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ANNO DOMINI 1568
The Papists absolve. | The Puritans shewe themselves. | <A second civill warre in France.> | The Duke of Anjou commended to Queene Elizabeth for an husband. | The Ambassadour in Spaine hardly used. | And Hawkins in America. | The Queene of Scots escapeth out of prison. | She is vanquished. | She commeth into England. | She writeth to the Queene. | Queene Elizabeth pitieth her. | The Councell deliberate. | They thinke best to detaine her. | The Countesse of Lenox complaineth against her. | The Lord Heris intercedeth for her. | Murray commanded to yeeld reasons for deposing the Queene. | Delegates for the King of Scots. | Commissioners appointed by Queen Elizabeth to take cognizance of the cause. | Delegates for the Queene of Scots. | Lindingtons admonition to the Scots. | A protestation of the Scots. | A declaration of the Delegates for the Queene. | The answer of the Delegates for the King. | The Replication for the Queene. | Murray refuseth to yeeld reasons for deposing the Queene. | The Commissioners authority revoked, to the rejoycing of Norfolke. | New Commsssioners appointed. | She submitteth not her cause to them, but upon conditions. | The matter cometh to nothing. | A question touching the government of Scotland. | Murray propoundeth to Nofolke a marriage with the Queene of Scots. | Yet spreadeth rumors against her. | Ridolphe. | Suspicions concerning the Duke of Norfolke. | The Queene of Scots commited to the Earle of Shrewsbury. | The third Civill warre in France. | Queene Elizabeth relieveth the Protestants in France. | She graciously receiveth the Netherlanders. | Who are beneficiall to England. | The beginning of the Netherland Warre. | The Duke of Alva. | Money sent into the Netherlands detained. | The Englishmens goods stayd in the Netherlands. | And the Netherlanders in England. | The death of Roger Ascham.
HILEST Thomas Harding, Nicholas Sanders, and T. P. Divines, fugitives out of England, lustily exercised their Episcopall power received from the Bishop of Rome to absolve in Court of conscience all English-men which returned to the bosome of the Church, and to dispense also in cause of irregularity, excepting causes arising of wilfull murder, or deduced into a contentious or Juridicall Court; and also to absolve from irregularity by reason of heresie, so as the persons to be absolved doe abstaine from the ministery of the Altar by the space of three yeeres, on the other side Colman, Button, Hallingham, Benson, and others, who with burning zeale, professing a more sincere Religion, allowed nothing but what was drawne from the fountaines of the holy Scriptures, or in affection of a more pure discipline, novelty, or dissention, openly called in question the received discipline of the Church of England, the Liturgie, and the vocation of Bishops, yea condemned them as savouring too much of the Romish Religion (with which th have any communion, they cryed out, was impious), using all the meanes they could, that all things in the Church of England might be reformed according to the rule of the Church of Geneva. These men, though the Queene commanded they should be committed to prison, yet incredible it is how much the followers of this sect increased every where through a certaine obstinate wilfulnesse in them, indescretion of the Bishops, and secret favour of certaine Noble-men which gaped after the wealth of the Church; which set began presently to be knowne by the envious name of Puritans.
2. When the Frenchmen, which in like manner laboured for a reformation of Religion, fearing that the holy League was made by the Papists against them, had a little before out of just feare come unto the King with armed hand and humble supplication, a second Civill warre brake forth; for the compounding whereof, the Queene commanded Norris her Ambassadour to interpose his mediation, and certainely a dissembled peace ensued, full of treacherous plots. What time the Queene-nother of France used the Ambassadour and other Englishmen with flattering and kind courtesie, and covertly, and is it were glancingly, began to let fall speaches of a marraige betwixt Queene Elizabeth and her sonne Henry Duke of Anjou, who was scarce seventeene yeeres of age. And this to no other intent (as many thought) then to hold her backe from relieving the Protestants of France in the third Civill warre, which she gessed did threaten.
3. But Man, the English Ambassadour in Spaine, was most uncourteously dealt withall, who being accused to have spoken somewhat unreverently of the Bishop of Rome, was excluded from the Court, and afterward thrust out of Madrid into a Country village, his servants being compelled to be present at Masse, and the exercise of hiw owne Religion forbidden. And this whether in greater hatred to the Queen, or to Religion, I cannot say; whereas she in the meane time shewed all kindnesse to Gusman the Spanish Ambassadour, allowing him his owne Religion. This usage towards her Ambassadour she tooke in ill part, as done in disgrace to her; and no lesse the injury done at this time by the Spaniards to Sir John Hawkins. This Hawkins had arrived at Saint John de Ullua in the Bay of Mexico, with five ships for commerce, laden with marchandises and Black-more slaves, which were now commonly bought in Africa by the Spaniards, and by their example by the English, and sold againe in America, how honestly I know not. The next day arrived there also the King of Spaines Royall Navy; which though he might easily have kept from entring the haven, yet suffered he them to enter, compounding for security to him and his upon certaine conditions, lest he might seeme to have broken the League. The Spaniards being let in, who scorned to have conditions given them within their owne Dominions, watched their owne opportunity, set upon the English, slew many, tooke three ships, and pillaged the goods, yet got they not the victory without blood. Hereat the military and sea-faring men all over England fretted, and demanded warre against the Spaniards, exclaiming that they were League-breakers, inasmuch as it was agreed by the League betwixt the Emperour Charles the fift and King Henry the eighth that there should be free commerce betweene the subjects of both Princes in all and singular their Kingdomes, Dominions, and Isles, not excepting America, which then belonged to the said Charles. But the Queene shut her eares against them, being called away by Scottish matter.
