnesse of uncorrupt faithfulnesse, out of those Monuments and Records, beyond all exception; and peradventure I have gotten thereby no lesse knowledge of those matters, then he which hath beene long and much versed in the affaires of the State. Prejudice I have shunned, forasmuch as it taketh away a mans judgement, and doth so blinde mens minds, in matters both of Religion and State, that like dim eyes they can behold nothing cleerely. As for danger, I feared none, no, not from those which thinke the memory of succeeding age may be extinct by present power. And let them remember, that as many as have practised cruelty upon Writers that have imbraced truth, have heaped dishonour upon themseves, and glory upon them. The hope of any gaine hath not drawne mee away: to set the dignity of History to sale, to mee (which have been ever well contented with a meane estate) hath ever seemed base and servile. To suspition, either of favour or disaffection, I have left no place. For of those that are to bee mentioned by mee, scarce one or two are knowne unto mee by any benefite, by any injury not one; so as no man can reckon mee amongst those that are either obnoxious, or malicious. Such as are living I have scarce thoughed by any short speech in their praise or dispraise. By inveighing against the enemies of our Countrey, to hunt after the praise of a good Common-wealths man, with the note of a bad Historian, I have held ridiculous. This I might have been carefull of, that according as Polybius willeth, I might satisfie the truth onely. Neither shall any man (I trust) finde lacking in me that ingenious freedome of speech with modesty, worthy an Historiographer. That freedome of speech with with malignity if backbiting is clothed under the counterfeit shew of free speaking, and is every where intertained wtih plausible acceptance, I doe detest from my heart. Things manifest I have not concealed; Things doubtfull I have interpreted more; Things most secret I have not pryed into. The hidden meanings of Princes (saith that great Ringleader or Antesignane[standard-bearer] of Histories), and if they worke any thing more secretly, to search them out, it is unlawfull; it is doubtfull and dangerous: pursue not therefore the search therof. And with Halycarnasseus, I am angry with those curious inquisitive people, which will seeke and know more then by the lawes is permitted.
5. As for other matters, although I am not ignorant that matters of warre, and matters of Policy, are things most proper to History, yet Ecclesiasticall matters I neither could nor indeed ought to omit (for between Religion and the Common-Wealth there can be no separation). But forasmuch as the Writer of the Ecclesiasticall History may rightfully challenge these matters to himselfe, I for my part have not touched them but with a light and chary hand. Whereas it standeth with the law and dignity of History, to runne thorow businesses of highest weight and importance, and not to inquire after small matters, I have not insisted upon small things; yet some small things there are, which if they please one not, may yet delight another to know. But circumstances I have in no wise omitted, that not onely the events of matter, but the reasons and causes might be understood. That of Polybius I like well, Take from History Why, How, and To what end, and What hath been done, and Whether the thing done hath succeeded according to reason, and whatsoever is else, will rather be an idle sport then a profitable instruction; and for the present it may delight, but for the future it cannot profit. Mine own judgement I have not delivered by affection; whilest writing with an undistempered minde, I have rather sifted out the judgement of others, and scarcely have interposed mine owne in any place, no not aliud agens [doing something else]; whereat notwithstanding it is a question, whether an Historian may lawfully doe it. Let every man for me have his free liberty to judge according to his capacity. Speaches and Orations, unlesse they be the very same verbatim, or else abbreviated, I have not meddled withall, much lesse faigned. Short Sentences[opinions] I have seldome interlaced, nor adorned my discourses with those observations which the Grecians aptly term epitaseis, whilest I have laboured privily to instruct the minde. Digressions I have avoided. Words of forme I have used. Matters belonging to Topographies and Genealogies I have not neglected, nor yet Chronologies, following the chaine and order of times as neere as might be, and beginning the yeere as our Chroniclers of old have used, as the first of January.
6. My work I have intituled by the name of Annals, for that I have disposed every thing in his proper yeere. For I have learnt of Tacitus, that Weightie and remarkable matters are to bee committed to Annals; and their speciall office is, that vertues be not concealed in silence, and that by things done and spoken naughtily, and by the bad issue and infamy, feare may be set before men. And moreover also, for that in Annals a more niggard and succinct kind of writing (as this is of mine) is specially required.
7. With these beginnings I applyed my minde to writing, with this intention I went forward, and in trimming, polishing, and perfecting of these matters I resolved to spend the whole course of my paines at spare times, and to bequeath them by my last Testament, to that most Honourable man Jacobus Augustus Thuanus, who hath with singular commendations of faithfulnesse and modesty begunne an History of his time, least (as foreiners are wont) he being to me most deare, should as it were a guest in a foreine Common-wealth, be a stranger to our affaires.
