Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][ocr errors]

ENGLISH HISTORY.

ELIZABETH.

vernors.

[ocr errors]

Death of Queen Elizabeth.

then possess it. A native chieftain,

Hugh O'Neal, created by Elizabeth earl (Concluded from page 304.)

of Tyrone, revolted, and became the The bad policy pursued by England, leader of his countrymen, who regarded in reference to Ireland, enabled the Spa- him as the sovereign of Ulster. Instinish government, and the popish party, gated and aided by Spain, he successfully to keep up disaffection there. The rest- resisted the efforts of the English goless spirit of Popery found that island a suitable field for the employment of the In August, 1598, O'Neal obtained a Jesuits, who encouraged the Irish chief- signal advantage, near Blackwater, in tains to resist the English government. Tyrone, when the queen resolved to It may be said of Popery, thatit found Ire- make more vigorous efforts. Essex havland wretched, and has made it still more ing expressed his willingness to under, so; it has even prevented the advance of take the command, both his friends and civilization. These feelings were em- his enemies recommended the appointbittered by the sweeping_forfeitures of ment; the latter hoping to take advanthe lands belonging to Desmond, and tage of his absence from court. He was other rebellious chieftains ; large dis- persuaded to make some apologies for tricts of which were bestowed upon the past conduct, and went to Ireland early queen's favourites, and on others who in 1599, with considerable forces, and merely engaged that one English family extraordinary powers, but

effected little, should be settled on every two hundred wasting his strength in limited operaand forty acres, and that none of Irish tions, till he found his forces reduced so origin should be admitted among the as to be unequal to a campaign against settlers. Thus the natives were driven Tyrone, without reinforcements. These into more compact bodies; not half the were sent, but the season was so far adscanty number of English colonists was vanced, that he consented to a truce with introduced, while that broad line of the rebel leader, till the following spring. demarcation was drawn between the ori- Finding that the queen was seriously ginal inhabitants, and the great land displeased, while his enemies were busy owners, which has produced so much against him, Essex hastened to England, mischief in later times. Even at that and arrived at Nonsuch on September 28, period, this wrong policy produced such when he hastened into the queen's apartvexation and expense, that many states- ment, just as he was, his dress soiled and men thought Ireland had better be aban- disordered with travelling post.

The doned, only that the king of Spain would queen received him more favourably SEPTEMBER, 1840.

2c

than he expected; but in the latter part | threatened by lord Cobham and Raleigh. of the day, she sent him orders to confine The lord-keeper Egerton, chief justice himself to the rooms which he occupied, Popham, and others, proceeded thither and expressed her anger to those who from court, being sent by the queen to had accompanied him: she now habitu- inquire the cause of the proceedings ally indulged in coarse and even profane going forward. After some altercation, language, when excited, and highly dis- Essex left these nobles in charge of a pleased. A little reflection showed that part of his followers, and hastened into Essex was much to blame in thus hastily the city, with about two hundred men, leaving his post of duty. Harrington calling upon the citizens to arm themgives a lively description of his own re- selves. The principal citizens being ception. The privy council were directed usually assembled at that hour, to hear to examine Essex; they severely censured the sermon at Paul's Cross, Essex hoped his proceedings in the conduct of the to have found them ready and willing to war, and in quitting Ireland without join him; but a message, early in the leave. He was afterwards subjected to a morning, from the queen to the lord fuller inquiry before commissioners; he mayor, had put that officer on luis guard. was then removed from his offices, and Essex was generally beloved; but the ordered to remain a prisoner in his own people neither understood the matter, house, till the queen should be pleased to nor followed him. His plan having allow him to be at liberty.

