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ANNO DOMINI 1587
The French Embassadour practiseth the Queenes death. | Stafford revealeth the matter. | The Embassadour denieth it. | He is lightly rebuked. | Whether an Embassadour ought to reveale treason against a Prince. | These things with rumours excite Queene Elizabeth against the Queene of Scotts. | But rather Grey a Scott. | She weigheth the matter seriously. | The Courtiours egg her forward. | By reasons. | And by examples. | Yet she standeth in doubtfull perplexity. | She commandeth a warrant to be made for her death. | The Councell send it way privily. | The Scottish queene prepareth herselfe to dye. | She is brought to the Scaffold. | Her words to Melvin. | To the Earles. | To the Deane. | Her words at her death. | Her commendations. | Epitaph. | The divine providence. | Queene Elizabeth sorroweth. | She his offended with her Councell. | She excuseth herselfe to the King of Scotts. | Davison brought to tryall. | He answereth for himselfe. | He is pressed with his owne confession. | The Judges censures of him. | His suite. | His private apology for himselfe. | The King of Scotts griefe. | The indignation of the Scottish people. | What counsaile suggested. | Queeen Elizabeth seeketh to pacifie him. | Her reasons to pacifie him. | Drake sent to divert the Spanyards. | What he performed. | The Carack S. Philip taken. | Advantages gotten by this expediton. | The East-India Company of Marchants. | Cavendish sayleth round about the World. | Stanley and Torke traitors. | With what successe. | The Estates accuse Leicester. | The send for <him> to succour Scluse. | They put him to great trouble. | He attempteth the Cities. | He is called home. | The title of his excellency. | He distributeth privy tokens amongst his. | Grave Maurice of Nassau substituted in his roome. | The Leicestrian faction in the Low-Countries. | Russell suspected. | Leicester avoideith his enemies accusations. | The death of the Lord Abergevenney. | The death of the Dutchesse of Somerset. | And Sir Ralph Sadleir. | Chancellor Bromley. | And the Earle of Rutland. | Hatton made Lord Chancellour. | Sir William Fitz-Williams the fift time Lieutenant Deputy of Ireland. | Whence grew the difficulties of the Irish warre.
HILE these things, either out of hatred or affection, were curiously and copiously argued according to mens understandings, LAubespine the French Embassadour Legier in England, a man wholly devoted to the Guisian faction, supposing it best to provide for the captive Queenes safety not by arguments, but by artificiall and bad practises, tampered first covertly for taking away Queene Elizabeths life, with William Stafford a young gentleman, and prone to apprehend new hopes, whose mother was one of the Queenes honorable Bedchamber, and his brother at that time Embassadour Legier in France; and then hee dealt with him more overtly by Trappy his Secretary, who promised him, if hee would effect it, not onely infinite glory and great store of money, but also speciall favour with the Bishop of Rome, the Duke of Guise, and in generall with all the Catholikes. Stafford, as detesting the fact, refused to doe it. Yet <he> commended one Moody a notable hackster [assassin], a man forward of his hands, as one who for money would without doubt dispatch the matter resolutely. This Moody lying then in the publique prison of London, Stafford gave him to understand that the French Embassadour would very gladly speake with him. He answered hee was very desirous so to doe, in case hee were freed out of prison. In the meane time he prayed that Cordalion the Embassadours other Secretary, with whom he was well acquainted, might be sent unto him. The next day Trappy was sent, together with Stafford. He, after Stafford was removed aside, conferreth with Moody about the meanes of killing the Queene. Moody propoundeth poyson, or a bagg of gunpowder of twenty pound weight to bee put under the Queenes bed and secretly fiered. These two waies pleased not Trappy, who wished that such another resolute fellow might be found, as was the Burgundian which had murdered the Prince of Aurange.
2. These things were soone after revealed to the Queenes councell by Stafford. Whereupon Trappy, purposing to goe into France, was intercepted, and being questioned touching these matters, confessed what I have sayd. Heereupon the Embassadour himselfe being sent for the 12th of January to Cecyl house, came in the evening, where were present by the Queenes commandement, Cecil Lord Burghley, Lord Treasurer of England, the Earle of Leicester, Sir Christopher Hatton Vice-Chamberlaine to the Queene, and Davison, one of her Secretaries. They signifie unto him that they had sent for him to informe him for what cause they had attached Trappy his Secretary as he was going into France; and they laide open unto him all things in particular which Stafford, Moody, and Trappy himselfe had confessed, and commanded them to be called to witnesse the same to his face. The Embassadour, which had heard all this impatiently, and with a frowning countenance, now rose up and said that hee, being the Kings Embassadour, would not heare any accusation at all to the prejudice of the King his master, and other Embassadours. When it was answered that they should not be produced as accusers, but that he might see these things not to be feyned and false, and that hee himselfe might freely charge Stafford with falshood, hee was satisfied. As soone as Stafford was brought in and began to speake, he interrupted him, railyng upon him, and affirming that Stafford was the first which had propounded the matter, and that he had threatned him, unlesse he would desist, to send him bound hand and foote to the Queene, but yet had spared him out of his singular love to Staffords mother, brother, and Sister. Stafford, falling upon his knees, made deepe protestations upon his salvation that the Embassadour first propounded the matter. When the Embassadour was now more vehemently moved, Stafford was commanded to withdraw, and Moody was brought in.
3. And when Burghley had lightly reproved the Embassadour, as conscious or accessary to the plotting of so fowle a fact, both by his owne words and Trappys confession, he answered, if he had beene accessary, yet seeing he was an Embassadour, he ought not to make discovery threof to any but the King his master onely. When Burghley replyed that if it bee not for an Embassadour to make any such discovery when a Prince his life is by wicked practise endangered (which not withstanding is controverted), yet was it the duty of a Christian to repulse such injuries, for the safety not onely of a Prince, but also of any Christian. This hee stoutly denied, and withall hee told how a French Embassadour not long since in Spaine, having knowledge of a practise against the King of Spaines life, discovered it, not to the King of Spaine, but to the King his master, and was therefore commended by the King and his Councell. But Burghley gravely admonished him to beware how he committed treason any more, or forgot the duty of an Embassadour, and the Queenes clemency, who would not by punishing a bad Embassadour hurt the good; and that he was not exempted from guiltinesse of the offence, though he escaped the punishment.
4. By meanes of this attempt such as bare a mortall hatred against the Queene of Scotts tooke occasion to hasten her death. And to strike the greater terrors into the Queene (knowing that in extreame danger of safety feare excludeth all pitty), they caused false rumours to be daily spread all over England with fearefull out-cryes, to weete, That the Spanish fleete was already arrived at Milford haven; That the Scotts were broken into England; That the Duke of Guise was landed in Sussex with a strong army; That the Queene of Scotts was escaped out of prison, and leavyed an armed power to kill the Queene and sett the City of LondCatholik on on fire; yea that the Queene was dead; and other such like matters, which men either crafty or terrified are wont to feyne to themselves and to increase out of their naturall desire to cherish rumours, and Princes curiously credulous do easily lay hold on.