8. But behold, in this my purpose I was (I know not by what fate) prevented, and a great part of these Annals were sent over to him certaine yeeres before, whilst they lay yet shadowed in their first lineaments, and scare begun, razed with dashes and scratches, full of spots and patches, here and there cobbled together as they slipped from a hasty penne, and very ill handled by the Writer. Out of these, he by taking away, changing, and adding to, hath inserted some fewe things in the Eleventh and Twelfth Tome of this History, howbeit being certainlely with sound judgement rectified and refined. But whereas he, according to the proportion of his worke (for he had undertaken an univerall History of his time) hath picked out a fewe matters of England and Ireland, and omitted very many things which may delight, and haply concerne our Countrie-men to understand, and I my selfe have heard the knowledge of our matters earnestly desired by foreiners, not without some checke and reproach for the want thereof, I set my shoulders againe to the work which I had a while discontinued, I read it all over againe, considered of it anew; very many things I added, and applyed some ornament of speech, whobeit without any curious enticements of pleasing words. For it is enough (me thinks) for me, if as a Table [a painting] ill-favourable painted with grosse colours, I place it in a good light.
9. Yet whether I should publish it or not, I rested doubtfull. But the truth is judgings, fore-judgings, hatred, and backebiting, which I foresee doe advance their ensignes, and sound the charge against me, have not so much discouraged me, as my love to the Truth, and my affection to my Country, and the memory of that Princesse (which among English men ought to be gratefull and sacred), have excited me against such men, as having shaken off their alleagence towards their Prince and Countrey, cease not out of their most malicious hearts to wound and gall by their scandalous bookes amongst foreiners, the reputations of the one, and the glory of the other, and now (which thy sticke not to give out) are ready to commend unto posterity in a full volume, a monument of dishonesty. For my part I desire nothing more, then I may be like my selfe, and they like themselves. Posterity will render every man his due honour. What the loftiness of the Argument requireth I confesse with sorrow I have not performed, yet have I willingly bestowed what paines I have been able. I have neither in other workes, nor yet in this, in any sort satisified my selfe. Neverthelesse I shall hold my selfe recompensed to the full, if by my ready willingnesse to preserve the memory of things, to relate trueths, and to traine up mens minds to honesty and wisedome, I may find a place for a time, amongst the petty Writers of great matters. Whatsoever it be,
To God, my Country and Posterity,
at the Altar of Truth, I dedicate
and consecrate it.
Queene Elizabeths lineage. By her Father. | By the mother. | Anne Bolen born 1507. | Loved of the King, being minded to put away his wife. | The cause of the Divorce. | Related to the Pope. | Canvised in the Universities. | Delayed from day to day. | The cause of the dispatch. | Likewise doe the Prelates and Peeres. | And the Prelates apart. | The King being neglected, renounceth the Bishop of Rome. | And marrieth Anne Bolen. | Queene Elizabeth borne. | Declared heire apparent. | Holy maide of Kent. | Authority graunted to the King in Ecclesiasticall matters. | Queene Anne beheaded. | The King marrieth Jane Seimore. | The Ladies Marie and Elizabeth declared illigimate. | Queene Jane dieth in childbirth. | The king rageth against Papists, Lutherans and Abbies. | He maketh the Lawe of the sixe Articles. | He marrieth Anne of Cleves, and putteth her away. | He marrieth Katerine Howard and beheadeth her. | He marrieth Katherine Parr. | He is reconciled to Charles the Emperour. | He establisheth the succession in his children. | He winneth Bologne. | He dieth. | Edward the sixth succedeth him. | The doctine of the Gospell brought in. | An unhappy Kingdome under a childe King. | The Protector beheaded. | The death of King Edward the sixth. | The Lady Elizaabeth in great grace with her brother. | Her Studies. | Jane Grey in vaine proclameth Queene. | The Lady Mary proclaimeth Queene. | The Lady Elizabeth joyneth with her. | A Parliament. | The English hardly subject themselves to the Pope. Upon what conditions they are reconciled to the Church of Rome. | Joy therefore at Rome. | Ireland erected to a Kingdome by the Bishop of Rome. | The Papists stand in feare of the Lady Elizabeth. | They trouble her. | The French King and the King of Denmarke comfort her. | They force her by terror to the Romish Religion. | Why the Spaniard spared the Lady Elizabeths life. | They labour to send her out of the Land, and to exclude her from the succession | Calice [Calais] lost. | The death of Queene Mary. | And of Cardinall Poole.
HE Lineage and descent of Elizabeth Queene of England was by her Fathers side truely Royall: for daughter she was to King Henry the eight, grand-daughter to Henry the seventh, and great grand-daughter to Edward the fourth. By the mothers side her descent was not so high; howbeit Noble it was, and spred abroad by many and great Alliances thorowout England and Ireland. Her great grand-fathers father was Jeffrey Bolen, a man of Noble birth in Norfolke, Lord Maior of the Citie of London in the yeere 1457, and that the same time honoured with the dignity of Knight-hood. An upright honest man, of such estimation that Thomas Lord Hoo and Hastings, Knight of the Order of Saint George, gave him his daughter, and one of his heires, to wife, and of such wealth as he matched his daughters into the Noble houses of the Cheineys, Heydons, and Fortescues, left his sonne a goodly inheritance, and bequeathed a thousand pounds of English money to be bestowed upon the poore in the City of London, and two hundred in Norfolke. This mannes sonne William Bolen was chosen amongst eighteene most choise Knights of the Bath at the Coronation of King Richard the third, to whom Thomas Earle of Ormond (who was in such favor with the Kings of England that he alone of all the Noblemen of Ireland had his place and voyce in the Parliaments of England, and above the Barons of England also), gave his daughter and one of his heires in marriage. By her (besides daughters marryed to Shelton, Calthrop, Clare, and Sackvill, men of great wealth and Noble descent, and other children) hee begate Thomas Bolen, whom being a young man, Thomas Howard Earle of Surrey, who was afterward Duke of Norfolke, a man much renowned for his worthy service and achievements in the warres, chose to be his sonne in Law, giving unto him his daughter Elizabeth in marriage; and Henry the eight, after he had performed one or two very honourable Embassies, made him first Treasurer of his Household, Knight of the Order of Saint George, and Viscount Rochford, and afterwards Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, and made him Lord Keeper of the Privy Seale. This Thomas, among other children, begate Anne Bolen, who in her tender yeeres being sent into France, attended first on Marie of England, wife to Lewis the twelfth, and then on Claudia of Britaine, who with the first favoured the Protestants Religion springing up in France. Being returned into England and admitted amongst the Queenes Maides of Honour, and being now twenty two yeeres of age, King Henry in the thirty-eighth yeere of his age, did for her modesty, tempered with French pleasantnesse, fall deeply in love with; and when he could not overcome her chastity, hee sought to make her his wife in hope of issue male.
