TO THE KINGS MOST EXCELLENT MAIESTIE.
Most Dread Soueraigne,
ZENO the Philosopher, being asked how a man might attaine wisdome, answered, By drawing neere vnto the dead. O the Sepulchers of our Ancestors, how much more doe they teach than all the studie, bookes and precepts of the learned!
And herein due praise must needs be ascribed vnto Historie, the life of memorie, and the mirrour of mans life, making those Heroick acts to liue againe, which otherwise would be buried in eternall forgetfulnesse, whereby the minde (a greedy hunter after knowledge) is enflamed, by affecting the seuerall perfections of others, to seeke after excellent things, and by feruent imitation to attaine to that glory which is gotten by vertu[...].
For these causes, (most renowned Soueraigne) when I considered Plutarke, laying aside the studie of Philosophic, to thinke the time well imploied in writing the liues of Theseus, of Aristides, and of other inferiour persons; and knowing how farre the lustre and splendor of Princes shineth beyond the brightnesse of others; euery one standing for a million of the common people: And being sensible that it is infused euen by nature, euery man to desire, and to be delighted with the relation and story of his owne Ancestors and predecessors: For these reasons I presumed to present vnto your Highnesse this Treatise of the life and death of your Royall Mother, the Lady MARY STVART Queene of Scotland; A History most fit for this your Meridian of Great Britaine, and yet neuer published in the English tongue before: Wherein, although I confesse the slendernesse of my skill in the exornation and beautifying of the stile, and thereby may worthily incurre the reproofe of the learned; yet if your Maiesty vouchsafe your gracious and Princely acceptation, all faults therein shall easily bee couered and blotted out. Therefore I become your humble Orator, praying no other thing than the Sunne Diall of the Sunne, Aspice me vt aspiciar: most humbly beseeching the Almighty to blesse your most Excellent Maiestie, with a long, happie, and prosperous reigne.
our Sacred Maiesties most humble subiect, WIL. STRANGVAGE.
THE PREFACE TO THE ENSVING HISTORIE.
IT is a thing most true, and some finde it by experience, that here below in this world, there is nothing eternall: And how can it be otherwise, when the great Kings and Princes of the earth, who seeme to be created of the most pure substance of the Elements, of a matter, as may bee said, for their excellency incorruptible, of the fine gold of Euilath, and of the best mould, to the patterne of the fairest Ideas, and beare and carry the Image and Seale of all puissance, as the chiefe impression of natures worke, in the plaine greatnesse of Maiestie, which engraueth their forehead with a gracious statelinesse. Yet doe we see them euery day, who seeme vnto men to be lasting and durable, as eternity it selfe, to quit the arches o[...] triumph, and to yeeld themselues vnto the triumph o[...] death. And more than that, the most part of them finish their daies, not in the sweet and calme waters, like Pourcontrells, but by a death disseasoned, sometimes in their greene youth, and flourishing age, by the stormes and tempests, as doe the Dolphins, within the torrents, billowes, or waues of the sea, tossed by diuers factions. And it seemeth that this fatality pursueth ordinarily the most worthy and vertuous persons: so that they finish their liues many times with violence or precipitation; and not to goe vnto their death in a smooth path, but to bee interrupted with some strange accident, which cclipseth the bright shining lustre of their greatnesse, which dasell the mindes of men, that from below beheld them sitting aloft on the throne of Maiestie. All which appeared most plainly and euidently to be true in the most worthy and royall Princesse MARY STVART Queene of Scotland, who in all her life being tossed and turmoiled with infinite misfortunes, concluded it with an vntimely death, as followeth in the sequell of this Historie of her life and death.
MARY STVART Queene of Scotland, was daughter vnto Iames the fist, King of Scotland, a wise and valiant Prince, and of the Lady MARY, of the Illustrious family of the Dukes of Lorraine, (whose fame for valour is renowned thorow all Christendome,) was borne on the eighth day of December in the yeere of our Lord 1541. She was not aboue eight daies old when her father died: being left thus young, the Noblemen of Scotland being diuided (whereof the family of the Hamiltons and the Earle of Lynnox being the heads,) the one side supported by King Henry the eighth of England, and the other by the French King Henry the seconde she was by the care of her mother who inclined vnto the French King, at the age of six yeeres or thereabouts, sent into France in the Gallies of Villagagnon a Knight of the Rhodes appointed by the French King vnto this seruice, in the which voyage by the West Seas (for in the other passage neere the Straits of Calice, the Englishmen had laid a strong Nauy to intercept her) she hardly escaped drowning by meanes of a storme or tempest that happened, neere vnto the coast of little Brittaine in France, where she afterward tooke land, from whence she was conueyed vnto the Court of France, where she was brought vp vnder her Curators the French King and the Dukes of Guise, and by their exquisite care she drew in with the aire the sweetnesse of the humours of the countrey, and in the end by the singular grace of nature, and carefulnesse of her friends and Kinsfolks, became with her age the fairest and goodliest Princesse of our time. And beside this her rare beauty, she had her vnderstanding and intendment so pure and perfect, her iudgement so certaine, surmounting, and aboue the condition of her age and sex, that it bred and caused in her a greatnesse of courage, which was yet mixt and qualified with such sweetnesse and modesty, that you could not see any thing more Royall, any thing more gracious. Her manners and priuate actions were such, and were so well liked of generally, that it caused King Henry the second of France, and his Queene (who was admired for her prudence) to marry their eldest sonne, Daulphin of France and heire of their Crowne, vnto this Lady, as vnto one well deseruing to be ioyned in mariage vnto their sonne, heire apparant of the greatest kingdome in Europe: And so vpon the foure and twentieth day of April, in the yeere of our Lord 1558. Francis the Daulphin of France and MARY STVART Queene of Scotland, were maried in the Church of Nostra Dama in Paris. One cannot declare with what applause of all the people, with what congratulation of all the neighbour Princes, with what Magnificence, this mariage was solemnized. By this her mariage her husband obtained not onely the Title of King of Scotland in the right of his wife, but also another more rich and great, which was, of the most contented Prince the earth then beheld, for that hee was ioyned in mariage with a Princesse who besides many other great vertues composed her selfe wholly to please and to giue content vnto her husband, and therein vsed not the ordinary care of a Princesse, but more trauell and sollicitude than doe the women of meane condition and qualitie maried vnto great Princes, as also appeared after his death (which befell not long after) by her immeasurable mourning, not being able to finde any consolation for her sorrow in that place where shee had lost that which shee had loued better than her selfe, so much that the amitie of her kinsfolks and allies could not retaine her, nor the sorrow and regret of all France could not call her backe, nor the sweetnesse of that Court which inuited her could not stay her, but that shee would depart from thence.
After this on the seuenteenth day of Nouember the same yeere deceased Mary of England; at which time the Parlament was holden at Westminster, being certified of her death, with a vniuersall consent, in regard of her most certaine right vnto the Crowne of England (of the which none could doubt,) both the Prelates and Nobles with the Commons agreed to haue the Lady ELIZABETH proclaimed Queene, which was done with the generall applause and consent of them and all the people.
Queene ELIZABETH being established and hauing taken order for things at home, and domesticall affaires, applied her minde next to settle her affaires abroad: For which end it was thought fit to send Embassadors vnto Princes to signifie vnto them the death of Queene MARY, and her succession vnto the kingdome: Vnto Ferdinand the Emperor was sent Thomas Challenor with letter[...], wherein the Queene, vnder her owne hand, certified him that her sister Queene MARY was dead, and that she by the goodnesse of God was succeeded as her rightfull heire, and with the generall consent of her subiects, in the gouernment of the Realme; and that she desired nothing more, than that the ancient League and amitie betweene the families of England and Austria, might not only be conserued but also increased. Vnto the King of Spaine, being in his Low coun[...]ries, was sent the Lord Cobham with instructions to the same purpose.
King Philip vnderstanding the decease of Queene MARIE his wife, fearing lest England, Scotland, and Ireland, should be adioyned vnto France by m[...]anes of the Queene of Scotland her Title, d[...]lt seriously with Queene ELIZABETH by the Conde of Feria, whom he had sent before to visit his sicke wife, and the then Lady ELIZABETH also, about his mariage with her, promising to procure a dispensation for the same. This motion troubled her much, for to reiect the most mightie King of Europe (hauing deserued well of her) and suing to her for mariage vpon his owne motion: This thing no lesse disquieted the French King, who was also fearefull that England and Spaine should bee conioyned againe i[...] one by mariage; therefore [...]ee did all that was possible to be done at Rome, by the Bishop of Angulesme, that no such dispensation should be granted, but yet very secretly, lest he should prouoke the Englishmen against him: but she put him off with a modest and shamefast answer. And when hee saw that he could not obtaine his suit for himselfe, and had also giuen it quite ouer, being agreed with the French King to marry his daughter, yet that the kingdome of England might be retained in his family still, he moued the Emperour Ferdinand to commend one of his sonnes to be a suiter vnto Queene ELIZABETH, which motion he willingly entertained, and for that purpose sent vnto her very louing letters, and by Gaspar Preynerus, free Baron in Stibing, diligently followed and prosecuted the same, the King of Spaine himselfe also, to bring it the sooner to passe, and to further it, most courteously offering and promising vnto Queene ELIZABETH his singular loue, kindnesse and affection.
THE LIFE, DEATH, AND VARIABLE fortunes of the most gracious Queene, MARIE STEVVARD Queene of Scotland.
THe French King, Henrie the second, for the benefit of his sonne the Dolphin King, and MARIE Queene of Scots (casting his eies vpon England) did not withdraw his French Souldiers out of Scotland, as hee had promised, but sent secretly more daily into Scotland, and dealt vehemently with the Pope, to pronounce Queene Elizabeth an Heretike, and illegitimate, which the Emperor and the King of Spaine, most diligently, but couertly, sought to hinder: yet had the Guises drawne the French King into such a sweet hope of adioyning England vnto the [page 2] Crowne of France, by the title of their Niece the Queene of Scots, that hee openly claimed the same in the right of his sonne and daughter in law: And commanded them, when hee could not obtaine his purpose at Rome, to vse this title in all their Letters patents; FRANCIS and MARIE by the grace of God, of Scotland, England, and Ireland, King and Queene, and caused the armes of England, together with the armes of Scotland, to be painted in the walls, buildings, and in the houshold stuffe: and also to be put into the Heralds coats. The English Ambassador in vaine complained, that herein great wrong was done vnto Queene Elizabeth, with whom he had made lately a league, and had not done this to Queene MARIE of England, who had proclaimed warre against him. But Henries sudden death, which happened shortly after, made an end of his attempts.
But Francis the second (who succeeded him) and MARIE Queene of Scots his wife (by the counsell of the Guises, who were then of great authoritie in France) bore themselues openly as Kings of England and Ireland, neither did they abstaine from claiming the armes, but set them out more and more. And vnto Nicholas Throgmorton the Lieger Embassador, a man both wise and stout, it was first answered: That it was lawfull for the Queene of Scots to beare them with some little difference, to shew the nearenesse of her bloud vnto the royall line of England. Hee stifly denied it, saying that by the Law of Armes, none who was not begot of the certaine Heire, might beare the armes of any familie. Afterward they said they bore the armes for no other cause, than to cause the Queene of England to abstaine from bearing the armes of France. Yet at length he obtained at the intercession of Mont Morancy, who loued not the Guises, that they left off the armes [page 3] of England and Ireland altogether. But yet from this title and vsurpation of armes, which Henrie made the young Queene of Scots to take on her (moued thereto by the Guises) proceeded all the euils, which came so thicke vpon her afterward, as from the originall cause. For from hence Queene Elizabeth was an open and professed enemie to the Guises, and bare a secret hate against her, which the craftie malice of men did so nourish, the emulation increasing betweene them, and new occasions arising daily, that they could not be extinguished, but with her death.
the years 1560-66 removed
BVt before those Commissioners came from the Queene of Scotland, and a moneth or two after the Prince was Christened; the King her husband in the one and twentieth yeere of his age, in the dead time of the night, by a hatefull and abominable villanie (which all good men doe detest) was strangled in his bed, and cast into a garden, and the house blowne vp with Gun-powder. A rumour forthwith was diuulged in all Brittaine, and the fault laid vpon Mourton, Murrey, and their confederates. And they insulting vpon the weaknesse of her sex, laid it from themselues vpon the Queene. What George Buchanan hath written hereof, as well in his Historie, as in a Pamphlet called the Detection, is knowne to all men by those printed bookes. But since hee, carried away with partiall affection, and with the gifts of Murrey, wrote in that manner, those bookes were condemned of falshood, by the Estates of the Realme of Scotland, vnto whom more credit is to bee giuen: And he himselfe lamented and bewailed vnto the King (whose Schoolemaster hee was) reprouing himselfe oftentimes (as I haue heard) that he had written so spightfully against the well-deseruing Queene: And at his death, wished that he might haue liued so long, vntill hee might wipe out with a recantation, or with his bloud, the spots and staines hee had falsly laid on her. But that (as hee said) would be to no purpose, since he should seeme to doat [page 29] for old age. Let it bee lawfull for me (that the other part may also bee heard) in few words to lay open all the matter as much as I can vnderstand without any hate or loue, as well out of the writings of other men which were set forth at that time, but suppressed in fauour of Murrey, and vpon hatred vnto the Queene Captiue in England, as also out of the letters of Embassadors, and of men of good credit.
In the yeere of our Lord one thousand fiue hundred fiftie and eight, at the mariage of Francis the Dolphin, and of MARIE Queene of Scotland, Iames the Queenes Bastard-brother, commonly called the Prior of Saint Andrewes, disdaining that Religious appellation, sued for a more honourable title: which when she, by the aduice of the Guises her Vncles, would not grant, he returned into Scotland much offended, and began to make broiles vnder a goodly pretence of the reformation of Religion, and assuring the libertie of Scotland; and effected it so farre, that Religion was changed in an assembly of the Confederates, without the Queenes priuitie: And the French men were remoued out of Scotland by the helpe of the English men they had brought in: Francis the King of France being deceased, he poasted into France, vnto his sister, and laying from himselfe whatsoeuer had beene done in Scotland against her profit or credit, calling God to witnesse, solemnly promised to doe all the kind offices which a sister could expect at the hands of a brother. And conceiuing also a hope, that she being bred vp from her tender yeeres in the delights of France, would not returne into Scotland, dealt with the Guises, that some one of the Scottish Nobilitie might be named Regent of Scotland, and as with his finger, shewed himselfe as the fittest man. But when he was sent backe into Scotland, with no other authoritie, but onely with Letters Patents, wherein the [page 30] Queene gaue authoritie to assemble the Nobilitie, and to aduise and conferre about the good of the common wealth; hee being deiected and [...]ustrate of his hope, returning thorow England, in a rage and furie put into their heads, that if they desired or had a care of the preseruation of Religion in Scotland, the tranquillitie of England, and securitie of Queene Elizabeth, they should hinder the returne of the Queene of Scotland into Scotland, by one meanes or other. Yet shee arriued safe in Scotland, passing by the English Fleet in a thicke mist, and vsing her brother with all courtesie, commended the gouernment of all the affaires into his hands.
Yet these things did not cut off the branches of his ambition, which daily sprang out, both in words and deeds: For neither could he containe himselfe, but that oftentimes amongst his friends he would lament, that the warlike Scottish Nation, no lesse than that of the English men, was subiected to the gouernment of a woman, and out of the doctrine of Knox (whom hee accounted as a Patriarke) hee would often discourse that Kingdomes were due vnto vertue, not vnto kindred: That women were to bee excluded from the succession of Kingdomes; and that their rule was monstrous. Hee dealt also with the Queene by his friends, that she would substitute some out of the familie of the Stewarts, who if she died without issue, should succeed one after another in the Kingdome; and not to haue any regard whether they were legitimate or illegitimate, hoping that he should be one of them, being a Kings sonne, although illegitimate. But the Queene, when she out of her wisdome weighed, that such a substitution was a thing contrary to the Lawes of the Land, and would be a wrong vnto the right heires, a most pernicious example, and perillous also for the substitutes themselues, yea and a barre vnto her to keepe her from [page 31] mariage againe. She answered mildly, that she would take deliberation in the matter, and consult with the Estates of the Realme about it. And to shew herselfe courteous and bountifull to her brother, she created him Earle of Marre, and afterward Earle of Murrey (because Marre was in controuersie) and aduanced him to an honourable mariage: All this shee did, being all this while ignorant that hee affected the Kingdome, (bragging that he was the lawfull sonne of Iames the fift.) And to make the way thereunto, he through the fauourwherein hee stood with the Queene, oppressed the most noble familie of the Gordons, who had very many vassals, tenants and retainers, whom hee feared much, both in respect of himselfe, and of their religion: And banished from the Court the Duke of Chasteauleroy (who was accounted the next heire to the Crowne) imprisoned the Earle of Arran his sonne, banished Bothwell into England, and put all them that he thought might crosse him, out of office: And he as a Guardian kept the Queene as his Ward, and at his command, being most carefull and diligent to keepe her from mariage.
And as soone as he vnderstood, that on the one side the Emperour sued to her for his brother, and the King of Spaine for his sonne; he disswaded her vtterly from them both: because (forsooth) the libertie of Scotland would not, nor could not endure a forraigne Prince. And whensoeuer that gouernment descended vnto women, that they maried no other husbands, but of the Scottish Nation: But afterwards, when all the Scots generally wished to see her maried, and hee found out that the Countesse of Lennox had so prouidently wrought, that shee inclined to marrie Darly; hee also commended him as a good husband for her, hoping the young man, being of a soft nature, would be ruled [page 32] by him in all things. Yet when hee saw the Queene to loue Darly exceedingly, and he himselfe to grow out of her fauour, hee repented him of his counsell hee had giuen, and willed Queene Elizabeth to hinder her mariage by one meanes or other.
The mariage being made vp, and Darly proclaimed King, when the Queene reuoked the donations made to him and others, against the Lawes in her minoritie; hee with other, put himselfe in armes against the King; alleadging, that the new King was an enemie vnto the Religion of the Protestants; and that he was maried without the consent of the Queene of England. But hee fled into England (as I haue already said) neuer aduenturing to fight: And being frustrate of all hope of helpe from thence, hee dealt by letters with Mourton, a profound subtill man, who was as his other selfe, that since the mariage could not bee dissolued, yet that the loue betweene the parties might be broken by some secret deuices: and a fit occasion offered it selfe; for she vpon the arising of some priuate discontent, to keepe vnder the swelling minde of the young man, and to conserue her royall authoritie whole to her selfe, had begunne to set her husbands name last in the Proclamations and Records, and to omit it vtterly in the coine.
Mourton being a cunning man to breed discontents, with his flattering words crept into the Kings good liking and opinion, and then perswaded him to take vpon him the Crowne of the Realme, yea, in despight of the Queene, and to make himselfe free from the gouernment of women; for that it is the condition of women, said he, to obey, and of men to rule. By this counsell, if it were taken, he hoped not onely to draw away the loue of the Queene, but of all the Nobilitie and commons also from the King, to estrange the [page 33] Queene, and with diuers slanders first heartened the King to murther Dauid Rizius a Piedmountoys, lest that politike fellow should preuent their purposes (this man was a Musitian by profession, and came the last yeere with Moret the Embassador of Sauoy; and by the Queene for his wit and dexteritie receiued into her houshold and fauour, and preferred to write her French letters, and vnto her priuie Councell in the absence of the Secretarie.) Then to estrange her loue the more, he perswaded the King to bee present at the murder, with Ruthen and the rest, who rushing together with him in to the Queenes dining Parlour, at supper time (shee sitting at the table with the Countesse of Argile) assaulted the fellow with their naked swords, as he tasted meat taken from the Queenes table, at the Cupbord (as the seruants of the priuie Chamber vse to doe) before her face, being great with childe, trembling with feare, setting a Pistoll at her breast; so that shee was in danger of abortion, and dragged him into the vtter Chamber, where they most cruelly killed him, and shut vp the Queene into a Parlour: Mourton all this while guarding all the passages.
This murther was committed the euening before the day appointed vnto Murrey to appeare for his triall in the assembly of the Estates for his rebellion, who came in on the next day, when no body expected him, and no man appeared against him in that troublesome time: So that it may seeme that the murder of Dauid was hastened of set purpose to procure the securitie and safety of Murrey. Yet the Queene at the earnest suit of the King, receiued him courteously, and continued in brotherly loue towards him. But the King when he considered the enormitie of the offence (and seeing now the Queene to bee very angry) repented his rashnesse, and in humble manner submitted himselfe vnto [page 34] her clemencie, weeping and lamenting, and asking pardon, did ingenuously confesse, that he committed that hainous offence by the instigation of Murrey and Mourton: and from thenceforth did so hate Murrey, (for Mourton, Ruthen, and others, were fled into England vpon the murther, with the commendatorie letters of Murrey vnto Bedford) that hee deuised to kill him. But when out of wrath and rashnesse, hee could not conceale his purpose, nor (such was his respect vnto the Queene his wife) durst execute it; he told her how profitable it would bee for the common-wealth, and also for the securitie of the royall familie, if Murrey were rid out of the way. She detesting the thing, terrified him euen with threats, from such enterprises, putting him in hope of reconciliation. Yet hee when hee saw, to his hearts griefe, the Bastard to be of such power with the Queene, out of his impatience hee plotted the same matter with others; which when it came to the eares of Murrey, to preuent him, vnder colour of dutie, hee laieth closer snares for the young man, vsing Mourton (though absent) for his counsellor.
They thought it requisite aboue all things, vtterly to auert the Queenes minde from the King; and by flatterie to induce Bothwell, lately reconciled vnto Murrey, and in great fauour with the Queene, into their societie, shewing him a hope to be diuorced from his wife, and to marrie with the Queene, as soone as she was widow. And for the performance of these things, and also to defend him against all persons, they bound themselues vnder their hands and seales, being perswaded, if the matter hit right, that they might by one labour kill the King, vtterly discredit the Queene amongst the Nobilitie and Commons, vndoe Bothwell vtterly, and bring the gouernment of all the affaires vnto their hands.
Bothwell being a lewd minded man, blinded with [page 35] ambition, and therefore venturous to attempt, quickly laid hold on the hope offered vnto him, and villanously committed the murther. But Murrey had secretly gone home a prettie way off, fifteene houres before, that he might no way be suspected; and that hee might from thence giue aid vnto the Conspirators, when any need was, and all the suspition might light vpon the Queene. As soone as hee returned vnto the Court, both he and the Conspirators commended vnto her Bothwell, as most worthy of her loue, for the Nobilitie of his familie, his valour shewed against the English, and his approued fidelitie. They put in her head, that shee being alone and solitarie, was not able to represse the tumults that were raised, preuent secret plots, and vphold the burthen and heauie weight of the Kingdome. Therefore she might doe well to take as a Companion of her bed, counsell, and danger, the man that could, would, and durst oppose himselfe against all trouble. And they draue and enforced her so farre, that the fearefull woman, daunted with two tragicall murthers, and remembring the fidelitie and constancie of Bothwell towards her and her mother, and hauing no other friend vnto whom to resort, but vnto her brothers fidelitie, gaue her consent: Yet vpon these conditions, that aboue all this, prouision might bee made for the safetie of her little sonne; and then, that Bothwell as well might bee cleered from the murther of the King, as also from the bond of his former mariage.
What George Earle of Huntley, and the Earle of Argile, men of great Nobilitie in Scotland, did forthwith protest of this matter, I thinke good to set downe in this place, out of the originall, with their owne hands, sent vnto Queene Elizabeth, which I haue seene. Forasmuch as Murrey and others, to cloake their rebellion against the Queene (whose authoritie they vsurpe) doe [page 36] slander her openly, as priuie and consenting vnto her husbands death: Wee doe publikely protest and sweare these things. In the Moneth of December, in the yeere of our Lord God one thousand fiue hundred fiftie and six, when the Queene lay at Cragmyller, Murrey and Lidington did acknowledge before vs, That Mourton, Lyndsey, and Ruthen killed Dauid Rizio, for no other end, but to procure the safetie of Murrey, who was to bee attainted at the same time. Therefore lest they should bee vnthankfull, they wished that Mourton and the rest, banished for the death of Dauid, might bee brought home againe: And this they insinuated could not be done, except the Queene were separated by a diuorce from the King, which they promised to effect, if wee would grant our consents. And afterwards Murrey promised vnto me George Earle of Huntley, the restitution of my ancient Patrimonie, and perpetuall fauour of the banished men, if I would fauour the diuorce. Then they went vnto Bothwell, that hee should consent thereunto. Lastly, we came vnto the Queene, and Lidington in all our names besought her exceedingly to remit the sentence of exile against Mourton, Lyndsey and Ruthen: He exaggerated the faults and crimes of the King with bitter words; and shewed, that it was much for the good and benefit of the Queene and the Common-wealth, that a diuorce were speedily sued out: forasmuch as the King and she could not liue together with securitie in Scotland. She answered, she had rather depart into France, and liue priuately for a time, vntill her husband acknowledged his faults: for she would haue nothing to be done that should be wrong to her sonne, or dishonour vnto her selfe. Hereunto Lidington replied, saying: Wee that are of your Councell will prouide for that. But I command you (said she) not to doe any thing which may bee a blemish to my honour, or a staine to my conscience. Let things be as they be, vntill God aboue doe remedie it: That which you thinke may [page 37] be good for mee, may proue euill. Vnto whom Lidington said, Commit the matter vnto vs, and you shall see nothing done but that which is good, and that which shall be allowed in the Parliament. Hereupon, since that within a few daies after, the King was most shamefully murdered; Wee out of the inward testimonie of our conscience, are most assured, that Murrey and Lidington were the authors and perswaders of this murder of the King, whosoeuer were the actors of the same. Thus much Huntley and Argile.
