ccd-leicesterhead1.jpg (9571 bytes)Dwight Peck's reprint series

Leicester's Commonwealth: The Copy of a Letter Written by a Master of Art of Cambridge (1584) {file 2}

Scanned and reprinted from
Peck, ed., Leicester's Commonwealth (Athens and London: Ohio University Press, 1985).

Leicester's Commonwealth

The Copy of a Letter
Written by a Master of Art of Cambridge to his friend in London, concerning some talk passed of late between two worshipful and grave men about the present state and some proceedings of the Earl of Leicester and his friends in England.

Conceived, spoken and published with most earnest protestation of all dutiful good will and affection towards her most excellent Majesty and the realm, for whose good only it is made common to many.


The Epistle Directory:
To Mr. G. M.

in Gracious Street in London1

Dear and loving friend, I received about ten days gone your letter of the ninth of this present, wherein you demand and solicit again the thing that I so flatly denied you at my late being in your chamber; I mean, to put in writing the relation which then I made unto you of the speech had this last Christmas in my presence, between my right worshipful good friend and patron and his guest the old lawyer, of some matters in our state and country. And for that2 you press me very seriously at this instant, both by request and many reasons, to yield to your desire herein, and not only this, but also to give my consent for the publishing of the same by such secret means as you assure me you can there find out, I have thought good to confer the whole matter with the parties themselves whom principally it concerneth (who at the receipt of your letter were not far off from me). And albeit at the first I found them averse and nothing inclined to grant your demand, yet after, upon consideration of your reasons and assurance of secrecy (especially for that there is nothing in the same contained repugnant to charity or to our bounden duty toward our most gracious Princess or country, but rather for the special good of them both and for the forewarning of some dangers imminent to the same), they have referred over the matter to me, yet with this PROVISO, that they will know nothing nor yet yield consent to the publishing hereof, for fear of some future flourish of the Ragged Staff3 to come hereafter about their ears if their names should break forth, which (I trust) you will provide shall never happen, both for their security and for your own. And with this I will end, assuring you that within these five or six days you shall receive the whole in writing by another way and secret means; neither shall the bearer suspect what he carrieth, whereof also I thought good to premonish you. And this shall suffice for this time.


Scholar: Not long before the last Christmas, I was requested by a letter from a very worshipful and grave gentleman, whose son was then my pupil in Cambridge, to repair with my said scholar to a certain house of his near London and there to pass over the holy days in his company; for that it was determined that in Hilary term following his said son should be placed in some Inn of Chancery to follow the study of the common law, and so to leave the University. This request was grateful unto me both in respect of the time as also of the matter, but especially of the company. For that, as I love much the young gentleman my pupil for his towardliness in religion, learning, and virtue, so much more do I reverence his father for the riper possession of the same ornaments, and for his great wisdom, experience, and grave judgment in affairs of the world that do occur; but namely touching our own country, wherein truly I do not remember to have heard any man in my life discourse more substantially, indifferently, and with less passion, more love and fidelity, than I have heard him, which was the cause that I took singular delight to be in his company and refused no occasion to enjoy the same. Which also he perceiving, dealt more openly and confidently with me than with many other of his friends, as by the relation following may well appear.

When I came to the foresaid house by London, I found there among other friends an ancient man that professed the law and was come from London to keep his Christmas in that place, with whom at divers former times I had been well acquainted, for that he haunted much the company of the said gentleman my friend and was much trusted and used by him in matters of his profession, and not a little beloved also for his good conversation, notwithstanding some difference in religion between us. For albeit this lawyer was inclined to be a Papist, yet was it with such moderation and reservation of his duty towards his prince and country, and proceedings of the same, as he seemed always to give full satisfaction in this point to us that were of contrary opinion.

Neither did he let to protest oftentimes with great affection that as he had many friends and kinsfolk of contrary religion to himself, so did he love them never the less for their different conscience, but, leaving that to God, was desirous to do them any friendship or service that he could, with all affection, zeal, and fidelity. Neither was he willful or obstinate in his opinion, and much less reproachful in speech (as many of them be), but was content to hear whatsoever we should say to the contrary (as often we did) and to read any book also that we delivered him for his instruction.

Which temperate behavior induced this gentleman and me to affect the more his company, and to discourse as freely with him in all occurrents as if he had been of our own religion.


One day, then, of the Christmas, we three retiring ourselves after dinner into a large gallery for our recreation (as often we were accustomed to do, when other went to cards and other pastimes), this lawyer by chance had in his hand a little book then newly set forth, containing A Defense of the Public Justice Done of Late in England upon Divers Priests and Other Papists for Treason,4 which book the lawyer had read to himself a little before and was now putting it up into his pocket. But the gentleman my friend, who had read over the same once or twice in my company before, would needs take the same into his hand again and asked the lawyer his judgment upon the book.

Lawyer. The lawyer answered that it was not evil penned, in his opinion, to prove the guiltiness of some persons therein named in particular, as also to persuade in general that the Papists both abroad and at home who meddle so earnestly with defense and increase of their religion (for these are not all, said he) do consequently wish and labor some change in the state. But yet whether so far forth and in so deep a degree of proper treason as here in this book both in general and particular is presumed and enforced, that (quoth he) is somewhat hard (I ween) for you or me (in respect of some other difference between us) to judge or discern with indifferency.

Gentleman: Nay truly, said the gentleman, for my part I think not so, for that reason is reason in what religion soever. And for myself I may protest that I bear the honest Papist (if there be any) no malice for his deceived conscience, whereof among others yourself can be a witness; marry, his practices against the state I cannot in any wise disgiest,5 and much less may the commonwealth bear the same (whereof we all depend), being a sin of all other the most heinous and least pardonable. And therefore, seeing in this you grant the Papist both in general abroad and at home, and in particular such as are condemned, executed, and named in this book to be guilty, how can you insinuate (as you do) that there is more presumed or enforced upon them by this book than there is just cause so to do?

Lawyer. Good Sir, said the other, I stand not here to examine the doings of my superiors, or to defend the guilty, but wish heartily rather their punishment that have deserved the same. Only this I say, for explication of my former speech, that men of a different religion from the state wherein they live may be said to deal against the same state in two sorts: the one, by dealing for the increase of their said different religion, which is always either directly or indirectly against the state. Directly, when the said religion containeth any point or article directly impugning the said state (as perhaps you will say that the Roman religion doth against the present state of England in the point of supremacy), and indirectly, for that every different religion divideth in a sort and draweth from the state, in that there is no man who in his heart would not wish to have the chief governor and state to be of his religion if he could, and consequently misliketh the other in respect of that; and in this kind not only those whom you call busy Papists in England, but also those whom we call hot Puritans among you (whose differences from the state, especially in matters of government, is very well known) may be called all traitors, in mine opinion, for that everyone of these indeed do labor indirectly (if not more) against the state, in how much soever each one endeavoreth to increase his part or faction that desireth a governor of his own religion.

And in this case also are the Protestants in France and Flanders under Catholic princes; the Calvinists (as they are called) under the Duke of Saxony, who is a Lutheran; the Lutherans under Casimir, that favoreth Calvinists; the Grecians and other Christians under the Emperor of Constantinople, under the Sophy, under the Great Cham of Tartary, and under other princes that agree not with them in religion. All which subjects do wish (no doubt) in their hearts that they had a prince and state of their own religion, instead of that which now governeth them, and consequently in this first sense they may be called all traitors, and every act they do for advancement of their said different religion (dividing between the state and them) tendeth to treason; which their princes supposing, do sometimes make divers of their acts treasonable or punishable for treason. But yet so long as they break not forth unto the second kind of treason, which containeth some actual attempt or treaty against the life of the prince or state, by rebellion or otherwise, we do not properly condemn them for traitors, though they do some acts of their religion made treason by the prince his laws, who is of a different faith.

And so to apply this to my purpose, I think, Sir, in good sooth, that in the first kind of treason, as well the zealous Papist, as also the Puritans in England, may well be called and proved traitors; but in the second sort (whereof we speak properly at this time) it cannot be so precisely answered, for that there may be both guilty and guiltless in each religion. And as I cannot excuse all Puritans in this point, so you cannot condemn all Papists, as long as you take me and some other to be as we are.6

Gentleman: I grant your distinction of treasons to be true (said the gentleman), as also your application thereof to the Papists and Puritans (as you call them) not to want reason, if there be any of them that mislike the present state (as perhaps there be); albeit for my part, I think these two kinds of treasons which you have put down be rather divers degrees than divers kinds; wherein I will refer me to the judgment of our Cambridge friend here present, whose skill is more in logical distinctions. But yet my reason is this, that indeed the one is but a step or degree to the other, not differing in nature, but rather in time, ability, or opportunity. For if (as in your former examples you have showed) the Grecians under the Turk, and other Christians under other princes of a different religion, and as also the Papists and Puritans (as you term them) in England (for now this word shall pass between us for distinction sake), have such alienation of mind from their present regiment and do covet so much a governor and state of their own religion, then no doubt but they are also resolved to employ their forces for accomplishing and bringing to pass their desires, if they had opportunity; and so being now in the first degree or kind of treason do want but occasion or ability to break into the second.

Lawyer. True, Sir, said the lawyer, if there be no other cause or circumstance that may withold them.

Gentleman: And what cause or circumstance may stay them, I pray you (said the gentleman), when they shall have ability and opportunity to do a thing which they so much desire?

Lawyer. Divers causes (quoth the lawyer), but especially and above all other (if it be at home in their own country) the fear of servitude under foreign nations may restrain them from such attempts; as we see in Germany that both Catholics and Protestants would join together against any stranger that should offer danger to their liberty. And so they did, against Charles V.7 And in France not long ago, albeit the Protestants were up in arms against their king and could have been content, by the help of us in England, to have put him down and placed another of their own religion, yet when they saw us once seized of Newhaven, and so like to proceed to the recovery of some part of our states on that side the sea, they quickly joined with their own Catholics again to expel us.8

In Flanders likewise, though Monsieur were called thither by the Protestants especially for defense of their religion against the Spaniard, yet we see how dainty divers chief Protestants of Antwerp, Gaunt, and Bruges were in admitting him, and how quick in expelling, so soon as he put them in the least fear of subjection to the French.9 And as for Portugal, I have heard some of the chiefest Catholics among them say, in this late contention about their kingdom, that rather than they would suffer the Castilian to come in upon them, they would be content to admit whatsoever aids of a contrary religion to themselves and to adventure whatsoever alteration in religion or other inconvenience might befall them by that means, rather than endanger their subjection to their ambitious neighbor.10

The like is reported in divers histories of the Grecians at this day, who do hate so much the name and dominion of the Latins as they had rather to endure all the miseries which daily they suffer under the Turk for their religion and otherwise, than by calling for aid from the west to hazard their subjection to the said Latins. So that by these examples you see that fear and horror of external subjection may stay men in all states, and consequently also both Papists and Puritans in the state of England, from passing to the second kind or degree of treason, albeit they were never so deep in the first and had both ability, time, will, and opportunity for the other.

Scholar. Here I presumed to interrupt their speech, and said that this seemed to me most clear and that now I understood what the lawyer meant before, when he affirmed that albeit the most part of Papists in general might be said to deal against the state of England at this day, in that they deal so earnestly for the maintenance and increase of their religion, and so to incur some kind of treason; yet (perhaps) not so far forth nor in so deep a degree of proper treason as in this book is presumed or enforced; though for my part (said I) I do not see that the book presumeth or enforceth all Papists in general to be properly traitors, but only such as in particular are therein named, or that are by law attainted, condemned, or executed. And what will you say (quoth I) to those in particular?

Lawyer. Surely (quoth he), I must say of these, much after the manner which I spake before, that some here named in this book are openly known to have been in the second degree or kind of treason, as Westmoreland, Norton, Sanders, and the like.11 But divers others (namely the priests and seminaries12 that of late have suffered), by so much as I could see delivered and pleaded at their arraignments, or heard protested by them at their deaths, or gathered by reason and discourse of myself (for that no foreign prince or wise counsellor would ever commit so great matters of state to such instruments), I cannot (I say) but think that to the wise of our state that had the doing of this business, the first degree of treason (wherein no doubt they were) was sufficient to dispatch and make them away, especially in such suspicious times as these are; to the end that being hanged for the first, they should never be in danger to fall into the second, nor yet to draw other men to the same, which perhaps was most of all misdoubted.13

After the lawyer had spoken this, I held my peace, to hear what the gentleman would answer; who walked up and down two whole turns in the gallery without yielding any word again, and then, staying upon the sudden, cast his eyes sadly upon us both and said:

Gentleman: My masters, howsoever this be, which indeed appertaineth not to us to judge or discuss, but rather to persuade ourselves that the state hath reason to do as it doth and that it must oftentimes as well prevent inconveniences as remedy the same when they are happened, yet for my own part I must confess unto you that upon some considerations which use to come unto my mind, I take no small grief of these differences among us (which you term of divers and different religions), for which we are driven of necessity to use discipline towards divers who possibly otherwise would be no great malefactors. I know the cause of this difference is grounded upon a principle not easy to cure, which is the judgment and conscience of a man, whereunto obeyeth at length his will and affection, whatsoever for a time he may otherwise dissemble outwardly. I remember your speech before of the doubtful and dangerous inclination of such as live discontented in a state of a different religion, especially when either indeed or in their own conceit they are hardly dealt withal, and where every man's particular punishment is taken to reach to the cause of the whole.

I am not ignorant how that misery procureth amity and the opinion of calamity moveth affection of mercy and compassion, even towards the wicked; the better fortune always is subject to envy, and he that suffereth is thought to have the better cause; my experience of the divers reigns and proceedings of King Edward, Queen Mary, and of this our most gracious sovereign hath taught me not a little touching the sequel of these affairs. And finally (my good friends), I must tell you plain (quoth he, and this he spake with great asseveration) that I could wish with all my heart that either these differences were not among us at all, or else that they were so temperately on all parts pursued as the common state of our country, the blessed reign of her Majesty, and the common cause of true religion were not endangered thereby. But now - and there he brake off and turned aside.

Lawyer. The lawyer seeing him hold his peace and depart, he stepped after him and, taking him by the gown, said merrily: Sir, all men are not of your complexion, some are of quicker and more stirring spirits and do love to fish in water that is troubled, for that they do participate [in] the black-moor's humor, that dwell in Guinea (whereof I suppose you have heard and seen also some in this land), whose exercise at home is (as some write) the one to hunt, catch, and sell the other and always the stronger to make money of the weaker for the time. But now if in England we should live in peace and unity of the state, as they do in Germany notwithstanding their differences of religion, and that the one should not prey upon the other, then should the great falcons for the field (I mean the favorites of the time) fail whereon to feed, which were an inconvenience as you know.

Gentleman: Truly, Sir, said the gentleman, I think you rove nearer the mark than you ween, for if I be not deceived the very ground of much of these broils whereof we talk is but a very prey; not in the minds of the prince or state (whose intentions no doubt be most just and holy), but in the greedy imagination and subtile conceit of him who at this present in respect of our sins is permitted by God to tyrannize both prince and state, and, being himself of no religion, feedeth notwithstanding upon our differences in religion, to the fatting of himself and ruin of the realm. For whereas by the common distinction now received in speech there are three notable differences of religion in the land, the two extremes whereof are the Papist and the Puritan, and the religious Protestant obtaining the mean, this fellow being of neither maketh his gain of all, and as he seeketh a kingdom by the one extreme and spoil by the other, so he useth the authority of the third to compass the first two, and the countermine of each one to the overthrow of all three.

Scholar. To this I answered: In good sooth, Sir, I see now where you are, you are fallen into the common place of all our ordinary talk and conference in the University, for I know that you mean my Lord of Leicester, who is the subject of all pleasant discourses at this day throughout the realm.

Gentleman: Not so pleasant as pitiful, answered the gentleman, if all matters and circumstances were well considered, except any man take pleasure to jest at our own miseries, which are like to be greater by his iniquity (if God avert it not) than by all the wickedness of England besides, he being the man that by all probability is like to be the bane and fatal destiny of our state, with the eversion14 of true religion, whereof by indirect means he is the greatest enemy that the land doth nourish.

Lawyer. Now verily (quoth the lawyer), if you say thus much for the Protestants' opinion of him, what shall I say for his merits towards the Papists? Who for as much as I can perceive do take themselves little beholding unto him, albeit for his gain he was some years their secret friend against you, until by his friends he was persuaded, and chiefly by the Lord North,15 by way of policy, as the said Lord boasteth, in hope of greater gain to step over to the Puritans against us both, whom notwithstanding it is probable that he loveth as much as he doth the rest.

Gentleman: You know the bear's love, said the gentleman, which is all for his own paunch, and so this Bearwhelp turneth all to his own commodity, and for greediness thereof will overturn all if he be not stopped or muzzled in time.

And surely unto me it is a strange speculation, whereof I cannot pick out the reason (but only that I do attribute it to God's punishment for our sins) that in so wise and vigilant a state as ours is, and in a country so well acquainted and beaten with such dangers, a man of such a spirit as he is known to be, of so extreme ambition, pride, falsehood, and treachery; so born, so bred up, so nuzzled in treason from his infancy; descended of a tribe of traitors, and fleshed in conspiracy against the royal blood of King Henry's children in his tender years, and exercised ever since in drifts against the same by the blood and ruin of divers others; a man so well known to bear secret malice against her Majesty for causes irreconcilable and most deadly rancor against the best and wisest counsellors of her Highness; that such a one (I say), so hateful to God and man and so markable to the simplest subject of this land by the public ensigns of his tyrannous purpose, should be suffered so many years without check to aspire to tyranny by most manifest ways and to possess himself (as now he hath done) of Court, Council, and country without controlment, so that nothing wanteth to him but only his pleasure, and the day already conceived in his mind to dispose as he list both of prince, crown, realm, and religion.

Scholar. It is much, truly (quoth I), that you say, and it ministreth not a little marvel unto many, whereof your worship is not the first nor yet the tenth person of accompt16 which I have heard discourse and complain. But what shall we say hereunto? There is no man that ascribeth not this unto the singular benignity and most bountiful good nature of her Majesty, who measuring other men by her own heroical and princely sincerity cannot easily suspect a man so much bounden to her grace as he is, nor remove her confidence from the place where she hath heaped so infinite benefits.

Gentleman: No doubt (said the gentleman) but this gracious and sweet disposition of her Majesty is the true original cause thereof, which princely disposition, as in her Highness it deserveth all rare commendation, so lieth the same open to many dangers oftentimes, when so benign a nature meeteth with ingrate and ambitious persons; which observation, perhaps, caused her Majesty's most noble grandfather and father (two renowned wise princes) to withdraw sometime upon the sudden their great favor from certain subjects of high estate. And her Majesty may easily use her own excellent wisdom and memory to recall to mind the manifold examples of perilous haps fallen to divers princes by too much confidence in obliged proditors,17 with whom the name of a kingdom and one hour's reign weigheth more than all duty, obligation, honesty, or nature in the world. Would God her Majesty could see the continual fears that be in her faithful subjects' hearts whiles that man is about her noble person, so well able and likely (if the Lord avert it not) to be the calamity of her princely blood and name.

The talk will never out of many mouths and minds that divers ancient men of this realm, and once a wise gentleman now a Councillor18 had with a certain friend of his, concerning the presage and deep impression which her Majesty's father had of the house of Sir John Dudley to be the ruin in time of his Majesty's royal house and blood, which thing was like to have been fulfilled soon after (as all the world knoweth) upon the death of King Edward by the said Dudley this man's father, who at one blow procured to dispatch from all possession of the crown all three children of the said noble king. And yet in the midst of those bloody practices against her Majesty that now is and her sister (wherein also this fellow's hand was so far as for his age he could thrust the same), within sixteen days before King Edward's death he (knowing belike19 that the king should die) wrote most flattering letters to the Lady Mary (as I have heard by them who then were with her) promising all loyalty and true service to her after the decease of her brother, with no less painted words than this man now doth use to Queen Elizabeth.20

So dealt he then with the most dear children of his good king and master, by whom he had been no less exalted and trusted than this man is by her Majesty. And so deeply dissembled he then when he had in hand the plot to destroy them both. And what then (alas) may not we fear and doubt of this his son, who in outrageous ambition and desire of reign is not inferior to his father or to any other aspiring spirit in the world, but far more insolent, cruel, vindicative, expert, potent, subtile, fine, and fox-like than ever he was? I like well the good motion propounded by the foresaid gentleman21 to his friend at the same time, and do assure myself it would be most pleasant to the realm and profitable to her Majesty, to wit: that this man's actions might be called publicly to trial, and liberty given to good subjects to say what they knew against the same, as it was permitted in the first year of King Henry VIII against his grandfather, and in the first of Queen Mary against his father;22 and then I would not doubt but if these two his ancestors were found worthy to leese their heads for treason, this man would not be found unworthy to make the third in kindred, whose treacheries do far surpass them both.

Lawyer. After the gentleman had said this, the lawyer stood still, somewhat smiling to himself and looking round about him, as though he had been half afeard, and then said: My masters, do you read over or study the statutes that come forth? Have you not heard of the PROVISO made in the last Parliament for punishment of those who speak so broad of such men as my Lord of Leicester is?23

Gentleman: Yes, said the gentleman, I have heard how that my Lord of Leicester was very careful and diligent at that time to have such a law to pass against talkers, hoping (belike) that his Lordship under that general restraint might lie the more quietly in harbrough from the tempest of men's tongues, which tattled busily at that time of divers his Lordship's actions and affairs which perhaps himself would have wished to pass with more secrecy. As of his discontentment and preparation to rebellion upon Monsieur's first coming into the land;24 of his disgrace and checks received in Court; of the fresh death of the noble Earl of Essex; and of this man's hasty snatching up of the widow, whom he sent up and down the country from house to house by privy ways, thereby to avoid the sight and knowledge of the Queen's Majesty. And albeit he had not only used her at his good liking before, for satisfying of his own lust, but also married and remarried her for contentation of her friends; yet denied he the same by solemn oath to her Majesty and received the holy communion thereupon (so good a conscience he hath) and consequently threatened most sharp revenge towards all subjects which should dare to speak thereof; and so for the concealing both of this and other his doings which he desired not to have public, no marvel though his Lordship were so diligent a procurer of that law for silence.

Scholar. Indeed (said I), it is very probable that his Lordship was in great distress about that time when Monsieur's matters were in hand, and that he did many things and purposed more whereof he desired less speech among the people, especially afterwards when his said designments took not place. I was myself that year not far from Warwick when he came thither from the Court a full malcontent, and when it was thought most certainly throughout the realm that he would have taken arms soon after if the marriage of her Majesty with Monsieur had gone forward. The thing in Cambridge and in all the country as I rode was in every man's mouth, and it was a wonder to see not only the countenances, but also the behavior, and to hear the bold speeches of all such as were of his faction.

My Lord himself had given out a little before at Killingworth that the matter would cost many broken heads before Michaelmas day next,25 and my Lord of Warwick had said openly at his table in Greenwich, Sir Thomas Hennige [Heneage] being by (if I be not deceived), that it was not to be suffered (I mean the marriage), which words of his once coming abroad (albeit misliked by his own lady then also present )26 every servingman and common companion took then up in defense of his Lordship's part against the Queen's Majesty. Such running there was, such sending and posting about the realm, such amplification of the powers and forces of Casimir and other princes,27 ready (as was affirmed) to present themselves unto his aid for defense of the realm and religion against strangers (for that was holden to be his cause), such numbering of parties and complices within the realm (whereof himself showed the catalogue to some of his friends for their comfort),28 such debasing of them that favored the marriage (especially two or three Councillors by name, who were said to be the cause of all and for that were appointed out to be sharply punished to the terror of all others),29 such letters were written and intercepted of purpose, importing great powers to be ready, and so many other things done and designed, tending all to manifest and open war, as I began heartily to be afeard and wished myself back at Cambridge again, hoping that being there my scholar's gown should excuse me from necessity of fighting, or if not, I was resolved (by my Lord's good leave) to follow Aristotle, who preferreth always the Lion before the Bear; assuring myself withal that his Lordship should have no better success in this (if it came to trial) than his father had in as bad a cause, and so much the more for that I was privy to the minds of some of his friends, who meant to have deceived him if the matter had broken out. And amongst other there was a certain Vicepresident in the world,30 who being left in the room and absence of another to procure friends, said in a place secretly not far from Ludlow that if the matter came to blows he would follow his Mistress and leave his master in the briars.

Gentleman: Marry, Sir (quoth the gentleman), and I trow many more would have followed that example. For albeit I know that the Papists were most named and misdoubted of his part in that cause, for their open inclination towards Monsieur, and consequently for greater discredit of the thing itself it was given out everywhere by this champion of religion that her Majesty's cause was the Papists' cause (even as his father had done in the like enterprise before him, though all upon dissimulation as appeared at his death, where he professed himself an earnest Papist );31 yet was there no man so simple in the realm which descried not this vizard at the first, neither yet any good subject (as I suppose) who, seeing her Majesty on the one part, would not have taken against the other part, whatsoever he had been. And much more the thing itself in controversy (I mean the marriage of her royal Majesty with the brother and heir apparent of France), being taken and judged by the best, wisest, and faithfullest Protestants of the realm to be both honorable, convenient, profitable, and needful. Whereby only, as by a most sovereign and present remedy, all our maladies both abroad and at home had at once been cured: all foreign enemies and domestical conspirators, all differences, all dangers, all fears had ceased together, France had been ours most assured, Spain would not a little have trembled, Scotland had been quiet, our competitors in England would have quaked, and for the Pope, he might have put up his pipes. Our differences in religion at home had been either less or no greater than now they are, for that Monsieur, being but a moderate Papist and nothing vehement in his opinions, was content with very reasonable conditions for himself and his strangers only in use of their conscience, not unlikely (truly) but that in time he might by God's grace and by the great wisdom and virtue of her Majesty have been brought also to embrace the gospel, as King Ethelbert, an heathen, was by noble Queen Bertha his wife, the first Christian of our English princes.32

Unto all which felicity, if the Lord in mercy should have added also some issue of their royal bodies (as was not impossible when first this noble match was moved), we then (doubtless) had been the most fortunate people under heaven and might have been (perhaps) the mean to have restored the gospel throughout all Europe besides, as our brethren of France well considered and hoped.

Of all which singular benefits both present and to come, both in RE and in SPE,33 this tyrant for his own private lucre (fearing lest hereby his ambition might be restrained and his treachery revealed) hath bereaved the realm and done what in him lieth besides to alienate forever and make our mortal enemy this great prince, who sought the love of her Majesty with so much honor and confidence as never prince the like, putting twice his own person to jeopardy of the sea and to the peril of his malicious enviers here in England for her Majesty's sake.

Lawyer. When you speak of Monsieur (said the lawyer), I cannot but greatly be moved, both for these considerations well touched by you, as also for some other; especially one wherein (perhaps) you will think me partial, but truly I am not, for that I speak it only in respect of the quiet and good of my country, and that is, that by Monsieur's match with our noble Princess, besides the hope of issue (which was the principal), there wanted not also probability that some union or little toleration in religion between you and us might have been procured in this state, as we see that in some other countries is admitted to their great good. Which thing (no doubt) would have cut off quite all dangers and dealings from foreign princes and would have stopped many devices and plots within the realm; whereas now by this breach with France we stand alone, as me seemeth, without any great unition34 or friendship abroad, and our differences at home grow more vehement and sharp than ever before. Upon which two heads, as also upon infinite other causes, purposes, drifts, and pretenses, there do ensue daily more deep, dangerous, and desperate practices, every man using either the commodity or necessity of the time and state for his own purpose. Especially now when all men presume that her Majesty (by the continual thwartings which have been used against all her marriages) is not like to leave unto the realm that precious jewel so much and long desired of all English hearts, I mean the royal heirs of her own body.

Gentleman: Thwartings call you the defeating of all her Majesty's most honorable offers of marriage? (said the other); truly in my opinion you should have used another word to express the nature of so wicked a fact, whereby alone, if there were no other, this unfortunate man hath done more hurt to his commonwealth than if he had murdered many thousands of her subjects or betrayed whole armies to the professed enemy. I can remember well myself four treatises to this purpose undermined by his means: the first with the Swethen king, the second with the Archduke of Austria, the third with Henry King of France that now reigneth, and the fourth with the brother and heir of the said kingdom.35 For I let pass many other secret motions made by great potentates to her Majesty for the same purpose, but these four are openly known and therefore I name them. Which four are as well known to have been all disturbed by this DAVUS36 as they were earnestly pursued by the other.

And for the first three suitors, he drove them away by protesting and swearing that himself was contracted unto her Majesty, whereof her Highness was sufficiently advertised by Cardinal Châtillon in the first treaty for France, and the Cardinal soon after punished (as is thought) by this man with poison. But yet this speech he gave out then everywhere among his friends, both strangers and other, that he (forsooth) was assured to her Majesty and consequently that all other princes must give over their suits for him. Whereunto notwithstanding, when the Swethen would hardly give ear, this man conferred with his privado37 to make a most unseemly and disloyal proof thereof for the other's satisfaction, which thing I am enforced by duty to pass over with silence for honor to the parties who are touched therein, as also I am to conceal his said filthy privado, though worthy otherwise for his dishonesty to be displayed to the world; but my Lord himself, I am sure, doth well remember both the man and the matter. And albeit there was no wise man at that time who, knowing my Lord, suspected not the falsehood and his arrogant affirmation touching this contract with her Majesty, yet some both abroad and at home might doubt thereof perhaps; but now of late, by his known marriage with his minion Dame Lettice of Essex, he hath declared manifestly his own most impudent and disloyal dealing with his sovereign in this report.

Lawyer. For that report (quoth the lawyer), I know that it was common and maintained by many for divers years; yet did the wiser sort make no accompt thereof, seeing it came only from himself and in his own behalf. Neither was it credible that her Majesty, who refused so noble knights and princes as Europe hath not the like, would make choice of so mean a peer as Robin Dudley is, noble only in two descents and both of them stained with the block, from which also himself was pardoned but the other day, being condemned thereunto by law for his deserts, as appeareth yet in public records.38 And for the widow of Essex, I marvel, Sir (quoth he), how you call her his wife, seeing the canon law standeth yet in force touching matters of marriage within the realm.

Gentleman: Oh (said the gentleman, laughing), you mean for that he procured the poisoning of her husband in his journey from Ireland. You must think that Doctor Dale will dispense in that matter, as he did (at his Lordship's appointment) with his Italian physician Doctor Julio to have two wives at once; at the leastwise the matter was permitted and borne out by them both publicly (as all the world knoweth) and that against no less persons than the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, whose overthrow was principally wrought by this tyrant for contrarying his will in so beastly a demand.39 But for this controversy whether the marriage be good or no, I leave it to be tried hereafter between my young Lord of Denbigh and Mr. Philip Sidney, whom the same most concerneth.40 For that it is like to deprive him of a goodly inheritance if it take place, as some will say that in no reason it can, not only in respect of the precedent adultery and murder between the parties, but also for that my Lord was contracted at least to another lady before that yet liveth, whereof Mr. Edward Dyer and Mr. Edmund Tilney, both courtiers, can be witnesses, and consummated the same contract by generation of children.41 But this (as I said) must be left to be tried hereafter by them which shall have most interest in the case. Only for the present I must advertise you that you may not take hold so exactly of all my Lord's doings in women's affairs, neither touching their marriages, neither yet their husbands.

For first his Lordship hath a special fortune, that when he desireth any woman's favor, then what person soever standeth in his way hath the luck to die quickly for the finishing of his desire. As for example, when his Lordship was in full hope to marry her Majesty and his own wife stood in his light, as he supposed, he did but send her aside to the house of his servant Forster of Cumnor by Oxford, where shortly after she had the chance to fall from a pair of stairs and so to break her neck, but yet without hurting of her hood that stood upon her head.42 But Sir Richard Varney, who by commandment remained with her that day alone, with one man only, and had sent away perforce all her servants from her to a market two miles off, he (I say) with his man can tell how she died, which man, being taken afterward for a felony in the marches of Wales and offering to publish the manner of the said murder, was made away privily in the prison. And Sir Richard himself, dying about the same time in London, cried piteously and blasphemed God, and said to a gentleman of worship of mine acquaintance not long before his death that all the devils in hell did tear him in pieces. The wife also of Bald Buttler, kinsman to my Lord,43 gave out the whole fact a little before her death. But to return unto my purpose, this was my Lord's good fortune to have his wife die at that time when it was like to turn most to his profit.44

Long after this, he fell in love with the Lady Sheffield, whom I signified before, and then also had he the same fortune to have her husband die quickly with an extreme rheum in his head (as it was given out), but as other say of an artificial catarrh that stopped his breath.45 The like good chance had he in the death of my Lord of Essex (as I have said before) and that at a time most fortunate for his purpose; for when he was coming home from Ireland with intent to revenge himself upon my Lord of Leicester for begetting his wife with child in his absence (the child was a daughter and brought up by the Lady Shandoies, W. Knooles his wife),46 my Lord of Leicester hearing thereof, wanted not a friend or two to accompany the deputy, as among other, a couple of the Earl's own servants, Crompton (if I miss not his name), yeoman of his bottles, and Lloyd, his secretary, entertained afterward by my Lord of Leicester.47 And so he died in the way, of an extreme flux, caused by an Italian recipe, as all his friends are well assured, the maker whereof was a surgeon (as is believed) that then was newly come to my Lord from Italy. A cunning man and sure in operation, with whom if the good lady had been sooner acquainted and used his help, she should not have needed to have sitten so pensive at home and fearful of her husband's former return out of the same country, but might have spared the young child in her belly, which she was enforced to make away (cruelly and unnaturally) for clearing the house against the goodman's arrival.

Neither must you marvel though all these died in divers manners of outward diseases, for this is the excellency of the Italian art, for which this surgeon and Dr. Julio were entertained so carefully, 48 who can make a man die in what manner or show of sickness you will; by whose instructions no doubt but his Lordship is now cunning, especially adding also to these the counsel of his Doctor Bayley,49 a man also not a little studied (as he seemeth) in this art. For I heard him once myself in a public act in Oxford (and that in presence of my Lord of Leicester, if I be not deceived) maintain that poison might be so tempered and given as it should not appear presently, and yet should kill the party afterward at what time should be appointed. Which argument belike pleased well his Lordship, and therefore was chosen to be discussed in his audience, if I be not deceived of his being that day present. So though one die of a flux and another of a catarrh, yet this importeth little to the matter, but showeth rather the great cunning and skill of the artificer.

So Cardinal Châtillon (as I have said before), having accused my Lord of Leicester to the Queen's Majesty and after that passing from London towards France about the marriage, died by the way at Canterbury of a burning fever and so proved Dr. Bayley's assertion true, that poison may be given to kill at a day.50

Scholar. At this the lawyer cast up his eyes to heaven, and I stood somewhat musing and thinking of that which had been spoken of the Earl of Essex, whose case indeed moved me more than all the rest, for that he was a very noble gentleman, a great advancer of true religion, a patron to many preachers and students, and towards me and some of my friends in particular he had been in some things very beneficial; and therefore I said that it grieved me extremely to hear or think of so unworthy a death contrived by such means to so worthy a peer. And so much the more, for that it was my chance to come to the understanding of divers particulars concerning that thing, both from one Lea, an Irishman,51 Robin Hunnis, and other, that were present at Penteneis the merchant's house in Develing upon the quay,52 where the murder was committed. The matter was wrought especially by Crompton, yeoman of the bottles, by the procurement of Lloyd, as you have noted before, and there was poisoned at the same time and with the same cup (as given of courtesy by the Earl) one Mistress Alice Draycot, a goodly gentlewoman whom the Earl affectioned much, who departing thence towards her own house (which was eighteen miles off), the foresaid Lea accompanying her and waiting upon her, she began to fall sick very grievously upon the way, and continued with increase of pains and excessive torments by vomiting until she died, which was the Sunday before the Earl's death ensuing the Friday after; and when she was dead, her body was swollen unto a monstrous bigness and deformity, whereof the good Earl hearing the day following, lamented the case greatly and said in the presence of his servants: Ah, poor Alice, the cup was not prepared for thee, albeit it were thy hard destiny to taste thereof.

Young Hunnis also, whose father is Master of the Children of her Majesty's Chapel,53 being at that time page to the said Earl and accustomed to take the taste of his drink (though since entertained also among other by my Lord of Leicester for better covering of [the] matter), by his taste that he then took of the compound cup (though in very small quantity, as you know the fashion is), yet was he like to have lost his life, but escaped in the end (being young) with the loss only of his hair; which the Earl perceiving and taking compassion of the youth, called for a cup of drink a little before his death and drank to Hunnis, saying: I drink to thee, my Robin, and be not afeard, for this is a better cup of drink than that whereof thou tookest the taste when we were both poisoned, and whereby thou hast lost thy hair and I must leese my life. This hath young Hunnis reported openly in divers places and before divers gentlemen of worship sithence his coming into England, and the foresaid Lea, Irishman, at his passage this way towards France, after he had been present at the forenamed Mistress Draycot's death, with some other of the Earl's servants have and do most constantly report the same where they may do it without the terror of my Lord of Leicester's revenge. Wherefore in this matter there is no doubt at all, though most extreme vile and intolerable indignity, that such a man should be so openly murdered without punishment.54 What nobleman within the realm may be safe if this be suffered? Or what worthy personage will adventure his life in her Majesty's service if this shalbe his reward? But (Sir) I pray you pardon me, for I am somewhat perhaps too vehement in the case of this my patron and noble peer of our realm. And therefore I beseech you to go forward in your talk whereas you left.

Gentleman: I was recounting unto you others (said the gentleman) made away by my Lord of Leicester with like art, and the next in order I think was Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, who was a man whom my Lord of Leicester used a great while (as all the world knoweth) to overthwart and cross the doings of my Lord Treasurer then Sir William Cecil, a man especially misliked always of Leicester, both in respect of his old master the Duke of Somerset, as also for that his great wisdom, zeal, and singular fidelity to the realm was like to hinder much this man's designments; wherefore understanding after a certain time that these two knights were secretly made friends, and that Sir Nicholas was like to detect his doings (as he imagined), which might turn to some prejudice of his purposes (having conceived also a secret grudge and grief against him, for that he had written to her Majesty at his being ambassador in France that he heard reported at Duke Memorance's [Montmorency's] table that the Queen of England had a meaning to marry her horsekeeper);55 he invited the said Sir Nicholas to a supper at his house in London and at supper time departed to the Court, being called for (as he said) upon the sudden by her Majesty, and so perforce would needs have Sir Nicholas to sit and occupy his Lordship's place, and therein to be served as he was; and soon after by a surfeit there taken he died of a strange and incurable vomit. But the day before his death, he declared to a dear friend of his all the circumstance and cause of his disease, which he affirmed plainly to be of poison given him in a salad at supper, inveighing most earnestly against the Earl's cruelty and bloody disposition, affirming him to be the wickedest, most perilous and perfidious man under heaven. But what availed this, when he had now received the bait?56

This then is to show the man's good fortune, in seeing them dead whom for causes he would not have to live. And for his art of poisoning, it is such now and reacheth so far as he holdeth all his foes in England and elsewhere, as also a good many of his friends, in fear thereof, and if it were known how many he hath dispatched or assaulted that way, it would be marvelous to the posterity. The late Earl of Sussex wanted not a scruple for many years before his death of some dram received that made him incurable. And unto that noble gentleman Monsieur Simiers, it was discovered by great providence of God that his life was to be attempted by that art, and that not taking place (as it did not through his own good circumspection), it was concluded that the same should be assaulted by violence, whereof I shall have occasion to say more hereafter.