2. He (to fetch the matter a little higher), had before already begunne after seventeene yeeres to waxe weary of Queene Katherine his wife, a woman of most religious manners and Spanish gravitie, howbeit many times miscarrying in the fruit of her wombe, and which had but one onely daughter living, namely the Lady Mary. And this he had done through the cunning dealing of Thomas Wolsey Cardinall, who being now in the heighth of power with the King, had not in a manner power over himselfe. For he, bearing a grudge to the Emperour Charles the fifth, Queen Katherines sisters sonne, for that he had denyed him the Archbishopricke of Toledo and had not favoured him in his aspiring to the Popedome, and being now (in malice with Charles) devoted in such sort to the French King, that he pointed out to King Henry a wife out of France, caused a scruple to be put into the Kings head, who was already prone to his own desires, that his marriage with Queen Katherine, which before had beene his brother Arthurs wife, was by the Law of God prohibited, notwithstanding that Julius the second Bishop of Rome had dispensed therewith. Afterwards hee himselfe beat into his eares how grievously he had sinned against God in marrying Queene Katherine, and in how great sinne he wallowed in retaining her, that he had incurred the Sentence of excommunication, and that God had already powred forth his wrath upon this so unlawfull a marriage, who would not that any issue male, though once or twice conceived, should live; and that there could no other bee expected, but that those bloody warres very lately layd asleep would be raised againe with new slaughters unlesse a lawfull heire to the Crowne were certainely knowne. To the end therefore that all scruple might be removed out of the Kings mind, and his soule so many yeeres polluted with incest unburdened, and withall the safety of the Realm by undoubted succession of lawfull issue provided for, she was to be divorced.
3. Hereupon the King maketh suite to Clement the seventh Bishop of Rome that he would appoint Delegates to heare and examine the cause, and that either the dispensation of Pope Julius might be confirmed by the authority of the holy Scriptures, or he might be absolved from the Sentence of excommunication, and it might be pronounced that the marriage it selfe was no marriage and of no force, and that it was lawfull for him to contract marriage with any other woman whatsoever, any other Canon notwithstanding. The Pope made his Delegates Wolsey and Cardinall Campeius; to which Campeius he also privily delivered a Bull wherein favourably inclining to the Kings request, as farre as with a good conscience he might, he graunted all things, in case it should fortune the marriage contracted with Queene Katharine to be pronounced to have beene and to be no marriage. But this Bull to be either concealed or published, according as the Emperours affairs in Italy succeeded. Now were questions every where canvised, whether it were lawfull by Gods Law for the brother to take to wife the brothers widow; and if this were prohibited by Gods Law, whether it might not be made lawfull by the Popes dispensation. But when many Universities of Christendome, and men most learned, had by their suffrages avowed such a marriage to be repugnant to the sacred Lawes of both Testaments, notwithstanding the Bishop of Romes dispensation, the King beganne to burne in love of Anne Bolen, and withall the Cardinall, repenting him too late of that he had begunne and being pricked forward with anger, by close packing so wrought with the Bishop of Rome, that he refused to confirme by his Papall authority the judgements of the Universities, and the cause was prolonged and delayed from day to day at Rome and in England; for the Cardinall stood in feare of Anne Bolen, who being addicted to the Protestants Doctrine hated his most pompous pride. In like manner did the Pope misdoubt the Emperour, who now grewe very strong in Italy, and most sharpely defended the cause of his Aunt Queen Katharine. Neither yet would the Pope incense King Henry who, when he was (not long before) taken prisoner by the Imperialists, had by his meanes and mony delivered him. King Henry, though he were herewith much chafed in minde, yet did he smother it by his Embassadours and Letters, and then the Prelates and Nobility of England by supplication signed and subscribed with their hands and Seales, with humble prayers casting themselves down at the Popes feet, besought him that what the two Universities of England, the Universitie of Paris, and many other Universities, and most learned and upright men, at home and abroad, had affirmed to be true, and were most ready to defend and maintaine for truth as well by word as writing, might (to use their own words) bee confirmed by his Apostolicall authority. And a marveilous infelicity it were (say they) if this might not be obtained by the See Apostolike, by that Prince, through whose onely helpe the authority of the See Apostolike standeth unshaken, having been assailed by many, against whom partly by his sword, partly by his pen, and partly by his word and authority, he had many times opposed, and yet he alone should not enjoy the benefit of her authority. But that he might enjoy it they besought him againe, lest Civill warres should breake foorth anew, about the title of succession.
