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Christen kyng, this noble yonge Josias was for oure vnthankefulnes & wicked lyuing taken awaye from vs, before the tyme vnto our great sorow & vnspeakable hartes disease. Whose death was the beginning, and is now still the continuaunce of all our sorowes, griefes & miseries. For in the steade of that verteous prince, thou haste set to rule ouer vs an woman, whom nature hath formed to be in subieccion vnto man, & whom thou by thyne holy Apostle commaundest to kepe silence & not to speake in the congregacion. Ah Lord, to take away the empire from a man, and to gyue it onto a woman, seemeth to be an euident token of thyne anger toward vs Englishmen. For by the Prophete, thou beyng displeased with thy people, threatnest to sette women to rule ouer them, as people vnworthy to haue lauful, natural, and mete gouernors to reign over them. And verely though we fynd, that women sometime bare rule among thy people, yet do we rede, that suche as ruled di were quenes, were for the moste part wicked, vngodly, supersticious, & geuen to idolatry, & to all filthy abhominacion, as we may se in the histories of quene Jesabel, quene Athalia, quene Herodias and such like. Ah Lorde God, we dare not take vpon ve to iudge anye creature, for vnto the alone are the secretes of all hartes knowne, but of this are we sure, that synce she ruled, whyther of her owne disposicion, or of the prouocacion of a certayne wylde bore, successor too Ananias that whyghtie daubed waulle, we know not, thy vineyarde is vtterly rooted vp and layde waste, thy true religion is bannished, and popishe supersticion hath preuayled, yea & that vnder the coloure of the catholicke churche.” &c. -Becon, Supp., Sig. A. vii.
It is conceivable that Becon might imagine it possible that, in some sort of sense, he, and those whom he expected to use his “Supplication,” might be able to say that they dared not “ to judge any creature ;” and this may perhaps be considered as consistent with his launching such an anathema as the following, provided it is believed that he did not mean it to have reference, or to be applied by his readers, to any particular persons ;
Those, O Lorde, whiche are thy sworne enemyes and of a sett purpose euen ageynste their owne conscience and contrary to their knowledge persecute the gloryus Gospell of thy derely beloued sonne and the tru fauourers of the same, and wil by no meanes be reconciled, nor leane vnto the truthe, but go forthe dayly more and more to hinder the fre and ioyefull passage of thy holy wored, & to withdrawe so many as they can from beleuyng, receauyng, and embrassyng the same seyng they synne the synne vnto deathe and are not to be conuerted, O Lorde haiste the to root theme vp from the face of the Earthe that they be no more stomblyng blockes to the weake Christians. Destroie thow them O God, let them peryshe thoroughe theyr owne imaginacions. Caste them out in the multitud of their vngodlynes, for they haue rebelled ageynste the. Rayne tbowe snares fyre, brimston, storme, and tempeste, vpon them, let this be their porcion to drincke. Let them be confounded and put to shame, that seke after the lyues of the faithfull. O let them be turned backe and broughte to confusion, that imagine mischefe ageynste them. Let them be as duste befor the wynd, and the Angel of the Lord scattering them. Let their way be dark and slippery, and let thy Angel 0 Lord persecut them. Yea let soden distruccion com vpon them vnwares, and the netes that they haue layde preuely, cathe [sic] themselues, that they maye faull into theyr own mycheff. Let the swerdes that they drawe out go thorowe their owne heartes, and the bowes that they haue bended slea them selues.”—Becon, Sig. E. ij.