It hath been told me also by some of the servants of the late Lady Lennox, who was also of the blood royal by Scotland, as all men know, and consequently little liked by Leicester, that a little before her death or sickness, my Lord took the pains to come and visit her with extraordinary kindness at her house at Hackney, bestowing long discourses with her in private; but as soon as he was departed, the good lady fell into such a flux as by no means could be stayed so long as she had life in her body, whereupon both she herself and all such as were near about her and saw her disease and ending day were fully of opinion that my Lord had procured her dispatch at his being there. Whereof let the women that served her be examined, as also Fowler, that then had the chief doings in her affairs and since hath been entertained by my Lord of Leicester. Mallet also, a stranger born, that then was about her, a sober and zealous man in religion and otherwise well qualified, can say somewhat in this point (as I think) if he were demanded.57 So that this art and exercise of poisoning is much more perfect with my Lord than praying, and he seemeth to take more pleasure therein.

Now for the second point which I named, touching marriages and contracts with women; you must not marvel though his Lordship be somewhat divers, variable, and inconstant with himself, for that according to his profit or his pleasure, and as his lust and liking shall vary (wherein by the judgment of all men he surpasseth not only Sardanapalus and Nero, but even Heliogabalus himself),58 so his Lordship also changeth wives and minions by killing the one, denying the other, using the third for a time, and the[n] fawning upon the fourth. And for this cause he hath his terms and pretenses (I warrant you) of contracts, precontracts, postcontracts, protracts, and retracts; as for example, after he had killed his first wife and so broken that contract, then forsooth would he needs make himself husband to the Queen's Majesty and so defeat all other princes by virtue of his precontract. But after this, his lust compelling him to another place, he would needs make a postcontract with the Lady Sheffield, and so he did, begetting two children upon her, the one a boy called Robin Sheffield now living, some time brought up at Newington, and the other a daughter, born (as is known) at Dudley Castle.59 But yet after, his concupiscence changing again (as it never stayeth), he resolved to make a retract of this postcontract (though it were as surely done, as I have said, as bed and bible could make the same), and to make a certain new protract (which is a continuation of using her for a time) with the widow of Essex. But yet to stop the mouths of outcriers and to bury the Synagogue with some honor (for these two wives of Leicester were merrily and wittily called his Old and New Testaments by a person of great excellency within the realm), he was content to assign to the former a thousand pounds in money with other petty considerations (the pitifullest abused that ever was poor lady) and so betake his limbs to the latter, which latter notwithstanding he so useth (as we see), now confessing, now forswearing, now dissembling the marriage, as he will always yet keep a void place for a new surcontract with any other, when occasion shall require.

Scholar. Now, by my truth, Sir (quoth I), I never heard nor read the like to this in my life, yet have I read much in my time of the carnality and licentiousness of divers outrageous persons in this kind of sin, as namely these whom you have mentioned before: especially the Emperor Heliogabalus, who passed all other and was called Varius, of the variety of filth which he used in this kind of carnality or carnal beastliness. Whose death was, that being at length odious to all men, and so slain by his own soldiers, [he] was drawn through the city upon the ground like a dog and cast into the common privy, with this epitaph: Hic projectus est indomitae et rabide libidinus catulus - Here is thrown in the whelp of unruly and raging lust, which epitaph may also one day chance to serve my Lord of Leicester (whom you call the Bearwhelp) if he go forward as he hath begun and die as he deserveth.

But (good Sir) what a compassion is this, that among us Christians, and namely in so well governed and religious a commonwealth as ours is, such a riot should be permitted upon men's wives, in a subject; whereas we read that among the very heathens less offenses than these, in the same kind, were extremely punished in princes themselves, and that not only in the person delinquent alone, but also by extirpation of the whole family for his sake, as appeareth in the example of the Tarquinians among the Romans. And here also in our own realm, we have registered in chronicle how that one King Edwin above six hundred years past was deprived of his kingdom for much less scandalous facts than these.60

Gentleman: I remember well the story (quoth the gentleman) and thereby do easily make conjecture what difference there is betwixt those times of old and our days now; seeing then, a crowned prince could not pass unpunished with one or two outrageous acts, whereas now a subject raised up but yesterday from the meaner sort rangeth at his pleasure in all licentiousness, and that with security, void of fear both of God and man. No man's wife can be free from him, whom his fiery lust liketh to abuse, nor their husbands able to resist nor save from his violence if they show dislike or will not yield their consent to his doings. And if I should discover in particular how many good husbands he had plagued in this nature, and for such delights, it were intolerable; for his concupiscence and violence do run jointly together, as in furious beasts we see they are accustomed. Neither holdeth he any rule in his lust besides only the motion and suggestion of his own sensuality. Kindred, affinity, or any other band of consanguinity, religion, honor, or honesty taketh no place in his outrageous appetite. What he best liketh, that he taketh as lawful for the time. So that kinswoman, ally, friend's wife or daughter, or whatsoever female sort besides doth please his eye (I leave out of purpose and for honor sake terms of kindred more near), that must yield to his desire.

The keeping of the mother with two or three of her daughters at once or successively is no more with him than the eating of an hen and her chicken[s] together. There are not (by report) two noblewomen about her Majesty (I speak upon some accompt of them that know much) whom he hath not solicited by potent ways; neither contented with this place of honor, he hath descended to seek pasture among the waiting gentlewomen of her Majesty's Great Chamber, offering more for their allurement than I think Lais did commonly take in Corinth, if three hundred pounds for a night will make up the sum;61 or if not, yet will he make it up otherwise, having reported himself (so little shame he hath) that he offered to another of higher place an hundred pound lands by the year with as many jewels as most women under her Majesty used in England, which was no mean bait to one that used traffic in such merchandise, she being but the leavings of another man before him,62 whereof my Lord is nothing squeamish for satisfying of his lust but can be content (as they say) to gather up crumbs when he is hungry, even in the very laundry itself or other place of baser quality.

And albeit the Lord of his great mercy, to do him good, no doubt, if he were revocable, hath laid his hand upon him in some chastisement in this world by giving him a broken belly on both sides of his bowels, whereby misery and putrefaction is threatened to him daily, and to his young son by the widow of Essex (being filius peccati) such a strange calamity of the falling sickness in his infancy as well may be a witness of the parents' sin and wickedness and of both their wasted natures in iniquity;63 yet is this man nothing amended thereby, but according to the custom of all old adulterers is more libidinous at this day than ever before, more given to procure love in others by conjuring, sorcery, and other such means. And albeit for himself, both age and nature spent do somewhat tame him from the act, yet wanteth he not will, as appeareth by the Italian ointment procured not many years past by his surgeon or mountebank of that country, whereby (as they say) he is able to move his flesh at all times, for keeping of his credit, howsoever his inability be otherwise for performance; as also one of his physicians reported to an earl of this land, that his Lordship had a bottle for his bedhead of ten pounds the pint to the same effect. But, my masters, whither are we fallen unadvised? I am ashamed to have made mention of so base filthiness.

Scholar. Not without good cause (quoth I) but that we are here alone and no man heareth us. Wherefore I pray you let us return whereas we left; and when you named my Lord of Leicester's daughter born of the Lady Sheffield in Dudley Castle, there came into my head a pretty story concerning that affair, which now I will recompt (though somewhat out of order), thereby to draw you from the further stirring of this unsavory puddle and foul dunghill whereunto we are slipped by following my Lord somewhat too far in his paths and actions.

Wherefore to tell you the tale as it fell out: I grew acquainted these months past with a certain minister that now is dead and was the same man that was used at Dudley Castle for complement of some sacred ceremonies at the birth of my Lord of Leicester's daughter in that place, and the matter was so ordained by the wily wit of him that had sowed the seed that for the better covering of the harvest and secret delivery of the Lady Sheffield, the good wife of the castle64 also (whereby Leicester's appointed gossips might without other suspicion have access to the place) should feign herself to be with child, and after long and sore travail (God wot) to be delivered of a cushion (as she was indeed), and a little after a fair coffin was buried with a bundle of clouts in show of a child; and the minister caused to use all accustomed prayers and ceremonies for the solemn interring thereof, for which thing afterward, before his death, he had great grief and remorse of conscience, with no small detestation of the most irreligious device of my Lord of Leicester in such a case.65

Lawyer. Here the lawyer began to laugh apace both at the device and at the minister, and said: Now truly, if my Lord's contracts hold no better, but hath so many infirmities, with subtilties and by-places besides, I would be loth that he were married to my daughter, as mean as she is.

Gentleman: But yet (quoth the gentleman), I had rather of the two be his wife for the time than his guest, especially if the Italian surgeon or physician be at hand.

Lawyer. True it is (said the lawyer), for he doth not poison his wives, whereof I somewhat marvel; especially his first wife, I muse why he chose rather to make her away by open violence than by some Italian confortive.66

Gentleman: Hereof (said the gentleman) may be divers reasons alleged. First that he was not at that time so skillful in those Italian wares, nor had about him so fit physicians and surgeons for the purpose; nor yet in truth do I think that his mind was so settled then in mischief as it hath been sithence. For you know that men are not desperate the first day, but do enter into wickedness by degrees and with some doubt or staggering of conscience at the beginning. And so he at that time might be desirous to have his wife made away, for that she letted him in his designments, but yet not so stony-hearted as to appoint out the particular manner of her death, but rather to leave that to the discretion of the murderer.

Secondly, it is not also unlikely that he prescribed unto Sir Richard Varney at his going thither that he should first attempt to kill her by poison, and if that took not place, then by any other way to dispatch her howsoever. This I prove by the report of old Doctor Bayley67 who then lived in Oxford (another manner of man than he who now liveth about my Lord of the same name) and was Professor of the Physic Lecture in the same University. This learned grave man reported for most certain that there was a practice in Cumnor among the conspirators to have poisoned the poor lady a little before she was killed, which was attempted in this order:

They seeing the good lady sad and heavy (as one that well knew by her other handling that her death was not far off) began to persuade her that her disease was abundance of melancholy and other humors, and therefore would needs counsel her to take some potion, which she absolutely refusing to do, as suspecting still the worst, they sent one day (unawares to her) for Doctor Bayley and desired him to persuade her to take some little potion at his hands, and they would send to fetch the same at Oxford upon his prescription, meaning to have added also somewhat of their own for her comfort, as the Doctor upon just causes suspected, seeing their great importunity and the small need which the good lady had of physic; and therefore he flatly denied their request, misdoubting (as he after reported) lest if they had poisoned her under the name of his potion he might after have been hanged for a cover of their sin. Marry, the said Doctor remained well assured that this way taking no place she should not long escape violence, as after ensued. And the thing was so beaten into the heads of the principal men of the University of Oxford, by these and other means - as for that she was found murdered (as all men said) by the crowner's68 inquest, and for that she being hastily and obscurely buried at Cumnor (which was condemned above as not advisedly done), my good Lord, to make plain to the world the great love he bare to her in her life and what a grief the loss of so virtuous a lady was to his tender heart, would needs have her taken up again and reburied in the University church at Oxford, with great pomp and solemnity - that Doctor Babington, my Lord's chaplain, making the public funeral sermon at her second burial, tript once or twice in his speech by recommending to their memories that virtuous lady so pitifully murdered, instead of so pitifully slain.69

A third cause of this manner of the lady's death may be the disposition of my Lord's nature, which is bold and violent where it feareth no resistance (as all cowardly natures are by kind), and where any difficulty or danger appeareth, there more ready to attempt all by art, subtilty, treason, and treachery. And so for that he doubted no great resistance in the poor lady to withstand the hands of them which should offer to break her neck, he durst the bolder attempt the same openly.

But in the men whom he poisoned, for that they were such valiant knights, the most part of them, as he durst as soon have eaten his scabbard as draw his sword in public against them, he was enforced (as all wretched, ireful, and dastardly creatures are) to supplant them by fraud and by other men's hands. As also at other times he hath sought to do unto divers other noble and valiant personages, when he was afeard to meet them in the field as a knight should have done.

His treacheries towards the noble late Earl of Sussex in their many breaches is notorious to all England. As also the bloody practices against divers others.

But as among many, none were more odious and misliked of all men than those against Monsieur Simiers, a stranger and ambassador; whom first he practised to have poisoned (as hath been touched before) and when that device took not place, then he appointed that Robin Tider his man (as after upon his ale bench he confessed) should have slain him at the Blackfriars at Greenwich as he went forth at the garden gate;70 but missing also of that purpose, for that he found the gentleman better provided and guarded than he expected, he dealt with certain Flushingers and other pirates71 to sink him at sea with the English gentlemen his favorers that accompanied him at his return into France. And though they missed of this practice also (as not daring to set upon him for fear of some of her Majesty's ships, who to break off this designment attended by special commandment to waft him over in safety), yet the foresaid English gentlemen were holden four hours in chase at their coming back, as Mr. Rawley [Raleigh] well knoweth, being then present, and two of the chasers named Clark and Harris confessed afterward the whole designment.72

The Earl of Ormonde in like wise hath often declared, and will avouch it to my Lord of Leicester's face whensoever he shalbe called to the same, that at such time as this man had a quarrel with him and thereby was likely to be enforced to the field (which he trembled to think of), he first sought by all means to get him made away by secret murder, offering five hundred pounds for the doing thereof, and secondly, when that device took no place, he appointed with him the field, but secretly suborning his servant William Killigrew to lie in the way where Ormonde should pass and so to massacre him with a caliver before he came to the place appointed. Which murder though it took no effect, for that the matter was taken up before the day of meeting, yet was Killigrew placed afterward in her Majesty's Privy Chamber by Leicester, for showing his ready mind to do for his master so faithful a service.73

Scholar. So faithful a service? (quoth I). Truly, in my opinion, it was but an unfit preferment for so facinorous74 a fact. And as I would be loth that many of his Italians or other of that art should come nigh about her Majesty's kitchen, so much less would I that many such his bloody champions should be placed by him in her Highness' chamber. Albeit for this gentleman in particular, it may be that with change of his place in service he hath changed also his mind and affection, and received better instruction in the fear of the Lord.

But yet in general I must needs say that it cannot be but prejudicial and exceeding dangerous unto our noble prince and realm that any one man whatsoever (especially such a one as the world taketh this man to be) should grow to so absolute authority and commandry in the Court, as to place about the Princess' person (the head, the heart, the life of the land) whatsoever people liketh him best, and that not upon their deserts towards the prince but towards himself, whose fidelity being more obliged to their advancer than to their sovereign, do serve for watchmen about the same, for the profit of him by whose appointment they were placed. Who by their means casting indeed but nets and chains and invisible bands about that person whom most of all he pretendeth to serve, he shutteth up his prince in a prison most sure, though sweet and senseless.

Neither is this art of aspiring new or strange unto any man that is experienced in affairs of former time, for that it hath been from the beginning of all government a trodden path of all aspirers. In the stories both sacred and profane, foreign and domestical, of all nations, kingdoms, countries, and states, you shall read that such as meant to mount above other and to govern all at their own discretion did lay this for the first ground and principle of their purpose, to possess themselves of all such as were in place about the principal; even as he who intending to hold a great city at his own disposition nor dareth make open war against the same, getteth secretly into his hands or at his devotion all the towns, villages, castles, fortresses, bulwarks, rampires,75 waters, ways, ports, and passages about the same, and so without drawing any sword against the said city he bringeth the same into bondage to abide his will and pleasure.

This did all these in the Roman Empire who rose from subjects to be great princes and to put down emperors. This did all those in France and other kingdoms who at sundry times have tyrannized their princes. And in our own country the examples are manifest of Vortiger[n], Harold, Henry of Lancaster, Richard of Warwick, Richard of Gloucester, John of Northumberland, and divers others who by this mean specially have pulled down their lawful sovereigns.76

And to speak only a word or two of the last, for that he was this man's father, doth not all England know that he first overthrew the good Duke of Somerset by drawing to his devotion the very servants and friends of the said Duke? And afterward, did not he possess himself of the king's own person, and brought him to the end which is known, and before that, to the most shameful disheriting of his own royal sisters; and all this, by possessing first the principal men that were in authority about him?

Wherefore, Sir, if my Lord of Leicester have the same plot in his head (as most men think) and that he meaneth one day to give the same push at the crown by the house of Huntingdon, against all the race and line of King Henry VII in general, which his father gave before him by pretense of the house of Suffolk against the children of King Henry VIII in particular, he wanteth not reason to follow the same means and platform of planting special persons for his purpose about the prince; for surely his father's plot lacked no witty device or preparation, but only that God overthrew it at the instant, as happily he may do this man's also, notwithstanding any diligence that human wisdom can use to the contrary.

Gentleman: To this said the gentleman: That my Lord of Leicester hath a purpose to shoot one day at the diadem by the title of Huntingdon is not a thing obscure in itself, and it shalbe more plainly proved hereafter. But now will I show unto you, for your instruction, how well this man hath followed his father's platform (or rather passed the same) in possessing himself of all her Majesty's servants, friends, and forces to serve his turn at that time for execution, and in the mean space for preparation.

First, in the Privy Chamber, next unto her Majesty's person, the most part are his own creatures (as he calleth them), that is, such as acknowledge their being in that place from him; and the rest he so overruleth either by flattery or fear as none may dare but to serve his turn. And his reign is so absolute in this place (as also in all other parts of the Court) as nothing can pass but by his admission; nothing can be said, done, or signified whereof he is not particularly advertised; no bill, no supplication, no complaint, no suit, no speech can pass from any man to the Princess (except it be from one of the Council) but by his good liking; or if there do, he being admonished thereof (as presently he shall), the party delinquent is sure after to abide the smart thereof. Whereby he holdeth as it were a lock upon the ears of his prince, and the tongues of all her Majesty's servants so surely chained to his girdle as no man dareth to speak any one thing that may offend him, though it be never so true or behoveful for her Majesty to know.

As well appeared in his late marriage with Dame Essex, which albeit it was celebrated twice - first at Killingworth and secondly at Wanstead (in presence of the Earl of Warwick, Lord North, Sir Francis Knollys, and others) and this exactly known to the whole Court, with the very day, the place, the witnesses, and the minister that married them together77 - yet no man durst open his mouth to make her Majesty privy thereunto until Monsieur Simiers disclosed the same (and thereby incurred his high displeasure), nor yet in many days after for fear of Leicester. Which is a subjection most dishonorable and dangerous to any prince living, to stand at the devotion of his subject what to hear or not to hear of things that pass within his own realm.

And hereof it followeth that no suit can prevail in Court, be it never so mean, except he first be made acquainted therewith and receive not only the thanks, but also be admitted unto a great part of the gain and commodity thereof. Which, as it is a great injury to the suitor, so is it far more greater to the bounty, honor, and security of the prince, by whose liberality this man feedeth only and fortifieth himself, depriving his sovereign of all grace, thanks, and good will for the same.78 For which cause also he giveth out ordinarily to every suitor that her Majesty is nigh and parsimonious of herself and very difficile to grant any suit, were it not only upon his incessant solicitation. Whereby he filleth his own purse the more and emptieth the hearts of such as receive benefit from due thanks to their Princess for the suit obtained.79

Hereof also ensueth that no man may be preferred in Court (be he otherwise never so well a deserving servant to her Majesty), except he be one of Leicester's faction or followers; none can be advanced, except he be liked and preferred by him; none receive grace, except he stand in his good favor, no one may live in countenance or quiet of life, except he take it, use it, and acknowledge it from him, so as all the favors, graces, dignities, preferments, riches, and rewards which her Majesty bestoweth or the realm can yield must serve to purchase this man private friends and favorers, only to advance his party and to fortify his faction. Which faction if by these means it be great (as indeed it is) you may not marvel, seeing the riches and wealth of so worthy a commonweal do serve him but for a price to buy the same.

Which thing himself well knowing, frameth his spirit of proceeding accordingly. And first, upon confidence thereof is become so insolent and impotent of his ire80 that no man may bear the same, how justly or injustly soever it be conceived; for albeit he begin to hate a man upon bare surmises only (as commonly it falleth out, ambition being always the mother of suspicion), yet he prosecuteth the same with such implacable cruelty as there is no long abiding for the party in that place. As might be showed by the examples of many whom he hath chased from the Court upon his only displeasure, without other cause, being known to be otherwise zealous Protestants, as Sir Jerome Bowes, Mr. George Scott, and others that we could name.81

To this insolency is also joined (as by nature it followeth) most absolute and peremptory dealing in all things whereof it pleaseth him to dispose, without respect either of reason, order, due, right, subordination, custom, conveniency, or the like, whereof notwithstanding princes themselves are wont to have regard in disposition of their matters; as for example, among the servants of the Queen's Majesty's household it is an ancient and most commendable order and custom that when a place of higher room falleth void, he that by succession is next and hath made proof of his worthiness in an inferior place should rise and possess the same (except it be for some extraordinary cause), to the end that no man unexperienced or untried should be placed in the higher rooms the first day to the prejudice of others and disservice of the prince.

Which most reasonable custom this man contemning and breaking at his pleasure, thrusteth into higher rooms any person whatsoever, so he like his inclination or feel his reward, albeit he neither be fit for the purpose nor have been so much as clerk in any inferior office before.

The like he useth out of the Court, in all other places where matters should pass by order, election, or degree; as in the Universities, in election of scholars and heads of houses, in ecclesiastical persons for dignities of church, in officers, magistrates, stewards of lands, sheriffs and knights of the shires, in burgesses of the Parliament, in commissioners, judges, justices of the peace (whereof many in every shire must wear his livery), and all other the like, where this man's will must stand for reason and his letters for absolute laws; neither is there any man, magistrate or commoner, in the realm who dareth not sooner deny their petition of her Majesty's letters upon just causes (for that her Highness is content after to be satisfied with reason) than to resist the commandment of this man's letters, who will admit no excuse or satisfaction but only the execution of his said commandment, be it right or wrong.

Lawyer. To this answered the lawyer: Now verily (Sir), you paint unto me a strange pattern of a perfect potentate in the Court; belike that stranger who calleth our state in his printed book Leicestrensem rempublicam, a Leicestrian commonwealth, or the commonwealth of my Lord of Leicester, knoweth much of these matters.82 But to hold (Sir) still within the Court, I assure you that by considerations which you have laid down I do begin now to perceive that his party must needs be very great and strong within the said Court, seeing that he hath so many ways and means to increase, enrich, and encourage the same, and so strong abilities to tread down his enemies. The common speech of many wanteth not reason, I perceive, which calleth him the heart and life of the Court.

Gentleman: They which call him the heart (said the gentleman) upon a little occasion more would call him also the head, and then I marvel what should be left for her Majesty when they take from her both life, heart, and headship in her own realm? But the truth is that he hath the Court at this day in almost the same case as his father had it in King Edward's days, by the same device (the Lord forbid that ever it come fully to the same state, for then we know what ensued to the principal), and if you will have an evident demonstration of this man's power and favor in that place, call you but to mind the times when her Majesty upon most just and urgent occasions did withdraw but a little her wonted favor and countenance towards him; did not all the Court, as it were, mutiny presently? Did not every man hang the lip, except a few, who afterward paid sweetly for their mirth? Were there not every day new devices sought out, that some should be on their knees to her Majesty; some should weep and put finger in their eyes; other should find out certain covert manner of threatening; other, reasons and persuasions of love; other, of profit; other, of honor; other, of necessity; and all to get him recalled back to favor again? And had her Majesty any rest permitted unto her until she had yielded and granted to the same?

Consider then (I pray you) that if at that time, in his disgrace, he had his faction so fast assured to himself, what hath he now in his prosperity, after so many years of fortification? Wherein by all reason he hath not been negligent, seeing that in policy the first point of good fortification is to make that fort impregnable which once hath been in danger to be lost. Whereof you have an example in Richard Duke of York, in the time of King Henry VI, who being once in the king's hands by his own submission and dismissed again (when for his deserts he should have suffered), provided after that the king should never be able to overreach him the second time, or have him in his power to do him hurt, but made himself strong enough to pull down the other with extirpation of his family.83

And this of the Court, household, and chamber of her Majesty. But now if we shall pass from Court to Council we shall find him no less fortified, but rather more, for albeit the providence of God hath been such that in this most honorable assembly there hath not wanted some two or three of the wisest, gravest, and most experienced in our state that have seen and marked this man's perilous proceedings from the beginning (whereof notwithstanding two are now deceased, and their places supplied to Leicester's good liking),84 yet (alas) the wisdom of these worthy men hath discovered always more than their authorities were able to redress (the other's great power and violence considered); and for the residue of that bench and table, though I doubt not but there be divers who do in heart detest his doings (as there were also no doubt among the Councillors of King Edward who misliked this man's father's attempts, though not so hardy as to contrary the same), yet for most part of the Council present, they are known to be so affected in particular, the one for that he is to him a brother, the other a father, the other a kinsman, the other an ally, the other a fast obliged friend, the other a fellow or follower in faction, as none will stand in the breach against him; none dare resist or encounter his designments; but every man yielding rather to the force of his flow permitteth him to pierce and pass at his pleasure in whatsoever his will is once settled to obtain.

And hereof (were I not stayed for respect of some whom I may not name) I could allege strange examples, not so much in affairs belonging to subjects and to private men (as were the cases of Snowden Forest, [of] Denbigh, of Killingworth, of his fair pastures foully procured by Southam, of the Archbishop of Canterbury, of the Lord Berkeley, of Sir John Throgmorton, of Mr. Robinson, and the like)85 wherein those of the Council that disliked his doings least dared to oppose themselves to the same, but also in things that appertain directly to the crown and dignity, to the state and commonweal, and to the safety and continuance thereof. It is not secure for any one Councillor or other of authority to take notice of my Lord's errors or misdeeds but with extreme peril of their own ruin.

As for example, in the beginning of the rebellion in Ireland, when my Lord of Leicester was in some disgrace and consequently, as he imagined, but in frail state at home, he thought it not unexpedient for his better assurance to hold some intelligence also that way for all events, and so he did, whereof there was so good evidence and testimony found upon one of the first of accompt that was there slain (as honorable personages of their knowledge have assured me) as would have been sufficient to touch the life of any subject in the land, or in any state Christian, but only my Lord of Leicester, who is a subject without subjection.86

For what think you? Durst any man take notice hereof or avouch that he had seen thus much? Durst he that took it in Ireland deliver the same where especially he should have done? Or they who received it in England (for it came to great hands) use it to the benefit of their Princess and country? No, surely; for if it had been but only suspected that they had seen such a thing, it would have been as dangerous unto them as it was to Acteon to have seen Diana and her maidens naked;87 whose case is so common now in England as nothing more, and so do the examples of divers well declare, whose unfortunate knowledge of too many secrets brought them quickly to unfortunate ends.

For we hear of one Salvatore, a stranger, long used in great mysteries of base affairs and dishonest actions, who afterward (upon what demerit I know not) sustained a hard fortune, for being late with my Lord in his study (well near until midnight, if I be rightly informed), went home to his chamber and the next morning was found slain in his bed.88 We hear also of one Doughty, hanged in haste by Captain Drake upon the sea, and that by order (as is thought) before his departure out of England, for that he was over-privy to the secrets of this good Earl.89

There was also this last summer past one Gates hanged at Tyburn, among others, for robbing of carriers,90 which Gates had been lately clerk of my Lord's kitchen and had laid out much money of his own (as he said) for my Lord's provision, being also otherwise in so great favor and grace with his Lordship as no man living was thought to be more privy of his secrets than this man, whereupon also it is to be thought that he presumed the rather to commit this robbery (for to such things doth my Lord's good favor most extend), and being apprehended and in danger for the same, he made his recourse to his honor for protection (as the fashion is) and that he might be borne out, as divers of less merit had been by his Lordship in more heinous causes before him.

The good Earl answered his servant and dear privado courteously and assured him for his life, howsoever for utter show or complement the form of law might pass against him. But Gates, seeing himself condemned and nothing now between his head and the halter but the word of the magistrate, which might come in an instant, when it would be too late to send to his Lord, remembering also the small assurance of his said Lord's word by his former dealings towards other men, whereof this man was too much privy, he thought good to solicit his case also by some other of his friends, though not so puissant as his Lord and master; who dealing indeed both diligently and effectually in his affair found the matter more difficult a great deal than either he or they had imagined, for that my Lord of Leicester was not only not his favorer but a great hastener of his death under hand and that with such care, diligence, vehemency, and irresistible means (having the law also on his side) that there was no hope at all of escaping; which thing when Gates heard of he easily believed, for the experience he had of his master's good nature, and said that he always mistrusted the same, considering how much his Lordship was in debt to him and he made privy to his Lordship['s] foul secrets, which secrets he would there presently have uttered in the face of all the world but that he feared torments or speedy death with some extraordinary cruelty if he should so have done, and therefore he disclosed the same only to a gentleman of worship whom he trusted specially, whose name I may not utter for some causes (but it beginneth with H.). And I am in hope ere it be long, by means of a friend of mine, to have a sight of that discourse and report of Gates, which hitherto I have not seen nor ever spake I with the gentleman that keepeth it, though I be well assured that the whole matter passed in substance as I have here recounted it.91

Scholar. Whereunto I answered that in good faith it were pity that this relation should be lost, for that it is very like that many rare things be declared therein, seeing it is done by a man so privy to the affairs themselves, wherein also he had been used an instrument.92

[Gentleman:] I will have it (quoth the gentleman), or else my friends shall fail me, howbeit not so soon as I would, for that he is in the west country that should procure it for me and will not return for certain months, but after I shall see him again I will not leave him until he procure it for me as he hath promised.

[Scholar.] Well (quoth I), but what is become of that evidence found in Ireland under my Lord's hand, which no man dare pursue, avouch, or behold?

Gentleman: Truly (said the gentleman), I am informed that it lieth safely reserved in good custody, to be brought forth and avouched whensoever it shall please God so to dispose of her Majesty's heart as to lend an indifferent ear as well to his accusers as to himself in judgment.

Neither must you think that this is strange, nor that the things are few which are in such sort reserved in deck for the time to come, even among great personages and of high calling, for seeing the present state of his power to be such and the tempest of his tyranny to be so strong and boisterous as no man may stand in the rage thereof without peril - for that even from her Majesty herself in the lenity of her princely nature he extorteth what he designeth either by fraud, flattery, false information, request, pretense, or violent importunity to the over-bearing of all whom he meanth to oppress - no marvel then though many even of the best and faithfullest subjects of the land do yield to the present time and do keep silence in some matters that otherwise they would take it for duty to utter.

And in this kind, it is not long sithence a worshipful and wise friend of mine told me a testimony in secret from the mouth of as noble and grave a Councillor as England hath enjoyed these many hundred years, I mean the late Lord Chamberlain,93 with whom my said friend being alone at his house in London not twenty days before his death, conferred somewhat familiarly about these and like matters, as with a true father of his country and commonwealth; and after many complaints in the behalf of divers who had opened their griefs unto Councillors and saw that no notice would be taken thereof, the said nobleman, turning himself somewhat about from the water (for he sat near his pondside, where he beheld the taking of a pike or carp), said to my friend: It is no marvel (Sir), for who dareth intermeddle himself in my Lord's affairs? I will tell you (quoth he), in confidence between you and me, there is as wise a man and as grave and as faithful a Councillor as England breedeth (meaning thereby the Lord Treasurer) who hath as much in his keeping of Leicester's own handwriting as is sufficient to hang him, if either he durst present the same to her Majesty or her Majesty do justice when it should be presented. But indeed (quoth he), the time permitteth neither of them both, and therefore it is in vain for any man to struggle with him.

These were that noble man's words, whereby you may consider whether my Lord of Leicester be strong this day in Council or no, and whether his fortification be sufficient in that place.

But now if out of the Council we will turn but our eye in the country abroad, we shall find as good fortification also there as we have perused already in Court and Council, and shall well perceive that this man's plot is no fond or indiscreet plot, but excellent well grounded and such as in all proportions hath his due correspondence.94

Consider then the chief and principal parts of this land for martial affairs, for use and commodity of armor, for strength, for opportunity, for liberty of the people, as dwelling farthest off from the presence and aspect of their prince, such parts (I say) as are fittest for sudden enterprises without danger of interception, as are the north, the west, the countries of Wales, the islands round about the land, and sundry other places within the same; are they not all at this day at his disposition? Are they not all (by his procurement) in the only hands of his friends and allies, or of such as by other matches have the same complot and purpose with him?

In York is President the man that of all other is fittest for that place, that is, his nearest in affinity, his dearest in friendship, the head of his faction and open competitor of the scepter.95 In Berwick is Captain his wife's uncle, most assured to himself and Huntingdon as one who at convenient time may as much advance their designments as anyone man in England.96

In Wales the chief authority from the prince is in his own brother-in-law,97 but among the people, of natural affection, [it] is in the Earl of Pembroke, who both by marriage of his sister's daughter is made his ally and by dependence is known to be wholly at his disposition.98 The west part of England is under Bedford, a man wholly devoted to his and the Puritans' faction.99 In Ireland was governor of late the principal instrument100 appointed for their purposes, both in respect of his heat and affection toward their designments, as also of some secret discontentment which he hath towards her Majesty and the state present for certain hard speeches and ingrate recompenses, as he pretendeth;101 but indeed for that he is known to be of nature fiery and impatient of stay from seeing that commonwealth on foot which the next competitors for their gain have painted out to him and such others, more pleasant than the Terrestrial Paradise itself.

This then is the Hector, this is the Ajax, appointed for the enterprise when the time shall come. This must be (forsooth) another Richard of Warwick, to gain the crown for Henry IX of the house of York, as the other Richard did put down Henry VI of the house of Lancaster and placed Edward IV, from whom Huntingdon deriveth his title; therefore this man is necessarily to be entertained from time to time (as we see now he is) in some charge and martial action, to the end his experience, power, and credit may grow the more and he be able at the time to have soldiers at his commandment. And for the former charge which [he] held of late in Ireland, as this man had not been called away but for execution of some other secret purpose102 for advancement of their designments, so be well assured that for the time to come it is to be furnished again with a sure and fast friend to Leicester and to that faction.103

In the Isle of Wight I grant that Leicester hath lost a great friend and a trusty servant by the death of Captain Horsey,104 but yet the matter is supplied by the succession of another no less assured unto him than the former, or rather more, through the band of affinity by his wife.105 The two islands of Jersey and Guernsey are in the possession of two friends and most obliged dependents. The one, by reason he is exceedingly addicted to the Puritan proceedings;106 the other, as now being joined unto him by the marriage of Mistress Bess his wife's sister, both daughters to Sir Francis or (at least) to my Lady Knollys, and so become a rival, companion, and brother, who was before (though trusty) yet but his servant.107

And these are the chief keys, fortresses, and bulwarks within, without, and about the realm, which my Lord of Leicester possessing (as he doth), he may be assured of the body within; where notwithstanding (as hath been showed) he wanteth no due preparation for strength, having at his disposition (besides all aids and other helps specified before) her Majesty's horse and stable, by interest of his own office; her armor, artillery, and munition, by the office of his brother the Earl of Warwick;108 the Tower of London and treasure therein, by the dependence of Sir Owen Hopton, his sworn servant, as ready to receive and furnish him with the whole (if occasion served) as one of his predecessors was to receive his father in King Edward's days, for the like effect, against her Majesty and her sister.109

And in the city of London itself, what this man at a pinch could do by the help of some of the principal men and chief leaders and (as it were) commanders of the commons there,110 and by the bestirring of Fleetwood, his mad Recorder,111 and other such his instruments; as also in all other towns, ports, and cities of importance, by such of his own setting up as he hath placed there to serve his designments, and justices of [the] peace with other, that in most shires do wear his livery and are at his appointment, the simplest man within the realm doth consider.

Whereunto if you add now his own forces and furniture which he hath in Killingworth Castle and other places, as also the forces of Huntingdon in particular, with their friends, followers, allies, and compartners, you shall find that they are not behind in their preparations.

Scholar. For my Lord of Huntingdon's forwardness in the cause (said I), there is no man, I think, which maketh doubt; marry, for his private forces, albeit they may be very good for anything I do know to the contrary (especially at his house within twenty-five miles of Killingworth,112 where one told me some years past that he had furniture ready for five thousand men), yet do I not think but that they are far inferior to my Lord of Leicester's, who is taken to have excessive store, and that in divers places. And as for the castle last mentioned by you, there are men of good intelligence and of no small judgment who report that in the same he hath well to furnish ten thousand good soldiers of all things necessary both for horse and man, besides all other munition, armor, and artillery (whereof great store was brought thither under pretense of triumph when her Majesty was there and never as yet carried back again),113 and besides the great abundance of ready coin there laid up (as is said), sufficient for any great exploit to be done within the realm.

And I know that the estimation of this place was such among divers many years ago, as when at a time her Majesty lay dangerously sick and like to die at Hampton Court, a certain gentleman of the Court114 came unto my Lord of Huntingdon and told him that for so much as he took his Lordship to be next in succession after her Majesty he would offer him a mean of great help for compassing of his purpose after the decease of her Majesty, which was the possession of Killingworth Castle (for at that time these two Earls were not yet very friends, nor confederate together), and that being had, he showed to the Earl the great furniture and wealth which thereby he should possess for pursuit of his purpose.

The proposition was well liked, and the matter esteemed of great importance, and consequently received with many thanks. But yet afterward her Majesty by the good providence of God recovering again letted the execution of the bargain, and my Lord of Huntingdon, having occasion to join amity with Leicester, had more respect of his own commodity than to his friend's security (as commonly in such persons and cases it falleth out) and so discovered the whole device unto him, who forgot not after, from time to time, to plague the deviser by secret means, until he hath brought him to that poor estate as all the world seeth, though many men be not acquainted with the true cause of this his disgrace and bare fortune.

