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England Under the Tudors by Arthur D. Innes

Part 5 out of 9

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phraseology which enables persons of opinions so diverse on points so
numerous to find in it a sufficiently satisfactory expression or
recognition of their own views. It was possible alike for Day and for
Ridley, even for Tunstal and for Hooper, to conform to it. Whether it was
actually submitted to Convocation is a moot question, [Footnote: Moore,
186,187.] as to which the evidence is inconclusive, but informally, if not
formally, it is clear that it received the _imprimatur_ of general
clerical opinion. In the discussions, the Archbishop--generally regarded by
the Swiss school as sadly backward--won from that section unexpected
approval; but his other utterances continued to be so difficult to
reconcile with their attitude that it is at least doubtful whether he went
so far with them as they supposed. At any rate the book known as the
Prayer-book of 1549 was accepted, and in January the Act of Uniformity was
passed, compelling the clergy throughout the kingdom to adopt it uniformly
under severe pains and penalties for recalcitrance. The Act was to come
into force at Whitsuntide. Eight of the bishops however opposed the Bill,
including some who had been on the Commission. It may be inferred that
while they gave the book itself their sanction, they resisted its
imposition on the clergy by lay authority.

[Sidenote 1: 1547-49 The treason of the Lord Admiral]
[Sidenote 2: 1549 Fall of the Lord Admiral]

One other matter was to occupy the attention of Parliament before the close
of the session, namely the treason of the Protector's brother, the Admiral,
Lord Seymour of Sudeley. He was the King's uncle; he had taken to wife the
late King's widow on being refused the hand of the Princess Elizabeth; he
was violently jealous of his brother and angry at not having the
guardianship of the King entrusted to him--an office which in his opinion
ought to be separated from that of Protector of the realm. After marrying
Katharine Parr he did obtain from the Council the guardianship of
Elizabeth, and from Lord Dorset that of his daughter Lady Jane Grey, who,
under Henry's will, stood next in succession to the throne after his own
offspring. As Admiral, he had refused to take command of the fleet which
accompanied the march to Pinkie; and had entered into secret relations with
the pirates who infested the Channel. It had long been palpable that he was
intriguing for power, but no one was disposed to take part with him, and
Somerset was lenient to him. His principal ally was one Sharington, master
of the mint at Bristol, who abused his office by debasing the coinage and
pocketing or sharing his nefarious profits: Dorset and probably his
brother-in-law Northampton (Parr) favoured him. Thus supported, he had
money enough in hand to maintain a considerable armed following should
occasion arise, and had established a private cannon foundry. When his wife
died, he renewed his pretensions to the hand of Elizabeth, and was not
unnaturally suspected of having hastened Katharine's end with that
intention. Trusting to the soreness of Southampton (Wriothesly) at his
deprivation of the Chancellorship, he tried to win him over, and also
Rutland. The attempt failed, and was reported to the Protector; who
summoned him to give an account of himself before the Council. Seymour
refused to attend, using defiant language; and on January 17th he was
arrested. Practically there is no doubt of his treason, and had he then
been fairly brought to trial, Somerset would have been free from reproach.
But the question was debated in parliament whether the Admiral should be so
tried, or attainted, and attainder was decided on after he had refused to
answer to the Council; as he was entitled to do. He was allowed to plead
before a committee of both Houses in his own defence, but did not take
advantage of the permission: virtually he was denied the right of an open
trial, and was condemned without such defence as he had to make being
heard. Cranmer signed the death-sentence: Latimer defended it. The fact is
significant of the chaos into which English ideas of justice and fair play
had fallen. The Protector's brother was executed at the end of March.

[Sidenote: Troubles in the Provinces]

From April to September, Somerset's troubles thickened. Formidable
insurrections took place both in the western and eastern counties, and the
hostilities with France, not yet openly at war, were assuming an aggravated
form. The one piece of good fortune for England was that the antagonism
between Charles and the French King in other fields still prevented any
rapprochement between them.

[Sidenote: The Western Rising]

In the country districts there were two exciting causes of disturbance
--one, the general agricultural distress due to the selfish policy of the
landowners, the extension of sheep-farming and consequent displacement of
labour, the enclosure of common lands and evictions from small holdings;
the other, the innovations in religion and interference with immemorial
practices to which the people were attached with the persistent
conservatism of rural folk. The two types of grievance were associated by
the recent abolition of the monasteries, and the transfer of their lands to
the most obnoxious class of landlord--a class in the nature of the
circumstances popularly identified with the enemies of the old
ecclesiastical system, since it was they who conspicuously profited by the
change. The North and the West, then and for more than a century to come,
were the strongholds of traditional faiths and traditional ideals, as
Yorkshire had shown by the Pilgrimage of Grace. Now the main trouble arose
in the West. The introduction of the new Service Book at Whitsuntide was
met with violent opposition; the men of Cornwall and Devon rose, and
demanded the redress of grievances. They would have the religious houses
reinstated, and at least half their lands restored. They would have the old
services, not the new one which was "like a Christmas play". They would not
have it in English which the Cornishmen "did not understand". Elsewhere
there had already been disturbances, the peasants anticipating Somerset's
efforts to remedy the agricultural grievances by a commission to enforce
what was actually the law, and assembling in mobs to level fences and
enclosures; whereat the Council was wrath, but the Protector as Friend of
the People was disposed to applaud them. A religious revolt however was an
attack on the Protector's own policy, and must be put down. Foreign
mercenaries were called in, to embitter the quarrel. The insurgents
besieged Exeter, and had been for some months in arms before they were at
last crushed by the Government forces, in August, after desperate fighting.

[Sidenote: Ket's insurrection]

In the meantime a separate rising came to a head in the Eastern counties,
where however the religious question was not involved. In that part of the
country, destined to be the head-quarters of puritanism, the new ideas had
made early way with the population; and Ket, the leader of the rising,
conducted it on the hypothesis that his followers were merely enforcing
legal rights because the agents of the Government neglected to do so. A
great camp was formed at Mousehold Hill near Norwich; order was strictly
maintained; morning and evening the new services were read. There was so
much to be said in favour of the insurgents that they were offered a free
pardon if they would disperse; but unfortunately Ket cavilled at the word
"Pardon" on the ground that no offence had been committed, whereupon the
herald called him a traitor. The indignant insurgents, ready enough to
disperse before, thereupon changed their tone, assaulted and captured
Norwich, and carried off the guns and ammunition. Northampton was sent down
in command of the Government forces, but the rebels attacked him with such
determination that he had to fly--the insurgents maintaining their policy
of abstaining from robbery and violence generally. At last however, at the
end of August, Warwick, who replaced Northampton, succeeded by the aid of
German and Italian mercenaries in inflicting a crushing defeat on them; Ket
himself being taken and hanged soon after.

[Sidenote: Somerset's attitude]

Another rising was also attempted in Yorkshire, but this was easily quelled
by the local authorities. It is however of interest to note that the
nobility regarded Somerset as the real cause of these troubles, on account
of the open sympathy he expressed for the grievances of the rural
population, and his public admonitions to the landowners urging them to
amend their ways. He was driving the country faster than it was prepared to
go in the direction of religious innovations; he was attacking the
privileges which the new landowners had usurped; his Scottish policy had
been upset, in spite of Pinkie, by the young Queen's escape to France; he
was further alienating all but a few of the nobility by his increasing
arrogance of demeanour and disregard of advice, as well as by an assumption
of powers which had no precedent; he was giving a handle to his enemies by
the profusion of his own household, his appropriations of clerical lands
and even of the fabric of consecrated buildings to his own use; and finally
his conduct of foreign affairs had been so incompetent that while the
Emperor declined an English alliance, the position of Boulogne--which
remained quite inefficiently garrisoned--was becoming critical, and a
French squadron, ostensibly in pursuit of English pirates, attacked the
island of Jersey. By the end of September war was declared with France.

[Sidenote 1: The Council attacks the Protector]
[Sidenote 2: Fall of Somerset (Sept.)]

The lords of the Council, headed by Warwick, made up their minds that it
was time the protectorate should end, and that one vain-glorious nobleman
should not absorb so undue a share of power and profit. Somerset,
discovering that there was a cabal on foot, attempted to stir up popular
feeling against the Council, and retired hurriedly to Windsor with the
King, accompanied by Cranmer and Paget; a journey which is said to have
materially shaken the health of Edward, who was in a very delicate
condition. But the people did not rise in Somerset's favour; the Council
had so far taken no improper action, whereas the Protector had evidently
incited to violence by the steps into which panic had led him; Herbert and
Russell, returning from the West with the troops employed there to put down
the insurrection, declared in favour of the Council; who were of course
forced--very much to their own satisfaction--to stand on their right to
control the Government, and call the Protector to account, at the same time
promising him life and declaring that they had never sought his personal
injury. By mid-October, Somerset had fully realised that he was without
effective support; he surrendered to the Council, and was sent to the
Tower. His deposition from the Protectorate was confirmed by Parliament
three months later, and a substantial portion of his estates was forfeited,
after which he was again set at liberty. But his control in politics was at
an end.

[Sidenote 1: Ireland, 1547-49]
[Sidenote 2: Bellingham Deputy]

Before proceeding to the second division of Edward's reign, it remains to
deal with affairs in Ireland, where Sir Anthony St. Leger held sway, with
general approval, during the closing years of Henry's life. St. Leger
embodied the policy of conciliation by the method of converting Irish
chiefs into responsible supporters of the government in return for honours
gilded with spoils of the Church. The method worked well, but the
condoning--almost, it might be said, the rewarding--of treason, initiated
by Henry VII., carried risks which are obvious. Whether it was that the
extension to Ireland of the energetic iconoclasm of the English Reformation
in 1547 excited new hostility; or that a repressive policy was anticipated
from the new Government; or that death withdrew the loyal influence of the
old Earl of Ormonde, whose young heir was in England; or that the chiefs
were tired of behaving peaceably after six years; or that all these causes
combined: signs of disturbance and rumours of French intrigues
arose. St. Leger was recalled, and replaced by Sir Edward Bellingham, a
stern and rigorous soldier, who ruled autocratically with a strong
hand. Fortresses and garrisons were established up and down the country
outside the Pale, among the tribes which had been in the habit of raiding
or levying blackmail--very much after the fashion of various Highland
clansmen in Scotland; while O'Connor and O'More, two chiefs whose lands lay
between the English Pale and the Shannon, were attached for treason. In
short, Bellingham asserted the authority of the English government, not, it
would seem, unjustly, but certainly with severity, and in a dictatorial
fashion which thoroughly re-awakened the normal rebellious instincts of a
population never really subjugated. While he was present, his power was
feared and respected; but if St. Leger's policy had been taking real
effect, that effect was thoroughly cancelled. Bellingham died in 1549, and
Desmond told Allen the Chancellor, that the Deputy's methods had reduced
all Ireland to despair. [Footnote: A phrase expanded by Mr. Froude, v.,
421 (Ed. 1864)--perhaps legitimately--into "despair of being able to
continue their old habits".] In any case, no long time elapsed after
Bellingham's death before the country was again in a ferment. The fall of
Somerset left the new Government, controlled by Warwick, with a normally
distracted Ireland on its hands as well as an abnormally distracted
England. So long, however, as ferment did not mean active rebellion, the
English rulers were not greatly troubled.



When Somerset fell, the state of affairs which his successors had to face
was singularly threatening, calling for the most skilful statesmanship both
at home and abroad.

[Sidenote: 1549 (Winter) The Situation]

Externally, the chance of maintaining the hold on Boulogne was
disappearing: but while it was maintained, the hostility of France was
assured. Scotland, defiant, allied with France and helped by French troops,
might become actively embarrassing. Within two months of the Protector's
fall Pope Paul died. He was succeeded by Julius III. who promptly made
friends with the Emperor; to whom there was now hardly any open resistance
save at Magdeburg which stubbornly refused to accept the Interim. With the
Protestants apparently under his heel, and on good terms with the Papacy,
he might assume a hostile attitude to England. The one hope for her lay in
buying from France the friendship of the party in that country which, ever
mindful of the Italian provinces, might make common cause against the
Emperor if the immediate source of friction with England were removed.