Now the Conspirators applied all their skill that Bothwell might be cleared of killing the King: Therefore without delay, the Parliament is summoned for no other cause, and Proclamations are set out to apprehend the persons suspected for murdering the King. And when Lennox, father to the murdered King, accused and charged Bothwell as the Regicide, and was very importunate that Bothwell might bee brought to triall before the Parliament began: This also was granted; and Lennox commanded to come in with his accusation within twentie daies. On which day, when hee heard nothing from the Queene of England, and could not bee present in the Citie full of his enemies, without danger of his life; Bothwell was brought to the Barre, and arraigned, and acquitted by the sentence of the Iudges; Mourton also vpholding and maintaining his cause, and openly taking his part.
This businesse being finished, the Conspirators wrought so, that the most of the Nobilitie gaue their consent vnto the mariage, vnder their hands and seales, lest he (frustrated of the promised mariage) should appeach them as contriuers of the murder. But of this mariage of the Queene with Bothwell (who was created Duke of the Orkeneis) the suspition increased with all men, that the Queene was consenting to the Kings death: which the Conspirators increased by letters sent 38 into all places, and in their secret meetings at Dunkelden they conspired forthwith to kill Bothwell, and depriue the Queene: Yet Murrey, that hee might be thought cleere of this conspiracie, obtained leaue of the Queene (but hardly) to trauell into France. And that he might put all diffidence out of her head, hee commended all his affaires and estate in Scotland, vnto the fidelitie of the Queene and Bothwell. Hee was scarce gone out of England, but behold the same men which had cleered and acquitted Bothwell from the murder, and consented vnto the mariage vnder their hands and seales, tooke vp armes against Bothwell, as meaning to apprehend him: And indeed they secretly willed him to saue himselfe by flight, for no other intent, but that hee should not be taken, and discouer all their plot, and withall, that they might lay hold of. his flight, as an argument or reason to accuse the Queene of killing the King. But shee being taken, they vsed her most contumeliously, and in most vnseemely fashion, and putting on her an old cloake, thrust her into prison at Lochleuyn, vnder the custodie of the mother of Murrey, who had beene the Concubine of Iames the fift, who most malapertly insulted ouer the calamitie of the imprisoned Queene, boasting that shee her selfe was the lawfull wife of Iames the fift, and that her sonne Murrey was his lawfull issue.
As soone as Queene Elizabeth vnderstood these things, in her minde detesting this barbarous insolencie of Subiects (whom she called oftentimes Traitors, Rebels, vnthankfull and cruell fellowes) against a Princesse, her sister, and neighbour; She sent Nicholas Throgmorton into Scotland, to expostulate with the conspirators for this insolencie vsed against their Queene, and to take some course how to restore her into her former libertie, and for the seuere punishment of the murderers [page 37] of the King; and that the young King might be sent into England, that order might bee taken for his securitie, and not sent into France. And what I shall hereafter declare (during his abode in Scotland) take yee vpon the credit of his letters, which is approued.
He found the most part in Scotland incensed against the Queene, who in plaine termes denied accesse vnto her, both to him, and also to Villeroy and Crocus the French Embassadors. Yet could not the Conspirators agree among themselues what to doe with her: Lidington and a few others would haue her to be restored vpon these conditions: That the murderers of the King should bee punished according to Law; The Princes safetie prouided for; Bothwell diuorced, and Religion established. Others would haue her to bee banished for euer into France, or into England: So as the King of France or Queene of England, did giue their words, that she should resigne the Kingdome, and transferre all her authoritie vnto her sonne and certaine Noble men. Others were of opinion, that shee should be arraigned publikely, and condemned vnto perpetuall prison, and her sonne crowned King: Lastly, others would haue her depriued both of her life and Kingdome, by a publike execution. And this Knox and some Ministers of the Word, thundered out of their Pulpits.
On the other side, Throgmorton out of the holy Scriptures brought many places to proue, that obedience was to bee yeelded vnto the higher powers, that carry the sword: And wittily argued, that the Queene was not subiect to the iudgement of any, but onely of the celestiall Iudge: That she could not be arraigned or brought to triall before any Iudge on the earth: And that there is no Magistrate had any authoritie in Scotland, which is not deriued from the authoritie of the Queene, and reuocable at her pleasure. They opposed the peculiar Law of the Kingdome, among [...] [page 42] both the parties, before the Commissioners at Yorke.
On the fifth day after the resignation, Iames the Queenes young son was anointed and crowned King, Iohn Knox making the Sermon: The Hamiltons putting in a protestation, that it should be no preiudice vnto the Duke of Chasteauleroy in the right of succession against the familie of Lennox. But Queene ELIZABETH forbade Throgmorton to be present thereat, that shee might not bee thought to allow the vniust abdica[...]ion of the Queene, by the presence of her Embassador.
On the twentieth day after the resignation, Murrey himselfe returned out of France; and the third day after, he with many of the Conspirators came vnto the Queene, against whom hee laid many hainous crimes, and perswaded her to turne vnto God by true repentance, and to aske mercie of him. She shewed her selfe sorrowfull for the sinnes of her former life, she confessed some things hee obiected, others shee extenuated, others shee excused by humane frailtie, and the most matters shee vtterly denied. Shee required him to take vpon him the gouernment of the affaires for her sonne, and required him earnestly to spare her life, and her reputation. He said, it lay not in his power, but it was to bee sought for of the States of the Realme; yet if shee desired to haue her life and honour saued, hee prescribed these things for her to keepe: That she should not trouble nor disturbe the tranquillitie of the Realme; That she should not steale out of prison, nor moue the Queene of England, or the King of France, to vex Scotland with forraigne or ciuill warre; That she should not loue Bothwell any more, or deuise to take reuenge on the enemies of Bothwell.
The Regent being proclaimed, bound himselfe by his hand and seale, to doe nothing concerning peace or [page 43] warre, the person of the King or his mariage, or the libertie of the Queene, without the consent of the Conspirators. Hee willed Throgmorton by Lidington, not to intreat any more for the Queene; for that hee and the rest had rather endure all things, than that she being freed, should keepe Bothwell companie, bring her sonne into danger, her Countrie into trouble, and also proscribe them. We know (said he) what you English men can doe by warre: You may waste our borders, and we may yours; & we know assuredly, that the French men in regard of our ancient league, will not abandon and forsake vs. He denied also Ligneroll the French Embassador, to haue accesse vnto the Queene, vntill Bothwell was taken; and euery day hee vsed the distressed Queene worse and worse, whereas shee had deserued well at his hands, and contrary to his promise hee had made vnto the King of France. Thus much out of the Letters of Throgmorton.
Shortly after, Murrey put to death Iohn Hepborne, Paris a French man, Daglish, and the other seruants of Bothwell, who had beene present at the Kings death: But they (which Murrey little expected) at the Gallowes protested before God and the Angels, that they vnderstood by Bothwell, that Murrey and Mourton were the authors of killing the King, and cleered the Queene from all suspition; as Bothwell himselfe prisoner in Denmarke all his life time, and at his death, did with many solemne oathes and religious protestations, affirme, that the Queene was not priuie nor consenting to it. And fourteene yeeres after, when Mourton was to suffer death, hee confessed, that Bothwell dealt with him to consent vnto the murder of the King, which when he vtterly denied, except the Queene did command it vnder her hand; To that Bothwell did answer, that could not be done, but that the deed must bee done without her knowledge.
[page 44] This rash, precipitate and ouer-hastie abdication or depriuation of the Queene, and the ouerthwart stubbornnesse of the Conspirators towards the Embassadors, both Queene ELIZABETH and the French King tooke very hainously, as a thing tending to the reproach of royall Maiestie, and began to fauour the Hamiltons, who stood for the Queene. Pasquier also Embassador from the French King, dealt with the Queene of England, that she might be restored by force of armes; but shee thought it the better way to forbid the Scots all trafficke in France and England, vntill shee was deliuered; and so by that meanes the common people might bee disioned from the Noblemen, who (as it seemed) were vnited in the conspiracie against the Queene.
the year 1568 removed
NOw Murrey, who had made himselfe a secure way to returne into Scotland, by the hope made to the Queene of Scotland of her restitution, and to Norfolke, and to others in England (for shee had repressed the Scots that lay in wait to kill him, and charged them not to impeach his returne) As soone as hee came vnto Edenburgh, he called the Noblemen friends to the Queene, vnder the colour to consult with them about her restitution. And when Hamilton Duke of Chasteauleroy, appointed Lieutenant by the Queene, and Herris perswaded by the letters of the Queene, too much credulous, came thither first, Murrey fearing some traps, circumuented them; and staying for no moe, put them in prison, and forthwith annoied and vexed the friends of the Queene with fire and sword.
Hereupon were rumours spread in all places of England against Murrey, namely, that hee had made a pact with Queene ELIZABETH that the young King of [page 62] Scotland should bee deliuered vnto Queene ELIZABETH, to be brought vp in England: That the Castles of Edenburgh and Sterling should bee furnished with Garrisons of English men: That Dunbritton should be wonne for the benefit of the English: That Murrey should bee proclaimed successor vnto the Realme of Scotland, if the King died without issue, and should hold the Kingdome of Queene ELIZABETH, by fealtie and homage. These reports increased, and with a certaine probabilitie did so possesse mens mindes thorow all Britanie, that Queene ELIZABETH thought good, for the conseruation of her owne credit, and for the good of Murrey, to wipe away these blots. Therefore in a writing printed, she declared in the word of a Prince, that these reports were most vntrue, and deuised by them who enuied the tranquillitie of both the Kingdomes; and that there had beene no pact either by word or writing betweene her or her Agents and Murrey, since hee came last into England, that she knew of; but that the Earle of Lennox Grandfather of the young King had requested, that the King if hee could not bee safe in Scotland from the plots of wicked men, might be sent into England. Moreouer, she affirmed, that whatsoeuer is said of the paction betweene Murrey and the Earle of Hertford, namely, that they would giue mutuall helpe the one to the other, to get the Crownes of both the Kingdomes, to be vtterly false and vntrue. Lastly, that she was not the cause why the transaction betweene the Queene of Scotland and her little sonne was not concluded; and that shee will labour all that shee may, that it may bee effected. And indeed she did her best endeuour, though shee was tossed on the one side with feare out of the inueterate emulation, which doth neuer die betweene women Princesses; and on the other side, with compassion [page 63] remembring oftentimes the frail[...]ie of mankinde.
The Queene of Scotland kindled more this compassion and minished the feare with her often and louing letters; in which she solemnely promised, both for the courtesie which shee had found at her hands, and also for the neere bloud of kindred which was betweene them; that shee would attempt nothing against her, and that shee would not bee beholding to any other Prince for her restitution, but onely vnto her. Insomuch that Queene ELIZABETH dealt earnestly with Murrey, by Wood his Secretarie, and with other Scots about the restoring of her vnto her former dignitie and estate, and if that could not bee granted, then that shee might bee ioined with her sonne; and if that could not be granted neither, yet that shee might liue a priuate life at home among her friends, freely, securely, and honourably. But shee could not stirre or moue Murrey (who had all the gouernment in his hand) to yeeld a iot.
About the same time, a still rumor went vp and downe amongst men of the better sort, that the Duke of Norfolke would marrie the Queene of Scotland, which was a thing well taken of many, but in sundry manners, according as men wished. For the Papists hereby hoped to haue some good for their religion; and others hoped some profit would arise thereby vnto the Common-wealth. But many men, who saw the Queene was not minded to marrie, and that forreigne Princes, enemies vnto England, did cast their eies vpon the Queene of Scotland, as the most certaine Heire of England, thought it would bee a better way to establish quietnesse, and to containe the Queene of Scotland within bounds; that shee were maried to the Duke of Norfolke, the greatest and most honourable [page 64] man of England, and a man in the loue of the people, and bred vp in the Religion of the Protestants, rather than to a forreigne Prince, who might bring both the Kingdomes into danger by her meanes, and also come so to inherit both the Kingdomes, which they heartily wished might be consolidated in a Prince of the English Nation, if the King of Scotland should happen to die, whom they also purposed to bring into England, that hee being the true heire of England, being brought vp amongst the English, might be better loued of the English men. And thus all the scruples about the succession might be taken away, Queene ELIZABETH should haue no cause to feare the Duke, and the Queene of Scotland; when she had the King in her hands. Moreouer, that the Duke should attempt nothing against him, but loue him more dearely; They determined to espouse Margaret the Dukes onely and little daughter vnto him, to bee maried together when they came to riper yeeres. Amongst these were the Earles of Arundell, Northumberland, Westmerland, Sussex, Pembrooke, and Southampton,, and very many Barons, yea, and Leicester himselfe, whether in pollicie, and to worke the Dukes destruction, it is vncertaine: yet all these thought it good to acquaint the Queene with the matter, and to leaue the decision thereof to her pleasure, and that she should prescribe the conditions for the full securitie and safetie of her owne person, Religion and the Realme. But now take the matter briefly if you please, from the very beginning out of the written confession of the Duke, which I haue seene, and the memorials of the Bishop of Rosse, who was the greatest dealer in this businesse.
When the Commissioners met at Yorke the last yeere, Lidington and the Bishop of Rosse to winne his fauour, talked with the Duke of a mariage to bee made bebetweene [page 65] him and the Queene of Scotland: and so did Murrey himselfe with the Duke at Hampton Court, who in priuate talke with the Duke, and also with many others, fained that he wished nothing more, than that matters in Scotland being set in good order, the Queene of Scotland his dearest sister, might be restored vnto her former dignitie and estate, so that onely she would sincerely and vnfainedly receiue into her former fauour and grace her subiects, and that all the remembrances of all offences might be quite forgotten. Yet he feared, if she maried a husband out of her owne choice, from France, Spaine, or Austria, that shee would reuenge the iniuries she had receiued, change the Religion receiued in Scotland, and procure great danger vnto Engl[...]d. To preuent these things, he promised to bestow all his labour, that where shee who had first maried a boy, then a rash and heady young man, and lastly too a madbraine (those were his very words) might now bee maried to the Duke, a man of discretion; which thing might turne vnto the tranquillitie of both the Realmes, the securitie of both the Princes, and especially to the establishing of Religion, since he (such was his respect vnto the Queene of England) might more prosperously containe Scotland in the amitie of the English, and might with the more ease draw the Queene of Scotland vnto the true Religion which he professed. With these same things Murrey also secretly acquainted the Queene of Scotland by Robert Meluin, and offered his labour very officiously, toward the effecting thereof. But the Duke answered, that he could determine nothing about the mariage, before that shee did cleere her selfe of the crimes obiected against her; yet Rosse as diligently as hee could, ceased not to draw him to it, being vnwilling.
A few daies after, Nicholas Throgmorton met the [page 66] Duke in the Court at Westminister, vnto whom he profesled and offered his seruice very kindly, and signified that Leicester would talke with the Duke, about the mariage betweene him and the Queene of Scotland, which Throgmorton said, seemed strange to him, since Leicester himselfe sued for the same mariage not long since. But he willed the Duke in friendship, if it were so, that he should giue the honour of that mariage vnto Leicester, who had beene before time a suiter therein. But if hee stood stifly in it, to denie and refuse it, because that the Scots did charge her with very many hainous crimes. But yet, said Throgmorton, I wish from my heart, that shee were maried vnto you, as well for the good of Religion, as also that shee may not depend of any other but on our Queene. Yet this I forewarne you, if you doe any thing in this matter, let Leicester guide you by aduice; for you of yourselfe shall hardly get the Queenes consent.
A day or two after, Leicester moued the matter to the Duke, who answered iust euen as Throgmorton sorewarned him; and when hee came to speake of the crimes, Leicester extenuated the same, and called Richard Candish witnesse, whose seruice (though suspected) he commended vnto the Duke. Then Leicester told Pembrooke of the matter, and the Duke told Arundell; and they together with Throgmorton in their letters commended vnto the Queene of Scotland, the Duke as a fit husband (which Murrey had done also before:) The Duke also wrote and signified his loue, and offered his seruice in very louing words. From that time he imparted vnto them all the letters he wrote vnto her, or receiued from her; and they talked oftentimes with Rosse about the manner of concluding it. And by Richard Candish they propounded in the yeere one thousand fiue hundred threescore and eight, vnto [page 67] the Queene of Scotland these Articles written with Leicesters hand: viz.
That she attempt nothing to the hurt of the Queene of [Note: 1 ] England and her children in the succession of the Kingdome of England.
Shee should make a league defensiue and offensiue betweene [Note: 2 ] the two Realmes.
Shee should establish the Religion of the Protestants in [Note: 3 ] Scotland.
Shee should receiue into her fauour the Scots which [Note: 4 ] were now her aduersaries.
She should reuoke the assignation of the Kingdome of [Note: 5 ] England made vnto the Duke of Anjeou.
She should marie some English Nobleman, namely, the [Note: 6 ] Noble Prince Thomas Duke of Norfolke.
If she gaue her consent vnto these Articles, they promised to procure the Queene of Englands assent, and that she should bee shortly restored vnto her Realme, and also bee confirmed in the succession of England. She readily admitted them all, but onely that she could say nothing vnto the league, before the French King was certified thereof. Shee protested that there was no assignation made vnto the Duke of Anjeou; yet she would procure him to make a release and renuntiation (if they stood vpon it.) And willed them aboue all things, to get the consent of the Queene of England, lest some hurt did come vnto her and the Duke for want thereof, which shee had experimented in the mariage with DARLY without her consent. Yet they thought best to trie first the mindes of more Noblemen; of whom most gaue their consent, with this clause, So that the Queene was not against it. Neither did the Kings of France and Spaine dislike it, onely they feared Murrey, lest hee that had first broached the matter, and promised to further it all that hee could, should [page 68] first hinder it. Yet they agreed on this, that Lidington who was then expected, should bee the first to trie the minde of Queene ELIZABETH. In the meane time the Duke imparted to the Lord Lumley whatsoeuer had beene done in this businesse, and with much adoe obtained of Leicester to aske the aduice of some other friends. Yet a while after, he opened the matter by the consent of Pembrooke vnto Cecill also.
About which time, Leonard Dacres deuised and compassed to steale secretly away the Queene of Scotland out of prison at Whinfield, where shee was kept by the Earle of Shrewsburie Northumberland being priuie vnto this deuice, signified it vnto the Duke, who forbade them to doe it; for hee feared they would haue deliuered her to be maried vnto the King of Spaine, and hoped to obtaine the consent of Queene ELIZABETH, [...]re it was long.
But the rumor of this mariage came more plainly to the Queenes eare, by the Ladies and women of the Court, who smell out cunningly and quickly these loue matters. Which when the Duke vnderstood to be true, he dealt very earnestly with Leicester, both by Throgmorton and by Pembrooke, to open the matter speedily vnto the Queene: he made delaies, and lingred, as it were, to stay for a fit time to speake. But Cecill willed the Duke (who was now full of care) to open all the matter to the Queene himselfe, whereby all scruple might bee speedily taken away from the Queene and from himselfe also. Leicester was against it, and promised to open the matter to the Queene in the progresse. But in the time that hee put it off with smooth words, from one day vnto another, the Queene being at Farneham, set the Duke at her table, and bitingly willed him to take [...]eed on what Pillow hee laid his head. Then at Titchfield Leicester was somewhat sicke, or else [page 69] fained so to bee: and vnto the Queene that came to see him, and cheered him comfortably, and perceiuing his spirit and bloud to bee drawne inward for feare, with sighs, and asking pardon of his fault, hee opened the whole matter from the beginning.
At which time the Queene called the Duke vnto her in a gallery, and chid him very much, that without her priuitie he had sued vnto [...]he Queene of Scotland in the way of mariage; and commanded him vpon his allegeance, to cease from further medling therein. He promised so to doe willingly and gladly, and doubted not to say (as though hee cared not a whit for her) that his reuenues in England, were little lesse than those of the Kingdome of Scotland, at this time lamentably impouerished by the warres; and also when hee was in his Tennis-court at Norwich, he seemed to himselfe to bee equall, after a sort, vnto many Kings. But from that time, he began to bee more deiected in minde, and when hee saw the Queene to looke and speake to him more sternely, and Leicester in a manner estranged, and most of the Noblemen to steale away out of his companie, scarce saluting or speaking to him, hasted vnto London without taking any leaue, and went in to Pembrooke, who bade him be of good cheere, and comforted him very much. And on that same very day Queene ELIZABETH reiected with shew of displeasure the Scottish Embassador, intreating her very much to deliuer the Queene captiue, and bade that she should behaue her selfe quietly, lest shortly shee saw them on whom she chiefly relied to hop headlesse.
And now when the rumor of the mariage was hotter euery day than other, and the French Embassador exceedingly vrged her deliuerie (more by the perswasion of some English men, than by the commandement of the French King, as it was after knowne:) new [page 70] suspicions from euery place were laid hold on: and Cecill who applied all his care for the good of the Republike and Religion, was very diligent to finde the depth of the matter; and therefore wrote vnto Sussex Lord President of the North, who was a familiar friend, and neere allied in bloud vnto the Duke, to certifie the Queene what he knew of the Dukes mariage. But his answer is vnknowne vnto mee. And where it had beene obserued, that the Duke had many secret conferences with Murrey Regent of Scotland at Hampton Court; George Cary sonne to the Lord Hunsdon was sent secretly vnto Murrey, to learne of him if the Duke had imparted vnto him any thing about this mariage. The Duke in the meane while, terrified with a false rumor spread, that there was a commotion raised in the North, and being certified by Leicester, that he should bee put in prison, went out of the way into Norfolke, whiles his friends in the Court (who had promised so much) might auert & turne aside the storme that hung ouer his head, & he himselfe might mitigate the Queenes displeasure by his humble letters. But there were men set about him to marke and note all his actions. When he found no comfort among his friends, and Heydon, Cornwallis, and other worshipfull Gentlemen of those parts, perswaded him, if he were guiltie of any offence toward the Queene, to flie vnto her mercie; he wauered, and was tormented with diuersitie of cares. In this while was the Court in quandarie, suspitious and fearefull that he would breake out into rebellion; and they say, it was determined to kill the Queene of Scotland presently if he did so.
But hee, out of his inbred good nature, and out of his conscience, that hee had not offended against any Law made treason (for that act of marying the Kings sisters, or brothers, or aunts children, without the [page 71] Kings knowledge, made treason by Henry the eighth, was repealed by King Edward the sixt) and also for feare lest the Queene of Scotland out of suspicion should be vsed more hardly and extremely, hee sent letters vnto his friends in the Court, and told them, that hee stept aside vnto his house, that in time, and by his absence, he might procure a remedy against malicious rumours, which are at all times entertained with open eares in the Court, and asked pardon most humbly for his offence, and forthwith tooke his iourney toward the Court.
As he returned, at Saint Albans, Owen a gentleman belonging to the Earle of Arundell, sent secretly by Throgmorton and Lumley, who were committed, willed him to take all the fault vpon himselfe, and not to lay it vpon Leicester and others, lest he should make his friends his enemies. There Edward Fitz-Gerard brother vnto the Earle of Kildare (Lieutenant of the Pensioners) met and receiued him, and conueyed him vnto Burnham three miles from Windsor (where the Queene then lay.) Foure daies after, the Abbot of Dunfermelling deliuered the letters of Murrey, Regent of Scotland, vnto the Queene; in which hee shewed her, that the Duke dealt with him secretly at Hampton Court, to fauour his mariage with the Queene of Scotland; and that if hee would not, he threatned him exceedingly, and that hee promised to fauour it, that he might preuent and auoid the await & ambuscado laid by one Norton to kill him; from whom and others, the Duke gaue his word hee should returne without danger. And that shortly after, the Duke requested him by his letters written in Ciphers, to giue his consent vnto the mariage. Moreouer, that the Duke did signifie vnto him by Boyd, that hee would neuer forsake and abandon the Queene of Scotland; and further, that the agents of the same Queene [page 72] had almost perswaded the R[...]gent that Queene ELIZABETH had consented to the mariage; and also that she had offered to her the hope of the Kingdome of England. And Queene ELIZABETH also found out, that shee had signified vnto certaine Noblemen of England, to winne them vnto her side; that shee went about that businesse, which would bee very necessary for the most certaine securitie of the Queene of England, and the like safetie for both the Kingdomes.
