ANNO DOMINI 1582

THESE things and the like extorted from the Estates of the Realme which were assembled in the moneth of January at Westminster new and more severe Lawes against the Papists, wherein They are declared guilty of high treason, whosoever shall disswade the subjects from their obedience to their Prince and from the Religion established in England, or shall reconcile them with the Church of Rome; and those also which shall be so disswaded or reconciled. Those also which shall say Masse are fined in 200 markes and imprisonment for a yeare, and longer till they have payed the money; they which shall wittingly and willingly be present at Masse are fined in 100 Markes and imprisonment likewise for a yeare, and they which refuse to goe to the divine Services of their Parish Churches are fined in 20 pounds a month. Which the Papists cryed out was unjustly interpreted of Lunary moneths, who had hitherto redeemed their absence upon Sundaies and holidays for a shilling to the use of the poore. But these things let the Ecclesiasticall historiographer prosecute more at large.

2. The Duke of Anjou, after hee had stayed in England full three Moneths, began his journey towards the Netherlands in the moneth of February. The Queene herselfe, to doe him honour, accompanied him as farre as Canterbury, and commanded the Earle of Leicester, Charles Howard, Hunsdon, Willoughby, Windsor, and Shefflield Barons, Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Francis Russell, Sir George Bourchier, and some other most noble Knights to accompany him as farre as Andwerpe; where he was inaugurate Duke of Brabant, Limburgh, Loraine, etc. For the Estates of the confederate Netherlands had before already pronounced that the Spanyard had forfeited his Principality by violating their Lawes, broken his Seales, throwne down his Armes in all places, and absolved the people from their oath of allegeance in such sort as it should be free for them to choose them another Prince. The Duke granted the exercise of the Romish Religion to all that would sweare alleageance unto him and abjure the Spanyard. Then he buckled himselfe to the warre, lost Aldenard, tooke Alost. Sixe hundred English under the leading of Thomas Norrys, Barney, Cornish, and Gibson fled from him to the Spanyardes, laying the cause upon the imperious severity of Norris; who being exposed to all dangers and most contemptuously used, suffered condigne punishment for their treacherie, with late repentance and infinite miseries. Neverthelesse Norris with 300 horse and the rest of his companies gained singular commendations amongst all men for his fortitude and militarie skill, by receaving valiantly the Prince of Parma who furiously charged him with greater forces, and making an advised retreate to the walles of Gaunt, while Anjou and the Prince of Aurange from the walles admired his martiall valour. But what doe I stay upon these things? The Duke of Anjou when he had spent in the Netherlands a great masse of mony supplyed out of England, and that with no successe, and found that there were bestowed on him bare and idle titles onely, and that the government and managing of matters rested in the Estates hands, attempted with a rash designe to force Andwerpe and other Cities, but all in vaine, and not with out losse of his owne men; and shortly after left the Netherlands with dishonour.

3. Let it suffice to mention in a word onely a comet or blasing starre, seene in the moneth of May in the 12. degree of Gemini, neere the starre called The little goate, with a radiant taile streaming above and beyond the right shoulder of Ericthonius; and an hideous tempest in Norfolke, with much lightening, thunder, impetuous force of windes, and a most thicke showre of hailestones of three inches in thicknesse, and fashioned like the rowells of spurres.