4. For in Scotland about this time, to wit, the second of May, the captive Queene made an escape out of prison in Lough-Levin, to Hamilton Castell, by the helpe of George Douglasse, to whose brothers custody she was committed; where, upon hearing of the testimonies of Robert Melvin and others, a Sentence declaratory was pronounced by the joynt consent of all the Noble-men which were there assembled in good number that the resignation extorted from the Queene in prison through feare, was none at all from the very beginning; and that the same was extorted, was confirmed by the oath of the Queene her selfe being present. Hereupon within a day or two so great a multitude flocked unto her from all parts, that she levyed an Army of six thousand warriours, who notwithstanding when the battel joyened, were easily defeated by Murray, for that they fought more by force than with advisement. With this sad successe the fearefull Queene being terrified, saved her selfe by flight, riding that day sixty miles; and afterwards she came by night journeyes to the house of Maxwell Baron of Herys, and chose rather to commit her selfe to the mercy of the sea, and to the protection of Queene Elizabeth, then to the trust of her owne people. Neverthelesse shee sent afore-hand John Beton with a Diamond (which she had received from her in token of a mutuall kindnesse), to signifie that she would come into England, and crave ayd of her in case her subjects did pursue her any farther by warre. To whom Queene Elizabeth most largely promised all love and kindnesse of a sister. But before the Messenger returned, she cleane contrary to the perswasions of her friends, tooke boate with the Lords Heris and Fleming, and a few others, and arrived the 17th of May at Wirkinton in Cumberland, neere the mouth of the River Derwent; and the same day wrote a Letter in French with her own hand to Queene Elizabeth. The chiefe heads whereof (forasmuch as they containe an historicall narration of things done against her in Scotland more fully then I have related them) I have thought good to set downe out of the very originall, which runneth on this wise.
5. You are not ignorant (my very good sister) how some of my subjects, whom I have raised to the highest top of honour, have conspired to imprison me and my husband; and how I also at your intercession, received them againe to favour, after they were by force of Armes driven out of my Kingdome. Yet these men brake into my chamber, cruelly murdered my servant before my face when I was great with childe, and shut me up in hold. And when I had pardoned them the second time, behold, they fained a new crime against me, which they plotted themselves, and signed with their owne hands, and were now ready with an Army in the field to charge me. But I trusting in mine owne innocency, and to spare the spilling of bkood, put my selfe into their hands. They presently thrust me into prison, removed all my servants from me, saving one or two wayting-maides, my Cooke, and my Phisicion, drove me by threats and terror of death to resigne my Kingdome, and in an Assembly of the Estates convocated by their owne authority, refused to heare me or my Procurators, despoiled me of my goods, and barred me from all conference with any man. Afterwards by Gods guidance I escaped out of prison, and being guarded with the flowre of the Nobility, which gladly flocked unto me from all parts, I put mine enemies in minde of their duty and alleagance, I offered them pardon, and propounded that both parties might be heard in an Assembly of the Estates, lest the Common-wealth should be rent any longer with Civill combustions. Two Messengers I sent about this matter; both of them they cast in prison. Those which ayded me, they proclaimed Traitors, and commanded them by publicke Edict that they should presently leave me. I prayed them that the Lord Boyd might upon publike faith and assurance treate with them about a composition, but this also they flatly denied. Yet I hoped that by your mediation they might have called home to their duty. But when I saw that I must againe have undergone either death or imprisonment, I resolved to go to Dunbritton. They in the way opposed themselves against me, slewe, and put my men to flight in battell. I betooke my selfe to the Lord Heris, with whom I am come into your Kingdome, trusting assuredly in your singular kindnesse that you will assist me, and excite others by your example. I doe therefore earnestly intreat you that I may be forthwith conducted unto you, who am now in very great straights, as I shall more fully informe you when it shall please you to take pity on me. God grant unto you a long and safe life, and to me patience and consolation, which I hope and pray that I may obtaine of him by your meanes.