Lawyer. To this answered the lawyer: In good faith (gentlemen), you open great mysteries unto me, which either I knew not or considered not so particularly before, and no marvel, for that my profession and exercise of law restraineth me from much company keeping, and when I happen to be among some that could tell me much herein, I dare not either ask or hear if any of himself begin to talk, lest afterward the speech coming to light I be fetched over the coals (as the proverb is) for the same, under pretense of another thing. But you (who are not suspected for religion) have much greater privilege in such matters both to hear and speak again, which men of mine estate dare not do. Only this I knew before, that throughout all England my Lord of Leicester is taken for Dominus factotum, whose excellency above others is infinite, whose authority is absolute, whose commandment is dreadful, whose dislike is dangerous, and whose favor is omnipotent.

And for his will, though it be seldom law, yet always is his power above law, and therefore we lawyers in all cases brought unto us have as great regard to his inclination as astronomers115 have to the planet dominant, or as seamen have to the North Pole.

For as they that sail do direct their course according to the situation and direction of that star which guideth them at the Pole, and as astronomers who make prognostications do foretell things to come according to the aspect of the planet dominant or bearing rule for the time, so we do guide our client's bark and do prognosticate what is like to ensue of his cause by the aspect and inclination of my Lord of Leicester. And for that reason, as soon as ever we hear a case proposed, our custom is to ask what part my Lord of Leicester is like to favor in the matter (for in all matters lightly116 of any importance he hath a part) or what may be gathered of his inclination therein, and according to that we give a guess, more or less, what end will ensue.

But this (my masters) is from the purpose, and therefore returning to your former speech again, I do say that albeit I was not privy before to the particular provisions of my Lord and his friends in such and such places, yet seeing him accompted Lord General over all the realm, and to have at his commandment all these several commodities and forces pertaining to her Majesty which you have mentioned before, and so many more as be in the realm and not mentioned by you (for in fine he hath all), I could not but accompt him (as he is) a potent prince of our state, for all furniture needful to defense or offense, or rather the only monarch of our nobility, who hath sufficient of himself to plunge his prince if he should be discontented, especial for his abundance of money (which by the wise is termed the sinours117 of martial actions), wherein by all men's judgments he is better furnished at this day than ever any subject of our land either hath been heretofore or lightly may be hereafter, both for banks without the realm and stuffed coffers within. Insomuch that being myself in the last Parliament when the matter was moved for the grant of a subsidy, after that one for her Majesty118 had given very good reasons why her Highness was in want of money and consequently needed the assistance of her faithful subjects therein, another that sat next me of good accompt said in mine ear secretly: These reasons I do well allow and am contented to give my part in money, but yet, for her Majesty's need, I could make answer as one answered once the Emperor Tiberius in the like case and cause: Abunde ei pecuniam fore, si a liberto suo in societatem reciperetur - that her Majesty should have money enough if one of her servants would vouchsafe to make her Highness partaker with him, meaning thereby my Lord of Leicester, whose treasure must needs in one respect be greater than that of her Majesty, for that he layeth up whatsoever he getteth and his expenses he casteth upon the purse of his Princess.

Gentleman: For that (said the gentleman), whether he do or no it importeth little to the matter, seeing both that which he spendeth and that he hoardeth is truly and properly his Princess' treasure, and seeing he hath so many and divers ways of gaining, what should he make accompt of his own private expenses? If he lay out one for a thousand, what can that make him the poorer - he that hath so goodly lands, possessions, seignories, and rich offices of his own as he is known to have; he that hath so special favor and authority with the prince as he can obtain whatsoever he listeth to demand; he that hath his part and portion in all suits besides that pass by grace or else (for the most part) are ended by law; he that may chop and change what lands he listeth with her Majesty, despoil them of all their woods and other commodities, and rack them afterward to the uttermost penny, and then return the same so tenter-stretched and bare shorn into her Majesty's hands again by fresh exchange, rent for rent, for other lands never enhanced before;119 he that possesseth so many gainful licenses to himself alone, of wine, oils, currants, cloth, velvets, with his new office for license of alienation,120 most pernicious unto the commonwealth as he useth the same, with many other the like, which were sufficient to enrich whole towns, corporations, countries, and commonwealths; he that hath the art to make gainful to himself every offense, displeasure, and falling out of her Majesty with him, and every angry countenance cast upon him; he that hath his share in all offices of great profit and holdeth an absolute monopoly of the same; he that disposeth at his will the ecclesiastical livings of the realm, maketh bishops none but such as will do reason or of his chaplains whom he listeth and retaineth to himself so much of the living as liketh him best; he that sweepeth away the glebe from so many benefices throughout the land and compoundeth with the parson for the rest; he that so scoureth the University and colleges where he is Chancellor and selleth both headships and scholars' places and all other offices, rooms, and dignities that by art or violence may yield money; he that maketh title to what land or other thing he please and driveth the parties to compound for the same; he that taketh in whole forests, commons, woods, and pastures to himself, compelling the tenants to pay him new rent and what he cesseth; he that vexeth and oppresseth whomsoever he list, taketh from any what he list, and maketh his own claim, suit, and end as he list; he that selleth his favor with the prince, both abroad in foreign countries and at home, and setteth the price thereof what himself will demand; he that hath and doth all this, and besides this hath infinite presents daily brought unto him of great value, both in jewels, plate, all kind of furniture, and ready coin, this man (I say) may easily bear his own expenses and yet lay up sufficiently also to weary his prince when needs shall require.

Lawyer. You have said much, Sir (quoth the lawyer), and such matter as toucheth nearly both her Majesty and the commonwealth, and yet, in my conscience, if I were to plead at the bar for my Lord, I could not tell which of all these members to deny. But for that which you mention in the last part, of his gaining by her Majesty's favor both at home and abroad: touching his home gain it is evident, seeing all that he hath is gotten only by the opinion of her Majesty's favor towards him, and many men do repair unto him with fat presents rather for that they suppose he may by his favor do them hurt if he feel not their reward than for that they hope he will labor anything in their affairs.

You remember (I doubt not) the story of him that offered his prince a great yearly rent to have but this favor only, that he might come every day in open audience and say in his ear God save your Majesty, assuring himself that by the opinion of confidence and secret favor which hereby the people would conceive to be in the prince towards him, he should easily get up his rent again doubletold. Wherefore my Lord of Leicester, receiving daily from her Majesty greater tokens of grace and favor than this, and himself being no evil merchant to make his own bargain for the best of his commodities, cannot but gain exceedingly at home by his favor.

And for his lucre abroad upon the same cause I leave to other men to conceive what it may be sithence the beginning of her Majesty's reign; the times whereof and condition of all Christendom hath been such as all the princes and potentates round about us have been constrained at one time or other to sue to her Highness for aid, grace, or favor, in all which suits men use not to forget (as you know) the parties most able by their credit to further or let the same.

In particular only this I can say, that I have heard of sundry Frenchmen that at such time as the treaty was between France and England for the redelivery of Calais unto us again in the first year of her Majesty's reign that now is, when the Frenchmen were in great distress and misery and King Philip refused absolutely to make peace with them except Calais were restored to England (whither for that purpose he had now delivered the French hostages), the Frenchmen do report (I say) that my Lord of Leicester stood them in great stead at that necessity, for his reward (which you may well imagine was not small for a thing of such importance), and became a suitor that peace might be concluded with the release of Calais to the French, which was one of the most impious facts (to say the truth) that ever could be devised against his commonwealth.121

Gentleman: A small matter in him (said the gentleman), for in this he did no more but as Christ said of the Jews, that they filled up the measure of their fathers' sins. And so if you read the story of King Edward's time you shall find it most evident that this man's father before him sold Boulogne to the French by like treachery. For it was delivered up upon composition, without necessity or reason, the 25 of April in the fourth year of King Edward VI, when he (I mean Duke Dudley) had now put in the Tower the Lord Protector and thrust out of the Council whom he listed, as namely the Earls of Arundel and Southampton, and so invaded the whole government himself, to sell, spoil, and dispose at his pleasure.122 Wherefore this is but natural to my Lord of Leicester by descent to make merchandise of the state, for his grandfather Edmund also was such a kind of copesman.123

Lawyer. An evil race of merchants for the commonwealth (quoth the lawyer), but yet, Sir, I pray you (said he), expound unto me somewhat more at large the nature of these licenses which you named, as also the changing of lands with her Majesty, if you can set it down any plainer, for they seem to be things of excessive gain, especially his way of gaining by offending her Majesty or by her Highness' offense towards him, for it seemeth to be a device above all skill or reason.

[Gentleman:] Not so (quoth the gentleman), for you know that every falling out must have an atonement again, whereof he being sure by the many and puissant means of his friends in Court, as I have showed before, who shall not give her Majesty rest until it be done, then for this atonement, and in perfect reconciliation on her Majesty's part, she must grant my Lord some suit or other which he will have always ready provided for that purpose, and this suit shall be well able to reward his friends that labored for his reconcilement and leave also a good remainder for himself. And this is now so ordinary a practice with him as all the realm observeth the same and disdaineth that her Majesty should be so unworthily abused. For if her Highness fall not out with him as often as he desireth to gain this way, then he picketh some quarrel or other to show himself discontented with her, so that one way or other this gainful reconciliation must be made, and that often, for his commodity. The like art he exerciseth in inviting her Majesty to his banquets and to his houses, where if she come she must grant him in suits ten times so much as the charges of all amount unto; so that Robin playeth the broker in all his affairs and maketh the uttermost penny of her Majesty every way.

Now for his change of lands, I think I have been reasonable plain before, yet for your fuller satisfaction, you shall understand his further dealing therein to be in this sort. Besides the good lands and of ancient possession to the crown procured at her Majesty's hand and used as before was declared, he useth the same trick for his worst lands that he possesseth any way, whether they come to him by extort means and plain oppression, or through maintenance and broken titles, or by cozenage of simple gentlemen to make him their heir,124 or by what hard title or unhonest means soever (for he practiceth store of such and thinketh little of the reckoning), after he hath tried them likewise to the uttermost touch and letten them out to such as shall gain but little by the bargain, then goeth he and changeth the same with her Majesty for the best lands he can pick out of the crown, to the end that hereby he may both enforce her Majesty to the defense of his bad titles and himself fill his coffers with the fines and uttermost commodity of both the lands.

His licenses do stand thus: first he got license for certain great numbers of cloths to be transported out of this land, which might have been an undoing to the merchant subject if they had not redeemed the same with great sums of money, so that it redounded to great damage of all occupied about that kind of commodity.125 After that he had the grant for carrying over of barrel staves and of some other such like wares. Then procured he a monopoly for bringing in of sweet wines, oils, currants, and the like, the gain whereof is inestimable.126 He had also the forfeit of all wine that was to be drawn above the old ordinary price, with license to give authority to sell above that price, wherein Captain Horsey was his instrument;127 by which means it is incredible what treasure and yearly rent was gathered of the vintners throughout the land.

To this add now his license of silks and velvets, which only were enough to enrich the Mayor and aldermen of London if they were all decayed (as often I have heard divers merchants affirm). And his license of alienation of lands, which (as in part I have opened before) serveth him not only to excessive gain, but also for an extreme scourge wherewith to plague whom he please in the realm. For seeing that without this license, no man can buy, sell, pass, or alienate any land that any ways may be drawn to that tenure as holden in chief of the prince (as commonly now most land may), he calleth into question whatsoever liketh him best, be it never so clear, and under this color not only enricheth himself without all measure, but revengeth himself also where he will, without all order.

Lawyer. Here the lawyer stood still a pretty while, biting his lip as he were astonished, and then said: Verily, I have not heard so many and so apparent things or so odious of any man that ever lived in our commonwealth. And I marvel much of my Lord of Leicester, that his grandfather's fortune doth not move him much, who lost his head in the beginning of King Henry VIII's days for much less and fewer offenses in the same kind committed in the time of King Henry VII; for he was thought to be the inventor of these poolings128 and molestations wherewith the people were burdened in the later days of the said king. And yet had he great pretense of reason to allege for himself, in that these exactions were made to the king's use and not to his (albeit no doubt but his own gain was also there).129 Mr. Stow writeth in his Chronicle that in the time of his imprisonment in the Tower he wrote a notable book entitled The Tree of Commonwealth, which book the said Stow saith that he hath delivered to my Lord of Leicester many years gone.130 And if the said book be so notable as Mr. Stow affirmeth, I marvel that his Lordship in so many years doth not publish the same for the glory of his ancestors.

Gentleman: It may be (said the gentleman) that the secrets therein contained be such as it seemeth good to my Lord to use them only himself and to gather the fruit of that tree into his own house alone. For if the tree of the commonwealth in Edmund Dudley's book be the prince and his race, and the fruits to be gathered from that tree be riches, honors, dignities, and preferments, then no doubt but as the writer Edmund was cunning therein, so have his two followers John and Robert well studied and practiced the same, or rather have exceeded and far passed the author himself.131 The one of them gathering so eagerly and with such vehemency as he was like to have broken down the main boughs for greediness; the other yet plucking and heaping so fast to himself and his friends as it is and may be most justly doubted that when they have cropped all they can from the tree left them by their father Edmund (I mean the race of King Henry VII), then will they pluck up the stem itself by the roots as unprofitable and pitch in his place another trunk (that is, the line of Huntingdon) that may begin to feed anew with fresh fruits again and so for a time content their appetites, until of gatherers they may become trees (which is their final purpose) to feed themselves at their own discretion.

And howsoever this be, it cannot be denied but that Edmund Dudley's brood have learned by this book and by other means to be more cunning gatherers than ever their first progenitor was, that made the book. First, for that he made profession to gather to his prince (though wickedly), and these men make demonstration that they have gathered for themselves, and that with much more iniquity. Secondly, for that Edmund Dudley, though he got himself near about the tree, yet was he content to stand on the ground and to serve himself from the tree as commodity was offered, but his children, not esteeming that safe gathering, will needs mount aloft upon the tree to pull, crop, and rifle at their pleasure. And as in this second point the son John Dudley was more subtile than Edmund the father, so in a third point the nephew132 Robert Dudley is more crafty than they both [were]. For that, he seeing the evil success of those two that went before him, he hath provided to gather so much in convenient time and to make himself therewith so fat and strong (wherein the other two failed), as he will never be in danger more to be called to any accompt for the same.

Lawyer. In good faith, Sir (quoth the lawyer), I thank you heartily for this pleasant discourse upon Edmund Dudley's tree of commonwealth. And by your opinion, my Lord of Leicester is the most learned of all his kindred and a very cunning logicianer indeed, that can draw for himself so commodious conclusions out of the perilous premises of his progenitors.

Gentleman: No marvel (quoth the gentleman), for that his Lordship is Master of Art in Oxford and Chancellor besides of the same University, where he hath store (as you know) of many fine wits and good logicianers at his commandment and where he learneth not only the rules and art of cunning gathering, but also the very practice (as I have touched before), seeing there is no one college or other thing of commodity within that place wherehence he hath not pulled whatsoever was possibly to be gathered either by art or violence.

Scholar. Touching Oxford (said I), for that I am an University man myself and have both experience of Cambridge and good acquaintance with divers students of the other University, I can tell you enough, but in fine all tendeth to this conclusion, that by his Chancellorship is cancelled almost all hope of good in that University,133 and by his protection it is like soon to come to destruction. And surely if there were no other thing to declare the odds and difference betwixt him and our Chancellor134 (whom he cannot bear, for that every way he seeth him to pass him in all honor and virtue), it were sufficient to behold the present state of the two Universities whereof they are heads and governors.

For our own, I will not say much, lest I might perhaps seem partial, but let the thing speak for itself. Consider the fruit of the garden, and thereby you may judge of the gardener's diligence. Look upon the bishoprics, pastorships, and pulpits of England and see whence principally they have received their furniture for advancement of the gospel. And on the contrary side, look upon the seminaries of Papistry at Rome and Rheims, upon the colleges of Jesuits and other companies of Papists beyond the seas, and see wherehence they are especially fraught.135

The priests and Jesuits here executed within the land and other that remain either in prison or abroad in corners, are they not all (in a manner) of that University? I speak not to the disgrace of any good that remain there or that have issued out thence into the Lord's vineyard, but for the most part there, of this our time, have they not either gone beyond the seas, or left their places for discontentment in religion, or else become servingmen, or followed the bare name of law or physic, without profiting greatly therein or furthering the service of God's Church or their commonwealth?

And wherehence (I pray you) ensueth all this but by reason that the chief governor thereof is an atheist himself and useth the place only for gain and spoil? For herehence it cometh that all good order and discipline is dissolved in that place, the fervor of study extinguished, the public lectures abandoned (I mean of the more part), the taverns and ordinary tables frequented, the apparel of students grown monstrous, and the statutes and good ordinance both of the University and of every college and hall in private broken and infringed at my Lord's good pleasure, without respect either of oath, custom, or reason to the contrary. The heads and officers are put in and out at his only discretion, and the scholars' places either sold or disposed by his letters or by these of his servants and followers; nothing can be had there now without present money; it is as common buying and selling of places in that University as of horses in Smithfield, whereby the good and virtuous are kept out and companions thrust in, fit to serve his Lordship afterward in all affairs that shall occur.136

And as for leases of farms, woods, pastures, parsonages, benefices, or the like, which belong any way to any part of the University to let or bestow, these his Lordship and his servants have so fleeced, shorn, and scraped already that there remaineth little to feed upon hereafter, albeit he want not still his spies and intelligencers in the place to advertise him from time to time when any little new morsel is offered. And the principal instruments which for this purpose he hath had there before this have been two physicians, Bayley and Culpepper, both known Papists a little while ago but now just of Galen's religion and so much the fitter for my Lord's humor;137 for his Lordship doth always covet to be furnished with certain chosen men about him, for divers affairs, as these two Galenists for agents in the University, Dee and Allen (two atheists) for figuring and conjuring,138 Julio the Italian and Lopez the Jew for poisoning and for the art of destroying children in women's bellies,139 Verneys for murdering, Digbys for bawds,140 and the like in other occupations which his Lordship exerciseth.

Wherefore to return to the speech where we began, most clear it is that my Lord of Leicester hath means to gain and gather also by the University as well as by the country abroad. Wherein (as I am told) he beareth himself so absolute a lord as if he were their king and not their Chancellor; nay, far more than if he were the general and particular founder of all the colleges and other houses of the University, no man daring to contrary or interrupt the least word or signification of his will but with his extreme danger, which is a proceeding more fit for Phalaris the Tyrant141 or some governor in Tartary than for a Chancellor of a learned University.

Lawyer. To this answered the lawyer: For my Lord's wrath towards such as will not stand to his judgment and opinion I can myself be a sufficient witness, who, having had often occasion to deal for composition of matters betwixt his Lordship and others, have seen by experience that always they have sped best who stood least in contention with him, whatsoever their cause were. For as a great and violent river, the more it is stopped or contraried, the more it riseth and swelleth big and in the end dejecteth with more force the thing that made resistance, so his Lordship, being the great and mighty potentate of this realm and accustomed now to have his will in all things, cannot bear to be crossed or resisted by any man, though it were in his own necessary defense.

Hereof I have seen examples, in the causes of Snowden Forest in Wales, of Denbigh, of Killingworth, of Drayton, and others, where the parties that had interest or thought themselves wronged had been happy if they had yielded at the first to his Lordship's pleasure without further question, for then had they escaped much trouble, charges, displeasure, and vexation which by resistance they incurred to their great ruin (and loss of life to some),142 and in the end were fain also to submit themselves unto his will with far worse conditions than in the beginning were offered unto them, which thing was pitiful indeed to behold, but yet such is my Lord's disposition.

Gentleman: A noble disposition (quoth the gentleman), that I must give him my coat if he demand the same, and that quickly also, for fear lest if I stagger or make doubt thereof he compel me to yield both coat and doublet in penance of my stay. I have read of some such tyrants abroad in the world; marry, their end was always according to their life, as it is very like that it wilbe also in this man, for that there is small hope of his amendment and God passeth not over commonly such matters unpunished in this life as well as in the life to come.

But I pray you, Sir, seeing mention is now made of the former oppressions so much talked of throughout the realm, that you will take the pains to explain the substance thereof unto me, for albeit in general every man doth know the same and in heart do detest the tyranny thereof, yet we abroad in the country do not understand it so well and distinctly as you that be lawyers, who have seen and understood the whole process of the same.

Lawyer. The case of Killingworth and Denbigh (said the Lawyer) are much alike in matter and manner of proceeding, though different in time, place, and importance. For that the lordship of Denbigh in North Wales being given unto him by her Majesty a great while ago143 at the beginning of his rising (which is a lordship of singular great importance in that country, having, as I have heard, well near two hundred worshipful gentlemen freeholders to the same), the tenants of the place, considering the present state of things and having learned the hungry disposition of their new lord, made a common purse of a thousand pounds to present him withal at his first entrance. Which though he received (as he refuseth nothing), yet accompted he the sum of small effect for satisfaction of his appetite, and therefore applied himself not only to make the uttermost that he could by leases and such like ways of commodity, but also would needs enforce the freeholders to raise their old rent of the lordship from two hundred and fifty pounds a year or thereabouts (at which rate he had received the same in gift from her Majesty) unto eight or nine hundred pounds by the year. For that he had found out (forsooth) an old record (as he said) whereby he could prove that in ancient time long past that lordship had yielded so much old rent, and therefore he would now enforce the present tenants to make up so much again upon their lands, which they thought was against all reason for them to do; but my Lord perforce would have it so and in the end compelled them to yield to his will, to the impoverishing of all the whole country about.144

The like proceeding he used with the tenants about Killingworth, where he, receiving the said lordship and castle from the prince in gift of twenty-four pounds yearly rent or thereabout,145 hath made it now better than five hundred by [the] year, by an old record also, found by great fortune in the hole of a wall as is given out (for he hath singular good luck always in finding out records for his purpose); by virtue whereof he hath taken from the tenants round about their lands, woods, pastures, and commons to make himself parks, chases, and other commodities therewith, to the subversion of many a good family which was maintained there before this devourer set foot in that country.

But the matter of Snowden Forest doth pass all the rest both for cunning and cruelty, the tragedy whereof was this: he had learned by his intelligencers abroad (whereof he hath great store in every part of the realm) that there was a goodly ancient forest in North Wales which hath almost infinite borderers about the same, for it lieth in the midst of the country, beginning at the hills of Snowden (whereof it hath his name) in Carnarvonshire and reacheth every way towards divers other shires. When my Lord heard of this, he entered presently into the conceit of a singular great prey and, going to her Majesty, signified that her Highness was oftentimes abused by the encroaching of such as dwelt upon her forests, which was necessary to be restrained, and therefore beseeched her Majesty to bestow upon him the encroachments only which he should be able to find out upon the forest of Snowden, which was granted.146

And thereupon he chose out commissioners fit for the purpose and sent them into Wales with the like commission as a certain Emperor was wont to give his magistrates when they departed from him to govern, as Suetonius writeth: Scitis quid velim, et quibus opus habeo147 - you know what I would have and what I have need of. Which recommendation these commissioners taking to heart, omitted no diligence in execution of the same, and so going into Wales, by such means as they used of setting one man to accuse another, brought quickly all the country round about in three or four shires within the compass of forest ground and so entered upon the same for my Lord of Leicester. Whereupon, when the people were amazed and expected what order my Lord himself would take therein, his Lordship was so far off from refusing any part of that which his commissioners had presented and offered him as he would yet further stretch the forest beyond the sea into the Isle of Anglesey, and make that also within his compass and bounder.

Which when the commonalty saw, and that they profited nothing by their complaining and crying out of this tyranny, they appointed to send some certain number of themselves to London to make supplication to the prince, and so they did, choosing out for that purpose a dozen gentlemen and many more of the commons of the country of Lleyn to deal for the whole. Who coming to London and exhibiting a most humble supplication to her Majesty for redress of their oppression, received an answer by the procurement of my Lord of Leicester that they should have justice if the commonalty would return home to their houses and the gentlemen remain there to solicit the cause. Which as soon as they had yielded unto, the gentlemen were all taken and cast into prison, and there kept for a great space, and afterward were sent down to Ludlow (as the place most eminent of all these countries), there to wear papires of perjury148 and receive other punishments of infamy for their complaining; which punishments notwithstanding, afterward upon great suit of the parties and their friends, were turned into great fines of money, which they were constrained to pay and yet besides to agree also with my Lord of Leicester for their own lands, acknowledging the same to be his and so to buy it of him again.

Whereby not only these private gentlemen but all the whole country thereabout was and is (in a manner) utterly undone. And the participation of this injury reacheth so far and wide and is so general in these parts as you shall scarce find a man that cometh from that coast who feeleth not the smart thereof, being either impoverished, beggared, or ruinated thereby.

Whereby I assure you that the hatred of all that country is so universal and vehement against my Lord as I think never thing created by God was so odious to that nation as the very name of my Lord of Leicester is. Which his Lordship well knowing, I doubt not but that he will take heed how he go thither to dwell or send thither his posterity.149

Gentleman: For his posterity (quoth the gentleman), I suppose he hath little cause to be solicitous, for that God himself taketh care commonly that goods and honors so gotten and maintained as his be shall never trouble the third heir. Marry, for himself, I confess (the matter standing as you say) that he hath reason to forbear that country and to leave off his building begun at Denbigh, as I hear say he hath done.150 For that the universal hatred of a people is a perilous matter. And if I were in his Lordship's case, I should often think of the end of Nero, who, after all his glory, upon fury of the people was adjudged to have his head thrust into a pillory and so to be beaten to death with rods and thwongs.151

Or rather I should fear the success of Vitellius, the third Emperor after Nero, who for his wickedness and oppression of the people was taken by them at length, when fortune began to fail him, and led out of his palace naked, with hooks of iron fastened in his flesh, and so drawn through the city with infamy, where, loaden in the streets with filth and ordure cast upon him and a prick put under his chin to the end he should not look down or hide his face, [he] was brought to the bank of Tiber and there, after many hundred wounds received, was cast into the river.152 So implacable a thing is the furor of a multitude when it is once stirred and hath place of revenge. And so heavy is the hand of God upon tyrants in this world, when it pleaseth his divine Majesty to take revenge of the same.

I have read in Leander, in his description of Italy,153 how that in Spoleto (if I be not deceived), the chief city of the country of Umbria, there was a strange tyrant who in the time of his prosperity contemned all men and forbare to injury no man that came within his claws, esteeming himself sure enough for ever being called to render accompt in this life, and for the next he cared little. But God upon the sudden turned upsidedown the wheel of his felicity and cast him into the people's hands, who took him and bound his naked body upon a plank in the market place, with a fire and iron tongs by him, and then made proclamation that, seeing this man was not otherwise able to make satisfaction for the public injuries that he had done, every private person annoyed by him should come in order and with the hot burning tongs there ready should take of his flesh so much as was correspondent to the injury received, as indeed they did until the miserable man gave up the ghost, and after too, as this author writeth.

But to the purpose: seeing my Lord careth little for such examples and is become so hardy now as he maketh no accompt to injury and oppress whole countries and commonalties together, it shalbe bootless to speak of his proceedings towards particular men, who have not so great strength to resist as a multitude hath. And yet I can assure you that there are so many and so pitiful things published daily of his tyranny in this kind as do move great compassion towards the party that do suffer and horror against him who shameth not daily to offer such injury.

As for example, whose heart would not bleed to hear the case before mentioned of Mr. Robinson of Staffordshire, a proper young gentleman and well given both in religion and other virtues. Whose father died at Newhaven in her Majesty's service under this man's brother the Earl of Warwick and recommended at his death this his eldest son to the special protection of Leicester and his brother, whose servant also this Robinson hath been from his youth upward and spent the most of his living in his service. Yet notwithstanding all this, when Robinson's lands were entangled with a certain Londoner upon interest for his former maintenance in their service, whose title my Lord of Leicester (though craftily, yet not covertly) under Ferris his cloak154 had gotten to himself, he ceased not to pursue the poor gentleman even to imprisonment, arraignment, and sentence of death, for greediness of the said living; together with the vexation of his brother-in-law Mr. Harcourt and all other his friends, upon pretense, forsooth, that there was a man slain by Robinson's party in defense of his own possession against Leicester's intruders that would by violence break into the same.155

What shall I speak of others, whereof there would be no end? As of his dealing with Mr. Richard Lee for his manor of Hook Norton (if I fail not in the name);156 with Mr. Lodovick Greville, by seeking to bereave him of all his living at once if the drift had taken place;157 with George Whitney, in the behalf of Sir Henry Lee, for enforcing him to forgo the Controllership of Woodstock which he holdeth by patent from King Henry VII?158 With my Lord Berkeley, whom he enforced to yield up his lands to his brother Warwick which his ancestors had held quietly for almost two hundred years together?159

What shall I say of his intolerable tyranny upon the last Archbishop of Canterbury for Doctor Julio his sake, and that in so foul a matter?160 Upon Sir John Throgmorton, whom he brought pitifully to his grave before his time by continual vexations for a piece of faithful service done by him to his country and to all the line of King Henry against this man's father in King Edward and Queen Mary's days?161 Upon divers of the Lanes, for one man's sake of that name before mentioned, that offered to take Killingworth Castle? Upon some of the Giffords and other for Throgmorton's sake162 (for that is also his Lordship's disposition, for one man's cause whom he brooketh not to plague a whole generation that any way pertaineth or is allied to the same)? His endless persecuting of Sir Drew Drury and many other courtiers both men and women?163 All these (I say) and many others who daily suffer injuries, rapines, and oppressions at his hands throughout the realm, what should it avail to name them in this place, seeing neither his Lordship careth anything for the same, neither the parties aggrieved are like to attain any least release of affliction thereby, but rather double oppression for their complaining.

Wherefore, to return again whereas we began, you see by this little who and how great and what manner of man my Lord of Leicester is this day in the state of England. You see and may gather in some part by that which hath been spoken his wealth, his strength, his cunning, his disposition. His wealth is excessive in all kind of riches for a private man and must needs be much more than anybody lightly can imagine, for the infinite ways he hath had of gain so many years together. His strength and power is absolute and irresistable, as hath been showed, both in Chamber, Court, Council, and country. His cunning in plotting and fortifying the same, both by force and fraud, by mines and countermines, by trenches, bulwarks, flankers, and rampires, by friends, enemies, allies, servants, creatures, and dependents, or any other that may serve his turn, is very rare and singular. His disposition to cruelty, murder, treason, and tyranny, and by all these to supreme sovereignty over other, is most evident and clear. And then judge you whether her Majesty that now reigneth (whose life and prosperity the Lord in mercy long preserve) have not just cause to fear in respect of these things only, if there were no other particulars to prove his aspiring intent besides?

Lawyer. No doubt (quoth the lawyer) but these are great matters in the question of such a cause as is a crown. And we have seen by example that the least of these four which you have here named, or rather some little branch contained in any of them, hath been sufficient to found just suspicion, distrust, or jealousy in the heads of most wise princes towards the proceedings of more assured subjects than my Lord of Leicester in reason may be presumed to be. For that the safety of a state and prince standeth not only in the readiness and ability of resisting open attempts when they shall fall out, but also (and that much more, as statists164 write) in a certain provident watchfulness, of preventing all possibilities and likelihoods of danger or suppression, for that no prince commonly will put himself to the courtesy of another man (be he never so obliged) whether he shall retain his crown or no, seeing the cause of a kingdom acknowledgeth neither kindred, duty, faith, friendship, nor society.

I know not whether I do expound and declare myself well or no, but my meaning is that whereas every prince hath two points of assurance from his subject, the one in that he is faithful and lacketh will to annoy his sovereign, the other for that he is weak and wanteth ability to do the same, the first is always of more importance than the second and consequently more to be eyed and observed in policy, for that our will may be changed at our pleasure but not our ability.

Considering then upon that which hath been said and specified before, how that my Lord of Leicester hath possessed himself of all the strength, powers, and sinews of the realm, hath drawn all to his own direction, and hath made his party so strong as it seemeth not resistable, you have great reason to say that her Majesty may justly conceive some doubt, for that if his will were according to his power most assured it is that her Majesty were not in safety.

Scholar. Say not so, good Sir (quoth I), for in such a case truly I would repose little upon his will, which is so many ways apparent to be most insatiable of ambition. Rather would I think that as yet his ability serveth not, either for time, place, force, or some other circumstance, than that any part of good will should want in him, seeing that not only his desire of sovereignty but also his intent and attempt to aspire to the same is sufficiently declared (in my conceit) by the very particulars of his power and plots already set down. Which if you please to have the patience to hear a scholar's argument, I will prove by a principle of our philosophy.

For if it be true which Aristotle saith, there is no agent so simple in the world which worketh not for some final end (as the bird buildeth not her nest but to dwell and hatch her young ones therein), and not only this, but also that the same agent doth always frame his work according to the proportion of his intended end (as when the fox or badger maketh a wide earth or den it is a sign that he meaneth to draw thither great store of prey); then must we also in reason think that so wise and politic an agent as is my Lord of Leicester for himself wanteth not his end in these plottings and preparations of his, I mean an end proportionable in greatness to his preparations. Which end can be no less nor meaner than supreme sovereignty, seeing his provision and furniture do tend that way and are in every point fully correspondent to the same.

What meaneth his so diligent besieging of the Princess' person? His taking up the ways and passages about her? His insolency in Court? His singularity in the Council? His violent preparation of strength abroad? His enriching of his complices? The banding of his faction, with the abundance of friends everywhere? What do these things signify (I say) and so many other, as you have well noted and mentioned before, but only his intent and purpose of supremacy? What did the same things protend165 in times past in his father but even that which now they protend in the son? Or how should we think that the son hath another meaning in the very same actions than had his father before him, whose steps he followeth?

I remember I have heard oftentimes of divers ancient and grave men in Cambridge how that in King Edward's days the Duke of Northumberland this man's father was generally suspected of all men to mean indeed as afterward he showed, especially when he had once joined with the house of Suffolk and made himself a principal of that faction by marriage. But yet for that he was potent, and protested everywhere and by all occasions his great love, duty, and special care, above all others, that he bare towards his prince and country, no man durst accuse him openly until it was too late to withstand his power (as commonly it falleth out in such affairs), and the like is evident in my Lord of Leicester's actions now (albeit to her Majesty I doubt not but that he will pretend and protest, as his father did to her brother), especially now after his open association with the faction of Huntingdon, which no less impugneth under this man's protection the whole line of Henry VII for right of the crown than the house of Suffolk did under his father the particular progeny of King Henry VIII.

Gentleman: Nay, rather much more (quoth the gentleman), for that I do not read in King Edward's reign (when the matter was in plotting notwithstanding) that the house of Suffolk durst ever make open claim to the next succession. But now the house of Hastings is become so confident upon the strength and favor of their fautors166 as they dare both plot, practice, and pretend all at once, and fear not to set out their title in every place whereas they come.

Lawyer. And do they not fear the statute (said the lawyer), so rigorous in this point as it maketh the matter treason to determine of titles?167

Gentleman: No, they need not (quoth the gentleman), seeing their party is so strong and terrible as no man dare accuse them; seeing also they well know that the procurement of that statute was only to endanger or stop the mouths of the true successors whiles themselves in the mean space went about underhand to establish their own ambushment.

Lawyer. Well (quoth the lawyer), for the pretense of my Lord of Huntingdon to the crown I will not stand with you, for that it is a matter sufficiently known and seen throughout the realm. As also that my Lord of Leicester is at this day a principal favorer and patron of that cause, albeit some years past he were an earnest adversary and enemy to the same. But yet I have heard some friends of his in reasoning of these matters deny stoutly a point or two which you have touched here, and do seem to believe the same.

And that is, first, that howsoever my Lord of Leicester do mean to help his friend when time shall serve, yet pretendeth he nothing to the crown himself. The second is that whatsoever may be meant for the title, or compassing the crown after her Majesty's death, yet nothing is intended during her reign. And of both these points they allege reasons.

As for the first, that my Lord of Leicester is very well known to have no title to the crown himself, either by descent in blood, alliance, or otherways. For the second, that his Lordship hath no cause to be a malcontent in the present government nor hope for more preferment if my Lord of Huntingdon were king tomorrow next than he receiveth now at her Majesty's hands, having all the realm (as hath been showed) at his own disposition.

Gentleman: For the first (quoth the gentleman), whether he mean the crown for himself or for his friend it importeth not much, seeing both ways it is evident that he meaneth to have all at his own disposition. And albeit now for the avoiding of envy he give it out, as a crafty fox, that he meaneth not but to run with other men and to hunt with Huntingdon and other hounds in the same chase, yet is it not unlike but that he will play the Bear when he cometh to dividing of the prey and will snatch the best part to himself. Yea, and these selfsame persons of his train and faction whom you call his friends, though in public, to excuse his doings and to cover the whole plot, they will and must deny the matters to be so meant, yet otherwise they both think, hope, and know the contrary and will not stick in secret to speak it, and among themselves it is their talk of consolation.

The words of his special counsellor the Lord North are known, which he uttered to his trusty Pooley upon the receipt of a letter from Court of her Majesty's displeasure towards him for his being a witness at Leicester's second marriage with Dame Lettice (although I know he was not ignorant of the first) at Wanstead, of which displeasure this Lord making far less accompt than in reason he should of the just offense of his sovereign, said that for his own part he was resolved to sink or swim with my Lord of Leicester, who (saith he) if once the cards may come to shuffling (I will use but his very own words), I make no doubt but he alone shall bear away the bucklers.168

The words also of Sir Thomas Leighton to Sir Henry Neville, walking upon the terrace at Windsor, are known, who told him, after long discourse of their happy conceived kingdom, that he doubted not but to see him one day hold the same office in Windsor of my Lord of Leicester which now my Lord did hold of the Queen. Meaning thereby the goodly office of Constables hip, with all royalties and honors belonging to the same, which now the said Sir Henry exerciseth only as deputy to the Earl.169 Which was plainly to signify that he doubted not but to see my Lord of Leicester one day king, or else his other hope could never possibly take effect or come to pass.

To the same point tended the words of Mistress Anne West, Dame Lettice's sister, unto the Lady Anne Askew in the Great Chamber, upon a day when her brother Robert Knowles had danced disgraciously and scornfully before the Queen in presence of the French.170 Which thing for that her Majesty took to proceed of will in him, as for dislike of the strangers in presence and for the quarrel of his sister Essex, it pleased her Highness to check him for the same, with addition of a reproachful word or two (full well deserved), as though done for despite of the forced absence from that place of honor of the good old gentlewoman (I mitigate the words) his sister. Which words the other younger twig receiving in deep dudgeon, brake forth in great choler to her forenamed companion and said that she nothing doubted but that one day she should see her sister, upon whom the Queen railed now so much (for so it pleased her to term her Majesty's sharp speech), to sit in her place and throne, being much worthier of the same for her qualities and rare virtues than was the other. Which undutiful speech, albeit it were overheard and condemned of divers that sat about them, yet none durst ever report the same to her Majesty, as I have heard sundry courtiers affirm, in respect of the revenge which the reporters should abide at my Lord of Leicester's hands whensoever the matter should come to light.

