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to join in treacherous and atrocious de- , her more limited negation. As already signs. This was her disposition ; it fully observed, she could not be ignorant that bore out the already noticed observation the murder of Elizabeth was a prelimi. of the French king, that she would not nary, needful to secure the success of cease from her plots till they brought any invasion or insurrection. The court ruin upon her. The association already adjourned to Westminster, where, on the mentioned, was a warning for her to 29th, she was pronounced guilty. The desist from
any such proceedings. How sentence was communicated to the parliadifferent was the course pursued by ment and sanctioned. On the 25th of David towards Saul; though the latter November, both Lords and Commons daily sought his life, he would not sanc- urged that the sentence should be put tion any attempt against the king, even into execution, while the people at large in self-defence. He looked to the Lord made public 'expressions of rejoicing. for deliverance out of all his tribulation, There never was a measure more earnand he was not disappointed, as he re- estly pressed by the general desire of the corded in the beautiful language of the nation, than the death of Mary. It was eighteenth Psalm.
a public national act, not one of private Elizabeth and her ministers now re- or individual revenge. solved to bring Mary to trial, as an of- Elizabeth was irresolute with respect fender against the law passed two years to Mary's fate.
She now before. There can be no doubt that the vinced, that if the latter continued to live, fatal result to the prisoner was looked her own life and her proceedings for the for, nor can there be any doubt of her good of the nation, would be in constant guilt according to that law; but it is danger. Yet to direct the execution of equally to be admitted, that she ought an independent monarch, situated like not to have been put to death under its Mary, was an alternative which her enactments; they went too far. A com- firmness was not sufficient to encounter, mission was issued to forty-six peers, especially as the ambassadors from privy counsellors, and judges. Thirty- France and Scotland publicly remonsix arrived at Fotheringay, on October strated against the execution. Two 11. Mary refused to plead, declaring months passed in a state of irresolution, that, as an independent monarch, she was when, at length, the commission to the not answerable to the judicature of an- earl of Shrewsbury, as earl marshal, other country. To this was answered, with other nobles, was directed to be that every one, while in a country, was prepared. Still Elizabeth wished that answerable to its laws, and she was Mary's life could be ended by other and warned, that refusal to plead would be less public means, and even directed that considered as an acknowledgment of a hint, to that effect, should be given guilt; and she was urged that, if inno- to sir Amias Paulet, and his fellowcent, she ought to take the opportunity keeper, Drury; but though they disliked to repel the charge. On the 14th, she Mary for her bigotry, and enmity to consented to plead under a protest their queen, they wisely and honestly re. against the authority of the court. The fused to participate in causing the death charge was, that she had conspired to. of Mary, unless by a legal warrant. On procure, 1. The invasion of the realm ; | February 1, Elizabeth signed the com2. The death of Elizabeth. Of the mission, and directed the great seal to be first, there could be no doubt. Letters affixed, without waiting for Paulet's had been intercepted, and others were
The next day, she told Davifound in her cabinet, abundantly prov- son, the secretary, to wait till he reing this. The second she denied; the ceived further orders, before the com. evidence rested on her correspondence mission was sealed; but, on being told with Babington, his confessions, and the this was already done, she blamed his admissions of her secretaries. At first haste, but did not give any further dishe wholly denied any, correspondence rections, and on the following morning, with Babington; but that being indis- told him, with a smile, that she had putably proved, she denied that the pas- dreamed of punishing him severely, as sages in question were written by her, or the cause of the death of the queen of with her knowledge. Having been con- Scots. He then asked whether she infessedly guilty of falsehood, in her first tended the commission should be executdenial respecting this correspondence, ed; to which she answered in the affirmit was impossible to place confidence in / ative, but that she did not like the responsibility being thrown wholly upon herself. , endeavoured to preach, and offer prayer, This was on February 3. The council as- but though there was nothing offensive sembled on that and the preceding day, or controversial in his services, Mary reand were informed of what had passed; fused to listen, repeating passages from they probably saw the state of Elizabeth's the Psalms aloud in Latin. She then mind, and resolved to proceed, consider- prayed in French and English, and holding Mary's death to be necessary for the ing up a