6. Queene Elizabeth comforted her by Letters sent by Sir Francis Knolles and others, promising her protection according to the equity of her cause. Neverthelesse she denyed her accesse unto her, for that she was commonly taxed of many crimes, and commanded that she should be conveyed to Carleol by Lauder Deputy-warden of the place, and the Gentlemen in that tract, as to a place of more safety, if her adversaries should attempt any thing against her. Upon receit of this answer, and denyall of accesse, shee earnestly besought her againe, both by Letters and by Maxwell Baron of Heris, That she might both lay open the injuries done unto her, and purge her selfe of the crimes objected against her, alleaging that it was most reasonable, That Qeene Eliszabeth being her very neere kinswomen, should heare her being an exile, in her owne presence, and restore her to her Kingdome, against those whom she, when they lived in exile for the offences against her, had fully restored at Queene Elizabeths intercession, and indeed to her owne undoing, unlesse it be prevented in time. She besought her therefore that she might either be admitted to speaker with her and be relieved, or else suffered with good leave to depart out of England forthwith, to crave ayd else-where, and might no longer be detained as a prisoner in Carleol Castell; forasmuch as she came of her owne accord into England, relying upon her love, so often honourably promised by Letters, messages, and tokens.
7. By meanes of these Letters, and Heris his words, Queene Elizabeth seemed (for who can dive into the secret meanings of Princes? And wise man doe keepe their thoughts locked up within the clozet of their brests) seriously to commiserate the most afflicted Princesse her kinswoman, who having beene taken by her owne subjects by force and armes, thrust into prison, brought into extreame danger of her life, condemned without hearing, and despoiled of her Kingdome (whereas even against a private man, without hearing, Sentence is not to be pronounced), had fled into England unto her in assured hope of ayd. And hereunto she was the rather moved, for that the distressed Queene voluntarily offered her cause to be debated before her, and undertooke to prove her adversaries guilty of all the crimes whereof they had accused her being innocent.
8. But whatsoever Queene Elizabeths commiseration were towards her, the Councell of England entred into mature deliberation what should be done with her. If she were detained in England, they feared last she (who was as it were the very pith and marrowe of sweet speech) might drawe many daily to her part, which favoured her Title to the Crowne of England, who would kindle the coales of her amibition, and leave nothing unassayed whereby they might set the Crowne upon her head. Forraine Ambassadours would further her counsels and designes; and the Scots then would not faile her, when they should see so rich a booty offered them. Besides, the kindnesse of Keepers was doubtfull. And if she should dye in England, though by sicknesse, it would be wrested to matter of calumniation; and the Queene would be daily molested with new troubles. If she were sent over into France, they feared least the Guises her kinsmen would prosecute her Title againe, whereby she had layed claime to England, out of an opinion they had that she could doe much in England, with some in respect of Religion, with others by the probability of her Title aforesaid, and with the most sort, through a mad affectation of innovation. Moreoever the amity betweene England and Scotland, which was of speciall use, would be broken, and the ancient League betweene France and Scotland renewed, which would now be a matter of more dangerous consequence then in times past, when Burgundy was tyed in firme League to England, which at this time had no assured friends but the Scots. If she should be sent backe into Scotland, the fear was lest those of the English party should be deposed from their places, and those of the French party advanced to highest Offices, the young Prince exposed to danger, Religion in Scotland changed, the French and other forrainers let in, Ireland more grievously infested by the Hebridian Scots, and she her selfe brought into hazard of her life by her adversaries at home. Almost all of them therefore thought it best that she should be detained, as taken by right of warre, and not to be delivered, till she gave satisfaction for usurping the Title of England, and answered for the death of the Lord Darly her husband, who was a native subject of England. For the Lord Darly’s mother the Countesse of Lenox, had of late with much weeping and lamenting put up a grievous complaint to Queene Elizabeth in her owne and her husbands name, and besought her that she might be called to her tryall for the murder of her sonne. But she graciously comforting her, admonished her that She should not lay a crime upon so great a Princesse, her neere kinswoman, which could not be proved by certaine evidence, saying, That the times were unequall and maligne, and malice blind, which goreth crimes against the innocent; but Justice cleere-sighted, which being the revenger of wicked acts, attendeth upon God.
9. The Lord Heris on the contrary besought the Queene that she would not hastilly beleeve any thing contrary to the truth against a Queene unheard, and that a Parliament might not be over-rashly holden in Scotland by Murray, to the prejudice of the expulsed Queene, and the undoing of the good subjects. Which though Queene Elizabeth earnestly urged, yet Murray the Regent summoned a Parliament in the Kings name, proscribed some which stood for the Queene, and seized upon their lands and houses. The Queene of England being highly displeased herewith, gave the Regent to understand by Middlemore, and that in sharpe words, that she could not endure that an example so dangerous to Kings should be given, whereby the authority of the sacred Royall Majesty should be had in contempt amont subjects, and troden under foote at the lust of factious people. But howsoever they forgat the duty of subjects and their fidelity towards their Queene, yet she could not be unmindefull of any office neither of kindenesse nor piety towards the Queene her sister and neighbour. He should come himselfe, or send meete Delegates to answere to the complaints of the Queene of Scots against him and his Confederates, and yeeld just reasons for the deposing <of> her. Otherwise she would forthwith set her at liberty, and restore her with all the power she could to her Kingdome. And withall she warned him not to sell the Queenes attire and rich ornaments, though the Estates had permitted it.