And this is now concerning the opinion and secret speech of my Lord's own friends, who cannot but utter their conceit and judgment in time and place convenient, whatsoever they are willed to give out publicly to the contrary for deceiving of such as will believe fair painted words against evident and manifest demonstration of reason.

I say reason, for that if none of these signs and tokens were, none of these preparations nor any of these speeches and detections by his friends that know his heart, yet in force of plain reason I could allege unto you three arguments only which to any man of intelligence would easily persuade and give satisfaction that my Lord of Leicester meaneth best and first for himself in this suit. Which three arguments, for that you seem to be attent, I will not stick to run over in all brevity.

And the first is the very nature and quality of ambition itself, which is such (as you know) that it never stayeth, but passeth from degree to degree, and the more it obtaineth the more it coveteth and the more esteemeth itself both worthy and able to obtain. And in our matter that now we handle, even as in wooing, he that sueth to a lady for another and obtaineth her good will entereth easily into conceit of his own worthiness thereby, and so commonly into hope of speeding himself while he speaketh for his friend; so much more in kingdoms, he that seeth himself of power to put the crown off another man's head will quickly step to the next degree, which is to set it of [on] his own, seeing that always the charity of such good men is wont to be so orderly as (according to the precept) it beginneth with itself

Add to this that ambition is jealous, suspicious, and fearful of itself, especially when it is joined with a conscience loaden with the guilt of many crimes, whereof he would be loth to be called to accompt or be subject to any man that might by authority take review of his life and actions when it should please him. In which kind, seeing my Lord of Leicester hath so much to increase his fear, as before hath been showed, by his wicked dealings, it is not like that ever he will put himself to another man's courtesy for passing his audit in particular reckonings which he can no way answer or satisfy, but rather will stand upon the gross sum and general quietus est by making himself chief auditor and master of all accompts for his own part in this life, howsoever he do in the next, whereof such humors have little regard. And this is for the nature of ambition in itself.

The second argument may be taken from my Lord's particular disposition, which is such as may give much light also to the matter in question, being a disposition so well liking and inclined to a kingdom as it hath been tampering about the same from the first day that he came in favor. First by seeking openly to marry with the Queen's Majesty herself, and so to draw the crown upon his own head and to his posterity. Secondly, when that attempt took not place, then he gave it out, as hath been showed before, how that he was privily contracted to her Majesty (wherein as I told you his dealing before for satisfaction of a stranger, so let him with shame and dishonor remember now also the spectacle he secretly made for the persuading of a subject and Councillor of great honor in the same cause)171 to the end that if her Highness should by any way have miscarried, then he might have entitled any one of his own brood (whereof he hath store in many places, as is known) to the lawful succession of the crown under color of that privy and secret marriage, pretending the same to be by her Majesty, wherein he will want no witnesses to depose what he will. Thirdly, when he saw also that this device was subject to danger, for that his privy contract might be denied more easily than he able justly to prove the same after her Majesty's decease, he had a new fetch to strengthen the matter, and that was to cause these words of NATURAL ISSUE be put into the statute of succession for the crown, against all order and custom of our realm and against the known common style of law accustomed to be used in statutes of such matter, whereby he might be able after the death of her Majesty to make legitimate to the crown any one bastard of his own by any of so many hackneys as he keepeth, affirming it to be the natural issue of her Majesty by himself. For no other reason can be imagined why the ancient usual words of LAWFUL ISSUE should so cunningly be changed into NATURAL ISSUE. Thereby not only to endanger our whole realm with new quarrels of succession, but also to touch (as far as in him lieth) the royal honor of his sovereign, who hath been to him but too bountiful a Princess.172

Fourthly, when after a time these fetches and devices began to be discovered, he changed straight his course and turned to the Papists' and Scottish faction, pretending the marriage of the Queen in prison.173 But yet after this again, finding therein not such success as contented him thoroughly and having in the mean space a new occasion offered to bait, he betook himself fifthly to the party of Huntingdon, having therein (no doubt) as good meaning to himself as his father had by joining with Suffolk. Marry, yet of late he hath cast anew about once again for himself in secret by treating the marriage of young Arbella with his son entitled the Lord Denbigh.174

So that by this we see the disposition of this man bent wholly to a scepter. And albeit in right, title, and descent of blood (as you say), he can justly claim neither kingdom nor cottage (considering either the baseness or disloyalty of his ancestors), if in respect of his present state and power, and of his natural pride, ambition, and crafty conveyance received from his father, he hath learned how to put himself first in possession of chief rule, under other pretenses, and after to devise upon the title at his leisure.

But now to come to the third argument: I say more and above all this that the nature and state of the matter itself permitteth not that my Lord of Leicester should mean sincerely the crown for Huntingdon, especially seeing there hath passed between them so many years of dislike and enmity, which albeit for the time and present commodity be covered and pressed down, yet by reason and experience we know that afterward when they shall deal together again in matters of importance, and when jealousy shalbe joined to other circumstances of their actions, it is impossible that the former mislike should not break out in far higher degree than ever before.

As we saw in the examples of the reconciliation made betwixt this man's father and Edward Duke of Somerset, bearing rule under King Edward VI, and between Richard of York and Edmund Duke of Somerset, bearing rule in the time of King Henry VI. Both which Dukes of Somerset, after reconciliation with their old, crafty, and ambitious enemies, were brought by the same to their destruction soon after.175 Whereof I doubt not but my Lord of Leicester will take good heed in joining by reconciliation with Huntingdon after so long a breach, and will not be so improvident as to make him his sovereign who now is but his dependent. He remembereth too well the success of the Lord Stanley, who helped King Henry VII to the crown, of the Duke of Buckingham, who did the same for Richard III, of the Earl of Warwick, who set up King Edward IV, and of the three Percies, who advanced to the scepter King Henry IV. All which noblemen upon occasions that after fell out were rewarded with death by the selfsame princes whom they had preferred.176

And that not without reason, as Seignior Machavel my Lord's counsellor affirmeth.177 For that such princes afterward can never give sufficient satisfaction to such friends for so great a benefit received. And consequently, lest upon discontentment they may chance do as much for others against them as they have done for them against others, the surest way is to recompense them with such a reward as they shall never after be able to complain of.

Wherefore I can never think that my Lord of Leicester will put himself in danger of the like success at Huntingdon's hands, but rather will follow the plot of his own father with the Duke of Suffolk, whom no doubt but he meant only to use for a pretext and help whereby to place himself in supreme dignity, and afterwards, whatsoever had befallen of the state, the other's head could never have come to other end than it enjoyed. For if Queen Mary had not cut it off, King John of Northumberland would have done the same in time, and so all men do well know that were privy to any of his cunning dealings.178

And what Huntingdon's secret opinion of Leicester is (notwithstanding this outward show of dependence) it was my chance to learn from the mouth of a special man of that Hasty king who was his ledger or agent in London,179 and at a time falling in talk of his master's title declared that he had heard him divers times in secret complain to his lady (Leicester's sister) as greatly fearing that in the end he would offer him wrong and pretend some title for himself.

Lawyer: Well (quoth the lawyer), it seemeth by this last point that these two lords are cunning practitioners in the art of dissimulation, but for the former whereof you spake, in truth, I have heard men of good discourse affirm that the Duke of Northumberland had strange devices in his head for deceiving of Suffolk (who was nothing so fine as himself) and for bringing the crown to his own family. And among other devices it is thought that he had most certain intention to marry the Lady Mary himself (after once he had brought her into his own hands) and to have bestowed her Majesty that now is upon some one of his children (if it should have been thought best to give her life) and so consequently to have shaken off Suffolk and his pedigree, with condign punishment for his bold behavior in that behalf.

Scholar. Verily (quoth I), this had been an excellent stratagem if it had taken place. But I pray you (Sir), how could himself have taken the Lady Mary to wife, seeing he was at that time married to another?180

Gentleman: Oh (quoth the gentleman), you question like a scholar. As though my Lord of Leicester had not a wife alive when he first began to pretend marriage to the Queen's Majesty. Do not you remember the story of King Richard III, who at such time as he thought best for the establishing of his title to marry his own niece, that afterward was married to King Henry VII, how he caused secretly to be given abroad that his own wife was dead, whom all the world knew to be then alive and in good health, but yet soon afterward she was seen dead indeed?181 These great personages, in matters of such weight as is a kingdom, have privileges to dispose of women's bodies, marriages, lives and deaths, as shalbe thought for the time most convenient.

And what do you think (I pray you) of this new TRIUMVIRATE so lately concluded about Arbella (for so I must call the same, though one of the three persons be no vir, but virago)?182 I mean of the marriage between young Denbigh and the little daughter of Lennox, whereby the father-in-law, the grandmother, and the uncle of the new designed queen have conceived to themselves a singular triumphant reign. But what do you think may ensue hereof? Is there nothing of the old plot of Duke John of Northumberland in this?

Lawyer. Marry, Sir (quoth the lawyer), if this be so, I dare assure you there is sequel enough pretended hereby. And first no doubt but there goeth a deep drift by the wife and son against old Abraham (the husband and father) with the well-lined large pouch. And secondly a far deeper by trusty Robert against his best mistress; but deepest of all by the whole crew against the designments of the Hasty Earl, who thirsteth a kingdom with great intemperance and seemeth (if there were plain dealing) to hope by these good people to quench shortly his drought. But either part, in truth, seeketh to deceive other, and therefore it is hard to say where the game in fine will rest.

Gentleman: Well, howsoever that be (quoth the gentleman), I am of opinion that my Lord of Leicester will use both this practice and many mo for bringing the scepter finally to his own head, and that he will not only employ Huntingdon to defeat Scotland and Arbella to defeat Huntingdon, but also would use the marriage of the Queen imprisoned to defeat them both if she were in his hand; and any one of all three to dispossess her Majesty that now is, as also the authority of all four to bring it to himself; with many other fetches, flings, and friscoes besides which simple men as yet do not conceive.

And howsoever these two conjoined Earls do seem for the time to draw together and to play booty, yet am I of opinion that th'one will beguile th'other at the upshot. And Hastings, for aught I see, when he cometh to the scambling is like to have no better luck by the Bear than his ancestor had once by the Boar.183 Who using his help first in murdering the son and heir of King Henry VI and after in destroying the faithful friends and kinsmen of King Edward V, for his easier way to usurpation, made an end of him also in the Tower at the very same day and hour that the other were by his counsel destroyed in Pontefract Castle.184 So that where the goal and prize of the game is a kingdom, there is neither faith, neither good fellowship, nor fair play among the gamesters. And this shalbe enough for the first point, viz., what good my Lord of Leicester meaneth to himself in respect of Huntingdon.

Touching the second, whether the attempt be purposed in her Majesty's days or no, the matter is much less doubtful to him that knoweth or can imagine what a torment the delay of a kingdom is to such a one as suffereth hunger thereof and feareth that every hour may breed some alteration to the prejudice of his conceived hope. We see oftentimes that the child is impatient in this matter, to expect the natural end of his parent's life. Whom notwithstanding by nature he is enforced to love and who also by nature is like long to leave this world before him, and after whose decease he is assured to obtain his desire, but most certain of dangerous event if he attempt to get it while yet his parent liveth. Which four considerations are (no doubt) of great force to contain a child in duty and bridle his desire, albeit some times not sufficient to withstand the greedy appetite of reigning.

But what shall we think where none of these four considerations do restrain? Where the present possessor is no parent? Where she is like by nature to outlive the expecter? Whose death must needs bring infinite difficulties to the enterprise? And in whose lifetime the matter is most easy to be achieved, under color and authority of the present possessor? Shall we think that in such a case the ambitious man will overrule his own passion and leese his commodity?

As for that which is alleged before for my Lord in the reason of his defenders, that his present state is so prosperous as he cannot expect better in the next change whatsoever [it] should be, is of small moment in the conceit of an ambitious head, whose eye and heart is always upon that which he hopeth for and enjoyeth not, and not upon that which already he possesseth, be it never so good. Especially in matters of honor and authority, it is an infallible rule that one degree desired and not obtained afflicteth more than five degrees already possessed can give consolation; the story of Duke Aman confirmeth this evidently,185 who being the greatest subject in the world under King Assuerus, after he had reckoned up all his pomp, riches, glory, and felicity to his friends, yet he said that all this was nothing unto him until he could obtain the revenge which he desired upon Mardocheus his enemy,186 and hereby it cometh ordinarily to pass that among highest in authority are found the greatest store of malcontents that most do endanger their prince and country.

When the Percies took part with Henry of Bolingbroke against King Richard II, their lawful sovereign, it was not for lack of preferment, for they were exceedingly advanced by the said king and possessed the three earldoms of Northumberland, Worcester, and Stafford together, besides many other offices and dignities of honor.

In like sort, when the two Nevilles took upon them to join with Richard of York to put down their most benign prince King Henry VI, and after again in the other side to put down King Edward IV, it was not upon want of advancement, they being Earls both of Salisbury and Warwick and lords of many notable places besides.187 But it was upon a vain imagination of future fortune, whereby such men are commonly led, and yet had not they any smell in their nostrils of getting the kingdom for themselves as this man hath to prick him forward.

If you say that these men hated their sovereign and that thereby they were led to procure his destruction, the same I may answer of my Lord living, though of all men he hath least cause so to do. But yet such is the nature of wicked ingratitude that where it oweth most and disdaineth to be bound, there upon every little discontentment it turneth double obligation into triple hatred.

This he showed evidently in the time of his little disgrace, wherein he not only did diminish, vilipend,188 and debase among his friends the inestimable benefits he hath received from her Majesty, but also used to exprobate his own good services and merits and to touch her Highness with ingrate consideration and recompense of the same. Which behavior, together with his hasty preparation to rebellion and assault of her Majesty's royal person and dignity upon so small a cause given, did well show what mind inwardly he beareth to his sovereign, and what her Majesty may expect if by offending him she should once fall within the compass of his furious paws, seeing such a smoke of disdain could not proceed but from a fiery furnace of hatred within.

And surely it is a wonderful matter to consider what a little check, or rather the bare imagination of a small overthwart, may work in a proud and disdainful stomach. The remembrance of his marriage missed that he so much pretended and desired with her Majesty doth stick deeply in his breast and stirreth him daily to revenge. As also doth the disdain of certain checks and disgraces received at some times, especially that of his last marriage, which irketh him so much the more by how much greater fear and danger it brought him into at that time and did put his widow in such open frenzy as she raged many months after against her Majesty and is not cold yet, but remaineth as it were a sworn enemy for that injury, and standeth like a fiend or fury at the elbow of her Amadis to stir him forward when occasion shall serve.189 And what effect such female suggestions may work when they find an humor proud and pliable to their purpose, you may remember by the example of the Duchess of Somerset, who enforced her husband to cut off the head of his only dear brother, to his own evident destruction, for her contentation.190

Wherefore, to conclude this matter without further dispute or reason, seeing there is so much discovered in the case as there is, so great desire of reign, so great impatience of delay, so great hope and ability of success if it be attempted under the good fortune and present authority of the competitors, seeing the plots be so well laid, the preparation so forward, the favorers so furnished, the time so propitious, and so many other causes conviting together; seeing that by deferring all may be hazarded and by hastening little can be endangered, the state and condition of things well weighed; finding also the bands of duty so broken already in the conspirators, the causes of mislike and hatred so manifest, and the solicitors to execution so potent and diligent as women, malice, and ambition are wont to be; it is more than probable that they will not leese their present commodity, especially seeing they have learned by their archetype or protoplot which they follow (I mean the conspiracy of Northumberland and Suffolk in King Edward's days) that herein there was some error committed at that time which overthrew the whole, and that was the deferring of some things until after the king's death which should have been put in execution before.

For if in the time of their plotting, when as yet their designments were not published to the world, they had under the countenance of the king (as well they might have done) gotten into their hands the two sisters and dispatched some other few affairs before they had caused the young prince to die, no doubt but in man's reason the whole designment had taken place, and consequently it is to be presupposed that these men (being no fools in their own affairs) will take heed of falling into the like error by delay, but rather will make all sure by striking while the iron is hot, as our proverb warneth them.

Lawyer: It cannot be denied in reason (quoth the lawyer) but that they have many helps of doing what they list now, under the present favor, countenance, and authority of her Majesty, which they should not have after her Highness' decease, when each man shall remain more at liberty for his supreme obedience by reason of the statute provided for uncertainty of the next succession,191 and therefore I for my part would rather counsel them to make much of her Majesty's life, for after that they little know what may ensue or befall their designments.

Gentleman: They will make the most thereof (quoth the gentleman) for their own advantage, but after that what is like to follow the examples of Edward and Richard II, as also of Henry and Edward VI, do sufficiently forewarn us, whose lives were prolonged until their deaths were thought more profitable to the conspirators and not longer. And for the statute you speak of, procured by themselves for establishing the incertainty of the next true successor (whereas all our former statutes were wont to be made for the declaration and certainty of the same), it is with PROVISO (as you know) that it shall not endure longer than the life of her Majesty that now reigneth; that is, indeed, no longer than until themselves be ready to place another.192 For then, no doubt but we shall see a fair proclamation that my Lord of Huntingdon is the only next heir, with a bundle of halters to hang all such as shall dare once open their mouth for denial of the same.

Lawyer. At these words the old lawyer stepped back, as somewhat astonied, and began to make crosses in the air after their fashion,193 whereat we laughed, and then he said: Truly, my masters, I had thought that no man had conceived so evil imagination of this statute as myself, but now I perceive that I alone am not malicious. For my own part, I must confess unto you that as often as I read over this statute, or think of the same (as by divers occasions many times I do), I feel myself much grieved and afflicted in mind, upon fears which I conceive what may be the end of this statute to our country and what privy meaning the chief procurers thereof might have for their own drifts against the realm and life of her Majesty that now reigneth.

And so much more it maketh me to doubt for that in all our records of law you shall not find (to my remembrance) any one example of such a device for concealing of the true inheritor, but rather in all ages, states, and times (especially from Richard I downward),194 you shall find statutes, ordinances, and provisions for declaration and manifestation of the same, as you have well observed and touched before. And therefore this strange and new device must needs have some strange and unaccustomed meaning, and God of his mercy grant that it have not some strange and unexpected event.

In sight of all men this is already evident, that never country in the world was brought into more apparent danger of utter ruin than ours is at this day by pretense of this statute. For whereas there is no gentleman so mean in the realm that cannot give a guess more or less who shall be his next heir, and his tenants soon conjecture what manner of person shalbe their next lord, in the title of our noble crown, whereof all the rest dependeth, neither is her Majesty permitted to know or say who shalbe her next successor, nor her subjects allowed to understand or imagine who in right may be their future sovereign, an intolerable injury in a matter of so singular importance.195

For (alas) what should become of this our native country if God should take from us her most excellent Majesty (as once he will) and so leave us destitute upon the sudden? What should become of our lives, of our states, and of our whole realm or government? Can any man promise himself one day longer of rest, peace, possession, life, or liberty within the land than God shall lend us her Majesty to reign over us? Which albeit we do and are bound to wish that it may be long, yet reason telleth us that by course of nature it cannot be of any great continuance, and by a thousand accidents it may be much shorter. And shall then our most noble commonwealth and kingdom, which is of perpetuity and must continue to ourselves and our posterity, hang only upon the life of her Highness alone, well strocken in years and of no great good health or robustious and strong complexion.

I was within hearing some six or seven years ago when Sir Christopher Hatton, in a very great assembly, made an eloquent oration (which after I ween was put in print) at the pardoning and delivery of him from the gallows that by error (as was thought) had discharged his piece upon her Majesty's barge and hurt certain persons in her Highness' presence.196 And in that oration he declared and described very effectually what inestimable damage had ensued to the realm if her Majesty by that or any other means should have been taken from us. He set forth most lively before the eyes of all men what division, what dissension, what bloodshed had ensued, and what fatal dangers were most certain to fall upon us whensoever that doleful day should happen, wherein no man should be sure of his life, of his goods, of his wife, of his children; no man certain whither to fly, whom to follow, or where to seek repose and protection.

And as all the hearers there present did easily grant that he therein said truth and far less than might have been said in that behalf, things standing as they do, so many [a] one (I trow) that heard these words proceed from a Councillor that had good cause to know the state of his own country, entered into this cogitation, what punishment they might deserve then at the whole state and commonwealth's hands who first by letting her Majesty from marriage and then by procuring this statute of dissembling the next inheritor had brought their realm into so evident and inevitable dangers? For everyone well considered and weighed with himself that the thing which yet only letted these dangers and miseries set down by Sir Christopher must necessarily one day fail us all, that is, the life of her Majesty now present; and then (say we) how falleth it out that so general a calamity as must needs overtake us ere it be long (and may, for anything we know, tomorrow next) is not provided for, as well as foreseen.

Is there no remedy but that we must willingly and wittingly run into our own ruin? And for the favor or fear of some few aspirers betray our country and the blood of so many thousand innocents as live within the land?

For tell me (good Sirs), I pray you, if her Majesty should die tomorrow next (whose life God long preserve and bless) - but if she should be taken from us (as by condition of nature and human frailty she may), what would you do? Which way would you look? Or what head or part knew any good subject in the realm to follow? I speak not of the conspirators, for I know they wilbe ready and resolved whom to follow, but I speak of the plain, simple, and well meaning subject, who following now the utter letter of this fraudulent statute (fraudulent, I mean, in the secret conceit of the cunning aspirers) shalbe taken at that day upon the sudden and, being put in a maze by the unexpected contention about the crown, shalbe brought into a thousand dangers both of body and goods, which now are not thought upon by them who are most in danger of the same. And this is for the commonwealth and country.

But unto her Majesty, for whose good and safety the statute is only pretended to be made, no doubt but that it bringeth far greater dangers than any device that they have used besides. For hereby under color of restraining the claims and titles of true successors (whose endeavors notwithstanding are commonly more calm and moderate than [those] of usurpers), they make unto themselves a mean to foster and set forward their own conspiracy without controlment, seeing no man of might may oppose himself against them but with suspicion that he meaneth to claim for himself. And so they being armed on the one side with their authority and force of present fortune and defended on the other side by the pretense of the statute, they may securely work and plot at their pleasure, as you have well proved before that they do. And whensoever their grounds and foundations shalbe ready, it cannot be denied but that her Majesty's life lieth much at their discretion, to take it or use it to their best commodity (and there is no doubt but they will), as such men are wont to do in such affairs. Marry, one thing standeth not in their powers so absolutely, and that is to prolong her Majesty's days or favor towards themselves at their pleasures, whereof it is not unlike but they will have due consideration, lest perhaps upon any sudden accident they might be found unready.

Gentleman: They have good care thereof, I can assure you (quoth the gentleman), and mean not to be prevented by any accident or other mishap whatsoever; they wilbe ready for all events, and for that cause they hasten so much their preparations at this day more than ever before by sending out their spies and solicitors everywhere to prove and confirm their friends, by delivering their common watchword, by complaining on all hands of our Protestant bishops and clergy and of all the present state of our irreformed religion (as they call it), by amplifying only the danger of Papists and Scottish faction, by giving out openly that now her Majesty is past hope of childbirth and consequently seeing God hath given no better success that way in two women one after the other, it were not convenient (say they) that another of that sex should ensue, with high commendation of the Law Salic in France whereby women are forbidden to succeed. Which speech, though in show it be delivered against the Queen of Scots and other of King Henry VII his line that descend of sisters, yet all men see that it toucheth as well the disabling of her Majesty that is present as others to come, and so tendeth directly to maturation of the principal purpose, which I have declared before.

Scholar. Here said I: For the rest which you speak of, besides the watchword, it is common and everywhere treated in talk among them, but yet for the watchword itself (for that you name it), I think (Sir) many know it not, if I were the first that told you the story, as perchance I was. For in truth I came to it by a rare hap (as then I told you), the thing being uttered and expounded by a baron of their own faction to another nobleman of the same degree and religion, though not of the same opinion in these affairs. And for that I am requested not to utter the second, who told it me in secret, I must also spare the name of the first, which otherwise I would not, nor the time and place where he uttered the same.

Lawyer. To this said the lawyer: You do well in that, but yet I beseech you, let me know this watchword (if there be any such) for mine instruction and help, when need shall require. For I assure you that this gentleman's former speech of halters hath so terrified me as if any should come and ask or feel my inclination in these matters, I would answer them fully to their good contentment, if I knew the watchword whereby to know them. For of all things I love not to be hanged for quarrels of kingdoms.

[Scholar]: The watchword is (said I) WHETHER YOU BE SETTLED OR NO? and if you answer yea and seem to understand the meaning thereof, then are you known to be of their faction, and so to be accompted and dealt withal for things to come.197 But if you stagger or doubt in answering, as if you knew not perfectly the mystery (as the noble man my good Lord did, imagining that it had been meant of his religion, which was very well known to be good and settled in the gospel), then are you descried thereby, either not to be of their side or else to be but a puny198 not well instructed, and consequently he that moveth you the question will presently break off that speech and turn to some other talk until afterward occasion be given to persuade you or else instruct you better in that affair.

Marry, the nobleman whereof I spake before, perceiving by the demanding that there was some mystery in covert under the question, took hold of the words and would not suffer the propounder to slip away (as he endeavored), but with much entreaty brought him at length to expound the full meaning and purpose of the riddle. And this was the first occasion (as I think) whereby this secret came abroad. Albeit afterwards at the public communions which were made throughout so many shires the matter became more common, especially among the strangers that inhabit (as you know) in great numbers with us at this day. All which (as they say) are made most assured to this faction and ready to assist the same with great forces at all occasions.199

Lawyer. Good Lord (quoth the lawyer), how many mysteries and secrets be there abroad in the world whereof we simple men know nothing and suspect less. This watchword should I never have imagined, and for the great and often assemblies under pretense of communions, though of themselves and of their own nature they were unaccustomed and consequently subject to suspicion, yet did I never conceive so far forth as now I do, as neither of the lodging and entertaining of so many strangers in the realm, whereof our artisans do complain everywhere. But now I see the reason thereof, which (no doubt) is founded upon great policy for the purpose. And by this also I see that the house of Huntingdon presseth far forward for the game and shouldereth near the goal to lay hands upon the same. Which to tell you plainly liketh me but a little, both in respect of the good will I bear to the whole line of King Henry, which hereby is like to be dispossessed, as also for the misery which I do foresee must necessarily ensue upon our country if once the challenge of Huntingdon take place in our realm. Which challenge being derived from the title of Clarence only, in the house of York, before the union of the two great houses, raiseth up again the old contention between the families of York and Lancaster wherein so much English blood was spilt in times past, and much more like to be poured out now if the same contention should be set on foot again. Seeing that to the controversy of titles would be added also the controversy of religion, which of all other differences is most dangerous.

Gentleman: Sir (quoth the gentleman), now you touch a matter of consequence indeed and such as the very naming thereof maketh my heart to shake and tremble. I remember well what Philippe Comines setteth down in his history of our country's calamity by that contention of those two houses distinguished by the red rose and the white, but yet both in their arms might justly have borne the color of red with a fiery sword in a black field to signify the abundance of blood and mortality which ensued in our country by that most woeful and cruel contention.200

I will not stand here to set down the particulars observed and gathered by the foresaid author, though a stranger, which for the most part he saw himself while he lived about the Duke of Burgundy and King Louis of France of that time, namely the pitiful description of divers right noblemen of our realm, who besides all other miseries were driven to beg openly in foreign countries and the like.201 Mine own observation in reading over our country['s] affairs is sufficient to make me abhor the memory of that time and to dread all occasion that may lead us to the like in time to come, seeing that in my judgment neither the civil wars of Marius and Sulla or of Pompey and Caesar among the Romans, nor yet the Guelphians and Ghibellines among the Italians did ever work so much woe as this did to our poor country. Wherein by reason of the contention of York and Lancaster were foughten sixteen or seventeen pitched fields in less than an hundred years. That is, from the eleventh or twelfth year of King Richard II his reign (when this controversy first began to bud up) unto the thirteenth year of King Henry VII. At what time by cutting off the chief titler of Huntingdon's house, to wit, young Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick,202 son and heir to George Duke of Clarence, the contention most happily was quenched and ended, wherein so many fields (as I have said) were foughten between brethren and inhabitants of our own nation. And therein and otherwise only about the same quarrel were slain, murdered, and made away about nine or ten kings and kings' sons, besides above forty earls, marquesses, and dukes of name, but many mo lords, knights, and great gentlemen and captains, and of the common people without number, and by particular conjecture very near two hundred thousand. For that in one battle foughten by King Edward IV203 there are recorded to be slain on both parts five and thirty thousand seven hundred and eleven persons, besides other wounded and taken prisoners to be put to death afterward at the pleasure of the conqueror; at divers battles after, ten thousand slain at a battle, as in those of Barnet and Tewkesbury foughten both in one year.204

This suffered our afflicted country in those days by this infortunate and deadly contention, which could never be ended but by the happy conjunction of those two houses together in Henry VII; neither yet so (as appeareth by chronicle) until (as I have said) the state had cut off the issue male of the Duke of Clarence, who was cause of divers perils to King Henry VII though he were in prison. By whose sister the faction of Huntingdon at this day doth seek to raise up the same contention again, with far greater danger both to the realm and to her Majesty that now reigneth than ever before.

And for the realm it is evident, by that it giveth room to strangers' competitors of the house of Lancaster, better able to maintain their own title by sword than ever was any of that lineage before them. And for her Majesty's peril present, it is nothing hard to conjecture, seeing the same title in the foresaid Earl of Warwick was so dangerous and troublesome to her grandfather (by whom she holdeth) as he was fain twice to take arms in defense of his right against the said title, which was in those days preferred and advanced by the friends of Clarence before that of Henry, as also this of Huntingdon is at this day by his faction before that of her Majesty, though never so unjustly.

Lawyer. Touching Huntingdon's title before her Majesty (quoth the lawyer) I will say nothing, because in reason I see not by what pretense in the world he may thrust himself so far forth, seeing her Majesty is descended not only of the house of Lancaster but also before him most apparently from the house of York itself, as from the eldest daughter of King Edward IV, being the eldest brother of that house. Whereas Huntingdon claimeth only by the daughter of George Duke of Clarence, the younger brother. Marry, yet I must confess that if the Earl of Warwick's title were better than that of King Henry VII (which is most false, though many attempted to defend the same by sword), then hath Huntingdon some wrong at this day by her Majesty. Albeit in very truth, the attaints of so many of his ancestors by whom he claimeth would answer him also sufficiently in that behalf if his title were otherwise allowable.205

But I know besides this they have another fetch of King Richard III, whereby he would needs prove his elder brother King Edward to be a bastard and consequently his whole line as well male as female to be void. Which device, though it be ridiculous and was at the time when it was first invented, yet as Richard found at that time a Doctor Shaw that shamed not to publish and defend the same at Paul's Cross in a sermon,206 and John of Northumberland, my Lord of Leicester's father, found out divers preachers in his time to set up the title of Suffolk and to debase the right of King Henry's daughter both in London, Cambridge, Oxford, and other places, most apparently against all law and reason, so I doubt not but these men would find out also both Shaws, Sands, and others to set out the title of Clarence before the whole interest of King Henry VII and his posterity if occasion served.207 Which is a point of importance to be considered by her Majesty, albeit for my part I mean not now to stand thereupon but only upon that other of the house of Lancaster, as I have said.

For as that most honorable, lawful, and happy conjunction of the two adversary houses in King Henry VII and his wife made an end of the shedding of English blood within itself and brought us that most desired peace which ever sithence we have enjoyed by the reign of their two most noble issue, so the plot that now is in hand for the cutting off the residue of that issue and for recalling back of the whole title to the only house of York again is like to plunge us deeper than ever in civil discord and to make us the bait of all foreign princes; seeing there be among them at this day some of no small power (as I have said) who pretend to be the next heirs by the house of Lancaster208 and consequently are not like to give over or abandon their own right if once the door be opened to contention for the same by disannulling the line of King Henry VII, wherein only the keys of all concord remain knit together.

And albeit I know well that such as be of my Lord of Huntingdon's party will make small accompt of the title of Lancaster, as less rightful a great deal than that of York (and I for my part mean not greatly to avow the same as now it is placed, being myself no favorer of foreign titles), yet indifferent men have to consider how it was taken in times past and how it may again in time to come if contention should arise; how many noble personages of our realm did offer themselves to die in defense thereof; how many oaths and laws were given and received throughout the realm for maintenance of the same against the other house of York forever; how many worthy kings were crowned and reigned of that house and race, to wit, the four most noble Henrys, one after another, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh, who both in number, government, sanctity, courage, and feats of arms were nothing inferior (if not superior) to those of the other house and line of York after the division between the families.

It is to be considered also as a special sign of the favor and affection of our whole nation unto that family that Henry Earl of Richmond, though descending but of the last son and third wife of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster,209 was so respected for that only by the universal realm as they inclined wholly to call him from banishment and to make him king, with the deposition of Richard which then ruled of the house of York, upon condition only that the said Henry should take to wife a daughter of the contrary family; so great was in those days the affection of English hearts towards the line of Lancaster for the great worthiness of such kings as had reigned of that race, how good or bad soever their title were; which I stand not here at this time to discuss, but only to insinuate what party the same found in our realm in times past and consequently how extreme dangerous the contention for the same may be hereafter, especially seeing that at this day the remainder of that title is pretended to rest wholly in a stranger whose power is very great. Which we lawyers are wont to esteem as a point of no small importance for justifying of any man's title to a kingdom.

Scholar. You lawyers want not reason in that, Sir (quoth I), howsoever you want right, for if you will examine the succession of governments from the beginning of the world unto this day, either among Gentile, Jew, or Christian people, you shall find that the sword hath been always better than half the title, to get, establish, or maintain a kingdom, which maketh me the more appalled to hear you discourse in such sort of new contentions and foreign titles accompanied with such power and strength of the titlers. Which cannot be but infinitely dangerous and fatal to our realm, if once it come to action, both for the division that is like to be at home and the variety of parties from abroad. For as the prince whom you signify will not fail (by all likelihood) to pursue his title with all forces that he can make, if occasion were offered, so reason of state and policy will enforce other princes adjoining to let and hinder him therein what they can, and so by this means shall we become Judah and Israel among ourselves, one killing and vexing the other with the sword; and to foreign princes we shalbe as the island of Salamina [Salamis] was in old time to the Athenians and Megarians, and as the island of Sicilia was afterward to the Grecians, Carthaginians, and Romans, and as in our days the kingdom of Naples hath been to the Spaniards, Frenchmen, Germans, and Venetians; that is, a bait to feed upon and a game to fight for.

Wherefore I beseech the Lard to avert from us all occasions of such miseries. And I pray you, Sir, for that we are fallen into the mention of these matters, to take so much pains as to open unto me the ground of these controversies so long now quiet between York and Lancaster, seeing they are now like to be raised again. For albeit in general I have heard much thereof, yet in particular I either conceive not or remember not the foundation of the same, and much less the state of their several titles at this day, for that it is a study not properly pertaining unto my profession.

Lawyer. The controversy between the houses of York and Lancaster (quoth the lawyer) took his actual beginning in the issue of King Edward III, who died somewhat more than two hundred years gone, but the occasion, pretense, or cause of that quarrel began in the children of King Henry III, who died an hundred years before that and left two sons: Edward, who was king after him by the name of Edward I and was grandfather to Edward III, and Edmund (for his deformity called Crookback), Earl of Lancaster and beginner of that house, whose inheritance afterward in the fourth descent fell upon a daughter named Blanche, who was married to the fourth son of King Edward III, named John of Gaunt for that he was born in the city of Gaunt in Flanders, and so by this his first wife he became Duke of Lancaster and heir of that house. And for that his son Henry of Bolingbroke (afterward called King Henry IV) pretended among other things that Edmund Crookback, great-grandfather to Blanche his mother, was the elder son of King Henry III and injustly put by the inheritance of the crown for that he was crookbacked and deformed, he took by force the kingdom from Richard II, nephew to King Edward III by his first son,210 and placed the same in the house of Lancaster where it remained for three whole descents, until afterward Edward Duke of York, descended of John of Gaunt's younger brother, making claim to the crown by title of his grandmother that was heir to Lionel Duke of Clarence, John of Gaunt's elder brother, took the same by force from Henry VI of the house of Lancaster and brought it back again to the house of York, where it continued with much trouble in two kings only, until both houses were joined together in King Henry VII and his noble issue.

Hereby we see how the issue of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son to King Edward III, pretended right to the crown by Edmund Crookback before the issue of all the other three sons of Edward III, albeit they were the elder brothers, whereof we will speak more hereafter. Now John of Gaunt, though he had many children, yet had he four only of whom issue remain, two sons and two daughters. The first son was Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, who took the crown from King Richard II, his uncle's son, as hath been said, and first of all planted the same in the house of Lancaster where it remained in two descents after him, that is, in his son Henry V and in his nephew Henry VI, who was afterward destroyed together with Henry Prince of Wales, his only son and heir,211 and consequently all that line of Henry Bolingbroke extinguished by Edward IV of the house of York.

The other son of John of Gaunt was John Duke of Somerset, by Katherine Swynford, his third wife;212 which John had issue another John, and he, Margaret his daughter and heir, who being married to Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, had issue Henry Earl of Richmond, who after was named King Henry VII, whose line yet endureth.

The two daughters of John of Gaunt were married to Portugal and Castile; that is, Philippe born of Blanche, heir to Edmund Crookback as hath been said, was married to John King of Portugal, of whom is descended the king that now possesseth Portugal and the other princes which have or may make title to the same; and Katherine, born of Constance, heir of Castile, was married back again to Henry King of Castile in Spain, of whom King Philip is also descended.213 So that by this we see where the remainder of the house of Lancaster resteth if the line of King Henry VII were extinguished, and what pretext foreign princes may have to subdue us if my Lord of Huntingdon either now or after her Majesty's days will open to them the door by shutting out the rest of King Henry's line and by drawing back the title to the only house of York again, which he pretendeth to do upon this that I will now declare.

King Edward III, albeit he had many children, yet five only will we speak of at this time, whereof three were elder than John of Gaunt and one younger. The first of the elder was named Edward the Black Prince, who died before his father leaving one only son named Richard, who afterward being king and named Richard II was deposed without issue and put to death by his cousin german named Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, son to John of Gaunt as hath been said, and so there ended the line of King Edward's first son.

King Edward's second son was William of Hatfield, that died without issue.

His third son was Lionel Duke of Clarence, whose only daughter and heir, called Philippe, was married to Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, and after that, Anne, the daughter and heir of Mortimer,214 was married to Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, son and heir to Edmund of Langley, the first Duke of York,215 which Edmund was the fifth son of King Edward III and younger brother to John of Gaunt. And this Edmund of Langley may be called the first beginner of the house of York, even as Edmund Crookback the beginner of the house [of] Lancaster.