4. Queene Elizabeth to strengthen her selfe abroad against the Spaniard, whom shee knew to be exasperated by the supply of mony sent to the Duke of Anjou, chose Frederic the second, King of Denmarke, whom long since shee held most deere, into the society of the Order of Saint George, and sent unto him to invest him with the ensignes of that Order Peregrine Berty, who shee, being very sparing in bestowing of honors, had hardly admitted into the honor of Baron Willoughby of Eresby before such time as he had given proofe of his vertue, albeit his mother were the only daughter of the Dutchesse Suffolke and heire to the Lord Willoughby. The king of Denmkarke gladly suffered the chaine or coller of Roses to be put about his necke, and the garter to be tyed about his legge; the rest of the ensignes he received to lay up, but denyed to put them on, because they were outlandish; and to take the oath the absolutely refused, for that he had done the same before when hee was admitted by the French King into the Order of Saint Michael. Whilest Willoughby remained in Denmarke, he propounded to the King the complaints of the English Merchants. For they complained grievously that the customes were too much increased, whereas in times past they payed in passing the Danish straight or Sound but for every shippe a Rose noble, that is, the fourth part of an ownce of gold, and as much for their lading or marchandies, with some small moneyes towards fires by night to direct their course, and barrells to shew the shelfes and rockes. He dealt with him also in behalfe of the Merchantes, to release the payment of Lastgelt, whereby was exacted the thirtieth part of all their merchandies by way of borrowing during the heate of the warre between the Kings of Denmarke and Swethelande [Sweden], which promise to repay it when the warre was ended. But these things, as being matters of great weight, were put off to another time. For scarce do Princes ever release their Customes which they have once raised, who judge that such royalties (as they call them) do belong to the priviledge and liberty of every Kingdome, and are not subject to any forraine moderation.

5. Queene Elizabeth also for her more security at home, proposed to compound the matter with the Queene of Scots by Sir Walter Myldmay. But finding that the Duke of Guise plotted secret designes with certaine English fugitives for her delivery, and leavied forces under colour that they should serve under the Duke of Anjou in the Low-countries, but indeede to be set over into England from Aui or Eiw an obscure port towne in Normandy belonging to the Duke of Guise (whereof the French King gave her first notice, and out of his love toward Queene Elizabeth crossed it) the matter was put off to another time, and shee was neglected.

6. But yet to prevent the Duke of Guise his attempts in Scotland, who was thought to abuse Lenox his mediation to avert the King of Scottes from the English, William Reuthuen, whom the King had very lately created Earle of Goury, raised some troubles. This William, not to degenerate from his father, who beare a deadly hatred against the Kings mother, with other conspirators employed all their wittes to remove Lenox and Arran from the King under colour to provide for religion, the Kings security, and the amity with England. And this was their devise: Lenox who was made Chamberlaine of Scotland, is perswaded to exercise with rigor the outworne jurisdiction of Chamberlaine; and this to no other intent then that he might unwittingly procure himself hatred amongst the multitude; that the Ministers of Gods word should kindle the same by declaiming against him out of the Pulpit as a Papist, a Guisian, and a rigorous executor of this authority, and should openly fortell his destruction. When Lenox therefore was gone from Perth (where the King then laye) to Edenburgh to exercise his sayd jurisdiction, and Arran was out of the way, Goury, Marr, Lindsey, and others, taking the opportunity, invited the King to Ruthuen castle, and there detained him against his will, not suffering him to walke abroad for feare of some danger. All this faithfullest servants they removed from him, Arran they carried to prison, and constrained the King to call home the Earle of Anguse from banishment (and this at the intercession of the Queene of England, who was not unacquainted with their plot), to send back Lenox into France; who being a man of a most mild spirit, did for the publique quiet render up Dunbritton, which hee might easily have defended, and refused not to returne into France, and this he did at the King’s perswasion who was drawne thereto by their constraint. And not content with all this, they compelled the King against his will to approve of this intercepting of him by his letters to the Queene of England, and to decree an assembly of the Estates summoned by them to be just. Yet could they not induce Buchanan to approve of this fact either by writing, or perswasion by message; who now sorrowfully lamented that he had already undertaken the cause of factious people against their Princes, and soone after dyed. A man borne, has he hath testified himselfe in verse, nec coelo, nec solo, nec seculo erudito, that is, Neither in a climate, nor Country, nor age that was learned; yet happily hee mounted to the highest top of the Poeticall faculty, so as hee may worthily bee esteemed the Prince of Poets of this age.