[Sidenote: State of the Country]

At home there were the rural discontents and the swelling ardours of
religious partisanship to deal with, while the financial position was
growing worse from day to day. The natural fall in the value of silver
everywhere, owing to the quantities of the metal now beginning to pour into
Spain from America, depreciated the purchasing power of wages; and this was
made infinitely worse in England by the persistent debasement of the
coinage. The rulers of the country rewarded their own very inconspicuous
merits with the forfeited spoils of the Church, instead of applying them to
the public needs. The Treasury was nearly empty, and was maintained even at
its alarmingly low level only by borrowing from foreign bankers at usurious
interest. For the time being, the country had lost its moral balance;
landowners, merchants, and manufacturers were absorbed in rapid
money-making at the expense of their traditional integrity. Religion had
fallen into a controversial wrangle between contradictory dogmas; the most
earnest of the Reformers have given us the blackest pictures of the
prevailing irreligion and moral anarchy, rampant products of theological
acrimony. It is true that the Moralists of all ages have usually been
engaged in expressing a vehement conviction that the decadence of their own
age exceeds that of any other known to history; and within the next decade,
the denunciations of Latimer were to be lost in the paean of the martyrs.
Had the corruption he depicts been vital, those sublime tragedies would
never have taken place. But for the time, chaos prevailed. It is true that
some of the subjects of controversy were logically vital ultimately; but it
is true also that, absorbed in them, the controversialists lost sight of
other matters more spiritually vital immediately. If the Christian is
taught that his duty to God is comprised in the acceptance or
non-acceptance of dogmas and ceremonial observances, while his duty towards
his neighbour comprises the whole of his moral conduct; if then his
spiritual guides omit to preach the latter in their devotion to the former
subject; his morality is in danger of being entirely neglected. "This ought
they to have done, but not to leave the other undone."

[Sidenote: 1550 Terms with France]

In one respect, the new Government recognised the force of facts. It made
up its mind that France must be reconciled by the evacuation of Boulogne,
if any colourable concession could be obtained in return. France however
so obviously held the whip-hand that even Paget's diplomacy could do little
to qualify the completeness of the surrender. There was a brave display of
preparation for a determined defence, but the negotiators on both sides
were fully aware of its emptiness. There was nothing that Henry II. desired
more than the termination of strife with his excellent neighbours, provided
that they would hand over Boulogne, cancel most of the money claim under
the treaty of 1546 for which they held it as security, and withdraw their
troops from the forts they still retained in Scotland. The reconciliation
might then be sealed by the betrothal of Edward to a French princess, the
young Queen of Scots being bespoken by the Dauphin--only nothing
considerable in the way of a dowry could be expected. France however would
pay within a few months what might pass as a ransom for Boulogne. Such were
the terms which Paget, the cleverest statesman in England, was obliged to
advise the Council to accept: though the suggested marriage project was
dropped. The treaty of peace was signed on March 24th (1550).

[Sidenote: Warwick's Protestant zeal]

On the religious question, Warwick lost little time in showing that he was
on the same side as Somerset. For a moment, the Protector's fall raised
vain hopes in the breasts of those who supported the Old Learning. Gardiner
appealed from his prison: so did Bonner who not long before had not only
been incarcerated for the second time, but even, in October, deprived of
his see. It was useless. Warwick saw that he must either pose as an
enthusiastic reformer, or bring the reactionaries into power. In the former
case, he could lead; in the latter, he would have to throw himself on the
support of the old nobility. Not only Gardiner but Norfolk also would have
to be released from the Tower, and he himself would inevitably drop to the
second rank. Warwick, with a fine consistency, never permitted any other
motive to influence him when his own aggrandisement was involved in the
issues. The first step of the parliament which re-assembled in November
(1549) was to pass an Act for the removal of Images. Gardiner, and Bonner,
remained in prison. Even an attempt of the whole body of Bishops to have
something of their disciplinary jurisdiction restored, in the interests of
public morality, was quietly suppressed. Three more bishops of the Old
learning were at intervals sent to prison and deprived--Heath, Day, and
Tunstal. Every vacancy was filled from the ranks of the advanced reformers.

[Sidenote: A new treasons and felonies Act]

Norfolk, like the bishops, continued a prisoner. Somerset on the other
hand, no longer regarded as dangerous, was released in February, the major
part of the fine imposed on him was remitted, and after a brief interval he
was even re-instated in the Privy Council, and his official reconciliation
with Warwick sealed by a family marriage. But while his anti-clerical
policy was carried to much greater lengths, his social policy and his
relaxation of the treason laws were entirely reversed. Parliament made
felony or treason out of assemblages presumed to intend disturbance of the
peace, to some extent legalised enclosures, made acts against Privy
Councillors treasonable as if they were against the King, and included in
the ban assemblies for the purpose of altering the laws.

[Sidenote: Activity of the extreme Reformers]

The peace with France still left opportunities for friction; but Warwick's
reforming enthusiasm drove him into the course--manifestly irritating to
the Emperor--of interfering with the private devotions of the Princess
Mary, who was ordered to give up the Mass: to which she replied that she
was bound by the law as left by her father, and would not recognise orders
in contravention thereof, as long as her brother was a minor. Charles
himself was at this very time reverting to an intolerant policy in the Low
Countries, and Protestants were hastening to England from Flanders. The
risk that the Emperor might adopt Mary's cause in arms was obvious, and it
was known that the Guise party at the French court would miss no
opportunity of reviving the war with England in the hope of capturing
Calais. In the meantime, the extreme reformers of the Swiss school were
steadily gaining weight, in comparison with that section which, like
Cranmer, continued to favour less drastic changes. One of their chiefs,
Hooper, being nominated to a bishopric, for a long time declined to accept
it on account of the vestments ordered to be worn at consecration--an
attitude however for which he was condemned by all the cooler heads,
including some of the most advanced. Hooper ultimately gave way--a
narrow-minded but sincere man, who at the last won the crown of
martyrdom. An unsuccessful effort was made to obtain Gardiner's
release--the failure being the more pointed because Somerset interested
himself on the bishop's part. Gardiner, with thorough consistency, declared
himself ready to accept the Prayer-book since it did not preclude his view
of the Sacrament; but he would not profess opinions in contradiction of the
doctrines formally affirmed in the last reign. In the end, he was not only
kept in prison, but deprived of his see of Winchester.

[Sidenote 1: 1551 The Council and the Emperor]
[Sidenote 2: Charles's difficulties]

In the early months of 1551 the friction with the Emperor on the subject of
the Princess Mary's Mass was becoming alarming; Charles was refusing to let
the English Ambassador in his dominions use the English Communion Service;
and the Council went so far as to propose making the Princess personally
and alone exempt from Conformity: fortunately, however, for them, affairs
in Italy took a turn which gave fresh impulse to the anti-Imperialists in
France. The Protestant city of Magdeburg was still holding out against the
Imperial troops which were under the command of Maurice of Saxony, and the
French King was becoming inclined to give active support to the
resistance. The Pope had devoted himself to Charles's interests, and
assented to the return of the Council to Trent; and there were hints that
Henry might call a Gallican synod, instead of allowing the French
ecclesiastics to attend, unless the Lutherans were also represented. The
Emperor could no longer imagine himself to be completely master of the
situation. In April, the Council felt that he was so far hampered that they
could venture to assume a bold front. They informed him that the Act of
Uniformity was the Law; that it applied to all subjects, including the
Princess; and that they claimed the same freedom for their own ambassador
which they were willing to concede reciprocally to his. About the same time
the German Diet foiled a pet scheme of Charles, who wished his son Philip
(afterwards Philip II. of Spain) to be nominated as his successor to the
Imperial crown in place of his brother Ferdinand [Footnote: Charles had
ceded the Austrian dominions of the house of Habsburg to Ferdinand in
1522.] who was already King of the Romans. The Germans however preferred
the Austrian to the Spanish succession, and rejected the proposal. In June
he found that the English and French had come to terms, and had agreed to a
French marriage for Edward, on exceedingly easy conditions for France. He
still continued to threaten war unless England gave way on the disputed
points; but the Council answered only by temporising, and he was soon in no
position to threaten. The unrest of the German Protestants and later in the
year the assembling of the Council at Trent demanded all his attention. In
fact, though he did not suspect it, Maurice of Saxony was even now laying
his plans for snapping the bonds which the Emperor was seeking to rivet
upon his German subjects. The incompetent hand-to-mouth conduct of foreign
affairs in England did not bring disaster on the country, mainly because
Charles had not rightly taken the measure of his own strength and of the
forces in the Empire adverse to his policy.

[Sidenote: Groups among the Reformers]

The domestic history of England during 1551 is not marked by events of
magnitude, but the general trend of affairs is not without significance.
No serious attempt was made to deal with any of the existing causes of
disorder and uneasiness. Warwick, a man whose entire career presents no
evidence of his having possessed any religious convictions whatever, had
fixed upon the ultra-protestants as the party whose support would be most
valuable to him. Honest enough themselves, these men, typified by Bishop
Hooper, were ready to credit with a like honesty any one who talked their
particular jargon with sufficient fervour, and to stigmatise as Laodiceans
any one who did not go to every length along with them. Cranmer and more
positively his right-hand man Ridley--recently made bishop of London in
Bonner's room--were now leaning more towards them than when the Prayer-book
of 1549 was promulgated; and a considerable personal animus cannot but have
entered into their feeling towards Gardiner, whose present unimpeachable
attitude of legality was discounted by his participation in the intrigues
against Cranmer during the last reign.

[Sidenote: Attitude of Somerset]

It is less really surprising than it seems at first sight to find in
Somerset the one man who really interested himself on the side of
toleration towards individuals, in the cases both of Mary and of
Gardiner. As a matter of fact, although when Protector he had been
particularly zealous in the war against images, had carried desecration to
abnormal lengths in his private appropriation of spoils, and had grossly
transgressed his constitutional powers for the repression of the bishop of
Winchester as the ablest of the opponents of his policy: yet he was not
generally vindictive, was probably quite satisfied with the compromise of
the first prayer-book which did not actually contravene the _King's
Book_, and--except when he was commanding troops in Scotland--liked at
least the posture of magnanimity. Entirely devoid of statesmanlike
qualities, but afflicted with inordinate vanity, he had been an intolerably
incompetent ruler: yet his intentions were usually quite commendable; while
the government which succeeded the Protectorate had failed in every
particular to establish a claim to respect, nor could he be, like the
zealots, hoodwinked into a belief in its honesty. Apart therefore from
personal considerations he did not favour its extreme policy, and personal
considerations suggested that he might once more oust his rival from
power. Lacking the capacity to organise an opposition, he still lent
himself to intrigues. He was a possible danger to the Government for one
reason and only one--that popularity with the commonalty which had been
gained by his well-meant but ill-directed efforts to espouse their cause
against the oppression of the wealthier classes.

[Sidenote 1: Fresh attack on Somerset]
[Sidenote 2: 1552 Execution of Somerset]

Warwick therefore, endowed with plentiful cunning and no scruples, decided
to be rid of him once for all, and put in the mouth of an accomplice a
story, with enough truth in it to be plausible, which sufficed for his
purpose. In October Warwick, having procured his own elevation to the
Dukedom of Northumberland, that of Dorset to the Dukedom of Suffolk, and
that of Herbert to the Earldom of Pembroke, arrested Somerset at the
Council. The Duke was accused of compassing the deaths of several Lords of
the Council, and of preparations for an armed revolt and for appealing to
the populace. On the greater part of the specific charges, the evidence was
quite inadequate--but finding that Somerset might be held to have gone far
enough to incur the death-sentence for felony under the law passed by the
parliament of 1549-50, Northumberland (as Warwick must now be called) made
a show of magnanimously withdrawing the accusations so far as he was
personally affected. Somerset was duly condemned; but it was not till the
end of January (1552) that he was actually executed, in spite of the
somewhat pathetic demonstrations in his favour of the populace, who refused
to the last to believe that the sentence would really be carried out, and
lamented his doom with tears.

[Sidenote: Pacification of Passau]

While Somerset's trial was still going on, agents arrived in England from
the German Protestants, inviting assistance in the contemplated revolt
against Charles--a movement carried out with sudden and triumphant
effectiveness by Maurice of Saxony in the following spring. Had
Northumberland given his adhesion, the formation of a Lutheran alliance at
this juncture might have very materially altered the subsequent course of
events. The opportunity however was not taken. Indeed it is scarcely
surprising that the signs of the times should have been misread. Maurice
had helped Charles against the Schmalkaldic League before; yet everything
depended on his discarding the apparently erratic politics of his past
career, and displaying in full measure the organising and military genius
of which he had given promise, though it still remained to be conclusively
proved. He did in fact prove it a few months later, when he all but
succeeded in pouncing on the Emperor at Innsbruck. Charles was forced to a
hasty flight, and, finding a practically united Germany in arms against
him, was reduced to accept the pacification of Passau (July), conceding all
that the Lutherans demanded. Maurice's brilliant exploit not only
terminated Charles's resistance to the Reformation in Germany; it also
released England from all danger of his active hostility.