This Edmund Langley then, having a son named Richard that married Anne Mortimer, sole heir to Lionel Duke of Clarence, joined two lines and two titles in one; I mean the line of Lionel and of Edmund Langley, who were (as hath been said) the third and the fifth sons to King Edward III. And for this cause, the child that was born of this marriage, named after his father Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, seeing himself strong and the first line of King Edward III's eldest son to be extinguished in the death of King Richard II, and seeing William of Hatfield, the second son, dead likewise without issue, made demand of the crown for the house of York by the title of Lionel the third son of King Edward. And albeit he could not obtain the same in his days, for that he was slain in a battle against King Henry VI at Wakefield, yet his son Edward got the same and was called by the name of King Edward IV.

This king at his death left divers children, as namely two sons, Edward V and his brother, who after were both murdered in the Tower, as shalbe showed; and also five daughters, to wit: Elizabeth, Cecily, Anne, Katherine, and Bridget. Whereof the first was married to Henry VII, the last became a nun, and the other three were bestowed upon divers other husbands.216

He had also two brothers: the first was called George Duke of Clarence, who afterward upon his deserts (as is to be supposed) was put to death in Calais by commandment of the king and his attainder allowed by Parliament. And this man left behind him a son named Edward Earl of Warwick, put to death afterward without issue by King Henry VII, and a daughter named Margaret Countess of Salisbury who was married to a mean gentleman named Richard Poole,217 by whom she had issue Cardinal Poole that died without marriage and Henry Poole that was attainted and executed in King Henry VIII his time (as also herself was), and this Henry Poole left a daughter married afterward to the Earl of Huntingdon, by whom this Earl that now is maketh title to the crown.218 And this is the effect of my Lord of Huntingdon's title.

The second brother of King Edward IV was Richard Duke of Gloucester, who after the king's death caused his two sons to be murdered in the Tower and took the kingdom to himself.219 And afterward he being slain by King Henry VII at Bosworth field, left no issue behind him. Wherefore King Henry VII, descending as hath been showed of the house of Lancaster, by John of Gaunt's last son and third wife, and taking to wife Lady Elizabeth, eldest daughter of King Edward IV of the house of York, joined most happily the two families together and made an end of all controversies about the title.

Now King Henry VII had issue three children of whom remaineth posterity. First, Henry VIII, of whom is descended our sovereign her Majesty that now happily reigneth and is the last that remaineth alive of that first line. Secondly, he had two daughters, whereof the first, named Margaret, was married twice, first to James King of Scotland, from whom are directly descended the Queen of Scotland that now liveth and her son, and, King James being dead, Margaret was married again to Archibald Douglas, Earl of Anguish,220 by whom she had a daughter named Margaret which was married afterward to Matthew Steward, Earl of Lennox, whose son Charles Steward was married to Elizabeth Candish [Cavendish], daughter to the present Countess of Shrewsbury,221 and by her hath left his only heir, a little daughter named Arbella, of whom you have heard some speech before. And this is touching the line of Scotland, descending from the first and eldest daughter of King Henry VII.

The second daughter of King Henry VII, called Mary, was twice married also, first to the king of France, by whom she had no issue,222 and after his death to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, by whom she had two daughters, that is, Frances, of which the children of my Lord of Hertford do make their claim, and Eleanor, by whom the issue of the Earl of Derby pretendeth right, as shalbe declared. For that Frances, the first daughter of Charles Brandon by the Queen of France, was married to the Marquess of Dorset, who after Charles Brandon's death was made Duke of Suffolk in right of his wife and was beheaded in Queen Mary's time for his conspiracy with my Lord of Leicester's father. And she had by this man three daughters: that is, Jane, that was married to my Lord of Leicester's brother and proclaimed queen after King Edward's death, for which both she and her husband were executed; Catherine, the second daughter, who had two sons yet living by the Earl of Hertford; and Mary, the third daughter, which left no children.

The other daughter of Charles Brandon by the Queen of France, called Eleanor, was married to George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland,223 who left a daughter by her named Margaret, married to the Earl of Derby, which yet liveth and hath issue. And this is the title of all the house of Suffolk, descended from the second daughter of King Henry VII, married (as hath been showed) to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. And by this you see also how many there be who do think their titles to be far before that of my Lord of Huntingdon's, if either right, law, reason, or consideration of home affairs may take place in our realm; or if not, yet you cannot but imagine how many great princes and potentates abroad are like to join and buckle with Huntingdon's line for the pre-eminence if once the matter fall again to contention by excluding the line of King Henry VII, which God forbid.

Scholar. Truly, Sir (quoth I), I well perceive that my Lord's turn is not so nigh as I had thought, whether he exclude the line of King Henry or no. For if he exclude that, then must he enter the combat with foreign titlers of the house of Lancaster, and if he exclude it not, then in all appearance of reason and in law too (as you have said) the succession of the two daughters of King Henry VII (which you distinguish by the two names of Scotland and Suffolk) must needs be as clearly before him and his line, that descendeth only from Edward IV his brother, as the Queen's title that now reigneth is before him. For that both Scotland, Suffolk, and her Majesty do hold all by one foundation, which is the union of both houses and titles together in King Henry VII, her Majesty's grandfather.

Gentleman: That is true (quoth the gentleman) and evident enough in every man's eye, and therefore no doubt but that as much is meant against her Majesty, if occasion serve, as against the rest that hold by the same title. Albeit her Majesty's state (the Lord be praised) be such at this time as it is not safety to pretend so much against her as against the rest, whatsoever be meant. And that in truth more should be meant 'gainst her Highness than against all the rest there is this reason, for that her Majesty by her present possession letteth more their desires than all the rest together with their future pretenses. But as I have said, it is not safety for them, nor yet good policy, to declare openly what they mean against her Majesty; it is the best way for the present to hew down the rest and to leave her Majesty for the last blow and upshot to their game. For which cause, they will seem to make great difference at this day between her Majesty's title and the rest that descend in like wise from King Henry VII, avowing the one and disallowing the other. Albeit my Lord of Leicester's father preferred that of Suffolk, when time was, before this of her Majesty and compelled the whole realm to swear thereunto. Such is the variable policy of men that serve the time, or rather that serve themselves of all times, for their purposes.

Scholar. I remember (quoth I) that time of the Duke and was present myself at some of his proclamations for that purpose. Wherein my Lord his son that now liveth being then a doer (as I can tell he was), I marvel how he can deal so contrary now, preferring not only her Majesty's title before that of Suffolk (whereof I wonder less because it is more gainful to him), but also another much further off. But you have signified the cause, in that the times are changed, and other bargains are in hand of more importance for him. Wherefore leaving this to be considered by others whom it concerneth, I beseech you, Sir (for that I know your worship hath been much conversant among their friends and favorers), to tell me what are the bars and lets which they do allege why the house of Scotland and Suffolk descending of King Henry VII his daughters should not succeed in the crown of England after her Majesty, who endeth the line of the same king by his son, for in my sight the matter appeareth very plain.

Gentleman: They want not pretenses of bars and lets against them all (quoth the gentleman), which I will lay down in order as I have heard them alleged. First, in the line of Scotland there are three persons, as you know, that may pretend right; that is, the Queen and her son by the first marriage of Margaret, and Arbella by the second. And against the first marriage I hear nothing affirmed, but against the two persons proceeding thereof I hear them allege three stops: one, for that they are strangers born out of the land and consequently incapable of inheritance within the same; another, for that by a special testament of King Henry VIII, authorized by two several Parliaments, they are excluded; the third, for that they are enemies to the religion now received among us and therefore to be debarred.

Against the second marriage of Margaret, with Archibald Douglas, whereof Arbella is descended, they allege that the said Archibald had a former wife at the time of that marriage which lived long after, and so neither that marriage lawful nor the issue thereof legitimate.224

The same bar they have against all the house and line of Suffolk, for first they say that Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, had a known wife alive when he married Mary Queen of France, and consequently that neither the Lady Frances nor Eleanor born of that marriage can be lawfully born.225 And this is all I can hear them say against the succession of the Countess of Derby, descended of Eleanor. But against my Lord of Hertford's children that come from Frances the eldest daughter I hear them allege two or three bastardies more besides this of the first marriage. For first, they affirm that Henry Marquess Dorset, when he married the Lady Frances, had to wife the old Earl of Arundel's sister, who lived both then and many years after and had a provision out of his living to her dying day, whereby that marriage could no way be good.226 Secondly, that the Lady Catherine, daughter to the said Lady Frances by the Marquess (by whom the Earl of Hertford had his children) was lawfully married to the Earl of Pembroke that now liveth, and consequently could have no lawful issue by any other during his life.227 Thirdly, that the said Catherine was never lawfully married to the said Earl of Hertford, but bare him those children as his concubine. Which (as they say) is defined and registered in the Archbishop of Canterbury's court, upon due examination taken by order of her Majesty that now reigneth, and this is in effect so much as I have heard them allege about these affairs.228

Scholar. It is much (quoth I) that you have said, if it may be all proved. Marry, yet by the way, I cannot but smile to hear my Lord of Leicester allow of so many bastardies now upon the issue of Lady Frances, whom in time past, when Jane her eldest daughter was married to his brother, he advanced in legitimation before both the daughters of King Henry VIII. But to the purpose: I would gladly know what grounds of verity these allegations have and how far in truth they may stop from inheritance, for indeed I never heard them so distinctly alleged before.

Gentleman: Whereto answered the gentleman that our friend the lawyer could best resolve that, if it pleased him to speak without his fee, though in some points alleged every other man (quoth he) that knoweth the state and common government of England may easily give his judgment also. As in the case of bastardy, if the matter may be proved there is no difficulty, but that no right to inheritance can justly be pretended; as also (perhaps) in the case of foreign birth, though in this I am not so cunning; but yet I see by experience that foreigners born in other lands can hardly come and claim inheritance in England, albeit to the contrary I have heard great and long disputes but such as indeed passed my capacity. And if it might please our friend here present to expound the thing unto us more clearly, I for my part would gladly bestow the hearing, and that with attention.

Lawyer. To this answered the lawyer: I will gladly, Sir, tell you my mind in any thing that it shall please you demand, and much more in this matter wherein by occasion of often conference I am somewhat perfect.

The impediments which these men allege against the succession of King Henry VIII his sisters are of two kinds, as you see, the one known and allowed in our law, as you have well said, if it may be proved, and that is bastardy, whereby they seek to disable all the whole line and race of Suffolk, as also Arbella of the second and later house of Scotland. Whereof it is to small purpose to speak anything here, seeing the whole controversy standeth upon a matter of fact only, to be proved or improved by records and witnesses. Only this I will say, that some of these bastardies before named are rife in many men's mouths and avowed by divers that yet live; but let other men look to this, who have most interest therein and may be most damnified by them if they fall out true.

The other impediments which are alleged only against the Queen of Scots and her son are in number three, as you recite them: that is, foreign birth, King Henry's testament, and religion, whereof I am content to say somewhat seeing you desire it, albeit there be so much published already in books of divers languages beyond the sea, as I am informed, concerning this matter as more cannot be said. But yet so much as I have heard pass among lawyers my betters in conference of these affairs I will not let to recite unto you, with this proviso and protestation always, that what I speak I speak by way of recital of other men's opinions, not meaning myself to incur the statute of affirming or avowing any person's title to the crown whatsoever.

First then,229 touching foreign birth, there be some men in the world that will say that it is a common and general rule of our law that no stranger at all may inherit anything by any means within the land, which in truth I take to be spoken without ground, in that general sense. For I could never yet come to the sight of any such common or universal rule, and I know that divers examples may be alleged in sundry cases to the contrary; and by that which is expressly set down in the seventh and ninth years of King Edward IV, and in the eleventh and fourteenth of Henry IV, it appeareth plainly that a stranger may purchase lands in England, as also inherit by his wife if he marry an inheritrix. Wherefore this common rule is to be restrained from that generality into proper inheritance only; in which sense I do easily grant that our common law hath been of ancient, and is at this day, that no person born out of the allegiance of the king of England whose father and mother were not of the same allegiance at the time of his birth shalbe able to have or demand any heritage within the same allegiance as heir to any person. And this rule of our common law is gathered in these selfsame words of a statute made in the twenty-fifth year of King Edward III, which indeed is the only place of effect that can be alleged out of our law against the inheritance of strangers in such sense and cases as we now treat of.

And albeit now the common law of our country do run thus in general, yet will the friends of the Scottish claim affirm that hereby that title is nothing let or hindered at all towards the crown, and that for divers manifest and weighty reasons, whereof the principal are these which ensue.

First, it is common and a general rule of our English laws that no rule, axiom, or maxima of law (be it never so general) can touch or bind the crown except express mention be made thereof in the same, for that the king and crown have great privilege and prerogative above the state and affairs of subjects and great differences allowed in points of law.

As for example, it is a general and common rule of law that the wife, after the decease of her husband, shall enjoy the third of his lands, but yet the queen shall not enjoy the third part of the crown after the king's death, as well appeareth by experience and is to be seen by law, Anno 5. and 21. of Edward III and Anno 9. and 28. of Henry VI.230 Also it is a common rule that the husband shall hold his wife's lands after her death as tenant by courtesy during his life, but yet it holdeth not in a kingdom.

In like manner, it is a general and common rule that if a man die seized of land in fee simple, having daughters and no son, his lands shalbe divided by equal portions among his daughters, which holdeth not in the crown, but rather the eldest daughter inheriteth the whole as if she were the issue male. So also it is a common rule of our law that the executor shall have all the goods and chattels of the testator, but yet not in the crown. And so in many other cases which might be recited it is evident that the crown hath privilege above others and can be subject to no rule, be it never so general, except express mention be made thereof in the same law, as it is not in the former place and a statute alleged; but rather to the contrary (as after shalbe showed), there is express exception for the prerogative of such as descend of royal blood.

Their second reason is for that the demand or title of a crown cannot in true sense be comprehended under the words of the former statute forbidding aliens to demand heritage within the allegiance of England, and that for two respects. The one, for that the crown itself cannot be called an heritage of allegiance or within allegiance, for that it is holden of no superior upon earth but immediately from God himself; the second, for that this statute treateth only and meaneth of inheritance by descent, as heir to the same (for I have showed before that aliens may hold lands by purchase within our dominion), and then say they, the crown is a thing incorporate and descendeth not according to the common course of other private inheritances, but goeth by succession as other incorporations do. In sign whereof, it is evident that albeit the king be more favored in all his doings than any common person shalbe, yet cannot he avoid by law his grants and letters patent by reason of his nonage (as other infants and common heirs under age may do), but always be said to be of full age in respect of his crown, even as a prior, parson, vicar, dean, or other person incorporate shalbe, which cannot by any means in law be said to be within age, in respect of their incorporations.

Which thing maketh an evident difference in our case from the meaning of the former statute, for that a prior, dean, or parson, being aliens and no denizens, might always in time of peace demand lands in England in respect of their corporations, notwithstanding the said statute or common law against aliens, as appeareth by many book-cases yet extant, as also by the statute made in the time of King Richard II, which was after the foresaid statute of King Edward III.231

The third reason is for that in the former statute itself of King Edward there are excepted expressly from this general rule INFANTES DU ROY, that is, the king's offspring or issue, as the word INFANT doth signify both in France, Portugal, Spain, and other countries, and as the Latin word liberi (which answereth the same) is taken commonly in the civil law. Neither may we restrain the French words of that statute, INFANTES DU ROY, to the king's children only of the first degree (as some do, for that the barrenness of our language doth yield us no other word for the same), but rather that thereby are understood as well the nephews and other descendants of the king or blood royal as his immediate children. For it were both unreasonable and ridiculous to imagine that King Edward by this statute would go about to disinherit his own nephews if he should have any born out of his own allegiance (as easily he might at that time, his sons being much abroad from England, and the Black Prince, his eldest son, having two children born beyond the seas), and consequently it is apparent that this rule or maxima set down against aliens is no way to be stretched against the descendants of the king or of the blood royal.

Their fourth reason is that the meaning of King Edward and his children (living at such time as this statute was made) could not be that any of their lineage or issue might be excluded in law from inheritance of their right to the crown by their foreign birth wheresoever. For otherwise it is not credible that they would so much have dispersed their own blood in other countries as they did by giving their daughters to strangers and other means. As Lionel the king's third son was married in Milan, and John of Gaunt the fourth son gave his two daughters Philippe and Katherine to Portugal and Castile and his niece Joan to the king of Scots; as Thomas of Woodstock also, the youngest brother, married his two daughters, the one to the king of Spain , and the other to the Duke of Brittany. Which no doubt they (being wise princes and so near of the blood royal) would never have done if they had imagined that hereby their issue should have lost all claim and title to the crown of England, and therefore it is most evident that no such bar was then extant or imagined.

Their fifth reason is that divers persons born out of all English dominion and allegiance, both before the Conquest and sithence, have been admitted to the succession of our crown as lawful inheritors without any exception against them for their foreign birth. As before the Conquest is evident in young Edgar Etheling, born in Hungary and thence called home to inherit the crown by his great uncle King Edward the Confessor with full consent of the whole realm, the Bishop of Worcester being sent as ambassador to fetch him home with his father, named Edward the Outlaw.232

And since the Conquest, it appeareth plainly in King Stephen and King Henry II, both of them born out of English dominions and of parents that at their birth were not of the English allegiance, and yet were they both admitted to the crown. Young Arthur also, Duke of Bretaigne233 by his mother Constance that matched with Geoffrey, King Henry II's son, was declared by King Richard his uncle at his departure towards Jerusalem, and by the whole realm, for lawful heir apparent to the crown of England, though he were born in Bretaigne out of English allegiance, and so he was taken and adjudged by all the world at that day; albeit after King Richard's death his other uncle John most tyrannously took both his kingdom and his life from him.234 For which notable injustice he was detested of all men both abroad and at home, and most apparently scourged by God with grievous and manifold plagues both upon himself and upon the realm which yielded to his usurpation. So that by this also it appeareth what the practice of our country hath been from time to time in this case of foreign birth, which practice is the best interpreter of our common English law, which dependeth especially and most of all upon custom; nor can the adversary allege anyone example to the contrary.

Their sixth is of the judgment and sentence of King Henry VII and of his Council, who being together in consultation at a certain time about the marriage of Margaret his eldest daughter into Scotland, some of his Council moved this doubt, what should ensue if by chance the king' s issue male should fail and so the succession devolve to the heirs of the said Margaret as now it doth? Whereunto that wise and most prudent prince made answer that if any such event should be, it could not be prejudicial to England, being the bigger part, but rather beneficial, for that it should draw Scotland to England, that is, the lesser to the more, even as in times past it happened in Normandy, Aquitaine, and some other provinces. Which answer appeased all doubts and gave singular content[at]ion to these of his Council, as Polydore writeth that lived at that time and wrote the special matters of that reign by the king's own instruction.235 So that hereby we see no question made of King Henry or his Councillors touching foreign birth to let the succession of Lady Margaret's issue, which no doubt would never have been omitted in that learned assembly if any law at that time had been esteemed or imagined to bar the same.

And these are six of their principalest reasons to prove that neither by the words nor meaning of our common laws, nor yet by custom or practice of our realm an alien may be debarred from claim of his interest to the crown when it falleth to him by rightful descent in blood and succession. But in the particular case of the Queen of Scots and her son they do add another reason or two, thereby to prove them in very deed to be no aliens. Not only in respect of their often and continual mixture with English blood from the beginning (and especially of late, the Queen's grandmother and husband being English, and so her son begotten of an English father), but also for two other causes and reasons, which seem in truth of very good importance.

The first is for that Scotland by all Englishmen (howsoever the Scots deny the same) is taken and holden as subject to England by way of homage, which many of their kings at divers times have acknowledged; and consequently the Queen and her son being born in Scotland are not born out of the allegiance of England, and so no foreigners.236

The second cause or reason is for that the forenamed statute of foreigners in the five and twenty year of King Edward III is entitled of those that are born beyond the seas. And in the body of the same statute the doubt is moved of children born out of English allegiance beyond the seas, whereby cannot be understood Scotland for that it is a piece of the continent land within the seas. And all our old records in England that talk of service to be done within these two countries have usually these Latin words, infra quatuor maria, or in French, deins lez quatre mers; that is, within the four seas, whereby must needs be understood as well Scotland as England, and that perhaps for the reason before mentioned, of the subjection of Scotland by way of homage to the crown of England. In respect whereof it may be that it was accompted of old but one dominion or allegiance, and consequently no man born therein can be accompted an alien to England.237 And this shall suffice for the first point, touching foreign nativity.238

For the second impediment objected, which is the testament of King Henry VIII,239 authorized by Parliament, whereby they affirm the succession of Scotland to be excluded, it is not precisely true that they are excluded, but only that they are put back behind the succession of the house of Suffolk. For in that pretended testament (which after shalbe proved to be none indeed), King Henry so disposeth that after his own children (if they should chance to die without issue) the crown shall pass to the heirs of Frances and of Eleanor, his nieces by his younger sister Mary Queen of France; and after them (deceasing also without issue) the succession to return to the next heirs again. Whereby it is evident that the succession of Margaret Queen of Scotland, his eldest sister, is not excluded, but thrust back only from their due place and order to expect the remainder which may in time be left by the younger. Whereof in mine opinion do ensue some considerations against the present pretenders themselves.

First, that in King Henry's judgment the former pretended rule of foreign birth was no sufficient impediment against Scotland, for if it had been, no doubt but that he would have named the same in his alleged testament and thereby have utterly excluded that succession. But there is no such thing in the testament.

Secondly, if they admit this testament, which alloteth the crown to Scotland next after Suffolk, then, seeing that all the house of Suffolk (by these men's assertion) is excluded by bastardy, it must needs follow that Scotland by their own judgment is next, and so this testament will make against them, as indeed it doth in all points most apparently but only that it preferreth the house of Suffolk before that of Scotland. And therefore I think (Sir) that you mistake somewhat about their opinion in alleging this testament. For I suppose that no man of my Lord of Huntingdon's faction will allege or urge the testimony of this testament, but rather some friend of the house of Suffolk, in whose favor I take it that it was first of all forged.

Gentleman: It may be (quoth the gentleman), nor will I stand obstinately in the contrary, for that it is hard sometime to judge of what faction each one is who discourseth of these affairs. But yet I marvel (if it were as you say) why Leicester's father after King Edward's death made no mention thereof in the favor of Suffolk in the other testament which then he proclaimed, as made by King Edward deceased, for preferment of Suffolk before his own sisters?

Lawyer: The cause of this is evident (quoth the lawyer), for that it made not sufficiently for his purpose, which was to disinherit the two daughters of King Henry himself and advance the house of Suffolk before them both.240

Gentleman: A notable change (quoth the gentleman), that a title so much exalted of late by the father, above all order, right, rank, and degree, should now be so much debased by the son, as though it were not worthy to hold any degree, but rather to be trodden under foot for plain bastardy. And you see by this how true it is which I told you before, that the race of Dudleys are most cunning merchants to make their gain of all things, men, and times. And as we have seen now two testaments alleged, the one of the king father and the other of the king son, and both of them in prejudice of the testators' true successors, so many good subjects begin greatly to fear that we may chance to see shortly a third testament of her Majesty for the entitling of Huntingdon and extirpation of King Henry's blood, and that before her Majesty can think of sickness, wherein I beseech the Lord I be no prophet. But now (Sir), to the foresaid will and testament of King Henry, I have often heard in truth that the thing was counterfeit, or at the least not able to be proved, and that it was discovered, rejected, and defaced in Queen Mary's time; but I would gladly understand what you lawyers esteem or judge thereof.

Lawyer. Touching this matter (quoth the lawyer), it cannot be denied but that in the twenty and eighth and thirty and sixth years of King Henry's reign,241 upon consideration of some doubt and irresolution which the king himself had showed to have about the order of succession in his own children, as also for taking away all occasions of controversies in those of the next blood, the whole Parliament gave authority unto the said king to debate and determine those matters himself, together with his learned Council, who best knew the laws of the realm and titles that any man might have thereby; and that whatsoever succession his Majesty should declare as most right and lawful under his letters patent sealed, or by his last will and testament rightfully made and signed with his own hand, that the same should be received for good and lawful.

Upon pretense whereof, soon after King Henry's death there was showed a will with the king's stamp at the same and the names of divers witnesses, wherein (as hath been said) the succession of the crown, after the king's own children, is assigned to the heirs of Frances and of Eleanor, nieces to the king by his younger sister. Which assignation of the crown, being as it were a mere gift in prejudice of the elder sister's right (as also of the right of Frances and Eleanor themselves, who were omitted in the same assignation and their heirs entitled only), was esteemed to be against all reason, law, and nature, and consequently not thought to proceed from so wise and sage a prince as King Henry was known to be, but rather either the whole forged or at leastwise that clause inserted by other and the king's stamp set unto it after his death, or when his Majesty lay now past understanding. And hereof there wanteth not divers most evident reasons and proofs.

For first, it is not probable or credible that King Henry would ever go about, against law and reason, to disinherit the line of his eldest sister without any profit or interest to himself, and thereby give most evident occasion of civil war and discord within the realm, seeing that in such a case of manifest and apparent wrong in so great a matter the authority of Parliament taketh little effect against the true and lawful inheritor, as well appeared in the former times and contentions of Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III, in whose reigns the divers and contrary Parliaments made and holden against the next inheritor held no longer with any man than until the other was able to make his own party good.

So likewise in the case of King Edward III his succession to France in the right of his mother, though he were excluded by the general assembly and consent of their parliaments, yet he esteemed not his right extinguished thereby, as neither did other kings of our country that ensued after him. And for our present case, if nothing else should have restrained King Henry from such open injustice towards his eldest sister, yet this cogitation at least would have stayed him, that by giving example of supplanting his elder sister's line by virtue of a testament or pretense of Parliament, some other might take occasion to displace his children by like pretense, as we see that Duke Dudley did soon after by a forged testament of King Edward VI. So ready scholars there are to be found which easily will learn such lessons of iniquity.

Secondly, there be too many incongruities and indignities in the said pretended will to proceed from such a prince and learned Council as King Henry's was. For first, what can be more ridiculous than to give the crown unto the heirs of Frances and Eleanor and not to any of themselves? Or what had they offended that their heirs should enjoy the crown in their right and not they themselves? What if King Henry's children should have died whiles Lady Frances had been yet alive? Who should have possessed the kingdom before her, seeing her line was next? And yet by this testament she could not pretend herself to obtain it. But rather, having married Adrian Stokes her horsekeeper, she must have suffered her son by him (if she had any) to enjoy the crown, and so Adrian of a servingman and master of horses should have become the Great Master and Protector of England.242 Of like absurdity is that other clause also, wherein the king bindeth his own daughters to marry by consent and direction of his Council or otherwise to leese the benefit of their succession, but yet bindeth not his nieces' daughters, to wit, the daughters of Frances and Eleanor (if that they had any) to any such condition.

Thirdly, there may be divers causes and arguments alleged in law why this pretended will is not authentical, if otherwise it were certain that King Henry had meant it. First, for that it is not agreeable to the mind and meaning of the Parliament, which intended only to give authority for declaration and explication of the true title and not for donation or intricating of the same to the ruin of the realm. Secondly, for that there is no lawful and authentical copy extant thereof, but only a bare enrollment in the Chancery, which is not sufficient in so weighty an affair;243 no witness of the Privy Council or of nobility to the same, which had been convenient in so great a case (for the best of the witnesses therein named is Sir John Gates, whose miserable death is well known);244 no public notary; no probation of the will before any bishop or any lawful court for that purpose; no examination of the witnesses or other thing orderly done for lawful authorizing of the matter.

But of all other things this is most of importance, that the king never set his own hand to the foresaid will, but his stamp was put thereunto by others, either after his death or when he was past remembrance, as the late Lord Paget in the beginning of Queen Mary's days, being of the Privy Council, first of all other discovered the same of his own accord and upon mere motion of conscience, confessing before the whole Council and afterward also before the whole Parliament how that himself was privy thereunto and partly also culpable (being drawn thereunto by the instigation and forcible authority of others), but yet afterward upon other more godly motions detested the device and so of his own free will very honorably went and offered the discovery thereof to the Council.245 As also did Sir Edward Montague, Lord Chief Justice, that had been privy and present at the said doings,246 and one William Clark, that was the man who put the stamp unto the paper and is ascribed among the other pretensed witnesses, confessed the whole premises to be true and purchased his pardon for his offense therein.247 Whereupon Queen Mary and her Council caused presently the said enrollment lying in the Chancery to be cancelled, defaced, and abolished.

And sithence that time, in her Majesty's days that now liveth about the eleventh or twelfth year of her reign (if I compt not amiss), by occasion of a certain little book spread abroad at that time very secretly for advancing of the house of Suffolk by pretense of this testament,248 I remember well the place where the late Duke of Norfolk, the Marquess of Winchester (which then was Treasurer), the old Earls of Arundel and Pembroke that now are dead, with my Lord of Pembroke that yet liveth (as also my Lord of Leicester himself, if I be not deceived), with divers others, met together upon this matter; and after long conference about the foresaid pretensed will and many proofs and reasons laid down why it could not be true or authentical, the old Earl of Pembroke protesting that he was with the king in his chamber from the first day of his sickness unto his last hour and thereby could well assure the falsification thereof, at length it was moved that from that place they should go, with the rest of the nobility, and proclaim the Queen of Scotland heir apparent in Cheapside. Wherein my Lord of Leicester (as I take it) was then as forward as any man else, howbeit now for his profit he be turned aside, and would turn back again tomorrow next for a greater commodity.

And albeit, for some causes to themselves best known, they proceeded not in the open publishing of their determination at that time, yet my Lord of Pembroke now living can bear witness that thus much is true, and that his father the old Earl at that time told him openly before the other noblemen that he had brought him to that assembly and place to instruct him in that truth, and to charge him to witness the same and to defend it also with his sword (if need required) after his death.249 And I know that his Lordship is of that honor and nobility as he cannot leave off easily the remembrance or due regard of so worthy an admonition. And this shall suffice for the second impediment, imagined to proceed of this supposed testament of King Henry VIII.

As for the third impediment,250 of religion, it is not general to all, for that only one person (if I be not deceived) of all the competitors in King Henry's line can be touched with suspicion of different religion from the present state of England. Which person notwithstanding (as is well known) while she was in government in her own realm of Scotland permitted all liberty of conscience and free exercise of religion to those of the contrary profession and opinion, without restraint. And if she had not, yet do I not see either by prescript of law or practice of these our times that diversity of religion may stay just inheritors from enjoying their due possessions in any state or degree of private men, and much less in the claim of a kingdom, which always in this behalf (as hath been said before) is preferred in privilege.

This we see by experience in divers countries and parts of the world at this day, as in Germany, where among so many princes and so divided in religion as they be, yet everyone succeedeth to the state whereto he hath right without resistance for his religion. The examples also of her Majesty that now is and of her sister before is evident, who being known to be of two different inclinations in religion and the whole realm divided in opinion for the same cause, yet both of them at their several times with general consent of all were admitted to their lawful inheritance, excepting only a few traitors against the former,251 who withstood her right as also in her the right of her Majesty that is present, and that not for religion (as appeared by their own confession after), but for ambition and desire of reign. Monsieur, the king's brother and heir of France, as all the world knoweth, is well accepted, favored, and admitted for successor of that crown by all the Protestants at this day of that country, notwithstanding his opinion in religion known to be different. And I doubt not but the King of Navarre or Prince of Condé, in the contrary part, would think themselves greatly injuried by the state of France, which is different from them in religion at this day, if after the death of the king that now is and his brother without issue (if God so dispose) they should be barred from inheriting the crown under pretense only of their religion.252 My Lord of Huntingdon himself also, is he not known to be of a different religion from the present state of England? And that if he were king tomorrow next, he would alter the whole government, order, condition, and state of religion now used and established within the realm?

But as I said in the beginning, if one of a whole family or of divers families be culpable or to be touched herein, what have the rest offended thereby? Will you exclude all, for the mislike of one? And to descend in order, if the first of King Henry's line after her Majesty may be touched in this point, yet why should the rest be damnified thereby? The King of Scotland her son, that next ensueth (to speak in equity), why should he be shut out for his religion? And are not all the other in like manner Protestants whose descent is consequent by nature, order, and degree?

Scholar. For the young King of Scotland (quoth I), the truth is that always for mine own part I have had great hope and expectation of him, not only for the conceit which commonly men have of such orient youths born to kingdoms, but especially for that I understood from time to time that his education was in all learning, princely exercises, and instruction of true religion, under rare and virtuous men for that purpose. Whereby I conceived hope that he might not only become in time an honorable and profitable neighbor unto us for assurance of the gospel in these parts of the world, but also (if God should deprive us of her Majesty without issue) might be a mean by his succession to unite in concord and government the two realms together, which heretofore hath been sought by the price of many a thousand men's blood and not obtained.

Marry, yet now of late (I know not by what means) there is begun in men's hearts a certain mislike or grudge against him, for that it is given out everywhere that he is inclined to be a Papist and an enemy to her Majesty's proceedings. Which argueth him verily of singular ingratitude if it be true, considering the great helps and protection which he hath received from her Highness ever sithence he was born.253

Gentleman: And are you so simple (quoth the gentleman) as to believe every report that you hear of this matter? Know you not that it is expedient for my Lord of Leicester and his faction that this youth above all other be held in perpetual disgrace with her Majesty and with this realm? You know that Richard of Gloucester had never been able to have usurped as he did if he had not first persuaded King Edward IV to hate his own brother the Duke of Clarence, which Duke stood in the way between Richard and the thing which he most of all things coveted, that is, the possibility to the crown. And so in this case is there the like device to be observed.

For truly, for the young King of Scotland's religion, it is evident to as many as have reason that it can be no other of itself but inclined to the best, both in respect of his education, instruction, and conversation with those of true religion, as also by his former actions, edicts, government, and private behavior he hath declared. Marry, these men, whose profit is nothing less than that he or any other of that race should do well, do not cease daily by all secret ways, drifts, and molestations possible to drive him either to mislike of our religion or else to incur the suspicion thereof with such of our realm as otherwise would be his best friends; or if not this, yet for very need and fear of his own life to make recourse to such other princes abroad as may most offend or mislike this state.

And for this cause, they suborn certain busy fellows of their own crew and faction pertaining to the ministry of Scotland (but unworthy of so worthy a calling) to use such insolency towards their king and prince as is not only undecent but intolerable. For he may do nothing but they will examine and discuss the same in pulpit. If he go but on hunting when it pleaseth them to call him to their preaching; if he make but a dinner or supper when, or where, or with whom they like not; if he receive but a couple of horses or other present from his friends or kinsmen beyond the seas; if he salute or use courteously any man or messenger which cometh from them (as you know princes of their nobility and courtesy are accustomed, though they come from their enemies, as often hath been seen and highly commended in her Majesty of England); if he deal familiarly with any ambassador which liketh not them; or finally if he do, say, or signify anyone thing whatsoever that pleaseth not their humor, they will presently, as seditious tribunes of the people, exclaim in public and, stepping to the pulpit where the word of the Lord only ought to be preached, will excite the commonalty to discontentation, inveighing against their sovereign with such bitterness of speech, unreverend terms, and insolent controlments as is not to be spoken.254 Now imagine what her Majesty and her grave Council would do in England if such proceedings should be used by the clergy against them.

Scholar. No doubt (quoth I) but that such unquiet spirits should be punished in our realm. And so I said of late to their most reverend and worthy prelate and primate the Archbishop of St. Andrews, with whom it was my luck to come acquainted in London, whither he was come by his king's appointment (as he said) to treat certain affairs with our Queen and Council.255 And talking with him of this disorder of his ministry, he confessed the same with much grief of mind and told me that he had preached thereof before the king himself, detesting and accusing divers heads thereof, for which cause he was become very odious to them and other of their faction both in Scotland and England. But he said that as he had given the reasons of his doings unto our Queen, so meaneth he shortly to do the same unto Monsieur Beza and to the whole church of Geneva,256 by sending thither the articles of his and their doings; protesting unto me that the proceedings and attempts of those factious and corrupt men was most scandalous, seditious, and perilous both to the king's person and to the realm, being sufficient indeed to alienate wholly the young prince from all affection to our religion when he shall see the chief professors thereof to behave themselves so undutifully towards him.

Gentleman: That is the thing which these men his competitors most desire (quoth the gentleman), hoping thereby to procure him most evil will and danger both at home and from England. For which cause also they have practiced so many plots and treacheries with his own subjects against him, hoping by that means to bring the one in distrust and hatred of the other and consequently the king in danger of destruction by his own. And in this machination they have behaved themselves so dexterously, so covertly used the manage and contriving hereof, and so cunningly conveyed the execution of many things, as it might indeed seem apparent unto the young king that the whole plot of treasons against his realm and person doth come from England, thereby to drive him into jealousy of our state and our state of him; and all this for their own profit.

Neither is this any new device of my Lord of Leicester, to draw men for his own gain into danger and hatred with the state under other pretenses. For I could tell you divers stories and strategems of his cunning in this kind, and the one far different from the other in device but yet all to one end. I have a friend yet living that was towards the old Earl of Arundel257 in good credit and by that means had occasion to deal with the late Duke of Norfolk in his chiefest affairs before his troubles. This man is wont to report strange things from the Duke's own mouth of my Lord of Leicester's most treacherous dealing towards him for gaining of his blood, as after appeared, albeit the Duke, when he reported the same, mistrusted not so much my Lord's malice therein. But the sum of all is this, in effect, that Leicester, having a secret desire to pull down the said Duke, to the end that he might have no man above himself to hinder him in that which he most desireth, by a thousand cunning devices drew in the Duke to the cogitation of that marriage with the Queen of Scotland which afterward was the cause or occasion of his ruin. And he behaved himself so dexterously in this drift, by setting on the Duke on the one side and entrapping him on the other, as Judas himself never played his part more cunningly when he supped with his master and set himself so near as he dipped his spoon in the same dish, and durst before others ask who should betray him, meaning that night to do it himself, as he showed soon after supper when he came as a captain with a band of conspirators and with a courteous kiss delivered his person into the hands of them whom he well knew to thirst after his blood.

