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support of Protestantism in England, and the most determined foes of the Queen of Scots. But Archbishop Parker, no less unwisely than unjustly, employed persecution against them ; so that they grad. ually receded from the church, though many of them, according to the spirit of the times, maintained the supremacy of the spiritual over the civil authority in terms but little befitting the strenuous asserters of the rights of conscience.
The church party was the weakest of the three. Its main supports were the queen herself and the primate. Elizabeth regarded her spiritual supremacy as the brightest jewel in her crown, and would not be dictated to on that head. She was also partial to the splendour of public worship, and had a lurking tendency to some of the Romish doctrines. She long kept a crucifix, with tapers burning before it, in her chapel ; she inclined much to the doctrine of the real presence ;* and was with difficulty restrained from prohibiting the marriage of the clergy.
Such was the state of parties in England. In France and Flanders the Protestants, though a minority, were numerous and active. Persecution to no small extent had been employed, without effect, against them; Charles V. had “hanged, beheaded, buried alive, or burned" fifty thousand Protestants according to Father Paul, or twice that number according to Grotius, in the Netherlands; and Francis I. and his successor had laboured to suppress the Reformation in France. In the summer of the year 1565, a meeting, at the desire of the pope, took place at Bayonne, between CI IX. and his sister, the Queen of Spain: the former accompanied by his mother, and the latter by the Duke of Alva. Festivities occupied the day ; and at midnight, Catharine and Alva, it is said, sat in
* This throws doubt on the story of her eluding Gardiner, in her sister's reign, by these well-known verses :
“ Christ was the word that spake it ;
1571.] STATE OF RELIGION.
65 secret conclave to discuss the mode of suppressing Protestantism. To cut off its chiefs, openly or secretly, was Alva's plan. “One salmon's head," he would say,“ is worth a thousand frogs.”
The principle was agreed on between them, and the mode of carrying it into execution was left to the course of events.
In 1568 Alva was sent with a large army to the Low Countries, where he exercised such tyranny and cruelty as eventually drove the people to insurrection. In France the Protestants, styled Huguenots,* were headed by the King of Navarre, the Prince of Condé, the Admiral Coligni, and others; the Guises were at the head of the other party; and the queen-mother and the king played them against each other. Recourse was frequently had to arms; and Elizabeth had, on more occasions than one, assisted the Huguenots with money, and even with men.
In the beginning of this year, 1571, a parliament met, after an interval of five years. The Puritan party were strong in it; and some members, especially Strickland and Paul Wentworth, ventured to express themselves very firmly in opposition to the crown. Though the question of the queen's marriage was left untouched, the greatest zeal was manifested for her person and authority. The first act passed was one making it treason to affirm that she was not the lawful sovereign, or that the laws cannot limit and determine the right to the crown and the succession; while to maintain that any person except her natural issue is or ought to be her heir or successor, was made an offence punishable by fine and imprisonment, and the second time by præmunire. It was also made treason to publish papal bulls, absolutions, etc., or to reconcile any one or be reconciled to the Church of Rome. To import crucifixes, agnus Dei, or other Romish devices, subjected the offender to the penalty of a præmunire.
* This word is said to be a corruption of the German Eidgenos. sen, i. e., Conjurati, associates.
The weak, ill-advised Duke of Norfolk, it was soon discovered, was still persisting in his treasonable projects. Mary's agent, the Bishop of Ross; Ridolfi
, an Italian trader, employed by Mary and Norfolk as their medium of communication with Alva and the pope; and the duke's secretary and two of his confidential servants, having been arrested, it appeared from their confesions that a plan had been arranged that the Duke of Alva should land with ten thousand men at Harwich, where he was to be joined by Norfolk and his friends, and they were then to march to London, and force the queen to consent to Norfolk's marriage with the Queen of Scots, and to repeal the laws against the Catholics. Norfolk, who knew not of the discoveries which had been made, was summoned before the council: he denied everything; and the queen, who (as she always declared) would have pardoned him if he had confessed his guilt, committed him to the Tower on the 7th of September. On the 16th of January, 1572, he was brought to trial before the lordsteward and twenty-six peers. The cause was conducted with perfect fairness, according to the mode then in use; and he defended himself with spirit and eloquence, but the peers unanimously pronounced him guilty. In various supplicatory letters which he afterward wrote to the queen, the duke acknowledged the justice of the verdict.