7. When the French King had sure intelligence hereof, he dispatched away Mota-Fenellon through England, and Manninguille by sea into Scotland, with one and the same instructions, to weet, that they should take some counsel for delivering the King by some meanes or other, that they should confirme the French faction, allure the King’s minde to the amity of the French, and signifie unto him with congratulation that the Queene his Mother out of her motherly piety, granted him the royall title, and now most willingly admitted him into the society of the kingdome, to weete, that he should bee acknowledged for true and lawfull king by the Princes of Christendome, and all the Scots, and all factions should be taken away. The Queene of Scotts in the meane time with a minde full of care and doubt, being oppressed with miseries, and languishing with the calamity of long imprisonment without all hope of her liberty, bewailed to Queene Elizabeth her heavie fate and the most afflicted estate of her sonne, in a long lettter written in French, which her motherly love and anguish of minde wrung from her, to this purpose, as I have abbreviated the same out of the very originall.

8. Whereas I have beene certainely advertised that my sonne is intercepted by rebels, as I myselfe also was some yeares since, I cannot but out of a just feare least he should undergoe the same common condition of infelicity with mee, make my woefull complaints, and imprint the same (if it may be) in your conscience that my innocency may be made knowne to posterity, and their ignominy through whose unjust dealing I am most unworthily cast into these miseries. But seeing their cunning practices and devises (though never so wicked) have hitherto prevailed more with you then my most just complaints, and your might may overcome right, and force may oppresse truth amongst men, I will appeale to the everliving God, in whome onely I acknowledge a power and dominion over us that are Princes of equall jurisdiction and honour. And upon him will I call (with whom there will be no place for colour nor fraude) that in the last day he will reward us according to our deserts one towards another, howsoever my adversaries know how to cover their guilefull dealings before men (and haply before you). In his name therefore, and as it were before his Tribunall seate, I call to your remembrance by what cunning dealing some which were sent forth in your name drew the Scots my subjects into rebellion against mee whilest I lived in Scotland, and raised all the mischiefes which have happened there ever since. Which (to omit other proofes) is certainely knowne by testimonies produced, and by confession out of Mortons owne mouth, who was in that respect advanced to honours. Against whom if I had proceeded according to right, and you hand not ayded my rebels, they could not have stood long against mee and mine.

9. While I was kept in prison at Loch Levin, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton was a meanes to persuade me in your nameto set my hands to a writing resigning the kingdome (which writing he affirmed would be voyd, and so the whole world hath holden it), until you assisted the authors of the sayd writing with your ready favour and an armed power. And speake bona fide, would you acknowledge such authority and power of your subjects over you? Yet thereby was my Regall authority taken from me by your advise and assistance, and my Kingdome translated to my sonne being in respect of his age incapable thereof, and when I my selfe was not long since determined to confirme the Kindgome upon him lawfully, he was forcibly seized on by certaine traitors, who without question purposed to despoile him (as they had done me) of the kingdome, if not of life also. After I had made an escape out of Loch Levin, and was now ready to give the rebels battaile, I craved your ayd, sending backe the diamond which I had before receieved from you in pledge of your love with large promises of assistance against the rebels, time after time, giving me also your faithfull word that if I would betake myselfe to you, you would come to the border and helpe me in person. I relying upon this your promise so often iterated, though yours had many times deteined me with words, resolved to flye unto you in mine adversity as to a sacred anchor. And certainely so I had done, had I found as easie accesse as my rebels against me have alwaies had. But before I could come unto you, I was intercepted,guarded with keepers, shut up in strong holdes, and have ever since endured afflictions more grievous then death it selfe.

10. You will object unto me (I know) that which passed betwixt me and the Duke of Norfolke; yet I denie that was prejudiciall to you or your Kingdome. For it was approved by the chiefe Counsailours of the Realme of England, and confirmed by their subscriptions which may be produced, who also assuredly promised your assent. And how (I pray you) could so great men promise your assent to that which would deprive you of life, honour, and diademe? Yet would you have these things believed of all men.