The very like did the Earl of Leicester with the Duke of Norfolk for the art of treason, though in the parties betrayed there were great difference of innocency. Namely at one time, when her Majesty was at Basing in Hampshire258 and the Duke attended there to have audience, with great indifferency in himself to follow or leave off his suit for marriage (for that now he began to suspect her Majesty liked not greatly thereof), my Lord of Leicester came to him and counselled him in any case to persevere and not to relent, assuring him with many oaths and protestations that her Majesty must and should be brought to allow thereof whether she would or no, and that himself would seal that purpose with his blood. Neither was it to be suffered that her Majesty should have her will herein; with many other like speeches to this purpose, which the Duke repeated again then presently to my said friend, with often laying his hand upon his bosom and saying: I have here [that] which assureth me sufficiently of the fidelity of my Lord of Leicester, meaning not only the foresaid speeches, but also divers letters which he had written to the Duke to that effect, as likewise he had done to some other person of more importance in the realm; which matter coming afterward to light, he cozened most notably her Majesty by showing her a reformed copy of the said letter for the letter itself.259

But now how well he performed his promise in dealing with her Majesty for the Duke, or against the Duke, in this matter, her Highness can best tell and the event itself showed. For the Duke, being admitted soon after to her Majesty's speech at another place and receiving a far other answer than he had in hope conceived upon Leicester's promises, retired himself to London, where the same night following he received letters both from Leicester and Sir Nicholas Throgmorton upon Leicester's instigation (for they were at that time both friends and of a faction) that he should presently flee into Norfolk, as he did, which was the last and final complement of all Leicester's former devices whereby to plunge his friend over the ears in suspicion and disgrace, in such sort as he should never be able to draw himself out of the ditch again, as indeed he was not, but died in the same.260

And herein you see also the same subtile and Machavellian sleight which I mentioned before, of driving men to attempt somewhat whereby they may incur danger or remain in perpetual suspicion or disgrace. And this practice he hath long used and doth daily against such as he hath will to destroy. As for example, what say you to the device he had of late to entrap his well deserving friend Sir Christopher Hatton in the matter of Hall, his priest, whom he would have had Sir Christopher to send away and hide, being touched and detected in the case of Arden, thereby to have drawn in Sir Christopher himself, as Sir Charles Candishe can well declare if it please him, being accessory to this plot for the overthrow of Sir Christopher.261 To which intent and most devilish drift pertained (I doubt not), if the matter were duly examined, the late interception of letters in Paris from one Aldred of Lyons then in Rome, to Henry Umpton, servant to Sir Christopher, in which letters Sir Christopher is reported to be of such credit and special favor in Rome as if he were the greatest Papist in England.262

What meaneth also these pernicious late dealings against the Earl of Shrewsbury, a man of the most ancient and worthiest nobility of our realm? What mean the practices with his nearest both in bed and blood against him? What mean these most false and slanderous rumors cast abroad of late of his disloyal demeanor towards her Majesty and his country with the great prisoner committed to his charge?263 Is all this to any other end but only to drive him to some impatience, and thereby to commit or say something which may open the gate unto his ruin? Divers other things could I recite of his behavior towards other noblemen of the realm, who live abroad in their countries much injuried and malcontented by his insolency, albeit in respect of his present power they dare not complain. And surely it is strange to see how little accompt he maketh of all the ancient nobility of our realm, how he contemneth, derideth, and debaseth them, which is the fashion of all such as mean to usurp, to the end they may have none who shall not acknowledge their first beginning and advancement from themselves.

Lawyer. Not only usurpers (quoth the lawyer), but all others who rise and mount aloft from base lineage be ordinarily most contemptuous, contumelious, and insolent against others of more antiquity. And this was evident in this man's father, who being a buck of the first head264 (as you know) was intolerable in contempt of others, as appeareth by those whom he trod down of the nobility in his time, as also by his ordinary jests against the Duke of Somerset and others. But among other times, sitting one day at his own table (as a Councillor told me that was present), he took occasion to talk of the Earl of Arundel, whom he then had not only removed from the Council but also put into the Tower of London, being (as is well known) the first and chiefest earl of the realm.265 And for that the said Earl showed himself somewhat sad and afflicted with his present state (as I marvel not, seeing himself in prison and within the compass of so fierce a Bear's paws), it pleased this goodly Duke to vaunt upon this Earl's misery at his own table (as I have said) and asked the noblemen and gentlemen there present what crest or cognizance my Lord of Arundel did give? And when everyone answered that he gave the white horse - I thought so (quoth the Duke) and not without great cause, for as the white palfrey when he standeth in the stable and is well provendered is proud and fierce and ready to leap upon every other horse's back, still neighing and prancing and troubling all that stand about him, but when he is once out of his hot stable and deprived a little of his ease and fat feeding every boy may ride and master him at his pleasure, so is it (quoth he) with my Lord of Arundel. Whereat many marveled that were present to hear so insolent speech pass from a man of judgment against a peer of the realm cast into calamity.266

Gentleman: But you would more have marveled (quoth the gentleman) if you had seen that which I did afterward, which was the most base and abject behavior of the same Duke to the same Earl of Arundel at Cambridge and upon the way towards London, when this Earl was sent to apprehend and bring him up as prisoner. If I should tell you how he fell down on his knees, how he wept, how he besought the said Earl to be good lord unto him, whom a little before he had so much contemned and reproached, you would have said that himself might as well be compared to this his white palfrey as the other.267 Albeit in this I will excuse neither of them both, neither almost any other of these great men who are so proud and insolent in their prosperous fortune as they are easily led to contemn any man, albeit themselves be most contemptible of all others whensoever their fortune beginneth to change; and so will my Lord of Leicester be also, no doubt, at that day, though now in his wealth he triumph over all and careth not whom or how many he offend or injury.

Scholar. Sir, therein I believe you (quoth I), for we have had sufficient trial already of my Lord's fortitude in adversity. His base and abject behavior in his last disgrace about his marriage well declared what he would do in a matter of more importance. His fawning and flattering of them whom he hated most; his servile speeches, his feigned and dissembled tears are all very well known; then Sir Christopher Hatton must needs be enforced to receive at his hands the honorable and great office of Chamberlainship of Chester,268 for that he would by any means resign the same unto him whether he would or no, and made him provide (not without his charge) to receive the same, though his Lordship never meant it, as after well appeared. For that the present pang being past, it liked my Lord to fulfill the Italian proverb of such as in dangers make vows to saints: Scampato il pericolo, gabbato il Santo - the danger escaped, the saint is deceived.269

Then, and in that necessity, no men of the realm were so much honored, commended, and served by him as the noble Chamberlain deceased and the good Lord Treasurer yet living, to whom at a certain time he wrote a letter, in all fraud and base dissimulation, and caused the same to be delivered with great cunning in the sight of her Majesty, and yet so as to show a purpose that it should not be seen, to the end her Highness might the rather take occasion to call for the same and read it, as she did. For Mistress Frances Howard270 (to whom the stratagem was committed) playing her part dexterously, offered to deliver the same to the Lord Treasurer near the door of the withdrawing chamber, he then coming from her Majesty. And to draw the eye and attention of her Highness the more unto it, she let fall the paper before it touched the Treasurer's hand and by that occasion brought her Majesty to call for the same. Which after she had read and considered the style together with the mettle and constitution of him that wrote it, and to whom it was sent, her Highness could not but break forth in laughter with detestation of such absurd and abject dissimulation, saying unto my Lord Treasurer there present: My Lord, believe him not, for if he had you in like case he would play the Bear with you, though at this present he fawn upon you never so fast.

But now, Sir, I pray you go forward in your speech of Scotland, for there I remember you left off when by occasion we fell into these digressions.

[Gentleman:] Well then (quoth the gentleman), to return again to Scotland (as you move) from whence we have digressed; most certain and evident it is to all the world that all the broils, troubles, and dangers procured to the prince in that country, as also the vexations of them who any way are thought to favor that title in our own realm, do proceed from the drift and complot of these conspirators. Which besides the great dangers mentioned before both domestical and foreign, temporal and of religion, must needs infer great jeopardy also to her Majesty's person and present reign that now governeth, through the hope and heat of the aspirers' ambition, enflamed and increased so much the more by the nearness of their desired prey.

For as soldiers entered into hope of a rich and well furnished city are more fierce and furious when they have gotten and beaten down the bulwarks round about, and as the greedy burglarer that hath pierced and broken down many walls to come to a treasure is less patient of stay, stop, and delay when he cometh in sight of that which he desireth, or perceiveth only some partition of wainscot or the like betwixt his fingers and the coffers or moneybags, so these men, when they shall see the succession of Scotland extinguished, together with all friends and favorers thereof (which now are to her Majesty as bulwarks and walls and great obstacles to the aspirers), and when they shall see only her Majesty's life and person to stand betwixt them and their fiery desires (for they make little accompt of all other competitors by King Henry's line), no doubt but it wilbe to them a great prick and spur to dispatch her Majesty also, the nature of both Earls being well considered, whereof the one killed his own wife (as hath been showed before) only upon a little vain hope of marriage with a queen, and the other being so far blinded and borne away with the same furious fume and most impotent itching humor of ambition as his own mother, when she was alive, seemed greatly to fear his fingers if once the matter should come so near as her life had only stood in his way. For which cause the good old Countess was wont to pray God (as I have heard divers say) that she might die before her Majesty (which happily was granted unto her),271 to the end that by standing in her son's way (whom she saw to her grief furiously bent to wear a crown) there might not some dangerous extremity grow to her by that nearness. And if his own mother feared this mischance, what may her Majesty doubt at his and his companions' hands, when she only shalbe the obstacle of all their unbridled and impatient desires?

Lawyer. Clear it is (quoth the lawyer) that the nearness of aspirers to the crown endangereth greatly the present possessors, as you have well proved by reason and I could show by divers examples if it were need. For when Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, saw not only Richard II to be without issue, but also Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, that should have succeeded in the crown to be slain in Ireland, though before (as is thought) he meant not to usurp, yet seeing the possibility and near cut that he had, was invited therewith to lay hands of his sovereign's blood and dignity, as he did. The like is thought of Richard Duke of Gloucester, that he never meant the murder of his nephews until he saw their father dead and themselves in his own hands, his brother also, Duke of Clarence, dispatched and his only son and heir Earl of Warwick within his own power.

Wherefore seeing it hath not pleased Almighty God, for causes to himself best known, to leave unto this noble realm any issue by her most excellent Majesty, it hath been a point of great wisdom in mine opinion and of great safety to her Highness' person, state, and dignity to preserve hitherto the line of the next inheritors by the house of Scotland (I mean both the mother and the son), whose deaths hath been so diligently sought by the other competitors and had been long ere this achieved if her Majesty's own wisdom and royal clemency (as is thought) had not placed special eye upon the conservation thereof from time to time. Which princely providence, so long as it shall endure, must needs be a great safety and fortress to her Majesty not only against the claims, aids, or annoyance of foreign princes, who will not be so forward to advance strange titles while so manifest heirs remain at home nor yet so willing (in respect of policy) to help that line to possession of the whole island, but also against practices of domestical aspirers (as you have showed) in whose affairs no doubt but these two branches of Scotland are great blocks, as also special bulwarks to her Majesty's life and person, seeing (as you say) these compartners make so little accompt of all the other of that line who should ensue by order of succession.

Marry, yet of the two, I think the youth of Scotland be of much more importance for their purpose to be made away, both for that he may have issue and is like in time to be of more ability for defense of his own inheritance, as also for that he being once dispatched his mother should soon ensue by one sleight or other, which they would devise unwitting to her Majesty, albeit I must needs confess that her Highness hath used most singular prudence for prevention thereof in placing her restraint with so noble, strong, and worthy a peer of our realm as the Earl of Shrewsbury is, whose fidelity and constancy being nothing pliable to the others' faction giveth them little contentation. And for that cause, the world seeth how many sundry and divers devices they have used and do use daily to slander and disgrace him and thereby to pull from him his charge committed.272

Gentleman: To this the gentleman answered nothing at all, but stood still musing with himself, as though he had conceived some deep matter in his head, and after a little pause he began to say as followeth:

I cannot truly but much marvel when I do compare some things of this time and government with the doings of former princes, progenitors to her Majesty. Namely of Henry VII and Henry VIII, who had so vigilant an eye to the lateral line of King Edward IV by his brother of Clarence as they thought it necessary not only to prevent all evident dangers that might ensue that way but even the possibilities of all peril; as may well appear by the execution of Edward Earl of Warwick before named, son and heir to the said Duke of Clarence, and of Margaret his sister, Countess of Salisbury, with the Lord Henry Montagu her son, by whose daughter the Earl of Huntingdon now claimeth. All which were executed for avoiding of inconveniences, and that at such times when no imminent danger could be much doubted by that line, especially by the latter. And yet now when one of the same house and line, of more ability and ambition than ever any of his ancestors were, maketh open title and claim to the crown, with plots, packs,273 and preparations to most manifest usurpation, against all order, all law, and all rightful succession, and against a special statute provided in that behalf, yet is he permitted, borne out, favored, and friended therein, and no man so hardy as in defense of her Majesty and realm to control him for the same.

It may be that her Majesty is brought into the same opinion of my Lord of Huntingdon's fidelity as Julius Caesar was of Marcus Brutus, his dearest obliged friend, of whose ambitious practices and aspiring when Caesar was advertised by his careful friends, he answered that he well knew Brutus to be ambitious; but I am sure (quoth he) that my Brutus will never attempt anything for the Empire while Caesar liveth, and after my death let him shift for the same among others as he can. But what ensued? Surely I am loth to tell the event, for omination's sake, but yet all the world knoweth that ere many months passed this most noble and clement emperor was pitifully murdered by the same Brutus and his partners in the public Senate when least of all he expected such treason. So dangerous a thing it is to be secure in a matter of so great sequel, or to trust them with a man's life who may pretend preferment or interest by his death.

Wherefore, would God her Majesty in this case might be induced to have such due care and regard of her own estate and royal person as the weighty moment of the matter requireth, which containeth the bliss and calamity of so noble and worthy a kingdom as this is.

I know right well that most excellent natures are always furthest off from diffidence in such people as profess love and are most bounden by duty, and so it is evident in her Majesty. But yet surely this confidence so commendable in other men is scarce allowable oftentimes in the person of a prince, for that it goeth accompanied with so great peril as is inevitable to him that will not suspect, principally when dangers are foretold or presaged (as commonly by God's appointment they are, for the special hand he holdeth over princes' affairs), or when there is probable conjecture or just surmise of the same.

We know that the forenamed Emperor Caesar had not only the warning given him of the inclination and intent of Brutus to usurpation, but even the very day when he was going towards the place of his appointed destiny, there was given up into his hands a detection of the whole treason with request to read the same presently, which he upon confidence omitted to do. We read also of Alexander the Great, how he was not only forbidden by a learned man to enter into Babylon (whither he was then going), for that there was treason meant against him in the place, but also that he was foretold of Antipater's mischievous meaning against him in particular. But the young prince, having so well deserved of Antipater, could not be brought to mistrust the man that was so dear unto him, and by that means was poisoned in a banquet by three sons of Antipater which were of most credit and confidence in the king's chamber.

Scholar. Here, truly, my heart did somewhat tremble with fear, horror, and detestation of such events. And I said unto the gentleman: I beseech you, Sir, to talk no more of these matters, for I cannot well abide to hear them named, hoping in the Lord that there is no cause nor ever shalbe to doubt the like in England, specially from these men who are so much bounden to her Majesty and so forward in seeking out and pursuing all such as may be thought to be dangerous to her Majesty's person, as by the sundry late executions we have seen, and by the punishments every way of Papists we may perceive.

Gentleman: Truth it is (quoth the gentleman) that justice hath been done upon divers of late, which contenteth me greatly, for the terror and restraint of others of what sect or religion soever they be. And it is most necessary (doubtless) for the compressing of parties that great vigilance be used in that behalf. But when I consider that only one kind of men are touched herein, and that all speech, regard, doubt, distrust, and watch is of them alone without reflexion of eye upon any other men's doings or designments; when I see the double diligence and vehemency of certain instruments which I like not, bent wholly to raise wonder and admiration274 of the people, fear, terror, and attention to the doings, sayings, and meanings of one part or faction alone, and of that namely and only which these conspirators esteem for most dangerous and opposite to themselves, I am (believe me) often tempted to suspect fraud and false measure, and that these men deal as wolves by nature in other countries are wont to do, which going together in great numbers to assail a flock of sheep by night do set some one or two of their company upon the wind side of the fold afar off, who partly by their scent and other bruitling275 which of purpose they make may draw the dogs and shepherds to pursue them alone, whiles the other do enter and slay the whole flock. Or as rebels that meaning to surprise a town, to turn away the inhabitants from consideration of the danger and from defense of that place where they intend to enter, do set on fire some other parts of the town further off and do sound a false alarm at some gate where is meant least danger.

Which art was used cunningly by Richard Duke of York in the time of King Henry VI when he, to cover his own intent, brought all the realm in doubt of the doings of Edmund Duke of Somerset, his enemy. But John of Northumberland, father to my Lord of Leicester, used the same art much more skillfully when he put all England in a maze and musing of the Protector and of his friends, as though nothing could be safe about the young king until they were suppressed, and consequently all brought into his own authority without obstacle. I speak not this to excuse Papists or to wish them any way spared wherein they offend, but only to signify that in a country where so potent factions be it is not safe to suffer the one to make itself so puissant by pursuit of the other as afterwards the prince must remain at the devotion of the stronger; but rather as in a body molested and troubled with contrary humors, if all cannot be purged, the best physic is without all doubt to reduce and hold them at such an equality as destruction may not be feared of the predominant.

Lawyer. To this said the lawyer, laughing: Yea, marry, Sir, I would to God your opinion might prevail in this matter, for then should we be in other terms than now we are. I was not long since in company of a certain honorable lady of the Court, who, after some speech passed by gentlemen that were present of some apprehended and some executed and such like affairs, brake into a great complaint of the present time and therewith (I assure you) moved all the hearers to grief (as women you know are potent in stirring of affections) and caused them all to wish that her Majesty had been nigh to have heard her words.

I do well remember (quoth she) the first dozen years of her Highness' reign, how happy, pleasant, and quiet they were, with all manner of comfort and consolation. There was no mention then of factions in religion, neither was any man much noted or rejected for that cause, so otherwise his conversation were civil and courteous. No suspicion of treason, no talk of bloodshed, no complaint of troubles, miseries, or vexations. All was peace, all was love, all was joy, all was delight. Her Majesty (I am sure) took more recreation at that time in one day than she doth now in a whole week, and we that served her Highness enjoyed more contentation in a week than we can now in divers years. For now there are so many suspicions everywhere, for this thing and for that, as we cannot tell whom to trust. So many melancholic in the Court, that seem malcontented; so many complaining or suing for their friends that are in trouble; other slip over the sea or retire themselves upon the sudden; so many tales brought us of this or that danger, of this man suspected, of that man sent for up, and such like unpleasant and unsavory stuff as we can never almost be merry one whole day together.

Wherefore (quoth this lady) we that are of her Majesty's train and special service and do not only feel these things in ourselves but much more in the grief of her most excellent Majesty, whom we see daily molested herewith (being one of the best natures, I am sure, that ever noble princess was endued withal), we cannot but moan to behold contentions advanced so far forth as they are, and we could wish most heartily that for the time to come these matters might pass with such peace, friendship, and tranquility as they do in other countries, where difference in religion breaketh not the band of good fellowship or fidelity. And with this in a smiling manner she brake off, asking pardon of the company if she had spoken her opinion overboldly like a woman.

To whom answered a courtier that sat next her: Madam, your Ladyship hath said nothing in this behalf that is not daily debated among us in our common speech in Court, as you know. Your desire also herein is a public desire, if it might be brought to pass, for there is no man so simple that seeth not how perilous these contentions and divisions among us may be in the end. And I have heard divers gentlemen that be learned discourse at large upon this argument, alleging old examples of the Athenians, Lacedaemonians, Carthaginians, and Romans who received notable damages and destruction also in the end by their divisions and factions among themselves, and specially from them of their own cities and countries who upon factions lived abroad with foreigners and thereby were always as firebrands to carry home the flame of war upon their country.

The like they also showed by the long experience of all the great cities and states of Italy which by their factions and foruscites276 were in continual garboil, bloodshed, and misery. Whereof our own country hath tasted also her part by the odious contention between the houses of Lancaster and York, wherein it is marvelous to consider what trouble a few men oftentimes, departing out of the realm, were able to work by the part of their faction remaining at home (which commonly increaseth towards them that are absent) and by the readiness of foreign princes to receive always and comfort such as are discontented in another state, to the end that by their means they might hold an oar in their neighbor's boat, which princes that are nigh borderers do always above all other things most covet and desire.

This was that courtier's speech and reason, whereby I perceived that as well among them in Court as among us in the realm and country abroad the present inconvenience and dangerous sequel of this our home dissension is espied, and consequently most English hearts inclined to wish the remedy or prevention thereof by some reasonable moderation or reunion among ourselves. For that the prosecution of these differences to extremity cannot but after many wounds and exulcerations bring matters finally to rage, fury, and most deadly desperation.

Whereas on the other side, if any sweet qualification or small toleration among us were admitted, there is no doubt but that affairs would pass in our realm with more quietness, safety, and public weal of the same than it is like it will do long, and men would easily be brought, that have English bowels, to join in the preservation of their country from ruin, bloodshed, and foreign oppression which desperation of factions is wont to procure.

Gentleman: I am of your opinion (quoth the gentleman) in that, for I have seen the experience thereof, and all the world beholdeth the same at this day in all the countries of Germany, Polonia, Boemland,277 and Hungary, where a little bearing of th'one with th'other hath wrought them much ease and continued them a peace whereof all Europe besides hath admiration and envy. The first dozen years also of her Majesty's reign, whereof your lady of the Court discoursed before, can well be a witness of the same, wherein the commiseration and lenity that was used towards those of the weaker sort, with a certain sweet diligence for their gaining, by good means, was the cause of much peace, contentation, and other benefit to the whole body.

We see in France that by overmuch pressing of one part only a fire was enkindled not many years since, like to have consumed and destroyed the whole had not a necessary mollification been thought upon by the wisest of that king's Council, full contrary to the will and inclination of some great personages who meant perhaps to have gained more by the other.278 And since that time we see what peace, wealth, and reunion hath ensued in that country, that was so broken, dissevered, and wasted before. And all this, by yielding a little in that thing which no force can master, but exulcerate rather and make worse; I mean the conscience and judgment of men in matters of religion.

The like also I could name you in Flanders, where after all these broils and miseries of so many years' wars (caused principally by too much straining in such affairs at the beginning), albeit the king be never so strict-laced in yielding to public liberty and free exercise on both parts, yet is he descended to this at length (and that upon force of reason), to abstain from the pursuit and search of men's consciences, not only in the towns which upon composition he receiveth, but also where he hath recovered by force, as in Tournay and other places, where I am informed that no man is searched, demanded, or molested for his opinion or conscience, nor any act of Papistry or contrary religion required at their hands, but are permitted to live quietly to God and themselves at home in their own houses, so they perform otherwise their outward obedience and duties to their prince and country.279 Which only qualification, tolerance, and moderation in our realm (if I be not deceived, with many more that be of my opinion) would content all divisions, factions, and parties among us for their continuance in peace, be they Papists, Puritans, Familians,280 or of whatsoever nice difference or section besides, and would be sufficient to retain all parties within a temperate obedience to the magistrate and government for conservation of their country, which were of no small importance to the contentation of her Majesty and weal public of the whole kingdom.

But what should I talk of this thing, which is so contrary to the desires and designments of our puissant conspirators? What should Cicero the Senator use persuasions to Captain Catiline and his crew that quietness and order were better than hurley-burlies?281 Is it possible that our aspirers will ever permit any such thing, cause, or matter to be treated in our state as may tend to the stability of her Majesty's present government? No, surely, it standeth nothing with their wisdom or policy, especially at this instant, when they have such opportunity of following their own actions in her Majesty's name under the vizard and pretext of her defense and safety; having sowed in every man's head so many imaginations of the dangers present both abroad and at home, from Scotland, Flanders, Spain, and Ireland, so many conspiracies, so many intended murders, and others so many contrived or conceived mischiefs as my Lord of Leicester assureth himself that the troubled water can not be cleared again in short space, nor his baits and lines laid therein easily espied, but rather that hereby ere long he will catch the fish he gapeth so greedily after, and in the meantime, for the pursuit of these crimes and other that daily he will find out, himself must remain perpetual dictator.

But what meaneth this so much inculcating of troubles, treasons, murders, and invasions? I like not surely these ominous speeches. And as I am out of doubt that Leicester, the caster of these shadows, doth look to play his part first in these troublesome affairs, so do I heartily fear that, unless the tyranny of this Leicestrian fury be speedily stopped, that such misery to prince and people (which the Lord for his mercy's sake turn from us) as never greater fell before to our miserable country is far nearer hand than is expected or suspected.

And therefore for prevention of these calamities, to tell you plainly mine opinion (good Sirs) and therewith to draw to an end of this our conference (for it waxeth late), I would think it the most necessary point of all for her Majesty to call his Lordship to accompt among other and to see what other men could say against him at length, after so many years of his sole accusing and pursuing of others. I know and am very well assured that no one act which her Majesty hath done since her coming to the crown (as she hath done right many most highly to be commended), nor any that lightly her Majesty may do hereafter, can be of more utility to herself and to the realm or more grateful unto her faithful and zealous subjects than this noble act of justice would be, for trial of this man's deserts towards his country.

I say it would be profitable to her Majesty and to the realm, not only in respect of the many dangers before mentioned hereby to be avoided, which are like to ensue most certainly if his courses be still permitted, but also for that her Majesty shall by this deliver herself from that general grudge and grief of mind, with great mislike, which many subjects otherwise most faithful have conceived against the excessive favor showed to this man so many years without desert or reason. Which favor he having used to the hurt, annoyance, and oppression both of infinite several persons and the whole commonwealth (as hath been said), the grief and resentiment thereof doth redound commonly in such cases not only upon the person delinquent alone, but also upon the sovereign by whose favor and authority he offereth such injuries, though never so much against the other's intent, will, desire, or meaning.

And hereof we have examples of sundry princes in all ages and countries whose exorbitant favor to some wicked subject that abused the same hath been the cause of great danger and ruin, the sins of the favorite being returned and revenged upon the favorer. As in the history of the Grecians is declared by occasion of the pitiful murder of that wise and victorious prince Philip of Macedony, who albeit that he were well assured to have given no offense of himself to any of his subjects and consequently feared nothing, but conversed openly and confidently among them, yet for that he had favored too much one Duke Attalus, a proud and insolent courtier, and had borne him out in certain of his wickedness, or at least not punished the same after it was detected and complained upon, the parties grieved, accompting the crime more proper and heinous on the part of him who by office should do justice and protect other than of the perpetrator, who followeth but his own passion and sensuality, let pass Attalus and made their revenge upon the blood and life of the king himself, by one Pausanias, suborned for that purpose, in the marriage day of the king's own daughter.282

Great store of like examples might be repeated out of the stories of other countries, nothing being more usual or frequent among all nations than the afflictions of realms and kingdoms and the overthrow of princes and great potentates themselves by their too much affection towards some unworthy particular persons, a thing indeed so common and ordinary as it may well seem to be the specialest rock of all other whereat kings and princes do make their shipwracks.

For if we look into the states and monarchies of all Christendom and consider the ruins that have been of any prince or ruler within the same, we shall find this point to have been a great and principal part of the cause thereof, and in our own state and country the matter is too too evident. For whereas since the Conquest we number principally three just and lawful kings to have come to confusion by alienation of their subjects, that is, Edward II, Richard II, and Henry VI, this only point of too much favor towards wicked persons was the chiefest cause of destruction in all three. As in the first, the excessive favor towards Peter Gaveston and two of the Spencers. In the second, the like extraordinary and indiscreet affection towards Robert Vere, Earl of Oxford and Marquess of Dublin, and Thomas Mowbray, two most turbulent and wicked men, that set the king against his own uncles and the nobility.283

In the third (being a simple and holy man), albeit no great exorbitant affection was seen towards any, yet his wife Queen Margaret's too much favor and credit (by him not controlled) towards the Marquess of Suffolk that after was made Duke, by whose instinct284 and wicked counsel she made away first the noble Duke of Gloucester and afterward committed other things in great prejudice of the realm and suffered the said most impious and sinful Duke to range and make havoc of all sort of subjects at his pleasure (much after the fashion of the Earl of Leicester now, though yet not in so high and extreme a degree) - this I say was the principal and original cause, both before God and man (as Polydore well noteth),285 of all the calamity and extreme desolation which after ensued both to the king, queen, and their only child, with the utter extirpation of their family.

And so likewise now to speak in our particular case, if there be any grudge or grief at this day, any mislike, repining, complaint, or murmur against her Majesty's government in the hearts of her true and faithful subjects, who wish amendment of that which is amiss and not the overthrow of that which is well (as I trow it were no wisdom to imagine there were none at all), I dare avouch upon conscience that either all or the greatest part thereof proceedeth from this man, who by the favor of her Majesty so afflicteth her people as never did before him either Gaveston, or Spencer, or Vere, or Mowbray, or any other mischievous tyrant that abused most his prince's favor within our realm of England. Whereby it is evident how profitable a thing it should be to the whole realm, how honorable to her Majesty, and how grateful to all her subjects, if this man at length might be called to his accompt.

Lawyer. Sir (quoth the lawyer), you allege great reason, and verily I am of opinion that if her Majesty knew but the tenth part of this which you have here spoken, as also her good subjects' desires and complaint in this behalf, she would well show that her Highness feareth not to permit justice to pass upon Leicester or any other within her realm for satisfaction of her people, whatsoever some men may think and report to the contrary or howsoever otherwise of her own mild disposition or good affection towards the person she have borne with him hitherto. For so we see that wise princes can do at times convenient for peace, tranquility, and public weal, though contrary to their own particular and peculiar inclination.

As to go no further than to the last example named and alleged by yourself before: though Queen Margaret, the wife of King Henry VI, had favored most unfortunately many years together William Duke of Suffolk (as hath been said), whereby he committed manifold outrages and afflicted the realm by sundry means, yet she being a woman of great prudence, when she saw the whole commonalty demand justice upon him for his demerits, albeit she liked and loved the man still, yet for satisfaction of the people upon so general a complaint she was content first to commit him to prison and afterward to banish him the realm. But the providence of God would not permit him so to escape, for that he being encountered and taken upon the sea in his passage, he was beheaded in the ship and so received some part of condign punishment for his most wicked, loose, and licentious life.286

And to seek no more examples in this case, we know into what favor and special grace Sir Edmund Dudley, my Lord of Leicester's good grandfather, was crept with King Henry VII in the later end of his reign, and what intolerable wickedness and mischief he wrought against the whole realm and against infinite particular persons of the same by the poolings and oppressions which he practiced, whereby though the king received great temporal commodity at that time (as her Majesty doth nothing at all by the present extortions of his nephew), yet for justice sake and for mere compassion towards his afflicted subjects that complained grievously of this iniquity, that most virtuous and wise prince King Henry was content to put from him this lewd instrument and devilish suggester of new exactions; whom his son Henry, that ensued in the crown, caused presently before all other business to be called publicly to accompt and for his deserts to leese his head. So as where the interest of a whole realm or common cause of many taketh place, the private favor of anyone cannot stay a wise and godly prince (such as all the world knoweth her Majesty to be) from permitting justice to have her free passage.

Gentleman: Truly, it should not (quoth the gentleman), for to that end were princes first elected, and upon that consideration do subjects pay them both tribute and obedience: to be defended by them from injuries and oppressions, and to see laws executed and justice exercised upon and towards all men with indifferency.287 And as for our particular case of my Lord of Leicester, I do not see in right and equity how her Majesty may deny this lawful desire and petition of her people. For if her Highness do permit and command the laws daily to pass upon thieves and murderers without exception, and that for one fact only, as by experience we see, how then can it be denied in this man who in both kinds hath committed more enormous acts than may be well recompted.

As in the first, of theft, not only by spoiling and oppressing almost infinite private men, but also whole towns, villages, corporations, and countries, by robbing the realm with inordinate licenses, by deceiving the crown with racking, changing, and embezzling the lands, by abusing his prince and sovereign in selling his favor both at home and abroad, with taking bribes for matter of justice, grace, request, supplication, or whatsoever suit else may depend upon the court or of the prince's authority; with setting at sale and making open market of whatsoever her Majesty can give, do, or procure, be it spiritual or temporal. In which sort of traffic he committeth more theft oftentimes in one day than all the waykeepers, cutpurses, cozeners, pirates, burglars, or other of that art in a whole year within the realm.

And as for the second, which is murder, you have heard before somewhat said and proved, but yet nothing to that which is thought to have been in secret committed upon divers occasions at divers times, in sundry persons of different calling in both sexes, by most variable means of killing, poisoning, charming, enchanting, conjuring, and the like, according to the diversity of men, places, opportunities, and instruments for the same. By all which means, I think, he hath more blood lying upon his head at this day, crying vengeance against him at God's hands and her Majesty's, than ever had private man in our country before, were he never so wicked.

Whereto now if we add his other good behavior, as his intolerable licentiousness in all filthy kind and manner of carnality, with all sort of wives, friends, and kinswomen; if we add his injuries and dishonors done hereby to infinite; if we add his treasons, treacheries, and conspiracies about the crown; his disloyal behavior and hatred against her Majesty; his ordinary lying and common perjuring himself in all matters for his gain both great and small; his rapes and most violent extortions upon the poor; his abusing of the Parliament and other places of justice, with the nobility and whole commonalty besides; if we add also his open injuries which he offereth daily to religion and the ministers thereof, by tithing them and turning all to his own gain; together with his manifest and known tyranny practiced towards all estates abroad, throughout all shires of the kingdom; his despoiling of both the Universities and discouraging of infinite notable wits there from seeking perfection of knowledge and learning (which otherwise were like to become notable), especially in God's word (which giveth life unto the soul), by defrauding them of the price and reward proposed for their travail in that kind through his insatiable simoniacal contracts; if, I say, we should lay together all these enormities before her Majesty, and thousands more in particular which might and would be gathered if his day of trial were but in hope to be granted, I do not see in equity and reason how her Highness, sitting in throne and at the Royal Stern as she doth, could deny her subjects this most lawful request, considering that everyone of these crimes apart requireth justice of his own nature, and much more all together ought to obtain the same at the hands of any good and godly magistrate in the world.

Scholar. No doubt (quoth I) but that these considerations must needs weigh much with any zealous prince, and much more with her most excellent Majesty, whose tender heart towards her realm and subjects is very well known of all men. It is not to be thought also but that her Highness hath intelligence of divers of these matters alleged, though not perhaps of all. But what would you have her Majesty to do? Perhaps the consultation of this affair is not what were convenient but what is expedient; not what ought to be done in justice, but what may be done in safety. You have described my Lord before to be a great man, strongly furnished and fortified for all events. What if it be not secure to bark at the Bear that is so well britched? I speak unto you but that which I hear in Cambridge and other places where I have passed, where every man's opinion is that her Majesty standeth not in free choice to do what herself best liketh in that case at this day.

Gentleman: I know (said the gentleman) that Leicester's friends give it out everywhere that her Majesty now is their good Lord's prisoner, and that she either will or must be directed by him for the time to come, except she will do worse; which thing his Lordship is well contented should be spread abroad and believed, for two causes: the one, to hold the people thereby more in awe of himself than of their sovereign, and secondly, to draw her Majesty indeed by degrees to fear him. For considering with himself what he hath done and that it is impossible in truth that ever her Majesty should love him again or trust him after so many treacheries as he well knoweth are come to her Highness' understanding, he thinketh that he hath no way of sure standing but by terror and opinion of his puissant greatness, whereby he would hold her Majesty and the realm in thraldom as his father did in his time before him. And then for that he well remembereth the true saying, malus custos diuturnitatis metus,288 he must provide shortly that those which fear him be not able to hurt him; and consequently you know what must follow by the example of King Edward, who feared Duke Dudley extremely for that he had cut off his two uncles' heads, and the Duke took order that he should never live to revenge the same. For it is a settled rule of Machivel which the Dudleys do observe, that where you have once done a great injury, there must you never forgive.

But I will tell you (my friends), and I will tell you no untruth, for that I know what I speak herein and am privy to the state of my Lord in this behalf, and of men's opinions and affections towards him within the realm. Most certain it is that he is strong by the present favor of the prince (as hath been showed before), in respect whereof he is admitted also as chief patron of the Huntingdon faction, though neither loved nor greatly trusted of the same; but let her Majesty once turn her countenance aside from him in good earnest and speak but the word only that justice shall take place against him, and I will undertake with gaging of both my life and little lands that God hath given me that without stir or trouble or any danger in the world the Bear shalbe taken to her Majesty's hand and fast chained to a stake, with muzzle-cord, collar, and ring, and all other things necessary, so that her Majesty shall bait him at her pleasure without all danger of biting, breaking loose, or any other inconvenience whatsoever.

For (Sirs) you must not think that this man holdeth anything abroad in the realm but by violence, and that only upon her Majesty's favor and countenance towards him. He hath not anything of his own, either from his ancestors or of himself, to stay upon in men's hearts or conceits; he hath not ancient nobility as other of our realm have, whereby men's affections are greatly moved. His father John Dudley was the first noble of his line, who raised and made himself big by supplanting of other and by setting debate among the nobility, as also his grandfather Edmund, a most wicked promoter and wretched pettifogger, enriched himself by other men's ruins - both of them condemned traitors, though different in quality, the one being a cozener and the other a tyrant, and both of their vices conjoined, collected, and comprised (with many more additions) in this man (or beast rather) which is Robert, the third of their kin and kind. So that from his ancestors this Lord receiveth neither honor nor honesty, but only succession of treason and infamy.

And yet in himself hath he much less of good wherewith to procure himself love or credit among men than these ancestors of his had, he being a man wholly abandoned of human virtue and devoted to wickedness, which maketh men odible both to God and man. In his father (no doubt) there were to be seen many excellent good parts if they had been joined with faith, honesty, moderation, and loyalty. For all the world knoweth that he was very wise, valiant, magnanimous, liberal, and assured friendly where he once promised; of all which virtues my Lord his son hath neither show nor shadow, but only a certain false representation of the first, being crafty and subtile to deceive and ingenious to wickedness. For as for valor, he hath as much as hath a mouse; his magnanimity is base sordidity; his liberality, rapine; his friendship, plain fraud, holding only for his gain and no otherwise though it were bound with a thousand oaths, of which he maketh as great accompt as hens do of cackling, but only for his commodity, using them specially and in greatest number when most he meaneth to deceive. Namely, if he swear solemnly by his George289 or by the eternal God, then be sure it is a false lie; for these are observations in the Court and sometimes in his own lodging, in like case his manner is to take up and swear by the Bible, whereby a gentleman of good accompt and one that seemeth to follow him (as many do that like him but a little) protested to me of his knowledge that in a very short space he observed him wittingly and willingly to be forsworn sixteen times.

This man, therefore, so contemptible by his ancestors, so odible of himself, so plunged, overwhelmed, and defamed in all vice, so envied in the Court, so detested in the country, and not trusted of his own and dearest friends; nay (which I am privy to), so misliked and hated of his own servants about him for his beastly life, niggardy, and atheism (being never seen yet to say one private prayer within his chamber in his life) as they desire nothing in this world so much as his ruin and that they may be the first to lay hands upon him for revenge.