[Sidenote: England stands aside]

In view however of the uncertainty still, at the end of 1551, attendant on
the motives, the aims, and the capacity of Duke Maurice, the decision of
the professedly enthusiastic protestants in England to stand aside is
hardly a ground for reproach. Disaster had so often been escaped during
recent years, through some lucky turn of events abroad supervening on the
purely temporising policy of the Government, that they had good reason to
hesitate about committing themselves to any irrevocable course; while
personal intrigues and the strife of religious parties gave the individual
leaders sufficient occupation. Possibly also the influence of the Swiss
school, antagonistic as ever to the peculiar tenets of Lutheranism, was not
altogether in favour of a too intimate association with German

[Sidenote: The Reformation;]

We have remarked upon the increasing influence of this party in the Church;
an influence which, as far as concerns the formularies of the Anglican
body, was to reach its high-water mark in 1552 and 1553, in the revised
prayer-book authorised by Parliament immediately after Somerset's death,
and the "Forty-two Articles" promulgated about a year later.

[Sidenote: Its Limits under Henry and under Somerset]

In the reign of the late King, the Reformation which had taken place was
almost entirely political and financial--in the constitution of the
government of the ecclesiastical body, and the allocation of its
endowments. The Sovereign had claimed and enforced his own supremacy,
involving the repudiation of papal authority, the submission of the clergy
to the Supreme Head, and the appropriation by the Crown of Monastic
property. As a necessary corollary, the Crown had also taken upon itself to
sanction formularies of belief and to regulate rites and ceremonies; but in
doing so it had held by the accepted dogmas, suppressed little except
obvious and admitted abuses, and affirmed no heresies. The Archbishop had
been in favour of further innovations, but these had not been allowed. All,
however, that Cranmer had then advocated, was adopted by Somerset's
administration--the extended destruction of images, the liturgy in the
vulgar tongue, the marriage of the clergy, the Communion in both kinds; the
last being perhaps the most marked deviation from the established
order. But though the new liturgy might be reconciled with acceptance of
doctrines hitherto accounted heretical, it did not enjoin them; it was
still reconcilable also with the _King's Book_. It had aimed, in short
at the maximum of comprehension. The result was to include within the same
pale the adherents of a very slightly modified Mass and the extremists of
the Swiss school, for whom the Communion Service was purely and simply

[Sidenote: The extremists dissatisfied]

Until the death of Henry, the English clergy from the Archbishop down had
almost without exception held the hitherto authorised view of the
Eucharist. Since then however Cranmer had followed the lead of Ridley,
under the influence of the foreign theologians, and had adopted personally
a conception [Footnote: This conception is expressed in the phrase of the
Catechism that "the Body and Blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken
and received by the faithful," coupled with the direct repudiation of
Transubstantiation, _i.q._ the doctrine that the substance of the
bread and wine is changed by the Act of Consecration.] which rejected
alike in set terms the Transubstantiation of the Roman Mass, the
Consubstantiation of the Lutherans, and, implicitly though not explicitly,
the purely commemorative theory of Hooper and the Zwinglians.

[Sidenote: 1552 The Liturgy revised]

Thus the extreme comprehensiveness of the first Prayer-book failed to
satisfy the school who could not away with the Mass, and those who regarded
the Swiss doctrine as heretical. Greater precision, closer definitions,
were called for--by way not of changing doctrines but of removing
uncertainties. To this end a revision of the volume had been taken in hand,
and now received the sanction of Parliament: a revision favouring in the
main the Swiss interpretations, the term "minister" taking the place of
"priest," "altar" giving way to "table," and the doctrine of
transubstantiation being clearly eliminated. At the same time the
instruction that the Sacrament was to be received kneeling conveyed a
presumption, though not the necessity, that the rite involved a Mystery,
that it implied an act of adoration. This was most unsatisfactory to the
ultra-protestants, recently re-inforced by the vigorous presence in the
North of England of John Knox the Scottish reformer; and before the volume
was issued from the press at the end of the year a determined attempt was
made to have the obnoxious instruction removed by order. The Archbishop
however with resolute dignity protested against the arbitrary subversion of
what Parliament had sanctioned. He carried his point, and the instruction
was retained, though an explanatory note (known as the Black
Rubric)[Footnote: _Cf_. Dixon, iii., 475 ff.] was appended, with which
Knox and his friends were forced, however reluctantly, to be satisfied.

[Sidenote: Nonconformity]

This episode, with that of the consecration of Hooper as bishop of
Gloucester, are illustrative of the original sense of the term
Nonconformity. Nonconformity, of which Hooper is often referred to as the
"father," did not seek separation from the ecclesiastical organisation, but
expressed dissatisfaction with particular observances, which it sought to
have modified in the Swiss sense: not as being in themselves intolerable,
but as tending to encourage superstitious and papistical ideas. So Hooper,
after an obstinate struggle, submitted to don the vestments ordered at his
consecration; so also Knox, when he was finally worsted in the "kneeling"
controversy, submitted to the order though with a very ill grace. The
Nonconformists in short may be defined as Puritans who still remained
within the pale of the Church. The idea of forming sects outside her
borders, of challenging the right to enforce uniformity where points in
dispute were not "essential" but "convenient," was still opposed to all
recognised principles; the Nonconformists themselves being by no means
disposed to surrender the position that if they became predominant they
would be entitled to enforce their own views no less rigidly. No one
thought of protesting against the burning of one Joan Bocher, in 1550, for
affirming a peculiarly unintelligible heresy concerning the mode of the

[Sidenote: Parliament]

The session at the beginning of 1552 was the last held by this, the first,
Parliament of Edward VI. Besides authorising the revised Prayer-book, it
passed a second Act of Uniformity, of which the novel feature was that
penalties were imposed on laymen for non-compliance. In other respects, it
did not show itself altogether subservient to Northumberland. A new
Treasons Act further reviving some of Henry's provisions was introduced in
the Upper House, but rejected by the Commons; who did indeed restore
"verbal treason," but pointedly required that two witnesses at least should
prove the guilt of the accused to his face-with evident reference to the
recent trial of Somerset.

Cranmer had been occupied not only with the Prayer-book, but also with the
preparation of Articles of Belief, and of a scheme which, as drawn up, was
generally known as the _Reformatio Legum_, elaborating a plan of
ecclesiastical administration. The latter appears to have seen the light
either in 1551 or 1552, but it was never authorised. The Forty-two
articles, substantially the same as the Thirty-nine of the present
Prayer-book, certainly did not come before parliament and probably did not
come before Convocation, [Footnote: Dixon, iii., 513 ff. Gairdner,
_English Church_, 311.] but were sanctioned by almost the last act of
the King in Council in 1553.

[Sidenote: 1553 A new Parliament]

The national finances continued in an increasingly chaotic condition, and
Northumberland's struggles to raise money during 1552 were attended with
such inadequate results that he found it necessary to summon a new
Parliament in the spring of 1553. There were not wanting, from the last
reign, precedents for bringing royal pressure to bear on constituencies to
secure the selection of amenable representatives, and the principle was now
applied with a reckless comprehensiveness. Nevertheless the Houses when
assembled were by no means prepared to carry out a programme which would
satisfy Northumberland.

[Sidenote: Northumberland's programme]

In fact that man of many wiles lacked the art, necessary for one with his
ambitions, of securing a devoted personal following. For some time past the
probability of the young King's early decease had been recognised, and
Northumberland's intrigues had been directed to excluding Mary from the
succession, and securing a sovereign whom he would himself be able to
dominate. He had had his chance, when the Protector was overthrown in 1549,
of taking the line of policy which would bring him into accord with the
heir presumptive; he made his election, and thenceforward was committed to
the Reforming party and to political destruction if Mary should become
Queen. He devoted his attention then primarily to gaining a predominant
influence over the young King, with great success-the result, in no small
measure, of his posing as a puritan; for the boy had all the uncompromising
partisanship natural to the morbid precocity which his ill-health and Tudor
cleverness combined to develop. If Edward had lived, no doubt the Tudor
penetration would have unmasked Northumberland in due course; but this the
Duke would hardly have anticipated in any case, and, as it was, he laid his
plans on the hypothesis that Edward would die without leaving an heir of
his body. Now the succession was fixed by Henry's Will, ratified by Act of
Parliament, first on Mary and then on Elizabeth, though both had been
declared illegitimate. If they could be set aside, the first claim by
descent would lie with Mary Stewart, grandchild of Henry's sister Margaret;
but the country would not take her at any price. The next claimant,
confirmed also by Henry's Will, would be Lady Jane Grey, passing over her
mother Frances Brandon, daughter of Henry's second sister Mary. Frances
Brandon had married Lord Dorset, created Duke of Suffolk at the same time
that Dudley became Duke of Northumberland.

[Sidenote: Plot to change the succession]

The Duke's scheme then was to supplant the Tudor princesses, on the score
of their illegitimacy once officially affirmed, by Lady Jane Grey; having
first secured a dominating influence over his unhappy puppet by marrying
her to one of his sons, Guildford Dudley. It might plausibly be argued
that, since the courts had definitely declared that neither Mary nor
Elizabeth was born in lawful wedlock, no subsequent legitimation could give
them precedence over an indubitably legitimate descendant of Henry VII. and
Elizabeth of York: while political expediency excluded the sole claimant
with a prior hereditary right.

There remained, however, the inconvenient fact that the whole country from
the Council down had deliberately and unhesitatingly pledged itself to
maintain the order of succession laid down in Henry's Will. Something more
than an abstract argument from legitimacy was needed to cancel a decision
arrived at and established after mature deliberation. Had Mary made
herself feared or detested--had Lady Jane been a popular favourite with an
organised following--there might have been some chance for a _coup
d'tat_. But the treatment of Mary coupled with her dignified and
courageous conduct had made her the object of popular sympathy; the only
people who feared her were those who had been prominent in attacking the
Old Learning, and their following in the country was by no means
proportionate to their political and theological activity. Their
support--all that Northumberland could hope for--would be quite
insufficient for carrying his plan through; while the Duke himself, very
unlike his late rival Somerset, was an object of such general aversion that
any scheme calculated to maintain him in power would have excited keen
popular antagonism.

[Sidenote 1: Northumberland gains over Edward and the Council]
[Sidenote 2: Death of Edward]

The marriage of Lady Jane was accomplished early in May (1553); Pembroke,
as well as Suffolk, was apparently secured by the marriage [Footnote: After
Northumberland's fiasco, this marriage was judiciously voided.] of his son
to a sister, Katharine Grey. Besides these Northumberland could count on
Northampton. Further, he could be sure that France would go as far as
diplomacy permitted to prevent the accession of Mary, on account of her
relationship with the Emperor, to whom she had all her life looked for
counsel. As Edward's death drew nearer, the Duke prepared his final
_coup_. If Henry by Will could lay down the course of succession, his
son was equally free to change it. It was not difficult to persuade the
dying boy of the woes that would follow when a reactionary monarch was on
the throne--though there had hitherto been no sign that the reaction would
go beyond a reversion to the position of Henry's last years. Under
Northumberland's influence, he devised the crown to the issue of the
Duchess of Suffolk who was herself passed over in favour of her eldest
daughter. In June this "device" was submitted to the Council, with whom
however it found little favour. But in view of the personal danger in which
they stood, they gave assent subject to the approval of Parliament, arguing
that it was unprecedented for a King, to say nothing of one who was still a
minor, to set aside an Act of Parliament by his own authority. The Judges,
summoned to the Royal presence, unanimously declared that it would be
unconstitutional--in effect treason--if they drew up letters patent in the
sense desired without authority of parliament; and the more they examined
the law, the more convinced they were of their position. But the King was
insistent; and at last one by one, they reluctantly gave way, on condition
of receiving positive instructions under the Great Seal and an anticipatory
pardon in case their obedience should prove--as they believed it--to be a
crime. The Letters were drawn, and at last signed by a number of peers and
representative men, Cranmer finally yielding his adhesion after prolonged
resistance, on the strength of the assertion that the judges had given
their sanction. He was not informed how that sanction had been
obtained. Cecil, the Burghley of a later reign, would only sign "as a
witness". The signatures were appended on June 21st. The affair was still
kept secret--though the existence of some conspiracy to supplant Mary was
becoming generally suspected. The interval was spent in making preparations
to support the _coup d'tat_ in arms. On July 4th the rumour that the
King was already dead was only partially dispelled by letting his face be
seen at a window. On the 6th he actually died. On the 8th the fact began to
leak out, and on the 10th Lady Jane was proclaimed Queen in London.

[Sidenote: A memorable voyage]

One incident of note occurred during King Edward's last months--the
departure of Chancellor and Willoughby's expedition in search of a
North-East passage, an entirely novel direction. Chancellor reached the
White Sea, and from thence was conveyed to Moscow, with the result that
relations were opened between England and Russia. In other respects there
was some private activity in the voyages of this and the ensuing reign, but
nothing else demanding special attention.