The Duke, who had secret and warie commerce of letters (which were sent priuily in Ale-bottles) with the Bishop of Rosse, Leicester and Throgmorton was about this time examined about this mariage with the Queene of Scotland, and his secret conferences with the Bishop of Rosse, and confessed most things, was sent to the Tower of London, vnder the keeping of Sir Henry Neuill Knight, being bitterly reproued that hee had departed from the Court without leaue obtained, and charged as though he had intended to rebell. Two daies after, the Bishop of Rosse was examined in like manner, and Robert Ridolph, the Gentleman of Florence, whom the Bishop of Rosse & others vsed familiarly, is deliuered vnto the custodie of Francis Walsingham. The Earle of P[...]mbrooke is commanded to keepe his house, and is priuately examined; yet in regard of his Nobilitie and old age, hee had the fauour, that his examination was not set downe in writing. Which thing he required, because he could not write. Some Noblemen were forbidden the Court, as priuie to these matters, who humbly confessed that they with the Duke agreed to the mariage, which Murrey had first propounded; yet so that the Duke, the Queene of Scotland and they, willed that the matter should bee referred vnto the Queene before the mariage was to be solemnized, and desired pardon for their offence. In like manner [page 73] the Earles of Northumberland and Westmerland, who were of this counsell, submitted themselues vnto Sussex Lord President of the North, and besought him to make intercession vnto the Queene for their pardon. Also sundry Pamphlets came out against this mariage, and against the Queene of Scotland, and the right by which shee claimed to become heire vnto England; wherein they shewed their wits with such malapert saucinesse, that the Queene thought once to haue forbidden them by seuere edict, and permitted the Bishop of Rosse (winking thereat) to make answer; who forthwith set forth a booke vnder the name of Morgan Philips, against them, wherein hee defended the honour of his Queene, her right to succeed, and the gouernment of women (for this also was impugned) but ingenuously acknowledged afterward in his Commentaries, that he had his arguments for her right of succession, secretly from Anthonie Browne chiefe Iustice in the common Place, and Carrell an excellent good common Lawyer.
Shortly after, befell the rebellion in the North, raised by the Earles of Northumberland and Westmerland, with many other Gentlemen. Who when they vnderstood for certaine, that the Queene of Scotland (whom to set at libertie, they had principally taken armes) was caried away from Tutburie vnto Couentrie, vnder the keeping of the Earles of Shrewsburie and Huntingdon; and also moued with the great preparation of the Queene, they with a few others fled into Scotland.
the years 1570-83 removed
IN the beginning of the Spring, some of the Scots returned out of Ireland, vpon a pact made betweene them and Gowry, who had conspired anew with diuers, to take the King againe; professing that they set before their eies nothing else but the glory of God, the truth of Religion, the securitie of the King and Realme, and the amitie with England, against them who by sinister meanes (as they gaue out) abused the [page 146] King, not yet come vnto sufficient age. But the King hearing hereof, sent Colonell Stewart to apprehend Gowry, who lay at the Hauen of Dondee, as if hee had beene going out of the land; who after hee had defended himselfe an houre or two in his house, was taken and carried away vnto prison.
In the meane time the other Conspirators tooke Sterling by sudden surprize, and the Castle was yeelded vnto them; yet by and by they leaue them both, because the King displaied his banners, as ready to fight, not so many met, as Gowry had promised, and their hope of English helpe failed them; and so for feare, Marre, Glamis and Angus, who was come to them, and others fled into England, humbly beseeching the Queene to releeue their necessities, and to intreat the King for them: Forasmuch as they had lost all their goods and the Kings fauour, for shewing their loue to her and England, vnto whom shee thought good to shew some fauour, that they might bee opposed against the contrary faction in Scotland, and the rather for that the Ministers bruted, that the King was vpon the point to fall from his Religion vpon no other ground (though they fained other matters) but for that hee vpon a fi[...]all loue inclined to his mother, and receiued into his especiall fauour and grace those whom he knew to bee most addicted vnto his mother.
In the meane time Gowry was arraigned before his Peeres at Sterling, vpon these points: That he intended and began a new conspiracie against the King, whom he had also kept prisoner in his house beforetime: That he conferred by night with the seruants of Angus, to seize vpon Perth and Sterling: That he had resisted the Kings authoritie at Dondee; had conceiued a conspiracie against the life of the King, and his mother. Lastly, that he had asked counsell of Maclena the Witch: and [page 147] being found guiltie by his Peeres, he was in the euening beheaded; but his seruants sowing the head vnto the body, buried it incontinently.
About the same time were some practises in England, but with no successe, in the behalfe of the Q of Scotland; of which the chiefest was Francis Throgmorton eldest sonne to Iohn Throgmorton Iustice of Chester; who fell into suspicion out of his letters vnto the Queene of Scotland, which were intercepted. As sonne as hee was taken, and began to confesse some things, Thomas Lord Paget, and Charles Arundel a Courtier, fled out of the land into France, who with other Papists, lamenting their estate among themselues, complained, that the Queene by the wicked and craftie dealings ofe Leicester and Walsingham, was estranged from them: That they were abused with contumelies and reproaches: That strange kinds of subtiltie were inuen ted against them: That secret snares were so cunningly laid, that whether they would or no, they should bee brought within the compasse of treason; and that they had no hope of safetie at home. And to say the truth, very craftie trickes and deuices were deuised and vsed to trie mens minds; counterfeit letters vnder the names of the Queene of Scotland and the fugitiues couertly sent and left in the houses of Papists, spies dispersed in euery place, to hearken after rumours, and to take aduantage of words: bringers of tales, whatsoeuer information they brought, were receiued and entertained; very many examined vpon suspicion, and amongst them, Henry Earle of Northumberland, and his sonne Philip Earle of Arundel commanded to keepe his house, and his wife deliuered vnto the keeping of Thomas Sherley; William Howard, brother to the Earle, and Henry Howard their Vncle, brother vnto the Duke of Norfolke, oftentimes examined concerning letters from the [page 148] Queene of Scotland, from Charles Paget, & who escaped very narrowly for all his prudence and innocencie.
The Lord Paget and Charles Arundel being arriued in France, were watched and obserued by Edward Stafford the Queenes Lieger Embassador with the French King; but yet he could not finde out their purposes and practises. Yet dealt he with the French King, that they, Morgan and other Englishmen, plotting against their Prince and Countrey, might be remoued out of France. He was answered, If they practised any thing in France, that the King would punish them according to the Law; that the King could not take knowledge and doe iustice on them if they bad plotted any thing in England. That all Kingdomes are free vnto them that flie thither for succour, that it behoueth all Kings, euery one to defend and maintaine the liberties of his Kingdome, and that Queene Elizabeth not long since had receiued into her kingdome Montgomery, the Prince of Condee, and other Frenchmen, and that at this very time the Embassador of the King of Nauarre practising some plots, lieth in England.
About such time as these things were done, Bernardino de Mendoza, Embassador for the King of Spaine in England, passed in great secrecie into France, fretting and fuming as if he had beene driuen violently out of England, and the right of an Embassador thereby violated, when he himselfe being a man of a violent and turbulent spirit, abusing the sacred right of Embassade vnto treason, was to be pursued (as many were of opinion) after the ancient manner of seueritie, with fire and sword, and commanded to depart out of the Kingdome; for he medled and was accessary with the wicked plots of Throgmorton and others, to bring in forraine power into England, & to dispossesse the Queene. And when he was mildly reproued of those things, he [page 149] was so farre from wiping the obiections away with a modest answer, that he re-charged againe the Queene and her Counsellors with their detention of the money of the Genowayes, with the succours giuen vnto the Estates of the Netherlands, and vnto the Duke of Aniou, and vnto Don Antonio the Portugall, and with the piracies and spoiles made by Drake.
Yet lest the King of Spaine should thinke that the lewd parts of Mendoza were not reuenged, but the rights of an Embassador violated, William Waad Clerke of the Counsell is sent into Spaine, who should plainly informe him how badly he had discharged the office of an Embassador, and withall should signifie (lest the Queene in sending him away might seeme to renounce the ancient amitie betweene the Kingdomes) that all kinde and friendly offices should be done on her part, if he sent any other as his Embassador, who was desirous and willing to conserue the amitie betweene them; conditionally that the same courtesies might be shewne vnto her Embassadour in Spaine. But when the King of Spaine would not vouchsafe to admit Waad vnto his speech, but referred him to his Counsellors, he taking it in euill part, without feare spake openly, that it was a most vsuall and receiued custome, that Embassadors should be admitted to the presence of Princes, euen by their enemies, and in the time of the hottest warres: And that Charles the fifth the Emperour, father to the King of Spaine, admitted to his presence the Herald, who from the French King denounced warre against him, and in plaine termes denied to acquaint the Counsellors with his errand. And when Idiaques Secretary to the King of Spaine, could by no policie get out of him what his message was, at last he receiued all the matter from Mendoza lurking secretly in France. Then he laying aside his publike person, [page 150] in familiar manner signified vnto Waad, that he was very sorry that there were some who cunningly laboured to breake the amitie, and to nourish discord betweene the Princes; that wrong was done to the Catholike King himselfe, not vnto his Embassadors, first to Despes, and now vnto Mendoza, and that there was no cause why he should accuse vnto the King any more Mendoza, who was sufficiently disgraced by his ignominious sending out of England; or complaine that he was not admitted: And that the Catholike King did no more but like for like, since Mendoza had beene dismissed without audience; and as she had referred Mendoza vnto her Counsellors, so the King in like manner put him off vnto the Cardinall Granuellan. When Waad answered, that there was much difference betweene him who had neuer offended the Catholike King, and Mendoza who had offended grieuously against the Queene, and had a long time not vouchsafed to come vnto her, and had committed things vnfitting an Embassadour. Yet he could not be admitted; and not being heard, he returned home. The most of the crimes which he was to obiect against Mendoza, were taken out of the confession of Throgmorton: Who being readie to be apprehended, had secretly sent a deske (wherein his secrets lay) vnto Mendoza. His other desks being narrowly searched, there were found two Rolls or Lists, in one of the which the names of the Hauens of England which were fit to land Forces, in the other the names of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of England who professed the Roman Catholike Religion, were written downe. As soone as he saw them brought out and shewne to him, he cried out often that he neuer saw them before, and that they were foisted in to worke his destruction, yea euen when he was examined vpon the racke: but laid againe vpon the racke, he denied not [page 151] to answer vnto their Interrogatories. Being asked of those Rolls or Catalogues, and for what purpose they were written, he made this historicall narration: That he a few yeeres since going vnto the waters at the Spaw, did consult and deuise with Ieney and Fra Inglefield how England might be inuaded, and the forme of gouernment thereof altered and changed, and vpon that reason that he set downe the names of the Hauens and of the Noblemen. That Morgan by his letters had signified vnto him out of France, that the Catholike Princes had now consulted and determined that England should be inuaded, and the Queene of Scotland deliuered vnder the conduct of Guise as Generall, who wanted nothing but money and some bands of men in England to ioyne with him to his helpe. To procure these things, that Charles Paget vnder the counterfet name of Mope was sent secretly into Sussex, where the Duke of Guise determined to land his Armie. That he acquainted Mendoza, who had notice and knowledge of these things already by the Conspirators, with the matter, and told him the names of the Hauens and Noblemen. Neither did he denie that he promised his furtherance, and withall to haue admonished Mendoza with what Noblemen he being a publike person should treat of this matter, which he being a priuate man could not doe without great danger: and that he shewed a way to him how some principall Catholikes as soone as the forraine Forces were landed, might leuie souldiers in the Queenes name, and then to ioyne them to the forraine Forces. These things he voluntarily confessed.
Yet at the Barre in the Guildhall of London, being accused of these things, he precisely denied euery one of these things, and auerred that they were meere deuices of his owne head, to auoid the torment of the racke againe; and openly accused the Queene of crueltie, and the examiners of falshood, deuising an escapatorie or starting-hole by the space of time which was betweene [page 152] the fault committed and the iudgement. Forasmuch as in the thirteenth yeere of Queene ELIZABETH certaine things were made treasons, for the which none should be arraigned except the delinquent were indited within six moneths after the fault committed, and the crime was proued by the testimonie and oath of two men, or by the voluntary confession of the offender, without violence; and that this time was expired long since, and that therefore he was not to be arraigned for the same. But the Iudges told him that the crimes obiected vnto him, were not of that kinde, but that he was liable to the Law by an ancient law of treason made in the time of King Edward the third, which admitteth no circumscription of time or proofe, and that by that law the sentence of death was pronounced against him. Being afterward perswaded, he fled vnto the mercy of the Queene, and againe confessed in a writing more fully, all things which he had said before; which things, not perseuering in his words, he began to denie againe at the gallowes, but in vaine.
M. Waad being returned out of Spaine, was sent to the Q. of Scotland, about a treatie to be had between her and Sir Walter Mildmay, which was propounded two yeeres since, and interrupted, as is said before, vnto whom she affirmed with great protestations, with what sinceritie she hath dealt about this treatie, and withall, deuoteth herselfe and all her labour vnto the Queene, and promiseth to depend wholly on her if onely shee would vouchsafe her so much loue and honour. Moreouer, she firmely promised, so that the treatie might goe forward, that she would intercede, yea, and bring to passe that her sonne should receiue Angus and the other Noblemen of Scotland into fauour; and also that the Bishops of Rosse and Glasco, her Agents and Ministers in France, should not plot any thing against the Queene [page 153] and Kingdome of England, and that shee would haue nothing to doe with the Rebels or Fugitiues of England.
Queene ELIZABETH was glad to heare these things, and whereas that Angus, Marre, I Hamilton, and Glammys were fled into England, and making vse of the opportunitie offered, sent Beale vnto the Queene of Scotland, who together with the Earle of Shrewsburie, should shew her, that if shee continued in the same minde with which shee had acquainted Master Waad, that Mildmay should come forthwith vnto her, and treat with her about her libertie, and then should talke with her in the meane while to entreat her sonne the King to restore the Scottish Fugitiues, and to tell her that they had committed no fault against the King, but against some violent Counsellors who gaue him euill counsell; and lastly, that as much as they could they should get out of her the pract[...]ses of the Guises. She being a wise woman, answered; That she much desired that the treatie might goe forward, and that shee requested earnestly of Queene ELIZABETH as of her eldest sister, vnto whom shee gaue all honour. That shee had propounded nothing vnto Master Waad, but vpon condition, and that hee whom shee thought to bee an honest man would not say otherwise. For the restoring of the Scots, that her labour therein would be very necessary, and should not be wanting if she certainly knew any good would redound to her selfe and her sonne, so that they would humbly submit themselues vnto the King, and be obedient vnto him; but if that were not done, that then the Queene should giue aid vnto her sonne, that they might bee reduced vnto their obedience. Moreouer, she doth not cloake nor hide it, that she when she was sickly, committed her selfe and her sonne vnto the care and trust of the Guise her most deare Cousin, of whose purposes or intents shee knew nothing, [page 154] neither would she discouer them if she knew them, vnlesse a firme assurance were giuen her of her libertie; for that it was the part of an vnaduised person to forsake her assured friends, for an vncertaine hope. She requested that she being an absolute Prince; might bee no more dishonourably vsed, than Queene MARIE did sometime deale with her selfe, being at that time her subiect, and imprisoned; or than the French King did vse the King of Nauarre, being also his subiect, and bore armes against him. Shee also requested that the treatie might bee brought to an end before any in Scotland were sent Embassadour about that matter. And for that the French King had acknowledged her ordinarie Embassadour, and Seton sent by her sonne into France, as Embassadours from Princes of the same authoritie and conioyned, she gaue that honour to the Queene, to publish this Association of her and her sonne in Scotland, and besought her not to preiudicate the same. These things were heard, but by terrors obiected, shifted off and deluded by the meanes of them who know how to nourish the hatred betweene the women that bore no in ward good will one to the other, especially by the discouerie of the papers which Chreycton a Scottish Iesuite sailing into Scotland, and intercepted by some Sea-rouers of Holland, tore in peeces: but the torne papers cast out of the ship, were cast againe into the ship by a contrary wind, not without a miracle (as Chreycton himselfe said) and glewed together by the great labour and singular skill of Waad, laid open and discouered new plots of the Pope, of the King of Spaine, and the Guises, about the inuading of England.
Therefore to occurre vnto and preuent the wicked counsels and secret policies of seditious persons, and to prouide for the Queenes safetie, vpon the which both the Kingdome and Religion depended: Many men (Leicester being the beginner) of all estates in [page 155] England, out of common charitie, whilest they feared not her, but were fearefull of the other, bound themselues in a certaine Association with their mutuall oathes, subscriptions and seales, to persecute with all their forces vnto death, them who did attempt any thing against the Queene.
The Queene of Scotland who quickly vnderstood that a way was made by it to make her away, wearie of her long miserie, and fearing worse things, propounded these things to the Queene and her Counsellors, by Nauus her Secretarie: If her libertie might be granted, and that she might be assured of the sincere minde and loue of Queene ELIZABETH, that she would binde her selfe in a most strict league of amitie with the Queene, most dutifully honour and obserue her before all other Christian Princes, forget all offences past, acknowledge her the true and most rightfull Queene of England, and that she would not challenge during her life any right vnto the Crowne of England, nor practise anything against her directly or indirectly; and vtterly to renounce the title and armes of England, which she had vsed by the commandement of Francis her husband; and also vnto the Bull of the Pope about her deposition and depriuation: Yea and also enter into that Association, for the securitie of the Queene; and into a defensiue league (sauing the ancient league betweene France and Scotland) yet so that nothing be done in the life of the Queene, or after her death, which may be hurtfull vnto her, her sonne, and their heires in succession, before they be heard in the Assemblie of the Estates of England. For more assurance of these things, that she will remaine as an hostage in England, and if she may haue leaue to depart out of England, that she will giue pledges. Moreouer, that she will alter nothing in Scotland, so that the exercise of her religion be permitted only to her and her familie. That she will for euer forget all the wrongs done her [page 156] in Scotland, (but yet vnder that condition, that the things published to her infamie may be repealed.) That she will commend vnto the King Counsellors which were desirous to keepe peace with England; and would reconcile vnto him as much as lay in her the Noblemen that were fled into England, if they would humbly acknowledge their fault, and that the Queene gaue her word to giue aid vnto the King against them, if at any time they fell or departed from their obedience. That she would doe nothing about her sonnes mariage, without the priuitie of the Queene; and that she would not doe anything without the priuitie of her sonne: so she requested that her sonne might be ioyned in this treatie, whereby it may be made more strong. She doubted not but that the King of France would be contented, and binde himselfe by promise together with the Princes of the house of Lorraine, for the performance of these agreements. She also desired that these things might be answered with speed, lest any thing might happen in the meane while to hinder it. Lastly she earnestly desired, that she might haue the fauour to haue more libertie, that therein the loue of the Queene might appeare more euidently to her.
Out of these things, as matters of much honour and dutie, Queene ELIZABETH seemed to reioyce; and it was then thought she was inclined to deliuer her, although there were some in England who setting new feares before her eyes, drew her from it. But the matter being well followed, and in a manner concluded, was most of all hindered by the Scots of the contrary faction, who exclaimed that Queene ELIZABETH was vtterly vndone, if she were deliuered out of prison, and both the Realmes would be vndone, if she were ioyned with her sonne in the kingdome of Scotland; and if the exercise of the Roman Religion were permitted vnto her, if it were but in her Court.
[page 157] And some of the Scottish Ministers in Scotland, out of their Pulpits, and in their meetings, railed most vilely against their Queene: they spoke ill of the King and his Counsellors, and being commanded to appeare in person, obstinately and contemptuously denied so to doe, as if the Pulpits were exempted from the Kings authoritie, and that Ecclesiasticall persons were not subiect to the King, but to the Presbyterie; directly against the lawes made this yeere in the Assemblie of the States, in the which the Kings authoritie ouer all persons both Ecclesiasticall and Laicks, was confirmed for euer: viz. That the King and his Counsellors are competent Iudges in all causes; and they who would not obey the same, are to be accounted for Traitors. The assemblies of Pre[...]byteries (as also those of Laicks) as well generall as particular, were prohibited, as hauing arrogated without the Kings priuitie, boundlesse authoritie, and when they list of meeting together, and of prescribing lawes vnto the King and vnto all the Realme. And also the popular equalitie of Ministers was abrogated, and the dignitie and iurisdiction were restored vnto the Bishops, whose vocation the Presbyteries had condemned as Antichristian. And the sla[...]derous writings against the King, his mother, and Counsellors, were forbidden, and by name the Historie of George Buchanan, and his Dialogue, De iure regni apud Scotos, as those which containe many things fit to be corrected and blotted out of memory. And also many men blamed Patrick Grey the Scottish Embassador in England, as if he (won by br[...]bes) had babbled out much matter to the hurt of the King and his mother, and had hindered that these most equall conditions propounded from the Kings mother, and sent by Nauus, were not admitted.
Whereupon shee hauing her patience oftentimes wronged, fell into a grieuous sorrow and indignation, [page 158] and so great was her desire of libertie, that she gaue her minde and eares as well vnto the treacherous counsell of her enemies, as vnto the pernicious deuices of her friends: And so much the more, for that as she had perswaded her selfe that the Association was made to endanger her life; so now she had an inkling that by the policie of some men she was to be taken away from the keeping of the Earle of Shrewsburie, (who being an vpright man, did not fauour their plots) and to be committed vnto new Keepers. And that it might be done with a better colour, and the credit of the Earle of Shrewsburie, which was approued and well knowne, might not seeme to be suspected, (for it was not thought good to call in question the reputation of so great a man, which yet they had cracked by secret slanders, vpon the finding fault of his vnreasonable wife) suspicions were laid hold on, as if the plot of getting her libertie had beene begun, out of certaine Emblemes sent by some vnto her. Those were, Argus with many eyes, lulled asleepe by Mercury playing tunes on his pipe, with this little sentence, ELOQVIVM TOT LVMINA CLAVSIT. Another was Mercury striking off the head of Argus keeping Io. A graft or cyon engrafted in a stocke and bound with bands, yet flourishing, and written about it, PER VINCVLA CRESCO. Another was a Palme tree much laden, but rising againe, with these words; PONDERIBVS VIRTVS INNATA RESISTIT. Also an Anagram, VERITAS ARMATA, out of her name, MARIA STEVARTA, the letters being transposed, which was taken in the worse part. Moreouer, there were letters shewne as if they had beene intercepted, in the which the friends of the Queene complained that all their hope was quite cut off, if she was but put into the custodie of the Puritans. Vnder this colour she was [page 159] taken from Shrewsbury, and committed to the custody of Amias Paulet and Drewgh Drury, and that of purpose (as some thinke) that being driuen into desperation, she might be more apt to take abrupt counsels, and more easie to be intrapped. For Sbrewsbury in all that fifteene yeeres, had so prouidently kept her, that there was no place left of plots from her or against her. And now also she dealt more earnestly with the Pope and the King of Spaine, by Francis Inglefield, to hasten that which was begun, and that with all expedition, whatsoeuer became of her. And Leicester (who was thought to study how to deceiue the right owner of the succession) secretly sent ruffians (as many said) to murther her. But Drury an honest minded and vpright man, detested the wickednesse from his heart, and suffered them not to haue any accesse vnto her. Yet some spies secretly crept in, and there were closely sent as well counterfeit as true letters, by which her womanish weaknesse might be thrust forward to her destruction, as we will say hereafter.
And to turne quite away the loue of Queene ELIZABETH from her, it was whispered in her eares, that Allan for the Catholikes Ecclesiasticks of England, and Inglefield for the Laicks, and the Bishop of Rosse for the Queene of Scotland, with common consent, and with the consent of the Pope and the King of Spaine, had decreed that Queene ELIZABETH was to be deposed from her Crowne, and the King of Scotland was to be disinherited of the kingdome of England as manifest and open Heretiques; the Queene of Scotland to be maried to some Catholike Nobleman of England, he to be chosen King of England by the English Catholikes, and the election to bee confirmed by the Pope: The lawfull children of this man by the Queene of Scotland, to be declared successors in the kingdome. [page 160] And all these things vpon the credit of Hart a Priest. But who this Englishman should be, Walsingham made diligent inquiry, but he found not who he was. But the suspicion fell vpon Henry Howard brother to the D. of Norfolke, who was of the chiefe Nobility, a single man, and an earnest Roman Catholike, and amongst them of great reputation and account.
the year 1585 removed
IN this yeare Philip Earle of Arundell, who had laine now a whole yeare in prison, was accused in the Starre Chamber, That he had releeued Priests against the lawes, that he had had commerce of letters with Allan, and Persons the Iesuite, enemies of the Queene, and that he had derogated in writing from the Iustice of the Land, and imagined to depart out of the land without licence. Hee pro[...]essing his dutie and seruice vnto the Queene, and his loue and good will vnto his countrey, excused himselfe with great modesty, by the loue he had to the Catholike Religion, and by his ignorance of the lawes, and submitted himselfe vnto the censure and iudgement of the Lords, who fined him at tenne thousand pounds, and to be imprisoned during the Queenes pleasure.
In the moneth of Iuly a most pernicious Conspiracie against Queene ELIZABETH was found out and came to light, which I will briefly describe.
At Easter, this yeere, Iohn Ballard a Priest of the Seminarie of Rhemes, who had visited many Roman Catholikes in England and Scotland, returned into France, accompanied with Mawd one of Walsinghams spies, a most craftie dissembler, who had bleared his eyes; and talked with Bernardino Mendoza, at that time ordinary Embassadour of the King of Spaine in France, and with Charles Paget a man exceedingly addicted to the Queene of Scotland, about the inuading of England, saying that now was a most fit time, all the militarie [page 167] men being absent in the Low Countries: and that they could not hope for a fitter time, since that the Pope, the King of Spaine, Guise and Parma, were determined to set vpon England, by that way to turne the warre out of the Low Countries. And though Paget held it cleere, that it would be in vaine as long as the Queene liued, yet Ballard was sent backe into England, being sworne to procure aid and helpe vnto the Inuaders, and libertie vnto the Queene of Scotland, and that with all speed, and as soone as he could.