10. Murray obeyed, forasmuch as he had no other meanes to maintaine his Regency then such as depended upon England, and the Lords of the Kingdome which were made Delegates for this business refused it. He came therefore himselfe to Yorke being the City appointed for that purpose, and with him seven of his inwardest freinds, as Delegates for the Infant King, namely, James Earle of Morton, Adam Bishop of Orkney, Robert Commendator of Dunfermlin, Patrick Baron of Lindsey, James Mac-Gilly, Henry Balnaw. And in company of these came Lidington, allured by Murray’s promises (for at home he durst not leave him), and George Buchanan, a most sworne man to Murray. And the very same day came thither Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolke, Thomas Ratcliffe Earle of Sussex, a little before made President of the North, and Sir Ralph Sadleir Knight, one of the Privy Councell, Commissary Delegates appointed to heare and examine the cause of her deposing. For the Queene of Scots (who tooke it in great indignation that Queene Elizabeth would not heare her in her owne presence, and yet commanded her subjects to be heard against her before her Commissary Delegates, considering that she being an absolute Princesse was not bound but at her own pleasure to answere her subjects which accused her) appeared John Lesley Bishop of Rosse, William Baron of Levingston, Robert Baron of Boyd, Gawin Commandator of Kilwinin, John Gordon, and James Cockborne.
11. After they were come together the 7. of October, and had exhibited to one another their Commissions whereby their authority was granted them, Lidington standing by, turned to the Scots, and with marvellous freedome of speech, admonished them, That forasmuch as by the authority granted by Queene Elizabeth to her Commissioners, it seemed that she aimed at nothing else but that the said Scottish Delegates should assaile the reputation of the Queene the Kings mother and rent her fame, and that she as an indifferent umpier might give Sentence thereupon; they should therefore advisedly consider how great hatred and danger they should draw upon themselves, not onely amongst the Scots which were devoted to the Queene, but also with the other Princes of Christendome,and her kinsmen in France, by accusing her criminously, and bringing her into the hazard of her reputation in this publicke and juridicall forme before the English, professed enemies of the Scottish Nation; and what account they should be able another day to give unto the King of such an insolent accusation, not without prejudice to the Kingdome of Scotland, when he comming to riper yeeres would thinke this to be joyned with dishonour to himselfe, his mother, and his Country. He therefore thought it the wisest course to surcease this odious accusation of so great a Prince, unlesse the Queene of England would enter into a mutuall League with them of defence and offence against all men which should trouble them in this behalfe. And of these things (said he) he friendly warned them in respect of his office, being Secretary of Scotland. They looking upon one another, held their peace.
12. The Queene of Scots Delegates (for to them was the first place of honour given) before they tooke their oath, protested that although the Queene of Scots thought good that the causes betwixt her and her disloyall subjects should be debated before the English, yet did she not thereby acknowledge her to be under the soveraigne command of any, forasmuch as she was a free Princesse, and under the authority and vassalage of none. The English Commissioners in like manner protested that they did in no wise admit that protestation, in prejudice of that Title which the Kings of England have long since challlenged, as Superior Lords of the Kingdome of Scotland.
13. The next day the Queene of Scots Delegates delivered a declaration in writing how James Earle of Morton, John Earle of Matre, Alexander Earle of Glencarn, Humes, Lindsey, Retheuen, Sempill, etc., had levyed an Army in the Queenes name against the Queene, and having intercepted and most unworthily intreated her, had thrust her into prison at Loch Levin, broken into the office of the mint, taken away the stamps, the gold and silver quoyned and unquoyned, and crowned her infant sonne King, whose authority James Earle of Murray had usurped under the name of Regent or Vice-roy, and had seized upon all the muniments, wealth, and revenues of the Kingdome. Then they layd open how she, as soone as ever she had escaped out of prison, after eleven moneths restraint, had publickely declared upon her oath that whatsoever she had done in prison had beene extorted from her against her will by force, threates and terror of death. Neverthelesse, to the end the publicke tranquility might be established, she had granted authority to the Earles of Argile, Eglenton, Cassile, and Rothsay, to compound the matter with her adversaries; who notwithstanding, when shee purposed to coast the Country to Dunbritton, set upon her with armed power, slewe very many of her faithfull subjects, some they carryed away prisoners, others they proscribed, and all for no other cause, but that they had done their Princesse faithfull service. By these their most unworthy inuryes being constrained, she had retyred her selfe into England to crave ayd of Queene Elizabeth, which had beene often promised her that thereby shee might bee restored to her Country and former dignity.