11. But when some of my said rebels repented them too late, and perceived more fullie by the conference betweene our Delegates at Yorke, how injuriously I was dealt withall, they were presentlie besieged with your forces in the Castell of Edinburgh, and of the chiefe of them, who were miserabliy ridd of their lives, the one by poyson, the other by the Gallowes. And then, after I had at your request cause them once and againe the second time to lay downe armes in hope of peace, which God knoweth whether ever my adversaries intended.

12. From that time I was determined with my selfe to trie whether I could by patience mitigate rigor, by bearing all things which were layed upon a captive Queene; yet was I now all this yeare quite barred from all conference with my sonne either by Letter or messengers <that>, if it were possible, the Sonne might be rent from his mother by most wofull alienation of mindes.

13. Conditions of peace and concord to bee made betwixt us I have often propounded at Chatesworth Eleven yeares agone with your Delegate; and with your selfe I dealt sincerelie by the Embassadours of the most Christian King and mine, and the last Winter by Beale. But those conditions have been alwaies rejected, delaies sought and interposed, my counsailes suspected, and all the sincere affection of my mind ever condemned. And of my long patience I have reaped no other fruit then that by a certain prescription it grew to a custome that I was every day more roughlie handled then other. These things surely I shall be no longer able to endure; and howsoever it fall out, if I die, I will manifest the authors of my death; and if I live, I will cause (I hope) all wicked practises and calumniations against me to dye, that I may passe the rest of my life in greater tranquillity.

14. Wherefore, to take away all displeasure betwixt us, let the testimonies of the Spanyards that were lately taken prisoners in Ireland bee produced against me, let the examinations of the Jesuites be brought forth, let every man have liberty to accuse me publickely, so as I in like sort may have liberty granted me to defend myselfe and be not condemned unheard. The basest malefactors and prisoners are allowed their defence, and their accusers brought before them face to face. And why am I so dealt withall, which am a Queene anointed, in bloud nearely alied unto you, and after you the lawfull heire to the Crowne? But this last is that which above all things vexeth and galleth my adversaries who labour to set us two at variance. Alasse, there is no cause why this should trouble them. I call God and mine honour to witnesse that I have this long time given thought of no other Kingdome then that of Heaven. Yet are they bound in concience, you are tyed in regard of your office and justice, not to interupt my sonnes most undoubted title after my death; nor further the secret practises of those, which have in England Scotland doe labour to with <tooth> and naile the destruction of me and my sonne. As is more then too apparent by the instructions of your messengers in Scotland, who have dealt most seditiously, unknown to you no doubt, but diligently bestirred by Huntington.

15. Is this reason that I being a mother should be prohibited, not onely to console my oppressed sonne, but even to understand also in what state he is? If theose messengers had beene sent for my sonnes good, haply if they had used my advise, they might have beene more welcome to him for my sake, certainely you had bound me the more straightly to you. Neither was there cause why you should so greatly conceale their going, or quite take from mee at that time all liberty. Yet, to speake freely, I beseech you to employ no more such Ministers in Scottish matters. For though Cary (I think) would undertake nothing unworthy himselfe and his honour, yet can I promise my selfe no good of Huntington by reason of his bad deserts towards me.