At Whitsontide following this Ballard apparelled like a souldier, and called by a counterfet name, Captaine Foscu, arriued in England, and talked at London about these things with Anthony Babington of Dethick in Derbishire, a young man well borne, rich, of an excellent wit, and learned aboue his yeeres, who being addicted to the Roman Religion, had a little before stollen ouerinto France, without any licence, and had beene very familiar with Thomas Morgan, one that belonged vnto the Queene of Scotland, and with the Bishop of Glasco her Embassador, which two in extolling continually the heroicall vertues of such a Queene, had shewed such certaine hopes of great honours and preferments by her, of which the ambitious young man quickly tooke hold: they also commended him, thinking of no such matter, in their letters to the Queene of Scotland. For when he was returned into England, she curteously saluted him by her letters, and from that time Morgan vsed to send ouer, and to conuey letters vnto her by his meanes, vntill such time as she was put ouer to be kept by Amyas Paulet. For then the young man seeing the danger, left off: With this Babington, I say, did Ballard deale about this matter. He was fully perswaded that the Inuasion of England would come to nothing so long as Queene ELIZABETH [page 168] liued. But when Ballard had insinuated that she should not liue long, that Sauage who had taken an oath to kill her was already come into England; Babington did not like that so great a matter should be committed onely to Sauage, lest hee should faile in his attempt, but rather to six stout Gentlemen, whereof he would haue Sauage to be one, lest he should breake his oath: and Babington deuised a new way to haue the land inuaded by strangers, of the hauens where they should take land, of the aid that should be ioyned to them, how to deliuer the Queene of Scotland, and to kill the Queene.
Whiles he studied earnestly about this matter, he receiued by a boy vnknowne, letters in a character or ziffre samiliar betweene the Queene of Scotland and him, which mildly accused him for his long silence, and bade him to send with speed a packet of letters sent from Morgan, and deliuered by the Secretary of the French Embassador: which thing he did, and withall by the same messenger wrote letters vnto her, wherein he excused his silence, for that he was depriued of meanes and opportunity to send, from the time that she was put into the custody of Amyas Paulet a Puritane, a meere Leycestrian, and a professed enemie of the Catholike faith (for so he called him) He opened vnto her, what he had conferred with Ballard, and told her that six Gentlemen were selected to execute the tragicall murder: and that he with a hundred other, would deliuer her at the same time. Hee besought her, that rewards might be propounded, and giuen vnto the heroicall actors in this businesse, or to their posterity, if they failed or died in the action. Vnto these letters answer was made the 27. of Iuly, the forward care of Babington toward the Catholike Religion, and her selfe, is commended, but he was aduised to proceed in the businesse warily, and that an Association might bee made amongst [page 169] them as though they feared the Puritans, and that no stir should be made before they were certaine and assured of forraine helpe and forces: that some tumult might be raised also in Ireland whilest a blow or wound might be giuen in these parts, Arundell and his brethren, and Northumberland, might be drawne into their side, Westmorland, Pager, and some others secretly called home. And the way also of deliuering her is prescribed, either by ouerthrowing a Cart in the gate, or by burning the stables, or by intercepting her selfe when she rode vp and downe in the fields for her recreation betweene Chartley and Stafford. Lastly, Babington is commanded to giue his word and promise for the rewards vnto the six Gentlemen and the others.
He had already gotten vnto himselfe some Gentlemen who were earnest Roman Catholikes, among the which the chiefest were Edward Windsore, brother to the Lord Windsore a milde young man, Thomas Salisbury of a worshipfull family in Denbighshire, Charles Tilney of an ancient worshipfull house, the only hope of his family, and one of the Gentlemen pensioners to the Queene, whom Ballard had lately reconciled vnto the Roman Church, both of them very proper men, Chidiocke Tichburne of Hamshire, Edward Abington whose father was Cofferer to the Queene, Robert Gage out of Surrey, Iohn Trauerse, and Iohn Charnock of Lancashire, Iohn Iones whose father had beene Taylor vnto Queene Mary: the aforenamed Sauage, Barnwell, of a worshipfull family in Ireland, and Henry Dun, a Clarke in the office of the first fruits and tenths, into this society. Pooly also insinuated himselfe, a man perfectly instructed in the affaires of the Queene of Scotland, a notable and cunning dissembler, who is thought to haue discouered all their purposes and counsells vnto Walsingham day by day, and to haue vrged these young [page 170] men, ready enough to doe euill headlong, by suggesting and putting worse things into their heads; though Na[...]s, Secretary to the Queene of Scotland, had secretly aduised them to take heed of him.
Vnto these men Babington communicated the matter, but not all things vnto euery one: hee sheweth his letters and those of the Queene of Scotland vnto Ballard, Tichburne, and Dun; he moueth Tilney and Tichburne, to dispatch the Queene. At the first they deny to contaminate and [...]mbrue their hands in their Princes bloud, Ballard and Babington tels them that it is lawfull to kill Princes who be excommunicated, and if one offend, it is to be done for the good of the Catholike Religion. Herewith they with much adoe perswaded, doe consent, Abington, Barnwell, Charnock and Sauage, readily and voluntarily sweare to doe it. Salisburie could not be perswaded by any meanes to kill her, but for the deliuery of the Queene of Scotland, he offered himselfe voluntarily vnto Sauage and the others; Babington designed Tichenor, of whose fidelity and valour he had a great opinion, but he was gone to trauell. Babington charged them not to impart the matter vnto any, before they had sworne them to bee secret. The Conspirators confer sometimes of this matter in Pauls Church, in Saint Giles fields, and in the Tauernes, in the which they kept many feasts: puffed vp with the hope of great honours, now and then extolling the valour of the Nobility of Scotland, who had lately intercepted the King of Scotland at Sterling, and Gerard the Burgonian who had killed the Prince of Orange. And they proceeded to that foolish vanity, that they caused them who were designed and appointed to kill the Queene, to be painted in tables to the life, and Babington in the midst of them with this verse: Himihi sunt Comites quos ipsa pericula ducunt.
[page 171] But for that this verse (as too plaine) did not so well like them, they tooke it away and in the stead thereof they put this: Quorsum haec, ali properantibus?
It is reported that these tables were intercepted and secretly shewne vnto the Queene, who knew none of them by the countenance but Barnwell, who had oftentimes come vnto her about the causes of the Earle of Kildare, vnto whom hee belonged; but by other tokens which she was told she knew the man. Truly one time walking forth for her recreation, she espied Barnwell, and looked earnestly on him without feare, and turning vnto Hatton Captaine of her Guard, and others, said, Am not I well attended and guarded, that haue not in my company so much as one man that weareth a sword? These words Barnwell himselfe told after to the conspirators, and shewed them how easily she might then haue beene dispatched if the conspirators had beene there; and Sauage affirmed the same.
Now nothing troubled the minde of Babington more, than lest he should be deceiued of the forraine forces: Therefore to make that sure and certaine, hee determined to goe ouer himselfe into France, and to send before Ballard ouer secretly for that purpose: for whom he had got a license vnder a counterfeit name by a bribe he had giuen, and that he might cleere himselfe from all suspicion, by the before named Pooly, he insinuated himselfe vnto Walsingham, and with great earnestnesse sued vnto him to obtaine of the Queene for him a license to goe into France, promising to doe good seruice in searching and discouering the most secret plots of the fugitiues, for the Queene of Scotland. He commended the purpose of the young man, & promised him not only a license, but many and great matters if he performed it: Yet he delaied from time to [page 172] time the matter (which they thought that not so much as the Sunne had knowne) hauing gotten it out by the cunning wit of his owne, and of others, but especially by [...]he intelligence of Gilbert Giffard a Priest.
This man borne at Chellington in Staffordshire, not far from Chartley, where the Queene of Scotland was kept, and sent about this time by the fugitiues into England, vnder the counterfeit name of Luson, to remember Sauage of his oath he had taken, and to lie hid to send the letters to and fro betweene them and the Queene of Scotland: when they could draw neither the Countesse of Arundell, nor the Lord Lumley, nor Henry Howard, nor George Sherley, into so dang[...]rous a busin[...]sse.
The fugi[...]iues, to trie whether the conueying of letters by Giffard was safe, first sent Blankes made vp like packets, which when they vnderstood by answers to be deliuered, they being more confident, sent also others in ziffres of their affaires, now and then. But Giffard, whether tormented in conscience, or corrupted by bribes, or ter[...]ified with feare, came secretly vnto Walsingham, and told him who he was, and for what purpose he was sent into England, and offered all his seruice out of his loue towards his Countrey and Prince, and promised to communica[...]e vnto him all the letters he receiued, either from the fugitiues or from the Queene of Scotland. Walsingham embracing the occasion offered, vsed the man courteously, sent him into Staffordshire, and wrote vnto Powlet that he should suffer some of his seruants to be corrupted by G[...]fford and to wincke thereat. He as vnwilling (as he said) that any of his seruants should be made a Traitor in a dissembling manner, yet as loth, he suffered him to corrupt the Brewer, or the man that kept the prouender, who dwelt hard by: Giffard quickly corrupted the [page 173] Brewer for a few Angells of gold, who by a hole in the wall, into the which a stone was put so that it m[...]ght be taken out, secretly sent in and receiued backe letters, which by posts appointed came to the hands of Walsingham, who vnsealed and wrote them out: and by the rare skill of Thomas Philips he found out the ziffres, and so sealed them againe by the skill of Arthur Gregory, that none could iudge them to haue beene vnsealed, and so sent them vnto those men vnto whom they were directed. So were those former of the Queene of Scotland vnto Babington, and the answers of him vnto her, and others vnto him (in the which was craf[...]ily added a postscript in the same character, bidding him to send the names of the six Gentlemen (if not the other) and also the letters sent the same day vnto M[...]ndoza the King of Spaines Embassader, vnto Charles Paget, the Lord Paget, the Arch Bishop of Glasco, and to Fra. Ingl[...]field, euery one of which were copied out, and af[...]e[...] a[...]d conuered as they were directed.
Queene ELIZABETH, as soone as shee vnderstood by these letters, that such a terrible storme hung ouer her head, on the one side from her subiects at home, and on the other side from for[...]aine en[...]m[...]es, commanded Ballard to bee apprehended, thereby to suppresse the conspiracie betimes. So on a sudden hee was taken in the house of Babington, in the very instant when he was ready to goe vpon [...]is iourney into France. Hereat Babington was wonderfully perplexed, and was in a thousand mindes, and went to Tichburne, and asked his aduice, what was to be done: his counsell was, that the conspirators should scatter and fly sundry waies, but his owne was, secre[...]ly to send Sauage and Charnock, and that speedily to dispa[...]ch[...]th Queene, yet that they might come with mo[...]e facility vnto her, to prouide some richer and more courtlike [page 174] sutes for Sauage, and of this matter he talked with them in Pauls Church: but by and by changing his minde, and concealing his inward cares stinging his heart, he vrged Walsingham, being then absent and at the Court, that his licence to trauell into France might be now at length granted; and withall intreated him, to let Ballard free, whom he should haue great occasion to vse in that negotiation. Walsingham delaied and held him on with faire promises from day to day, and as concerning Ballard, and taking of him, he laieth it vpon Young, that cunning hunter out of Romanists, and as it were in friendship secretly aduised him to take heed of such fellowes, and easily perswadeth the young man to lie all night in his house in London, vntill the Queene signed his passeport and he himselfe returned to London, that they might talke of such important affaires with more secrecy, and lest the fugitiues when he came to France, should gather any manner of suspicion, out of his often going to and fro thither.
In the meane time Scudamore, one of Walsinghams men was commanded to watch him very diligently, and to accompany him in euery place, vnder the colour that he might be the safer from the Purscuants. Hitherto had Walsingham contriued and wrought the businesse, the other Counsellors of the Queene being ignorant thereof; and would haue proceeded further and lengthened it, but the Queene would not, lest, as she said, in not taking heed of a danger when she might, she should seeme more to tempt God than to hope in him. Therefore out of the Court from Walsingham a scroll was sent vnto his man, to watch Babington with more care: This being not sealed, was so deliuered, that Babington sitting next to him at the Table, read it also. Hereupon being guiltie in conscience, and suspecting that all things were discouered, the next night, when [page 175] he, Scudamore, and one or two more of Walsinghams men had in the Tauerne supped with good cheere, he (as if he would haue paid the reckoning) arose, leauing behinde him his sword and cloake, and got to Westminster by the darknesse of the night, where Gage changed clothes with him, who forthwith put on Charnocks clothes, and together got closely into S. Iohns wood neere vnto the Citie, vnto which place came also Barnwell and Dun. In the meane time they were proclaimed Traitors thorow all England. They lurking in woods and by-wayes, when they had in vaine requested money of the French Embassador, and horses of Tichburne, they cut off Babingtons haire, and disfigured his face with the greene shels of walnuts, but being compelled by famine, went to the Bellamies house neere to Harrow on the Hill, who were much addicted to the Roman religion: there they were hidden and releeued with victualls in the barnes, and apparelled in husbandmens apparell, and being found after ten daies, were brought to London, the citizens witnessing their publike ioy, with ringing of bels, making of bonfires in the streets, and singing of Psalmes, so much that the citizens receiued great commendations and thankes of the Queene for the same.
The other conspirators were soone after taken, most of them neere vnto the citie, Salisbury in Cheshire, his horse being thrust thorow with a halbard, and Trauerse with him, after they had swomme ouer the riu[...]r of Weuer; and in Wales was taken Iones, who being acquainted with the intended inuasion, had also hidden them in his house, after he knew they were proclaimed traitors, and had moreouer furnished Salisbury in his flight with a horse, and his man (who was a Priest) with a cloke hee lent him. Onely Windsore was not found. Many daies were spent in the examination o[...] [page 176] these men, who in their confessions appeached one another, concealing nothing that was true.
All this time the Queene of Scotland and her seruants were so narrowly kept and watched by Powlet, that these things were kept from her knowledge, though publikely knowne in all England. As soone as these men were taken, Tho. Gorge was sent, who in few words should certifie her of these things, which hee purposely did vnto her, nothing dreaming thereof, euen as she had taken horse to goe on hunting; neither was she suffered to returne, but vnder shew of honour, lead about to Gentlemens houses that dwelt thereabouts. In the meane time I. Maner, Ed. Aston, Rich. Bagot, and William Waad, by commission from the Queene, kept Nauus and Curlus her Secretaries and other seruants seuerally, that they should haue no communication with themselues nor with the Queene. And breaking open the doores of her closet, sent all her cabinets and deskes wherein her papers were laid, sealed vp with their seales vnto the Court. Then Powlet so commanded, seazed on all the money, lest she should corrupt any body with bribes, and gaue his word to restore it. The caskets and deskes being searched before Queene ELIZABETH, there were found the letters of many strangers, the copies also of letters vnto many, about 60. kinds of Ciphers, and also the letters of many noblemen of England, offering their loue and seruice, which yet Queene ELIZABETH dissembled in silence: but they smelling it out, did afterward all they could against her, that so they might not seeme to haue fauoured her.
Now Gifford hauing serued their purpose in this manner, was sent into France as a man banished, leauing first with the French Embassador in England a paper indented with this charge, not to deliuer any [page 177] letters from the Queene of Scotland, or from the fugitiues, and came to his hands vnto no other man but him that brought the counterpaine thereof, which he secretly sent to Walsingham. Being returned into France, after some moneths he was cast into prison for his wicked life, and suspected of these things died wretchedly, confessing most of these things to bee true, which were also found to be true out of the papers in the deskes.
On the XIII. day of September, seuen of the conspirators were brought to the barre and arraigned, and acknowledged themselues guiltie, and had iudgement of treason. On the next day the other seuen were brought to the barre, and pleaded not guilty vnto their enditement, and put themselues to bee tried by God and the countrey, who were proued guilty by their owne confessions, and were likewise condemned. Pooly only, though he was priuy to all, for that he affirmed that he had told some things vnto Walsingham, was not at all arraigned. On the XX. day of the same moneth, the first seuen were on a paire of gallowes set vpon a scaffold in Saint Giles his field, where they had vsed to meet, hanged, and cut downe, and their priuities cut off, bowelled and quartered as they were euen aliue, not without the note of cruelty, that is to say, Ballard the contriuer of the wickednesse, asking pardon of God and the Queene, with this condition, if he had offended her. Babington (who without feare beheld the execution of Ballard, whiles the other turning their faces away, and on their knees were earnest at their praiers, ingenuously acknowledged his fault, and being let downe from the gallowes, sundry times plainly cried out in the Latine tongue, Parce mihi Domine Iesu. Sauage (the rope breaking) fell from the gallowes, and was strait pulled away, [page 178] and his priuy members cut off, and bowelled aliue. Barnwell extenuated the fault with the pretext of Religion and conscience. Tichburne humbly acknowledging his wickednesse, moued all the multitude to compassion, and so likewise did Tilney, being a very proper man, and modest in behauiour. Abington being of a turbulent spirit and nature, casting out threats and terrors, of the bloud that was ere long to bee shed in England. On the next day, the other seuen were drawne vnto the same place, but vsed with more mercy by the Queenes commandement, who hated the former cruelty; for euery one of them hung till they were quite dead, before they were cut downe and bowelled. Salisbury the first, was very penitent, and aduised the Catholikes not to attempt the restitution of Religion by force or armes, and the same did Dun who was the next. Iones protesting that he had disswaded Salisbury from this enterprise, and that he vtterly condemned and disliked the haughty and rash spirit of Babington and the purpose of inuasion. Charnock and Trauerse fixed wholly to their praiers, commended themselues to God and the Saints. Gage extolling the bountifull liberality of the Queene toward his father, and detesting his owne treacherous ingratitude toward a Princesse so well deseruing. Hierom Bellamy, who had hidden Babington after he was proclaimed traitor (whose brother priuy to the same offence had strangled himselfe in prison) ashamed and silent was the last of this company.
These men being executed, Nauus the Frenchman, and Curlus the Scot, who were Secretaries to the Queene of Scotland, being examined about the letters, copies of letters, and little notes and Ciphers found in the Queenes closet, of their owne will acknowledged by their subscriptions, that the handwritings were [page 179] their owne, endited by her in French, taken by Nauus, and turned into English by Curlus: Neither did they deny that she receiued letters from Babington, and that they wrote backe by her commandement in such a sense as is aforesaid. Yet this is certaine out of letters, that when Curlus did at this time aske Walsingham for what he promised, that Walsingham did reproue him, as one forgetfull of an extraordinary grace, as that he had not confessed any thing but that hee could not deny, when Nauus charged him therewithall to his face.
The Counsellors of England could not agree what should be done with the Queene of Scotland: some thought good that no seuerity was to be vsed against her, but to be kept very close, as well for that she was not the beginner of this plot, but onely made acquainted with it; and also for that she was sickly, and not like to liue long. Others for the securitie of Religion would haue her dispatched out of the way, and that by the course of Law. Leycester had rather haue it done by poyson, and secretly sent a Diuine to Walsingham, to shew him that this was lawfull: but Walsingham protested that he was so farre from allowing that any violence should be vsed, that long agoe hee crossed and broke the aduice of Morton, who had perswaded to send her into Scotland, that she might be killed in the very borders of both the kingdomes. They were moreouer of different opinions, by what law or Act they should proceed against her, whether out of that of the XXV. yeare of Edward the third (in which he is a traitor who deuiseth to kill the King or the Queene, or moueth warre in the Kingdome, or doth adhere vnto his enemies,) Or whether by that Law or Act of the XXVII. yeare o[...] Queene ELIZABETH, which is set downe before: At length their opinion preuailed, [page 180] who would haue it by this latter law, as made for this purpose, and therefore to be accommodated thereunto: therefore out of that law enacted the former yeare, that enquiry might be made, and sentence pronounced against them who raised rebellion, inuaded the kingdome, or attempted to hurt the Queene, many of the Priuie Counsell and Noblemen of England were chosen Commissioners by letters Patents, which was this after the Lawyers forme and stile:
ELIZABETH by the grace of God, of England, France, and Ireland, Queene: Defender of the faith, & To the most Reuerend Father in Christ Iohn ArchBishop of Canterbury, Primate and Metropolitane of all England, and one of our Priuy Counsell; And to our beloued and trusty Thomas Bromley Knight, Chauncellor of England, and another of our Priuie Counsell, And also to our welbeloued and trusty William Lord Burghley, Lord Treasurer of England, another of our Priuy Counsell, And also to our most deare cousin William Marquesse of Winchester, one of the Lords of the Parlament, And to our most deare cousin Edward Earle of Oxford, great Chamberlaine of England, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our most deare cousin George Earle of Shrewsbury, Earle Marshall of England, another of our Priuy Counsell, and to our most deare cousin Henry Earle of Kent, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our most deare cousin Henry Earle of Darby, another of our Priuy Counsell, And to our most deare cousin William Earle of Worcester, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And to our most deare cousin Edward Earle of Rutland, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And to our most deare cousin Ambrose Earle of Warwicke, Master of our Ordnance, another of our Priuy Counsell, and to our most deare cousin Henry Earle of Pembrooke, [page 181] another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our most deare cousin Robert Earle of Leicester Master of our horse, another of our Priuy Counsell, And to our most deare cousin Henry Earle of Lincolne, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our most deare cousin Antony Vicount Montague, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And to our welbeloued and trusty, Charles Lord Howard our great Admirall of England, another of our Priuy Counsell, And to our welbeloued and faithfull Henry Lord Hunsdon our Lord Chamberlaine, another of our Priuy Counsell, And also to our welbeloued and trusty Henry Lord of Aburgeuenny another of the Lords of the Parlament, And to our welbeloued and trusty Edward Lord Zouch, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our welbeloued and trusty Edward Lord Morley, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our welbeloued and trusty William Lord Cobham Lord Warden of our fiue Ports, another of our Priuy Counsell, And also to our welbeloued and trusty Edward Lord Stafford, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to o[...]r welbeloued and trusty Arthur Lord Grey of Wilton, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our welbeloued and trusty Iohn Lord Lumley, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our welbeloued and trusty Iohn Lord Sturton, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And to our welbeloued and trusty William Lord Sandes, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our welbeloued and trusty Henry Lord Wentworth, another of the Lords of the Parlament, To our welbeloued and trusty Lewis Lord Mordant, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And to our welbeloued and trusty Iohn Lord St. Iohn of Bletso, another of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our welbeloued and trusty Thomas Lord Buckhurst, another of our Priuy Counsell, And to our welbeloued and trusty Henry Lord Compton, another [page 182] of the Lords of the Parlament, And also to our welbeloued and trustie Henry Lord Cheney, another of the Lords of the Parlament, To our welbeloued and trusty Francis Knolles Knight, Treasurer of our houshold, another of our Priuy Counsell, And also to our welbeloued and trusty Iames Crofts Knight, Controller of our said houshold, another of our Priuy Counsell: To our beloued and trusty Christopher Hatton Knight, our vice-Chamberlaine, another of our Priuy Counsell, And also to our trusty and welb[...]loued Francis Walsingham Knight, one of our chiefe Secretaries, another of our Priuy Counsell, And also vnto our trusty and welbeloued, William Dauison Esquier, another of our principall Secretaries, of our Priuy Counsell, And to our trusty and welbeloued Ralph Sadleir Knight, Chauncellor of our Dutchy of Lancaster, another of our Priuy Counsell, And also to our trusty and welbeloued, Walter Mildmay Knight, Chauncellor of our Exchequer, another of our Priuy Counsell, And to our trusty and beloued, Amyas Powlet Knight, Captaine of the Ile of Iersey, another of our Priuy Counsell, And to our trusty and welbeloued Iohn Wolley E[...]quire, our Secretary for the Latine tongue, another of our Priuy Counsell, And also to our trusty and welbeloued Christopher W[...]ay Knight, chiefe Iustice of the Kings Bench, And to our trusty and welbeloued Edmund Anderson Knight, Chiefe Iustice of the Common Bench, Roger Manwood Knight, Chiefe Baron of our Exchequer, Thomas Gawdy Knight, one of our Iustices of the Kings Bench, And William Peryam one of the Iustices of our Bench, Greeting, & And not to set it downe verbatim: After the recapitulation of the Act made the last yeere, these words follow: When after the end of the Session of Parlament, viz after the first day of Iune, in the XXVII. yeare of our reigne, diuers things haue beene compassed and deuised tending to the hurt of our Royall Person, as well by Mary [page 183] daughter and heire of Iames the fift, lately King of Scotland, and commonly called Queene of Scotland and Dowager of France, pretending title vnto the Crowne of this Realme of England, as by diuers other persons, with the priuity of the same Mary, as it is giuen vs to vnderstand: and for that we intend and determine, that the said Act should be executed rightly and effectually in all things, and by all things, according to the tenour of the said Act; and that all the offences aforesaid, in the aforesaid Act, as it is said, mentioned, and the circumstances of the same should be examined, and sentence and iudgement thereupon giuen, according to the tenor and effect of the said Act: We giue vnto you and to the greater part of you, full and ample power, faculty, and authority, according to the tenour of the said Act, to examine all and singular things compassed and deuised, tending to the hurt of our Royall Person, with the priuity of the said Mary, and all the circumstances of the same, and all the aforesaid offences whatsoeuer mentioned in the said Act, as it is said, and all circumstances of the same offences, and of euery one of them: And moreouer according to the tenour of the said Act to giue sentence and iudgement, euen as the matter shall appeare vnto you vpon good proofe; And therefore we command you to proceed diligently vpon the aforesaid things in the forme aforesaid, at certaine daies and places, which you or the greater part of you shall appoint, and prouide for this purpose, &
The most of these came to Fodringhay Castle in Northamptonshire, on the xj. day of October, where the Queene of Scotland was then kept. On the next day the Commissioners sent vnto her, Sir Walter Mildmay, Sir Amyas Powlet, and Edward Barker, a publike Notary, who deliuered into her hands the letters of Queene ELIZABETH, which when she had read ouer, she with a Princely countenance and quiet minde [page 184] said:
I am much aggrieued that the Queene my most deare sister is wrong informed of me, and that I, who haue so straitly beene kept so many yeeres, and being now lame, after I haue offered so many equall and faire conditions for my liberty, haue laine so long time neglected: Although I haue fully forewarned her of many dangers, yet I was not beleeued, but was alwaies despised, although I am most neere to her in bloud. When the Association was made, and when it was confirmed in the Parlament, I foresaw that whatsoeuer danger befell, either by forraine Princes abroad, or any harebraine fellowes at home, or for the cause of Religion, I should pay deare for the same, I hauing so many deadly enemies at the Court. I may take it in euill part, and I haue cause for it, that a league was made with my sonne, without my priuity or knowledge, but such like things I pretermit. But to come vnto these letters; It seemeth strange vnto me that the Queene commandeth me, as if I were her subiect, to come vnto a triall: I am an absolute Queene, neither will I doe or commit any thing, which may empaire or wrong the Royall Maiestie of Kings and Princes, of my place and ranke, or my sonne; My minde is not so deiected, neither will I yeeld and sinke downe vnder calamity, I referre my selfe vnto those things which I protested before Bromly and the Lord De la Ware. The lawes and statutes of England are to me vtterly vnknowne, I am destitute of counsellours, I tell you plaine I know not who may be my Peeres: my papers and notes of remembrances are taken from me, there is none that dare pleade or speake in my cause. I am free from all offence against the Queene, neither am I to be called in question, but vpon mine owne word or writing, which can neuer be brought against me; But yet I cannot deny but that I haue commended my selfe and my cause to forraine Princes.