[Sidenote: The Marian Tragedies]

From first to last, Tragedy is the note of the reign of England's first
Queen regnant: the human interest is so intense that the political and
religious issues seem, great as they were, to sink into the background of
the picture, mere accessories of the stage on which are presented the
immortal figures of Doom. First is the tragedy of the sweet-souled and most
innocent child, Lady Jane Grey, sacrificed to the self-seeking ambition of
shameless intriguers. Then the tragedy of the Martyrs--of Rowland Taylor,
of Ridley and Latimer, of Ferrar and Hooper, of many another of less note,
who died for the Glory of God, giving joyful testimony to the faith that
was in them; the tragedy of Cranmer, the gentle soul of wavering courage,
the man born to pass peaceful days in cloistered shades, torn from them to
be the unwilling pilot of revolution, who at the tenth hour fell as Peter
fell, yet at the last rose to the noblest height. Last, and greatest, the
tragedy of the royal-hearted woman whose passionate human love was answered
only with cold scorn; who won her throne by the loyalty of her people only
to bring upon her name such hate as attaches to but two or three other
English monarchs; who, for the wrongs done to her personally, showed almost
unexampled clemency, yet, shrinking not to shed blood like water in what
she deemed a sacred cause, is popularly branded for ever amongst the
tyrants of the earth; who, sacrificing her own heart in that cause, died in
the awakening knowledge that by her own deeds it was irreparably ruined. No
monarch has ever more utterly subordinated personal interests, personal
affections, all that makes life desirable, to a passionate sense of duty;
none ever failed more utterly to work anything but unmixed woe.

[Sidenote: 1553 (July) Proclamation of Queen Jane]

Northumberland's plans had been carefully laid. The military forces were at
the service of the Government. The whole Council--with varying degrees of
sincerity and reluctance--had endorsed his scheme; the persons of its
members were apparently at his mercy; he meant also to have Mary safely
bestowed in the Tower before any opposition could be organised. The foreign
ambassadors, and their masters, hardly dreamed that there was any
alternative course to submission. Neither they nor Northumberland realised
the intensity of the general feeling in Mary's favour, or its practical
force; nor did they appreciate the capacity of Henry Tudor's daughters for
rising to an emergency. On the day of Edward's death, Mary was on her way
to London, when she was met with the secret warning that all was over. She
turned and rode hard for safer country, just escaping the party who had
been sent out to secure her. Jane Grey, the sixteen-year-old bride of a few
days, was summoned to the throne by the Council; every person about her
implored her to claim what they called her right and fulfil her duty in
accepting the crown: what else could she do? Yet, child as she was, they
found to their indignant astonishment that she would not move a
hair's-breadth from the path her conscience approved. She knew enough to
refuse point blank the notion that her young husband should be crowned
King. The men of affairs, of religion, of law, having unanimously affirmed
that the heritage of royalty was hers, she could not dispute it; but no one
could pretend that the heritage was his. Her refusal was of ill omen for
Northumberland's ascendancy, and the ill omens multiplied.

[Sidenote 1: The people support Mary]
[Sidenote 2: Collapse of the Plot]

The refusal was given on the evening following the proclamation of Lady
Jane as Queen: even at the proclamation, a 'prentice was bold enough to
remark aloud that the Lady Mary's title was the better. That same night, a
letter arrived from Mary herself, claiming the allegiance of the Council in
true queenly style. They were not yet prepared to defy Northumberland, and
a reply was penned the next day affirming Lady Jane's title. Two of the
Duke's sons were already in pursuit of Mary, and a general impression
prevailed that they had captured her and were on their way to London. They
had indeed reached her, but their whole force promptly acclaimed her as
queen, and the Dudleys had to fly for their lives. The Eastern midlands and
the home counties were gathering in arms to her support. It was necessary
to take the field without delay, but of those members of the Council who
were fit to command there was none on whom Northumberland could rely, when
once out of his reach. The Duke must go himself. On the eighth day after
Edward's death, the fourth after the proclamation of Lady Jane, he rode
gloomily from London at the head of a force which he mistrusted, without a
plaudit from the populace which, for all its Protestantism, listened with
apathy two days later to the declamations of Ridley at St. Paul's Cross.
Northumberland was hardly on his way before news came that the crews of the
fleet had compelled their captains to declare for Mary. He had not advanced
far before his own followers in effect followed suit. In the meantime, the
Council reinstated Paget; who had always been in ill odour with Dudley as
being a friend of Somerset, and had been recently dismissed from office and
relegated to the Tower. On the 19th came news of further reinforcements for
Mary. On that day several members of the Council, who had hitherto been
practically under guard in the Tower, escaped, and, headed by Pembroke,
declared for Mary. One party returned in arms, to demand surrender; another
marched to Paul's Cross and proclaimed Mary amid enthusiastic
acclamations. That night they dispatched a message to Northumberland at
Cambridge ordering him to lay down his arms. Before it reached him, he had
thrown up the struggle. The messengers arrived to arrest a cringing
traitor. The stream of his repentant supporters was already hastening to
sue for pardon.

[Sidenote: The Queen's leniency]

Never did rebellion collapse more ignominiously; never were rebels treated
so leniently. The conspicuous but calculated clemency of the seventh Henry
pales in comparison with the magnanimity of his grand-child. Those who had
been most active and prominent in word and deed were arrested; but after a
brief interval the majority even of these were pardoned. Some, including
the innocent figurehead of the rebellion, the nine days' queen, her
husband, and Ridley, were detained, in ward; but even Suffolk was allowed
to go free; and it was only in deference to the remonstrances of every
adviser that the Queen ultimately consented to the execution of the
Arch-traitor Northumberland with two of his companions.

[Sidenote: Meaning of the popular attitude]

Mary's triumph, swift and bloodless, in defiance of all prudent
presumptions, requires some explanation; which is not to be found in the
theory of a sweeping Catholic reaction. London and the eastern counties
were the strongholds of the new ideas, yet they went uncompromisingly in
her favour. But it seems to prove that the country had definitely made up
its mind some years before to accept a given solution of the problem of the
succession, and to abide by it. Mary and Elizabeth might both be
illegitimate technically, but each had been supposed legitimate at the time
of her birth, and it seemed only fair that both should be reinstated in the
line of succession. But the decision had been left to Henry, and had gone
precisely in accord with popular sentiment. The English people had no mind
to allow their settled conclusions to be set aside at the dictation of the
best-hated politician in the country. They would have none of
Northumberland, and the attempt to coerce them simply collapsed. The fact
that all their sympathies--apart from judgment--were with the hitherto
persecuted princess, and were not extended to her helpless rival, is in no
way remarkable; for Lady Jane had been brought up in retirement, and her
charms of mind and of character, though known to posterity, were quite
unknown to the world in her own day. She had lent herself, however
innocently, to an outrageous conspiracy; nor would any one have thought of
remonstrance if the Queen had followed the advice of her counsellors
instead of the dictates of her own magnanimity, and sent the girl with her
husband and her father to the block along with Northumberland.

[Sidenote: The Queen's marriage and the Reformation]

A woman more politic and less conscientious than Mary--a woman such as her
sister Elizabeth--might now have seized a great opportunity for making
herself exceptionally popular. The Roman allegiance had been wiped out by
Henry, with the entire approval even of Bonner and Gardiner; but of late
years the extreme puritan party had gone much further in imposing their
theories than the nation generally approved. They, at least, might now
have been bridled without exciting serious opposition. Toleration within
reasonable limits was what the bulk of the people wanted. Too many of them
had really taken hold of the new ideas for a ready assent to be given to a
strong reaction; too many still clung to the old ideas for the censorship
of the Knoxes and Hoopers to be acceptable.

No one was more thoroughly alive to the impolicy of religious coercion than
the Queen's life-long adviser, Charles V.--who had had his lesson in
Germany--and his ambassador at Mary's court, Simon Renard. A policy of
judicious toleration was the first condition of domestic peace, and would
have met with their entire approval. But there was another question of
pressing importance on which counsels were likely to be divided--the
question of the Queen's marriage. Popular sentiment was flatly opposed to
her union with any one who, being a foreigner, might subordinate England's
interests to those of his own country, and drag her into the vortex of
continental broils. On these two points anxiety was concentrated when the
Queen arrived in London.

[Sidenote: Mary's rivals]

The situation was the more complicated because, however popular Mary might
be for the moment, there were at least three possible nominees who might be
put forward if she lost her popularity. There was her half-sister
Elizabeth, who was a protestant. There was Mary Stewart, whom the French
would make every effort to place on the throne. Noailles, the French
ambassador, would exercise all his powers of intrigue to shake Mary, on the
chance of his master having an opportunity of intervention; indeed, but for
the rapidity of the Queen's success, there is little doubt that French
troops would have come to Northumberland's assistance--for the time; to
turn affairs to their own account as soon as might be. And finally there
was still Lady Jane, with a title of a sort.

[Sidenote: Moderate Reaction]

There was immediate alarm, when it was known that Mary intended her brother
to be buried with the old rites; and though she was with difficulty
dissuaded from carrying out that intention she nevertheless did celebrate a
requiem Mass. It was however only natural that her first step was to
release and restore the old Duke of Norfolk, young Edward Courtenay,
[Footnote: Courtenay, a boy of eleven at the time, had been sent to the
Tower when his father was executed in 1538.] son of the Marquis of Exeter,
and the imprisoned bishops, making Gardiner her Chancellor: though London
did not welcome Bonner. Mary frankly professed her desire that religion
should return to the position at her father's death, but she was equally
definite about exercising no compulsion without parliamentary sanction. The
reinstated bishops had been suspended in the most arbitrary manner; those
now dispossessed had been appointed under the new theory that they held
office only during the royal pleasure. The prompt departure of the foreign
preachers and their English allies was facilitated and encouraged. The
imprisonment of Ridley was a legitimate reward for his activity on behalf
of Lady Jane, in August, Latimer was arrested for seditious demeanour, but
was carefully allowed the opportunity of flight. Cranmer was not touched
till the draft of a letter he wrote, courageously repudiating the libel
that he had restored the Mass, had been copied and widely disseminated.
Then he was removed to the Tower, ostensibly for his support of
Northumberland. He, like Latimer, was given ample opportunity to fly, but
also like Latimer stood to his colours. In all this there was no savour of
injustice, though it filled the Protestants with apprehension: as also did
the removal of sundry bishops on the ground that they were married. Mary,
like Gardiner, had always denied the validity of legislation during the
minority; but to take action on that hypothesis without waiting for
parliament was hardly consistent with her declarations. Great pressure was
also brought to bear on Elizabeth, to induce her to recant her
protestantism; but while she declared herself open to argument, and
actually presented herself at Mass though with patent reluctance, she
steadily refused to pronounce herself converted--which Renard at least
attributed to political not to say treasonable intentions.

These events took place during August, and in the meantime Mary reopened
communications with the Pope, resulting in the appointment of Cardinal Pole
as legate--though more than a twelvemonth elapsed before he reached
England. A matter of still greater importance was the Emperor's proposal,
not at first openly put forward, that Mary should marry his son Philip.

[Sidenote: Proposed Spanish Marriage]

Now, the sequence of events of which the Peace of Passau between Charles
and the Lutherans was a part had resulted in war between France and the
Empire. To Charles, the projected marriage might obviously be of immense
value. The French on the other hand desired not Mary's marriage but her
deposition to make way for Mary Stewart. National sentiment in England
demanded her union with an Englishman, pointing to Courtenay, now restored
to the earldom of Devon; he and Reginald Pole being the representatives of
the House of York. [Footnote: See Genealogical Table. _Front_.] Pole,
though a Cardinal, had never taken priest's orders, so was also eligible as
a husband, but had no desire for the position, recommending Mary to remain
unwedded. Mary herself was already inclining towards the Spanish marriage,
though Paget was almost the only prominent Englishman who favoured it;
Gardiner being in strong opposition, and pressing for Courtenay. Noailles
intrigued against it; but his object was to use Elizabeth as a
stalking-horse for Mary Stewart. Finally, before anything could be done,
parliament must meet to give its sanction; and before parliament could
meet, the seal must be set on Mary's authority by her coronation. It is
curious to note that Mary felt it necessary to obtain the Papal pardon for
herself and Gardiner for the performance of the ceremony while the nation
was still excommunicate. The Coronation took place on October 1st, and four
days later parliament assembled.

