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king the importance of leaving Calais in the hands of the French; and how much it would touch the honour of the king and queen, that so many restitutions being to be made on both sides, this alone should not be restored. The subjects of this realm would certainly be very uneasy at this. The war was begun at the king's request, and for his sake. If, to other of the king's allies, places are to be restored that were taken from them some years ago, what then can be judged, if a peace is concluded without this restitution? Yet, on the other hand, if there is an agreement in all other matters (which is like a giving up of the point), much were to be endured for the wealth of Christendom. In these matters, the ambassadors were ordered to deal plainly with the king, and to study to know his mind ; since the French, keeping these places, might be as great prejudice to his Low-countries as to England. They desire a plain and speedy answer, that they might know what to offer to the nobility and parliament, with relation to these matters.”
The answer to this belongs to this reign; though it was written on the day after the queen died, signed by the three ambassadors. It is in the Collection (No. xliii). “ They had written formerly, that the French king had said, he would hazard his crown rather than restore Calais : yet for all those high words they did not quite despair. The commissioners of both kings bad broke up their conferences, and returned to their masters, to give an account of what they had done, and to receive their final orders. The ambassadors believed, that if the king insisted positively on the restitution of Calais, that this might induce the French to agree to it: whereas, if the king and his ministers spokebut faintly of that matter, they were sure the French would still refuse to do it. Therefore they did not think fit to use any words to the king, to make him imagine that the queen or the kingdom would consent to a peace without the restoring of Calais : because their instructions were express in that point. The king continued to say, that he would make no peace unless the queen should be satisfied : so that if she and her council continued to insist on that point, they did believe the French would restore it, rather than lose the view they had of peace. And whereas the council wrote to them, that if all other things were near agreed, much were to be endured for the peace of Christendom :
: yet that all others should have restitution, and that poor England should only bear the loss, was hard ; especially so great a loss: and they were so far from thinking that the leaving Calais to the French would purchase a sure peace, that they thought, on the contrary, that nothing showed more evidently, that the French did not intend to
continue the peace with England especially, than their keeping of Calais. The French could easily annoy England on the side of Scotland : the dauphin being then married to the queen of Scots: and what the French pretend to by that marriage was not unknown to them. (This probably was to claim the crown of England upon the queen's death.) Now if the French kept Calais, the English could neither hurt their enemies, nor assist their friends, or be assisted by them so easily, as when that place was in their hands. England would be shut out from the rest of Europe: the very knowledge of the transactions abroad would come late to them, and that place would be a scourge for England, as it was before Edward the Third took it; which made him come with his son, and but with a small army, from Normandy into France, and to march through Picardy to besiege it, the enemy pursuing him with a greater army; but he fought through them until at last he fought them at Cressy, where, though the French were three to one, yet he totally defeated them, and continued the siege till he took it. So the French having Scotland on the one hand, and Calais on the other, it was easy to apprehend what might follow on this. The French would sign any terms with them to keep that place. These would be only parchment and wax. They knew how many parchments King Francis sealed to King Henry, and the present king to King Edward. They saw the effects they had; and if a war should follow between England and France, they were not sure that Spain would join with England: whereas now the king could not honourably make any peace without us; and he himself said he would not: so they did not think Christendom should have a good peace, if Calais were left to the French: and it was certainly more the interest of England to continue the war in conjunction with the king, than to make a peace, letting it go, and then be forced to begin a new war, and to have all the burthen of it lie upon England. All this they thought themselves bound to lay before the council. The bishop of Ely adds, that he was with the commissioners by the king's order; they had not yet agreed concerning the matters of Corsica and Siena : the French have likewise demanded the restitution of Navarre : so that some thought the treaty would be broken off without concluding in a peace. The earl of Arundel adds, that, after they had gone so far in their letter, he received a letter from the bishop of Arras, dated the 17th, in which he writes thus; The bishop of Ely has told you on what terms we were in this purgatory, at his leaving us. The French told us yesterday, that they would condescend to every thing rather than yield in the matter of Calais, or let that place go
out of their hands. And we on our part told them, that, without full satisfaction to the kingdom of England, we would not treat with them in any sort. And we parted so, that there is more appearance of a rupture than of a conclusion of the treaty.
But after all, our ambassadors doubted much whether it would break off only on the account of Calais. If they were in doubt about it, while the queen was yet alive, it may be easily supposed that her death put them out of all doubt concerning it.