On the next day returned vnto her in the name of the Commissioners, Powlet and Barker, who shewed [page 185] this answer put into writing, and they asked her if she persisted in the same; After she had heard it distinctly read, she commended it as truly and rightly conceiued, and said she would persist in the same:
But, said she, I did not remember one thing which I wish may be put in: Wh[...]reas the Queene hath written I am subiect and liable vnto the lawes of England, and am to be iudged by them, because I liued vnder the protection of them: I answer, That I came into England to aske and craue aid and helpe, from which time I haue beene kept and deteined in prison, and could not enioy the protection and benefit of the lawes of England, and hitherto I could not vnderstand by any body, what the lawes of England were.
In the afternoone many chosen out of the Commissioners, with men skilfull in the Canon and Ciuill lawes, came vnto her: but the Chancellor and the Treasurer declared their authority out of the letters patents, and shewed her that neither captiuity, nor the prerogatiue of Royall Maiesty could exempt her from answering in this kingdome; and mildly he admonished her to heare the obiections made against her if not, they threatned they both might and would proceed against her by the authority of the law. She answered:
That she was not a subiect, and had rather die a thousand times, than acknowledge her selfe a subiect: since that by acknowledging it, she should doe preiudice and wrong vnto the highnesse of the Maiestie of Kings, and withall should confesse her selfe to be bound vnto all the lawes of England, euen in matters of Religion. Neuerthelesse she was ready to answer vnto all things, in a full and free Parlament, since that she is ignorant if onely for a fashion and a shew, this assembly was appointed against her already condemned with their fore-iudgements; therefore she closely admonisheth them to looke vnto their consciences, and to remember that the Theater of the whole [page 186] world was farre more spacious than the kingdome of England. Lastly, she began to complaine of the iniuries done vnto her, and the Treasurer to rehearse the benefits of Queene ELIZABETH bestowed vpon her, viz. that shee had punished many who did impugne the right she challenged vnto England, and had hindered that she was not condemned by the Estates of the Realme, for the pursuing the mariage with the Duke of Norfolke, the rebellion in the North, and other things: which things when she seemed to make slight of, they went away.
After a few houres, by Powlet and the Solicitor they shewed the heads of the letters Pa[...]ents, and the names of the Commissioners, that shee might see that they were to deale formally and in good fashion, vprightly, and not according to the qui[...]kes of law, and extraordinarily. She made no exception against the Commissioners, but a bitter one against the new or late Act vpon which al the authority of the Commissioners depended; that is, to wit, that it was vniustly deuised purposely against her, & that there was no example of the like proceeding, and that shee would neuer submit her selfe to triall vpon that Act. She asked by what law they would proceed against her: If by the Ciuill or Cano[...] lawes, she said the expounders were to be sent for to Pauy or Poytiers, and other outlandish Vniuersities, since that fit men were not to be found in England. Moreouer she added that it was euident by plaine words in the letters, that she was accounted guiltie of the fault, although she was not heard, and therefore shee had no reason to appeare before them, and she required to be satisfied of many scruples in these letters, which she had noted, confusedly and in haste by her selfe alone, but shee would not deliuer them in writing, for that it did not beseeme a King or Prince to play the scribe.
[page 187] About this matter those Commissioners selected came to her againe, vnto whom she signified that shee did not vnderstand the meaning of these words, Since she is in the protection of the Queene. The Chancellor answered:
This to be apparant enough to any one of vnderstanding, but yet it is not the duty of Subiects to expound what the Queene meant, neither were they made Commissioners for that cause.
Then she requested that the protestation which she had made in former times, to bee shewed and to be allowed.
It was answered, that it was neuer allowed, neither that it was to be allowed now, for that it was a wrong to the Crowne of England.
Shee asked by what authoritie they would proceed.
It was answered, by the authority of the letters Patents, and the law of England.
But you, said shee, make lawes as you list, vnto which, it is no reason why I should submit my selfe, since that the Englishmen in former times refused to submit themselues vnto the Salicke law of the Frenchmen. But if they proceeded by the law of England, they should bring a president for their doings, since that, that law for the most part consisted vpon examples, and customes. But if by the Canon Law, then no other men ought to expound the same, but the makers of them.
It was answered, that they would proceed neither by the Ciuill nor Canon lawes, but by the lawes of England: But yet that by the Ciuill and Canon lawes it might be shewed that shee ought to appeare before them, if she did not refuse to heare this; neither did she refuse to heare, but as in way of communication, but not by way of Iustice or triall.
Hereupon she fell into other speeches, viz. that she neuer compassed or deuised any thing to hurt or kill the Queene, that she had beene offended at the wrongs and indignities done to her, that she should bee a stumbling blocke, if she were discourteously vsed; That she [page 188] did by Nauus offer her labour and best meanes for the reuocation of the Popes Bull; That she would haue defended her innocency by letters, neither was this permitted: And to conclude, that all her offices of good will for this twenty yeeres haue beene reiected;
with such like small digressions, her going on further they called backe, and bade her to say in plaine termes, whether shee would answer before the Commissioners
Shee replied, That this their authority was giuen to them by the new act made to ensnare her: That she could not endure the Lawes of the Queene, which she vpon good reason suspected: That shee hauing beene hitherto of good courage, would not now wrong her ancestors the Kings of Scotland, by acknowledging that shee is a subiect of the Crowne of England, for this is no other thing than openly to confesse them thereby to haue beene rebels and traitors. Yet that she refused not to answer, so she be not reduced vnto the ranke of a subiect: and that she had rather die a thousand times, than to answer as a Criminall offender.
Vnto these speeches Hatton the Vice-Chamberlaine of the Queene said:
You are accused (but not condemned) to haue conspired to kill our Lady and anointed Queene. You say you are a Queene. Be it so. But the Royall estate of a Queene doth not exempt you from answering vnto such a crime as this is, neither by the Ciuill nor Canon law, nor by the law of Nations, nor by the law of Nature. For all Iustice would be of no force, yea be vtterly ouerthrowne, if faults of such nature should be committed without punishment. If you bee innocent, you doe wrong to your credit by flying from triall. You protest your selfe to be innocent, but Queene ELIZABETH is of another minde, and not without cause, but truly to her great griefe: Therefore to examine your innocency, shee hath sent with authoritie most honourable, most wise, and most vpright men, who with equity and with fauour, are to [page 189] heare you, and they will reioyce from their heart, if you cleare your selfe of this crime. Beleeue me, the Queene her selfe will be very glad, who said to mee at my departure, that there could not a thing haue happened more grieuous vnto her, than that you are charged with this fault. Wherefore laying by the superfluous priuilege of a Royall Estate, which can be now of no vse, make your appearance for a triall, shew your innocency, lest by searching of euasions you draw vpon your selfe suspicion, and purchase a perpetuall blemish of your reputation.
I doe not refuse, said she, to answer in a full Parlament, before the Estates of the kingdome lawfully called, so that I may be declared next in succession: Yea and before the Queene and her Counsellors, so that my protestation may be admitted, and I may bee acknowledged the next kinswoman of the Queene. In plaine termes I will not submit my selfe vnto the iudgement of mine aduersaries, by whom I know all the defence I can make of mine innocency, will not be allowed and receiued.
The Chancellor asked her if she would answer, if her protestation were admitted:
She answered, I will neuer submit me to the new law m[...]ntioned in the letters Patents.
Hereupon the Treasurer [...], Yet we will proceed to morrow though you be absent, and continue obstinate in the cause.
She said, Search and examine your consciences, haue regard to your honour, God will requite you and your heires for your iudgement vpon me.
On the next day being the fourteenth day of October, she sent for some of the Commissioners, and requested, that the protestation might bee admitted and allowed. The Treasurer asked her whether shee would come to triall, if the protostation were onely receiued and put into writing without allowance. At length she condescended, yet with an euill will, lest shee (as she said) might seeme to derogate from her predecessors [page 190] or successors, but that shee was much desirous to cleare the crime obiected, being perswaded by the reasons of Hatton, which she had better thought on.
Forthwith met and assembled in the Chamber of presence, the Commissioners that were present. There was a chaire of Estate set vnder a Canopy in the vpper part of the Chamber, for the Queene of England: Against it lower and further off, neere vnto the railes a Chaire for the Queene of Scotland, hard to the walls on both sides benches or formes, on the which on the one side sate the Chancellor of England, the Treasurer of England, the Earles of Oxford, Kent, Darby, Worcester, Rutland, Cumberland, Warwicke, Penbroke, Lincolne, and Vicount Mountacute; On the other side the Lords, Aburgeuenny, Zouch, Morley, Stafford, Grey, Lumley, Sturton, Sandes, Wentworth, Mordant, Saint Iohn of Bletso, Compton and Cheiney: Next to them sate the Knights of the Priuy Counsell, as Iames Croft, Christopher Hatton, Francis Walsingham, Ralph Sadleir, Walter Mildmay, and Amias Powlet; Forward before the Earles sate the two chiefe Iustices, and the chiefe Baron of the Exchequer; on the other side, two Barons and other Iustices, Dale and Ford, Doctors of the Ciuill law; at a little table in the middle sate Popham the Queenes Atturny, Egerton the Sollicitor, Gaudie the Queenes Serieant at law, the Clarke of the Crowne, and two Clarkes.
When she was come and had set her selfe in her seat, silence being made, Bromly the Chancellor turning to her, made a short speech to this purpose: The most high and mighty Queene of England being certified to her great griefe and anguish of minde, that you haue plotted both the destruction of her and of England, and also of Religion; according to the duty due vnto God, her selfe, and people, in the which lest she should faile, and out of [page 191] no malice of minde, hath appointed these Commissioners, who may heare what things are obiected against you, and how you can cleare your selfe from the crimes laid against you, and shew your innocency: She arising vp said, that she came into England to seeke and request aid, which was promised her, neuerthelesse that shee was deteined in prison euer since that time. Shee protested, that she was not subiect to the Queene, but was a free and absolute Queene, neither was to be forced or compelled to be brought in or tried before the Commissioners or any other Iudge, for any cause whatsoeuer, but only God alone the Soueraigne Iudge of all, lest that she should doe wrong and iniury vnto her owne Royall Maiesty, her Sonne the King of Scotland, her Successors, or any other absolute Princes: But now she was there in person to refell the crimes obiected against her. And she requested her friends or seruants to witnesse these things. The Chancellor not acknowledging that helpe was promised, answered, That this protestation was to no purpose, for that whosoeuer, of whatsoeuer ranke or estate he were in England, did offend against the lawes of England, may be made subiect to the same, and may be examined and iudged by the late new law. And that therefore that protestation made to the preiudice of the lawes, and of the Queene of England, was not to be admitted. Yet the Commissioners commanded, as well her protestation, as the answer of the Chancellor to be recorded. Then the letters Patents, which, as I haue often said, were founded vpon the Act of Parlament, being read aloud, she with a great courage made a protestation against that Act, as made directly and purposely against her, and in this matter put it to their conscience: And when the Treasurer answered, that euery man in this Realme was bound to the obseruation of the lawes, though neuer so lately made, and that shee might not speake in disgrace of the lawes, and that the Commissioners [page 192] would iudge by vertue of that law, whatsoeuer protestations or appellations she made: At length she said shee was ready and prepared to answer of any act whatsoeuer, done against the Queene of England.
Then Gawdy expounded and made plaine the Act in euery point, and affirmed, that shee had offended against the same, and then he made an Historicall Narration of Babingtons conspiracy, and concluded, that she knew of it, allowed it, promised helpe, and shewed the waies and the meanes. She with an vndanted courage answered, that she knew not Babington, neuer receiued letters from him, nor neuer wrote vnto him, neuer plotted the destruction of the Queene: And that to proue it effectually, the subscription vnder her owne hand was to be produced. She neuer heard so much as any man speake it: that she knew not Ballard, neuer maintained him, but that shee had heard that the Catholikes were much agrieued with many things; and that she certified the Queene therewith in her letters, and had earnestly desired her to haue pitty of them. And that many, vtterly to her vnknowne, had offered their seruice vnto her; yet that she neuer moued any, to any wickednesse: and that she being shut vp in prison, could neither know, nor hinder the things which they attempted.
Vpon this, out of the confession of Babington, shee was vrged that there passed an entercourse of letters betweene her and Babington. She acknowledged, that she had speech with many by letters, neuerthelesse it could not be gathered thereby, that shee knew of all their naughty practises: She requested, that a subscription with her owne hand might be produced, and she asked, who could haue harme by it, if she had requested to haue letters detained almost a whole yeare. Then the Copies of the letters of Babington vnto her were read, in the which all the plot was described. She said, [page 193] As concerning these letters, it may be that Babington might write, but let it be proued that I receiued them: if Babington or others haue affirmed this, I say in plaine termes they lie. Other mens faults are not to be laid on my back. A packet of letters, which was deteined almost a yeer, came about that time to my hands, but truly I know not by whom it was sent to me.
To proue that she had receiued Babingtons letters, there was read out of the confession of Babington the heads of the letters which he had voluntarily confessed that she had written backe.
In like manner things taken out of the confessions of Ballard and Sauage were read, who confessed that Babington had communicated vnto them letters receiued from the Queene of Scotland. She affirmed, that Babington had receiued none from her, yea rather that she had beene angrie with them that secretly suggested, and gaue counsell about the inuading of England, and warned them to beware and take heed. Then were showen the Letters, in the which the plot of Babington was commended and approued. She asked to haue the copie of them, and affirmed that they came not from her, but perhaps out of her Alphabet of Cyphers in France, that she hath laboured to get her libertie, which is a thing naturall to all men, and to haue treated with her friends to vse meanes to deliuer her: Neuerthelesse vnto many whom she was not disposed to name, who offered their seruice, shee had not answered a word, but that she much desired to turne away the storme of persecution from the Catholikes, and that she intreated the Queen thereunto, that shee would not get a kingdome with the bloud of the meanest of all the Commons. That there are many who attempt things pernicious without her knowledge, and in some letters which she hath receiued very lately, some had begged pardon of her, if they attempted any thing without her priuitie. That it was an easie matter to counterfeit the Characters and Cyphers, as a young man, who had boasted [page 194] himselfe to be the bastard brother to her sonne, did very lately in France. That shee also feared lest this was contriued by Walsingham, who (as shee had heard it muttered) had plotted against the life of her and her Sonne. She protesteth that she neuer thought to hurt or kill the Queene, but that she had rather more willingly bestow her life, than that the Catholikes should be afflicted so often, and lose their liues with such grieuous torments for her sake, and in hatred of her.
But, said the Treasurer, none who was an obedient subiect was put to death for Religion, but many were for Treason, maintaining the Popes authoritie and Bull against the Queene. But, said she, I haue heard otherwise, and I haue read it also in printed bookes. The writers of such bookes, replied he, wrote also that the Queene was depriued of her Royall dignitie.
Walsingham, who euen now perceiued himselfe nipped and touched, rose vp, and protesting that his minde was not possessed with any euill will, said, I call God to witnesse, that I, as a priuate man, haue done nothing not beseeming an honest and vpright man, neither for the publike person which I beare haue done any thing which doth not belong vnto my place. I confesse that I haue beene carefull of the safetie of the Queene and the Realme, and haue curiously sought to finde the plots against her. If Ballard had offered me his seruice, I had not refused it, and had recompenced him for his trauell and paine taken. If I haue plotted any thing with him, why did he not tell it out, that he might haue saued his life? She said that shee remained contented with this answer: she requested him not to be angrie, for that shee so freely spoke what shee had heard, and that he would not beleeue more them that slandered her, than she did them that defamed him: That spies were men not to be trusted, for they dissemble one thing, and say another. That he would by no meanes beleeue that shee consented to hurt or kill the Queene. And then weeping amaine, said, I will [page 195] neuer cast away my soule in conspiring to kill my most deare sister. The Lawyers made answer, that it would bee soundly proued by testimonies presently. These things were done before noone.
In the afternoone, for the more substantiall proofe thereof, the copie of the letters which Charles Paget wrote, was brought forth and shewed, and Curlus one of her Secretaries, witnessed, that shee receiued, of the conference betweene Mendoza and Ballard about the counsell of inuading England. She answered:
This is nothing to the matter, neither doth it proue that I consented to hurt or kill the Queene. Moreouer, the Lawyers went forward, to proue that she was priuie of the conspiracie, and also conspired to kill the Queene, out of the confession of Babington, and the letters betweene her and Babington; in the which hee had saluted and stiled her his high and mightie Ladie and Queene.
And by the way they rehearsed, that there was a Counsell holden of assigning and conferring ouer the Kingdome of England vnto the King of Spaine.
She acknowledged, that a Priest came to her, and said, if shee did not stop it, that both she and her sonne should bee excluded from their inheritance: but shee would not tell the name of the Priest. And moreouer, shee said, that the Spaniard challenged a right vnto the Kingdome of England, and would not giue place vnto any, but vnto her.
Then they pressed her with the testimonies of Nauus and Curlus her Secretaries, out of the confession of Babington, and the letters that past betweene Babington and her; and all the credit of their proofes depended vpon the testimonie of them, and yet they were not brought forth face to face.
She did acknowledge Curlus to bee an honest man, but not a sufficient witnesse against her. That Nauus, sometimes Secretarie to the Cardinall of Lorraine, commended to her by the French King, [page 196] might be easily induced either by bribes, or hope, or feare, to beare false witnesse, as one, who sundry times had made rash oathes, and had Curlus so tractable and at his becke, that hee would write whatsoeuer hee bade. And it may bee that they might put into the letters, such things which shee had not endired, and also that such letters came to their hands, which yet shee neuer saw. And broke out into such or the like words: The Maiestie and safetie of Princes will bee of small authoritie, and bee contemned, if they doe depend on the writings and testimonie of their Secretaries. I did endite vnto them nothing but that which nature hath taught mee; that I might recouer and get my libertie at last; neither am I to be conuinced, but out of mine owne words or writing. If they haue written any thing that may be hurt and dammage to my most deare sister, vnwitting to mee, let them bee punished for their inconsiderate boldnesse. I certainly know if they were here present, they would in this cause acquite mee of this fault. And if I had my papers here, I could answer vnto these things in particular.
Amongst those things, the Treasurer obiected, that she had determined to send her sonne into Spaine, and to assigne ouer vnto the Spaniard, the right that shee challenged in the Kingdome of England.
Vnto whom shee answered, That she had no Realme that she could giue away, but yet it was lawfull to giue away her owne things at her will and pleasure. When the Alphabets of Cyphers conueyed vnto Babington, the Lord Lodouick, and to the Lord of Fernihurst, were obiected vnto her out of the testimonie of Curlus, shee denied not, but that she had set downe more, and among the rest, that for the Lord Lodouick, at such time as shee commended him and another vnto the dignitie of a Cardinall, and as shee hoped without offence, forasmuch that it was no lesse lawfull for her to haue commerce of letters, and treat of her affaires, with men of [page 197] her Religion, as it was for the Queene, with the professors of the other Religion:
Then they pressed her thicker, with the agreeing testimonies of Nauus and Curlus, repeated againe,
and shee also repeated her former answers; or else repulsed them with precise denials, protesting againe, that shee neither knew Babington nor Ballard.
Among these speeches, when the Treasurer put in his verdict, saying, that she knew well Morgan, who secretly sent Parry to kill the Queene, and had giuen him an annuall pension,
she replied, she knew that Morgan had lost for her cause all that he had, and therefore she was bound in honour to releeue him, and that shee was not bound to reuenge an iniurie done by a well deseruing friend vnto the Queene, but yet that shee had terrified him from making any such attempts. But yet pensions, said shee, were giuen out of England vnto Patricke Grey, and to the Scots that were mine enemies, as likewise to my sonne.
The Treasurer answered: At such time as the reuenues of the Kingdome of Scotland were much diminished and impaired by the negligence of the Viceroyes, the Queene gaue some liberalitie vnto the King your sonne, her most neere allied Cousin. Afterward was shewed the contents of the Letters vnto Inglefield, and to the Lord Paget, and vnto Bernardino de Mendoza, concerning forraine aid.
And when to those shee had made answer: These things touch not nor concerne the death of the Queene; & if so be that strangers desired and laboured to deliuer her, it was not to be obiected against her; and that she had sundry times signified vnto the Queene, that she would seeke for her libertieThe matter was adiourned vnto the next day.
On the next day she repeated againe her former protestation, and requested that it might be recorded, and a copie thereof deliuered vnto her, lamenting that the most reasonable conditions which she had propounded oftentimes vnto the Queene, were alwaies reiected, yea when she [page 198] promised to giue her sonne, and the sonne of the Duke of Guise for hostages, that the Queene, or the kingdome of England should take no harme by her. That she saw long ere now, that all waies of libertie were stopped, but now that shee is most basely vsed, to haue her honour and estimation called into question, before Petifoggers and Lawyers, who draw euery circumstance into consequences by their quiddities and trickes, since that anointed and consecrated Princes are not subiect, nor vnder the same lawes that priuate men are. Moreouer when they haue authoritie and commission giuen them of examining Things tending to the hurt of the Queens Person; yet notwithstanding the cause is so handled and letters wrested, that the Religion which she professeth, and the immunitie and maiestie of forraine Princes, and the priuate commerces betweene Princes, are called into question, and she below her Royall dignitie is brought to the barre, as it were to be arraigned, and to no other purpose, but that she may be wholly excluded from the fauour of the Queene, and from her right in the Succession, when she appeared voluntarily to confute all obiections, lest shee might seeme to haue beene slacke in the defence of her honour and credit. Shee also called to their memorie, how ELIZABETH her selfe had beene drawne into question for the conspiracie of Wyat, when yet she was most innocent, Religiously affirming, that although she wished the good and welfare of Catholikes, yet she would not haue it to be done by the death and bloud of any one. That she had rather play the part of Hester, than of Iudith, make intercession vnto God for the people, rather than to take away the life of the meanest of the people. And then appealing vnto the Maiestie of God, and vnto the Princes that were allied vnto her; and repeating againe her protestation, she requested that there might be another assembly about this matter, and that shee might haue a Lawyer assigned vnto her, and that since she was a Prince, that they would giue credit to the [page 199] word of a Prince; for it was extreme folly to stand vnto their iudgement, whom she most plainly saw to be armed with fore-iudgements against her.
Vnto these speeches the Treasurer said:
Since that I beare a twofold person, the one of a Delegate or Commissioner, and the other of a Counsellor; First, take of me a few things, as from a Commissioner: Your Protestation is recorded, and the copie thereof shall be deliuered vnto you. Wee haue authoritie giuen vs vnder the Queenes owne hand, and the great Seale of England, from the which there is no appellation: neither come we with a fore-iudgement, but to iudge according to the rule and square of Iustice. The Lawyers aime at no other thing, but that the truth may appeare how farre forth you haue offended against the Queens person. We haue ful power giuen vs to heare and examine the matter, yea in your absence; yet we desire to haue you present, lest we should seeme to diminish your honour or credit: neither haue we thought to object vnto you any thing, but that you haue done or attempted against the Queenes person. The letters are read for no other purpose, but to lay open the practise against the Queene, and other things pertaining thereunto, and are so mingled with other things, that they cannot be separated. And therefore the whole letters, and not parcels taken out of sundrie places of them, are read, for as much as circumstances doe giue credit vnto the things of which you dealt with Babington.