[Sidenote: Oct. Parliament revokes Edward's legislation]

It began by abolishing once more all new treasons created since the ancient
Act of Edward III., and new felonies since the accession of Henry VIII. It
proceeded to declare Mary legitimate, though by so doing it did not
invalidate Elizabeth's title as heir presumptive, since that rested on
Henry's will, which had ignored equally the illegitimacy of both his
daughters. It repealed the whole of the ecclesiastical legislation of the
last reign, reverting to the position at Henry's death. As originally
submitted, these two bills asserted the validity of the papal dispensation,
and repealed Henry's ecclesiastical legislation as well as his son's: but
in this form the Commons would not accept them. Some past attainders were
also reversed, and the Archbishop, as well as Lady Jane, her husband, and
one of his brothers, were attainted, though not, it would seem, with any
present intention of inflicting the full penalty. Early in December,
parliament was dissolved.

In the meantime the Queen definitely made up her mind that she would marry
Philip, and was extremely indignant when the Commons petitioned her to wed,
but not to wed a foreigner. So far, parliament at any rate did not ratify
the Spanish connexion, though the Lords--including Gardiner--had
practically lost all hope of resisting it, and were giving their attention
to introducing into the treaty stipulations for the safe-guarding of
English interests.

[Sidenote: 1554 Wyatt's rebellion]

Enough however had been done to raise the anti-Spanish sentiment to a
painful pitch; the national nerves being already over-strung with
excitement and uncertainty as to the coming course of events, deliberately
aggravated by the subtle manipulation of the French ambassador. The
marriage treaty was signed on January 12th: within a week, there was a
rising in Devon--the Courtenay country--a premature movement in the great
conspiracy known as Wyatt's rebellion. The leaders were all strong
protestants, and it is likely enough that fear of the reaction was with
them the primary motive; but their cry was anti-Spanish, not anti-Catholic,
they appealed to the national not the religious sentiment. The rising in
Devon forced the hand of the other conspirators, before they were really
ready to act. Suffolk, pardoned for his share in Northumberland's plot, ill
requited the Queen's clemency by an attempt--futile though it was--to raise
the Midlands; but for a time it seemed that Sir Thomas Wyatt, who headed
the rebellion in Kent--a county prolific of popular movements against the
Government--might actually succeed in dethroning Mary.

[Sidenote: Elizabeth]

Ostensibly, the cry was against foreigners. There is very little doubt that
Wyatt really intended to marry Elizabeth to Courtenay, and set her on the
throne. Whether Elizabeth herself, now twenty years of age, was in the
plot, remains uncertain. There were suspicious circumstances, but no
proofs, and Wyatt himself ultimately exonerated her. But the atmosphere was
thick with suspicions which later historians have crystallised into facts
according to their sympathies. Mary is charged with having desired her
sister's death, but on insufficient evidence; [Footnote: Stone, _Mary
I. Queen of England_, p. 270. The historian asserts Elizabeth's
complicity without proof, while criticising Froude for inventing a proof of
Mary's culpability.] double-dealing was not the Queen's way, and her
behaviour towards her sister points rather to a desire to believe in her
innocence coupled with something like a conviction of her actual
guilt. Renard certainly did his best to blacken Elizabeth's character, even
while he urged her arrest--a measure to which both Gardiner and Paget were

[Sidenote: Progress of the rebellion]

The news of Wyatt's own rising arrived on January 26th, some days after
Gardiner had frightened Courtenay into betraying at least the existence of
the plot. Elizabeth had been summoned from Hatfield to London, but declared
herself too ill to travel. While it was believed that the only aim was to
stop the Spanish marriage, feeling favoured Wyatt, and it seems as if even
Gardiner and his supporters were in no haste to put down the rising. Wyatt
and his followers were at Rochester: Norfolk was sent down with guns and a
company of Londoners to deal with him, but the men deserted to Wyatt crying
"we are all English," and the Duke had to ride for safety. London was in a
panic: the Council could only quarrel among themselves. Wyatt advanced
towards the Capital. Mary rose to the occasion, and herself addressed the
populace, her speech going far to allay the panic. Wyatt found the bridge
at Southwark impassable, and after some hesitation marched up the river,
crossing at Kingston. The loyalists however had plucked up heart. The
insurgents' column, in the advance to London, was cut in two. Wyatt at the
head of the leading section made a desperate effort to reach Ludgate with
ever dwindling numbers; but when he arrived at the City gates, though he
did indeed in his own words "keep touch," his small and exhausted following
was in no condition for prolonged fighting. He was taken prisoner without
difficulty. Many of his followers were captured. The whole affair was over
in less than a fortnight from the first rising.

[Sidenote: Subsequent severities]

The leniency previously shown could not be repeated. It seemed dangerous to
leave Lady Jane any longer as a possible centre for plots, and she was
executed with her husband and father. Wyatt was beheaded; about a hundred
of the rebels were hanged. Elizabeth and Courtenay were both committed to
the Tower, but were liberated after some two months. At the worst the
punishment meted out may be compared favourably with the proceedings after
the Pilgrimage of Grace. It was severe, but could not reasonably be called

[Sidenote: The Marriage Treaty]

Neither the expectation of leniency nor the experience of severity allayed
the antagonism to the Spanish marriage. The treaty however, which came up
for ratification in Mary's second parliament--summoned to meet in London at
the beginning of April--conceded every safeguard against Spanish domination
which could be secured by words; and in addition the succession to Burgundy
for the offspring of the union, in priority to Philip's son, born to him of
his first wife. The terms could not have been more favourable, but the
unpopular fact remained that the connexion would inevitably influence
Mary's policy in Europe. It was not till July that it was considered that
Philip could safely entrust his person in England, when the wedding was

[Sidenote: Pole, Renard, and Gardiner]

Up to this point at least, the Emperor's influence had been exercised in
favour of toleration, and in restraint of any disturbance of the subsisting
religious conditions. On the other hand he had taken pains to impress upon
Mary that the union itself was a practical step towards reconciliation with
Rome, which he knew to be her ideal. But he was afraid of the protestants
being so much alarmed as to make opposition to the marriage
irresistible. For this reason he raised constant obstacles to the arrival
in England of Cardinal Pole, believing that the legate's presence would be
an irritant. Pole being also entrusted with the task of endeavouring to
reconcile Charles with Henry II., it had not been difficult to find
imperative reasons for occupying him on the Continent. But when the
marriage was safely accomplished, an effective counterpoise secured to the
betrothal of the young Queen of Scots to the Dauphin, and time allowed for
the English to become accustomed to the new state of affairs and to settle
down, it was no longer so important to exercise a restraining
influence. Mary was eager for the country to be once more received into the
bosom of the Church: and Gardiner, who was bent on the restoration of the
old worship, had now come fully to the conclusion that the maintenance of
it was conditioned by the restoration of the Roman obedience, although
twenty years before at the time of the schism he had been one of Henry's
most useful supporters. Still however it was necessary to ensure that the
Pope would consent to leave the holders of former Church lands in
undisturbed possession, as they might otherwise be relied on to become
ardent protestants. It was not till these conditions were assured that the
legate was allowed, in November, to set sail for England.

[Sidenote: Public tension]

Between the Wyatt rebellion which collapsed in February and the arrival of
Pole in November, the great event was the royal marriage, but there were
several other occurrences not without significance. Sir Nicholas
Throgmorton, who had certainly been in communication with Wyatt, was
nevertheless unanimously acquitted by a jury, and the result was hailed
with acclamation by the populace though the jurymen were summoned before
the Star-Chamber and fined. Renard, and, if Renard's accusations and the
general tongue of rumour are to be trusted, Gardiner also, did their best
to persuade Mary to strike at her sister; but Paget and the Council
generally were stoutly opposed to the idea, and Mary herself declared that
Elizabeth should not be condemned without full legal proof, which was not
forthcoming. After some two months she was released from the Tower but kept
under surveillance at Woodstock. A Romanising preacher at St. Paul's Gross
was fired at, and the culprit was not given up. On the other hand, not only
married Bishops but married clergy in general were deprived, though some
were restored on doing penance and parting with their wives. These are said
to have numbered about one-fifth of the beneficed clergy, a computation
which does not seem excessive as Convocation had itself petitioned for the
permission of marriage. Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, were taken from
London to Oxford to hold a disputation on those doctrines as to which their
views were held to be heretical. The ecclesiastical condemnation of their
argument was of course a foregone conclusion. The parliament, however,
which ratified the marriage treaty, was chiefly remarkable for following
Paget in refusing assent to bills excluding Elizabeth from the succession
and restoring the Six Articles Act and the old Act against Lollards. Paget
acquired considerable strength from the fact that William, Lord Howard of
Effingham, who was in command of the fleet, was known to be in agreement
with his views. The parliament was dissolved in May. It is noteworthy also
that France was affording harbourage to many gentlemen of the West Country
who had been more or less implicated in the January rising.

[Sidenote: Nov. Reconciliation with Rome]

Mary's third parliament--in which the nation by its representatives was to
be formally reconciled to Rome--was called in November. Its first task was
to reverse the attainder against Pole which was of ancient date. The
Cardinal had distinguished himself in Henry's time by the vehemence of his
opposition (from abroad) to the divorce and to the King's subsequent
ecclesiastical proceedings, and his brothers as well as his mother had all
been found guilty of treason in connexion with real or manufactured
conspiracies. The reversal of the attainder was required to legalise his
position. On the 25th he landed with official pomp at Westminster. On the
29th, the Houses agreed--with but one dissentient in the Commons--to a
"supplication" entreating for pardon and the restoration of the nation to
communion with Rome. The next day was performed the ceremony of presenting
the supplication to the Legate and receiving his solemn Absolution. Two
days later, Gardiner from the pulpit confessed the sin of which he in
common with the nation in general had been guilty in the great schism, and
declared himself a loyal and repentant son of the Church. Since loyalty and
repentance did not involve restitution of Church property, most of his
countrymen were equally ready to declare themselves loyal and
repentant. Yet were there not a few who would by no means repent.

[Sidenote 1: Reaction consummated]
[Sidenote 2: 1555]

The Reconciliation of the Authorities to Rome was complete. It remained to
compel her erring children to return to the fold. During the month
following the submission, two fateful Acts were passed; one, almost without
discussion, reviving the old acts, "_De heretico comburendo_" and
others, which had been restricted under Henry and abolished under Somerset;
the other repealing all the anti-Roman legislation since the twentieth year
of Henry (1529), with a proviso, however, securing the alienated wealth of
the Church to its present holders. On this there was more debate, and it
was not actually passed till January 3rd. The former authority of the
bishops and of the canon law was restored. It is to be observed that in all
this legislation, the Commons were a good deal more amenable than the
Lords; and this was even more markedly the case with the purely political
measures. An Act was passed to secure the regency to Philip if there should
be a child and Mary herself died, it being supposed at the time that the
Queen was _enceinte_. But the suggestion that the succession should be
secured to Philip was emphatically rejected, and the regency was by the
Lords made conditional on his residence in England. He bore the title of
King of England, but his Coronation was refused. Parliament was dissolved
on January 16th.



Here we reach the turning point of the reign; the point at which the great
persecution began. If anything like justice is to be rendered to the
leading actors in the ensuing tragedy, it is necessary to differentiate
between these two divisions of Mary's rule.

[Sidenote: Mary's policy, 1553-4]

We must remark that throughout these first eighteen months, Mary had proved
herself to be the reverse of a vindictive woman. Her leniency in the case
of Northumberland's accomplices had been almost unparalleled. A second
rebellion when she had been barely six months on the throne was treated
with no more than ordinary severity, though a very few of those implicated
with Northumberland, who would otherwise have been spared, were executed in
consequence. The advocates of the old religion had come into power, but
their power had certainly not been used more oppressively than that of the
opposition party under Warwick or even under Somerset: and there was more
excuse for the treatment of Cranmer and Ridley at least than there had been
for that of Gardiner and Bonner. If Latimer and Hooper, Ferrar and
Coverdale, were imprisoned, it was no more than Heath and Day and Tunstal
had suffered. The deprivation of the married clergy was certainly a harsh
measure, since the marriages had been made under the aegis of the law; but
that appears to be the one measure which had hitherto savoured of
bigotry--at least, which had gone beyond the bounds of even-handed
retaliation. What, then, was the change which now took place? And how may
we account for it?