Who were “Those"? Let the question be honestly answered. Was it altogether improbable that such an anathema should be applied in a way not very likely to conciliate the Queen, the Council, and the ecclesiastical rulers? The Queen was supposed to be too much in the hands of the bishops, and the anonymous author of the “Supplicacyon to the Quenes Maiestie” thought fit to caution her on this head in no very equivocal terms;
“We read also in the 18. chapter off the third booke off the kings, affter that allmighty god at the praier off the prophet Elias, had shut the heauens that it rainid not in thre yeres and six monithes, and king Achab meting with the prophet Elias, he sayd to him : thou art be that troblest all Israel' (like as steuen gardener bisshop off winchester and his feloues, saith to the pour preachers and professors of Christes gospell now a days) but Elias words shall answere hym, wherwith he answerid king Achab. · It is he and hys complices, that haue forsaken the liuing god, and do go a whoring after strang gods, as the matter shall plainly appere when god will, like as it did appere by Elias, with the 400. false prophets, which false prophetts had seduced the quene Iesabell, and cawsid her to sley and distroy all gods holy prophetts (like as our false and cruell bisshopps intendith to do) so that the prophet Elias was fain to fly in to the wildernes, to saue his liff, wher god appointid A Rauen to feed hym: but what was the ende both of the quene and of all those false prophetts ? Read the text, and you shal plainly perceiue that the quene was cast down out of a window wher she brake her necke and was eaten vp of dogs, as the prophet of god had before said, and all here false prophetts and preastes were vtterly distroied.
“Let this greuous example moue your grace do beware the tymes of your false bysshopps and clergye, specyally of steuen gardener bysshop of wynchester.”-Supp. to the Queen, Sig. A. iv. b.
It is hardly necessary to ask the reader to consider what the Queen and the government of England must have thought of those persons abroad who sent over, and those in this country who circulated, such books as I have quoted from, and how they must have felt disposed, not to say compelled, to treat them? The question at present is not how far the matter was right or wrong, or what we may think of it in itself, but what did the Queen and her Council think of it? I do not say what did the King and his Spaniards think of it, for they had enough to think of in other matter more particularly and pointedly addressed to themselves, and of which I hope to give some specimens presently.
PURITAN POLITICS. No. IV.
BRADFORD BALE KNOX -- PONET-
“I am come vnto you”-said Queen Mary, to the citizens of London, in the speech which she made to them on occasion of Wyatt's rebellion—“I am come vnto you, in mine own
person to tel you that which already you see & know, that 'is, how traiterously and rebelleously, a number of Kentishmen haue assembled themselves against both vs & you. * Their pretence (as they said at first) was for a mariage determined for vs, to the which, and to all the articles 'thereof ye haue bin made priuy. But sithens we have 'caused certaine of our priuy Counsaile to go againe vnto 'them and to demand the cause of this their rebellion, and ' it appeared then vnto our said counsel, that the matter of 'the mariage seemed to bee but as a Spanish cloak to couer 'their pretensed purpose against our religion ; so that they
arrogantly and traiterously demanded to haue the gouer'nance of our person, the keeping of the Tower, and the ‘placing of our Counsailers.”
“Now louing subiects," continued the Queen, “what I 6am ye right wel know. I am your Queen, to whom at my • coronation, when I was wedded to the Realme and lawes of “the same (the spousall ring whereof I haue on my finger,
• which neuer hitherto was, nor hereafter shall be, left off) you promised your allegiance and obedience vnto me.
After an appeal to their sense of duty as subjects, her Majesty proceeded to say: “As concerning the mariage, ye
shal vnderstande that I enterprised not the doing thereof ' without aduice, and that by the aduice of al our priuy
council, who so considered and wayed the great commodities that might insue thereof that they not only
thought it very honorable, but also expedient, both for the . welth of the realme, and also of you
subiectes." And after further declaring that in this matter she was not following her own self-will, she added : “ Certainly, if I either did thinke or know that this mariage were to the
hurt of any of you my commons, or to the impeachment of 'any part or parcel of the roial state of this realme of England I woulde neuer consent thereunto, neither woulde Ieuer 'mary while I lived. And in the worde of a Queene I pro'mise you that if it shal not probably appear to al the nobility
and commons in the high court of parliament, that this 'mariage shal be for the high benefit and commodity of al the whole realm, then I will abstaine from mariage while I liue.”ı
This view of the “ Spanish cloak” concealing other views and purposes is taken by the principal historian of Wyatt's rebellion', who tells us :