16. By the most neere kindred therefore betwixt us I do earnestly intreate you to have a esrious care of my sonnes safety, to intermeddle no more in Scottish matters without acqainting me or the French King, and to hold those for no other then traitors which detaine my sonne in custody and constraine him against his will to what they list. In briefe, I beseech you by the Crosse and passion of Christ our Redeemer that I may after so many yeares restraint be restored upon reasonable conditions to liberty, and may for the small time of my life that remaineth recreate my decayed body somewhere out of England after long griefe and languishing of imprisonment. So shall you binde me and mine, and especially my sonne unto you for ever. And this I will never cease to begge ofyou with all earnestnesse, untill you grant unto it; and that I so earnestly crave it, my most afflicted state of body constraineth me. Thake order therefore that I may hereafter be more courteouslie dealt withall; otherwise flatly I shall not be able to indure it, and put me not to any other doome then your owne. Whatsoever hereafter betide, either good or ill, I shall take it to come from your selfe alone. Vouchsafe me this favour that I may understand your minde from your selfe rather than by a short letter or by the French Embassadour. I cannot rest satisfied with the things which the Earle of Shrewbury signifieth to me, considering that they are altered dayly. When I wrote very lately to your Councell, you willed that I should acquaint you alone with my matters. (But there was no reason to have granted them so great authority to afflict me.) Yet hence I cannot but feare that some of them being my adversaries, procured this, least the rest, after they heard my most just complaint, should oppose themselves in regard as well of your honour, as of their owne duty towards you. Now it remaineth that I make spetiall suite unto you that, my minde being settled upon another life, I may have some reverent Catholique Priest, which may direct mee in my Religion to my soules health. This last office is not to be denied to the silliest wretches of basest condition. The forraine Princes Embassadours you allow the exercise of their Religion, and I of mine owne accord granted it to my subjects of contrary Religion. If this be denied me, I (I hope) shall be excused before God; but my adversaries I feare they will not escape unpunished. Certainely, it will bee a precedent for other Princes of Christendome to exercise the like severity over their subjects of different Religion, if this rigor be shewed to me an absolute Princesse and your nearest kinswoman. For so I am, and so I shall be to you as long as I live, whether my adversaries will or no, and though they stomacke it never so much. To have my house increased I desire not, but out of a certaine necessity I pray you that I may have two waiting women whom I shall have neede of in my sicknesse, and let mine adversaries fulfill their cruelty upon me in this small office of kindnesse. Whereas I am privily accused by the Earle of Shrewbury that, contrary to that which I promised to Beale, I have dealt with my sonne about conveighing my title in Scotland to him without your privitie; I pray you beleeve not Beale’s suggestions. I have promised nothing but upon certaine conditions, to which I am not tyed unless they be permitted by you. Since that time I have received no answere, and a long silence touching those matters ensued; but the practices in Scotland to the destruction of me and my sonne ceased not. This so long silence I could not construe to bee any thing else but a repulse; which I signified to you and your Councell by letters. What the French King and his mother imparted unto me, I have truely and ingenuously acquainted you withall, and asked your counsaile, but I heard not so much as a word from you. To submit my selfe to your counsaile touching my affaires, and my Country, before I knew what manner of counsaile it would be, I never intended; for this might seeme a poynt of extreame folly. What triumphes my adversaries in Scotland make over me and my Captive sonne is not unknowne unto you. For my part, I have attempted nothing there, which may prejudice you, but onely for procuring of a sound peace in that kingdome, whereof I should have as great a care as you Councell, for I am farre more interessed therein then they. I desired with all my heart to gratifie and confirme unto my sonne the title of King, and to bury all discords. Is this to plucke away the diadem from my sonne? But my adversaries and the adversaries of my family will not have it confirmed. This they cause whilest they carry their owne witnesse againt them in their breast, and out of their owne guilty conscience mis-doubt themselves.

17. Let not these and other my adversaries blinde your eyes in such sort, that while you live and see it, they may bring your nearest kindred to their graves, and undermine both Crownes; for to that purpose doe they conceive wicked ptractises against me, against my sonne, and haply against your selfe. Can it be for any good or honour to you that by their meanes I and my son, and we our selves are so long barred one from another? Recall your selfe to your innated lenity, binde your selfe to your selfe, and sithens you are a Princesse, appease your minde, and dispose it to lay downe all displeasure toward me a Princesse most nearly joyned unto you in blood, and most loving to you, that matters being compounded betwixt us, I may the more quietly depart this life, and the grones and sighes of my most afflicted soule may not ascend up to God. To whose Majesty I offer up my dayly prayers that these my most just complaints, and woefull lamentations may at length finde place with you. At Sheffield the Eighth of November, 1582.