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sions of obedience, that their only aim was to put the council on the same footing on which it had been ordained by the will of their late sovereign, and to rescue his authority from the hands of a man who had assumed all power to himself. The king, who had little regard for Somerset, gave their address a favourable reception; and the protector was sent to the Tower, with some of his friends and partisans. Meanwhile the council ordered six lords to act as governors to the king, two at a time officiating alternately. . It was then, for the first time, that the earl of Warwick's ambition began to appear in full splendour; he set himself forward as the principal promoter of the protector's ruin; and the other members, without the least opposition, permitted him to assume the reins of government. It was now concluded that Somerset's fate was fixed, as his enemies were numerous, and the charges against him were supposed to be of a very heinous nature. The “hief article of which he was accused was his usurpation of the government, and the taking all power into his own hands; several others of a slighter tint were added to invigorate this accusation; but none of them could be said to amount to the crime of high-treason. In conA. D. sequence of these, a bill of attainder was prefer1550. ed against him in the house of lords; but So-merset contrived, for this time, to elude the rigour of their sentence, by having previously, on his knees, conofessed the charge before the members of the council. This confession, which he signed with his own hand, was alleged and read against him at the bar of the -house, who sent a deputation to him, to know whether the confession was voluntary or extorted. Somerset thanked them for their candour; owned that it was his -voluntary act, but strenuously insisted, that he had never harboured a sinister thought against the king or the common-wealth. In consequence of this confession, he was deprived of all offices and goods, together with a great part of his landed estate, which was forfeited to the use of the crown. This fine on his estate was soon after remitted by the king ; and, contrary to the expectation of all, he recovered his liberty. He was even re-admitted into the council : happy for him if his am– bition had not revived with his security. The catholics were extremely elevated at the protector's fall; and they began to entertain hopes of a revolution in their favour. But they were mistaken in their opinion of Warwick, who now took the lead, as ambition was the only principle in his breast; and to that he was resolved to sacrifice all others. He soon gave an instance of his disregard to their sect, in permitting Gardiner to undergo the penalties prescribed against disobedience. Many of the prelates, and he among the rest, though they made some compliance, were still addicted to their ancient communion. A resolution was therefore taken to deprive them of their sees; and it was thought proper to begin with him, in order to strike a terror into the rest. He had been now for two years in prison, for having refused to inculcate the duty of obedience to the king during his minority; and the council took this opportunity to send him several articles to subscribe, among which was one, acknowledging the justice of the order for his confinement. He was likewise to own that the king was supreme head of the church; that the power of making and dispensing holidays was a part of the prerogative; and that the Common Prayer Book was a godly and commendable form. Gardiner was willing to put his hand to all the articles, except that by which he accused himself, which he refused to do, justly perceiving that their aim was either to ruin or dishonour him. For this offence he

was deprived of his bishopric, and committed to close custody; his books and papers were seized; all company was denied him; and he was not even permitted the use of pen and ink. This severity, in some measure, countenanced those which this prelate had afterwards an opportunity of retaliating when he came into power. A. D. But the reformers did not stop here; the ra1551. pacious courtiers, never to be satisfied, and giv‘ing their violence an air of zeal, deprived, in the same manner, Day, bishop of Chichester, Heath of Worcester, and Vesey of Exeter. The bishops of Llandaff, Salisbury, and Coventry, came off rather less disadvantageously, by sacrificing the most considerable share of their ecclesiastical revenues. Not only the revenues of the church, but the libraries also, underwent a severe scrutiny. The libraries of Westminster and Oxford were ordered to be ransacked, and purged of the Romish missals, legends, and other superstitious volumes; in which search great devastation was made even in useful literature. Many “volumes, clasped in silver, were destroyed for the sake of their rich bindings; many of geometry and astronomy were supposed to be magical, and met no mercy. The university, unable to stop the fury of those barbarians, silently looked on, and trembled for its own security. o 'Warwick was willing to indulge the nobility wit these humiliations of the church; and perceiving that the king was extremely attached to the Reformation, he supposed that he could not make his court to the young monarch better than by a seeming zeal in the cause. But he was still steadfastly bent on enlarging his own power; and, as the last earl of Northumberland died without issue or heirs, Warwick procured for himself a grant of his ample possessions, and obtained the title also; of duke of Northumberland. The duke of Somerset was now the only person he wished to have entirely removed; for, fallen as he was by his late spiritless conduct, yet he still preserved a share of popularity that rendered him formidable to this aspirer. Indeed. Somerset was not always upon his guard against the arts of Northumberland, but could not help now and then bursting out into invectives, which were quickly carried to his secret enemy. As he was surrounded by the creatures of the new duke, they took care to reveal all the schemes which they had themselves suggested; and Somerset soon found the fatal effects of his rival's resentment. He was, by Northumberland's command, arrested, with many more accused of being his partisans; and he was, with his wife the duchess, thrown into prison. He was now accused of having conspired to raise an insurrection in the north, to attack the trained-bands on a muster-day, secure the Tower, and excite a rebellion in London. These charges he strenuously denied ; but he confessed one of as heinous a nature, which was, that he had laid a project for murdering Northumberland, Northampton, and Pembroke, at a banquet which was to be given them by lord Paget. He was soon after brought to a trial before the marquis of Winchester, who sat as high-steward on the occasion, with twenty-seven peers more, including Northumberland, Pembroke, and Northampton, who were at once his judges and accusers. He was accused of an intention to secure the person of the king, and re-assume the administration of affairs; to assassinate the duke of Northumberland, and raise an insurrection in the city. He pleaded “not guilty” to the first part of the charge, and of this he was accordingly acquitted; but he was found guilty of conspiring the death of a privy coun

sellor, which crime had been made felony in the reign of Henry the Seventh; and for this he was condemned to death. The populace, seeing him reconveyed to the Tower without the axe, which was no longer carried before him, imagined that he had been entirely acquitted, and in repeated shouts and acclamations manifested. their joy; but this was suddenly damped, when they were better informed of his doom. Care, in the mean time, had been taken to prepossess the young king against his uncle; and, lest he should relent, no access was given to any of Somerset's friends, while the prince was kept from reflection by a series of occupations and amusements. At last the prisoner was brought to the scaffold on Tower-hill, where he appeared without the least emotion, in the midst of a vast concourse of the populace, by whom he was beloved. He spoke to them with great composure, protesting that he had always promoted the service of his king, and the interests of true religion, to the best of his power. The people attested their belief to what he said, by crying out, “It is A. D. most true.” As an universal tumult was begin1552. ning to take place among them, Somerset desired them to be still, and not to interrupt his last meditations, but to join with him in prayer: he then laid down his head, and submitted to the stroke of the executioner. Sir Ralph Vane and sir Miles Partridge were hanged, sir Michael Stanhope and sir Thomas Arundel were beheaded, as being his accomplices. Nothing could have been more unpopular than the measure of destroying Somerset, who, though some actions of his life were very exceptionable, consulted the good of the people. The house of commons was particularly attached to him; and of this Northumberland was very sensible. He therefore advised the king to dissolve the parliament, and call another that would be more obsequious to his will. Edward was even pre

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