14. Some few days after, Murray the Regent, and the Delegates for the infant King (so they termed themselves) answered That Henry Lord Darly, the Kings father being made away, James Hepburn Earle of Bothwell (who was holden to be the author of the murder) was gotten into such grace and favour with the Queene that he tooke her by strong hand, though not against her will, carryed her away to Dunbarr, and tooke her to wife, putting away his wife he had before. That the Lords of Scotland, being much moved therewith, thought nothing more worthy and befitting them (forasmuch as that murder was commonly imputed to a conspiracy of amny Noble-men) then that Bothwell the author of the murder should be punished, the Queene set at liberty, and unloosed from that unjust marriage, and the safety of the young King and the tranquillity of the Realme provided for. That when the matter was now almost come to a battell, the Queene sent away Bothwell, thundered threats against the Lords, and breathed revenge, insomuch as it was necessary to commit her to custody untill Bothwell were found and punished. That she, being wearyed with the troubles incident to the Crowne, had voluntarily resigned her Kingdome, and transferred it to her sonne, appointing Murray to be Regent. That hereupon her sonne was solemnly annointed and inaugurated King, and that all these things were approved and confirmed by the Estates of the Realme in Parliament, and the Scottish Common-wealth revived by equall and indifferent administration of Justice, till some men, impatient of the publicke quiet, cunningly got the Queene out of custody, contrary to that they had sworne, and breaking their alleagance to the King, tooke armes. Over whom though the King (by Gods favour) got the victory, yet they most confidently dare attempt any thing in their hostile minde against their Kinge and Country. Most necessary therefore it is that the Kings authority be maintained inviolate against such seditious people.
15. To this the Queene of Scots Delegates, renewing againe their former protestation, opposed their Replication (as they terme it), Whereas Murray (say they) and the Conspirators affirme that they tooke armes against the Queene for that Bothwell, whom they accuse as murderer of the King, was in great grace and authority with her, they cannot thereby wipe away the note of perfidiousnesse, for that it was not knowne to the Queene that he made away the King; yea contrariwise, it was knowne unto her that he was acquitted by his Peeres from the murder, and that the same acquitall was confirmed by authority of Parliament, with the consent even of those that now accuse him, and at that time were a meanes to perswade the Queene to take him to her husband, as the meetest man of all others to sway the Scepter; and to him they bound their fidelity by writing under their hands, and disapproved not the marriage so much as by a word, till such time as they had drawne to their party the Captaine of Edenborough Castell, and the Provost of the City. For the in the dead time of the night they hostilely assaulted the Castell of Borthwick where the Queene lay; and when shee escaped by favour of the darkenesse of the night, they presently leavyed an Army under colour to defend the Queene, and with banners displayed, opposed themselves against the Queene as she purposed to goe to Edenborough, and sending Grange before, they warned her to dismisse Bothwell till hee were arraigned; which to spare the sheading of blood, she willingly did. But Grange gave secret warning to Bothwell to be gone, and gave his faith that no man should pursue him, insomuch as he departed by their wills, whom they might afterwards have easily taken. But having now taken the Queene, they neglected him, that they might provide for their owne ambitious respects. And whereas they were subjects, and had vowed their alleagance to the Queene, and yet had used her more sharpely then stood with her Royall Majesty, no marvell if she spake unto them somewhat roughly. When shee willingly referred her cause to all the Estates of the Realme, and signified the same by Lidington her Secretary, they would not so much as heare him, but carryed her secretly by night to Loch-Levin, and shut her up in prison. And whereas they say that she, being wearyed with the troubles incident to the Crowne, had resigned her Kingdome, it is most untrue; for she was neither spent with age, nor weakened with sicknesse, but was both in minde and body able to manage the weightiest businesses. This is most certaine that the Earle of Athole, Tullibardine, and Lidington (who were also of her Councell) advised her to subscribe to the instrument of Resignation, to the end shee might escape death, which was most certainly intended against her, saying moreover that this would not prejudice her, being a prisoner, nor her heires after her, forasmuch as imprisonment is a just feere; and a promise made by one imprisoned is by the judgement of the learned in the Lawes, nothing worth. That Sir Nicholas Throckmorton also perswaded her to the same by a schedule or scrowle written with his owne hand, whom shee also requested to signifie to the Queene of England that she had unwillingly and constrainedly subscribed to the Resignation. Moreover, that Lindsey, when he presented the instrument of Resignation to her to subscribe, denounced unto her the terrors of death, and drave her to subscribe unto it weeping, and not once reading the same. And the Lord of Loch-Leven Castell refused to set his hand as a witnesse, for that he saw and certainely knew that she had subscribed against her will. Most unreasonable therefore and unjust was that Resignation, whereby nothing was assigned her to live upon, nor her liberty granted her, nor safety of her life promised. So as in the judgement of any indifferent men, such an unjust Resignation cannot seeme to have prejudiced her Royall Majesty, which as soone as she was at liberty, she renounced (as forced) by a declaration made before many Lords of the Realme. Neither ought those things to be any prejudice to the Queene, which they boast they have done by authority of Parliament; for whereas about a hundred Earles, Bishops, and Barons have their voyces in the Parliament of Scotland, in this tumultuary Parliament there was not above four Earles, one Bishop, one or two Abbots, and sixe Barons; and of so small a number, some there were that interposed their protestation that nothing should be done in prejudice of the Queene or her successors, because she was prisoner. Neither was the English nor French Ambassadour admitted to her presence that they might understand from her owne mouth whether she voluntarily resigned her Kingdome, though they most earnestly required it. And the Common-wealth hath bene so farre from being justly and indifferently governed under the usurping Regent, that impiety never raged with more impunity in plucking down Religious houses, overthrowing most noble Families, and afflicting the miserable Communality. They most earnestly therefore intreated that the Queene of England would with her favour counsell, and assistance, forthwith ayd the Queene her kinswoman, most unworthily oppressed. Thus much out of the very originall writings of the Delegates, which I my selfe have seene.