The conduct of Elizabeth on this occasion tends much to elucidate her character, proving her aversion to bloodshed, and inducing us to believe that her behaviour in a similar case, some years later, was not mere hypocrisy. Norfolk's guilt was great and clear, yet she could not bring herself to put him to death. Burleigh writes to Walsingham, on the 11th of February, thus : “I cannot write to you what is the inward cause of the stay of the Duke of Norfolk's death, only that I find her majesty diversely disposed. Sometimes, when she speaketh of her danger, she concludes that justice should be done. Another time, when she speaks of his nearness of blood, of his superiority of honour, etc., she stayeth. On 1572.] EXECUTION OF THE DUKE OF NORFOLK. 67 Saturday she signed a warrant for his execution. On Monday all preparations were made, and concourse of thousands yesterday morning ; but suddenly on Sunday, late in the night, she sent for me and entered into great misliking that the duke should die the next day; and said she was and should be disquieted, and would have a new warrant made that night to the sheriffs to forbear." Again (April 9) she signed a warrant, but she revoked it after midnight.
The queen's repugnance to shed the blood of her kinsman and the first of her nobles was such, that even Leicester gave it as his opinion that no execution would take place. But Burleigh and the other ministers pressed it; the commons, when they assembled, petitioned for it; the preachers were importunate ; and plots to liberate the prisoner were detected. A third warrant was not revoked ; and, on the 2d of June, nearly five months after his trial, the duke was led to execution.
On the scaffold Norfolk acknowledged the justice of his sentence, and declared his attachment to the Protestant faith. He died with constancy and resignation, amid the tears of the by-standers : for his noble birth, his popular and engaging manners, and his munificent temper, had endeared him to the people. His ambition, united to weakness of character, had made him a tool in the hands of an artful woman* and the wily court of Rome, and brought him, eventually, to an untimely end. He certainly never dreamed of dethroning or injuring Queen Elizabeth, and by her the necessity of his death was sincerely lamented.f
Abundant proofs had now been given of the share
* Though she had never seen him, her “political love-letters," as they have justly been called, are conceived in terms of the strongest affection.
"The queen,” writes Burleigh (June 6), “is somewhat sad for the Duke of Norfolk's death.' Two years after, when his sis. ter, Lady Berkeley, knelt to ask a favour of her,“No, no, my Lady Berkeley,” she said, in haste, “we know you never will love us for the death of your brother.”
of the Queen of
Scots in all the conspiracies against Elizabeth ; and Burleigh and other ministers had long been of opinion, that nothing but her death would give security to the nation. The parliament resolved to proceed against her by bill of attainder : but the queen positively forbade it. A bill was then introduced and passed to make her incapable of succession: but the queen defeated this also by a prorogation on the 25th of June.
In Scotland the lords of Mary's party had, on the 4th of September in the preceding year, seized and put to death the regent Lennox. The Earl of Mar succeeded: but he died shortly after, and Morton was appointed regent. The lords of the queen's party laid down their arms on receiving an indemnity; and the regent, with the aid of Sir William Drury, governor of Berwick, reduced the castle of Edinburgh, which was held by Kirkcaldy of Grange and Lethington. The former was tried and executed, and the latter died in prison by his own hand, as was generally believed.
On the eve of St. Bartholomew, an atrocity, without parallel in history, was perpetrated in the French capital. All the leaders of the Protestant party had been invited thither, on the occasion of the marriage of the young King of Navarre, their ostensive head, with Margaret, sister of Charles IX. The marriage was celebrated on the 18th of August; and four days after, on the 22d, the Admiral Coligni was fired at and wounded from the window of a house belonging to a dependant of the Duke of Guise. Next day the king, the queen-mother, and the court, came to visit him. After midnight the tocsin sounded, and the Protestants were fallen on and massacred in their beds. The admiral, his son-in-law Teligni, Rochefoucauld, and nearly one thousand more of the nobles and gentry, and five thousand other Protestants, perished.* The
* In describing this horrible scene, Sir James Mackintosh says: “ Massacre and pillage went on with intermittent fury for eight days and nights. Catholics were involved in the slaughter. Pri. vate interests and personal animosities borrowed the poniard and