4. The Prelates also fearing lest the Pope would innodate[bind] the Realme with his Interdict, or the King with his Excommunication, did by their Letters apart put him in mind of the wofull dissention betweene Alexander the third, Bishop of Rome, and Henry the second, King of England, and amongst other weightie reasons, they with most humble prayers advised him in these very words, in effect, which Gilbert Bishop of London then used. Your burning zeale we most humbly beseech you that you would for a time restraine within the bounds of modesty, lest by pronouncing either the Sentence of Interdict, or that last declaration of precision or excommunication, ye suffer innumerable Churches to be miserably subverted, and (which God forbid) irrevocably turne away from your obedience as well the King himselfe, as infinite number of people with him. Better it that a member be joyned to the head, though it be maymed, than quite cut off and cast from the body. The maimed members may bee healed againe, but being once cut off, they never grow more unto the body. Cutting off bringeth despaire, whereas the wary Chirurgeons hand many times healed the wound. Better it is therefore, if it please you, that for the present you doe your best to heale the wound (if any be) then by cutting off a most Noble part from Gods Church, yee trouble matters which at this time are troubled already, farre more then can be expressed. With mildnesse it is to be appeased, and with admonitions and patience to be mastered. For what if patience either shewed already, or still to be shewed, doe bring some losse of temporall matters? Must there not bee a slacking of severity, when slaughter of the people threateneth? Are not many things to be cast into the Sea, when foule confusion of Sea and waves menaceth destruction? But when the Pope and his Cardinals gave no eare to these things, but neglected them the space of five yeeres or thereabouts, taking it very hardly that the Popes power in dispensing should be called in question, and thought it meete that the King should bee cited to Rome; they constrained the King, being a Prince most full of spirit and already exasperated with the perversnesse of his cause, hee was most unjustly dealt withall, in consideration of his Royall dignity most unworthily, and in respect to his deserts towards the Church of Rome most ingratefully, that almost at one and the same time he both divorced Queene Katherine, stripped Cardinall Wolsey out of his goods and lands, layd a very great fine upon the Bishops, for that they had acknowledged his Legatine authority in prejudice of the Kings preeminence, abolished the authority of the Bishop of Rome, tooke upon him the title of Supreme head of the Church of England, next under Christ, given unto him by a Synode, and by the Universities of England, advanced Anne Bolen (being clad in her Robes of honour, and a golden Coronet on her head, to the honor of Marchionesse of Pembroke, with the assent of the Peeres of the Realme, for the nobility of her birth and merit of her vertues (so runnes the words), tooke her to wife, and commanded her to bee inaugurate Queene; whilest the Pope Clement the seventh chafed in vaine, decreed the former marriage to be of force and Canonicall, and pronounced the King to have incurred the paine of the greater excommunication.
5. By this marriage was born the Lady Elizabeth, at Greenewitch upon the Thames, the seventh of September 1533. And shortly after, the said marriage contracted with Queene Katherine was by the authority of the Parliament judged voyd and incestuous; and this with Queene Anne lawfull and agreeing with the Lawe of God; the Lady Elizabeth, if the King should faile of issue male, was declared heire apparent to the Crowne, and an Oath of Allegeance taken by all the subjects to the King and his heires by Queene Anne. And when Paul the third purposed to pronounce Sentence anew at Rome against this marriage, and at home the holy mayd or Nunne in Kent, being suborned by some religious persons, as if she were moved with Divine fury, uttered many things against the same and against the King, the Title of Supreme head of the Church of England, with all manner of authority to reforme errors, heresies, and abuses in the same was given to the King by the Estates of the Realme, and the said Oath of Allegeance to the Kings heires by the Queene Anne confirmed. Nevertheless, scarce were three yeeres fully expired, when he desperatly falling in love, jealousies, rage, slaughter, and blood, to the end to make way for his new love to Jane Seimore, called Queene Anne to her tryall, being accused upon a light suspition of adultery, who had miscarried of a male childe she went withall. Queene Anne cleered her selfe in such sort of the matters objected against here, that she seemed to the multitude that stood by to be circumvented being innocent. Nevertheless her Peeres condemned her. Being condemned, she fairely and pleasantly sent by a Messenger singular great thankes to the King for his benefits heaped upon her, to wit, that being not descended of very honorable stocke, hee had advanced her to the most honorable dignity of a Marchionesse, to the honour to be his bed-fellow, and to the high estate of a Queene, and (which was most of all) that when hee could raise her no higher upon earth, he would now lift her up to heaven, where she should enjoy eternall glory amongst Innocents. Her death she quietly and Christianly underwent, wishing all happinesse to the King, and forgiving her enemies.
