Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

from thence to the 10th of May. The reason given is, because the bishops were in their visitations, which could not be soon ended ; since a large space of time seemed necessary for their taking an exact account of the quantity and quality of all ecclesiastical goods *. I suppose this was the procuring terriers of the lands, and inventories of the goods belonging to the churches: for many orders were given out, for restoring such plate and furniture, as could be found, that had belonged to any church.

From the 10th of May, Pole prorogued the synod to the 10th of November : the reason given is, for the great want and penury of victuals. For, I find, the dearth at this time was very great. Wheat was at 4 marks the quarter ; malt, at 21. 45. ; pease, at 21. 58.; but the next harvest proving plentiful, it fell as low as it had been high. Wheat was at 5s., malt at a noble, and rye at 3s. 4d. a quarter.

On the 28th of July, the council hearing that some naughty books were sent over, and concealed in the duchess of Suffolk's house, ordered the bishop of Lincoln to search for them, and to send them up. On the 19th of July, the council was alarmed with reports of conspiracies in Suffolk and Essex: so they sent orders to inquire about them, and about a zealous man, that went about carrying letters and books over the country, from whence he was called Trudge-over; so he was ordered to be sought for. On the 15th of August, a letter was written to the mayor', jurats, and commons, at Rye, to choose one of the queea's servants io be mayor for the ensuing year.

On the 21st of August, a letter of thanks was ordered for the earl of Sussex, for his diligence in apprehending those who spread about lewd and seditious reports ; with whom he is desired to proceed according to the laws: and for those lewd priests that had been married, and were found still to repair to their women, they tell him, they had written to the bishop of Norwich, to cause them to be apprehended and punished. And a letter was at the same time ordered for the bishop of Norwich, to that purpose. On the 23d of August, a letter of thanks was ordered to the Lord Darcy, for his apprehending some ill-isposed persons, who used conventicles, and readings, about Harwich. He was to get them to be fined according to their quality, and as he thought fit; and to bind them to appear before the bishop of London: and a letter was ordered to the bishop, either to reduce them to the church, or to order them according to the laws.

* « Pro certiore bonorum ecclesiasticorum quantitatis et qualitatis ratione habenda, majus temporis spatium requiri videbatur."

On the 4th of September, the earl of Sussex had moved, that offenders should be proceeded against by martial law : his zeal is commended ; and it was written back to him, " that these deserved to be so used ; but that is not thought best : they are to be punished as the laws order. But when they have had their punishment, he shall cause them to be kept in prison, and in irons, till they know themselves and their duty.” On the 15th of September, a letter of thanks was written to the earl of Sussex, and the justices of Norfolk, for their diligence in punishing one Thomas Long.

At this time they were called on to consider of the danger Calais might be in: so a state of the fortifications, and of what was necessary to maintain the place, was laid before the council : but the giving orders in that matter was delayed till the king should come over, of which they were in daily expectation : for on the 17th of September they understood that the emperor, with his two sisters, had embarked on the Tuesday before, and that the king was to come to Calais, and from thence to England. Privy-seals were at this time sent about everywhere, for a loan of money ; but it came in very slowly. Some took the privy-seal, but did not pay in the money. There were about one thousand privyseals given out, at 1001. a-piece. On the 6th of October, a letter was sent to Calais, to search for some who had fled from England thither : it is directed to the earl of Sussex; which makes it probable they were heretics ; for in that matter his heart was entirely as the queen's heart was. On the 7th of October, the Lady Throgmorton was before the council, asking leave to send some supply to her husband, Sir Nicholas, who was then in France : the cardinal had told her, in the presence of the lord chancellor, and others, that for this one time the queen allowed of it, so it did not exceed forty crowns. It seems the way of exchange was much beset, when so small a supply from so near a relation could not be conveyed without such an application. On the 17th of November, a letter was ordered for the bishop of London, to receive a companion of him who was called Trudge-over, to be ordered by him according to law; and they complain to him, that a man and a woman of Colchester, that had been sent to him, charged with heresy, were turned back discharged by him, but were now worse than they were before. In another book, that seems to be

minutes of the council, it is entered, that twenty-four persons were discharged by him, who were still rank heretics.

I find at this time the council was much employed in the matter of the privy-seals. Our fleet was then so inconsiderable, that 14,0001. being ordered to be applied to the fleet, by the lord treasurer, and the lord admiral, both for repairing, furnishing, and victualling it, they reckoned that when that was done, 10,0001. a year afterwards would answer what was necessary. On the 19th of February, one Christopher Howe was ordered to be proceeded against for some detestable words, not fit to be heard : so it was ordered that only such parts of them should be opened as might serve for evidence to the jury. On the 21st, complaints were brought of a jailor, who suffered heretics to go freely about. On the 24th, the queen expected hourly to hear of the king's arrival; so the lord admiral and others were odered to attend on him. An ambassador came at this time from Russia : he landed in the north of Scotland, and was well received, and nobly treated by the Lord Wharton; for which, thanks were written to him. Here several orders are entered concerning the Lord Sturton and his servants : three of them were ordered to be hanged in chains at Mere.