This man (I say) so broken both within and without, is it possible that her Majesty and her wise Council should fear? I can never believe it; or if it be so, it is God's permission without all cause for punishment of our sins, for that this man, if he once perceive indeed that they fear him, will handle them accordingly and play the Bear indeed, which inconvenience I hope they will have care to prevent, and so I leave it to God and them, craving pardon of my Lord of Leicester for my boldness in have been too plain with him. And so I pray you let us go to supper, for I see my servant expecting yonder at the gallery door to call us down.

Lawyer. To that said the lawyer: I am content with all my heart, and I would it had been sooner, for that I am afeard lest any by chance have overheard us here since night. For my own part, I must say that I have not been at such a conference this seven years, nor mean to be hereafter if I may escape well with this; whereof I am sure I shall dream this fortnight and think oftener of my Lord of Leicester than ever I had intended - God amend him and me both. But if ever I hear at other hands of these matters hereafter, I shall surely be quakebritch and think every bush a thief. And with that came up the mistress of the house to fetch us down to supper, and so all was whusht, saving that at supper a gentleman or two began again to speak of my Lord, and that so conformable to some of our former speech (as indeed it is the common talk at tables everywhere) that the old

lawyer began
to shrink and be
appalled, and
cast dry
looks upon the
gentleman our friend,
doubting lest something
had been discovered
of our conference. But indeed,
it was not so.

Appendices with Related Notes
Appendix APrinted and Manuscript Forms of Leicester's Commonwealth
Appendix BThe French Translation, 1585, and its Addition
Appendix CSidney's Defense of Leicester
Appendix DFurther Notes
Appendix ERelated Documents
Appendix FGenealogical Tables
BibliographyBibliography of Printed Works Cited

Notes to Leicester's Commonwealth

1. Gracious Street, now Gracechurch Street, near London Bridge; Walpole and Parsons's News from Spain and Holland (1593) is similarly addressed, as is the "Letter of Estate."

2. "For that": because (commonly used in this sense).

3. Frequent allusion is made throughout to both elements of Leicester's crest, the "bear" chained to a ragged post or "staff" (as in bearbaiting).

4. Lord Burghley's Execution of Justice in England (1583), stating the government's position toward Catholic priests. Consistent with this "Christmas conference," Cecil's book bears the date 17 Dec. 1583 on its first edition.

5. "Disgiest": digest (O.E.D., a common form).

6. Sir Edward Stafford quotes C. Paget making a similar distinction between "Papists of state" and those of religion only, in a letter to Walsingham, 27 Oct. 1583 (S.P. 78/10/66).

7. The so-called War of Liberation (1552), in which Charles's Lutheran and Catholic allies joined with his enemies, the regional princes, to resist his Spanish-enforced Augsburg Interim.

8. In 1562 the English under the Earl of Warwick occupied Newhaven (Le Havre) as security for aid to the Huguenot rebels; shortly after, the rebel leader Condé signed the Peace of Amboise, and the French combatants joined to dislodge the garrison. Decimated by plague, besieged by a combined French army, Warwick surrendered on 28 July 1563.

9. The Duke of Anjou ("Monsieur": heir to the French throne), whom the Dutch Protestants named their sovereign in 1581, was expelled from the Low Countries in Feb. 1583 after his attempt to arrogate several towns to himself. "Gaunt" is Ghent.

10. On the death of the childless Portuguese king (Jan. 1580), Philip II of Spain ("the Castilian") enforced his claim to the throne; having overcome the opposition by August, he was proclaimed king by the Cortes in Apr. 1581.

11. Charles Neville (1543?-1601), sixth Earl of Westmoreland, and the "Old Rebel" Richard Norton lived in exile after the Northern Rebellion of 1569; Norton is not mentioned by name in Cecil's book. Dr. Nicholas Sander (or Sanders), a leading Jesuit controversialist, joined the ill-fated Papal invasion of Ireland (1579) and died of exposure in that country two years later.

12. That is, priests trained at the seminaries at Douai, Rheims, Rome, etc.

13. This may reflect growing lay Catholic distrust of the foreign-trained priests who were, in this view, inciting the government to severity against all Papists. The best short discussions of this and other distinctions among Catholic groups are in Bossy's "Character of Elizabethan Catholicism" and his English Catholic Community, pp. 11-74.

14. "Eversion": overthrowing (O.E.D.).

15. Roger, second Lord North (Privy Council, 1596; d. 1600), one of Leicester's chief allies.

16. That is, man of social standing.

17. "Obliged proditors": sworn traitors, betrayers (O.E.D.).

18. Margin: "Sir Francis Walsingham" (1532-1590). The syntax of this sentence is a little odd.

19. "Belike": probably (O.E.D.).

20. On 21 May 1553 John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, married his son Guildford to the chief Suffolk claimant, Jane Grey, and procured Edward VI's signature to a "device" deflecting the succession from the Catholic Mary to his daughter-in-law. The king died on 6 July (the Commonwealth authors believe the Duke had contrived his death). Jane was proclaimed on 10 July, and Robert Dudley was dispatched to arrest Mary, only to find her already fled to her Howard supporters. Northumberland surrendered at Cambridge on 20 July. On the "letters to Mary," see Harbison, Rival Ambassadors at the Court of Queen Mary, p. 34.

21. Margin: "Sir Francis W Walsingham."

22. Margin: "Edmund Dudley," who paid for his financial malfeasances by standing trial for "constructive treason" on 16-18 July 1509 and by his execution on 17 Aug. 1510, and "John Dudley," who was tried on 18 and executed on 22 Aug. 1553.

23. The "last Parliament" (1581) saw enactment of 23 Elizabeth, cap. 2, which only provided against speaking or writing slander of the Queen herself. According to Neale, the Lords did pass and send down a bill against slandering noblemen and lords of the clergy, but it was killed after its second reading by the Puritans in the Commons. Apparently, then, the "proviso" never became law. See Neale, Elizabeth I and Her Parliaments, 1559-1581, p. 398.

24. This and the following matters are dealt with in more detail below.

25. "Killingworth": Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire; Leicester's principal seat. The events described, though exaggerated, refer to the situation in summer 1579, when the Earl was in disgrace over his revealed marriage and Anjou had just arrived for his first visit. Michaelmas: 29 September.

26. Heneage (d. 1595), Vice Chamberlain of the Household. Warwick's lady was his third wife, Anne Russell, daughter of the Earl of Bedford, whom he married in Nov. 1565.

27. John Casimir (d. 1592), younger son of Frederick III of the Palatinate, a Calvinist condottiere often hired to fight Catholic enemies; in Jan. 1579 he was in England and was entertained by Leicester. "Amplification": exaggeration (O.E.D.).

28. Margin: "To Sir Thomas Leighton"; see note 107 below.

29. Margin: "Lord Treasurer, Lord Chamberlain, Master Comptroller;" i.e., Burghley, Sussex, and Sir James Croft (d. 1590), Comptroller of the Household from 1570 until his death, all active in behalf of the Anjou marriage. Croft was a Catholic with a Spanish pension; Mendoza regularly referred to him as his "first confidant" and to Lord Harry Howard as his "second."

30. Margin: "Sir John Hibbott," alias Huband (d.1583), a member of the Council of Wales (based at Ludlow) and steward of several of Leicester's lordships, including Kenilworth; never "Vicepresident" of the Council, though nominated as such in 1576.

31. This appears to have been the received Catholic view, e.g., in Parsons, A Temperate Ward-word to . . . Sir Francis Hastings, p. 44, and Broughton, English Protestants Plea, p. 16, and accepted by most modern writers; it has been questioned by Beer, Northumberland, p. 162.

32. Margin: "Ethelbert, King of Kent, converted A.D. 603"; according to Bede, softened by Bertha and converted by St. Augustine in about 597. The date 603 is found in Polydore Vergil's Anglica historia, 1846, p. 129, which seems to have been the Commonwealth's chief source for English history.

33. That is, both in fact and in hope.

34. "Unition": union (O.E.D., citing this passage).

35. Prince Eric of Sweden (later Eric XIV), suitor in 1559-1560; Charles, younger son of the Emperor Ferdinand I, whose suit reached a high point in 1565-1566; Henri Duke of Anjou (later Henri III), a suitor in 1571; and Anjou, whose suit extended from 1572 to 1582. Leicester at one time or another fought against each of these matches.

36. Printed DAVVS, thus either "Daws," a fool or lazy person (O.E.D.) or probably "Davus," a cunning slave, as in the proverb Davus sum, non Oedipus, a quotation from Terence's Andria. "News from Heaven and Hell" similarly describes Leicester as "being Davus non Edipus" (p. 145).

37. "Privado": confidant, favorite (O.E.D.). Prince Eric never visited England but was represented there by his brother Duke John of Finland.

38. Margin: "Anno 1. R. Mary." Lord Robert was attainted of treason and condemned to death on 22 Jan. 1554; he was pardoned on 18 Oct. 1554, and the removal of attainder was ratified in Parliament on 7 March 1558. (D. Wilson argues that Dudley's release from prison did not occur until Jan. 1555; Sweet Robin, p.316).

39. Dr. Valentine Dale (d. 1589), sometime ambassador to France (1573-1576), Master of Requests at the beginning of the Julio affair, on which see Appendix D (6).

40. Robert, Lord Denbigh (born 1578 or 1579, d. 19 July 1584), Leicester's son by Lady Essex. All of Dudley's brothers died childless, as did his sister the Countess of Huntingdon, and the only heirs to the family estates were Denbigh and the children of his other sister, the wife of Sir Henry Sidney, of which Philip was the eldest; both Denbigh and Sir Philip having predeceased Leicester, Robert Sidney became general heir to the Dudleys.

41. Margin: "The Lady Sheffield, now Ambassadess in France," discussed again below; Dyer (knighted 1596, d. 1607), courtier and poet, a protégé of Leicester's; Tilney (d. 1610), Lady Sheffield's kinsman, Master of the Revels from July 1579 until his death.

42. Cf. The Yorkshire Tragedy (ca. 1606), scene 5, lines 13-14: "The surest way to charm a woman's tongue/ Is break her neck; a politician did it" (Brooke, Shakespeare Apocrypha, p. 257b). Also: "You that were held the famous politician;/ Whose art was poison. . . . That would have broke your wife's neck down the stairs/ Ere she was poisoned" (John Webster's White Devil, ca. 1612; act 5, scene 3, lines 155-58); Webster alludes in the next line to Leicester's alleged salad poisoning of Throgmorton.

43. Bald Buttler is unidentified. Leicester had distant kinship to the Butlers of Ashton in the Walls, and two Butlers are mentioned in his will, but as it was rather among his wife's kinsmen that suspicions ran high, the text' s "my L." may be an error for "my La."; in which case the correction has been made in the French translation ("parent de la dame," Discours de la vie, fo1.16).

44. On Amy Robsart's death, see Appendix D (1).

45. John, second Lord Sheffield of Butterwick, who died in 1568. There seems to have been no public suspicion concerning his death, but among his own family it was attributed to Leicester's poison; see Holles, Memorials of the Holles Family, pp.70-71.

46. Dorothy Braye (d. 1605), widow of Edmund Brydges, Lord Chandos, and wife of William Knollys (d. 1632), an ally of Leicester's who was Lady Essex's eldest brother and, much later, the first Earl of Banbury. Concerning the putative child, see Appendix D (2).

47. Essex's man Richard Lloyd was later employed as Leicester's secretary (Bruce, Correspondence of Robert Dudley, p. 26; John Dee's diary, p. 21). On Rowland Crompton, yeoman of Essex's cellar, see discussion of Essex's death in Appendix D (2).

48. On Dr. Julio, see Appendix D (6).

49. Margin: "Doctor Bayley the younger," i.e., Walter Bayley (d. 1593), M.D., Regius Professor of Physic in 1561, later physician to the Queen.

50. Odet, Cardinal de Châtillon, brother of the Huguenot leader Coligny, lived in refuge in England, 1568-1571, attempting to further the marriage to Henri of Anjou. Returning to France, he was taken ill at Canterbury and died on 24 Mar. 1571; tradition ascribes his death both to Catherine de Medici and to the Guisan Cardinal de Lorraine. Elizabeth's investigating team reported directly to Leicester and was headed by his ally Leighton. See Atkinson, "Cardinal of Chatillon," which charges Lorraine with the crime (pp. 254-55).

51. Possibly Sir Henry Lee's kinsman Thomas (executed 1601), younger son of Benedict Lee of Bigging and the Earl of Essex's second cousin, who although not an Irishman was serving with Essex in Ireland at this time. See Chambers, Sir Henry Lee, pp. 185-201.

52. "Develing": Dublin. "Penteneis" is unidentified.

53. William Hunnis, Master of the Children from 1566 until his death in 1597.

54. On the death of the Earl of Essex, see Appendix D (2).

55. This joke originated with the Queen of Scots, then still in France, on the occasion of Amy's death; Leicester was Elizabeth's Master of the Horse. Throgmorton sent word of it from Paris to Cecil via his secretary, Robert Jones (26 Nov. 1560); Cecil told the Queen, who in turn twitted Dudley with it, and he learned its provenance by interrogation of Jones. See Jones to Throgmorton, 30 Nov. 1560, Hardwicke State Papers, 1: 164. Anne de Montmorency (d. 1567), Constable of France, was then close to Mary's kinsmen the Guises.

56. Sir Nicholas, uncle of Francis and Thomas Throgmorton, died on 25 Feb. 1571. Camden's account follows the Commonwealth's: "In [Leicester's] house as he fed hard at supper on salads, he was taken (as some report) with an impostume of the lungs, as others say with a vehement catarrh, not without suspicion of poison, and died in a good time for himself and his, being in great danger of life and estate by reason of his restless spirit" (Elizabeth, 2: 14).

57. Margaret, daughter of Henry VIII's sister and wife of Matthew Stuart, Earl of Lennox, died at sixty-two at Hackney in London on 9 May 1578, apparently with no suspicions attending. Thomas Fowler, who administered her affairs (H.M.C. Salisbury MSS., 3: 105), became Leicester's steward before 1580 (A. Kendall, Robert Dudley, p. 186); his son William was one of Walsingham's agents but in Aug. 1584 was used by Leicester in some dealing in Scotland that the Earl kept secret even from Walsingham (C.S.P. Scots, 1584-85, pp. 258, 300).

58. Sardanapalus, legendary king of Assyria; Nero, Roman Emperor A.D. 54-68; Varius Avitus Bassanius (called Heliogabalus), Emperor at fourteen, murdered at eighteen by his Praetorian Guard in A.D. 222.

59. On the Earl's relationship with Lady Sheffield, see Appendix D (3).

60. Margin: "A.D. 959." Edwy, or Eadwig, was deprived of the northern half of his kingdom in 957; when he died in 959 it was reunited in his brother Edgar. The date 959 follows Polydore Vergil (1846), p. 241.

61. William Painter twice recounts the adventures of this fourth-century B.C. courtesan who was accustomed to demand a sum "amounting very near to three hundred pound of our money" (Palace of Pleasure [1566], bk. 1, chap. 15; bk. 2, chap. 13).

62. Margin: "Anne Vavasour," on whom see Appendix D (4). "Another man" is the Earl of Oxford.

63. Margin: "The children of adulterers shall be consumed, and the seed of a wicked bed shall be rooted out, saith God. Sap. 3"; in the Douai-Rheims, Wisdom 3:16. The Marsh annotator points out the unwisdom of this reference: The "author of this discourse will needs forsooth have [his] gentleman to be a protestant: But here you see he is bewrayed. . . . No protestant acc[epte]th the book of Wisdom to be the book of God."

64. "Wife of the castle": Mary (d. 1600), Lady Sheffield's sister, wife of Edward Sutton (d. 1586), Lord Dudley of Dudley Castle, Staffordshire. "Gossips": female attendants at a birth (O.E.D.).

65. For comment on this daughter's existence, see Appendix D (3).

66. "Confortive": something of comfort (O.E.D.), with the ironic sense of a medical prescription.

67. Margin: "Doctor Bayley the elder," i.e., Henry Bayley, Proctor of New College (1547), M.D. (1563).

68. "Crowner": coroner (O.E.D.). The jury seems to have suspected murder at first (Blount's report, Adlard, Amye Robsart, p. 40), but its verdict was accidental death.

69. As far as is known, Amy was buried only once, at Our Lady of Oxford on 22 Sept.; Dudley did not attend. Dr. Francis Babington was Leicester's chaplain and later Vice Chancellor of Oxford; in 1565 he was reconciled to Rome and fled into exile, where he died in 1569. Tradition had it that Edmund Campion delivered this sermon, but a contemporary account of the funeral confirms the identification here (Adlard, Amye Robsart, p. 55).

70. Of an attempt to poison Jean de Simier, Anjou's agent in the marriage talks, nothing is known, though he was ill in summer 1579. After his revelation of Leicester's marriage early in July, he was shot at in the grounds of Greenwich Palace by one Tider or Teuder of the Queen's Guard (Camden, Elizabeth, 2: 95), and he himself believed Leicester to have been behind the attack. At about this time (on 17 July) a man fired upon the Queen's barge, in which Simier was sitting (see below), and this too he considered an attempt on his life. Sometime in 1579 Simier was informed that he was soon to be stabbed, and he sent to Charles Arundell to borrow a "privy doublet," a coat of mail to be worn beneath his outer clothing; Arundell did not know by whom Simier had been threatened (Arundell's answers, S.P. 12/151/48, arts. 6 and 7).

71. The seamen of Flushing and all the Dutch coast thereabouts were known chiefly for their privateering activities.

72. Simier returned into France in late Nov. 1579, but there is no evidence of any untoward incident. Walter Raleigh was amongst Arundell's circle until at least 1580 (see Peck, "Raleigh, Sidney, Oxford, and the Catholics, 1579"); Edward Stafford was also one of the gentlemen accompanying Simier. Clark and Harris have common names, but the former is probably Capt. Augustine Clerk who in spring 1580 brought his "well-armed" ship over to the Spanish service. Checking on him, Mendoza learned that he had earlier arrived in England from Gravelines (cf. "certain Flushingers"), and he concluded that the man was a spy from Walsingham; accordingly, on 15 Aug. King Philip reported Clerk's arrest (C.S.P. Spanish, 1580-86, pp. 29, 36, 49).

73. William Killigrew (d. 1622), a courtier attached to Leicester's party; it was to Burghley, however, that his brother Sir Henry applied to win him a place among the Grooms of the Privy Chamber in Mar. 1573 (C.S.P. Scots, 1571-74, p. 519). "Caliver": a light musket. The Queen's kinsman Thomas Butler (1532-1614), tenth Earl of Ormonde, was a major force in Irish affairs, and he was generally aligned with Cecil and Sussex, while Leicester and Lord Deputy Sidney backed his rival the Earl of Desmond. The enmity between Leicester and Ormonde was notorious, whereas the latter "always had good liking to the house of Howard" (H.M.C. Rutland MSS., 1: 144) and was a friend of Charles Arundell's in particular (Ormonde to Hertford, 26 Mar. 1574, H.M.C. Bath MSS., 4: 140), with whom he corresponded regularly in "causes of friendship" (S.P. 12/151/48, art. 4). In 1565 both Ormonde and Desmond were in England, their differences to be heard by the Council, and several instances of violence are recorded from that summer (e.g., A.P.C., 1558-70, pp. 215, 219, 235).

74. "Facinorous": vile, extremely wicked (O.E.D.).

75. "Rampires": ramparts (O.E.D.).

76. Vortigern (fifth century) controlled, then murdered Constans, and crowned himself; Harold ruled Edward the Confessor, then succeeded him in 1066 (well disputed by William the Conqueror); Henry IV deposed Richard II in 1399; Warwick deposed Edward IV in 1470; Richard III became king in 1483.

77. Margin: "Leicester married at Wanstead when her Majesty was at Mr. Stonor's house, Doctor Culpepper, physician, minister." The Kenilworth ceremony is unconfirmed, but a letter from Philip Sidney of Dec. 1577, if indeed addressed to Leicester, seems to indicate that he knew of such a marriage (Prose Works of Sidney, 3: 119). The other, at Leicester's Wanstead House in Essex, a few miles from London, occurred on 20 Sept. 1578, while the Queen was stopped on progress at Loughton, the home of Francis Stonor, whence she proceeded to Wanstead. In addition to these named, the Earl of Pembroke was present; the minister cited here would be Dr. Martin Colepeper, but it was actually Humfrey Tindall, Master of Queen's College, Oxford (later Dean of Ely, d. 1614). See the depositions of all those present, dated 13 Mar. 1581 (S.P.12/148/24; printed in Hawarde, Reportes del cases in Camera Stellata, appendix 13).

78. Margin: "Read Polydore in the 7. year of King Richard II and you shall find this proceeding of certain about that king to be put as a great cause of his overthrow. "

79. The Elizabethan "system" of patronage is only coming to be understood in detail, but good discussions can be found in MacCaffrey, "Place and Patronage in Elizabethan Politics" and Queen Elizabeth, chap. 16; P. Williams, Tudor Regime, chap. 3 and pp. 371-74; Neale, "Elizabethan Political Scene"; A. Smith, Government of Elizabethan England, pp. 57-69. In general, Leicester seems to have "had a lesser say in the distribution of patronage than Burghley" did (A. Smith, Servant of the Cecils, p. 53), and in the tentative opinion of Peter Roberts, now studying royal household reforms, Leicester's "power was not as all-pervasive or as malignant as alleged. What evidence there is reveals a positive, constructive interest in clearing things up as Lord Steward in the last years" (letter, 1 July 1977). Dudley's assistance to literary men has been well studied by Rosenberg, Leicester.

80. "Impotent of his ire ": incapable of restraining his anger (following O.E.D.).

81. Edward Cheke to William Davison, Court, 8 Aug. 1577: "Sir Jerome Bowes and my cousin George Scott are banished the Court for a slanderous speech they should speak of my Lord of Leicester" (S.P. 15/25/30).

82. This book is unidentified; "stranger" means foreigner. "Leicestrensem rempublicam" may have been its title, as normally assumed, but the syntax may as easily indicate that it is rather what the stranger "calleth our state" in a book here untitled. Either way, the conclusion is unwarranted that the book is an earlier original of which our text is an English translation (as in Chamberlin, Elizabeth and Leycester, p. 417).

83. Margin: "Anno Regni 31" (1453); perhaps an error for "A. R. 34," as in Sept. 1456 York was trapped into submitting himself at Coventry but was then released.

84. Margin: "Lord Keeper, Lord Chamberlain," i.e., Sir Nicholas Bacon (d. 1579) and the Earl of Sussex (d. 1583). According to Conyers Read, Lord Hunsdon was the only man added to the Council between 1573 and 1586 who was not more or less of Leicester's camp ("Walsingham and Burghley in Queen Elizabeth's Privy Council," p. 41).

85. All of these cases but one are discussed in greater detail below. Southam is in Warwickshire, some ten miles from Kenilworth; despite the fact that Leicester acquired a great deal of land in the area, this reference is unidentified.

86. On 16 June 1566, Sussex was called by the Queen to explain his remark that Lord Deputy Sidney was in league with Shan O'Neill, the rebel chief; he demanded to know who accused him of having made it, and Leicester stepped forward to repeat the allegation. Sussex seems then to have accused Leicester of having written encouragements to O'Neill (S.P. 63/18/19; Read, Mr. Secretary Cecil, pp. 332-33; D. Wilson, Sweet Robin, p. 184; on Dudley's earlier support of O'Neill against Sussex, see Canny, Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland, pp. 42-43). Cyril Falls prints a letter, 4 May 1570, from the Irish rebels to their agent in Spain, which includes mention of communications received from "certain Englishmen of the Council in England who have favored us, albeit clandestinely" (Elizabeth's Irish Wars, p. 140).

87. Acteon was transformed into a stag and torn apart by his own hounds; see Ovid, Metamorphoses, bk. 3 (lines 205-304 in Golding's translation, 1567).

88. The reference may be to Bartholomew Salvariccia, a Genoese in London who in June 1583 sought Mendoza's protection from harassment by the Leicester-Walsingham group (C.S.P. Spanish, 1580-86, p. 478).

89. One MS. copy of the Commonwealth adds to Doughty's name "of the Inner Temple," and has a marginal comment: "Doughty, this man I knew and was acquainted with; he was with the Earl of Essex at his death and afterwards entertained by my Lord of Leicester" (British Library, Harleian MS. 4020, fo1. 43). Thomas Doughty, said to have been dismissed from Essex's service (1574) for creating dissension between his commander and Leicester, sailed with his friend Francis Drake on the circumnavigation (Nov. 1577), probably as a spy for Burghley. After stirring up trouble among the crew, he was tried and executed on shipboard off the Patagonian coast in Aug. 1578 (see Corbett, Drake and the Tudor Navy, 1: 201-13, 221-47). When news reached home, it was rumored that he had been killed on Leicester's orders, "for that he had reported abroad that the Earl of Essex was made away by the cunning practices of Leicester" (Camden, Elizabeth, 2: 112).

90. "Carriers": bearers of letters, transporters of goods.

91. Gates is unidentified; various MSS. of the Commonwealth specify him as John or Henry Gates but on doubtful authority. Perhaps he was a kinsman of Sir John Gates, who was executed with Leicester's father in 1553. That this man was hanged at Tyburn "this last summer past" accords with a lost ballad concerning a robbing of "curriers" near London which was entered for publication in Aug. 1583 (Arber, Transcript of the Registers, 2: 427), and which may refer to the same man. This passage served Thomas Kyd as a source for his Spanish Tragedy; see Bowers's "Kyd' s Pedringano," Baldwin's On the Literary Genetics of Shakspere's Plays, pp. 185-98, and Freeman's Thomas Kyd, p. 58. Cf. the analogous tale of the Yorkshire gentleman in Peck, "Letter of Estate," pp. 33-34.

92. Margin: "This relation of Gates' may serve hereafter for an addition in the second edition of this book."

93. Margin: "The Earl of Sussex his speech of the Earl of Leicester." Sussex died at Bermondsey in London on 9 June 1583.

94. Mendoza reported in Jan.1582 that the Queen had told Simier that she could do nothing to diminish Leicester's power, "as he had taken advantage of the authority she had given him to place kinsmen and friends of his in almost every post and principal place in the kingdom" (C.S.P. Spanish, 1580-86, pp. 266-67); Arundell and Howard constituted the only known link between Simier and the Spaniard.

95. Margin: "York, the Earl of Huntingdon" (Henry Hastings), Leicester's brother-in-law, based in York as President of the Council of the North from 1572 until his death in 1595.

96. Margin: "Berwick, the Lord Hunsdon" (Henry Carey), warden of the East March (based at Berwick) from 1568 until his death in 1596. His sister was the mother of Leicester's wife Lettice. He was more often counted among Burghley's adherents than among Leicester's.

97. Margin: "Wales, Sir Henry Sidney" (d. 1586), President of the Council in the Marches of Wales from 1560 until his death, who had married Leicester's sister Mary in 1551.

98. Henry Herbert (d.1601), second Earl of Pembroke, one of Leicester's closest friends, had married Sidney's daughter Mary in Apr. 1577; she it was to whom her brother dedicated his Arcadia.

99. Francis Russell (d. 1585), second Earl of Bedford, an active Puritan, was Warwick's father-in-law as well.

100. Margin: "The Lord Grey," i.e., Arthur (d. 1593), Lord Grey of Wilton, whose ferocity as Lord Deputy of Ireland, especially in the massacre of the Spanish garrison at Smerwick (Nov. 1580), was notorious. He returned to England in Nov. 1582, where his severities earned him a "great displeasure with the Queen," which "was kindled against him by Sussex, his heavy adversary" (Camden, Elizabeth, 2: 119).

101. Margin: "Her Majesty (as he saith), for striking of Mr. Fortescue, called him lame wretch; that grieved him so (for that he was hurt in her service at Lieth) as he said he would live to be revenged." Grey was wounded while serving under his father at the siege of Lieth in Scotland in May 1560. The incident with Mr. (later Sir) John Fortescue of Salden occurred in Oct. 1573, when Grey used "uncivil language" to him in the Presence Chamber; in Dec. Fortescue complained that Grey had had him beaten up in Chancery Lane, all apparently resulting from a dispute over hunting rights (C.S.P. Domestic, 1547-80, pp. 467, 468, 470).

102. Margin: "In Scotland or elsewhere against the next inheritors or present possessors."

103. Margin: "Sir John Perrot" (d. 1592), who departed for Ireland as the new Lord Deputy on 12 May 1584 (H.M.C. Rutland MSS., 1: 165); possibly this marginalium was added upon arrival of that news. As early as Nov. 1582 it was thought that he would be Grey's successor (ibid., p. 144), but the post remained vacant for a year and a half.

104. Margin: "Sir Edward Horsey" (kt. 1577, d. 1583); after entering exile upon the failure of the "Dudley Plot" of 1556, he progressed from agent for Ambassador Throgmorton to Leicester's service, thence to Captain of the Isle of Wight (ca. 1566-1583). Like another former rebel, Leighton, he was a follower of Leicester and was often used on diplomatic assignments (e.g., to France, 1573), but he was never, as in D.N.B., a member of the Privy Council.

105. Margin: "Sir George Carew" (Carey), who succeeded his father Henry in the barony of Hunsdon in 1596. He was Captain of the Isle of Wight from Horsey's death until his own in 1603; his aunt was the mother of Leicester's wife. In 1587 he was granted the wardship of Lord Paget's son and heir (A.P.C. 1586-87, p. 352).

106. Margin: "Sir Amias Paulet," Captain of the Isle of Jersey from 1571 until his death in Sept. 1588, having served as ambassador to France (1577-1579) as well; he was chosen in April 1585 to provide stricter confinement for Mary, Queen of Scots.

107. Margin: "Sir Thomas Leighton" (d. 1611), Leicester's follower and Captain of the Isle of Guernsey, married to "Bess," Elizabeth (not Cecilia, as in D.N.B.), daughter of Sir Francis Knollys, in May 1578.

108. Master of the Ordnance from Apr. 1560 until his death in 1590.

109. The predecessor is Sir Edward Warner, who as Lieutenant held the Tower for Northumberland, was deprived of the office under Mary, and was restored on Elizabeth's accession. Owen Hopton, in a letter of 1588, fixed his appointment to the post at about 1570 (Ellis, Original Letters, 4: 67-71).

110. Margin: "Sir Rowland Heiward" (1520?-1593), clothworker, Mayor of London 1570-1571 and 1591, "probably the most impressive of the elite aldermen during the Elizabethan period" (Foster, Politics of Stability, p. 73).

111. Margin: "Mad Fleetwood." William Fleetwood (d. 1594) was noted chiefly as a loud Parliamentarian until, by Leicester's influence (D.N.B.), he became Recorder of London, 1571-1592. He was jailed in 1576 for breaking into a foreign embassy's chapel in search of recusants and was considered by Parsons to have been one of the "chiefest persecutors" of Catholics (C.R.S. 2, p. 191). See also Harris, "William Fleetwood."

112. Margin: "My Lord of Huntingdon's preparation at Ashby," i.e. Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, the Earl's principal seat.

113. The Queen visited Kenilworth in 1565, 1572, and 1575; the last of these is probably the visit intended here. In 1570 it was reported that Leicester "hath many workmen at Killingworth to make his house strong, and doth furnish it with armor, munition, and all necessaries for defense" (Lodge, Illustrations, 1: 516); in 1581 Charles Arundell mentioned this fortification, "with brass, pieces, munition, powder, etc., proportionable as strong as the town against a day, under color of making the Queen sport with fireworks shooting, etc." (S.P. 12/151/50). See Stone, Crisis of the Aristocracy, pp. 220-21.

114. Margin: "Ralph Lane," presumably Sir Ralph Lane (kt. 1593, d. 1603), courtier, financial speculator, seaman, first "governor" of Virginia (1585); he was both opportunistic and often in trouble, but neither this incident nor his "harassment" is identified. The Queen's most serious illness, a near-fatal case of smallpox, came in fall 1562; at that time she had the Council swear to recognize Dudley as Protector of the realm in the event of her death. The text does not suggest that Kenilworth was yet in Dudley's possession; he received it in the following year.

115. "Astronomers": astrologers.

116. "Lightly": likely (O.E.D.).

117. "Sinours": sinews (O.E.D.).

118. "One for her Majesty": Sir Walter Mildmay, on 25 Jan. 1581 (discussed in Neale, Elizabeth I and Her Parliaments, 1559-1581, pp. 382-85).

119. "Enhanced before": having had their rents increased (O.E.D.). See, e.g., letters patent to Leicester, dated 5 Apr. 1579, gifts of land, some of them exchanges, in London and twenty counties in England and Wales (Folger Library, 2.e.5).

120. "License of alienation": exclusive right to collect a duty on the sale of crown lands.

121. The loss of Calais was a blow to English pride; in England's hands since 1347, it was taken by the French in Jan.1558. During ensuing peace talks Philip of Spain stood by his English allies in demanding its return, but after Elizabeth's accession it was clear that, without assurances that England would remain Catholic and pro-Spanish, he would conclude a peace of his own. In Apr. 1559 the Queen's agents settled upon the Treaty of Câteau-Cambrésis, which affected to leave Calais with the French for only eight years but which was really a face-saving acknowledgement of its loss. It seems, however, to have been Cecil who was responsible for the decision to compromise, a decision that Dudley opposed (Wernham, Before the Armada, p. 244; D. Wilson, Sweet Robin, pp. 104-7).

122. War with France was concluded by a treaty negotiated under Northumberland's direction and signed on 29 March 1550, under which Boulogne was surrendered in return for four hundred thousand crowns (i.e., "upon composition"). Protector Somerset had been sent to the Tower in Oct. 1549 but was released in Feb. 1550, free but powerless until his rearrest in Oct. 1551. Early in 1550 Southampton and Arundel were superseded on the Council by Dudley's own men; the former was confined to his house (where he died in July), the latter was imprisoned.

123. "Copesman": chapman, merchant (O.E.D.).

124. Two MS. copyists here interpolate the phrase "as Gabriel Bleke of Gloucestershire did" (St. John's, Cambridge, MS. L.11; Folger Library MS. G.a.9), a statement supported by this from Leicester's will, July 1587: "In the meantime, after the decease of Gabriel Bleke and his wife, I do give and grant to the said Robert [his son by Lady Sheffield] all such lands and leases as I have conveyed unto me from the said Gabriel forever, and the same lands, houses, and leases to enjoy presently after the decease of the said Gabriel Bleke and his wife, now living" (Sidney Papers, 1: 72).

125. Three licenses to export eighty thousand woolen cloths, summer 1562, "an enormously lucrative concession" (D. Wilson, Sweet Robin, p.132), assigned to the Merchant Adventurers company (for 6,266 pounds) on 27 Mar. 1563 (A. Kendall, Robert Dudley, p. 44).

126. For example, for the farm of sweet wines he received twenty-five hundred pounds per year from Thomas Smith, Customer of London (D. Wilson, Sweet Robin, p. 168).

127. Grant to Edward Horsey of all forfeitures due for keeping taverns or selling wine contrary to statute, with power to compound with offenders for reasonable sums, 2 Apr. 1571 (Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1569-72, p. 165, no. 1342). "Ordinary": tavern, inn (O.E.D.).

128. "Poolings," pollings: plunderings, extortions (O.E.D.).

129. The extent of Edmund Dudley's personal malfeasance has been a vexed question, but this passage seems a fair assessment. See Brodie, "Edmund Dudley, Minister of Henry VII"; Elton, "Henry VII: Rapacity and Remorse" and "Henry VII: a Restatement"; Cooper, "Henry VII's Last Years Reconsidered."

130. Stow, Chronicles of England (1580), p. 895.

131. The gentleman, as he implies, has not read Dudley's book, an interesting allegory of the ideal state but no "book of secrets." The tree's roots are love of God, justice, truth, concord, and peace; the fruits of each are honor of God, honorable dignity, worldly prosperity, tranquility, and good example. Each fruit has its "paring" (e.g., increase of virtue) and its "perilous core" (e.g., lewd enterprise), which core, with its "poignant sauce" (dread of God), becomes a corresponding virtue (e.g., noble enterprise). See Tree of Commonwealth, ed. Brodie.

132. "Nephew": grandson ( O.E.D.), used often but not exclusively in this sense.

133. This pun on cancel-cancellarius (Chancellor) is repeated by Richard Verstegan in Advertisement Written to a Secretary, pp. 45-46.

134. Margin: "The Lord Treasurer," Cecil, became Chancellor of Cambridge in 1559; Leicester, of Oxford in Dec. 1564.

135. This distinction is largely true: Oxford was often considered a center of papistry, and Cambridge came to be associated with Puritanism. See Knappen, Tudor Puritanism, pp. 218-19; Porter, Reformation and Reaction, passim.

136. Leicester did use his influence at Oxford for rewarding his followers - e.g., removal of the Vice Chancellor in 1576 for refusing to admit the Earl's nomination to a doctorate - but he also attempted extensive reforms; many of his letters insist upon correction of abuses in students' apparel, deportment, and so forth. See Rosenberg, Leicester, pp. 132-38.

137. Dr. Walter Bayley is noted above; Martin Colepeper (or Culpepper) was Doctor of Physic at New College and Vice Chancellor of the University in 1578.

138. Dr. John Dee (d. 1608), the most famous English astrologer, alchemist, and mathematician of his day, was patronized not only by Leicester but by many others as well, including the Queen; he was out of England from Sept. 1583 until 1589. Dr. Thomas Allen (d.1632), mathematician and antiquary, and widely reputed a magician, left Oxford in 1570; Leicester "offered him a bishopric, but he preferred a life of retirement" (D.N.B.).

139. Dr. Julio is noticed in Appendix D (6). Dr. Roderigo Lopez, a Portuguese Jew, chief physician to Leicester (ca. 1576) and, by 1586, to the Queen, was later prosecuted on treason charges by the second Earl of Essex and executed in June 1594.

140. Margin: "At Digby's house in Warwickshire Dame Lettice lay, and some other such pieces of pleasure." This is Sir George of Coleshill, Warwick, father of the future Earl of Bristol, and known as a friend of Leicester's.

141. Phalaris, tyrant of Agrigentum in Sicily (ca. 560 B.C.), was remembered for his custom of roasting his enemies in a brazen bull.

142. Margin: "Poor men resisting Warwick's enclosure at North Hall were hanged for his pleasure by Leicester's authority." North Hall (or Northall, or Northaw) was one of Warwick's manors in Hertfordshire. His tenants tore down his pales in Apr.1579; Hatton was sent to quell the disturbance, and two men were hanged as a consequence (see Victoria History, Hertfordshire, 4: 216).

143. The barony of Denbigh was bestowed upon Dudley on the day prior to his creation as Earl (28 Sept. 1564, Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1563-66, p. 178), though grants of land had been made in June 1563 (ibid., 1560-63, pp. 534-40).