[Sidenote: 1555 The persecution]

The sanction of parliament had at last been obtained by the Acts just
passed for the enforcement of the old religion by the old methods. There
was nothing novel about the procedure or the penalties; but practically a
reversion to the pre-latitudinarian line of demarcation between heresy and
orthodoxy. All or very nearly all of the martyrs of the Marian persecution
would have been sent to the stake under Henry for making the same
profession of faith. The crucial question was acceptance of
Transubstantiation, for the denial of which several victims had perished
within the last twenty years, whose doom both Cranmer and Latimer had at
the time held to be justified. But in the interval, the conditions had
changed. A large proportion of the most learned scholars had adopted the
new doctrine, and the legislature had sanctioned it. The methods which were
usually efficacious in stamping out sporadic heresy, methods which only
involved an execution here and there, lost their efficacy when the heresy
had ceased to be sporadic. Hecatombs were required instead of occasional
victims; and even the sacrifice of occasional victims had already begun to
revolt the public conscience before Henry's career was closed. But this did
not alter the vital postulate. Falsehood was none the less falsehood
because it had been sanctioned for a time, none the less demanded drastic
excision. Gardiner, standing for the old order, saw nothing revolting in
applying again the principles which had been consistently applied before he
became an old man. It is probable also that he expected immediate success
to result from striking fearlessly and ruthlessly at the most prominent
offenders--the rule of action habitually adopted by Henry and Cromwell--a
rule generally maintained while Gardiner himself lived: that he never
anticipated the holocaust which followed. It is remarkable that in his own
diocese of Winchester there were no burnings. Mary had already sufficiently
proved her own freedom from vindictiveness; it cannot fairly be questioned
that she was moved entirely by a sense of duty however distorted.

[Sidenote: Whose was the responsibility?]

From the Spaniards [Footnote: See Renard's correspondence, _passim_.
But the numerous citations therefrom alike in the Anti-Catholic Froude and
the Catholic Stone (_Mary I._) are sufficiently conclusive on the
point.] there was no incitement to persecution, but the contrary--not that
Philip had any abstract objection, but both he and Renard were concerned
entirely with the present pacification of the country and its
reconciliation to the Spanish marriage; both were aware that persecution
would have the opposite effect. The demand for the suppression of heresy
did not take its rise among the lay nobility, of whom the majority were
prepared to accept whatever formulae might be most convenient. The theory
[Footnote: Moore, p. 221, asserts this view.] that they rather than a
section of the clergy were the moving cause has no foundation in the
evidence, beyond the fact that the Council officially as a body urged
Bonner and others forward. Paget and his associates certainly resisted the
enactments at first. Still neither they nor the Commons can be freed from
responsibility. The persecution was not however a move of one political
party against the other; no section was so committed to protestantism as to
be exposed to serious injury: no political motive can be even
formulated. Vindictiveness, or a moral conviction of the duty of stamping
out heresy, alone can make the proceedings intelligible. Of the former
there is no fair proof, while the latter is entirely consistent with the
prevailing spirit among the zealots on both sides, and with the known
character of the persons who must be regarded as the principal
instigators. Its source lay with Mary herself, a passionately devoted
daughter of the old Church, and with a few ecclesiastics. Since there is no
doubt that from the time of Pole's arrival, his influence predominated with
her personally, he, more than Gardiner, must share with her the ultimate

[Sidenote: Comparison with other persecutions]

Of old, an occasional example had sufficed to hold heresy in check; the
changed conditions were not now realised. The case had ceased to be one of
checking; nothing short of up-rooting would now be of any avail. For Mary,
with her intense conviction of the soul-destroying effect of heresy, no
sufferings in the flesh would have seemed too severe to inflict if thereby
souls might be saved. But a persecution such as she initiated was
absolutely the most fatal of all courses for the end she had in view. Tens
of thousands among her subjects had assimilated the new ideas, and were
prepared to die rather than surrender their hope of Heaven. These the
martyrdom of a few hundreds could not terrify; and the heroic endurance of
the martyrs changed popular indifference into passionate sympathy. Applied
on this scale, the theory of conversion by fire, hitherto generally
acquiesced in, brought about its own condemnation. Such a persecution, on
the simple issue of opinion, has never again been possible in England.
Catholics or Covenanters might be doomed to death, but the excuse had to be
political. Religious opinions as such might be penalised by fines,
imprisonment, the boot or the thumbscrew, the imposition of disabilities;
still the ultimate penalty had to be associated at least with the idea of
treason. In Mary's time, heresy as such was the plain issue. The status of
all but some half dozen of the early clerical victims precludes any other
view: and the first movement against the heretics in January 1555 was
contemporaneous with an amnesty for the surviving prisoners of the Wyatt
rebellion. The immediate practical effect was that every martyrdom brought
fresh adherents to protestantism, and intensified protestant sentiment
while extending the conviction that persecution was part and parcel of the
Roman creed. That any of those responsible, from Mary down, took an unholy
joy in the sufferings of the victims, appears to be a libel wholly without
foundation; for the most part they honestly believed themselves to be
applying the only remedy left for the removal of a mortal disease from the
body politic; Bonner, perhaps the best abused of the whole group,
constantly went out of his way to give the accused opportunities of
recanting and receiving pardon. The fundamental fact which must not be
forgotten in judging the authors of the persecution is, that the general
horror of death as the penalty for a false opinion was not antecedent to
but consequent upon it. What they did was on an unprecedented scale in
England because heresy existed on an unprecedented scale; and the result
was that the general conscience was awakened to the falseness of the
principle. The same ghastly error for which Christendom has forgiven Marcus
Aurelius was committed by Mary and endorsed by Pole, both of them by nature
little less magnanimous and no whit less conscientious than the Roman
emperor, though the moral horizon of both was infinitely more restricted.

[Sidenote: Gardiner]

The Marian persecution lasted for nearly four years. During that time, the
number of victims fell little if at all short of three hundred, of whom
one-fourth perished in the first year. The striking feature of the year is
the distinction of the sufferers. One only of high position went to the
stake after Gardiner's death--which took place only a few days after the
burning of Ridley and Latimer, in November--that one, the highest of all,
the whilom head (under the King) of the English Church. And he had then
already been doomed. These facts point to the definite policy pursued by
the Chancellor--the application of the principles which had proved so
effective under Henry and Cromwell. Every prominent leader of the
Reformation party who had not elected to conform was either dead or doomed
or in exile within a twelve-month of the revival of the Heresy acts. After
his time there was no process of selection; the victims were simply taken
as they came. To find a sort of excuse in the conviction of an imperative
duty to crush out the poison of heresy at any cost is in some degree
possible. The attempt to explain the matter as in fact a crusade against
Anabaptism [Footnote: _Cf._ Moore, P. 220.] as a social and political
crime makes the thing not better but incomparably worse; while the
endeavour to compare it with any other persecution in England is absurd.
Henry before and Elizabeth afterwards could be ruthless; but while one
reigned thirty-eight years and the other forty-five, yet in neither reign
was the aggregate of burnings or executions for religion so great as in
these four years of Mary's.

[Sidenote: Some characteristics]

In London itself, in Essex, and in the dioceses of Norwich and Canterbury,
many informations were laid. Some five-sixths of the deaths were suffered
within this restricted area, nearly half of these falling under the
jurisdiction of Bonner; so that he was naturally looked upon as the moving
spirit, and his conduct was imagined in the most lurid colours. As a matter
of fact there is little sign that he initiated prosecutions--indeed he
received a fairly strong hint from the Queen and Council that he was less
active than he might have been; he certainly tried hard to persuade the
accused to recant and escape condemnation; in several cases where he had
hopes he deferred handing them over to the secular arm. But protestants
were very disproportionately numerous in his diocese; if the accepted
principle were sound at all, he of all men was most bound to strictness
with the persistently recalcitrant, and that fact of itself sufficed to
encourage heresy-hunters. Moreover in London, it must also be remarked,
heresy was particularly defiant and audacious, and was not infrequently
accompanied by acts of gross public disorder which merited the sharpest
penalties quite apart from questions of orthodoxy. Acts of ruffianism were
done in the name of true religion, [Footnote: _E.g._ the notorious
cases of William Branch or Flower, and John Tooley.] and the doers thereof
were enrolled among the martyrs. Moreover among the genuine martyrs for
conscience' sake--by far the majority of those who suffered--not a few were
zealots who took up their parable against the judges when under examination
in a fashion calculated to enrage persons of a far less choleric
disposition than the bishop of London. In short if once the postulate be
granted that to teach persistently doctrines regarded by authority as false
is deserving of the death penalty, the manner [Footnote: The popular
impression is derived mainly from accounts based on Foxe's _Book of
Martyrs_. Stripped of picturesque adjectives and reduced to a not
superfluously accurate statement of facts resting on easily accepted
stories by a strongly biased reporter, his evidence against Bonner and
Gardiner is not very damnatory.] in which Bonner and his colleagues
conducted their task is not to be greatly censured. In Ireland, and in
several English dioceses, there were no actual martyrdoms.

[Sidenote: The first Martyrs]

The new year, 1555 had barely begun before the revived heresy laws were set
in operation. For Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, all now at Oxford, there
was to be some delay; for the chief prisoners elsewhere there was none.
These were headed by Hooper and Ferrar, both bishops; Rogers, commonly
identified with the "Matthew" of _Matthew's Bible_; Rowland Taylor of
Hadley, a man generally beloved; Bradford, who had begun life as a rogue,
but becoming converted, had lived to make restitution, so far as was
possible, for the wrong doings of his youth, a very genuine instance of a
striking reformation. Most of them belonged to the school of Ridley rather
than of Hooper; but on the question of Transubstantiation, all were equally
firm--and all were now in the eye of the law undoubtedly heretics. Had they
recanted, they would have suffered but lightly. They were urged to do so,
but steadfastly refused. It must even be admitted that they challenged
martyrdom, for before they were brought to trial, the London group,
including most of those above named, had issued an appeal which was
practically a solemn reproof to those whose opinions differed from their
own. Rogers was the first to suffer; after brief intervals all of those
named went to the stake.

[Sidenote 1: Trial of Cranmer (Sept.)]
[Sidenote 2: Martyrdom of Ridley and Latimer (Oct.)]

Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, were all condemned as a result of the
disputation held at Oxford in 1554: but since this preceded the
reconciliation with Rome, it was not accounted sufficient. On the old
Catholic theory, the Metropolitan of England could only be condemned by the
authority of the Pope himself--direct, or delegated _ad hoc_. The
first move was made against him in September, before a court whose business
was not to adjudicate, but to lay its conclusions before the Pope himself.
Cranmer declined to recognise the authority, answering the charges brought
against him not as a defendant on trial but as making a public profession
of his views. Judgment however could not be passed till the results were
submitted to the Pope. In the meantime, Ridley and Latimer were condemned
under legatine authority, and were burnt at Oxford in November. Cranmer is
said to have witnessed the martyrdom from his prison. The aged Latimer's
exhortation to his companion at the stake rang like a trumpet note through
the Protestant world. Ridley was the learned theologian and keen
controversialist who more than any other man had moulded the plastic mind
of the Archbishop since he had been released from the thraldom of Henry's
moral and intellectual domination: who had led the campaign against
"idolatry" but stood fast against the extravagances of the Nonconformists:
who had without hesitation opposed Mary's accession. No one could have
murmured against his punishment for treason two years before; but he died a
martyr, for denying Transubstantiation and the Papal authority. Latimer was
no theologian; but he was a pulpit orator of extraordinary power, an
enthusiastic if erratic moralist, who had suffered for his own freely
expressed opinions in the past and shown scant consideration for false
teachers--a quixotic but heroic figure.

[Sidenote: Fate of the Archbishop 1555-56]

The condemnation by the court which tried the Archbishop carried with it no
penalty; that was reserved for the Pope to pronounce--by implication, in
handing him over to the secular arm, and explicitly by sentence of
degradation, which was notified in December. Until this time Cranmer
remained steadfast; but about the new year, he displayed signs of wavering,
and was said to have been influenced by the arguments of a Spanish friar,
Garcia. Possibly he attended Mass; certainly, about the end of January and
beginning of February (1556) he wrote three "submissions" recognising the
papal authority. These did not avail to save him from public degradation,
in the course of which ceremony he produced a written appeal to a General
Council, which was ignored. Two more "submissions" followed, but in neither
did he go beyond the admission that the papal authority was now valid,
since the Sovereign had so enacted. Nevertheless, on February 24th the writ
committing him to the flames was issued. There is no reason to suppose that
the idea of sparing him was ever entertained; but, wherever the blame lay,
he was led to believe that a recantation might save him; and he did now at
last break down utterly, and recant in the most abject terms. Had this won
a pardon, the blow would have been crushing; the Court in its blindness
suffered him to retrieve the betrayal. His doom was unaltered. While the
fagots were prepared, he was taken to St. Mary's Church to hear his own
funeral sermon and make his last public confession; but that confession, to
the sore amazement and dismay of the authorities, proved to be the cry of
the humble and self-abasing sinner repenting not his heresies but his
recantations. And in accordance with his last utterance, when he came to
the fire he was seen to thrust forth his right hand into the flame, crying
aloud "this hand hath offended"; and so held it steadfastly till it was
consumed. The chief prelate of the English Church was struck down at the
bidding of a foreign Ecclesiastic; the recusant had been gratuitously
glorified with the martyr's crown. It is likely enough that he won less
personal popular sympathy than his fellows; but the moral effect must have
been tremendous.