16. When the English Commissioners, having heard all this, required Murray to shewe causes of such his severity against an absolute Queene, and to prove them more solidly, for that whatsoever matters were hitherto produced were not confirmed by witnesses, but by writings and Letters of suspected credit, and Lidington had secretly given them to understand that he had many times counterfeited the Queenes Characters, hee refused to accuse his sister any farther amongst forreners, unlesse the Queene of England would promise on her part the protection of the infant King, and quite forsake the Queene of Scots. But when they could not by vertue of their Commission promise so much, one or two of the Delegates of both sides were called up to London, to whom Queene Elizabeth declared that she could not yet exempt the subjects from blame against their Princesse. Neverthelesse she would make intercession to her for them, and heare whether they had any further matter to excuse themselves by. Murray, who followed them, flatly refused to accuse his sister, but upon such condition as he had delivered at Yorke. Now were the English Commissioners revoked, and their authority abrogate, to the great rejoycing of the Duke, who had ever much favoured the Queene of Scots Title to the succession, and thought that nothing else was now aimed at but that she might be branded with some note of eternall infamy, and thereby excluded as unworthy, together with her young sonne, from all right of succession in England; and thought himselfe discharged of a double danger. For he feared lest if he had given Sentence against her, he should wrong his owne conscience and undoe her; and if for her, he should incurre the implacable displeasure of the Queene and the hatred of all such as were averse from the Queene of Scots in respect of Religion, or for other causes.
17. But whereas there were stirres and commotions raised in Scotland by the friends of the expulsed Queene, and Murray’s presence was needfull there, he framed an accusation before the Queene, and before Bacon Lord Keeper, the Duke of Norfolke, the Earles of Arundell, Sussex, Leicester, Clinton Lord Admirall, Sir William Cecyl, Sir Ralph Sadleir, who by a new Patent were made Commissioners to heare and examine the matter; and before them he produced conjecturall Articles, the testimonies of some, and the Decrees made in an Assembly of the Estates, and especially certain Love-letters and verses written (as he affirmed) with the Queens owne hand, and all to prove her guilty of her husbands death; and Buchanan’s booke, intituled The Detection, he delivered to them to reade, which found small credit with the greatest part of the Commissioners, as a man parciall on that side, and of mercenary credit. And for the Letters and verses (forasmuch as they wanted names, subscriptions, and dates, and many falsifiers there are every where, which can so cunningly resemble and expresse other mens characters that the true cannot be knowne from the counterfeite), Queene Elizabeth scarcely gave credit to them, though there were betweene them a womanish emulation, wherewith that sexe is much transported; and she held it sufficient that by meanes of these accusations some scandall would sticke upon the Queene of Scots.
18. But when the Queene of Scots Delegates heard that she was most scandalously accused by Murray, they were most ready to answer; but she had now abrogated the Commission, being secretly informed by some Englishmen learned in the Lawes that she might doe it by Law, forasmuch as the former Commission granted to the Duke and the rest for cognizance of the cause was abrogate. And the new Commissioners, whereof she knew one or two to be not indifferent towards her, she flatly refused, unlesse the French and Spanish Ambassadours might be joyned with them, and she might be publickely admitted to defend her innocency before the Queene and them, and Murray might be stayed and called to his tryall; who might (said she) be proved to be the contriver and plotter of the Lord Darly’s death. All which when Norfolke, Arundell, Sussex, Leicester, and Clinton thought to be not unreasonable, Queene Elizabeth, being somewhat moved, said openly that the Queene of Scots would never want an advocate as long as Norfolke lived. And she held it sufficient to call together every one of her Privy Councell, and also the Earles of Northumberland, Westmorland, Shrewsbury, Worcester, Huntingdon, and Warwicke, and to impart unto them the crimes objected by Murray, howbeit under an oath of secrecy, lest they might prejudice either party. And when Murray was called home and the Lord Boyd (as was commonly bruted abroad) went about privily to convey the Queene of Scots out of custody, the matter was put off till another time, Queene Elizabeth from her heart (as it seemed) misliking the insolency of the Scots in deposing the Queene.