failed, he was intercepted at Ludgate on Essex remained six months under his return, by a party of soldiers. A skirthis restraint, during which period he mish took place; Essex retreated by water expressed himself with humility and to his own house, when he found that the contrition, declaring that he had done noblemen, whom he had detained, had with ambitious projects and all the vani- been released. After a parley with a ties of this life. At times he seemed to number of armed men, who invested the be under deep religious feelings. But house, Essex surrendered, and was conwhen he was allowed to leave his house, ducted to the Tower with the earl of the queen forbade his appearing at court, Southampton. The queen evinced much and refused to continue a patent for the courage and composure during this monopoly of sweet wines, by which he short but dangerous disturbance. Being made considerable profit. Irritated at told, while she sat at dinner, that the these proceedings, he concerted with city had revolted, she appeared unsome friends, to go to court at the head moved, only observing, “ He that placed of an armed party, when his enemies her in that seat would preserve her in might be removed by force, and access it.” The earls of Essex and Southampto the queen gained ; the public support ton were tried for treason on the 19th, was to be obtained by promising the re- and found guilty. It is plain that it was formation of evils in church and state. a rash, ill-concerted design, undertaken He communicated his plans to the king in the hope of removing the principal of Scotland, charging Cecil with an in- advisers of Elizabeth, whom Essex contention of bringing in the Spanish prin- sidered to be his personal enemies, and cess, as the successor to the throne. resolved to effect his ruin; but he also James had for some time acted with thought to establish his own power, and much duplicity, negociating both with to carry into effect measures of his own. Elizabeth, and the popish monarchs of The statement of Bacon, who had to the continent, to whom he professed take part as one of the queen's counsel at himself inclined to adopt Popery. He this trial, and who conducted himself now prepared to assist Essex, whose with moderation towards the prisoners, house in the Strand was the resort of a

appears to convey a correct view of the number of discontented characters, which case : “to defend is lawful; but to rebel was covered by the daily performance of in defence is not lawful;” and that Divine service there ; but the attention “Essex had planted a pretence, in his of government being roused, open mea- heart, against the government, but for sures were hastily resolved upon. excuse he laid the blame upon his parti

On the morning of Sunday, February cular enemies." Essex afterwards con8, 160), the earls of Rutland and South- fessed that his plans were deeper Jaid, ampton, with other friends of Essex, and further extended than he had adresorted to his house, in consequence of mitted on his trial. The popularity of messages telling them that his life was Essex caused some hesitation, as to carrying the sentence into effect: the Towards the close of 1601, the parqueen also was unwilling to order the liament granted a large subsidy for the death of one who had been her favour- Irish war, but also firmly demanded reite, but his daring proceedings rendered dress of grievances in the monopolies ; it unsafe to allow him to survive. On by these, the vending of articles, some the 25th he was beheaded in the court even of necessity, were restricted by the of the Tower. Southampton's life was queen's patent to certain individuals, spared, but he was kept a prisoner to the who either retailed the articles at an unend of this reign. Only a few of the reasonable profit, or sold the privilege most active followers of Essex were ex- of dealing in them for considerable ecuted.

sums, which in the end were levied The king of Scotland sent a special from the purchasers, so that the prices embassy to London, with instructions to of many commodities had been very communicate with the partizans of Essex, greatly advanced. The queen, or her if they retained any influence, which was advisers, endeavoured to check these renot the case. Cecil possessed the chief monstrances; but the public feeling, as power; he knew that Elizabeth could well as that of the parliament, was so not long survive; this led to overtures, y unequivocally declared, that Cecil conthe details of which are not known ; but vinced her it was necessary to give way. it was agreed that Cecil should procure Elizabeth sent for the speaker, and dean addition to the yearly pension king clared that she never had consented to James received from England, and pro- give a patent, unless she believed it mote his succession to the throne, but would be beneficial to the public; but that the arrangement should be kept she would at once revoke all that were secret.

injurious to her subjects, and suspend Lord Mountjoy was sent to Ireland, the rest till their validity could be legally as governor; he was successful against ascertained. This proceeding gave geTyrone, who had been encouraged by a neral satisfaction. plenary indulgence for his sins, sent by In September, 1602, we find Elizapope Clement viii., and by the promise beth endeavouring to act with the vigour of efficient aid from Spain. In Septem- of her early life ; at the age of sixtyber, 1601, d'Aguilar landed at Kinsale seven she went a progress as usual. She with four thousand Spanish troops, and rode out to view rather than to join the called upon the people to join him sports of the field; but actually took part against Elizabeth, who had been declared in the dances she delighted to witness. to be deposed by several popes. Their | Who should be her successor, was now efforts were in vain. Tyrone was de- the general inquiry; but no one dared feated, and in January, 1602, the Spa- to start the question, though many corpish general surrendered upon condition responded secretly with the Scottish $t being allowed to return to Spain. monarch. Mountjoy pursued his success : Tyrone The unlimited height to which the Tuoffered to submit upon terms, but the dors had carried the royal prerogative queen would not consent that any should appears, when the decision of such a quesbe granted. Her counsellors were anxi- tion could be supposed to depend upon ous that Ireland should be brought into the will of the reigning monarch. One a state of peace during her life. With chief opponent of James was the Jesuit. much difficulty the firm resolve of Eli- Parsons, who had the insolence to ex* zabeth was shaken; but before any final press his indifference as to the successor, instructions were sent, the intelligence of so that he be a Catholic;" adding, the approach of her decease was made that nothing should induce him to favour known to Mountjoy. He acted with de- the pretensions of any one who was not cision. Tyrone, in a conference, agreed a Papist: an unblushing instance of to renounce his regal title and foreign the manner in which the pope and his alliances, upon the promise of a full par- votaries assume power over thrones and don for himself and adherents, and the kingdoms. The pontiff sent breves adrestoration of his lands and earldom. dressed to the English Papists, exhortHardly had this been effected, when the ing them to refuse to aid any claimant death of Elizabeth took place, but the who would not engage to support Popery. Irish chieftain had gone too far to recede; The moderate party, designated as the the arrangement was completed, though English Papists, were not willing to enwith considerable reluctance on his part. I tertain such extravagant views ; they