Shee interrupting him, said:
That the circumstances might be proued, but not the deed, that her integritie depended not vpon the credit and memory of her Secretaries, though shee knew them honest: but yet if they haue confessed something out of feare of the racke, hope of reward, and of impunitie, it is not to be admitted and receiued out of iust causes, which shee may declare in another place; that the minds of men are carried away by sundrie kinds of affections, that they would neuer haue confessed such things, but [page 200] either for gaine, or vpon some hope: that letters may be directed vnto others, than vnto whom they are written, and that many things which she had not dictated, had many times beene inserted: if her papers had not beene taken away, and that shee had a Secretarie, she could with more ease confute their obiections.
But nothing (said the Treasurer) shall be obiected, but from the nine and twentieth day of Iune, neither will the papers doe any good, since the Secretaries and Babington himselfe, without torture haue affirmed you to haue sent letters vnto Babington; which thing, although you deny, let the Commissioners iudge, whether more credit is to be giuen vnto their affirmation or your deniall. But to come to the matter. As a Counsellour I tell you this, you haue made many propositions about your libertie at sundrie times: that nothing came thereof, was long of you, or of the Scots, and not of our Queene, for the Noble-men of Scotland absolutely denied to deliuer the King for hostage. And when last of all there was a treatie for your deliuery, Parry was sent secretly by Morgan to kill the Queene. Ah (said shee) you are my professed enemie: Yea rather (replied he) I am an enemie to the enemies of Queene ELIZABETH: but enough of these things; Let vs therefore proceed vnto proofes: when shee denied to heare, Yet we will heare (said he) and I also (said she) in another place, and will defend my selfe.
Now were read againe the letters vnto Charles Paget, in which shee told him, there was no other way for the Spaniard to bring the Netherlands into subiection, than by placing a Prince in England who might doe him good: the letters vnto the Lord Paget to hasten aid and forces to inuade England: the letters of Cardinall Allan, in which he saluted her as his high and soueraigne Ladie, and signified that the businesse was commended vnto the care of the Prince of Parma. As these were in reading, she interrupted them, saying:
That Babington [page 201] and her Secretaries accuse her to excuse themselues; that shee neuer heard of the six Ruffians; that the other things were not to the matter; that shee esteemed Allan to bee a reuerend Prelate; that shee did acknowledge no other head of the Church, than the Pope of Rome; that she was not ignorant in what regard and estimation shee was with him and with forraine Princes, nor could shee hinder it, if they in their letters called her Queene; that her Secretaries since they did against their office, faith, and fidelitie, confirmed by oath vnto her, deserued no credit; that there was no credit to be giuen to them that were once forsworne, though they swore againe by all the oathes of God; neither that they did thinke themselues tied with any oath whatsoeuer in conscience, since that they haue sworne vnto her before that loyaltie and secrecie, neither for that they were not subiects of England: that Nauus had written oftentimes otherwise than she had dictated, and that Curlus had written all whatsoeuer Nauus had bidden, but that she would maintaine and vphold their faults in all things, but those that might blemish her honour. Perhaps also these fellowes did confesse to doe themselues a benefit, whilst they might thinke not to hurt her, with whom, as with a Queene, they thought mildnesse should be vsed; that shee heard nothing of Ballard, but of one Hallard, who had offered his seruice, which yet she had refused, for that shee had heard that the same man had beene belonging to Walsingham.
Afterward, when the notes out of the letters vnto Mendoza, which Curlus had acknowledged that hee wrote out in a priuate character, were read before her, and she was vrged out of them, as if shee had compassed to transfer the right in the Kingdome vnto the Spaniard, and that Allan and Parsons staied now at Rome for that purpose and intent: Shee complaining that her seruants had broken their fidelitie confirmed by oath, answered:
When I being in prison, and languished with care, [page 202] A without hope of libertie, and there was not any more hope left of euer bringing to passe those things, which very many expected of me in my sicknesse and declining age. Many thought it sit that the Succession of the Realme of England should be established in the Spaniard, or in a Catholike English-man: and a booke was brought to proue the right of the Spaniard; which being not admitted by me, I offended many. But all my hope in England being now desperate, I am resolued not to reiect forraine helpe.
The Sollicitor admonished the Commissioners secretly what might become of them, their Honours, goods, and posteritie, if the Kingdome should be so transferred: but the Treasurer shewed them that the Kingdome of England could not be transferred, but to descend by the right of succession according to the Lawes.
Shee requested that shee might be heard in a full and open Parlament, or that shee her selfe might speake to the Queene (whom she hoped would haue respect vnto a Queene) and the Counsellors. And then rising from her seat with a cheerefull countenance, she spoke a few words aside with the Treasurer, Hatton, Walsingham, and the Earle of Warwicke. These things being done, the Assembly or meeting was adiourned vnto the fiue and twentieth day of October, in the Starre-chamber at Westminster. Thus much of this matter out of the Commentaries of Edward Barker, principall Register to the Queenes Maiestie, and of Thomas Wheeler, a Notarie publike, Register of the Audience of Canterburie, and of other credible persons that were present. And in this manner the Queene thought good to haue her tried, although the Lawyers, who are so curious in the examining of words, and following of formes, rather than in the expounding of the Lawes themselues, that according to their forme of law, she was to be called to triall [page 203] in the Countie of Stafford, and to be brought to hold vp her hand at the barre publikely before the Bench, and to be tried by twelue men, saying this indeed was a sweet and goodly forme of iudgment against a Prince. But to auoid and put away such absurdities, shee thought it better to referre so great a cause vnto the Noblemen of the Land, and Realme, and to the Iudges; and this scarce sufficeth,
when as (said shee) all mens eies are cast vpon vs Princes, as being set aloft, as on a high scaffold, so that in vs euen the least blemish or spot is seene afarre off, so that we are carefully to prouide that we doe nothing vnworthy of our selues.
But to returne where I left: At that day met all the Commissioners (but the Earles of Shrewsbury and Warwicke, who were then sicke) and after that Nauus and Curlus had affirmed and confirmed before them, that euery and singular the letters and copies of letters, which were produced before, to bee most true vpon their oathes, viua voce, voluntarily without hope or reward; the sentence against the Queene of Scotland was pronounced and confirmed with the seales and subscriptions of the Commissioners; and recorded in these words: By their assent, consent and accord, they doe pronounce, giue, and say their Sentence and Iudgement, at the day and place last rehearsed, that after the end of the aforesaid Session of Parliament, specified in the aforesaid Commission, viz. after the aforesaid first day of Iune, in the 27. yeere aforesaid, and before the date of thesaid Commission, diuers things were imagined and compassed within this Realme of England, by Anthony Babington and others, with the priuitie of the said MARIE, pretending title vnto the Crowne of this Realme of England, tending to the hurt, death and destruction of the Royall person of our said Ladie, the Queene. And to wit, that after the aforesaid first day of Iune, in the seuen and twentieth yeere abouesaid, [page 204] and before the date of the aforesaid Commission, the said MARIE pretending title vnto the Crowne of this Realme of England, compassed and imagined within this Realme of England diuers things tending to the hurt, death and destruction of the Royall person of our Lady the Queen, against the forme of the Statute specified in the aforesaid Commission. Of this Sentence which depended wholly on the credit of the Secretaries, neither were they brought face to face, according to the first Statute of the 13. yeere of Queene ELIZABETH her selfe, was very much speech and different amongst men, some iudging them vnworthy of credit, and others againe thought them worthy to be beleeued. I haue seene the Apologie of Nauus written vnto King Iames, in the yeere 1605. in the which hee doth laboriously excuse himselfe, in protesting that hee was neither the Author, nor perswader, nor first discouerer of that plot or deuice, neither that hee failed at all in his dutie through negligence or incircumspection, but rather that he stoutly did impugne the heads of the accusations against his Ladie this day. Which thing yet doth not appeare by the publike records. But the same day it was declared by the Commissioners, and by the Iudges of the Realme, That that Sentence did derogate nothing from IAMES King of Scotland in his right or honour, but him to be in the same place, estate and right, as if that Sentence had not beene giuen at all.
In a short time after there was a Parlament holden at Westminster, in the which the Estates of the Kingdome who had approued and confirmed by their voices the sentence pronounced against the Queene of Scotland, by one consent and accord deliuered by the Chancellor vnto the Queene a supplication, in which they most earnestly besought her, that for the conseruation of the true Religon, the tranquillitie of the Realme, safetie [page 205] of the Queene, the good estate of them and of their posteritie, the sentence giuen against MARY Queene of Scotland according to the Law might be published. They fetcht their reasons from the dangers hanging ouer the heads of their Religion, her Royall Person, and Realme, by her who nursed vp in the Religion of the Papists, and sworne one of the Holy League to root out the Religion of the Protestants, had challenged long the Realme as due to her, and had thought it a most iust thing to oppugne a woman excommunicate, and meritorious to depriue her of her life. She had subucrted and ouerthrowne the flourishing families of the Realme, and laid fewell vnto all plots contriued and tumults in England. To spareher, was no other thing but to vndoe the people, who will take it in euill part if she be suffered to escape without punishment, and will not beleeue themselues freed from the oath of the Association, except she were put to death. Lastly, they called to her remembrance what fearefull examples of Gods punishment there were against King Saul for that he killed not Agag; and vpon Achab, for that he killed not Benadad. Thus said the States of Parlament.
The Queene with a maiesticall countenance and voice answered vnto this effect:
The benefits of Almightie God are so great and so many toward me, that I doe not only acknowledge them most humbly, but doe admire them as miracles, forasmuch as I cannot expresse them in words. Although there be no mortall man more beholding to the Maiestie of God than I my selfe, so oft times deliuered from dangers not without miracle; yet I am not indebted more than for this only thing, which I account as a miracle; that is to say, That as I receiued and tooke vpon me the gouernment of the Realme with [page 206] the full consent and good will of all, so I see perfectly the same, if not your greater loue and good will toward me, after that XXVIII. yeeres be expired: and if I should faile therein now, and that it did not continue still, I might perchance be perceiued to breathe, but surely not to liue. But now although attempts be made against my life, neuerthelesse nothing troubleth me more, than that she who is of the same sex, of the same stocke and linage, and also of my bloud and kindred , hath beene accessarie to the same. And I am so farre off from being malicious toward her, as that when some plots against me came to light, I wrote vnto her, that if she would confesse them in her priuate letters vnto me, they should be wrapped vp in silence. Neither did I write thus with this minde, to ensnare her, for that whatsoeuer she could confesse, was knowne to me. Yet neuerthelesse though things are come to this passe that they are, if she would truly repent, and that none would vndertake her cause against mee, and that hereupon my life only, and not the safetie of all the people did depend (I would not haue you thinke I faine) I would truly most willingly forgiue her: yea if England by my death might flourish more, and haue a better Prince, I would most readily lay downe my life; for I doe desire not to liue, but for the good of the people, and not of my selfe. Neither is there any cause, hauing liued in that manner as I haue, why I should desire to liue, or feare to die. I am not ignorant of all kinde of lifes, for I haue obeyed, and I haue gouerned; I haue had good neighbours, and also euill; I haue found treacherie where I trusted: I haue euill bestowed benefits, and I haue beene euill reported of when I haue done well. When I call these things past to minde, see and behold [page 207] the things present, and expect future things, I thinke them most happie who die soone: against such euils as these I put on a manly minde, that whatsoeuer befall vnto me, death may not take and finde me vnprouided.
As concerning these treasons, I will not so preiudicate my selfe, or the lawes of my Kingdome, that I doe not thinke but that she the author and contriuer of this treason, is a subiect, and liable by the ancient lawes, although this new law had neuer beene made; the which neuerthelesse was not enacted directly to entrap her, as many folkes that fauour her doe suspect and imagine. It was so farre off from being made to ensnare her, that it was rather done to premonish and deterre her from attempting any thing against it. And since that it hath the force of a law, it was thought meet to proceed against her by the same. But you Lawyers be so curious and precise in examining the words and letters of the law, and following your formalities, rather than in the expounding the lawes themselues, that by your formes she was (as is said before) within the Countie of Stafford in person to be arraigned, standing at the barre, and holding vp her hand, and to be tried by the verdict of twelue men. Assuredly it were a goodly forme of iudgement vpon a Prince. To auoid such like absurdities, I thought it most fit to referre so great a cause to be examined by the Nobilitie and Iudges; and this is scarce sufficient, for that the eyes of all men are fixed on vs that are Princes, standing aloft (as it were) on a Theater or Stage, and in vs the least blemish is seene, be it neuer so farre off: so that we are very carefully to prouide and beware that we commit and doe nothing vnworthy of our selues. But you by this new law haue brought [page 208] me into a very great strait, that I should set downe the determination for the punishment of her, who is a Princesse most neere to me in bloud, and whose attempts and plots haue so grieued my heart, that not to increase it by hearing the same rehearsed, I willingly ablented my selfe from this assembly of Parlament, and not for feare of some lying in wait to kill me, as some imagine: yet I will vtter this secret (though I be no blabbe) I saw with these eies, and read the oath wherein some haue bound themselues to kill me within a mon[...]th space. From hence I foresee your danger, and I will take a great care to refell the same.
Your Association for my safetie I haue not forgotten, yet I neuer so much as thought of such a thing before the same was shewed mee vnder their hands and seales. The same hath tied me vnto you in strong bonds of good will for your loue vnto mee, who seeke for no other solace and comforts than from the loue of you, and of the Common-wealth. But for as much as the matter which is now treated of, is seldome seene, and for that there be few examples thereof, and is a matter of very great moment, I intreat you not to expect that I should make an answer and set down my certaine determination, for it is my vse and custome euen in smaller matters, to be aduised a good space in things which are but once to be determined. I will desire earnestly Almightie God to powre the shining beams of his light into my minde, that I may perfectly see and b[...]hold what may bee best for the good and profi[...] of the Church, the Common-wealth, and your safe[...]ie. Yet lest delay may bring danger, I will in conuenient time signifie vnto you what my minde is.
And so the twelfth day after, when shee had considered [page 209] more aduisedly on the matter, shee, as it were, in her doubtfull minde distracted, and not able to resolue what to doe, requested them (sending the Chancellor vnto the Nobilitie, and Puckering vnto them of the Lower house) more diligently to aduise and consult of so weightie a matter againe, and to deuise some more wholesome remedie, whereby the life of the Queene of Scotland might be spared, and her securitie procured.
When they had deliberated and consulted much, and a long time, and had iudged both the good and the euill of the Prince to concerne all men, they fall againe to the same opinion with one voice, and for these causes: For that the Queene could not be in safetie, as long as the Queene of Scotland liued, except shee repented seriously, and acknowledged her crimes, or else was tied and kept in a straiter prison, and with deeds of writing vnder her hand, or by oath, or should giue hostages, or depart out of the Realme. They hoped for no repentance in her, since that she had euill requited the Queene, who had giuen her life vnto her, and had not yet acknowledged her crimes. They held and accounted straiter custodie, writings vnder her hand, oath and hostages as nothing, for as much as these things vanished in smoake, presently as soone as the Queene was dead or made away; but if shee departed out of the Realme, they feared shee would forthwith aduance her Standards to inuade the Kingdome. When the Chancellor, and Puckering, Speaker of the Lower house, had declared these things at large, vrging to haue the sentence put in execution, For as much as it was iniustice to deny the execution of law, if it were to any one of her subiects that desired it, much more to all the Englishmen efflagitating it so much with one voice and one heart. Vnto whom the Queene made a Speech in this manner:
That iourney is very grieuous by the which both whilest it is going, and when it is ended, nothing is [page 210] gotten but trouble and vexation. I am very much troubled and vexed this very day, as much as at any time, whether I should speake or hold my tongue: If I shall speake and not complaine, surely I shall fai[...]e; If I hold my tongue, your labour is lost; but if I complaine, it may seeme strange: yet I confesse, I haue much wished that for your securitie, and withall for my safetie, some other way might haue beene deuised, than that which is now propounded. So that I cannot but complaine before you, though not of you, since that I vnderstand by your petitions, that my safetie dependeth wholly on the death of another. If any thinke that I haue prolonged the time, to procure vaingloriously the commendation of clemencie, they do[...] me much wrong, which thing God who searcheth the secrets of al mens hearts, knoweth best. It th[...]re be any that thinke that the Commissioners durst not pronounce any other sentence, lest they should seeme to displease me, or to haue beene carelesse of my safetie, they wrong me exceedingly; for either my seruants failed in doing their dutie, or else they signified on my behalfe vnto the Commissioners that my wil was, and that I commanded that euery one should doe freely according as they thought in their minds, and that they should priuatly impart vnto mee those things which they would not vtter publikely. It was out of my abundant good will toward her, to desire to haue another course or meanes deuised for this mischiefe. But now since it is most certaine, that I and my safetie are in a deplorable estate, except shee be rid and made away, I am sorrie at my heart, that I who haue pardoned and giuen life to so many Rebels, and haue neglected so many Treasons, by conniuing or holding my peace, may seeme now at the length to vse crueltie [page 211] and [...]eucritie toward so great a Prince. Since the time I came vnto the Crowne, I haue seene many Libels scattered abroad against me, as against a Tyrant: God send the writers of them good lucke. I beleeue that they would say some new things, and truly it seemeth strange to mee, to be noted for a Tyrant, I wish it were as strange to heare of their impietie.
What will not they publish in their writings, when they shall heare that I haue consented, that the hangman shall [...]mbrue his hands in the bloud of my next Cousin? I am so farre from crueltie, that to conserue my life, I would not vse any violence against her, neither haue I beene so carefull to lengthen out mine owne life, as I haue laboured to conserue the life of vs both, and I am immeasurably sorrie that now it cannot be done. I am not so void of wit, but that I see the dangers that be neere me, nor of that peeuish folly[...] whet and sharpen the sword wherewith to haue my throat cut, nor of that carelesse sloth, that I will not stirre to saue mine owne life. But I imagine this thing with my selfe, that there be many who will put their liues in danger to saue the life of their Prince, of whose number yet I doe not professe my selfe to be. These things I haue considered in my minde. But since that many haue written and spoken bitterly against mee, let it be lawfull for me to make an Apologie for my selfe, that you may see for the safe[...]y of what woman you haue taken so much pain. As I doe make a thankfull remembrance of your vigilancie and watchfulnesse; so I cannot, nor shall not giue you equall thankes, if I had as many liues left as euery one of you haue.
Assoone as I tooke the Crowne on me, not forgetting God the giuer thereof, I began my Reigne with his worship and Religion, in the which I was [page 212] brought vp, and in which, as I hope, I shall die: though I be not ignorant what dangers enuironed me at home for the alteration of Religion, and what potent Kings of the other profession abroad, shewed themselues my enemies; yet neuerthelesse I was not moued: for I knew that God, whom I chiefly respected, would defend mee and my cause. Vpon this proceeded and grew so many plots and conspiracies against mee, that I might haue wondered how I should escape, if God had not holpen me beyond my hope. Then that I might make greater progresse in the art of Gouernment, I studied much and long what things were the fit parts for a King, and I found out by search, that it was very necessarie that they should bee furnished with those Cardinall vertues,Iustice, Temperance, Prudence, and Fortitude.
My sex doth not permit me to arrogate vnto my selfe these two latter, which belong properly vnto men, but of the former and the milder vertues (as I may call them) I dare say this without vanterie, I haue kept the highest and lowest in awe alike, I haue raised no man whom I haue not thought worthy, I haue not beene credulous of beleefe in hearing tales. I haue not corrupted Iudgement with a fore-iudgement, without hearing the cause; yet I cannot say, but that many things may be told me as truth,, vpon the too much partialitie of the parties, For a good and warie Prince is often sold, for that he cannot heare all things himselfe. But this I can auerre and auow for truth, According to my capacitie, I haue alwaies made Iudgement subiect vnto Truth. As there was one who admonished his friend to make no answer vnto a question, before he recited the Alphabet; so I did neuer determine any thing rashly and in haste.
Therefore, as concerning your consultations and [page 213] aduices, I acknowledge them to be studied, prouident and wholesome for my better conseruation, and to grow and proceed from your hearts, both sincere and most deuoted vnto mee, so that it is my part to striue with all my power, not to seeme, or to be ingrate vnto them that deserue so well at my hands. And as concerning your Petition, I beseech and request you that you will be content with an answer without an answer. I approue your iudgement, I conceiue your reasons, yet I pray you excuse the doubtful care of studying and considering in this businesse which tormenteth me. Take in good part my most thankfull minde vnto you, and also this answer, if you thinke it an answer. If I shall say that I will not doe that which you request, perhaps I shall say that which I doe not think; but if I shall say I will doe it, I shall precipitate my selfe, whom you wish to be conserued, into vtter destruction: which thing I assuredly know in your wisdome you would not, if you consider thorowly the places, the times, and the manners of men.
After these things done, the Assembly of the Estates of Parlament was prorogued.
About the same time the Lord Buckhurst and Beale are sent to the Queene of Scotland to signifie the sentence giuen against her, and that the same as most iust was approued and confirmed by the authoritie of Parlament, and that the States did very much vrge the same in reason of Iustice, Securitie, and Necessitie; and therefore should perswade her that acknowledging her sinnes against God and the Queene, she might by this repentance before her death, purge and cleanse her from her sinnes; insinuating, that as long as she liued the Religion receiued in England could not stand firme. Hereupon she with an vnwonted alacritie and cheerefulnesse seemed to triumph, giuing thankes to God, [page 214] and reioycing to her selfe, that she was accounted an instrument for the re-establishment of Religion in this Island: And vehemently besought them that shee might haue a Catholike Priest to direct her conscience and administer the Sacraments: and vtterly reiected the Bishop and Deane, whom they commended as fit men for that purpose, and gaue the English nation a bitter taunt, in saying oftentimes, that the Englishmen had vsed crueltie toward their Kings in killing them now and then, so that now it was not strange if also they exercised tyrannie on me borne and come also of their bloud.
L'aubespineus the French Embassador stopped and staied a little the publication of the iudgement; but some Courtiers diligently labouring in it, in the moneth of December it was publikely proclaimed thorow the Citie of London, the Maior, the Aldermen, and principall Citizens being present, and afterward thorow all the Realme. In the preface the Queene did in earnest manner protest that this Proclamation was wrung out and extorted from her, not without great anxietie of minde, by great necessitie, and the most vehement obtestations of the Estates of the Realme, though there were some who thought this to be spoken by a womans policie, who desire to seeme alwayes to doe that which they doe by coaction, though they desire it neuer so much.
The diuulging of this direfull and dolefull Proclamation being told vnto the Queene of Scotland, shee was so farre off from being deiected, that rather with a resolued and staied countenance she gaue thankes vnto God, with lifting vp her hands vnto heauen. And although Powlet her Keeper depriued her of all dignitie and respect, and she was no more accounted of but as a meane woman of the basest ranke, yet she endured it with a most quiet minde. But hauing gotten leaue of [page 215] him with too much adoe, by letters vnto Queene ELIZABETH dated the nineteenth day of December, she declareth her selfe free from all malice and hatefull minde against her, giueth thankes vnto God for that sentence of death, who would haue the end of her sorrowfull life to come. She intreateth her that she may be obliged and beholden vnto her only, and not vnto others, for these benefits that follow, since that she could expect and looke for no good from the hot-minded Puritans, who carried all away in England. First, that when her enemies were glutted and satisfied with the shedding of her innocent bloud, that her body may be carried by her seruants to be buried in some hallowed ground, especially into France, where her mother resteth in peace; since that violence hath beene offered vnto the ashes of her forefathers and ancestors in Scotland, and the Churches either pulled downe or prophaned; neither could she hope for a buriall with Catholike rites in England, amongst the ancient Kings the ancestors to both of them: so that at last her body may rest, which conioyned to her soule did neuer rest nor had quiet. The second was (forasmuch as she feared the secret villanie of many men) that she might not be put to death secretly, without the knowledge of Queene ELIZABETH, but in the presence of her seruants and others, who might beare true witnesse of her faith toward Christ, her obedience to the Church, and the end of her life, against the false rumours which her aduersaries might spreade and deuise. The third was, that her seruants might freely and peaceably depart, and might goe whither they would, and enioy the legacies she had bequeathed vnto them in her Testament. These things she requested very earnestly in the name of Iesus Christ, by the soule and memorie of HENRY the seuenth, progenitor to them both, by the royall honour that she had borne. Then she complained, that all royall furniture was violently taken away by the commandement of some of her [page 216] Counsellors, and forebodeth that their malice would breake out vnto greater matters. And addeth, if they had shewen the letters and papers taken away without fraud and sincerely, that it would haue plainly appeared, that there was no other cause of her death, than the too scrupulous care of some men of the securitie of Queene ELIZABETH. Lastly, she earnestly desired her to write a few words with her owne hand concerning these matters. But whether these letters came euer to the hands of Queene ELIZABETH, I cannot say.
But sundry men talked in sundry manners according to their sundry wits, of this matter; not to speake of the Clergie men of both sides, who are for the most part vehement in their opinions.