5. With such scarr-crows and frightful arguments as these they drew the Queenes wavering and perplexed mind to that passe that she signed a warrant for the execution of the sentence of death. And one of the principall perswaders (as the Scots reporte) was Patrick Grey a Scott, sent forth from the King of Scotts to disswade the Queene from putting his mother to death. Who many times inculcated into the Queenes eares that saying, Mortua non mordet, that is, Being dead shee biteth not.
6. Yet shee, being naturally slow in her resolutions, began to weigh in her minde, whether it were better to put her to death or to spare her. As for putting her to death these things crossed it: Her innated clemency, least shee should seeme to shew cruelty upon a woman, and that a Princesse and her kinswoman. Feare of infamy with posterity by histories, and the imminent dangers as well from the King of Scots, who would now bee advanced a steppe nearer to the hope of England, as from the Catholike Princes, and desperate men which would now adventure any thing. And if shee should spare her, shee foresaw that no lesse danger threatened her, That noblemen which had given sentence against the Queene of Scotts would privily seeke to get favour with her and her sonne, not without danger to her selfe; and the rest of her subjects, which had beene most carefull for her safety, seeing that shee had deluded their paines, would take it very hardly, and from thenceforth neglect her safety; many would turne Papist, and conceive greater hope when they should see her preserved as it were by fate to hope of the Crowne. The Jesuites and Seminaries ,which respect her onely, seeing her sickly, and fearing that shee woulde not last long, would leave no meanes unassayed that Queene Elizabeths death might be hastened, and their religion restored.
7. The courtiours also continually suggested unto here these things that follow, and the like: Why should you spare her, being guilty and justly condemned, who though she suscribed to the association for your safety, yet presently after resolved to practise cruelty against you being innocent, and by your destruction, against Religion, the nobility, and people? Clemency and mercy is a royall vertue, but not to be extended to the mercilesse. Let the vaine shew of mercy give place to wholesome severity. It is commendation enough for your clemency to have spared her once. To spare her againe were nothing else but to prove her guiltlesse, condemne the Estates of the Realme of injustice, encourage her factors to hasten their wicked practises, and discourage your faithfull subjects from preserving the Common-wealth. Religion, Common-wealth, your owne safety, the love of your country, the oath of association, and the care of posterity, doe all with joynt prayers beseech you that shee which subverteth all these may forthwith be put to death; and except they may prevaile, Safety it selfe will not be able to save this Common-wealth, and historiographers will leave recorded to succeeding ages that the most flourishing and glorious daies of England under Queene Elizabeth ended with a most fowle and darke evening, yea in eternall night. Posterity will find a lacke of wisedome in us, that could foresee these mischiefes (which increaseth the misery thereof), and yet could not prevent them, and will impute the masse of these calamities not so much to the adversaries malice, as to the grosse carelessnesse of these tymes. The life of one Scottish and titular Queene ought not to over-weigh the safety of all England. In so important a matter let there be no place for delay, for delay draweth dangers. Neither let there be respite given to wicked practises, who will now have their last refuge and recourse to bold attempts, when besides impunity they shall be in hope of reward for their labour. Hee that doth not what hee can to beware danger, doth rather tempt God then trust in God. The perills which threaten from foreiners, the cause being taken away, will be all taken away withall; neither can they hurt England but by her. Whatsoever will or power to hurt be in the Bishop of Rome will all perish together with her. The Spanyard can have no cause to bee justly offended, seeing he for his owne security put to death his onely sonne Charles, and now for his owne ambition layeth waite for the life of Don Antonio of Portugall. The French King most religiously embraceth amity with England, and him it mainly importeth that by the timely death of the Queene of Scotts the hopes of the Guisians be abated, who, presuming upon the hoped power of their kinswoman, doe now insolently insult over their King. The King of Scotts indeede may by the very conduct of nature, and respect of honour, be heavily moved for his mother. But hee in his wisedome will rather expect slow things with security, then over-hasty matters with danger. And the neerer he is to his highest hope, the farther will foraine Princes be from assisting him, it being a thing familiar with them to withstand by any manner the over-swelling power of another.
8. They propound also examples at home in our owne Country (for what is done by examples is done more excusably), How the Kings of England for their owne security have borne themselves toward their owne Kinsmen and Competitors, namely Henry the 1st towards Richard his elect brother; Edward the 3rd, or rather his mother, toward Edward the 2nd; Henry the 4th toward Richard the 2nd; Edward the 4th toward Henry the 6th and his sonne the Prince of Wales, and toward his owne brother George Duke of Clarence; Henry the 7th toward Warwicke the Duke of Clarence his yong sonne; and Henry the 8th toward De la Poole Earle of Suffolke, Margaret Countesse of Salisbury, and Courtney Marquesse of Excester. All which were for light causes (if their faultes be compared with hers) made away. And not onely the Courteours used these perswasions to the Queene, but certaine Preachers also more sharpely, and some of the vulgar sort, either in hope or feare, more sawcily exercised their wits at their pleasure in this argument.
9. Amongst these pensive and perplexed thoughts, which troubled and staggered the Queene in such sorte that she gave herselfe over to solitarynesse, sate many times melancholly and mute, and often sighing muttered to herselfe, Aut fer, aut feri, that, is Either beare strokes, or stryke, and out of I know what Embleme, Ne feriare, feri, that is, Strike, least thou be stricken, she delivered a writing to Davison, one of her Secretaryes, signed with her owne hand, that a warrant under the greate seale of England should be made for her execution, which should be in readinesse if any danger should growe in the fearefull time; and commanded him to acquaint no man therewith. But the next daie, while feare dreaded even her owne designes, her minde changed, and she commanded Davison by William Killegrey that the warrant should not bee drawen. Davison came presently to the Queene, and told her that it was drawne and under seale already. She, being somewhat moved, blamed him for making such hast. He notwithstanding acquainted the Councell both with the warrant and the whole matter, and easily perswaded them, being apt to beleeve what they desired, that the Queene had commanded it should be executed. Presently without all delay was Beale (who in respect of Religion was of all others the Queene of Scotts most hateful adversary) sent without the Queenes knowledge, with one or two executioners, and a warrant, wherein authority was given to the Earles of Shrewesbury, Kent, Darby, Cumberland, and others, to see her executed according to the law. At which very time, though shee had signified to Davison that she would take another course with the Queene of Scotts, yet did not hee call back Beale.