19. At this time was come out of France Hamilton, Duke of Chastel-herault, being privily sent by the Guises to move a question against Murray concerning the government of the Kingdome of Scotland in the minority of the King; who stiffly maintained before Queene Elizabeth that by the customes and Ordinances of the Country he was to be preferred in the administration, as the next in blood unto the King, before Murray being base borne. Murray and the Kings Delegates shewed the contrary that the Regency was to be committed not to the next of kinne, but to the most meete, being chosen by the consent of the Estates. And that it were most unjust to deliver the young King into his hands, who ambitiously gaping after the Crowne in regard of his neerenesse of blood, might easily violate the right in a desire to raigne. And that this was to feared in the Hamiltons above all others, who had had great enmities with the Kings fore-fathers the Earles of Lenox, had wickedly murdered the Kings great-grandfather by the fathers side, expelled Matthew the Kings poore grandfather out of Scotland, and this Hamilton himselfe had by his bitter hatred much vexed and troubled Henry the Kings father and delivered his mother to the French King, that he might the easilyer get the possession of the Kingdome himselfe. Queene Elizabeth having heard all this, told Hamilton that it was a most unreasonable thing which he demanded; and withall She commanded that he should not depart out of England before such time as Murray was returned into Scotland.
20. Murray, a little before his departure, had cunningly (as I shall shew anon) propounded to the Duke of Norfolke a marriage with the Queene of Scots, and to the Queene also herselfe had secretly given hope by Melvin to be restored to her Kingdome; and withall to alienate Queene Elizabeth from the Queene of Scots, he had spred abroade rumours that she had conveyed her Title to England to the Duke of Anjou, and that the same conveyance was confirmed at Rome. He shewed Letters also (whether true or counterfeit, I will not say) which the Queene of Scots had written to her friends, wherein she both taxed Queene Elizabeth as if she had intreated her contrary to that she had promised, and boasted of her hope of ayd from elsewhere. This indeed troubled Queene Elizabeth, neither could she guesse from whence that new hope should shine upon her, considering that in France the Civill warre was renewed in such sort that the Bishop of Rhenes was sent unto her from the King to request her that she would not intermeddle in matters of France, and the Duke of Alva, who had come the last yeere into the Netherlands to extirpate the Protestants Religion, was encumbered with great troubles.
21. But (as it came to light afterward, and as Hieronymus Catena, Secretary to Cardinall Alexandrine hath left in writing), Robert Ridolph a Florentine, who had lived long time as a Factor at London, was suborned by Pius Quintus Bishop of Rome (for he durst not send his Nuntio openly) to excite the Papists secretly in England against Queene Elizabeth; which hee most carefuly and closely performed. There grewe also a suspicion (yet a light one) by meanes of secret conferences at Yorke between Lidington, the Bishop of Rosse, and the Duke of Norfolke, whom the other two besought to employe his counsell and indeavour for the safety of the most afflicted Queene, offering unto him also marriage with her, which he with a modest answer refused, as being full of danger. Neverthelesse as farre as he could with his honour, saving his allegeance to his Prince and Country, he promised he would not faile the afflicted Queene. This suspicion was much increased by the often resorting of Ligon the Duke of Norfolkes servant (a man extremely Popish) to Bolton (a Castell of the Lord Scroopes), where the Queene of Scots was kept under the custody of Sir Francis Knolles, making his colour to see and salute the Lord Scroops wife, which was the Duke of Norfolk’s sister. And though by all this there appeared no certainty, yet was the Queene of Scots removed from Bolton, where all the neighbours round about were Popish, into the more innermore parts of the Land to Tutbury, and delivered into the custody of George Earle of Shrewsbury.
22. And the Queene Elizabeth used greater care for the safety of Religion, the Common-wealth and her owne person; and the rather for that both the Guises in France, and the Duke of Alva in the Netherlands, had begun to put in execution their designes concluded on at Bion, for the extirpation of the Protestants Religion. For in France the peace propounded in the beginning of this yeere was vanished into smoake, Edicts being published, whereby the exercise of the reformed Religion was utterly forbidden, the professors thereof removed from publicke offices, and the Ministers of the Word commanded to depart the Realme within a prefixed time. And now every where the alarme was hot against them, and much cruelty used toward them, notwithstanding that Queene Elizabeth had with much earnestnesse sollicited by Norris her Ambassadour that a sound and sincere peace might be made, and had sundry times advised the King that he would not by unseasonable remedies incense their minds, and that above all things he would beware of those who by rooting out his faithfull subjects sought to weaken the strength of France in such sort, that it might be exposed as a prey to others. But when he gave no eare to such her obtestations, but gathered money and auxiliary forces out of Italy, Germany, and Spaine, she also, lest she should faile those which were joyned with her in one common cause, frankly sent an hundred thousand Angels, and munition for warre to the Protestants (who now religiously protested that they tooke not Armes against their King, but for their own defense), and intertained with all kinde of courtesie such French people as fled into England, as also the Netherlanders, of whom a great multitude had withdrawne themselves into England as to a Sanctuary, while the Duke of Alva breathed nothing but death and blood against them; who by the Queenes permission seated themselves at Norwich, Colchester, Sandwich, Maidstone, and Southampton, to the great benefite and commodity of the English. For they were the first that brought into England the Art of making those slight stuffes which they call Bayes and Sayes, and other such like stuffes of linen and woolen weaving.
23. And heere let it not seeme from the purpose, if I give a briefe touch upon what beginning this Netherland warre brake forth at this time, whereof I must of necessity make often mention, forasmuch as it is joyned and infolded with English matters and counsels.