ance.

6

considered James to be the heirapparent to cares of government. In October, 1601, the English throne, and prepared to sup- Harrington describes her as wasted to a port his claim, hoping he would tolerate skeleton, refusing costly dishes, taking the profession of their religion. To little but manchet bread and succory counteract the domineering spirit of the pottage; her fondness for dress was Jesuits, they besought the pope to ap- gone; she did not change her clothes point bishops for their church in Eng- for days together ;. while her impaland; but the influence of Parsons pre- tience and irritability increased so as vailed: one arch-priest was appointed, to render attendance on her very painful. who had secret instructions from the He says, “ She walks much in her privy pope, to consult the chief of the Jesuits chamber, and stamps with her feet at ill in England upon all matters of import- news; and thrusts her rusty sword, at

This led to increased differences times, into the arras in great rage." All between the two parties of English Pa- this marked the progress of disease, pists. The government noticed it, and which appears originally to have been encouraged the moderate party : the rheumatic gout. A year later, he found breach widened, till, in the followin her still worse. He writes to his wife reign, the Jesuits led on the persecution with much feeling recollection of the of their brethren ! At present, a com- queen's past kindness, which had “rooted mission was appointed, with power to such love, such dutiful remembrance of examine all popish priests, and send her princely virtues, that to turn askant them into banishment, instead of causing from her condition with tearless eyes, them to be tried for their lives. This would stain the spring and fount of grawas an improved proceeding, a step to- titude.” He adds, “ I found her in most wards due toleration, but contrary to the pitiable state. She bade the archbishop desires and plans of the pope. Indeed, ask me if I, had seen Tyrone. I reit appears that at all times those ac- plied, with reverence, that I had seen cused and liable to be tried for their him with the lord deputy: She looked lives, were spared if they renounced the up with much choler and grief in her dispensing power of the pope, and the countenance, and said, Oh, now it right he assumed to interfere with the mindeth me that you was one who saw temporal government of the nation. this man elsewhere,' and hereat she

Feelings of loneliness increasingly dropped a tear and smote her bosom. She pressed upon Elizabeth. Even in 1600, held in her hand a golden cup, which sir Robert Sidney wrote, 'The queen she often put to her lips, but in sooth, doth wax weak since the last troubles, her heart seemeth too full to lack more and Burghley’s death doth often draw filling." In such a state a golden cup tears from her goodly cheeks ; she walk- can do no more to soothe the troubled eth out but little ; meditates much alone, mind than an earthen vessel. and sometimes writes in private to her In January, 1603, the queen had best friends." Death continued to di- cold, which was increased by removal minish the number of those in whom she from Westminster to Richmond on a could confide. Her own irresolution and stormy day. She became still more endisposition to half measures increased feebled, and suffered from fever ; her the neglect, and many showed themselves spirits were much affected. She spent weary of her government. She felt this, most of her time in sighs and tears, her and was heard to complain to herself, mind generally returning to subjects dis“I can do nothing; I have not one man tressing to her, such as the execution of in whom I can repose trust; I am a Essex ; but it is evident that the situation miserable forlorn woman.” She was of Ireland excited much of this nervous now subjected to the last bitter trial of a irritability. At this time the countess of sovereign ruler--that of seeing those Nottingham, who had enjoyed her intiwhom she was most favouring turning to mate friendship, died, which affected court her successor, worshipping the the queen still further. A story has rising sun; but in a few years the public passed current, that when, on her deathfeeling returned to its former state, the bed, the countess sent for the queen, and memories of all dwelt upon the recollec- confessed that she had kept back a mestions of Elizabeth.