10. As soone as the Earles were come to Fotheringhay, they together with Sir Amice Powlett and Sir Drue Drury, to whose custody she was committed, came unto her, signified the cause of their comming, reading the warrant, in few words admonished her to prepare herselfe to death, for shee was to dye the next day. Shee undauntedly and with a setled mind answered, I had not thought the Queene my Sister would have assented to my death, which am not subject to your jurisdiction. But seeing her pleasure is such, death shall be to mee most welcome; neither is that soule worthy of high and everlasting joyes, whose body cannot endure one stroake of the executioner. Shee prayed them that shee might conferre with her Almoner, her confessor, and Melvyn her master-houshold. For the Confessor, it was flatly denied that hee should come unto her; and the Earles commended unto her the Bishop, or the Deane of Peterborough to comfort her, whom when shee had rejected, the Earle of Kent in hot burning zeale to Relitgon, turning towards her, brake forth into these words among other speeches: Your life will be the death of our religion, as contrariwise your death will be the life thereof. Mention being made of Babington, she constantly denied his conspiracie to have beene knowne to her, and the revenge shee left to God. And enquiring what was become of Nawe and Curle, shee asked wither ever it were heard before that servants were suborned and accepted for witnesses against their masters life. When the Earles were departed, shee commanded supper to be hastened that she might the better dispose of her matters. Sparingly and soberly she supped, as her manner was. Being at supper, and espying her servants, men and women weeping and lamenting, she comforted them with great magnanimity, bad them leave mourning, and rather rejoyce that shee was now to depart out of a world of miseries. Turning to Burgoin her phisition, she asked him whether he did not now observe the force of truth to be great. They say (quoth she) that I must die because I have plotted against the Queene. Yet the Earle of Kent signifieth unto me that there is no other cause of my death, but that that they doubt their religion because of mee. Neither hath my fault against the Queene, but their feare because of mee drawne upon me my end, while some under colour of religion and the publique good ayme at their owne private respects. About the end of supper shee dranke to all her servants, who pledged in order upon their knees, mingling teares with the wine, and craving pardon for their neglect of their duty; as she also did of them in like manner. After supper shee overlooked her Will, read over the Inventory of her goods and jewells, and wrote downe the names of those to whom shee appoynted them in particular. To some she distributed money with her owne hand man by man. To her Confessor she wrote to make intercession for her to God in his prayers. Shee wrote also letters of commendations for her servants, to the French King and the Duke of Guise. At her wonted howre she went to bed, slept certaine houres; and awakening, spent the rest of the night in prayer.
11. The fatall day now appearing, being the 8th of February, she dressed her selfe gorgeously and curiously, as shee was wont to doe upon festivall dayes, and calling her servants together, commanded her testament to be read, prayed them to take their legacies in good part for that her ability would not afford her to bestow greater matters. Then fixing her minde wholy upon God, in her oratory or ordinary place of prayer, with sighes, grones, and prayers she craved his divine favour, till Thomas Andrewes Sherife of the County signified unto her that shee must now come forth. And forth shee came with state, countenance, and presence composed unto majesty, a cheerefull look, matron-like and very modest habit, her head covered with a lynnen veile, and that hanging downe, her prayer beades hanging at her girdle, and carying a Crucifixe of Ivory in her hands. In the porch she was received by the Earles and other noblemen, where Melvyn her servant falling upon his knees, and powring forth teares, bewailed his happ that he was to carry into Scotland the woefull newes of the unhappy fate of his Lady and mistresse. She comforted him, saying, Lament not, but rather rejoyce, thous shalt by and by see Mary Stuart freed from all cares. Tell them that I die constant in my religion, and firme in my fidelity towards Scotland and France. God forgive them which have thirsted for my blood as Harts doe after the fountaine. Thou God, which art truth it selfe, and thoroughly and truly understandest the inward thoughts of my heart, knowest how greatly I have desired that the Kingdome of England and Scotland might be united in one. Commend mee to my sonne, and certifie him that I have done nothing which may prejudice the Kingdome of Scotland; warne him to hold amity with the Queene of England; and see thou doe him faithfull service.
12. And now the teares trickling downe, shee bad Melvyn againe and againe farewell, who wept with her. Then turning to the Earles shee prayed them, That her servants might be curteously dealt withall, that they might injoy the legacies shee had bequeathed them by testament, that they might stand by her at her death, and might be sent backe into their country with letters of safe conduct. The former requests they promised; but that they should stand by her at her death the Earle of Kent shewed himselfe somewhat unwilling, fearing superstition. Feare it not (said shee), these silly ones desire to give me their last farewell, I know my sister Elizabeth would not have denyed me so small a matter that my women might bee present even for honour of womanhood. I am her neere kinswoman, issued from Henry the seaventh, Queene Dowager of France, and annoynted Queene of Scotts.
13. Which shee she had sayd, and turned her selfe away, it was permitted that her servants whom she would name, should be present. She named Melvyn, Burgoyne her Phisitian, her Apothecary, her Chirurgion, two waiting women, and others, of whom Melvyn bare up her trayne. So the gentlemen, two Earles, and the Sherife of the shire going before her, shee came to the scaffold, which was erected at the upper end of the hall; on which was set a chaire, a cushion, a blocke, and all covered with black cloath. As soone as shee was set downe, and silence proclaimed, Beale read the warrant; shee heard it attentively, as if doing somewhat else. Then Fletcher Deane of Peterborough began a long speech unto her touching the condition of her life past, present, and to come. She interrupted him once or twice as he was speaking, prayed him not to trouble himselfe, protesting that shee was firme and resolute in the ancient Catholik Roman religion, and for that was ready to shedd her blood. When he earnestly perswaded her to true repentance, and to put her whole trust in Christ by assured faith, she answered that In that religion as she was both borne, bred, and now ready to dye. The Earles sayd, they would pray for her; to whom she said, She would give them hearty thanks if they would pray with her; but to joyne (said she) in prayer with you, which are of another profession, would be in me a grievous sinne. Then they willed the Deane to pray, with whom while the multitude that stood around about prayed, she falling downe upon her knees, and holding the Crucifix beofre her in her hands, prayed in Latine with her servants out of the Office of the blessed virgin Mary.
14. After the Deane had made an end of praying, shee in English commended the Church, her sonne, and Queene Elizabeth to God, beseeching him to turne away his wrath from this Island, and professing that shee reposed her hope of salvation in the blood of Christ (lifting up the Crosse), she called upon the celestiall Quire of Saints to make intercession for her; she forgave all her emies, and kissing the Crucifix, and signing her selfe with the Crosse, she sayd, As thy armes, O Christ, were spread upon the Crosse, so receive me with the stretched out armes of thy mercy, and remitt my sinnes. Then the executioners asked her forgivenes, which she granted them. And when her women servants while she made haste, had taken off her outer garments, wailing and lamenting, shee kissed them, and signing them with the Crosse, with a chearefull countenance bad them forbeare their womanish lamentations: For now shee should rest from her sorrowes. In like manner turning to her men-servants who wept with her, shee signed them likewise with the Crosse, and smiling bad them farewell. And now having covered her face with a linnen handkerchiefe, and lying downe at the blocke, shee recited the Psalme, In thee, O Lord, doe I trust, let mee never be confounded. Then stretching forth her body, and repeating many times, Into thy lands, Lord, I commend my spirit, her head was strycken off at two strokes, the Deane crying out, So let Queene Elizabeths enemies perish, the Earle of Kent answering Amen, and the multitude sighing and sorrowing. Her body was embalmed and with due rites prepared, and interred in a royall tombe in the Cathedrall Church of Peterborough, and her funerall most pompously solemnized at Paris by procurement of the Guises, who to their great commendations performed all good offices of kindnesse to their kinswoman both alive and dead.