6. The King very next day after marryeth Jane Seimore, prounceth by authority of Parliament the marriage with Queene Anne, as well as that with Queene Katherine, to be flatly unlawfull and voyde, and their daughters the two Ladyes Mary and Elizabeth to bee thereby illegitimate, and to be excluded from the succession of the Crowne. Queene Jane fell in travaile of Prince Edward, and presently dyed, after she had brought forth the said Prince, who was cut out from her wombe, and succeeded his father in his Kingdome. The King, taking small thought for his wives death, presently applyed himselfe to new loves, both in Italy and France to get him friends. Neverthelesse wavering in minde, and being to every thing timerous, whilest hee stood in feare of the Papists for rebellions already raised, lest the Nobility should stirre commotions, or joyne with forraine enemies, some of them for light causes, and some unheard he cutteth shorterter by the heads. The Religious men for their stiffenesse in maintaining the Popes power hee often putteth to death as traytors, and out of avarice, as before he had done the lesser, so now he pluketh downe the greater Abbies, places most full of venerable Antiquity and Majestie, and pillageth their wealth so many yeeres heaped together, seeking causes out of the vices of humane frailty, and a more loose life. And withall he burneth the Protestant Hereticks by a Law which they called The sixe Articles, made against those which impugned the Doctrine of the Church of Rome concerning Transubstantiation, One kind in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the umarried life of Priests, Vowes, Private Masse, and Auricular confession, insomuch as at one and the same time and place he raged against the Papists by hanging, drawing, and quartering, and against the Protestants by burning them alive. Whereby when he grewe terrible at home, and was holden tyranicall abroad, after he was first rejected by Mary of Loraine, the Duke of Guise his daughter, whom he wooed, being Rivall to James King of Scots his nephewe, and then by Christiana of Denmarke, Dutchesse of Millane, neece to Charles the fifth, at length with much adoe he obtained Anne of Clive to wife, while he applyeth himselfe to the amity of the Protestants in Germany. But her so soone as he had married her he cast off, loathing her as not being of beauty worthy a Prince, and withall giving himself over to disdaine and lust, pretending the cause to be for that she had beene formerly betroathed to the Duke of Loraines sonne, and charging her with I wot not what womanish impotency; and all to bring over her head Katherine Howard, daughter of Edmund Howard and neece to Thomas Duke of Norfolke, whom the next yeere after he beheaded, being found guilty of incontinency before marriage, and tooke to wife Katherine Parr, of a Knightly family, whom he left the second time widdow.
7. When now he perceived his body to be much decayed through the intemperancie of his youth, being inraged against the French King, for that hee had subayded [secretly aided] the Scots against the English, and more favouring the Emperour Charles, who having quite forgotten the divorce of his Aunt Queene Katherine, had secretly given him assured hope of reconciliation to the Church of Rome (wherein the French King had already deluded him), he entered into a confederacy with the Emperour Charles against the Franch. Then casting in his mind to invade France, to the end to winne the more favour with Charles the French, and withall to satisfie his exulcerate conscience, hee propounded to the Estates of the Realme in Parliament that if he and his sonne Prince Edward should decease without issue, first the Lady Mary, and if she should faile of issue, then the Lady Elizabeth should succeede in the Kingdome. But if all these should dye without issue, then the Crowne of England should bee devolved upon those, to whom hee should either by Letters Patents, or by his last will and Testament assigne the same, which was with most willing minds of all men enacted and established upon paine of high treason. Being returned out of France after the winning of Bologne, and great expence of money ,whilest hee lamented the distraction of England through new opinions daily springing up, and England it selfe sighed and groaned, seeing her wealth exhausted, her money embased [debased] and mingled with copper, her Abbyes plucked downe, being the monuments of ancient piety, the blood of her Nobility, Prelates, Papists , and Protestants promiscuously spilt, and the Land embroyled with the Scottish warre, he being swolne with fat, breathed out his last of a virulent inflamation of a Saint Antonies fire in his thigh, in the beginning of the yeere 1547. A magnanimous Prince, in whose great wit were confusedly tempered great vertues, and no less vices.
8. Prince Edward his sonne, being scarce tenne yeeres old, succeded him, his Uncle Edward Seimore Duke of Somerset being made Protector, under whose auspicious Government, a noble victory was wonne from the Scots at Musselburgh, whilest the English with Armes demanded the performance of a confederacy concerning Mary Queene of Scots, to be espoused to King Edward, and the cruell Law of The sixe Articles and other Lawes made by King Henry the eighth against the Protestants, are repealed, those for abolishing the Popes authority are confirmed, the Masse is abolished, Images are removed out of Churches, the Bookes of both Testaments printed in the vulgar tongue, Divine service celebrated in the same tongue, and both kinds administered in the Eucharist. But sacrilegous avarice ravenously invaded Church livings, Colleges, Chantreys, Hospitals, and places dedicated to the poore, as superstitions, ambition and emulation among the Nobility, presumption and disobedience among the Common people, insulted so insolently that England seemed to be as it were in an outregeous phrenesis, inwardly miserably languishing of Rebellions, tumults, factions, embasing of money, and all mischiefes, and maladies which are wont to happen under a Childe King. Hereunto also were added damages received abroad, the holds and Ports of the English in Scotland and France also lost, Bologne, which cost so deare, and all the Ordnance and munition betrayed to the French for money, not without exceeding great dishonor to the English Nation, when England being rent with seditions was not able to defend the same, and Charles the Emperour being sued unto for ayde according to the confederacy, denyed to relieve it (as which was wonne by the English after the confederacy made), yea and refused it being offered unto him gratis. And, to increase the infelicity of those times, the Protector being heedlesse of the cunning practices of Dudley Duke of Northumberland, was condemned of felony by a Law newly made against practising to kill the Kings Counsellours (namely Northumberland, and others) and beheaded; his sonne was by a private Law despoiled of the greatest part of his inheritance and his fathers honours, and the King himselfe being left destitute of the assistance of his own kinred, and exposed to the cruelty of ambitious persons, was taken away by an untimely death (whether through any natural disease, or by poyson, is uncertaine), leaving behind him an incredible misse of him amongst the people for his singular vertues above his age.