crucifix, exclaimed, “ As thy public safety. They sent Beal, the clerk arms, O God, were stretched out upon of the council, to Fotheringay, with the the cross, so receive me into the arms commission, and a letter to Paulet and of thy mercy, and forgive me my sins.” Drury, signed by the whole council. On She laid her head upon the block, and at the 4th, Elizabeth inquired what answer the third blow it was separated from her Paulet had sent respecting a private ex- body. The dean officially and uncharitecution. On being informed, she ex- ably declared, in the form usual on such pressed her dissatisfaction. Indeed the occasions, “So perish all the queen's histories of that period show that princes enemies :” the earl of Kent alone uttered often viewed assassination as a method of “ Amen." executing justice, even when no legal Thus perished Mary Stuart, queen of conviction of guilt had taken place. Scots ; her last hours exhibited her cha
On February 7, the earls of Shrews- racter in a more favourable light than bury and Kent, with their attendants, any of the former portions of her life. arrived at Fotheringay in the evening. The unjustifiable termination of the proMary was immediately informed that ceedings against her, has done much to she must prepare to suffer death the throw into the shade that censure, which next morning. She was not surprised impartiality would otherwise attach to at such an announcement, but received her actions. Nor can the course pursued it with fortitude, enumerated her suffer- by Elizabeth and her counsellors be deings, and protested her innocence as to fended upon other grounds than the narany plot against the life of Elizabeth. row and unjustifiable pleas of expeShe refused to see the dean of Peter. diency, and retaliation : the situation of borough, and the commissioners refused Mary, as a prisoner, led to the proceedto allow her to see her own confessor- ings for which she suffered, and it would an uncharitable act. Mary passed most have been a more equitable course not to of the night in writing and in prayer, have put her to death. But those who administering the sacrament of the altar censure Elizabeth most strongly, do it to herself, by taking a wafer, which had on untenable grounds. Neither the times been consecrated by the pope, and which nor the circumstances of public affairs she had reserved to be taken in the hour allowed her to leave Mary at libertyt and of extremity, viewing it as having been it is too much for men, themselves acactually turned into the body of Christ, tuated by worldly motives, to require and being endowed with power to pro- that the English queen should delibercure her eternal happiness. It is painful ately expose herself to certain destructo reflect that nominal Protestants fre- tion, by giving her rival advantages quently consider the sacrament as a pass- against her. Indisputable facts also port to heaven. At day-break Mary took prove, that Mary could not demand betleave of her servants. Soon after eight ter treatment on the plea of innocence o'clock, she was conducted to the great and right conduct. Îf her reign and hall of the castle, where a low scaffold life are fairly reviewed, without referhad been prepared, covered with a black ence to her death, few sovereigns will be cloth. About two hundred persons were found whose conduct has been present. On her repeated request, the deserving of censure. The blame de commissioners unwillingly consented that servedly cast upon Elizabeth's conshe should be attended by two of her duct, is not aggravated by any innocence women and four of her men servants. on the part of Mary. The latter had She conducted herself with dignity and been the offender, though this did not firmness, declaring that she was brought justify, on Christian principles, the exto suffer by violence and injustice, that tremity of suffering inflicted upon her. she never had contrived the death of Eli. And there is no excuse for doing wrong zabeth, and that she died in the Romish to prevent wrong. But as repeatedly faith, expressing also her forgiveness of stated already, the causes of those sufferher enemies. The dean of Peterborough Jings must be traced very far back, even
up to the course pursued when she was wished to act against Elizabeth, but who an infant, her removal to France, her deemed Mary their rightful queen, and education, and the bad principles instilled desired to see a papist on the throne, there. We may pity, but we cannot ex- now were less disposed to disturb the cuse her.
government. Elizabeth, in some instances, showed Among other documents existing in much female weakness. It has been said, reference to this affair, there is in the “At times she was more than man, and Vatican a letter addressed to the pope, on some occasions less than woman." | written by Mary, the day after the senShe was so in her conduct relative to tence of death was first communicated, Mary's execution. Instead of resting by which she leaves her right to the her defence for what had passed on the throne of England, to be disposed of crimes of Mary, and her duty as queen by the pope and Philip, as they should of England, she sought a pretext to see fit, if her son refused to become throw the blame upon others. Her a papist.