15. This lamentable end had Mary Queene of Scotts, daughter to James the fifth King of Scotts, great grand-daughter to Henry the 7th King of England by his eldest daughter, in the sixe and fortieth yeare of her age, and of her imprisonment the eighteenth. A woman most constant in her religion, of singular piety towards God, invincible in magnanimity of minde, wisdome above her sexe, and passing beauty, a Lady to be reckoned amongst those Princesses which have changed felicity for calamity. Being an infant, she was earnestly sought after by Henry the eight, King of England, for his sonne Prince Edward, and by Henry the second King of France, for Francis the Dolphin, both of them striving who should have her to his daughter-in-law. At five years old she was carried into France, and at fifteene married to the Dolphin. Shee was Queene of France one yeare and foure months. After the death of her husband she returned into Scotland, was married againe to Henry Stuart Lord Darly, and bare James, the first Monarch of great Britaine. By Murray her base brother, and other her unthankefull and ambitious subjects, shee was much tossed and troubled, deposed from the Crowne, and driven into England. By those Englishmen that were carefull for reteyning their religion, and maintayning the Queenes safety, shee was (as indifferent Censurers have thought) circumvented, and by others that were desirous to restore the Romish religion, thrust forward into dangerous designes, and overborne with the testimonies of her Secretaries, who seemed to bee corrupted with money. Neere her tombe this Epitaph following as set up, and soone after taken away:MARY QUEENE OF SCOTTS, A KINGS DAUGHTER, THE KING OF FRANCE HIS WIDDOW, THE QUEENE OF ENGLANDS KINSWOMAN AND NEXT HEIRE, A PRINCESSE ACCOMPLISHED WITH ROYALL VERTUES AND A ROYALL MIND, HAVING MANY TIMES (BUT IN VAINE) CRAVED HER ROYALL PRIVILEDGE, IS BY BARBAROUS AND TYRANNOUS CRUELTY EXTINCT, BEING THE ORNAMENT OF OUR AGE, AND A LIGHT TRULY ROYALL; AND BY ONE AND THE SAME WICKED SENTENCE IS BOTH MARY QUEENE OF SCOTTS DOOMED TO A NATURALL DEATH, AND ALL SURVIVING KINGS, BEING MADE AS COMMON PEOPLE, ARE SUBJECTED TO A CIVILL DEATH. A NEW AND UNEXAMPLED KINDE OF TOOMBE IS HEERE EXTANT, WHERIN THE LIVING ARE INCLUDED WITH THE DEAD; FOR KNOW THAT WITH THE SACRED HERSE OF SAINT MARY HERE LIETH VIOLATE AND PROSTRATE THE MAJESTY OF ALL KINGS AND PRINCES; AND BECAUSE (READER THAT TRAVAILEST THIS WAY) THE UNREVEALABLE SECRET OF KINGS DOTH MOST SUFFICIENTLY ADMONISH KINGS OF THEIR DUTY. I SAY NO MORE.
By this most lamentable fate of so great a Princesse appeared most evidently (as some wise men have observed) the disposition of the Divine providence. For the things which both Queenes Elizabeth and Mary most of all desired, and in all their counsailes propounded to themselves, hereby were attayned. Queene Mary (as she sayd even at her death) desired nothing more ardently then that the divided kingdomes of England Scotland might be united in the person of her most deere sonne; and there was nothing which Queene Elizabeth wished more earnestly then that the true religion, with the safety and security of the people, might be preserved in England. And that the high God granted to both their prayers, England now seeth with unexpected felicity, and most joyfully acknowledgeth.
16. As soone as a rumor was brought to Queene Elizabeths eares, who litle thought it that the Queene of Scotts was put to death, she heard it with great indignation, her countenance and her words failed her, and with excessive sorrow she was in a manner astonished, insomuch as she gave her selfe over to griefe, putting her selfe into mourning weedes, and shedding abundance of teares; her Councell she sharpely rebuked, and commanded them out of her sight, subjecting them to examination. Davison she commanded to be convented in the Starr-Chamber. And as soone as griefe would give her leave, she wrote this letter in haste with her owne hand to the King of Scotts, and sent it by Robert Cary:
17. My dearest brother, would God that thou knewest, yet feltest not, with what incomparable griefe my mind is perplexed for this lamentable event which is happened contrary to my meaning, which for that my penn trembleth to mention, you shall fully understand by this my kinsman. I pray you that as God and many others can witnesse my innocency in this matter, so you will also beleeve that if I had commanded it, I would never deny it. I am not so faint-hearted that for terror I should feare to do the thing which is just; nor so base, or unnobly minded, but as it is no princely part to blanch over with words the meaning of the heart, so I will I never dissemble my actions, but make them appeare in their true colours. Perswade your selfe for truth that as I know this is hapned deservedly, so if I had intended it, I would not have layd it upon others; or more will I impute to my selfe that which I never thought. Other matters he which shall deliver you this letter shall acquaint you with. For my part, I would have you thinke there is not any one which loveth you more deerely, nor more carefully watcheth for the good of you and your estate. If any man suggest unto you the contrary, thinke he favoreth others more than you. God keepe you long in health and safety. 18. Whilest Cary was upon his way with this letter, Davison was convented into the Starr-Chamber before certaine select Commissioners, namely Sir Christopher Wray Knight, chiefe Justicer in the Kings Bench, who for that time was made Lord Privy Seale, the two Archbishops of Canterbury and Yorke, the Earles of Worcester, Cumberland, and Lincolne, the Barons Grey and Lumley, Sir James Crofts Controller of the Queenes houshold, Sir Walter Mildmay Chancellour of the Exchecquer, Sir Gilbert Gerard master of the Roles, Sir Edmund Anderson Chiefe Justicer of the Common pleas, and Sir Roger Mainwood Chiefe Baron of the Exchecquer. Before these Commissioners, Popham the Queenes Atturney charged Davison with contempt of the Queenes Majesty, breach of his allegeance, and neglect of his duty, in that whereas the Queene according to her innated clemency, would not that the Queene of Scotts, though condemned, should have beene put to death, for causes knowne to her alone, and not to be searched by others, and could not be perswaded therunto, neither by the Estates of the Realme, nor by the Councell who all of them instantly urged her thereunto, and notwithstanding for preventing of dangers commanded a warrant for her execution to be drawne, and committed it to Davisons trust and secrecy. He neverthelesse, being her sworne Screatary, forgetting his alleageance and duty, and in contempt of her Majesty, contrary to that the Queene had commanded, had acquainted the Councell therewith, and put it in execution utterly without her knowledge.
18. Davison according to his singular modesty, mildely and yet stoutly answered, That he was very sorry that in a most just cause concerning the Queene of Scotts and the sentence against her, a sentence of all others the most grave, he should now againe trouble the Commissioners, and that, if not with the losse, yet surely with the impairi
ng of his credit, which to him was as deere as all things else. But most heavily of all he tooke it that he was charged to have offended contemptuously against her Majesty, who by how much shee had been the more bountifull unto him, and he the more bound unto her for her deserts, so much the more haynous might his offence seeme. If hee should confesse himselfe guilty of othe crimes objected against him, hee should wrong his own reputation, which was deerer to him then his life. And if he should contest with the Queene in his owne defence, hee should doe that which was unfitting to the obedience of a subject, the observance of a servant, and the trust and honour of a Secretary. He protested before God and the Commissioners, That hee had done nothing in this matter wittingly and willingly, but what he had perswaded himselfe was the Queenes will. Wherein if hee had wronged himselfe either through ignorance or negligence, he could not but grieve exceedingly, and most patiently undergoe the Commissioners censure.
