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THE

HISTORY

O F

ENGLAND.

CHAP. XXIV.
EDWARD VI.

HENRY the eighth was succeeded on the throne by his only fon Edward the sixth, now in the ninth year of his age. The late king in his will, which he expected woul4 be abfolutely obeyed, fixed the majority of the prince at the completion of his eighteenth year; and in the mean time appointed sixteen executors of his will, to whom, during the minority, he intrusted the government of the king and kingdom. But the vanity of his aims was foon discovered; for the first act of the executors was to choose the carl of Hertford, who was afterwards made duke of Somerset, as protector of the realm, and in him was lodged all the regal power, together with a privilege of naming whom he would for his privy council.

This was a favourable seafon for those of the resormed religion; and the eyes of the late king were no fooner closed, than all of that persuasion congratulated themselves on the event. They no longer suppressed their sentiments, but mainA 2 taipcd

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