This would act as
a fresh counsellors were severely censured and stimulus to Philip, whose armada was excluded from favour for some time; now nearly ready to sail ; but it was but the chief displeasure was shown delayed by various causes : among other towards her secretary, Davison. Eliza- means, a plan is said to have been beth asserted that the commission was resorted to, by the advice of a merchant, not only sent off without her knowledge, sir Thomas Gresham. By causing large but against her will, and that she only drafts to be made upon the bank of intended to have had it ready for exe- Genoa, he prevented the supply of cution, in case of Mary's foreign or money necessary for the final despatch domestic partizans actually appearing in of the fleet being furnished. Or this
The blame was cast upon Da- delay may have been occasioned by the vison. He was dismissed from his of- success of an expedition against Cadiz, ficc, fined ten thousand marks, and im- under sir Francis Drake, who destroyed prisoned, for having parted with the a number of vessels in the outer road, commission without express order from and ascertained the extent of preparaElizabeth. Lord Burghley was in dis- tion going forward. Arrangements were grace for some weeks; but upon making made in England to meet the attack; an humble acknowledgment of error, he / but they were much inferior to those of was restored to his office. The conduct the invader, excepting in the general of her counsellors was the plea offered spirit of the people. This was decidedly to the kings of France and Scotland, aroused; very few, even of the most a mere excuse; but neither of these bigoted papists, desired the success of monarchs cared to interfere ; and the the Spaniards. Ships were hastily built plea was more plausible than that of- or fitted out; arms and munitions of fered by the king of France for the war collected, and the sea-ports fortimassacre of St. Bartholomew. The po- fied. litical state of France rendered its so- The conduct of the earl of Leicester vereign far from displeased at an event was injurious to the States. Two ofwhich destroyed the hopes of the Guises, ficers appointed by him were negligent while James felt little affection for a or treacherous, and surrendered the mother whom he had never known, who posts committed to their care. Leihad continually censured his conduct, cester returned to the Netherlands with and who, in fact, desired to exclude him a reinforcement; but he was not sucfrom the throne of England. James's cessful against Parma, while his general favourite, Gray, writing to Douglas, conduct excited a quarrel with the States, the ambassador at the English court, which ended in the queen causing him attributed James's interference to pro- to resign his command, in December, ceed out of his own good nature, and 1587. Prince Maurice was appointed ventured to add, “I care not, though governor, while the command of the she were out of the way.” Such an English auxiliaries was given to lord interference would cause Elizabeth to Willoughby, who directed him to conproceed rather than to hesitate. The ciliate the leaders of the confederated people of Scotland were at first indig- States. nant at the national insult, but their The attention of Europe was now minds were soon calmed ; while in Eng- directed to the proceedings of Spain. land, a large number who had not The armada consisted of one hundred and
thirty-five ships, many of them very | be laid up: but the admiral refused to large, manned with eight thousand sea- weaken his force, and stood out to sea men, and carrying twenty thousand vete- to obtain correct intelligence of the state ran soldiers; while in Flanders, upwards of the Spanish fleet. A south-west gale of thirty thousand men were prepared, compelled him to return, while the arwith transports or boats adequate for mada, favoured by the same wind, steered their conveyance.
The whole royal for England. The commander, the duke navy of England consisted of thirty-four of Medina Sidonia, purposed to attack vessels, of which only five were above the English fleet at Plymouth, although eight hundred tons; but the city of his orders forbade him to make any atLondon fitted out thirty-three, and eigh- tempt before he had communicated with teen were sent out by private indivi- the prince of Parma; but his intention duals, while about ninety, chiefly small was laid aside when he found the Engcraft, were hired. Lord Howard, of lish ships had been again at sea. Effingham, was appointed admiral. He Lord Howard was informed of the apwas not experienced in nautical affairs ; proach of the armada, on which he hasbut able officers were placed under him, tened to leave the port. The next day, among whom were Drake, Hawkins, and the Spanish fleet was seen sailing slowly others who had already acquired fame up the channel, in the form of a cresin naval expeditions against the Spa- cent; the extremities of which were niards.
seven miles apart. This was on July the Land forces were ordered to assemble, 20th. The whole of the English fleet but only one large army was actually em- had not joined; the admiral, therefore, bodied. It was stationed in Essex, on the allowed the main body of the armada river Thames, to protect the capital and to pass, while he followed and attacked the approach to it. The chief reliance was
The English seamen, being placed on the fleet, assembled at the superior in skill, and their vessels entrance of the channel ; but the nobles more manageable, they were able to do and persons of property were ready to considerable injury to their opponents. conduct their dependants to any points One Spanish vessel was burned, another whither they might be directed. The was captured and sent into Dartmouth. pious composure of lord Burghley is More would have been effected ; but to be remarked: when the overwhelming the English ships were so ill supplied force of the Spaniards was noticed; he with ammunition, that many of them had firmly. replied, “They shall do no more to retire from the fight, and go into the than God will suffer them.”
nearest ports to procure farther supplies. On May 29, 1588, the armada, solemnly Some cannonading took place on the blessed by popish prelates, and proudly following days; but the English addenominated w the invincible, sailed miral resolved to forbear any general from the Tagus, not only as an expe- conflict, till he could join the ships stadition to invade an enemy's country;
tioned off Dover. The progress of the but, as the litany prepared for this oc- armada was slow : on July 27, it ancasion was expressly entitled, “against chored near Calais. The Spanish troops the English heretics." Many friars were partly embarked in the small craft were on board, with stores of popish prepared for them, when on the night trumpery, as well as the muniments of of July 28, the English admiral sent war; and all was prepared to extirpate eight small vessels, fitted as fire ships, the Protestant faith of England. Ano- into the thickest of the Spanish fleet. ther bull, ordering that Elizabeth should A general consternation followed; orders be hurled from her throne, had been were given for all the Spanish ships issued by the pope Sixtus v., absolving to stand out to sea ; they did so in much her subjects from their allegiance. Car- confusion. Drake closely engaged a dindl Allen was sent to Flanders, to co- part on the following day, when twelve operate from thence in matters under large Spanish ships were taken or dehis control.