19. As to the particulars, he affirmed that when the Queene blamed him for making such hast to get a warrant under the great Seale, She signified, but not expressly commanded him, to keepe it in his owne hands. Neyther doth he bethinke he hath offended against his trust of secrecy, seeing hee hath not spoken a word of the matter to any but the Councell. Whereas hee revoked not the warrant after the Queene signified unto him that she had changed her minde, he affirmed, That was agreed amongst all the Councell that it should be sent away presently, and execution done least the Common-wealth or the Queene should receive any hurt.
20. Heereupon Egerton the Queenes Sollicitor began to presse Davison with his owne confession, reading a parcell thereof. But Davison praed him to reade the whole, and not parcells picked out here and there, but he had rather it should not be read at all, for that there were contained in it certaine secrets not to be blabbed abroad, saying now and then, That as he would not contest with the Queene, so could he not endure that his modesty should prejudice truth and his owne Integrity.
21. Gaudy and Puckering Sergeants at Law nowe charged him with great force of words that he had cunningly abused the wisedome of the Queenes Councell, and that by the confession of Burghley, Lord Treasurer, who doubting whether the Queene had certainely resolved to have execution done. Davison prayed the Queenes learned Councell, with teares running down his cheekes, that the would not urge the matter more sharpely, but remember that hee would not contest with the Queene, to whose conscience and the Commissioners censure he wholly submitted himselfe.
22. Manwood made an historical discourse touching the Queene of Scotts, beginning from her usurping of the Armes of England in her tender age, to Babingtons conspiracy, commended the sentence given against her according to the Law, extolled the Queenes Clemency, which because Davison had inconsiderately prevented, hee censured him to be fined in ten thousand pounds and imprisioned during the Queenes pleasure. Anderson argued that he had done that which was just though not justly, otherwise he thought him to be no bad man. Of the same mind was Gerard. Mildemay when had declared with what mature deliberation and gravity the triall against the Queene of Scotts was ordered, and with what earnest prayers and obtestation of the people Queene Elizabeth was drawne to publish the sentence, wrested that place of Scripture against Davison, The heart of a King in the hand of the Lord, and therefore no man, much lesse an officer and a servant, ought closely and cunningly to prevent Princes of their purpose. Without whose knowledge and advise nothing was to be done, especially in matters of so great importance as in the death of a Princesse. Hee cleered him of malice, but taxed him with unskilfulnesse in Princes affaires, and condemned him of over-hastinesse in preventing the Queenes purpose. And that men of his place and ranke might not thereafter run into the like offence, he agreed in opinion with the rest concerning his fine and imprisonment.
23. Croftes blamed him, that he had unadvisedly uttered things to bee concealed, considering that Princes, what they impart to one of their Councell, that they do many times conceale from the rest.
24. The Lord Lumley was of opinion with the Judges that the sentence was justly pronounced against the Queene of Scotts. But hee constantly affirmed that never in any age was such a contempt against a Prince heard or read of that the Queenes Councell, in the Queenes palace, in the Councel-Chamber, neere the Queene, was as it were President of the Councell, resolved upon so great a matter without her advise or knowledge, when both they and Davison might have so easie accesse unto her. Protesting that if hee had one onely sonne which were in the same fault, hee would censure him to bee more severely punished. But being perswaded of the mans ingenuous and honest mind, he would inflict no heavier punishment upon him then the rest had done.
25. After him followed Lord Grey with a set speech, being inflamed with heate of Religion, and a certaine sharpe instigation: Davison (sayth he) is charged to have carried himselfe contemptuously towards the Queene, and being himselfe contemned and more heavily charged that hee hath caused the Queene of Scotts to be put to death, hath told abroad certaine secrets, and concealed from the Queene the sending of the warrant. But what Queene was that whom he caused to be put to death? Even she from whom as long as she lived dangers daily threatned our Religion, our Queene, our commonwealth, and every one of us, and by meanes of whom being now executed, we are this day put to the trouble. So as he which hath freed England from so great perills may seeme worthy to bee honoured. I doe not thinke he hath told forth secrets, which hath imparted the matter to no others then the Councell and menagers of the weightiest businesse, who it specially concerned to know such matters, and wherewith the Queene her selfe had already acquainted one or two of them before. If Davison have offended in any thing, certainely in this most of all, that when the Queene was driving into a new course, he did not signifie unto her that the warrant was sent away already. But hee without question stood in doubtfull care and perplexed thought, whether hee were best lose the Queenes favour by sending the warrant without her knowledge, or by revoking it endanger the Queene anew. Who is it which remembereth not how turbulent a time it was, and what fearefull rumors were spread abroad in all places? If any violence had then beene offered to religion or the Queene, or her life had beene taken away while the warrant was in his his hands, should not he have borne the blame of it? Would not we ourselves, our wives, and children have runne violently upon him? Would we not have imbrued our hands in his blood? Would we not have cursed his indiscretion to the pit of hell? And would we not to his eternall infamy, have erected a monument of his his inconsideratenesse ingraven with letters of blood? Whatsoever either punishment or fine ye lay upon him, let it not displease me, but sure hee shall never with mee lose the esteeme of a good and honest man. These things copiously, eloquently, and stoutly we heard Grey argue.
26. The three Earles consented with the rest touching Davisons penalty, but concerning his reputation, with Grey. The Archbishop of Yorke reasoned theologically concerning his disobedience proceeding from the blindnesse of his understanding and corruption of his minde. The Archbishop of Canterbury approved the fact, commended the man, but the manner and forme he utterly condemned. Wray Lord Privy-Seale, having summarily repeated the opinions of the Commissioners, confirmed the penalty inflicted, and withall signified that albeit the Queene had beene offended (and that not without just cause) with her Councell, and had subjected them to examination, yet now she forgave them, and withall acknowledged that they had diligently with mind and counsaile watched for the preservation of religion and the Common-wealth, and for avoyding of all dangers.