I had in my former work given a due commendation to that which seemed to me a just firmness in the queen, no pardon the Lord Sturton for so heinous a crime as the murdering father and son in so barbarous a manner. But since I have lived long in Wiltshire, I find there is a different account of this matter in that neighbourhood. The story, as it has been handed down by very old people, is this: the day before the execution was appointed, there was a report set about, that a pardon, or a reprieve, was coming down : upon which the sheriff came to the earl of Pembroke, who was then at Wilton, for advice. That lord heard the report, and was much troubled at it: so, apprehending some message might come to him from the court, he ordered his gates to o be shut somewhat early, and not to be opened till next morning. My Lord Sturton's son came down with the order : but since the gates were not to be opened, he rode over to his father, who received the news with great joy. In the night the sheriff left Wilton, and came so secretly to Salisbury that Sturton knew nothing of it, and believed he was still at Wilton, where he knew he was the night before. But when he was so far gone that the sheriff knew he could not come back in time to hinder the execution, he brought his men together, whom he had ordered to attend on him that day: and so the lord was executed before his son could come back with the order to stop it. I set down this story upon a popular report, of which I have had the pedigree vouched to me, by those whose authors, upon the authority of their grandfathers, did give an entire credit to it. So meritorious a man as the Lord Sturton was, who had proVol. III, Part I.

2 E

tested against every thing done in King Edward's parliament, had no doubt many intercessors to plead for him in this his extremity. I leave this with my reader as I found it.

On the 20th of March, the king came to England. Orders being sent into Kent, that the gentlemen should attend upon him in their best apparel : thanks were afterwards written io them for their readiness in furnishing him with post-horses. On the 17th of April, proceedings are ordered to be made upon a book that is called lewd and seditious : and the countess of Sussex coming over at this time, and bringing letters which gave some suspicion, she was the Fleet. She had been for some years separated from her husband. She was ordered to be examined strictly : but upon this and many other occasions, particulars are not set forth; and only a general mention is made of the minutes put in the chest.

There is, besides the great council-book, another councilbook, which I suppose might be the minute-book, which was perused by my learned friend Doctor Kennet, and who communicated to me ail the extracts that he had made out of it, and some other manuscripts, which I never saw. It seems, it was apprehended, that the French designed a descent in Dorsetshire : so orders were sent to make musters in that county, and to have them in readiness, in case of an invasion, or rebellion : and three hundred men were sent over to Calais, with orders concerning the fortifications.

On the 14th of June, complaint was made of some naughty plays and lewd books. The council was often alarmed with these plays; but it does not appear whether there was any thing in the plays with relation to religion, or the government; or whether it was, that they apprehended some mischief frorn the concourse of the people that those representations brought together. One Sir Thomas Cawwarden was committed to the Fleet, for his misbehaviour to the state : he was ordered to be kept a close prisoner, with only one servant, since he had made no manner of submission, and had not acknowledged his offence : but what this offence was does not appear to me. On the 29th of June, orders were given for sending two thousand men to Calais, with directions to distribute them to the places about, that wanted a reinforcement the most. Eight hundred and sixty of them were ordered for Guisnes, and a letter was written to the mayor and jurats of Calais, to continue their mayor for another year. On the 3d of July, the cardinal made an offer of one hundred men to serve the queen : he was ordered to levy them immediately, and to send them to Dover. Two hundred foot, and six hundred horse more, were ordered in

ali laste for Calais : and assurance was given, that more should quickly follow. There were then great apprehensions of disorders on the borders of Scotland, which were wholly in the hands of the French.

Bonner at this time gave the city of London a most dismal spectacle, a little removed from the city, perhaps for fear of a tumult, at Stratford, where thirteen persons, eleven men and two women, were burnt in one fire. He had condemned sixteen to be thus sacrificed : but Cardinal Pole heard there was some hope of working on three of them; so there came an order to put them in his hands : and he by the 26th of July prevailed so far on two of them, that a pardon was granted to those two, who had been condemned by the bishop of London *, lut were prevailed on by the cardinal to abjure (a very extraordinary thing, as is mentioned in the pardont), and he received them into the communion of the church, “and bad upon that interceded with the king and queen for their pardon, which they, as true sons of the church, did willingly imitate, and embraced this occasion of showing their zeal.” I cannot tell what became of the third person, whom he had taken out of Bonner's hands.

But here I must lessen the character of the Cardinal's mildness towards heretics: for on the 28th of March this year, he sent orders to proceed against the heretics in his diocess; and, on the 7th of July, he sent a significuvit of some heretics to be delivered to the secular arm.

I find likewise, by other evidences, suggested to me by the laborious Mr. Strype, that Pole was not so mild as I had represented him. Parker, in his British Antiquities, which Strype believes assuredly he can prove that it was written by him, he calls him ecclesia Anglicane carnifex et flagellum ; the whip and the executioner of the church of England : and Calfhil, a canon of Christ-Church in Oxford, in a letter he wrote to Grindall bishop of London, mentions the proceedings of the visitors sent to Oxíord by Pole; who were Brooks bishop of Gloucester, Cole dean of St. Paul's, and Ormanet: he sent them thither, not to restore the pope's authority, but diligently to inquire if there were any who neglected the pope's ceremonies; and if there were any found, that were under the least suspicion (levissima suspicio), they were without any delay to eject them. He writes, there was nothing eminent in Ormanet, but intolerable insolence: nothing could be imagined more arrogant than he was. They raged, as he adds, against a great many in the university; and burned, in the open market-place, an in

[ocr errors][merged small]
« ZurückWeiter »