9. In this dolefull time, when Dudley had by cunning devices dissolved the brotherly love betweene the Protector and Thomas Seimore his brother, taking occasion from a womanish emulation betwixt the Queene Dowager, Thomas his wife, and the Dutchesse of Somerset the Protectors wife, amongst other things to convince Thomas of high treason, it was objected that he had intended to seize the King into his hands, and take the Lady Elizabeth the Kings sister to wife. But she being utterly ignorant of the matter, and farre from all suspition, grew towards nine years, being in very great grace with King Edward her brother (who called her by no other name then his sweet sister Temperance), and in singular favour amongst the Nobility and people. For she was of beauty very faire and worthy of a Crowne, of modest gravity, excellent wit, Royall minde, happy memory, and indefatigable study of learning, insomuch before she was seventeene yeeres of age she understood well the Latin, French and Italian tongues, and indifferently well seene in the Greek. Neither did shee neglect Musicke, so farre forth as might beseeme a Princesse, being able to sing and play on the Lute prettily and sweetly. With Roger Ascham who instructed her, she read the common places of Melanchthon, all Tully, a great part of the Histories of Titus Livius, certaine selected Orations of Isocrates (whereof two she turned into Latin), Sophocles Tragedies, and the New Testament in Greeke, out of which shee both fashioned her tongue to a most pure speach, and informed her minde with most apt documents and instructions, and daily studied and applyed good letters, not for pompe, but for practice of life and vertue, insomuch as shee was even a miracle for her learning amongst the Princes of her time.
10. But these her liberall studies were interrupted by the death of her brother King Edward, whose breath was scarce out of his body when certaine messengers from Dudley Duke of Northumberland (who affected the Crowne for Jane Grey, to whom he had marryed his sonne) moved her to resigne her title to the Crowne for a summe of money, and certaine lands assigned her. She modestly answered that her elder sister the Lady Mary was first to be agreed withall: for as long as the said Lady Mary lived, she for her part could challenge[claim] no right at all. Shortly after, the Lady Jane Grey, grand-daughter to the second sister of King Henry the eight, was openly proclaimed Queene of England. Causes were devised, to wit, for that the Ladyes Mary and Elizabeth were by Act of Parliament judged illegitimate, which Act was never duly repealed (notwithstanding that the King their father had by the same Act declared that they should succeede in order after Edward the sixt, if his issue should faile), and for that the said sisters could not by the Common Lawe of England be successors heridatrily to King Edward, because they were not Germans, that is, of the whole blood by father and mother but (as our Lawyers terme it), of the halfe blood. It was also signified that Henry the eight by his last Will and Testament conveyed the Title of the Crowne to the said Lady Jane Grey, and withall it was shewed how dangerous a matter it might be, if the Lady Mary or the Lady Elizabeth should marry with foreine Princes, which might revoke [reinstate] the Bishop of Romes authority, now banished out of England, and subject the English under a foreine yoake. And to the same purpose also were produced Letters Patents of King Edward the sixth, made a little before his death, and signed with the hands of many Noblemen, Bishops, Judges, and others.