27. Davison prayed the Commissioners to bee a meanes to the Queene, not for the honorable office of Secretary, which held, or for his liberty, or abatement of his fine, but that he might be restored to her favor. Which not withstanding he never recovered, though shee sometimes relieved his wants. Thus was Davison, a man ingenuously good and simply practised in Court artes, brought upon the Court stage, of purpose (as most men thought) to act for a time this person in this tragedy; and soone after, this person being taken away, as if hee had failed in the last acte, hee was thrust downe from the stage and, not without pitty of many, shutt up a long time in prison. What was done publiquely against Davison I have sayd already. But how he excused himselfe in private, receive heere compendiously out of his owne credit, and an apologeticall discourse of his to Walsingham:
28. The Queene (saith he), after the departure of the French and Scottish Embassadours, of her owne motion commanded me to deliver her the warrant for executing the sentence against the Queene of Scotts; being delivered she signed it willingly with her owne hand, an in jeasting manner sayd, All this you may signifie to Walsingham who is sicke, though I feare mee hee will die for sorrow thereof. She added also the causes of her differring it so long, namely least shee might seeme to have beene violently or maliciously drawne thereunto, whereas in the meane time she was not ignorant how necessary it was. Moreover she blamed Powllet and Drury that they had not eased her of this care, and wished that Walsingham would feele their mindes touching this matter. The next day after that it was under the great seale, shee commanded me by Killigrew that it should not be done; and when I had informed her that it was sent already, she found fault with such hast. But fearing least shee would lay the fault upon me (as she had layed the putting of the Duke of Norfolke to death upon the Lord Burghley), I acquainted Hatton with the whole matter, protesting that I would not plunge my selfe any deeper in so great a businesse. He presently imparted it to the Lord Burghley, and the Lord Burghley to the rest of the Counsell, who all consented to have the execution hastened, and every of them vowed to share equall blame, and sent Beale with the warrant and letters. The third day after, when by a dreame which she told of the Queene of Scotts death, I perceived that she wavered in minde, I asked her whether shee had changed her purpose. She answered no, but another course (said she) might have been devised, and withall shee asked me whether I had received any answere from Powllet. Whose letters when I had shewed her, werein he flatly refused to undertake that which stood not with honor and justice, shee waxing angry accused him and others which had bound them selves by the association of perjury, and breach of their vow, who had promised great matters for their Princes safety, but would performe nothing; Yet there are (saith she) which will doe it for my sake. But I shewed her how dishonorable and unjust this would be, and withall into how great danger she should cast Powllet and Drury. For if shee approved the fact, shee should draw upon herselfe both danger and dishonour, not without note of injustice; and if shee disallowed it, she should utterly undoe men of passing good desert, and their whole posteritie. And afterwards she lightly blamed me the same day that the Queene of Scotts was executred, because shee was not yet put to death.
29. How great displeasure soever against Davison, and griefe Queene Elizabeth either conceived or pretended for the death of the Queene of Scotts, certaine it is that the King of Scotts her onely sonne, who loved his mother with the greatest piety that can bee seene in a sonne, tooke exceeding great griefe to heart, not without deepe displeasure for the same, and much lamented and mourned for her. For he did not thinke that Queene Elizabeth for the mutuall love betwixt them, and the League of straighter amity very lately contracted, would have neglected all the intercessions of Princes, and subjected his mother a Princesse of equall majesty, and most neerely allyed unto her in royal blood, under the hand of a base executioner. Robert Cary the Lord Hunsdons sonne, who was sent out of England to excuse the Queene, and lay all the fault upon her Councell and Davison, he suffered not to enter into Scotland, scarce heard him by another, and hardly receaved the letters which he brought. He abrogated the authority of his Embasadour in England, and breathed revenge. For there wanted not some which went about to perswade him that the Princes of Christendome would not suffer so great an injury done to royall Majestie and to the name of Kings to escape unavenged.
30. The Estates of Scotland, which were now assembled in good number, professed that they were most ready to spend both their lives and estates in revenge of his mother, and defence of his title to the Crown of England, and that they could by no meanes digest this injury, done not so much to the King as to the whole nation of the Scotts. There were which perswaded the King to crave ayd of shipping against England of the King of Denmarke, whose daughter he now began to seeke in marriage. There were which being addicted to the Popish Religion, suggested unto him that he should rather joyne with the Spaniard, the French King, and the Bishop of Rome, so might he easily possesse him selfe of England. Above all thinges, that hee should give no credit to the Protestants of England; for they now ruled all and covertly plotted his destruction; objecting against them that saying, He will little spare to rid away the sonne, which hath rid away the mother. There were which privily advised to declare himselfe openly of neither party, but to hold both Papists and Protestants in suspence. For if he stood openly for the Protestants, all the Papists of Europe would levell all their practises against him as their marke to ayme at, and would erect another standerd for themselves in England, not without perill to him. There were also which perswaded him to imbrace amity most religiously with England, not to hazard his certaine hope upon the uncertaine chance of warre, to bee constant to himselfe in the received religion, wherein if hee once wavered he should neither purchace friends nor rid himselfe of his foes. These things men perswaded as each mans private commodity drew him. The King himselfe, being wise and quick-sighted above his age, considered all things in his mind with good and long advisement, by himselfe alone and with very few others, not in haste, which is alwaies blind, but deliberately.
31. But Queene Elizabeth, casting all the blame upon Davison and the unadvised credulity of her Councell, asswaged his griefe by litle and litle, least unseasonable consolations might irritate him; and attended till his griefe, being lessened by delay, would suffer it selfe to be handled. For then, when she perceived that the French incensed the yong King to revenge, fearing least he, by cunning wiles and boyling heate to seeke revenge, might be drawne way from the Protestants Religion and the amity of the English, she bent herselfe with all earnestnesse to pacifie his exulcerate and already alienated mind by all meanes not unworthy a Princesse.
32. By her favourers therefore in Scotland, and shortly after by the Lord Hunsdon governour of Barwicke, she propounded these things following to bee well weighted by him: First, of how dangerous consequence it would be, to breake forth into warre against England for this cause, which to all the Estates in England seemed most necessary for the safety of the whole Island, and also most just. Secondly, whether he were able for such a warre, seeing England was never better provided for war with men, forces, and wealth, and Scotland never before having beene exhausted with civill warres. If he relied upon forreine ayde, how hardly and long he would obtaine them, his mother may teach him, whose often appeales were in vaine. And if he would obtaine any, what successes should he hope for, seeing England, joyning with the fleetes of Holland and Zeland, feared nothing of the most potent Kings of Europe? In the French King and the Spaniard what confidence should he put, seeing his power being increased with the addition of England, opposeth against their attempts, and his religion is so directly contrary to their profession? What they cannot ayde without damage to themselves? Neither can the French King be well contented to see the King of Scotts made stronger with the addition of England, least he should prosecute anew the ancient rule of the English in France, or ayde the Guises his kinsmen, who now gape after the kingdome of France. As for the Spanyard, he will without question serve his owne ambition, considering that hee boasteth himselfe to bee the first Catholique Prince, of the blood royall of England, and of the house of Lancaster, though falsely. In which respect certaine Jesuites and others went about even in the Queene of Scotts life time to advance him to the Crowne of England by election, as the meetest man to restore the Romish authority in England, preferring him before his mother with her sonne. Yea they begin also to perswade the world that she had a purpose to bequeath the kingdome of England by her last will and testament to the Spanyard, in case her sonne should persevere in the Protestants Religion.
33. To what end these things tend, and what ayd is to be hoped for from the Spanyard, does the King consider? And withall if he revolt from the religion he hath been bred up in, with how great ignominy he shall plunge himselfe into eternall perdition, and all Britaine into destruction. Besides he must thinke, if he purpose revenge, whether the Estates of England, which have given sentence against his mother, would not quite exclude him also by a new sentence from his title of succession; whose love he may easily purchase by yeelding to necessity and bridling the motions of his mind (seeing that which is done cannot be undone), and may in due time peacably enjoy the most flourishing kingdom of England; and in the meane time may live in security, and be thought amongst all indifferent men to have sufficiently discharged his honour, considering that while time was, he omitted no duty of a most pious sonne toward his mother. But let him perswade himselfe for a truth, now the Queene of England will most lovingly and kindly esteeme of him as her sonne, with a motherly affection. These things shee caused to be inculcated into the King of Scots eares, and determined, least he should doubt whether his mother were put to death without her privity, to send unto the sentence against Davison, testified by the subscriptions of all the Commissioners, yea, and the great seale of England, and another instrument likewise (the more to pacifie him) under the hands of the Judges of England, witnessing that the said sentence against his mother could not hurt or prejudice his title to the succession.