1 Fox, vol. ii. p. 1289. Ed. 1596.
The full title of the work from which I extract is, “ The historie of • Wyates rebellion, with the order and maner of resisting the same, wherunto in the ende is added an earnest conference with the degenerate and sedicious rebelles for the serche of the cause of their daily disorder. Made and compyled by John Proctor. Mense Ianuarii, Anno '1555.” It was Imprynted at London by Robert Caly within the precincte of the late dissolued house of the graye Freers, now conuerted to an Hospitall, called Christes Hospitall : The x. day of January 1555." Small 8vo, b. 1., containing N, the two last leaves blank. There is some account of the book in Brydge’s Censura Literaria, (Vol. IV. p. 389,) where it is said, “ Proctor was schoolmaster of the free school at Tun. bridge, and from his vicinity to the scene of action must have had greater opportunity of knowing the particulars of the rebellion than many others.” This is I suppose grounded on Anthony à Wood's account, Athene, Vol. I. p. 235. Lowndes, after mentioning several copies which have been sold (from the imperfect Roxburghe for 21. 168. to Mr. Bindley's at 97.,) says, “ According to Hearne, This rare book was much made use of by Ralph Holinshed in his Chronicle. It was always reckoned a book of great authority by such as are impartial and are well versed in English history.”— Bibliogr. Man. in v. Proctor,
“Consideringe with hymselfe, that to make the pretence of his rebellion to bee the restoring or continuaunce of the new and newelye forged religion was nether agreable to the nature of heresie (whiche alwaye defendeth it selfe by the name and countenaunce of other matter moore plausible) neyther so apte to further hys wycked purpose, being not a case so general to allure al sortes to take part with him : he determined to speake no worde of religion, but to make the colour of hys commotion, only to withstande straungers, and to aduaunce libertie. For as he made hys full reckninge that suche as accorded with hym in religion, wold wholly ioyne with hym in that rebellion.” So he trusted that the Catholikes for the moste parte, woulde gladlye imbrace that quarel agaynst the straungers, whose name he toke to become odible to all sortes, by the sedicious and malicious report, which he and hys hadde maliciously imagined and blowen abrode agaynst that nation, as a preparatiue to their abominable treason. Hys Proclamation therefore published at Maydstone, and so in other places, persuaded that quarell to be taken in hande only in the defense of the realme from ouerrunnynge by Straungers, and for thaduauncement of libertie. Where in verye dede, hys onely and very matter was the continuaunce of heresye, as by hys owne wordes at sundrie times shal hereafter appeare.
“And to the ende the people should not thinke that he alone with a fewe other meane gentlemen, had taken that traiterous enterprise in hand without comfort and ayde of higher powers, he vntruely and maliciously added further to his proclamation, by persuasion to the people, that all the nobilitie of the realme, and the whole counsell (one or two onelye except) were agreable to his pretensed treason, and would with all their power and strength further the same, which he found most vntrue to his subuersion. And that the lord Aburgauenye, the lorde Warden, Syr Robert Southwell, high shyreffe with all other gentlemen wold ioyne with him in this enterprise, and set theyr fote by his to repel the straungers.
“This proclamation, and such annexed persuasions made at Maydstone on the market day, and in other partes of the shire, bad so wrought in the heartes of the people, that diuers which before hated him, and he them, were nowe as it seemed upon this occasion mutuallye reconciled, and sayde vnto him. “Syr, is your quarell onelye to defend vs ouerrunning by straungers, and to aduance libertie, and not agaynst the Queene?' 'No,' quod Wyat, 'we mynde nothinge lesse, then anye wyse to touche her grace: but to serue her, and honour her accordyng to our dueties. Wel,' quod they, 'geue vs then youre hande, we wyll stycke to you to deathe in this quarell.' That done, there came to hym one other of good wealthe, saiyng : ‘Syr,' quod he, “they saye I loue potage well, I wyll sell all my spones, and al the plate in my house, rather than your purpose shall quayle, and suppe my potage with my mouthe. I truste,' quod he, you wyll restore the ryght religion agayne.'
3 That he was not mistaken in his calculations on this point may be seen by evidence which has been already adduced in these papers ; as well as by the way in which he and his rebellion are spoken of by the leading men of the puritan party.