[Sidenote: Cranmer's record]

It is natural but hardly just that Cranmer should be judged on the basis of
the impression created by his last month of life. That the protagonist in a
great Cause should recant in the face of death seems to argue an almost
incredible degree of pusillanimity, and suggests that pusillanimity and
subservience are the key to his career. Nevertheless, but for that short
hour of abasement nobly and humbly retrieved, the general judgment would
probably be altogether different. And that breakdown does not appear to
have been characteristic. Twice in the reign of Henry he had bowed to the
King's judgment, acknowledging that Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell must be
guilty since Henry was convinced: but there was no man in the country who
took the part of either. To have defied the King would have been heroic,
and there is a wide interval between failing of heroism and being
pusillanimous. He withdrew his resistance to Northumberland's plot; but he
resisted on the ground that it was illegal and withdrew only when he was
assured that the Judges had unanimously affirmed its legality. He changed
his views on Transubstantiation; but to surrender an abstruse dogma is not
a crime. He repeatedly maintained opinions in opposition to Henry as well
as to Mary at the risk of losing royal support and favour--which loss would
certainly have meant delivering himself into the hands of his enemies. In
practice he conformed to the restrictions laid upon him, but it was only on
points of expediency that he personally gave way, though he would fain have
allowed to others a larger latitude of opinion than he required for

[Sidenote: His character]

Yet the virtues of Thomas Cranmer fail of recognition. The extreme Anglican
joins with the Roman Catholic in condemning the ecclesiastical leader of
the Schism; the puritan condemns the advocate of compromise; and the
advocate of compromise, at least within the clerical ranks, condemns the
Erastian cleric. In his day, and in Elizabeth's, the lay statesmen were
Erastians to a man; that is forgiven to them; but the ecclesiastic who
adopts and preaches without reservation the theory that the Church--its
organisation, its administration, even its doctrines--is ultimately subject
to the secular sovereign, essentially and not owing to the accidental
sanction of force--such a one is inevitably regarded as a traitor to his
order; that he was guided by honest conviction seems incredible. Cranmer
was a man of peace, driven to do battle in the front rank; an academic,
forced to take a leading part in exceedingly practical affairs; a student,
compelled so far as he might to control a revolution. Yet to him, more than
any other single man, it is due that the Church of England allows a larger
latitude of opinion within her borders than any other, and that she
possesses a liturgy of unsurpassed beauty. A man so weak, so lacking in
self-reliance, can hardly be called great; yet one who, despite his
weakness, has carved himself so noble and so lasting a monument can hardly
be denied the epithet.

For the rest of the persecution it is sufficient to say that year by year
the number of victims did not diminish; neither sex nor age brought
immunity; but as they were of less standing, an attempt was made to
intensify the effect by putting them to death in larger batches--which
increased the horror. The laymen of station, it may be remarked, with one
accord conformed, at least outwardly.

[Sidenote: 1555 Philip's policy]

The Parliament which passed the Heresy Acts was dissolved before the end of
January. Rogers was burnt some three weeks later. Symptoms of unrest were
quickly apparent, and Philip felt it necessary to dissociate himself
publicly from the persecution. On this point Renard was urgent, and he was
also anxious about the succession. If the Queen's hopes of a child should
be disappointed, neither Mary Stewart nor Elizabeth would be
satisfactory. The only thing to be done was to secure a convenient husband
for the latter, and a project was on foot (not with her approval) for
marrying her to the Prince of Savoy, which might incidentally make the
English more disposed to join in the war with France, which was in
occupation of Savoy. But by April the belligerents were thinking of holding
a conference to discuss terms of peace, with an English Commission to

[Sidenote 1: Pope Paul IV.]
[Sidenote 2: Mary has no child]

The death of Pope Julius, however, promptly followed by that of his
immediate successor Marcellus, caused the election of the Cardinal Caraffa
who became Paul IV. On both occasions, Reginald Pole had been perhaps the
favourite candidate: but the election of Paul was a victory for the French,
the new Pope being an austere zealot with a violent anti-imperial
prejudice. Having thus secured the papal alliance, Henry of France was by
no means disposed to so easy a compromise as had been looked for. The
conference collapsed. If Philip really had hoped, as rumour said, to be
enabled by the peace to introduce Spanish troops into England for his own
ends, he was doomed to disappointment. So it was also with his hopes of an
heir to secure him the English succession. Mary had been misled partly by
the symptoms of what proved to be a fatal disease and partly by hysterical
hallucinations. It became certain that there was no prospect of her ever
having a child at all; which necessitated a complete reconsideration of the
Spanish prince's policy. Possibly also the expectation that the Queen's
life could not be a long one led the nobles with protestant inclinations to
acquiesce in the prolonged persecution rather than countenance a danger of
civil war. Neither they nor Elizabeth could be implicated in any of the
abortive conspiracies which cropped up periodically during the remainder of
the reign.

[Sidenote: Effect on Philip]

In August, Philip left the country, not to return again till more than
eighteen months had passed; and then only for a very brief sojourn.
Already his father was meditating abdication in his favour, and Philip was
pondering how he might secure at least a preponderating influence with
Elizabeth, whose ultimate accession he regarded as inevitable. Thus the
Spanish counsels were now directed largely to securing favourable treatment
for her--a complete reversal of Renard's earlier policy. It may be that the
idea of marrying her himself after her sister's death was even now present
in Philip's mind.

[Sidenote: Oct. A new parliament]

In October, about the time of the martyrdom of Ridley and Latimer at
Oxford, a fresh parliament was summoned, which was called upon to grant a
subsidy. The diminution in the royal revenues from normal sources, which
had been growing steadily more serious throughout the last twenty years,
made the appeal necessary; the more so as the Queen had been honestly
struggling to pay off the debts bequeathed to her. The subsidy was granted
in part at least owing to the exertions of Gardiner, who in spite of mortal
illness attended the opening of parliament.

[Sidenote: Nov. Gardiner's death and character]

It was his last public act. A few days later he followed Ridley and Latimer
to the grave; dying stoutly, in harness almost to the last. He was of the
old school of ecclesiastical statesmen. Five and twenty years before, he
had been statesman first, churchman afterwards; but when he found that the
ecclesiastical organisation as well as the Pope was the objective of
Henry's attack, he took his stand by his Order, though stubbornly loyal to
the King. In Henry's later years, he tried a fall with Cranmer and was
worsted through the King's favour. All through the reign of Edward, he
watched with continual protest--mostly from prison--the toppling over of
the fabric which Henry had established; himself, as he judged, the victim
of unconstitutional oppression. Released and restored to power by Mary, he
repented what he conceived to have been his initial error, the repudiation
of Roman authority, and was not averse to exacting the full penalty from
those who had dealt hardly with him; was zealous to restore the power of
the Church and to stamp out heresy. But to the last, he stood for the Law,
and for English freedom from foreign domination, and to the last he fought
for his Queen. His wildest panegyrist would not call him a saint; but
according to his lights he was rarely cruel or even unjust, though often
harsh; the records of his life have been written almost entirely by
bitterly hostile critics; [Footnote: This applies not only to the
Protestant historians, but also to the correspondence of Renard (on account
of the Chancellor's anti-Spanish attitude), and of Noailles who detested
him personally.] and his name deserves more honour and less obloquy than is
usually attached to it.

[Sidenote: Mary's difficulties]

An embassy to Rome earlier in the year, which had been charged with the
formal announcement of the reconciliation, had also intimated Mary's
intention of restoring to the Church such of the alienated property as
still remained in the hands of the Crown. The new Pope was with difficulty
restrained from demanding more. Parliament however, when a bill was
proposed for the restoration of "first-fruits and tenths" displayed so much
resentment at the suggestion that it was so modified as only to authorise
the Queen to dispose personally of the "tenths" actually remaining in her
hands. Even this was not carried without vehement opposition. An
impoverished exchequer which required replenishment by a subsidy could not
afford to surrender a solid portion of revenue to Rome. The hostility to
any such tribute was no less active than it had been twenty-five years ago:
and the Pope's attitude served only to intensify the feeling, and to stir
up general animosity towards the Papacy. The Opposition was so outspoken
that some of the members were sent to the Tower. Parliament was dissolved
before Christmas.

[Sidenote: 1556; The Dudley conspiracy; Foreign complications]

In January, Charles abdicated--his Burgundian possessions he had resigned
to his son three months before--and Philip became King of Spain. Next
month, the peace of Vaucelles was signed between France and Spain; but with
a consciousness that war was likely to be renewed at the first convenient
opportunity. Philip's hands were full, and the French King did not cease
from intrigues in England, while French soil continued to be an asylum for
English conspirators. In March, Cranmer closed the tragedy of his life, and
Pole, who had long ago been nominated to the Archbishopric, was immediately
installed. Before Easter, a plot on the old lines was discovered. Elizabeth
was to be made Queen and married to Courtenay (now in Italy where he died
soon after); France was to help. A number of the conspirators were taken
and put to death after protracted examination; others escaped to France,
including a Dudley, a connexion of the dead Northumberland, who gave his
name to the plot. Most of them were hotheaded young men, who did not
appreciate, as did their shrewder elders, the danger of relying on French
assistance which would only be granted for ulterior ends. As the year went
on, the violent temper of Paul IV. involved him in war with Philip; France
naturally took up his cause; and it was more difficult than ever for Mary
to escape being dragged into the imbroglio--a singularly painful position
for so fervent a daughter of Rome; while the English refugees checkmated
their own party at home by their readiness to pay any price-even to the
betrayal of Calais-for French support. But for timely reinforcements, the
English foothold in France would probably have been captured by a _coup
de main_ before the close of 1556. Meantime in England the severity of
the persecutions was increased.

[Sidenote 1: 1557, June: the War with France]
[Sidenote 2: 1558, Jan: The loss of Calais]

In the spring of 1557, France and Spain were again at open war, and Philip
paid his last brief visit to his wife to obtain English co-operation.
Anti-Spanish feeling was strong; but when one of the refugees, Sir Thomas
Stafford, [Footnote: A grandson of Buckingham] starting from France, landed
in Yorkshire, captured Scarborough Castle, and attempted to raise a
rebellion, jealousy of French interference proved an effective
counterpoise. The rebellion collapsed at once, and war with France was
declared in summer. The success of Philip's troops, which included a
considerable English contingent, at St. Quentin in Picardy compelled the
French to withdraw from Italy; and the Pope, thus deserted, was forced to a
reconciliation with Philip. His animosity however, now aroused against
England, was not easy to remove: and it was an additional source of grief
to Mary and a great vexation to the Cardinal that Paul deprived him of his
Legatine authority. The contest between Philip and Henry of France
continued. It is curious that after the experience of the previous year the
English authorities still did not realise the precarious position of
Calais, and allowed the garrison to be weakened again--though the strain of
maintaining its strength with the depleted exchequer would have been almost
impossible. The natural result followed. At the end of December, Guise
appeared before its walls: on January 6th 1558 it surrendered. Calais was
lost for ever. A fortnight later, Guisnes, after a desperate resistance by
its commandant, Lord Grey de Wilton, was forced to surrender also.

[Sidenote: National depression]

Whatever else was won or lost in France, the maintenance of the English
grip on Calais had been a point of military honour for centuries--like the
retention of its colours by a regiment. Nothing substantial was lost with
its fall; but the wound to the national honour was deep and bitter. For
Mary herself it was the bitterest portion in a cup that was filled with
little else than bitterness. Talk of recapture was vain. A subsidy was
demanded and granted, but only on the theory that the whole was required
not for expeditions but to set the home defences in order against invasion.
More could not be done without taxation, which the country could not
support. In the attempt to fulfil what Mary and Pole deemed a pious and
supreme duty--the restoration to the Church of the property whereof it had
been sacrilegiously robbed--political considerations had been ignored and
the absolutely necessary expenditure on national objects had been diverted
into ecclesiastical channels, at a time when the national revenue was
already desperately impoverished. The loss of Calais was reckoned as one
more item in the account against Rome.

[Sidenote: Mary's death Nov.]

The whole country was in fact in a condition of irritated despondency, sick
of persecution, sick of disaster, disheartened by epidemics and bad
harvests; without the spirit or the material means to attempt a whole-
hearted prosecution of the war, yet too sore to be willing to make peace
till Calais should be recovered. And so in despair and gloom dragged out
the last months of Mary Tudor's life. The last message she received from
her husband was to beg her to make no difficulties about the succession of
the sister who, she knew, would seek to reverse her policy. It was not till
November that she passed away--to be followed in a few hours by her one
trused friend, Cardinal Pole: the most disastrous example on record of one
who with conscientious and destructive persistence aimed at an ideal which
her own methods made for ever impossible of attainment.