34. With these and such like reasons while she gently soothed the King, she sent Drake (to the end to prevent the warre which shee saw threatened her from the Spanyard) with foure of her royall shippes and others, to the coast of Spayne, to surprise his shipping in the havens, and intercept his provision. Who, entring into the port of Gades, chased sixe gallyes (which made head against him) under the forts, and sunke, tooke, or fired about an hundred vessells, wherein were great store of munition and victualls; and amongst them a great galleon of the Marquesse of Sancta Cruce, and another of Ragusia laden with marchandies. From thence returning to the Holy-head, called Cape Saint Vincent, he assaulted three forts, and tooke them by composition, and fyring the fishermens boates and nettes all along the coast, came to Castales at the mouth of the river Tayo, where he provoketh the Marquesse of Sancta Cruce to battaile, who once moved against him, but suffered him freely to harry the coast and take their shipping, without impeachment. From thence setting saile towards the isles of Azores, he lighted by chance upon a very great marchants shippe, and very rich (called a Carack), and and harried the Saint Philip, returning from East India, and easily overcame it. Which the sea-faring men on both sides, in regard of the name of Philip, interpreted to presage some disaster to Philip of Spaine. Certainely from this short expedition great commodities redounded to the English, for the Spanyards, having susteyned so great losse of provision and munition for warre, were constrained to give over their designe for invading of England this yeare, and the English ever after that time more cheerefully set upon those huge Castell-like shippes, which before they were afraid of; and also they so fully understood by the Marchants bookes the wealth of the Indian marchandizes, and the manner of trading in that Easterne world, that they afterwards set up a gainfull voyage and trafficque thither, ordeyning a Companie of East India marchants.
35. At the same time in another quarter of the world, Thomas Cavendish of Suffolke, which had two yeares before set saile from England with three shippes, passing the straights of Magellan, fired many petty townes of the Spanyards upon the coasts of Chily, Peru, and Nova Spagnia, tooke and pillaged ninteene marchants shippes, and amongst them a very rich shippe of the Kings neere Callifornia, and returned home this yeare by the Philippins, the Moluccaes, the cape of Good-hope, and Sent Helens Isle, with a rich booty and great glory, as being the second next after Magellan which sailed round about the world. The particulars of this voyage if any man desire, let him repaire to the English voyages most exactly described in three volumes by Richard Hackluit.
36. As Drake and Cavendish at this time purchased great fame and commendations, so two other Englishmen, William Stanley and Rowland Yorke, procured to themselves the disgracefull infamy of treason. This Yorke was of London, a man of a dissolute disposition and desperate boldnesse, famous in his time amongst the common hacksters and swaggers, being the first that with high admiration for his boldnesse brought into England that deadly manner of foyning [thrusting] with the rapier in single fight, whereas the English till this time fought with long swords and bucklers, striking with the edge, and thought it no manly part either to foyne, or to strike beneath the girdle. This Yorke having received I know not what injury at Leicesters hands, fled, and served a while amongst the Spanyards in the Netherlands, and at length was reconciled, and made governour of a fort neere Zutphen. But scorning in his minde to brooke disgrace, he soone cast to be revenged, in such sort as, being corrupted with money, he not onely betrayed the place to the enemie, but also drew Standley, who had served with singular fidelity and fortitude in the Irish warre, into fellowship with him in his treachery by sundrey oathes and affirmations, that by confessions of the conspirators he was appeached to be guilty of Babingtons treason, and was forthwith to bee sent into England to bee hanged; and perswaded him to betray Deventer, a strong and rich City, to the Spanyards, contrary to his oath taken to Leicester and the Estates. But comming to see the greatnesse of his offence, he comforted himselfe in his conscience against the note of treason, in that hee had restored the place to the true Lord, which had beene kept from him by rebels, and being a ranke Papist, hee soone after sent for Priests to instruct his regiment consisting of thirteene hundred English and Irish, in the Popish religion, giving out that this should be a Seminary regiment of soldiours, which should defend the Romish religion by armes, as the Seminary Priests did by writing. And indeed for this purpose, Allen, who was soone after made Cardinall, not onely sent Priests with all speede, but withall set forth also a booke wherein, according to Pius Quintus his Bull against Queene Elizabeth, he both commended the treason, and excited others to the like perfidiousnesse, as if they were not bound to serve nor obey an excommunicate Queene. But marke with what success.
37. The Spanyards set Yorke and Stanley together by the eares. Yorke they poysoned and rifeled his goods. His body was three yeares after digged up by the Estates, and hanged upon a gibbet, where it rotted. Stanley and his regiment they removed out of Deventer, and posted it from place to place, exposing it to dangers, and neglected it in such sort that some of them perished miserably for lacke of foode, and some ranne away one after another. Stanley himselfe in hope of reward went into Spayne, and offered his service for invading of Ireland; but he was neither intertained with that honour he expected, nor was any credit given unto him; for the Spanyards (they say) have a by-word, Well may a Traitor have some honour, but never any credit. And now he learned too late that he had first of all betrayed himselfe.
38. These treasons procured to Leicester great ill will amongst the confederate Netherlanders, for that these traitors where very inward with him; and also to the whole English nation, whom men of more liberall tongues reproached and scandalized, till it was forbidden by proclamation. But the Estates in a long letter to the Queene accused Leicester of ill governing the Common-wealth in matter of money, matter of warre, and matter of traffique; and to his Restriction and credulity they imputed the damages received by meanes of the traitors. The Queene, for the examining and compounding of the matter, and to feele their minds touching a peace with the Spanyard, sent Thomas Sackvill Lord Buckhurst (lately made one of the Privy Councell in Leicesters absence), Norris, and Bartholomew Clerk, who laboured these matters. But whereas Buckhursts officious diligence seemed to tend to the intrapping of Leicester, Leicesters displeasure against him, and setled favour with the Queene, prevailed so farre that Buckhurst at his returne was commanded to keep his house the space of many months.
39. Scluse being afterwards beseigd by the Prince of Parma, Leicester was sent for out of England by the Estates to relieve it. This towne being furiously battered with 17000 great shott, and a large breach made, was defended a while by Sir Roger Williams, Sir Francis Vere, and Captaine Nicholas Baskerville with a garrison of Wallons and English, with great commendations for their valour, and at length yielded up of necessity, when Leicester who was ready to succour them, being too weake for the enemie, was retired. And surely the Estates would not allow him a sufficient army, who had reserved to themselves in deede that great power which they had passed to him in words. And he himselfe disdained to be under private men of lesser note under the name of Estates, who contended to exert the same authority over him their Governour, which Charles the 5th had held over his governours of the Netherlands. Heereupon brake forth grudges, yea open enmities on both sides; and certainely more open, after he had once begun to speake of a peace with the Spanyard. For they could not endure to heare the name of peace, as most dangerous and pernitious to their designes. But he, when he perceaved his authority daily to be slighted and contemned, betooke himselfe to cunning fetches and devises, and to bring Leiden and other cities under his power. But being with the ruine of some frustrate of his hope, having raised great offence, he was called home againe into England by the Queene, gave over his government, and left the free administration of the provinces to the Estates, being derided by his maligners, and the title of his Excellencie, which of all Englishmen hee was the first that ever used, exploded.