sage of contrition from Essex, with a The queen was also suffering from ring, which he returned by her, having nervous disease, aggravated by weakness received it from Elizabeth when at the and anxiety resulting from the weighty | height of his favour, and a promise that

66

worse.

room.

if he sent it with a claim for her favour, , state whom she wished should be her under

any circumstances, his request successor. She had previously expressed should be granted.

It is added, that her desire that the crown should go to the the non-appearance of this token in- right heir. They reported, that on their duced the queen to suppose him too mentioning the king of Scotland, she hardened and proud to ask for par- gave evident signs of assent.

The nardon. Additional particulars have been rative of a maid of honour, named related, as showing the overwhelming Southwell, states, that the queen neither grief of Elizabeth from this time. But spoke nor stirred till the name of the lord there appears no sufficient authority for Beauchamp, the son of lady Catherine this story, while infirmities, and other Grey, was mentioned ; but that she then circumstances, sufficiently account for exclaimed, “I will have no rascal's son the queen's declining health ; and no- in my seat." This form, however it thing is more common, even in private might be deemed necessary, was wholly life, than for the mind to suffer from needless; the crown went to James by severe bodily disease.

succession and hereditary right. Early in March, Elizabeth was much The last hours of Elizabeth are thus

Sir Robert Carey “ found her described by lord Monmouth:-"About in one of her withdrawing chambers, sit- six at night she made signs for the archting low upon her cushions.” She dis, bishop and her chaplains to come to her ; coursed to him of her indisposition, and at which time I went in with them, and said, that her “heart had been sad and sat upon my knees, full of tears to see heavy for ten or twelve days.” The that heavy sight. Her majesty lay upon, next morning she ordered preparations her back, with one hand in the bed, and to be made for Divine service, but was the other without. The bishop kneeled unable to go to the chapel, and listened down by her, and examined her first of to it as it was read in the adjoining her faith ; and she so punctually answer

Being desired to take medicine, ed all his several questions, by lifting up she refused, saying, “I am not sick; I her eyes, and holding up her hand, that feel no pain, yet I pine away.” She sat it was a comfort to all beholders. Then in this state for two days and three the good man told her plainly what she nights, refusing to take off her dress, or was, and what she was come to; and to go to bed, seldom speaking, and gene- though she had been long a great rally refusing any, sustenance. Being queen here upon earth, yet shortly raised by force, she stood for fifteen she was to yield an account of her hours, but was then induced to take to stewardship to the King of kings. After her bed, suffering under an affection of this, he began to pray, and all that were her spirits, in which she complained to by did answer him. After he had the lord admiral, that there was an iron continued long in prayer, till the old collar about her neck—an indication of man's knees were weary, he blessed her, hysterical suffering. A contemporary and meant to rise and leave her. The account states : “The bishops who then queen made a sign with her hand. My attended the court, seeing that she would sister Scroop knowing her meaning, told not hearken to advice for the recovery of the bishop that the queen desired he her bodily health, desired her to provide would pray still. He did so, for a long for her spiritual safety, and to recom- half hour after, and then sought to leave mend her soul to God. Whereto she her. The second time she made sign to mildly answered, “That I have done long have him continue in prayer. He did ago.' The same account states, “that so, for the second time, with fervent she gave testimony of hope and comfort cries to God for her soul's health ; which in God by signs after her speech had failed. he uttered with that fervency of spirit; The physicians reported her recovery that the queen, to all our sight, much ree was hopeless, and the council took the joiced thereat; and gave testimony to us necessary precautions for securing the all of her Christian and comfortable end. accession of the king of Scotland : among By this time, it grew late, and every one other measures, some notoriously unquiet departed; all but the women who atspirits were sent to the Tower, to pre-tended her. This I heard with my ears, vent their raising any disturbance.” and did see with my eyes.” Elizabeth

On the evening of March the 23d, then relapsed into a state of insensibility, the lord admiral, the lord keeper, and in which she expired at three in the secretary Cecil, desired Elizabeth to morning of March 24. At six the

« PreviousContinue »