stroyed, and many were much damaged. A storm shortly arose which compelled A gale of wind increased their diffithe fleet to take shelter in Corunna for culties ; the prince of Parma refused three weeks, to repair the damage it sus- to commit his troops to the hazard of tained. It being reported that the expe- the winds and waves, in the doubtful dition was effectually disappointed, the state of the main armament. Medina queen ordered four of the largest ships to Sidonia then deemed farther efforts
useless, and having called a council of The king of Scotland showed his wiswar, it was resolved to return to Spain, by dom on this occasion, by refusing to sailing round Scotland and Ireland. The unite with the enemies of Elizabeth. fleet was reduced to about eighty sail, He expressed his full conviction of the many of them much damaged.
fate which would be reserved for him, The Spanish invincible armada then as the utmost favour to be conceded to took flight; the English fleet pursued a Protestant prince by confirmed Papists, till their ammunition again failed, but namely, that like the promise of Polywhat their force could not accomplish, phemus to Ulysses, it would only be, the elements, under the Divine com- that he should be devoured the last. mand, effected. A storm came on; but James plainly saw, that the real interests most of the English ships were in har- of his subjects as well as his own were bour, while the armada was fully ex. indissolubly connected with England. posed to the rage of the tempest. Several The universal loyalty displayed throughof the Spanish ships were wrecked on out the English nation on this occasion, the coasts of Scotland and Ireland, the speaks in favour of the general policy crews being mostly drowned, or killed of Elizabeth's government. A queen, by the natives. In September, the poor such as Mary's favourers falsely assert remains of this numerous and mighty ar- her to have been, could not have so mada returned to Spain; but only fifty- commanded the hearts and lives of her three vessels reached home, and those people at such a crisis. Elizabeth prein a shattered condition. Such was the pared to take the field herself, and result of this remarkable expedition, in visited her army at Tilbury, under the which we see the hand of Divine Pro- command of the earl of Leicester, on vidence again stretched out for the pre- | August 9, before the final dispersion of servation of the English queen and her the armada was known. She appealed subjects; for though her fleet, inferior to the affection of her subjects, declaring as it was, fought gallantly, yet numbers her resolution “to lay down for her God, and combined effort must have pre- for her kingdom, and her people, her hovailed, had not God willed otherwise. nour, and her blood in the dust." With The queen ordered this signal defeat to the lofty bearing of the Tudors, she be commemorated, and the cause piously addressed the assembled multitudes, and acknowledged, by a medal which bore declared that though her person was the impress of a tempest-beaten fleet, "that of a weak woman, she had the with the motto, “ Afflavit Deus, et dis- heart of a king, and a king of England sipantur;" "God caused the winds to too !” and that she thought it “ foul blow, and they were scattered.” The scorn, that Parma, Spain, or any prince sublime strains of the Psalmist, uttered of Europe, should dare to invade the in reference to a deliverance of God's borders of her realm." Popish hispeople of old, became literally appli- torians endeavour to narrate the history cable to the experience of Protestant of this soul-stirring crisis, so as may England.
best serve, in their opinion, to deaden “ For, lo, the kings were assembled,
its influence on the hearts of the English They passed by together.
nation; but rightly detailed, and duly conThey saw it, and so they marvelled;
sidered, it speaks irresistibly-it shows They were troubled, and hasted away. Fear took hold upon them there,
how hateful popery was to the nation, And pain, as of a woman in travail.
and how signally the Lord of hosts inThou breakest the ships of Tarshish
terposed to defeat the machinations of As we have heard, so have we seen
the enemies of true religion. In the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of
Papist will but fairly consider the reGod will establish it for ever,” Psa. xlviii. sult of the mighty and unremitting ef
forts made by the leaders of Popery Would that England had duly thought against England, as a Protestant nation, of the loving-kindness of God in the especially during the forty years of midst of his temple. The queen, indeed, Elizabeth's reign, he must confess that went in solemn procession to St. Paul's, the words of the Psalmist are applicable: to express thankfulness for this great
"If it had not been the LORD who was on our deliverance, on a national thanksgiving day appointed for the purpose, and the When men rose up against us: nation rejoiced at the time ; but God's
With an east wind.
our God :
Then they had swallowed us up quick,
When their wrath was kindled against us: mercies are soon forgotten.
Then the waters had overwhelmed us,