40. At his departure he privily distributed amongst some whom hee had drawne to his faction certaine medalls or privie tokens made in gold, on he one side whereof was his picture, and on the other side a flocke of sheepe, some straying sheepe, and a dog ready to go away looking backe. Neere the dogg was INVITUS DESERO, that is, UNWILLINGLY I FORSAKE, and neere the sheepe NON GREGEM, SED INGRATOS, that is, NOT THE FLOCK, BUT THE UNTHANKFULL. And no doubt but he cast in his mind to usurp the domination. But these people have by their politicke wisedome not onely retained their ancient freedome, maugre [despite] the power of the Spanyards, which know well how to warre both with gold and cunning devises and against the subtill practises of the French and the English and the crafty fetches of the wilie Prince of Aurange, but also have beyond beliefe increased the same through the favourable inclination of their neighbour; and (which is more <a> marvaile), whereas others are impoverished by warre, they are the onely men that are enriched thereby. Grave Maurice of Nassau, sonne of the Prince of Aurange by Anne of Saxony, daughter to Maurice the heroicall Elector, being 20 yeares of age, was made Governour in Leicesters place, over the united and confederate provinces, by the Estates; and Peregrine Lord Willoughby was made Generall of the English forces in the Low-countries by the Queene. Both which the Leicesterian faction put to much trouble. For the garisons of Gertrudenberg, Naerden, Worcom, Huesden, and especially Medenblike, being addicted to the English, as if they had sworne alleageance to the Queene, raised tumults and commotions. And Sir William Russell Governour of Vlushing, having drawne to his party those of Armuiden and Campoire, was suspected by the Estates, who were very full of jealousy and distrust, as if he had a purpose to reduce the Isle of Walcheron under the power ot the English. And this suspition was increased through the cunning of the Admirall of England, who though he laboured to pacifie the matter, yet they midsoubting themselves, concealed not their distrust, but witnessed it both publickely by stamping mony with two earthen potts symming in the sea (according to the old fable), and wittily inscribed SI COLLIDIMUR, FRANGIMUR, that is, IF WE KNOCKE TOGETHER, WEE ARE BROKEN; and also privately by letters to the Queene. Who, being most carefull of them, and not neglecting her selfe, foresaw the dangers by meanes of the Spanish fleete now threatning, and commanded the Lord Willoughby to reduce the seditious people under their obedience to the Estates; which hee together with Grave Maurice happily performed.
41. Leicester being returned, and smelling that there was an accusation framed against him by Buckhurst and others for ill menaging of matters in Holland, and that he was to be convented before the Councell, cast himselfe downe privately at the Queenes feet with teares, and craved her pardon, beseeching her, That whom she had sent forth with honour at his departure, shee would not now receive with disgrace at his returne; and whom shee had raised up from the ground, shee would not now bring to his grave. And with such flattering speech he soothed the Queenes offended mind in such sort that her noble displeasure abated, and she receaved him into former grace and favour. So as when hee was the next day to come to his answer, he tooke his place among the Councell, and kneeled not at the upper end of the Table as the manner is; and when the Secretary beganne to reade the poynts of his accusation, he interrupted him, complayning that he was injuriously dealt withall in his absence in restrayning his Commission by private instructions; and so appealing to the Queene hee avoyded the whole accusation, not without the secret indignation of his adversaries.
42. This yeare in the moneth of February departed his life Henry Nevile Baron of Abergevenney, great grandsonne to Edward Nevill, who in the reigne of Henry the sixt, attained this title in right of his wife the onely daughter and heyre of Richard Beauchamp or De bellocampo, Earle of Worcester and Baron of Abergevenney. By which title when the onely daughter of this Henry, the wife of Sir Thomas Fane knight, claimed the title of Baronesse of Abergevenney, there grew a memorable suite for the title betwixt her and the next heire male, to whom the Castle of Abergevenney was bequeathed by Testament, and the same Testament confirmed by act of Parliament.
43. There dyed also at this time, and in one moneth of Aprill, foure others of most honorable note among us, Anne Stanhope Dutchesse of Somerset, being 90 yeares of age, sometimes wife of Edward Seimore Duke of Somerset, and protector of England, who by her womanish emulation with Catherin Parr, Queene Dowager of King Henry the 8th, for prerogative of dignity, raised tragedyes in the family of the Seimores, through the perswasions of Dudley Earle of Warwicke (while he plotted the ruine of this most potent house), yet she being the Protectors wife should not beare up the traine of the Queene Dowager, who was married to the Protectors brother, or give her place; Sir Ralph Sadleir Chancellor of the Dutchy of Lancaster, a man famous for many and great employments for the State, and the last Baneret of England, to which dignity hee was raised at Musselborough field; Thomas Bromley, Chancellor of England, under 60 yeares of age, a famous Lawyer; and the 5th day after, Edward Earle of Rutland, whom the Queene had appointed to bee his successor, being the third Earle of the house of Maners, a profound lawyer, and a man accomplished with all exquisite learning, leaving behind him one onely daughter Elizabeth to William Cecyl grandsonne to the Lord Treasurer Burghely. Sir Christopher Hatton, a man in great grace with the Queene, was made Lord Chancellor out of the Court, which the great Lawyers of England tooke very offensively. For they, ever after the ecclesiasticall men were put from this degree, had with singular commendations for equity and wisdome borne this highest place of gowned dignity, bestowed in old time for the most part upon Churchmen and Noblemen. But Hatton was advanced thereunto through the cunning Court practises of some, that by his absence from Court, and troublesome office for so great a magistracy, for which they knew him to be insufficient, his favour with the Queene might be abated. Yet bare hee the place with the greatest state of all that ever we saw, and what was lacking in him in knowledge of the law, hee laboured to supply by equity and Justice.
44. Sir John Perott being this yeare called home out of Ireland, delivered up his charge in most peacable tranquility to Sir William Fitz-Williams, when he had drawne in such as were suspected, to deliver hostages for their fidelity, and that out of hand, least if they tooke deliberation they might seeme to have revolted; the most suspected hee had providently apprehended and committed to custody, and had admonished the rest of their alleageance towards their Prince in this doubtfull time; who for his love towards the Irish nation most willingly harkened unto him.
45. Till this time (to digresse a litle) had the Englishmen very easie warres in Ireland. Eight hundred foote and three hundred horse was holden an invincible army. Randolph with 600 English easily disconfited O-Neal with 4000 Irish. Colier in the yeare 1571 with his one onely company defeated a thousand Hebridians in Connacht. 300 horse overthrew the Butlers with a great rabble of rebels; and (to omit other such like) two companies of foot woon in one day about 20 Castles of the Irish. But after that they were by Perots commandement trayned dayly at home, taught to use their weapons, and to discharge their peeces at a mark, that they might be the more ready servitors against the Hebridians, and afterwards being bred up in the Netherland warres they had learned the manner of fortifications, then they certainely exercised the English (as we shall see) with a more difficult warre.
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