11. Nevertheless the most inclinable affection of the Nobility and Commons towards King Henry the eighth his daughters within twenty dayes dispersed this storme, to the fatall end of the Duke and the Lady Jane, and the Lady Mary was proclaimed Queene all over England; whom at her comming to London with an Army the Lady Elizabeth went forth to meete with five hundred horse, lest she should faile her sisters and her own cause, which was then in hand. In the first Parliament which Queene Mary held were repealed whatsoever things had been decreed against the marriage betweene Queene Katherine her mother and King Henry the eighth, and the same marriage was judged to be consonant to Gods Lawes, and to all purposes validous and available, for these reasons: for it had beene contracted, celebrated, and consummated by procreation of children, with consent of their parents, most prudent Princes, by advice of most grave men, as well of England as of Spaine, and with mature deliberation of the most learned men of Christendome. The same forme also of Religion and Service of God, and administration of Sacraments which had been in use at the death of Henry the eighth were revoked, howbeit without any acknowledgement or mention at all of the Popes authority; which marvelously perplexed the Queene and Cardinal Poole, who both of them thought that in the matter of the marriage the consent of their parents and judgement of wisemen depended upon no other thing then the dispensation of Pope Julius the second; and were offended that the use of the Sacraments were allowed without the Popes authority to such as were not yet solemnly received into the Church. But the Estates of the Realme (as Queene Mary found) feared to admit and acknowledge againe the authority of the Bishop of Rome, which was now shaken off. Neither would they endure that the Queeene should lay downe the Title of Supreme head of the Church of England, unto which most of them, the Bishops, Nobility, and Commons, and sworne to Henry the eighth, his heirs and successors, and very many had increased their estates by the livings of the Church. But shee rejoyced in heart to lay it downe, being perswarded that her whole Title to the Crowne was strengthned by no other meanes then by the power of the Bishop of Rome, who had given Sentence for the same, after that her father had procured her to be pronounced illegitimate. Certainely at this time very many bare such hatred against the Popes power and a foreine yoake, that Sir Thomas Wyat and certaine Kentish men, within ten dayes after the marriage contracted betwixt Queene Mary and Phillip of Spain, brake forth into open rebellion, being perswaded that it was contracted to no other end then by the power of the Spaniards to presse the Englishmens necks the more straightly under the yoke of the Bishop of Rome, and to make away the Lady Elizabeth, the next heire to the Crowne of England. And the Emperour Charles the fifth, well knowing their minds in England, layed such delayes upon Cardinall Poole, who was comming into England with Legatine power from the Pope (and that not without advice of the Queene), least he should raise some offence while matters were not yet settled, that he came not into England till after fifteene moneths, when now the third Parliament was holden, and the marriage betwixt Queen Mary and King Phillip celebrated by dispensation of Julius the third, Bishop of Rome, for that they were within the second and third degree of consanguity, and the said Charles the Emperour had formerly contracted marriage de futuro with the Lady Mary, when shee was not seven yeeres old. Then Poole, being by the Emperour dismissed, came into England, and being restored in blood, propounded to the Estates with prayers and obtestations that the Lawes against Hereticks might be reestablished, that all the laws set forth against the See of Rome from the twentieth yeere of Henry the eighth might be repealed, and that the whole body of the Realme might be reconciled to the Church of Rome. Which things with much adoe he obtained, and not before such time as by the the same Statute the livings taken by King Henry the eighth and Edward the sixth from Abbyes, Colleges, Bishoprickes, etc., were confirmed to the Queene and the possessors, least the quiet of the Realme should be disturbed. Hereupon he presently absolved the Clergie and people from the crime of schisme, at Rome for joy a solemne Masse was celebrated by Pope Julius the third himselfe, Processions were decreed, a Jubile appointed, and plenary Indulgence graunted to every one which would give God thankes for the union of the Kingdome of England. And thither were sent Anthony Viscount Montacute, Thurlbey Bishop of Ely, and Sir Edward Carne, to give thanks for pardon of the schisme, and to tender in the name of the King, Queene, and Realme due submission and obedience to the Pope and See Apostolicke. To whom in the Apostolike Palace, and Court of Kings, was graunted by Paul the fourth (for Julius was now dead) a publick Consistory or Audience, their obedience accepted, the pardon and absolution given by Cardinall Poole, approved and new given. And the more to bind the Queene Mary and King Philip by kindnesse, the Pope out of the fulnesse of his Apostolical power, perpetually erected Ireland into a Kingdom and honoured and adorned with Regal title, dignity, and preeminence, etc. All which notwithstanding, the Estates of Ireland had by their own authority amply conveied to Henry the eighth, and the Queene her selfe already used and enjoyed before. But these things are not proper to this place.
12. Now seemed the Romish Religion to be fully established in England. Neverthelesse, the ecclesiasticall sort of people in England, seeing they had small hope of issue by the Queene, being now forty yeeres old, dry, and sickly, were still in feare of the Lady Elizabeth; for they knew her to be bred up in the Protestants Religion, and perceived that all mens mindes and eyes were bent towards her, as towards the Sun-rising. Seriously therefore they consulted from the very beginning of Queen Maries Raigne, that the Religion now called home again, might take no detriment through her meanes. To make away the Royall Issue by wicked hand seemed to those of sounder judgement, and to Queene Mary her selfe (a most naturall and loving Princesse, though bearing her no great good will, in regard of her mothers displeasures), a most hainous sine. But some other ill-disposed persons thought the contrary, who were of opinion that for establishing of the Catholicke Reigion, nothing was not to be adventured on, nothing not to be committed, though never so unjust. And very fittly it had happened for them that Sir Thomas Wyat, Sir Peter Carew, Sir James a Croftes, and others of the Protestants, seditiously had raised tumults and commotions, and had gone about to joyne the Lady Elizabeth in marriage with Edward Courtney, Earl of Devonshire. Hereupon she, as privy therunto, was thrust in prison; first, uncertain rumours were spred abroad that shee was accessary to the Rebellion, then some were called in question upon life and death, and others racked. Croftes openly affirmed with religious asservation that she was not accessary, and that she was cleere from all blame of sedition. Wyat also (who was reported to have secretly accused her) being ready to suffer death, openly professed the same. She neverthelesse was poasted hither and thither, having Keepers set over her, and her servants and waiting women being now and then carryed to prison, and shee her selfe more hardly intreated then stood with her dignity.