There were some plaine and indifferent weighers of matters, who thought they dealt very rigorously with her, for that she was a free and absolute Princesse, aboue whom none had any authoritie but God alone, for that she was so very neere of kinne vnto Queene ELIZABETH, who also had promised very liberally in the word of a Prince, vnto her driuen out of her Realme, as soone as she was arriued in England, by Henry Middlemore, all humanitie, courtesie, and rights of hospitalitie; and yet on the other side had deteined her in prison, and had violated the sacred bonds of friendly familiaritie. That she could be in no other estate than of one taken in the warre, and that all the meanes of getting safetie and libertie is lawfull to them that be taken in the warre. That she could not offend in the case of treason, in that she was no subiect, and the like hath no power ouer the like; and that thereupon the iudgement of the Emperour against Robert King of Sicilie was void and of none effect, for that he was not subiect vnto the Empire. That the Embassadors of Princes, if they shall conspire against the King vnto whom they [page 217] are sent Embassadours, are not touched as Traytors, much lesse the Princes themselues. And that the Affect is not to be punished, except the Effect follow. And it was neuer heard that a Prince was put to death by the hand of an executioner. Moreouer, that shee was condemned against the Law of God, the Ciuill Law of the Romans, and the Lawes of England; yea, against the first Statute of the Parlament in the XIII. yeere of Queene ELIZABETH her selfe, in the which it was enacted, that none should be arraigned for conspiring against the Queenes life, but by the testimonie and oath of two lawfull witnesses, to be brought forth face to face against the partie arraigned: and in this iudgement no witnesse was produced, but shee was oppressed and cast by the testimonie of her Secretaries, who were absent. Men also disputed of both parts of the credit of seruants, men in prison, and the testimonie of them of ones houshold. And that word of the Emperour Hadrian was commended, Credit is to be giuen vnto witnesses, and not vnto testimonies. These men also to themselues, or their assured friends, complained, that busie fellowes were suborned, who by dissimulation, counterfeit letters, and contriued deuices, had cunningly deceiued a woman easie to bee wronged, and greedie of libertie, sp[...]ed out and preuented her purposes, and had drawne her into the worser, which she had neuer thought on, if she h[...]d beene kept with fitting care, and such like secret and craftie plotters sent on purpose: That it is an ordinarie thing for Courtiers in all ages, to vrge and driue them that be hated, euen against their will, into the crime of Treason, and craftily to breed trouble vnto vnwarie Innocence that is once impr[...]soned.
There were others who thought shee was not a free and absolute, but only a Titularie Queene, because shee had made a Session, and passed away her Kingdome to [page 218] her sonne, and had submitted herselfe vnto the protection of the Queene of England, when shee came first into England, and as by well doing she had and enioyed the benefit of the Lawes; so in doing euill, shee might be subiect vnto the equitie of the same lawes, according vnto that saying of the Lawyers, Hee that offendeth against the Law, deserueth not the benefit of the Law. Otherwise, the condition of a Forraine Prince, offending in the Realme of another Prince, should be better than the condition of a King reigning well. They also thought her to be a Subiect, although not Originary, yet Temporary, for that two absolute Kings (as concerning Royall authoritie) cannot be at one time in one Kingdome. That this is a receiued and ruled opinion of the Lavvyers, The King out of his Territorie (except it be in a voyage of warre) is a priuate man, and therefore can neither bestow nor exercise any Regalities. Moreouer, that she hath lost by her fault absolute Gouernment, and that subiects euen in their habitation or house may commit treason. And as for kindred, there is no Alliance neerer vnto any one, than their Countrey, that is to be vnto vs another God, and our prime and dearest Parent. And as for the promises of humanitie and courteous entertainment promised, that they be not priuileges to commit wicked facts afterwards without punishment. That promises are to be vnderstood, Things remaining in the same state, and not changed. He that hath committed a fault, deserueth not to enioy the securitie promised: And indeed that the law and right of a guest entertained are holy, but that the right of our Country is more sacred: Princes doe neuer binde their owne hands, and that all are bound and obliged more strongly vnto their Countrey, than to their owne promise.
And if shee were to be dealt withall, as with one taken in the war, they obiected, I know not out of what [page 219] Author, Those captiues are only to be spared, from whom we doe not feare any vexation or trouble and not any others. That the equall hath power vpon the equall, as often as he doth submit himselfe vnto the iudgement of his equall, either expressedly in words, or couertly in contractation, or in offending within the iurisdiction of his equall. That the Pope did adnull and abrogate the sentence of the Emperour against Robert King of Siailia, for that the fact was not committed in the Territorie of the Emperour, but in the Dominion of the Pope. That Ambassadors, because of the necessitie of Ambassades, are fauoured and allowed to be inuiolate by the law of Nations, but not Kings practising in the Dominions of another King. Furthermore, that in treason the affect without the effect is to be punished. And that to plot to kill the Prince, yea to know it, and to conceale the plot, is accounted treason. That many Kings haue beene condemned and put to death, namely, Rhescuporis King of Thracia, by Tyberius, Licinius and Maximianus, by Constantine the Great, Bernard King of Italy, Conradinus King of Sicily, & Moreouer, which may stand in stead of all, That the safetie of the people is the chiefest law, and that no law is more sacred than the safetie and welfare of the Common-wealth. That God himselfe hath enacted this law, that all things that were for the good, profit, and benefit of the Common-wealth, should be accounted lawfull and iust. Moreouer, that Secretaries were not to be reckoned amongst bond-men, and that the testimonie of ones houshold is to bee receiued about those things which were done secretly at home. But it was argued more narrowly, whether accusers voluntarily sworne, and accessarie in criminall matters, are to be produced face to face, to defend and proue their accusation. Lastly, it was granted that there is no great example extant, [page 220] which hath not some iniquity therein. These and such like were debated and argued to and fro in euery mans mouth.
In the meane time the King of Scotland, so great was his pietie vnto his mother, laboured all that possibly he could by William Keith, neither did he omit any thing fit for a good and pious sonne, and a most prudent King, but with no successe at all, forasmuch as the Scots were torne in pieces with factions amongst themselues, and more fauoured Queene ELIZABETH, than the captiue Queene, in so much that many of them did priuily solicite Queene ELIZABETH by their letters, to hasten her punishment; and the Scottish Ministers being commanded by the King, to commend the safetie of his mother, vnto God, in their prayers, in all their Churches; such was the hatred vnto the Religion shee professed, that they obstinatly refused so to do: yet he, as he had before, with often messengers, and almost continuall letters, made request vnto the Queene. Now he plied her exceedingly, with more often and most vehement messages and letters: In which hee complained, That it was most vniust and vnfit for the Nobilitie, Counsellors, and Subiects of England, to giue sentence vpon a Queene of Scotland, and shee borne of the Royall bloud of England, and a thing no lesse vniust, euen but to thinke that the Parlamentarie Estates of England, by their authority, had power to exclude the true and certaine Heires of their right of succession and lawfull inheritance (which many men now and then threatned to feare him.)
He sent also Patrike Gray, and Robert Meluin, who signified to the Queene, That he, for the great loue and familiaritie between them, cannot beleeue, but she would conserue her famous renowne, she had acquired in euery place by her vertues, but especially by her clemency, vnspotted without all staine of crueltie, and would not by any means defile and pollute [page 221] the same with the bloud of his mother, who was of the same Royall condition, of the same bloud, and of the same sex, and the which he (for as much as the bloud of the mother did possesse in him a great reuerence) could not leaue vnto the tyrannie of them, who for a long time since haue thirsted for the destruction of him, as well as for his mothers destruction now.
In other letters, after he had at large discoursed, how he was grieued and tormented in minde, and distracted, concerning so great a matter that touched and bound him, both in respect of nature and honour, and into what danger and losse of credit he was cast, if any violence was vsed vnto his mother, he out of his inward griefe and filiall affection propounded vnto Queene ELIZABETH, whereupon shee might studie attentiuely. How much it concerneth his Honour, who is both a King and her Sonne, if his most deare mother, and the same also an absolute Prince, should be put to an infamous death by her, who is most neerely ioyned by the bands of bloud and league. Whether by the law of God any thing may be done iustly by forme of law vnto them, whom Almightie God hath appointed the soueraigne Ministers of Iustice, whom he hath called Gods on the [...]arth, whom he hath anointed, and being anointed, forbade to be touched, will he suffer them to be violated without punishment? How prodigious a thing it is to subiect an absolute Prince vnto the iudgement of Subiects; yea how monstrous a thing it were, that an absolute Prince should giue first this pernicious example, to prophane their owne and other Princes Diadems? Moreouer, what should vrge her vnto this seueritie, Honour, or Profit? If Honour, she might acquire more honour by sparing her, for so with the eternall praise of clemencie, shee might binde him and all the Princes of Christendome with a benefit, whom otherwise shee could not but alienate with losse of her good report, and marke of crueltie. But if Vtilitie moued her, [page 220 [...] 221 [...] 222 (sic)] she was to consider whether any thing can be profitable, but that which is iust and honest. A nd ended beseeching her, that his Ambassadors might bring backe such an answer, that may be most worthy of a most pitifull Queene, and not vnworthy of the King and her most louing Cousin. But when as the Ambassadors out of season mingled threats amongst their requests, they were lesse acceptable, and sent away within few daies with very small hope.
Pomponius Bellieurus, who was sent by the French King for the same cause, when he was come vnto the Queene, hauing in his company L'aubespineus of Castro Nouo, the ordinary Ambassador, and had in few words signified, how the French King was distracted on this side, for his singular loue toward her, and on that side, for the strait familiaritie and affinitie betweene him and the Queene of Scotland, he propounded in writing these things and the like, once or twice:
- The most Christian King of France, and all other Kings are interessated, that a Queene, and free and absolute Princesse be not put to death.
- The safetie of the Queene may be more endangered by the death, than by the life of MARY: that she being deliuered out of prison, can attempt nothing against the Queene, for that shee was sickly, and could not liue long.
- That shee challenged and claimed the Kingdome of England, was not to be laid to her charge as a fault, but was to be ascribed to the tendernesse of her age, and her naughtie counsellors.
- That she came into England to intreat helpe and fauour, and therefore the lesse iustly detained, and that now at length she was to be let loose vpon some ransome agreed vpon, or else to haue mercy vsed to her. Moreouer, that an absolute Prince is not to be called in question of his life, in so much that Cicero said, It is so vnusuall for a King to be arraigned, that it is a thing neuer heard before this time.
- [page 223] If she be innocent, then shee is not to be put to death; if faultie, to be spared, for this would proue more to her honour and vtilitie, and it should be the eternall example of the clemencie of England. To this intent the historie of Porsenna was rehearsed, who pulled the hand of Mutius Sceuola, who had conspired to kill him, out of the flames of fire, and dismissed him.
- That the first precept of reigning well, is to spare bloud, that bloud calleth for bloud, that it cannot be otherwise thought but to be cruell and bloudie to vse tyrannie toward her.
- That the French King will do all his labour, and vse all diligence, that the attempts and endeuours of all that plot any thing against the Queene, may be repressed and stopped: And that the Guises, the kinsmen of the Queene of Scotland, would sweare the same, and confirme it with their hands and seales, who, if shee be put to death, will take it in very euill part, and perhaps will not suffer it to be vnreuenged.
- Lastly, they requested that she should not be vsed according to that rigorous and extraordinarie iudgement, if not, that the French King could not but take it in very euill part, and be much offended, howsoeuer all other Princes may take it.
Vnto these writings answer was made in the margin vnto euery article thus:
That the Queene of England doth hope that the most Christian King of France will haue no lesse regard and respect vnto her, than vnto the Scottish Queene, who plotted to kill an innoccnt Prince, her next cousin, and the Kings confederate. And that it is behouefull vnto Kings and Common-wealths, that mischieuous actions (specially against Princes) be not left vnpunished.
That the English-men, who acknowledge only Queene ELIZABETH to be Supreme Gouernour in England, cannot at once acknowledge two Soueraignes, free and absolute Princesses in England: neither that any other whomsoeuer, [page 224] whilest she liued, was to be taken as equall with her. Neither could they see how the Scottish Queene and her sonne that now reigneth, can be accounted at one time soueraigne and absolute Princes.
Whether that the Queenes safetie may be exposed vnto greater dangers, if she be put to death, dependeth vpon contingencie and vncertaintie hereafter; that the Estates of England, who haue studied seriously on this point, thinke otherwise, to wit, that there will neuer want occasions of plo[...]ting mischiefes during her life, especially for that matters are now come to that passe, that there is no hope left for the other, except the other be extinguished or taken away; and this sentence may come often to minde, Either I her, or shee me. The shorter her life is, with the more speed the conspirators for this cause will accelerate and hasten the execution of her plots.
That shee would not hitherto renounce and giue ouer the right shee claimeth and challengeth vnto the Realme of England, and that for that cause she hath beene most rightfully detained in prison, and is still to be detained (although shee came for succour and helpe into England) vntill shee haue renounced and giuen ouer the same: And that she ought to sustaine punishment for the faults she hath committed in prison, for what cause soeuer she was put into prison.
That the Queene also hath pardoned her most mercifully, when shee was condemned by the consent of all the Estates for the Rebellion raised in the North, to make the mariage betweene her and the Duke of Norfolke, and to spare her againe were a fond and cruell kinde of mercie. That none are ignorant of that saying of the Lawyers: An offender in the territory of another, and there found, is punished in the place where the [...]ault is committed, without any regard or respect of dignitie, honour, or priuilege. And that the same is euident as well by the lawes of England, as also by the examples of Licinius, Robert King of Sicilie, [page 225] Bernard King of Italy, Conradinus, of Elizabeth Queen of Hungarie, of Ioan Queene of Naples, and of Deiotarus, for whom Cicero pleading, said it was not vniust for the King to be arraigned, though it were vnusuall. For the words goe thus; Quod prim~m dico de capite fortunisque Regis: Quod ipsum etsi non iniquum est, in tuo duntaxat periculo, tamen est ita inusitatum, &
That she who hath beene found guiltie by a lawfull iudgement, is to be put vnto execution, forasmuch as that which is iust is honest, and that which is honest, is also profitable.
That the History of Porsenna did not agree vnto this matter proposed, except one should thinke that there is a long traine of them who seeke to hurt the Queene, and could perswade her to dismisse her without any hurt, out of feare, and some little respect of honour, but no regard of her owne safety: as Porsenna sent Mutius away, when he had auowed that there were other three hundred who had conspired to kill him. Moreouer, that Mutius ventured vpon Porsenna in a war proclaimed, and by the sending of Mutius away, he perswaded and assured himselfe, that he had escaped all danger.
Bloud is to be spared, that is, the innocent. God commanded this: It is true, that the voice of bloud crieth for bloud, and that France, before the massacre of Paris, and afterward, can witnesse this.
That a punishment iustly inflicted, cannot be thought to be bloudie, no more than a medicine, prepared and made as it ought, fitly for the sicknesse, can be accounted violent.
Howsoeuer the Guises, cousins vnto the Scottish Queene, take it, the Queene hath more occasion, and it concernes her more, to respect and regard rather the safetie and good of her Nobilitie and people, of whose loue shee wholly dependeth, than the displeasure of any other whosoeuer, and that matters were now come vnto that passe, that that old prouerbe of the two Princes, Conradino the Sicilian, and Charles of Anjou, may be vsed and truly said of the two Queenes, [page 226] THE DEATH OF MARIE, THE LIFE OF ELIZABETH, AND THE LIFE OF MARIE, DEATH OF ELIZABETH.
That the promises of the French King, and of the Guises, cannot giue assurance of securitie vnto the Queene and the Realme, much lesse make amends for her death, if she be made away.
That the French King cannot finde out the secret plots contriued against him at home, much lesse against the Queen of England. For that treason is closely handled, and therefore ineuitable and vnauoidable. If the wicked fact be once done, what will it doe good to challenge their promise? How may the losse for the death of an incomparable Prince be repaired or recompenced, and what remedie may be found for the Republike giuing vp the ghost with her, in a most lamentable confusion of all things?
The hand-writings of the Guises, who thinke it a meritorious act to dispatch them who are enemies to the Pope, and may very easily obtaine and get dispensations for their oath, be of small moment, or importance, or of none at all. And what English man is it that will accuse them for killing the Queene ELIZABETH after her death, and after that the Queene of Scotland being of the Family of the Guises, is enstalled in the Crowne of England? What? can one recall her backe vnto life thereby?
But in that the Ambassadors haue called this iudgement rigorous and extraordinarie, they haue said it without due consideration (for as much as they haue neither seene the processe nor the probations) and haue too bitterly taxed the Estates of the Realme of England, men of great account, chosen for their nobilitie, vertue, prudence and pietie: yea moreouer, that they haue absolutely spoken such like words, as if they came from the French King, very inconsiderately, making shew that they would feare with their threats and menaces, the Queene, and the Estates of the Realme. That [page 227] the English-men are not accustomed to be terrified with threats of the French-men, from taking a course and means to establish and settle their securitie, for as much as they in the meane time did not shew nor demonstrate any fit or conuenient way or meanes of auerting or putting away the instant and imminent dangers of England.
But the malitious and spightful enemies of the Queen of Scotland, tooke occasions all they could of hastening her death, and caused (the more to affright Queene ELIZABETH, knowing well that in the greatest danger of safetie, feare doth exclude all mercie) false rumours to be spread in euery place of England daily, with fearefull out-cries, viz. That the Spanish Eleet were alreadie arriued in the Hauen of Milford, that the Scots had inuaded England, that the Duke of Guise was landed with a strong armie in Sussex, that the Qu. of Scotland was escaped out of prison, and had leuied many souldiers, that the Northerne men were vp in rebellion, that there were other Ruffians, who had conspired to kill the Queene, and to burne the Citie of London, yea and that the Queene was dead, and other things of like kinde, which either craftie people or men afraid, vse to faine in their owne conceits, or to increase out of an inbred desire or humour, to nourish and vphold rumors; and Princes, who are vpon curiositie credulous, take quickly hold of.
By such like bugges and formidable arguments, the Queenes minde wauering, and in great care, was by them drawne so farre, that shee signed letters, by which the mortall sentence of death was commanded to be put in execution, and one of the chiefest perswader (as the Scots say) was Patricke Gray, a Scot, sent by the King of Scotland to disswade the Queene from putting his mother to death, who oftentimes would beat into the Queenes eares that old word (Dead men doe not bite.)
[page 228] But she being by nature slow in her doings, began to ballance in her minde, whether it were better to take her out of the way, or to spare her. Not to put her to death, these things moued her: Her inbred clemencie, lest she should seeme to vse crueltie against a woman, and she a Princesse, and also her kinswoman, feare of infamie with the posteritie out of the histories, and the dangers hanging thereon, as well from the King of Scotland, who should then come a step neerer vnto the hope of England, as from the Catholike Princes, and desperate fellowes, who then would aduenture on any thing.
But if she spared her, she fore-saw no lesse dangers at hand. That the Noblemen, who had giuen sentence against the Queene of Scotland, would closely purchase fauour with her, and her sonne, not without her danger, that the rest of her subiects that were very carefull and desirous of her safetie, would take it in euill part, when they saw themselues to haue lost their labour, and thenceforth would neglect her safetie; many more would ioyne themselues vnto the profession of the Papists, and conceiue greater hope, when they saw her conserued, as it were, by the decree of heauen, vnto the hope of the kingdome; that the Iesuits and Seminarists, when they see her sickly, and feare shee will not liue long, would bestirre themselues to accelerate the death of Queene ELIZABETH, that their Religion may be restored.
The Courtiers also without any intermission, suggested these things and the like. Why dost thou spare her that is faultie and iustly condemned, who subscribed vnto the Association for thy safetie, yet forthwith resolued to vse crueltie against thee, being innocent, and by thy destruction, to tyrannize ouer Religion, the Nobilitie and Commons? That mercie is a royall vertue, but is not to be shewed to them that haue no mercie. Let the vaine and idle shew of mercie giue place, and yeeld vnto wholesome seueritie. Your clemencie hath sufficient cause of commendation in that it hath [page 229] pardoned her once before: to spare her againe, is no other thing but to pronounce her not guiltie, and to condemne the Estates of the Realme of iniustice; to encourage the hearts of her agents to hasten and accelerate the accomplishment of their wicked designes, and to dishearten the faithfull Subiects to conserue the Common-wealth. Religion, the Common-wealth, thy owne incolumitie, the loue of thy Countrey, the oath of Association, and the care of the Posteritie, with conioyned prayers doe beseech thee, that she who ouerthroweth and subuerteth all these seuerall things, may with all speed be rid and dispatched out of the way; and if they cannot obtaine their request at thy hands, SAFETIE it selfe cannot saue and preserue this Common-wealth: and the Historians will publish to the succeeding age, that the most cleere shining daies of England vnder Queene ELIZABETH, ended in a loathsome euening, or rather into an eternall darke night. The posteritie will finde lacke of our prudence, who (which thing doth accumulate our miserie) could see our euils, and could not preuent them, and will impute the masse of our miseries not so much to the malice of our aduersaries, as to the carelesse and slothfull negligence of these times. Let not the life of one Scottish woman praeponderate and be of more weight with thee, than the vniuersall safetie of England. Let there be no stay nor delay vsed in so great a matter, for that forbearance and delay procureth danger: neither let space and time be giuen vnto these wicked plotters and contriuers of mischiefe, who now will seeke their last succour and helpe. by bold and audacious aduentures, and besides their impunitie, will hope for a reward for their mischieuous action. He that doth not beware to auoid a danger as much as he can, doth tempt God more than trust in God. All the dangers whatsoeuer hang ouer our heads from forraine Princes, by her death will be taken away, neither can they hurt England, but by her. What will and power soeuer the Pope hath to doe hurt, will cease and come to nothing when [page 230] shee is gone. The King of Spaine hath no reason to be angry, for that he himselfe, for his owne security, made away his only son Charles, and at this time doth lie in wait to take away the life of Don Antonio the Portugal, to serue his owne ambition. The French doth religiously obserue and keepe the amitie with England, and it also much concerneth his good, that by the speedie death of the Scottish Queene, the hopes of the Guises, who relying and trusting vpon the hoped and future power of their Kinswoman, doe now more insolently insult ouer their King. The King of Scotland, both by naturall affection, and in respect of his honour, may indeed be grieued or disquieted, yet in his wisdome hee will expect rather to haue things long after with securitie, than to haue things in ouer-much haste with danger. And the n[...]erer hee is to his chiefest hope, the futher forraine Princes will hold off from ioyning to helpe him, for as much as it is familiar and ordinarie for them, by one meanes or other, to stop and hinder the increasing power of another Prince at the beginning.
They set before her eyes also domesticall examples, (for as much as that which is done by example, deserueth the more to be excused) How the Kings of England carried themselues toward their Cousins and Competitours for their owne securitie; namely, Henry the first toward Robert his eldest brother, Edward the third, or rather his mother, toward Edward the second, Henry the fourth toward Richard the second, Edward the fourth toward Henrie the sixt, and his sonne Edward Prince of Wales, and toward his owne brother George Duke of Clarence, Henry the seueuth toward the Earle of Warwick, the young sonne of the Duke of Clarence, Henry the eighth toward De la Pole Earle of Suffolke, Margaret Countesse of Sarisburie, and Courteney Marquesse of Exceter; who euery one for smaller matters, if the crimcs be compared, were put to death and made away. Neither did the Courtiers alone buzze these things into the Queens head, but also some [page 231] Preachers very earnestly, and many of the Co~mons also out of hope or fear, exercised the fantasie of their brains and wits too saucily and malapertly in this Argument.
Amongst these pensiue thoughts, which made the Queene so carefull and doubtfull, that she delighted in solitarinesse, and sate without any cheere, and sometimes without speaking a word, and oftentimes sighing, would mutter to her selfe, Either beare it, or strike home; and out of some obscure Embleme, Kill, lest thou be killed; shee deliuered to Dauison, one of her Secretaries, letters signed with her hand, that a Mandate should be made vnder the great Seale of England, for the putting of her vnto execution, which might be readie, if any danger were readie to fall, and commanded him not to communicate the matter to any man. But on the next day she, whilest feare did not allow her owne counsell, changing her minde, commanded Dauison, by William Killigrew, that the Mandate should not be made vp. He forthwith came to the Queene, and told her that the Mandate was made and sealed with the great Seale; She chafing, reproued him for making such haste; neuerthelesse, he communicated the Mandate and businesse vnto the Queenes Counsellors, and perswadeth them, who quickly beleeued that which they desired, that the Queene commanded that it should be put in execution without delay: Beale, than whom there was none more euill affected vnto the Queene of Scotland for Religion, is sent with one or two executioners and letters, in the which authoritie is giuen vnto the Earles of Shrewsburie, Kent, Darby, and Cumberland, with others, that she should be put to death, according to the Lawes, (vnknowing to the Queene) and although at that very time shee had signified vnto Dauison, that shee would take another way and course, about the Queene of Scotland, yet he did not call Beale backe.