And now I am come to the conclusion of this inglorious reign. Campana gives a different account of the immediate occasion of the queen’s death, from what is to be found in other authors. He tells us, that King Philip, seeing no hope of issue by her, and that she was in an ill state of health, designed a marriage between the duke of Savoy and the Lady Elizabeth : the queen liad a very bad opinion of her sister, suspecting she had ill principles in religion. King Philip thought the duke of Savoy would be a firm friend to him, and a constant enemy to France. But he could never bring the queen to hearken to this : yet now that she was declining very fast, he sent over the duke of Feria, to propose the match to the privy-council, without any regard to the queen ; or to the opposition she might make to it: and he ordered him to use all possible means to bring it to a conclusion. The queen resented this highly; and when she saw it was designed to force her to it, she fell into an extreme melancholy. The privy-council did not entertain the motion; and the queen dying in a few days, an end was put to it: for though I find the duke of Feria was in England upon Queen Elizabeth's coming to the crown, it does not appear that he made any proposition of that matter to her. What truth soever may be in this, the nation was now delivered from a severe and unhappy, though short reign : in which superstition and cruelty had the ascendant to such a degree, ihat it does not appear that there was any one great or good design ever set on foot, either for the wealth or glory of the pation. The poor queen delivered herself up to her peevish and fretful humours, and to her confessor: and seemed to have no other thoughts, but about the extirpation of heresy, and the endowing of monasteries. Even the war, that commonly slackens vigorous proceedings, had not that effect here. Her inexorable hatred of all she accounted heretics was such, that I find but one single instance of a pardon of any condemned of heresy, and that was upon the cardinal's intercession. God shortened the time of her reign for his elect's sake : and he seemed to have suffered popery to show itself in its true and natural colours, all over both
324 HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION. false and bloody ; even in a female reign, from whence all mildness and gentleness might have been expected; to give this nation such an evident and demonstrative proof of the barbarous cruelty of that religion, as might raise a lasting abhorrence and detestation of it.
It was visible that the providence of God made a very remarkable difference, in all respects, between this poor short and despised reign, and the glory, the length, and the prosperity, of the succeeding reign. So that, as far as we can reason from the outward characters of things, the one was all over mean and black, while the other shined with a superior brightness, to the admiration of all the world : it wanted no foil to set it off, being all over lustre and glory. But if that was wanting, the base and contemptible reign that went before it could not but add to its brightness.
One amazing character of providence in her death, and in the great successor that came after her, was, that at the time that the two ministers, being both ecclesiastics, of the kings of France and Spain, were designing a peace, with the view of destroying heresy upon the conclusion of it, their project was entirely blasted in so critical a minute : first, by the death of Queen Mary, and the succession of Queen Elizabeth ; and next, by the unlooked-for death of the king of France in July after : so that not only the design totally miscarried, but France fell under the confusions of a
inority; under which, that they called heresy gathered great strength: and the cruelty of the Spanish government occasioned the revolt of the Netherlands; while the glorious queen of England protected and assisted both so effectually, that King Henry the Fourth owned his being supported by her in his lowest state was the chief means that brought him to the possession of the crown of France: and the United Provinces had their main dependence on the protection and assistance that they had from her. So mercifully did God deal with this nation, by removing that queen that he had set over it in his wrath, and so graciously did he watch over the Reformation, that in the very time in which the enemies of that work reckoned it was to be rooted out, he raised up a glorious instrument, that not only revived it among us, but by a kind and tender influence watched over it, and protected it everywhere. So I now turn to view the auspicious beginnings of that blessed reign.
of the Beginnings of Queen Elizabeth's reign.
No prince ever came to the throne in a more clouded state of affairs than this queen did : the nation was engaged in a war both with France and Scotland. The queen had no ally but King Philip: and though she was sensible of her particular obligations to him, yet, being resolved to make alterations in religion, she knew she could depend no longer on him, when once these should be begun. The duke of Feria, then his ambassador in England, took all occasions to let her understand, that his master was the Catholic king, and that therefore he must protect that religion. The papists, whom she found in the ministry, possessed her with fears of rebellions at home, and of wars from abroad, if she set herself to alter religion. Those she brought into her councils, in conjunction with the papists, chiefly Bacon and Cecil, had been so accustomed to comply with what they condemned in matters of religion, that they brought themselves to bear what they did not approve : and they apprehended great danger if they should proceed too quick in those matters.
The queen's inclinations to the Reformation were universally relied on : her education and knowledge, her bad usage during the former reign, and her title to the crown, that was grounded on a marriage made in defiance to the pope, led all people to conclude, that what slow steps soever she might make in it, she would certainly declare for it, as soon as she saw she could be safe in doing it. Upon this some, whether out of a forwardness of zeal, or on design to encourage her, began early to pull down images and to make changes: but, on the other hand, the priests, apprehending what was like to follow, begun at the same time to alarm the people: some broke out into seditious words to animate the people against all changes: and the pulpits being all in their hands, they had free scope there to give the alarm : some went further, and called her title to the crown in question; and set up the Vol. III, PART 1.