[Sidenote: and character]

From the time of her childhood she was exposed to unceasing harshness; a
princess born, she was treated as a bastard; despite it all, her natural
generosity survived. Royally courageous, loyal and straightforward; to her
personal enemies almost magnanimous; to the poor and afflicted pitiful;
loving her country passionately: she was blind to the forces at work in the
world, obsessed with the idea of one supreme duty, and she set herself, as
she deemed, to do battle with Antichrist by the only methods she knew,
though they were alien to her natural disposition, facing hatred and
obloquy. She whose life was one long martyrdom, for conscience' sake
offered up a whole holocaust of martyrs: she who thirsted for love died
clothed with a nation's hate. Where in all history is a tragedy more
piteous than that of Mary Tudor?



[Sidenote: 1558 Accession of Elizabeth]

On November 17th 1558, the sun had not yet risen when Mary passed away;
within a few hours, Elizabeth had been proclaimed Queen. No dissentient
voice was raised in England. Heath, Mary's Chancellor and Archbishop of
York, announced her accession to the Houses of Parliament; the proclamation
was drawn up by Sir William Cecil, the Council's Secretary under Edward
VI. From one quarter, and only one, could a colourable challenge come. In
the legitimate course of succession by blood, the claim lay with Mary
Stewart, Queen of Scots and now Dauphiness of France. But the Will of Henry
VIII., authorised by Parliament, was paramount. That Will had given
priority to the two children of his body who had both been declared
illegitimate--not born in wedlock--by the national courts. The Papal
pronouncement in an opposite sense in Mary's case would have made nugatory
any attempt on the part of a Catholic to question her rights; but that
difficulty did not apply in the case of Elizabeth. As a matter of practical
politics, the Scots Queen might waive her claim; as a matter of high
theory, no personal disclaimers could cancel the validity of her title; as
a matter of English Constitutional theory, Elizabeth's legal title rested
on the superior validity of a Parliamentary enactment as compared with the
divine right of inheritance. And in the minds of the entire English nation,
there was unanimity as to the acceptable doctrine. But the rejected
doctrine remained to fall back on if discontent should arise.

[Sidenote: The claim of Mary Stewart]

The English people might settle the antagonistic claims of Mary and
Elizabeth to their own satisfaction: but the rivalry also of the very
strongest interest to the European Powers. was actually queen of Scotland;
prospectively she was also queen of France. If to these two crowns she
united that of England, the hegemony of the empire thus formed would
inevitably fall to France, and France would become the premier European
Power. That position was now occupied by Spain, [Footnote: See _Appendix
A_, ii.] which, in the face of such a combination, would lose its naval
ascendancy, and be cut off from the Netherlands both by sea and land. For
Philip therefore it was absolutely imperative to support Elizabeth at ail

[Sidenote: Strength of Elizabeth's position]

Here then lay the strength of Elizabeth's position, which she and her
chosen counsellors were quick to grasp. The only alternative to Elizabeth
was the Queen of Scots; her accession would mean virtually the conversion
of England into an appanage of France. Of Elizabeth's subjects none--
whatever their creed might be, or whatever creed she might adopt--would be
prepared to rebel at the price of subjection to France; the few hot-heads
who had ventured on that line when Mary Tudor was at the height of her
unpopularity had found themselves utterly without support. For the same
reason, do what she would, Philip could not afford to act against her--more
than that, he had no choice but to interfere on her behalf if Henry of
France acted against her. He might advise--dictate--threaten--but he must,
as against France, remain her champion, whether she submitted or no. As
long as she kept her head, this young woman of five and twenty, with an
empty treasury, with no army, a wasted navy, and with counsellors whose
reputation for statesmanship was still to make, was nevertheless mistress
of the situation. Mary Stewart's claim presented no immediate danger,
though it might become dangerous enough in the future.

There were two things then on which Elizabeth knew she could count; her own
ability to keep her head, and the capacity for loyalty of the great bulk of
her subjects. If either of those failed her, she would have no one but
herself to blame. The former had been shrewdly tested during her sister's
reign, when a single false step would have ruined her. The latter had borne
the strain even of the Marian persecution--nay, of the alarm engendered by
the Spanish marriage, which showed incidentally that fear of domination by
a foreign power was the most deeply rooted of all popular sentiments; a
sentiment now altogether in Elizabeth's favour, unless she should threaten
a dangerous marriage.

But the cool head and the clear brain, and unlimited self-reliance, were
necessary to realise how much might be dared in safety; to distinguish also
the course least likely to arouse the one incalculable factor in domestic
politics--religious fanaticism; which, if it once broke loose, might count
for more than patriotic or insular sentiment. And these were precisely the
qualities in which the queen herself excelled, and which marked also the
man whom from the first she distinguished with her father's perspicacity as
her chief counsellor.

[Sidenote: Cecil]

Throughout the last reign, Cecil had carefully effaced himself. In matters
of religion, though he had been previously associated with the Protestant
leaders, he had never personally committed himself to any extreme line, and
under the reaction he conformed; as did Elizabeth herself, and practically
the whole of the nobility. He had walked warily, keeping always on the safe
side of the law, never seeking that pre-eminence which in revolutionary
times is apt to become so dangerous. He was not the man to risk his neck
for a policy which he could hope to achieve by waiting, and he was quite
willing to subordinate religious convictions to political expediency. On
the other hand, he never betrayed confidences; he was not to be bought; and
he was not to be frightened. Further, he was endowed with a penetrating
perception of character, immense powers of organisation, and industry which
was absolutely indefatigable. It was an immediate mark of the young queen's
singular sagacity that even before her accession she had selected Cecil to
lean upon, in preference to any of the great nobles, and even to Paget who
had for many years been recognised as the most astute statesman in England.

[Sidenote: Finance]

Secure of her throne, Elizabeth was confronted by the great domestic
problem of effecting a religious settlement; the diplomatic problem of
terminating the French war; and what may be called the personal problem of
choosing--or evading--a husband, since no one, except it may be the Queen
herself, dreamed for a moment that she could long remain unwedded. To
these problems must be added a fourth, less conspicuous but vital to the
continuance of good government--the rehabilitation of the finances, of the
national credit. A strict and lynx-eyed economy, a resolute honesty of
administration, and a prompt punctuality in meeting engagements, took the
place of the laxity, recklessness, and peculation which had prevailed of
recent years. The presence of a new tone in the Government was immediately
felt in mercantile circles, and the negotiation of necessary loans became a
reasonable business transaction instead of an affair of usurious
bargaining, both in England and on the continent. Finally, before Elizabeth
had been two years on the throne, measures were promulgated for calling in
the whole of the debased coinage which had been issued during the last
fifteen years, and putting in circulation a new and honest currency. It
seems to have been owing to a miscalculation, not to sharp practice, that
the Government did in fact make a small profit out of this transaction.

[Sidenote: Marriage proposals: Philip II.]

Philip of Spain and his representatives in England had not realised the
true strength of Elizabeth's position, and certainly had no suspicion that
she and her advisers were entirely alive to it. On this point they had
absolutely no misgivings. They took it for granted that the English queen
must place herself in their hands and meekly obey their behests, if only in
order to secure Spanish support against France. Philip began operations by
proposing him self as her husband, expecting thereby to obtain for himself
a far greater degree of power than he had derived from his union with her
sister, while inviting her to share the throne of the first Power in
Europe. But Elizabeth and Cecil were alive to the completeness of the hold
on Philip they already possessed; and Elizabeth, the daughter of Anne
Boleyn, would have utterly stultified her own position by marrying her dead
sister's husband, since it would be necessary to obtain a papal
dispensation, acknowledge the Pope's authority, and recognise by
implication the validity of her father's marriage with Katharine of
Aragon. To the ambassador's amazed indignation, the Queen with the support
of the Council, decisively rejected the honour. Paget, who had in the last
reign stood almost alone in commending the Spanish match, would have
repeated his counsel now; but he had been displaced, while Cecil and his
mistress were entirely at one.

The Queen's argument that the marriage, however attractive to herself or
desirable politically, was, from her point of view out of the question, was
unanswerable. The Spaniards had to cast about for some other candidate for
her hand, whose success would still be likely to attach England to the
chariot-wheels of Spain; besides seeking another bride for their own King.

When Philip's hand was definitely declined, three months after Elizabeth's
accession, the most pressing danger arising out of the Marriage question
was at an end. Thenceforward, dalliance with would-be suitors became simply
one of the tactical tricks of Elizabeth's diplomacy, employed by her
perhaps not less to the torment of her own advisers than to the
perturbation of foreign chancelleries; seeing that whether she knew her own
mind or not, up to the last she invariably took very good care that no one
else should know it.

[Sidenote: The Religious Question]

One of Philip's main objects was as a matter of course to secure England,
through its queen, for Catholicism; and there is very little doubt that at
this time the majority of Englishmen--at any rate outside the dioceses of
London, Norwich and Canterbury--would have acquiesced much more readily in
the maintenance of the old forms of worship than in institutions modelled
after Geneva. Elizabeth however, with her trusted advisers, leaned neither
to the one nor to the other. They were guided by considerations not of
creed but of politics. They had realised that the repudiation of the
authority of the Holy See, and the assertion of the supremacy of the
sovereign in matters ecclesiastical, were essential. If they were
determined not to submit to Papal claims, they were equally disinclined to
submit to the claims of a Calvinistic Ministry, posing as the mouth-pieces
of the Almighty, demanding secular obedience on the analogy of Samuel or
Elijah. As to creed, what the statesmen saw was that the utmost latitude of
dogmatic belief must be recognised; provided that it was consistent with
the supremacy of the secular sovereign, and with a moderately elastic
uniformity of ritual. The personal predilections of Elizabeth might be in
favour of what we call the Higher doctrines, or those of Cecil might lean
to the Lower; but neither was willing to impose penalties or disabilities
for opinions or practices which did not tend either to the anarchism of the
Anabaptists, or to the Sacerdotalism of Rome on the one hand or Geneva on
the other hand; both were even disposed to remain in official
unconsciousness of such individual transgressors as could conveniently be

[Sidenote: A Protestant policy]

While the Spanish ambassador, De Feria, like his master, had almost taken
it for granted that if Philip offered to marry Elizabeth he would be
accepted, he was from the first greatly perturbed as to the attitude of the
new Government towards the religious question. That Cecil was going to be
chief minister, and that he was, in the political sense, a Protestant, were
both manifest facts. All the extreme Catholics, and some of the moderate
ones, were displaced from the Council; those who were left might prefer the
Mass to the Communion, but only as King Henry had done. The new members
were definitely Protestants. Heath, Archbishop of York, Mary's Chancellor,
though personally esteemed, gave place to Nicholas Bacon (as "Lord
Keeper"), whose wife and Cecil's were sisters, and measures were being
taken to secure a Protestant House of Commons when Parliament should
meet. The number of lay peers was increased by four Protestants; among the
twenty-seven bishoprics, Archbishop Pole had omitted to fill up several
vacancies, while a sudden mortality was afflicting the episcopal
bench. Around the queen, Protestant influences were immensely
predominant. It is quite unnecessary to turn to an injudicious letter from
Pope Paul to find a motive for the anti-Roman attitude which from the very
outset was so obvious to De Feria. [Footnote: _MSS. Simancas, apud_
Froude, vii., p. 27. De Feria to Philip.] Whatever prevarications or
ambiguities Elizabeth might indulge in to him, it is quite clear that,
whether she liked it or not, she felt that her position required an
anti-Roman policy, if her independence was to be secured and the prestige
of England among the nations was to be restored.

[Sidenote: 1559 Parliament: The Act of Supremacy]

The methods of the new Government however were to be strictly legal;
changes must have parliamentary sanction. At the coronation, the authorised
forms obtained. But at the end of January, the Houses met; and during the
following four months the whole of the Marian legislation was wiped out, as
Mary had wiped out the legislation of the preceding reign. The first
measures brought forward were financial--as the first step Cecil had taken
was to dispatch an agent to the Netherland cities to negotiate a loan--a
Tonnage and Poundage bill, a Subsidy, and a First-fruits bill which marked
the revival of the claims of the Crown against ecclesiastical
revenues. These bills were skilfully introduced, and well-received; for it
was expected that the money would be expended where it was needed, on
national defence. Next, the new Act of Supremacy was introduced, against
which the small phalanx of bishops fought with determination, supported by
the protest of Convocation. It was not in fact carried till April; and then
the actual title of "Supreme Head," which Mary and Philip had surrendered,
was not revived, but a different formula was used, the Crown being declared
"Supreme in all causes as well ecclesiastical as civil". The Act once more

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