144. Following the grant, "Leicester at once began to exploit his strength by demanding £1,000 down and increases in rent of £333 6s. 8d. per annum from his tenants in return for renewable forty-year leases" (P. Williams, Council in the Marches, pp. 237-38).

145. Leicester received the grant of Kenilworth on 9 June 1563 (Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1560-63, p. 540); Stow cites the twenty-four-pound yearly value (Chronicles, 1580, p. 1123). The Earl is said to have invested sixty thousand pounds in improvements and to have extended its parks and chases to nearly twenty miles around (Waldman, Elizabeth and Leicester, p. 131).

146. This grant, which Leicester received in 1574, allowed him to take over all lands that had been encroached upon by the freeholders, which were considerable, as a tenant of the crown. Normally his profit lay in compounding for them with the present occupants.

147. Suetonius, Nero, sec. 32.

148. "Papers of perjury": public display, wearing a placard identifying their crimes. The gentlemen of the Lleyn peninsula were cited before a Council in the Marches that was packed with Leicestrians and were imprisoned at Ludlow Castle shortly after the 1577 verdict against their case (P. Williams, Council in the Marches, p. 246).

149. Leicester, to increase his revenues as Ranger of Snowden Forest from searching out concealed lands within its borders, extended its limits to extraordinary lengths, even (as above) into the Isle of Anglesey. His chief opposition was a local magnate, Sir Richard Bulkeley, who had influence with the Queen; he checked the Earl's 1576 attempts and finally won a royal proclamation, 15 Dec. 1579 (Tudor Proclamations, no. 644), which suspended further inquiry into titles. Leicester and the Council in the Marches harassed Bulkeley for years after, and the citizens of Beaumaris, in Anglesey, were interrogated in Feb. 1580 over "scandalous and lewd rumors" and "Welsh rhymes or libels" that "somewhat touched the Earl of Leicester in honor and credit" in the Snowden matter (Hatfield, Cecil Papers, 203/81). "The business reveals a sinister side of the Council's activities - the judging of a great lord's suit by persons who were all friendly to him"; see P. Williams, Council in the Marches, p. 248, also pp. 237-39, 246-47. A sympathetic overview of Dudley's dealings in North Wales appears in D. Wilson, Sweet Robin, pp. 170-73.

150. Leicester's building projects, including restoration of the castle and a new cathedral (begun in 1578), were indeed left unfinished (D. Wilson, Sweet Robin, p. 172).

151. This sentence was pronounced upon Nero by the Senate, but he anticipated its execution by committing suicide in A.D. 68 (Suetonius, Nero, sec. 49).

152. Suetonius, Vitellius, sec. 17.

153. Leandro Alberti, Descrittione di tutta Italia (1550), fols. 85v-86.

154. Humphrey Ferrers (later knighted, d. 1608), of Tamworth, sheriff of Warwickshire in 1577 and 1588; a client of Leicester's (see, e.g., the Earl preferring Mr. Savage to the benefice of Walton in Ferrers's gift, Huntington Library MS. H.A.2376).

155. On the riot at Drayton Basset, see Appendix D (5).

156. On the death in 1577 of Sir Gerald Croker, his leases of two manors in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire (one of which had escheated to the crown with the attainder of Leicester's father), passed to Richard Lee, illegitimate brother of Sir Henry. Litigation ensued between Richard and Croker's son. The above passage "suggests that the lordship of John Dudley had been regranted to his son and that he may have wished to secure a surrender of the lease through Lee" (Chambers, Sir Henry Lee, p. 176).

157. Greville, of Milcote, Warwickshire, cousin of Fulke the poet, was a man of Catholic connections who was in trouble all his life; in Nov. 1589 he was pressed to death for refusing to enter a plea in a murder charge. The reference here is probably to his imprisonment in early 1579 for a murderous attack upon Sir John Conway, a follower of Leicester (see Stopes, Shakespeare's Warwickshire Contemporaries, pp. 162-64).

158. Leicester's ally Lee became Lieutenant of the Royal Manor of Woodstock in about 1571, where his subordinate George Whitton, Controller and Surveyor of the Manor (a post his family had held since 1496), had become accustomed to running things after years of nonresident lieutenants. Squabbling ensued, until in late 1580 Whitton entered complaints against Lee before the Council. His expressed fears of Lee's friends at Court (C.S.P. Domestic, Addenda, 1580-1625, pp. 26-27) were justified, for he soon found himself in the Marshalsea prison; having made submission, however, he did not lose his post, which was still in his family in 1650. See Chambers, Sir Henry Lee, pp. 91-104.

159. Litigation over the Berkeley lands had been going on for two centuries; at this time it was pursued by the Dudleys against Henry (d. 1613), seventh Lord Berkeley, Lord Harry Howard's brother-in-law, from whom they were able to recover several manors. In Aug. 1574 Leicester persuaded the Queen to leave her itinerary and be his guest at Berkeley Castle in its lord's absence, as if it were his own (Nichols, Progresses, 2: 392n; Jenkins, Elizabeth and Leicester, p. 193).

160. See Appendix D (6).

161. Sir John of Feckenham, Justice of Chester, brother of Sir Nicholas the diplomat, was fined in 1579 and deprived of office because, it was said, of "Leicester's cunning dealing" (Camden, Elizabeth, 3: 33); he had tangled with the Earl in 1568-1569 over jurisdictional rights in the city of Chester, but that seems to have ended amicably. More likely he was vulnerable because of his family's recusancy and was deprived for a number of abuses of his office, one of which was resolved in Star Chamber (three cases against him, 1579, described in P. Williams, Council in the Marches, pp. 266-67; a fourth, C.S.P. Domestic, 1547-80, pp. 604ff). He died soon after, on 22 May 1580, leaving his sons Francis, Thomas, and George; Thomas seems to have had a hand in production of the Commonwealth. See also Rowse, Sir Walter Ralegh, pp. 73-74.

162. The Giffords were near relations of Throgmorton's. John, of Chillington, Staffordshire, was one of the most heavily persecuted recusants of the time (Trimble, Catholic Laity in Elizabethan England, passim); one of his sons, Thomas, has been advanced as author of the Treatise of Treasons of 1572 (Clancy, "A Political Pamphlet," pp. 23-25); another son, Gilbert, was a priest in exile, though perhaps as early as 1584 he was an undercover agent for Walsingham; his nephew Dr. William also fled the realm and from July 1582 on was a professor at the seminary in Rheims.

163. Drury (d. 1617) and his brother Sir William were under arrest from Dec. 1559 to Oct. 1560 for an obscure plot against Dudley (C.S.P. Spanish, 1558-67, p. 118; C.S.P. Foreign, 1560-61, p. 350); he was still in trouble in 1561 (C.S.P. Domestic, 1547-80, p. 110). Thereafter he enjoyed a long career at Court; though many of his family were Catholics, he was known as a Puritan and was sent to aid Amias Paulet in the custody of the Queen of Scots. Sir William was married to Sir Edward Stafford's sister.

164. "Statists": statesmen, those skilled in affairs of state (all early O.E.D. entries, dating from Sidney's borrowing of the word in 1584-1585, employ it pejoratively).

165. "Protend": portend (O.E.D.).

166. "Fautors": adherents, followers, partisans (O.E.D.).

167. 13 Elizabeth, cap. 1 (1571), in Prothero, Select Statutes.

168. Margin: "Pooley told this to Sir Robert Jermine." Robert Poley was an agent who was later involved in provoking the Babington Plot and in the death of Christopher Marlowe; in early 1585 he was in trouble for possession of a copy of the Commonwealth and was suspected by Leicester of having had a hand in it (S.P. 78/17/26). This incident, if it occurred, should be placed in summer 1579 (when the marriage was first revealed), four years prior to the earliest information known about the man; see Boas, Christopher Marlowe, chap. 8 et passim. Jermine was associated with Leicester and married his son to a daughter of the Earl's follower William Killigrew.

169. Leicester was made Constable of Windsor Castle on 23 Feb. 1562 (Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1560-63, p. 310). Neville (d. 1593) had been one of the cosigners of King Henry's will, was knighted under Northumberland (1551), and served in Court government until his death. The Marsh annotator apparently tried to verify this charge: "Sir Henry Neville himself sayeth and confesseth [in]deed that th[is is] a most impu[dent] and shameless lie."

170. Anne Knollys married Thomas West, Lord De La Warr, in 1571; her brothers, including Robert (d. 1625), usher of the Tower Mint, were wholly of Leicester's party (Naunton, Fragmenta regalia, pp. 80-82). Anne Askew was just another lady at Court (see Hatton Memoirs, p. 223). The event, if it happened, is another echo of the tense summer of 1579.

171. Margin: "I mean the noble old Earl of Pembroke," William Herbert (d. 1570), first earl of the new creation. During the most furious phase of Dudley's wooing, autumn 1560, Pembroke was almost the only Councillor to back him, and that cautiously (MacCaffrey, Shaping of the Elizabethan Regime, p. 104).

172. See 13 Elizabeth, cap. 2, V (1571). "But incredible it is what jests lewd catchers of words made amongst themselves by occasion of that clause. . . . Insomuch as I myself, being then a young man, have heard them oftentimes say that that word was inserted into the Act of purpose by Leicester, that he might one day obtrude upon the English some bastard of his, for the Queen's natural issue" (Camden, Elizabeth, 2: 29).

173. That is, Mary, Queen of Scots, "now in prison"; despite the sequence above, no such suit took place after the 1571 statute. Elizabeth suggested a Mary-Leicester match in Mar. 1563; Dudley, appearing to acquiesce in the idea, did not care for it at all (Read, Cecil, pp. 303-25).

174. Arabella (or Arbella) Stuart (1575-1615), daughter of Charles, Earl of Lennox, and Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of the Countess of Shrewsbury. She had a claim to the crown through Lennox's mother, the child of Margaret Tudor's second marriage. Mendoza reported this intrigue in Dec. 1582 (C.S.P. Spanish, 1580-86, p. 426), and in Mar. 1583 he, the Queen of Scots, and Lord Paget all showed renewed interest in it (ibid., p. 451; C.S.P. Domestic, 1581-90, pp. 99-100); King James was still angry about it in Sept. 1584 (C.S.P. Scots, 1584-85, p. 318).

175. Northumberland and Edward Seymour, the Protector, were "reconciled" in spring 1550, but Seymour was executed at the former's instance in Jan.1552. The period of coexistence between York and Edmund Beaufort, beginning in spring 1452, degenerated into the struggles that, for Somerset, ended at St. Albans in 1455.

176. Both Thomas Lord Stanley and his brother aided in Henry's victory in 1485; Thomas, created Earl of Derby, was then eased out of his position of power, but perhaps the reference should be to Sir William, executed on flimsy treason charges in Feb. 1495. Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, aided Richard in June 1483 but broke into rebellion and was executed on 2 Nov. Richard Neville set Edward up in 1461, plucked him down in 1470, and lost his life to him at Barnet in 1471. Henry Percy (killed 1408), Earl of Northumberland; his brother Thomas (executed 1403), Earl of Worcester; and his son Henry Hotspur (killed 1403) helped to depose Richard II but rebelled and were killed by Henry's forces.

177. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, chap. 3.

178. Suffolk was executed on 23 Feb. 1554 after an abortive rising meant to have been coordinated with Wyatt's Rebellion.

179. Margin: "Southhowse," Christopher Southouse, a lifetime servant of Huntingdon's; "ledger," or lieger: a resident ambassador or agent. "Hasty king": after Huntingdon's family name, Hastings.

180. To Jane, née Guildford, who died in Jan. 1555.

181. His niece, Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth, who married Henry VII on 18 Jan. 1486; his wife, Warwick's daughter Anne Neville, who died on 16 Mar. 1485.

182. Margin: "A new triumvirate between Leicester, Talbot, and the Countess of Shrewsbury"; Arabella Stuart resided with the Countess her grandmother, Bess of Hardwick, who against her husband's will conspired with her stepson Gilbert Talbot and with Leicester to effect this match.

183. Margin: "Richard of Gloucester, Anno 1 Edward V," i.e., Richard III, called the Boar from his crest.

184. William Lord Hastings helped Richard overcome his opposition in spring 1483, but on 13 June he was himself denounced before the Council, hauled from the room, and executed the same day. "The other" were executed at Pontefract (Pomfret) Castle in Yorkshire twelve days later; the notion of simultaneous executions comes from More's History of King Richard III, 2: 48a.

185. Margin: "Esther 5" (verses 10-13). "Duke Aman" is the biblical Haman, his rank a characteristic embellishment.

186. Ahasuerus, the biblical Persian king, is often identified as Xerxes I (reigned 486-465 B.C.); "Mardocheus" is Mordecai the Jew, Esther's cousin.

187. Actually, Warwick's father, Richard of Salisbury, was killed at Wakefield (1461), nine years before his son "put down" Edward IV.

188. "Vilipend": treat contemptuously, vilify (O.E.D.); as the Marsh annotator writes, "This smelleth a little of the inkhorn."

189. The enmity between Lady Essex and the Queen was notorious; Elizabeth commonly referred to her as "that She-wolf." Amadis of Gaul was the hero of a popular chivalric-romance tradition.

190. The ambitions of Lord Thomas Seymour, the Protector's brother, led to his execution without trial on 20 Mar. 1549; the common view was that the breach between him and his brother had been caused by the" devilish woman" Ann Stanhope, the Protector's wife (Camden, Elizabeth, p. 6; Read, Cecil, p. 54).

191. Again, 13 Elizabeth, cap. 1 (1571).

192. "And be it further enacted, that if any person shall during the Queen's Majesty's life in any wise affirm or maintain any right," etc. (Prothero, Select Statutes, p. 59).

193. Margin: "Papistical blessing."

194. Margin: "Richard going towards Jerusalem began the custom by Parliament, as Polydore noteth Anno 10 of Richard II, to declare the next heir"; Richard I named his nephew Arthur in 1190.

195. Resistance to discussion of the succession came ultimately from Elizabeth herself; presumably the Commonwealth's authors knew that. The frequency with which the statute is mentioned here indicates the importance that was attached to the problem of uncertain succession at the time.

196. On 17 July 1579, as Elizabeth was rowing on the Thames with Simier, a young man named Thomas Appletree, in a nearby boat with a group of children, discharged a harquebus at random and the ball hit one of the Queen's rowers. Although clearly an accident and although Elizabeth refused to "believe that which some buzzed in her ears, that he was purposely suborned against her or Simier" (Camden, Elizabeth, 2: 96), the fellow was condemned to death. As he stood "very penitent" upon the gallows, Hatton arrived to read a long pardon and take the opportunity to make some pointed remarks to the crowd on its narrow escape from chaos; these were "put in print" in Stow's Chronicles, pp. 1199-1204.

197. Toward the end of his conspiracy trial, 25 Feb. 1585, Dr. William Parry said that he had no hope of acquittal "because he was not settled." When asked by Hatton what he had meant, he answered: "Look into your study and into your new books, and you shall find what I mean" (Holinshed, Chronicles of England, 4: 578), intending thereby (following the Commonwealth) to show that he was being convicted for his party affiliation rather than for any crime he had committed (which was most likely true). See Brooks, Sir Christopher Hatton, p. 242, and his letter, Times Literary Supplement, 26 Dec. 1942. Most writers have followed Camden's translators' garbled accounts, to the effect that Parry meant that he had not been "constant in my resolution" (Elizabeth, 3: 47).

198. "Puny": a novice or tyro (O.E.D.).

199. Complaints of the presence of foreign artisans were a familiar feature of Elizabethan life; here the common xenophobia and economic grievance is combined with implication of a deliberate political plot, as it had been in the Treatise of Treasons (1572), fol. 104, where there are "forty or fifty thousand strangers . . . in readiness always to be employed [by Cecil] to any sudden exploit." Significant also is the attempt here to link the Puritan communions or "prophesyings" to political subversion (see Collinson, Elizabethan Puritan Movement, pp. 143, 199).

200. Commynes, Memoirs, bk. 1, chap. 7.

201. Commynes, Memoirs, bk. 3, chap. 4.

202. Executed 24 Nov. 1499.

203. Margin: "The battle by Tadcaster on Palm Sunday Anno 1460," otherwise called the battle of Towton, 29 Mar. 1460/61.

204. Barnet in Hertfordshire, a Yorkist victory, 14 Apr. 1471; Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, a Yorkist victory, 4 May of the same year.

205. Margin: "The most of Huntingdon's ancestors by whom he maketh title attainted of treason." Attainder was admitted as a bar to inheritance of lands, but whether or not it could prevent succession to the crown was a point of controversy; see Mortimer Levine, Early Elizabethan Succession Question, pp. 108-9,112-13.

206. Friar Ralph Sha (Shaa, Shaw) made official statement of Richard's title at St. Paul's in London on 22 June 1483; his sermon's text was "bastard slips shall not take root," but the idea was that Edward's children were illegitimate, not Edward himself. This version follows Polydore Vergil's (1844), pp. 183-85.

207. Edwin Sands (Sandys, d. 1588), Archbishop of York (1576), was at Cambridge when Northumberland arrived in pursuit of Mary, and he wisely preached a sermon enforcing Jane Grey's title (Holinshed, 4: 110-11); Nicholas Ridley did the same in London.

208. Margin: "The line of Portugal," discussed again below.

209. Henry Tudor's claim derived from Gaunt's eldest son by his third wife, but the last son who left surviving issue.

210. That is, grandson of Edward III, by the Black Prince Edward.

211. An error; the prince's name was Edward.

212. Katherine, widow of Sir Hugh Swynford. John of Somerset's line took the surname Beaufort.

213. These titles, vigorously advanced by more pro-Spanish exiles later in the reign, may be outlined here. The Portuguese: from John of Gaunt and his wife Blanche, to their daughter Philippe, to her son Manuel Fortunatus, king of Portugal; from him the male line ended in 1578, but through his daughter Isabella, wife of the Emperor Charles V, it continued to her son Philip II of Spain (though it also included Don Antonio, Prior of Crato; and Catherine, Duchess of Braganza). The Spanish: from Gaunt and his wife Constance (daughter of Peter I of Castile), to their daughter Catherine (who married Henry III in 1397), to her daughter Isabella of Castile, to her daughter Joanna the Mad, to her son Charles V, and thence again to his son Philip II ( though it also included the Duke of Parma).

214. An error. Anne was the granddaughter of the third Earl of March; she became his heir (1425) only after the deaths of her father and brother, the fourth and fifth Earls.

215. Another error. Anne's husband Richard (ex. 1415) was Langley's second son and was styled Earl of Cambridge; when his elder brother Edward, the second Duke of York, died childless at Agincourt, Anne's and Richard's son, another Richard, became heir to the dukedom. John Leslie, whom the Commonwealth is following here, did not make these errors.

216. Cecily (d. 1507) married John Viscount Welles, who died in 1499 without issue; Anne (d. 1511) married Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk, but died without surviving issue; Katherine (d. 1527) married William Courtenay (d. 1551), whose son, the Marquess of Exeter, was executed in 1539 and whose only grandchild, Edward Earl of Devon, died unmarried in 1556.

217. Sir Richard Pole (d. 1504) and the Countess of Salisbury (executed 1541) left, among others, Henry Lord Montagu (ex. 1538), Reginald Cardinal Pole (d. 1558), and Ursula (d. 1570), who married the son of the executed Duke of Buckingham and was Sir Edward Stafford's grandmother.

218. Lord Montagu's daughter Catherine Pole (d. 1576) married Francis Hastings (d. 1561), second Earl of Huntingdon, in 1532 and was the mother of the third Earl.

219. The best arguments against and for Richard's responsibility for these murders are P. Kendall's Richard the Third, appendix 1, and Charles Ross, Richard III, pp.96-104.

220. Margaret, in 1507, married James IV (d. 1513); in 1514 she married the sixth Earl of Angus, who divorced her in 1527 on the grounds of a precontract.

221. This Margaret married Matthew Stuart in 1544. Their eldest son Henry Lord Darnley married the Queen of Scots in July 1565 and was murdered in Feb. 1567; he was the father of James VI. The second son Charles married Elizabeth Cavendish in 1574 (without the Queen's permission) and died in 1576.

222. Mary married Louis XII in Oct. 1514; although he died three months later and although she had married Brandon by the following May, she was referred to as "the French Queen."

223. Actually Henry Clifford (d. 1570), second Earl of Cumberland, who married Eleanor in 1537; George was his son by a later marriage and his successor in the earldom.

224. An annulment was granted in 1527 on grounds of a prior contract by Angus. In 1561 the canny Cecil had Thomas Randolph in Scotland lay hands upon the annulment records, which proved Lady Lennox technically a bastard and the claim of Lord Darnley her son invalid (Read, Cecil, p. 234); assuming that the papers were genuine, Lady Arabella's title would likewise be invalid.

225. It appears that Brandon had obtained a valid divorce from Lady Mortimer before his marriage to Anne Browne, who died before his 1515 marriage to Mary Tudor; a papal bull of 1528 declaring the legitimacy of his children had cited a decree by the proper authorities. See Levine, Succession Question, pp. 126-36.

226. That only the Commonwealth, with its Howard-Fitzalan ties, raises this issue suggests that it is rather a family grudge than a legal objection. Henry Grey's father had contracted his children to those of the eleventh Earl of Arundel (the twelfth Earl did marry Grey's sister), but when Brandon married Grey (then his ward) to his own daughter Frances in 1533, Catherine Fitzalan's interest must surely have been resolved. See Levine, Succession Question, pp. 137-38.

227. Catherine was married, or more likely betrothed, to Henry Herbert in May 1553; the evidence seems to indicate that they were later divorced, probably in early 1554. See Levine, Succession Question, pp. 138-46.

228. In Aug. 1561 Catherine was discovered to be pregnant by Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford; both were imprisoned, and the Queen ordered Archbishop Parker to head a commission investigating their claim to have been married in the previous autumn. His verdict was against them, but this was probably an opinion commissioned in advance by Elizabeth. Edward Lord Beauchamp was born to Catherine in the Tower on 21 Sept. 1561; his brother Thomas, likewise in the Tower, on 10 Feb. 1563. See Levine, Succession Question, pp. 15-29.

229. Here begins the first passage quoted by Sir John Harington.

230. The validity of this and the following arguments (rule of thirds, tenant by courtesy, division among daughters, and executors) is discussed in Levine, Succession Question, pp. 99-125.

231. Virtually all of the arguments on the preceding and following pages are paraphrased from the Bishop of Ross John Leslie's much fuller Defense of the Honor of . . . Mary (or from the 1584 reprint of its succession section, A Treatise Touching the Right). This whole passage concerning the crown as a corporation, however, is taken ad verbum (Defense, fols. 68v-69; Treatise, fols. 29v-30). The standard work on this idea is Kantorowicz, King's Two Bodies (1957).

232. Margin: "Flores Hist. An. 1066," an error for Matthew of Westminster's Flores historiarum, 1057 (1: 543); this must be a reference to Matthew's book, of which there were several editions in the sixteenth century, rather than to Roger of Wendover's, of which there were none. The error derives from a misleading arrangement of correct references in Leslie (Defense, fol. 76; Treatise, fol. 33v); the inference is that the Commonwealth's references are taken, not from the works cited, but from Leslie. All of Leslie's complicated legal citations, however, have been omitted.

233. "Bretaigne": Brittany.

234. Margin: "Polydore, lib. 15. Flores historiarum, 1208." In Matthew's Flores the 1208 entry records only the barons' accusation concerning Arthur's death (2: 108), and the murder, reported as current rumor, is under A.D. 1202 (2: 98-99).

235. Polydore Vergil, Anglica historia (1950), 113-14 notes, sub 1498. The annotator of the Marsh copy speaks tellingly to this point: ". . . and if the king should say so it were strange that a word of the king should bind the crown which a maxima of the law (as he sayeth) cannot do."

236. Mary's minister Maitland of Lethington wrote to Cecil on 4 Jan. 1566, urging this argument squeamishly: "To that you know for answer what may be said by any English patron of my mistress' cause, although I being a Scot will not affirm the same, that there ariseth a question amongst you whether the realm of Scotland be forth of the homage and 'legiance of England. And heretofore you have in sundry proclamations . . . and in sundry books at several times labored much to prove the homage and fealty of Scotland to England. . . . The argument [is] fitter for your assertion than mine" (Collier, Egerton Papers, p. 43).

237. On several occasions King James sued to be admitted to his Lennox patrimony in England, presumably in an attempt to establish a precedent for foreign inheritance. In 1578 his agents claimed that "in ancient time" Scottish kings had "succeeded without question by right of inheritance to lands in England" (Camden, Elizabeth, 2: 91).

238. Here ends the first passage quoted by Harington, Tract on the Succession, pp. 55-61.

239. For discussion of the vexing problems presented by this will, see Levine, Succession Question, chap. 9.

240. Leslie, whom the Commonwealth is following, had seriously advanced this argument that the gentleman mentions (Defense, fols. 96-96v; Treatise, fols. 46v-47); he tried to prove that no such will could have been extant in 1553 or Dudley would not have needed Edward VI's letters patent, whereas of course the Duke was concerned with bypassing not only the prior line of Scotland but also Mary Tudor herself. Thus the Commonwealth corrects this flaw in the Marian case without mentioning Leslie's error.

241. See the acts 28 Henry VIII, cap. 7 (1536) and 35 Henry VIII, cap. 1 (1543).

242. Lady Frances (d. 1559), after the death of the Duke of Suffolk in 1554, married her servant Stokes (d. 1585), by whom she had no further children.

243. The will's enrollment in Chancery was defaced in about 1553 (see below). The will itself was widely thought to have disappeared; even John Hales ("Declaration of the Succession," 1563), to whose purpose its existence was essential, lamented its loss and built his case without it. The original does exist and was examined in 1566 by members of the Privy Council (Axton, "Influence of Edmund Plowden's Succession Treatise," pp. 223-24). Although controversy has continued for some time (see A. F. Pollard, England under the Protector Somerset, pp. 3-7; and L. Smith, "Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII"), it now seems likely that both will and signature are valid (Levine, "Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII," and Succession Question, pp. 156-57; Scarisbrick, Henry VIII, pp. 491-94).

244. Gates, Privy Councillor and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, was a creature of Northumberland's who perished with the Duke in 1553. His name heads the list of signatures to the will.

245. William Lord Paget (d. 1563), father of Arundell's friend, was Secretary of State under Henry and Privy Councillor under Mary. This incident, although it passed current among the controversialists, seems otherwise unconfirmed; the great lawyer Plowden, however, claimed to have been present and said that Sir Henry Neville could prove that it had occurred (Jordan, Edward VI: the Young King, p. 55n).

246. Montague (d. 1556), ancestor of the Dukes of Manchester, was a Councillor and Chief Justice of King's Bench (1539-1545) and Common Pleas (1545-1554), whose mother was a Dudley and who was deprived of office after Northumberland's fall.

247. William Clerc (Clerk, Clark) was one of three men (Gates was another) who had custody of the king's dry-stamp.

248. This book is unidentified; as the major Suffolk claimant had died in Jan. 1568, one would not expect to find a Suffolk tract in 1569 or 1570. It may be the "poisoned pestiferous pamphlet" against Mary's "claim and interest" mentioned by Leslie in 1569 as cast abroad the previous July (Defense, sig. *ii v), which in turn may refer to George Buchanan's anti-Marian "Book of Articles," June 1568.

249. Although Thomas Wilson, in his State of England A.D. 1600, shows that he was aware of other books on the succession, his discussion is drawn directly from the Commonwealth. From it he lifts ad verbum this entire passage (beginning "And sithence that time. . . "), though he adds the phrase "by the means of some in ye company ('tis thought the Earl of Leicester), it took not effect" (pp. 8-9). That this meeting occurred is not improbable; given the participants, it sounds very like the Feb. 1569 attempt to unseat Cecil (see Read, Cecil, pp. 442-43).

250. Here begins the second passage quoted by Harington.

251. Margin: "The Dudleys."

252. Here ends the second passage quoted by Harington, Tract on the Succession, pp. 61-62. Ironically, when Navarre did succeed as Henri IV (1589), he was forced to convert to Catholicism (1594) before he could receive his kingdom in some quiet.

253. James (now aged eighteen) was being carefully watched for his religious inclinations from all over Europe; he seems to have shown himself Protestant to the English government and Catholic to the Catholic powers.

254. For similar remarks see Camden, Elizabeth, 3: 21; on the tenor of these pulpit attacks see Willson, King James VI and I, pp. 36-50. The contemporary annotator of the Marsh' s copy says of this: "We know all this [to] be a suborned disco[urse] devised [by] the young [king] his licentious minions . . . of purp[ose] to shadow their bloody and pestilent proceedings against the soundest and best affected ministers of the realm, that they might the more easily draw their neck from the yoke of that Christian [religion] which hath been [now] established so long."

255. Patrick Adamson (1537-1592), Archbishop of St. Andrews, was a vigorous enemy of the Presbyterian Kirk; says the Marsh annotator, "Tis a merry world when you fall a-praising him. . . . It behooved this good Sir Patrick to take this course, to [tr]y his time, [and] to make his most advantage of the young king's unbridled licentiousness, for otherwise he might happen to have [los]t his Arch[episcop]acy and have proved but a [poo]r and beggarly [mas]ter." Adamson arrived in London on 30 Nov. 1583 (a few days after Arundell had fled the realm), ostensibly on his way into France but actually to seek further aid for James from the Queen; he returned to Scotland in May.

256. Theodore Beza (d. 1605), Calvin's successor as head of the church of Geneva.

257. Henry Fitzalan (d. Feb. 1580), twelfth (and last) Earl of Arundel of his line; his second wife was Charles Arundell' s aunt and his daughter and heir in her issue, Mary (d. 1557), was the Duke of Norfolk's first wife; their son Philip succeeded in the title.

258. The seat of the Marquess of Winchester, where the royal progress was stopped in August 1569 (Nichols, Progresses, 1: 254).

259. Similarly, in 1569 Leicester wrote (and Pembroke also signed) a letter to the Queen of Scots as part of the negotiation for Norfolk's marriage to her. When the plot had fallen apart and Norfolk was under arrest, Leicester sent to him secretly and begged him to contrive to get the letter back; Norfolk, however, merely requested that Mary "would not let it come to light to my Lord of Leicester's hurt, because the whole letter was his own handwriting, marry, yet I wished her to keep it still for all chances" (Norfolk's confession, C.S.P. Scots, 1571-74, p. 40). It appears from her secretary's notes of Nov. 1584 that fifteen years later she kept it still, for all chances (ibid., 1584-85, p. 390).

260. Norfolk was finally executed on 2 June 1572, but the events described here occurred in Sept. and Oct. 1569. That this account of Norfolk's fall is not so tendentious as it sounds is borne out by the conclusions of modern historians, at least insofar as Leicester moved nimbly enough at the last to save his own skin; see, e.g., Williams, Thomas Howard, chaps. 9-13; Read, Cecil, pp. 440-52; also Camden, Elizabeth, 1: 127-32, and Norfolk's confession, C.S.P. Scots, 1571-74, pp. 32-40. A partisan account of his execution is contained in the "Letter of Estate," pp. 25-26.

261. When the unbalanced John Somerville was taken in Oct. 1583 for planning to kill the Queen, his father-in-law Edward Arden of Park Hall, Arden's wife and daughter, and Father Hugh Hall were also arrested. The women were pardoned, and Hall became a government spy, but on 16 Dec. Somerville hanged himself in Newgate prison, and the following day Arden was executed, the victim, it was said, of Leicester's malice (because he had slandered Lady Essex and refused the Earl's livery, says Camden, Elizabeth, 3: 28; because he had given refuge to Fr. Campion, according to Parsons, C.R.S. 4, p. 115, and C.R.S. 39, pp. 188-89). Hall was an expert gardener and had worked in that and in a spiritual capacity for the Catholics Lord Windsor and Sir John Throgmorton; in the early 1580s he was landscaping Hatton's new house at Holdenby. Hatton was widely considered a secret Catholic and probably knew that Hall was a priest, but there is no sign that Leicester devised to entrap him. See Brooks, Hatton, pp. 61, 216, 257-58; Read, Walsingham, 2: 381n. Sir Charles Cavendish was one of the Countess of Shrewsbury's sons and was attached to Leicester, but his role in this affair is unknown.

262. Henry Unton (or Umpton, knighted 1586, d. 1596), later ambassador to France, was a follower of Hatton (Brooks, Hatton, p. 259). When in early 1583 his brother Edward was imprisoned by the Inquisition at Milan, he rushed to Lyons to negotiate his ransom while Leicester and Hatton threatened to have Mendoza imprisoned in reprisal (C.S.P. Spanish, 1580-86, p. 443). Solomon Aldred (d. 1592), an English tailor living in Lyons and soon to become an agent for Walsingham (Hicks, "Elizabethan Propagandist"), came forward to act as go-between; Parsons claims that Aldred dealt directly with Hatton (C.R.S. 2, p. 206). Edward Unton was released in the following year and died in 1589 (D.N.B.). No trace has been found of the letters cited here.

263. From 1575, when Cockyn's confession revealed the complicity of his servants in furthering Mary's correspondence, the Earl was considered too lenient in his commission (Read, Walsingham, 2: 354-55). When in late 1583 his marital troubles erupted, his wife ("his nearest in bed"; his nearest "in blood" is his son Gilbert) spread scandals concerning his behavior with Mary (Mary believed the Walsingham faction had put the Countess up to it; C.S.P. Scots, 1584-85, p. 5), and those who had wished for greater severity seized upon these rumors in order to straiten her captivity. In Aug. 1584 Shrewsbury was permitted to come up to London to clear himself, and although Elizabeth expressed her confidence in him, Mary was removed to stricter keepers, first Sir Ralph Sadler, then in Apr. 1585 the stern Amias Paulet.

264. That is, the first nobleman of his line, an upstart.

265. Still another allusion reflecting a deep second-generation grievance over the failure of the Protector's party. Arundel was arrested upon Somerset's fall (Oct. 1551), along with Charles Arundell' s father; he was transferred to the Tower in Nov. and not released until Dee. 1552.

266. This anecdote has been borrowed but applied to Leicester and Philip Howard, the next Earl of Arundel, by the author of the "Letter of Estate" (p. 31).

267. Confirming this account, see Stow, Chronicles of England, p. 1065. "Palfrey" was usually employed of a small, gentle horse used by ladies, hence doubly contemptuous here.

268. Leicester was appointed Chamberlain of the County Palatine of Chester in 1565.

269. Compare "Le fleuve passé le sainct oublié: Prov. The danger past our vows are soon forgotten" (Cotgrave's Dictionarie, sub "Sainct").

270. Frances (d. 1598) was Lady Sheffield's sister; in 1573 she was "very far in love" with Leicester (Hatton Memoirs, p. 23), though a few years later she married the Earl of Hertford.

271. The Countess died 23 Sept. 1576.

272. Mary's supporters liked Shrewsbury because he was a lenient man and because as long as she was in his custody they were able to find means of communicating with her. When the opposition had sufficiently disgraced him, Mary was indeed placed in stricter confinement (Jan. 1585) and her correspondence was cut off for a year. It was allowed to resume, in Jan. 1586, only when Walsingham was ready to have it done his own way, the results of which appeared when she was executed in Feb. 1587.

273. "Packs": intrigues, plots (O.E.D.).

274. "Admiration": wonder, astonishment (O.E.D.); not "approval."

275. "Bruitling," from "bruit": noise, clamor (O.E.D.).

276. "Foruscites": from the Italian fuoruscito: outlaw, exile.

277. That is, Poland (under the tolerant Stephen Bathory) and Bohemia. Later events proved these examples to have been based on very insecure ground.

278. The most recent attempt at peace between the Huguenots and the militant Catholics of the "Holy League" in France had been the Treaty of Fleix, Nov. 1580; it, like its predecessors, was doomed, chiefly through the "will and inclination" of the Guise faction.

279. The Spanish, like the English, had their propaganda aimed at convincing the world of their lenity toward dissenters; whether this passage is a part of that propaganda or its victim would be difficult to determine.

280. "Familians," i.e., the Family of Love , a quasi-Anabaptist sect founded in the Low Countries by Hendrik Niklas, prosecution of which in England reached something of a peak in 1579-1580.

281. Cicero, as consul, suppressed the revolt of Lucius Sergius Catilina in 63 B.C.

282. Diodorus Siculus, 16.93-94; Plutarch, Alexander, l0.4.

283. Gaveston (executed 1312), Earl of Cornwall; and later Hugh Despenser (ex. 1326), Earl of Winchester; and his son Sir Hugh (ex. 1326) were favorites of Edward II. De Vere (d. 1392), Earl of Oxford, Marquess then Duke of Ireland; and Mowbray (d. 1400), Duke of Norfolk, favorites of Richard II.

284. "Instinct": instigation, prompting (O.E.D.).

285. Margin: "Polydore, lib. 23, Historia Anglica." Humphrey of Gloucester died in Feb. 1447, probably of a stroke, ten days after he was arrested at the instance of William de la Pole, then Marquess of Suffolk. Most of Polydore Vergil's twenty-third book exhibits the general sense of Suffolk as the cause of calamity, but the point is not explicitly made.

286. Margin: "Anno 30 of King Henry VI," an error (which follows Polydore Vergil's implied sequence of events [1844, pp. 82-83]) for Anno 27. Suffolk was Margaret's chief ally, but when he was finally brought up on all manner of charges, she had her husband banish him for five years by royal prerogative (thereby forestalling a verdict). He departed on 30 Apr. 1450 but was intercepted in Dover Strait and beheaded by angry subjects on 3 May.

287. Despite this rather threatening reference to the social contract, the Commonwealth is based upon thoroughly legitimist assumptions. Leslie mentions the same idea but discusses at great length why "the world was for the most part constrained to repudiate election" (Defense, fol. 51 v); Mary is the most qualified candidate for the succession, he says, "but now I claim nothing for the worthiness of the person, which God forbid should be anything prejudicial to the just title of others; if most open and manifest right, justice, and title do not concur with the worthiness of the person, then let the praise and worthiness remain where it is, and the right where God and the law hath placed it" (fol. 54v).

288. Margin: "Cicero, in Officio" (De Officiis, 2: 23); in W. Miller's translation, "Fear is but a poor safeguard of lasting power" (Loeb Classical Library, p. 191).

289. The figure of St. George, suspended from the collar of the Order of the Garter (which Dudley received in 1559).

290. Appended to the 1584 edition to make up the pages is a Latin quotation, omitted here, followed by this English translation.

Appendices with Related Notes
Appendix APrinted and Manuscript Forms of Leicester's Commonwealth
Appendix BThe French Translation, 1585, and its Addition
Appendix CSidney's Defense of Leicester
Appendix DFurther Notes
Appendix ERelated Documents
Appendix FGenealogical Tables
BibliographyBibliography of Printed Works Cited

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