13. In the meane while Henry the second King of France, by secret letters most full of love, comforteth her, and promising her many and great matters, allureth her into France, whether out of love I will not say, or cunning intent to worke her greater perill, and make way for the Queene of Scots (who was appointed to be his daughter in law) to the Crowne of England after Queen Mary. Christian the third also King of Denmarke, who had (not long before) given his name to the Protestants Religion, offereth her all kindnesse, and withall dealeth with her privily about a marriage with his sonne Frederick; which was no sooner perceived by the Papists in England but againe they threaten her, and worke her perill, and misdoubting themselves, cry out that the Romish Religion, the Queene, and Realme, can never be in safety while she liveth. Needs therefore must she be condemned, either of high treason, or heresie. And at that time, whilest cruelty was used against the Protestants of lesser note, John Story Doctor of Law, and others of a mercilesse disposition gave out in companies abroad that the roote of heresie (meaning her) was to be strucken off, not the branches cut away. Neverthelesse, whereas she governing her selfe as it were a ship in stormy weather, heard divine Service after the Roman Religion, and was often confessed, yea at the rigorous sollicitation of Cardinall Poole professed her selfe for feare of death a Romish Catholicke, yet did not Queene Mary beleeve her, remembering that she her selfe for feare of death had by letters written with her owne hand to her father (which I my selfe have seene), both renounced for ever the Bishop of Romes authority in England, and withall acknowledged her father to bee Supreme head of the Church of England under Christ, and her mothers marriage with King Henry her father to have been incestuous and unjust. Neither could the Cardinall himselfe and the rest of the Bishops be perswaded hereof, who for assuring of the Roman Religion wisht her to be made away. Which notwithstanding could not sound very pleasing in the eares of King Philip, Queen Maries husband, and the Spaniards, who were more favorable to the Lady Elizabeth, not so much for that the fortune of so afflicted a mayden Princesse drew pitty from them, as wisely providing for their own particular respects. For they foresaw that the Lady Elizabeth being once made away, the Kingdomes of England, Ireland, and Scotland, might by Mary Queene of Scots, next heire to the Crowne of England, already espoused to the Dolphin of France, be adjoyned to the French Scepter, then which nothing was more dreadfull to the Spaniards greatnesse, who had then continuall warres with the French.
14. Whereas therefore they throught best to remove her farre off out of England, and to match her with Emanuel Philbert Duke of Savoy. Neither did this like the Spaniard, who had before destined her to his sonne Charles. And Sir Thomas Cornwallis one of the Queenes Councell disswaded it, alleaging that the people of England would take it very hardly, nay not indure at all that the next heire to the Crowne should be conveyed out of the Land. At which time Queene Mary, after her inveterate hatred to the Lady Elizabeth, and for that the said Lady was averse from the marriage with the Savoyard, did so boyle with anger that shee loaded her with checks and taunts, and strucke not ever and anon to affirme that Mary Queene of Scots was the certaine and undoubted heire to the Crowne of England next after her selfe. These consultations against the Lady Elizabeth were diverted by a warre denounced by Queene Mary against the French in favour of her husband; which favour, though it were the chiefe and principall cause of the warre, yet other causes also concurred, and such causes as were most true, to wit, that the French, contrary to the Articles of the League, had by his ministers maintained the Rebellions of the Duke of Northumberland and of Sir Thomas Wyat, and the practices of Dudley and Ashton against her; that hee had set forth Pyrats against the English Marchants; furnished Stafford with armes and shipping to seize upon Scarborough Castle; attempted Calice[Calais] by bad practices; suffered the English money to be embased [debased] in Franced; and invaded the Netherlands, which the English were bound by covenant to protect. During the heat of this warre, and while the Scots, whom the French had excited, invested the Marches of England, Calise, the Castles of Risbank, Newnambrig, Mere, Oye, Hammes, Sandgate, and the Castle and Towne of Gwines are lost, and together with the death of many Bishops (which by a sad presage seemed to have denounced the wrath of God), Queene Mary being of her husband neglected, and languishing with griefe for the losse of Calise (which for the space of two hundred yeeres had beene under English Jurisdiction), left her life the 17th of November, 1558, of a six moneths Fever, and a Tympany, when she had Raigned five yeeres and foure moneths. A Princesse never sufficiently commended amongst all men for her most religious manners, pitty towards the poore, and liberality towards the Nobility and Church-men. Howbeit her dayes have beene ill spoken of, by reason of the barbarous cruelty of the Bishops, who with a most sad spectacle, in all places polluted England by burning the Protestants alive. For they consumed more of all degrees, Bishops, Ministers of Gods Word, and common people, by this direfull death within the space of five yeeres then (as some have observed) King Henry the eighth did in full thirty yeeres, or England saw since the time that in the Raigne of King John, Christians against Christians first began amongst us to exercise cruelty with fire and fagges. The same day that Queene Mary dyed, dyed within a few houres Cardinall Poole Archbishop of Canterbury, after he had struggled with a quartan Fever. A man much more renowned for his piety and learning, and intregrity, then for the glory of his Royall descent, though he were sonne to the daughter of George Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward the fourth, King of England.
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