[page 232] As soone as the Earles came to Fotheringhay, they came to her, with Amias Poulet and Drewgh Drury, in whose custodie she was; and signified the cause of their comming, reading the Mandate, and in few words admonished her to prepare her selfe vnto death, for that shee was to die the next day. Shee without feare, and with a setled minde, answered, I did not thinke that Queene ELIZABETH, my sister, would haue consented vnto my death, for I am not subiect vnto your Law; but since it is otherwise, death shall be vnto me most welcome, neither is that soule worthy of the heauenly and euerlasting ioyes, whose bodie cannot endure one blow of the hangman. Shee requested that she might conferre with her Almoner, her Confessor, and with Meluin her Steward. They in plaine termes denied her confessor to come vnto her; and the Earles commended the Bishop or Deane of Peterburgh for to comfort her; whom when shee had reiected, the Earle of Kent being fiery hot in Religion, turned vnto her, and amongst other words, broke out into these, Thy life will be the destruction of our Religion, as on the other side, Thy death will be the life of the same. Mention being made of Babington, shee constantly and vtterly denied that shee knew of his plots; left the reuenge vnto God. And being demanded of that which was done by Nauus and Curlus, she asked if euer it was heard, that the seruants were suborned and admitted as witnesses to the death of their Masters. When the Earles were departed, shee commanded them to make haste with her supper, that shee might set things better in order. She supped sparingly and soberly, as her manner was. In supper time beholding her men and maidseruants mourning and weeping, with an vndaunted minde she bade them be of good cheere, and to abstaine from sorrow, but rather to reioyce, for that shee was to depart presently out of an abysse of euill. And turning [page 233] vnto Burgon her Physitian, asked him if he did not obserue that the force of truth was great. They said I must die, for that I was of counsell to kill the Queene; neuerthelesse, the Earle of Kent insinuateth that there is no other cause of my death, but that they feare their Religion by reason of me. Neither is my offence against the Queene, but their feare they haue of me, hath hastened and procured my death, whilest many seeke priuately their owne ends and purposes vnder the borrowed cloake of Religion and the publike good. Toward the end of supper shee drinketh vnto all her seruants, who pledged her on their knees in their order, mingling their teares with the wine, and asking pardon for the neglect of their dutie, as she also of them. After supper shee read ouer her testament, readeth ouer the inuentory of her goods and mouables, and writ on them the names of them vnto whom shee appointed them: vnto some she gaue money with her owne haud. Shee writeth vnto her Confessor, to pray vnto God for her, and also she wrote letters of commendation vnto the French King, and vnto the Duke of Guise, for her seruants. Shee went to bed at her ordinary houre, and slept certaine houres; being awaked, she spent the rest of the night in prayers.
The fatall day beginning to breake (viz. the vi. Ides of February) she apparelled her selfe neatlier and finer, as shee vsed to be on Festiuall daies, and calling her seruants together, read ouer her Will, and requested them to take in good part the legacies she gaue, since that her abilitie was not to bestow any more. And then setting her minde all vpon God, with all humility, in her Chappell, besought him to giue her his grace and fauour, with sighes, teares, and prayers, vntill the time that Thomas Andrewes, Sheriffe of the Shire, told her, that shee was to come forth. Shee came forth maiestically, in stature, beautie and shew, with a cheerefull countenance, [page 234] matron-like apparell, and very modest, her head being couered with a linnen vcile, and the same hanging very low, her beads hanging down at her girdle, and carying a Crucifix of Iuory in her hands. In the gallery the Earles and other Gentlemen receiued her, where Meluin her seruant on his knees, and with teares in his eies, lamented his fortune, that he should carrie this heauie and sad newes of the wofull death of his Ladie into Scotland. Shee comforting him, said, Doe not lament, but rather be glad, thou shalt straight-waies see MARY STVART deliuered and freed from all cares. You may tell them that I die constant in my Religion, and firme in fidelitie toward Scotland and France. God forgive them who haue thirsted for my bloud, as the Hart doth after the spring of water. Thou our God who art truth it selfe, and perfectly and thorowly dost know the most secret corners of my heart, dost know how much I desire that the Realmes of England and Scotland might be vnited in one. Salute my sonne, and certifie him, that I haue done nothing that may be preiudiciall vnto the Kingdome of Scotland: Will him to keepe friendship with the Queene of England; and see that thou serue him faithfully.
And then teares falling from her eies, she bade Meluin farewell againe and againe. And turning to the Earles, shee requested that her seruants might bee courteously vsed, and that they might enioy those things which she had bequeathed them, that they might stand by at her death, and be sent into their Country with a safe-conduct. They promised the former things, but the Earle of Kent shewed himselfe strange, fearing some superstition. Shee said, Feare not, these wretches desire to giue mee their last farewell. I know my sister ELIZABETH would not deny mee so small a fauour, as to haue my maids to be present, if it be but for woman-hood sake. I am most neere of kinne vnto her, I come from King HENRY the [page 235] seuenth, I am Queene Dowager of France, and the anointed Queene of Scotland.
After the Deane had ended his prayers, shee in the English tongue commended vnto God the Church, her sonne, and Queene ELIZABETH, and besought [page 236] him to auert his indignation from this Isle, and professed that shee reposed her hope in the bloud of Christ, (and lifted vp the Crucifix) and desired all the company of heauen to make intercession vnto him for her; she forgaue all her enemies, and kissing the Crucifix, and signing her selfe with the Crosse, shee said, As thy armes, O Christ, were spread abroad on the Crosse, so with the stretched out armes of thy mercy receiue me, and forgiue mee my sinnes. Then shee forgaue the Executioners, who asked pardon. And when her maids had taken off her vpper garments, shee hastening them, they cried out amaine, shee kissing them, and signing them with the Crosse, and smiling bade them farewell. Her face being couered with a linnen cloth, lying on the block, she said the Psalme, In te Domine confido, ne confundar in aeternum. Then as she stretched out her bodie, and oftentimes repeated, In manus tuas Domine commendo spiritum meum, her head was cut off at two blowes. The Deane saying aloud, So let the enemies of Queene ELIZABETH perish, the Earle of Kent saying the same, and the multititude sighing and grieuing thereat. Her bodie was embawmed, and was after buried like a Prince in the Cathedrall Church of Peterburgh. And her funerals were kept most magnificently at Paris, at the charges of the Guises, who performed all the best offices of kindred for their Cousin, both aliue and dead, to their great commendation.
In this lamentable manner ended her life MARIE Queene of Scotland, the great grand-daughter of Henry the seuenth, by his eldest daughter, in the XLVI. yeere of her age, and the XVIII. yeere of her captiuitie. A woman most constant in her Religion, adorned with a wonderfull pietie toward God, wisdome aboue her sex, and was also very faire and beautifull: And is to be accounted one of those Princes, whose felicitie was [page 237] changed into aduersitie. In her infancie shee was with strife desired for wife, by King Henry the eighth of England, for his sonne Edward, and by Henry the second, King of France, for Francis the Dolphin. At the age of fiue yeeres she was carried into France, and at the age of fifteene yeeres married vnto the Dolphin. Shee flourished, and was Queene of France one yeere and foure moneths. Her husband being dead, she returned into Scotland, and was maried againe vnto Henry Stuart Lord Darley, and had by him IAMES, the first Monarch of Great Britaine: Tossed and turmoiled by Murrey, her bastard brother, and other her vngrate and ambitious subiects, deposed from her Kingdome, and driuen to flie into England, and circumuented and entrapped (as men speaking indifferently thinke) by sundry English-men, carefull of the conseruation of their Religion, and of the safetie of Queene ELIZABETH, and thrust forward by others, desiring much to restore the Roman Religion: and oppressed by the testimonies of her Secretaries who were absent, and (as it seemed) corrupted with rewards. Neere to the graue, an Epitaph in the Latine tongue was affixed, and forthwith taken away.
[page 238] MARIA SCOTORVM REGINA, REGIS FILIA, REGIS GALLORVM VIDVA, REGINAE ANGLIAE AGNATA, ET HAERES PROXIMA, VIRTVTIBVS REGIIS ET ANIMO REGIO ORNATA, IVRE REGIO, FRVSTRA SAEPIVS IMPLORATO, BARBARA ET TYRANNICA CRVDELITATE, ORNAMENTVM NOSTRI SECVLI, ET LVMEN VERE REGIVM EXTINGVITVR: EODEMQVE NEFARIO IVDICIO ET MARIA SCOTORVM REGINA MORTE NATVRALI, ET OMNES SVPERSTITES REGES, PLEBEII FACTI, MORTE GIVILI MVLCTANTVR. NOVVM ET INAVDITVM TVMVLI GENVS, IN QVO CVM VIVIS MORTVI INCLVDVNTVR, HIC EXTAT: CVM SACRIS ENIM DIVAE MARIAE CINERIBVS OMNIVM REGVM ATQVE PRINCIPVM VIOLATAM, ATQVE PROSTRATAM MAIESTATEM HIC IACERE SCITO; ET QVIA TACITVM REGALE SATIS SVPERQVE REGES SVI OFFICII MONET, PLVRA NON ADDO VIATOR.
[page 239] Which may be Englished thus: MARY Queene of Scotland, daughter of a King, widow of the King of France, kinswoman and next heire to the Queene of England, adorned with Royall Vertues, and a princely spirit, hauing often, but in vaine, implored the right of a Prince; the ornament of our age, and the true princely light is extinguished by a barbarous and tyrannical crueltie. And by the same wicked iudgement, both MARY Queen of Scotland is punished with a naturall death, and all Kings liuing are made common persons, and punished and made liable vnto a ciuill death. A strange and vnheard kinde of grant is here extant, in which the liuing are included with the dead, for with the ashes of this blessed MARY, know thou that the Maiestie of all Kings and Princes lye here depressed and violated; and because the Regall secret doth sufficiently admonish Kings of their dutie, O Traueller I say no more.
[page 240] Out of this lamentable fortune of so great a Prince, the disposition of the diuine prouidence most euidently appeared (as some wise men haue obserued.) For those things which the Queenes, ELIZABETH and MARY, chiefly wished and studied to procure, by this meanes came to passe. Queene MARY (which also shee said at her death) desired nothing more earnestly, than that the diuided Kingdomes of England and Scotland might be vnited in the person of her deare sonne. And the other wished for nothing more, than that the Religion by her established in England, might be kept and conserued, with the safetie and securitie of the people. And that almightie God did heare their praiers, England to her vnexpected felicitie doth now see, and with great ioy acknowledge.
As soone as word was brought to Queene ELIZABETH, that the Queene of Scotland was put to death, shee not thinking thereof, she heard it with great indignation, shee looked heauily and could not speake a word, and readie to swound for sorrow, in so much that she put on mourning apparell, and grieued exceedingly, and lamented very much. Shee caused her Counsellors (being reproued and forbidden her presence) to be examined, and commanded Dauison to be brought into the Star-Chamber. And as soone as her dolour would permit her, she in great haste wrote this letter following vnto the King of Scotland with her owne hand, and sent it by Mr. Robert Cary, one of the Lord of Hunsdons sonnes:
Deare brother, I would to God you did know, but not feele, with what incomparable griefe my minde is tormented and vexed, by reason of the lamentable euent which hath befallen contrary to my minde and will, which you shall vnderstand fully by my Cousin; for as much as I cannot abide and endure to set it downe by writing. I beseech you, that as God [page 241] and many others can beare witnesse vnto my innocencie in this matter, so I desire you to beleeue, that if I had commanded it, I would neuer haue denied the same. I am not of that base minde, that for any terrour, I should feare to doe that which is iust, or to deny it, being done. I doe not so degenerate from my Ancestors, nor am I of such an ignoble minde. But as it is not the part of a Prince to couer and cloake the sense of his minde with words, so will I neuer dissemble nor glose mine actions; but I will performe that they shall come to light, and appeare to the world in their colours. I would haue you be assuredly perswaded, that as I know that this was done vpon desert, so if I had imagined it, I would not haue put it ouer vpon any other; neither yet wil I impute that to my selfe, which I did not so much as thinke. He who shall deliuer you these Letters, shall acquaint and impart other things vnto you. As for me, I would haue you to beleeue, that there is none other who loueth you better, and beareth better affection to you, or that will haue a more friendly care of you and your affaires. If any one suggesteth, or putteth other things into your head, I would haue you to think that he beareth more good will and affection to others, than to you. God Almightie keepe you in health, and preserue you alwaies.
In the meane time that Mr. Cary was in his iourney with these Letters, Dauison was brought into the Star-Chamber, before the Commissioners appointed, viz. Christopher Wray, Lord Chiefe Iustice of the Kings Bench, made for that time Lord Keeper of the Priuie Seale, the Archbishops of Canterbury and Yorke, the Earles of Worcester, Cumberland, and Lincolne, the Lords Gray, and Lumley; Iames Croft, Knight, Controller of the Queenes House, Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Master of the Rolles, Edmund Anderson, Lord Chiefe Iustice of the Common Pleas, and Roger Manwood, Lord Chiefe Baron of the [page 242] Exchequer. Before these Commissioners, Popham, the Queenes Atturney, charged Dauison with contempt against her Maiestie, violation of his faith, and neglect of his dutie; that whereas the Queene out of her inbred clemencie, would not haue the Queene of Scotland, though condemned, to be put vnto death, for causes knowne to her selfe, and not to be searched and pried into by others, could not be brought thereunto, neither by the Estates of the Kingdom, nor by her Counsellors earnestly vrging her thereunto; neuerthelesse, had commanded a Mandate to be made for her execution, to preuent dangers that might ensue, and had committed it vnto the fidelitie and secrecie of Dauison; He being her sworne Secretarie, forgetting his trust and dutie, and in contempt of her Maiestie, contrary vnto which the Queene had commanded, had imparted it vnto the Counsellors, and put it in execution, she being vtterly ignorant thereof.
Dauison with great modestie, and quietly, yet with a good courage answered, That he was sorie, that in a most iust cause of the Queene of Scotland, and most weightie iudgement against her, if euer there was any, that he should trouble againe the Commissioners, if not with the losse, yet at the least with the impairing of his reputation, which hee esteemed aboue all other things: but he was most aggreeued that he was charged to haue offended most contemptuously against her Maiestie, who the more shee had beene bountifull to him, and he more bound for her bountie, his offence might seeme more hainous. If he should acknowledge himselfe guiltie of the crimes obiected, he should wrong his credit, which was dearer vnto him than his life. If he should contest in his owne defence with the Queene, he should doe a thing vnworthy of the obedience of a subiect, the dutie of a seruant, and the fidelitie of a Secretary. He protested before God and the Commissioners, That wittingly or willingly hee [page 243] had done nothing in this thing, but that which hee was perswaded in his conscience the Queene willed: In the which, if he had carried himselfe to doe any hurt, either by vnskilfulnesse, or by negligence, he could not choose but be grieuously sorie, and vndergoe willingly the censure of the Commissioners.
As concerning particulars: when the Queene reproued him that he had sealed the Mandatum with the great Seale in such great haste; he affirmed, That shee insinuated, but did not expresly bid him to keepe it to himselfe. Neither did he thinke that he committed any fault against the trust of silence put on him, since he neuer spake word of this matter, but vnto the Priuie Counsellors. Vnto that he did not call backe the Mandatum, after that the Queene had signified vnto him, that shee had changed her minde, he affirmed, That it was agreed that it should be sent forthwith, and execution done, lest the Common-wealth or the Queene might take some harme.
Hereupon Egerton, the Solicitor, began to presse Dauison out of his owne confession, reading a peece thereof, but he requested him to reade it all, and not this peece and that peece; but yet hee had rather it should not be read at all, for that therein some seccrets not to be vttered were contained; and now and then interrupting him, he said, That as he would not contest with the Queene, so he could not endure that his modestie should be any detriment vnto the truth and his integritie. Gaudy and Puckering, Sergeants at Law, reproued him sharply with many words, that craftily hee abused the wisdome of the Counsellors, and that out of the confession of Burghley the Treasurer, vnto whom doubting whether the Queene had assuredly determined of the execution to be done, he affirmed it very earnestly, as he did also vnto the rest, who set their hands vnto the letters of the manner of the execution. Dauison with teares in his [page 244] eyes, required the Lawyers not to presse him so vehemently: And wished them to remember that he would not contest with the Queene, vnto whose conscience, and vnto the censure of the Commissioners hee committed himselfe wholly.
To conclude, by the generall censure of them, hee was fined at ten thousand pound, and imprisonment at the Queenes pleasure.
Dauison besought the Commissioners to make intercession vnto the Queene for him, not for the honourable place of Secretary, which he had, or his libertie, or for the diminishing of the fine imposed, but that he might be restored vnto her fauour, which yet hee neuer recouered, though she oftentimes releeued his wants. So Dauison an honest man without policie, and not skilfull in affaires of State, was brought, as most men thought, vpon the Stage amongst the Statesmen, to play his part a while in this Tragedie, and straight had his disguise pulled off, and as if he had failed in the last Act, thrust from off the stage, and kept long in prison, but not without the commiseration of m[...]ny. Now I haue told what was publikely done against Dauison; but how he excused himselfe priuately, take briefly out of his credit, and his Apologeticall Narration vnto Walsingham.
He saith, after the departure of the French and Scottish Ambassadors, the Queene of her owne minde commanded me to shew vnto her the Mandate of the execution of the sentence against the Queene of Scotland. And it being shewen, shee willingly signed with her hand, and commanded it, being thus signed, to be sealed with the Great Seale of England, and iesting, said, Signifie this thing vnto Walsingham, who was sicke, yet I feare much that he will die for sorrow thereof. Moreouer, she said that the causes of the delaying thereof, were, lest she should seeme to be thought to be drawn thereunto vpon violence or malice, when yet she knew that it was [page 245] very necessarie. Moreouer, she blamed Powlet and Drury th[...]t they had not freed her of this care, and wished that Walsingham would trie their mindes in this matter. On the next day, when it was sealed with the Great Seale, shee commanded by Killegrew that it should not be done; and when I had told her it was alreadie done, shee reprehended so much haste, insinuating that some wise men thought another way might be taken. I answered that the course which was most iust, was alwaies the best and most safe. But fearing shee would lay the fault vpon me (as she laid the death of the Duke of Norfolke vpon Burghley) I communicated all the matter vnto Hatton, protesting that I would not thrust my selfe into so great a businesse; he presently imparted it vnto Burleigh, Burleigh vnto the rest of the Counsellors, who all gaue their consent to the quicke dispatch of the execution, and euery one vowed to stand to it, and to sticke one to another: and sent Beale with the Mandate and Letters. The third day after, when I perceiued that her minde wauered, hearing her tell a dreame of the death of the Queen of Scotland, I asked if she had changed her minde; she said no, but, said shee, another way might haue beene inuented: and withall asked if any answer were comefrom Powlet. And when I had shewed his letters, wherein, in plaine termes, be refused to take vpon him that which was neither honourable nor iust; she chasing, said, that he and others, who had taken the oath of the Association, were periured and forsworne men, as they who had promised many things, but would performe nothing. But I shewed her how vniust and infamous this would be, and into what danger shee brought Powlet and Drury. For if shee approued and allowed the fact, shee should draw to her selfe both danger and dishonour with the note of iniustice; but if shee disauowed and disallowed the fact, shee ouerthrew vtterly those well deseruing men and their posteritie. And afterwardshee, on the same day the Queene of Scotland was put to death, [page 246] slightly checked mee, that the execution was not done.
What griefe and anger soeuer Queen ELIZABETH conceiued, or made shew of, for the death of the Queen of Scotland, I am sure the King of Scotland, her only son, tooke it wonderfull heauily, who with the most admirable pietie that could bee in a sonne, reuerenced his most deare mother, and mourned and lamented for her exceedingly. For he did not thinke that Queene ELIZABETH, in regard of the mutuall loue that was betweene them, and the league of stricter friendship lately made betweene them, neglecting the so many intercessions of Princes, would haue deliuered his mother, a Prince of equall estate, and her neerest cousin of the Royal bloud, into the hands of a base hangman. He suffered not Mr. Robert Cary, sonne to the Lord Hunsdon (who was sent from England to excuse the Queene, by laying the fault vpon her Counsellors and Dauison) to come into Scotland, and hardly would heare him by another man, and with much suit receiued the letters he brought: Called his Ambassadour out of England, and threatned reuenge. And some there were that perswaded him that other Princes of Christendome would not let such an iniury done vnto the Maiestie and Royall name of a King, goe vnpunished.
The Estates of Scotland who were assembled in great number, professed that they were most readie to reuenge the death of his mother, and to defend his right to the Crowne of England, yea and to spend their liues and goods in the quarrell, and that they could not disgest the iniurie done, not onely vnto the King, but also vnto the whole Nation of the Scots.
Some there were who perswaded the King to require aid of ships, and of a Nauie of the King of Denmarke, [page 247] vnto whose daughter he began then to sue for mariage.
Some who were addicted to the Romane Religion, suggested vnto him, that hee should rather ioyne with the Kings of Spaine and France, and with the Pope, and so hee might with case get the possession of England. And aboue all things to giue no credit vnto the Protestants of England, who now ruled all, and closely plotted to destroy him also: whispering this in his eares, He that hath killed the mother, will also kill the children if he can.
Some there were who secretly aduised him to keepe himselfe as Newter openly, and to hold both the Protestants and Romanists in suspence. For if that hee shewed himselfe openly for the Protestants, the Romanists of Europe will lay all their plots against him, and would set vp another prop and stay in England to his great danger.
Some also there were who aduised him to keepe a firme peace with England, and not to put his certaine hope vpon the vncertaine fortune of warre. And to be constant in his Religion, in the which if hee once wauered, he should neither get nor purchase friends, nor lessen, nor diminish his enemies. Thus euery man as their fancie gaue, or their profit lead them, spake. But the King being more prouident, and more wittie than his age gaue him, vsed no haste, which is alwaies blinde, but weighed their counsels in his minde considerately and maturely a long time, both with himselfe and a very few others.
But Queene ELIZABETH by laying all the fault on Dauison, and the rash credulitie of her Counsellors, so to mitigate his griefe and sorrow by little and little, lest the comfort giuen out of season, might more exasperate him, and so stayed vntill his sorrow lessened [page 248] by length of time, would suffer it selfe to be handled. But when shee saw the French egge on the King to reuenge, she fearing lest he by their policies, and vpon a burning heat of reuenge, should be drawne away from the Religion of the Protestants, and the friendship of the English, she laboured with all her power to pacifie his minde, exulcerated, and in a manner alienated from her, by all meanes not vnworthy of a Prince.
Therefore by her Messengers and Agents, and after by the Lord Hunsdon, Gouernour of Berwicke, she proposeth these weightie and important Reasons most diligently. First, what a dangerous thing it may be for him to breake into open warre against England for this cause, which seemed vnto the Estates of England to be as well necessarie for the safetie of the whole Island, as also most iust. Then let him consider if he be of abilitie to take such a warre in hand, for as much as England was neuer better furnished with Military men and Leaders, with forces and riches; and Scotland exhausted with intestine warres, neuer more weake. If he depended vpon forraine aid, with what great difficultie, and how long it would be ere hee can get it; and if he doe obtaine it, what successe can hee hope for, since that England hauing the Fleets of Holland and Zealand ioyned thereunto, hath no cause to feare the most mightie and potent Kings of Europe? What hope can he place in the French King, or the King of Spaine? For as much as his power much increased and augmented by the accession and addition of England, may crosse or empeach their designes and purposes, for that his Religion may be so opposed vnto their profession, that they cannot helpe and aid him, but with their owne losse and detriment. Neither can the French King see with a contented minde, the King of Scotland to be augmented with the Kingdome of England, for feare lest hee should with warre prosecute the ancient right of the English-men in France, or else giue helpe or [page 249] succour vnto the Guises, his Cousins, who at this time gape after the Realme of France. But the King of Spaine without all doubt will doe all things to serue his ambitious humour, for as much as he vaunteth himselfe to be the first Catholike Prince of the bloud Royall of England, and the stocke of Lancaster, though vntruly. In respect of which, some Iesuites and others also endeuoured to aduance him, whilest the Queene of Scotland was yet liuing, vnto the Crowne of England, as a man most fit to restore the Roman authority in England (the mother and the sonne being not respected nor regarded.) Moreouer, they perswaded him, that shee determined in her last Will and Testament, to bequeath the Kingdome of England vnto this King of Spaine, if her sonne continued in the Religion of the Protestants.
What may be the meaning of these things, and whereunto they may tend, and what aid and helpe can be hoped for from the King of Spaine, the King may thereby see and perceiue: And withall, if he shall reuolt and fall from his Religion, in the which he hath beene brought vp, with what great ignominie he may precipitate and cast head-long his soule into eternall damnation, and the whole Iland of Britaine into danger and destruction. Moreouer, he is to consider and be aduised, lest the Estates of England, who haue giuen sentence against his mother, doe not exclude him altogether from the right of Succession, by a new sentence, whose loue, by yeelding and giuing place vnto necessitie, and restraining the passionate motions of his minde, he may easily winne and purchase vnto him, for as much as that which is done, cannot be vndone. And at his time he may possesse and enioy quietly the most flourishing Kingdome of England. In the meane time, he may enioy securitie, and may seeme with all men, indifferent men, that haue vnderstanding and consideration of things, to haue receiued no blemish in his honour, for as much as when time was, he omitted no [page 250] part of a most pious and vertuous sonne toward his mother. And let him assuredly perswade himselfe, that the Queene of England would account and vse him most louingly and affectionately, as if shee were his owne mother.
These things shee caused to be beaten into the head of the King of Scotland, and that he should not doubt, but that his mother was put to death without her knowledge; and to confirme him in that opinion, shee determined to send vnto him the sentence giuen against Dauison in the Starre-chamber, vnder the hands of all the Commissioners, and also vnder the Great Seale of England: And also another instrument (to please him the more) signed with the hands of all the Iudges of England, wherein they confirmed that the sentence giuen against his mother, was no hurt vnto his right in Succession, nor could be any preiudice vnto the same.
And thus an end of this History.