24. When the Spaniard would by no intreaty be perswaded to mitigate his bloody Edicts in matter of Religion in the Netherlands, but exercised much cruelty over mens consciences by the Spanish Inquisition, prohibiting the assembly of the Estates of the Netherland Provinces to be holden (which was the onely and usually remedy for compounding of matters), and governing the Common-wealth by Decrees out of Spaine, and not by advice of the naturall people of the Country, a few of the rabble of the people raising a tumult outragiously threw downe Images every where in the Churches, and brake them in pieces, And though this tumult was soone pacified, yet following the counsell of those which much desired to lay the yoake upon a most free Nation, charged the whole people with the publicke crime of rebellion, taking occasion from the private rashnesse of a fewe, and (as if their freedom were now quite lost) sent Don Ferdinando Alvares Duke of Alva, a cruell and sterne man, to invade the government; who, being not any way allyed in blood to the Prince, was placed in the highest government, contrary to the customes of the Country, tooke away all authority from the ordinary Provinciall Councels, erected new Courts of Audience, condemning the Noble men, by such as were not their Judges, and putting them to death, placing Garrisons of Spaniards in Cities and Townes, building Citadels to curb them, and the twentieth penny of land, and forcibly exacting the tenth of moveables upon every alienation, whereby he raised a long and dangerous warre.
25. About that time a great summe of money was sent by the marchants of Genua and other Italian Marchants out of Spaine into the Netherlands, in a great ship of Biscay, and foure lesser vessels which the Spaniards call Zabras, to be employed in Banque. Which ships being chaced by Tury Chastellerie a French man, and defended by William Winter an English man, hardliy escaped into Plimmouth, Falmouth, and South-hampton, Ports of England. Which as soone as the Queene heard, she commended the Officers of those Ports to use the Spaniards with all kindnesse, and defend their ships against the French. And Gerard De-Spesi Knight of the Order of Caletrava, the King of Spaines Ambassadour in England, fearing what the French might doe, sollicited the Queene (who upon his credit thought it to be the King of Spaines money) that new warrants might be sent for defence of the ships against the French, which lay hard-by ready to seize on them. Which having obtained, he sollicited againe that the money might be conveyed through England, and so sent safely by sea to Antwerpe. The Queene granted it and promised security both by sea and land. Meane while the Frenchmen missed narrowly but they had carryed away one of the ships, had not the English beaten them off. To put the money therefore in safety, it was thought the wisest course to bring it to land out of the ships. But before it was all come on shoare, De Spesi, being over-hasty to beleeve the worst, gave the Duke of Alva to understand that the Queene had layed hand on the money. And while he tooke advice of the Duke of Alva about the matter, Odet Cardinall of Chastillion (who had retired himself hither from the French tumults) gave notice to Queene Elizabeth that the money was not the King of Spaines, but belonged to certaine marchants of Genua, which the Duke of Alva went about to drawe to his owne use to the ruining of the Protestants, against the marchants will. Hereupon it was debated amongst the Councell of England whether the money was to be detained, or not. Most of them thought best it should be sent over into the Netherlands, lest the Spaniard a most potent Prince, being already enough and too much offended against the English, should be incensed. But Queene Elizabeth being certainely informed from one or two of the owners of the money (who were in great feare lest the Duke of Alva should seize upon it), that it belonged wholly to the marchants, and nothing at all to the King of Spaine, who had onely suffered it to be exported out of Spaine, resolved to borrow it of the marchants, giving them security for the same, as Princes usually doe with goods taken in their Ports, and the Spaniard himselfe had often done the same of late. And this she protested to the Spanish Ambassadour what time he delivered the Dule of Alva’s Letters for sending the money over, promising religiously to restore it as soone as it should appeare for certaine that it was the Spaniards owne money. Upon which very day, to wit, the 29th. of December, the Duke of Alva being outragiously impatient, seized upon the Englishmens goods every-where in the Netherlands, and kept the Englishmen prisoners with a guard of Souldiers; so as any man might well know by the observation of the time that the Duke of Alva intended this against the English for a terror, howsoever the Queene should make satisfaction for the money. But she, being unterrified, commanded neverthelesse the Netherlanders and their wares and ships in England to be attached, which were farre more then those of the English which the Duke found in the Netherlands; so as he repented him too late of that he had begun, who unseasonably made the wound to fester, which in the biginning might easily have been healed.
26. The last day saving one of this yeere, was the last day of Roger Aschams life (pardon I pray my short digression in memory of a good man), who being borne in Yorke-shire, and brought up at Cambridge, was one of the first of our Country-men that polished the Latin and Greeke, and the pureness of the style, not without commendations for eloquence. He was a sometime Schoolemaster to Queene Elizabeth, and her Secretary of the Latin tongue. Neverthelesse being too too much given to Dicing and Cocke-fighting, he lived and dyed a poore man, leaving behind him two most excellent bookes as monuments of his wit, in the English tongue, whereof he intituled the one Toxophilus, and the other Scholarcha [The Scholemaster ]. But returne we to the matter in hand.
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