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over with clay: The people flept on ftraw pal- c HA F. lets, and had a good round log under their head xxxvII. for a pillow; and almoft all the furniture and 1558. utenfils were of wood ".

57

In this reign we find the firft general law with regard to high ways, which were appointed to be repaired by parish duty all over England ".

57 See note [D] at the end of the volume.

58

2 & 3 Phil. & Mar. cap. S.

С Н А Г.

ELIZABET H.

CHAP. XXXVIII

Queen's popularity-Re-establishment of the protestant reli- Peace with France

gion A parliament

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· Disgust between the queen and Mary queen of Scots- Affairs of Scotland-Reformation in Scotland Civil wars in Scotland — Interpofal of the queen in the affairs of Scotland-Settlement of Scotland-French affairs-Arrival of Mary in Scotland-Bigotry of the Scotch Reformers— Wife government of Elizabeth.

IN a nation fo divided as the English, it could XXXVIII. fcarcely by expected, that the death of one fove1558. reign, and the acceffion of another, who was

generally believed to have embraced oppofite principles to those which prevailed, could be the object of universal fatisfaction: Yet fo much were men displeased with the prefent conduct of affairs, and fuch apprehenfions were entertained of futurity, that the people, overlooking their theological disputes, expreffed a general and unfeigned joy that the fceptre had paffed into the hand of Queen's po- Elizabeth. That princess had discovered great pru

pularity.

dence in her conduct during the reign of her fifter; and as men were fenfible of the imminent danger, to which she was every moment exposed, compaffion towards her fituation, and concern for her fafety, had rendered her, to an uncommon degree, the favorite of the nation. A parliament had been assembled a few days before Mary's death,

1558.

and when Heathe, archbishop of York, then CHAг. chancellor, notified to them that event, fcarcely XXXVIII. an interval of regret appeared; and the two houfes immediately refounded with the joyful acclamations of "God fave queen Elizabeth: Long and "happily may fhe reign." The people, lefs actuated by faction, and lefs influenced by private views, expreffed a joy ftill more general and hearty on her proclamation; and the aufpicious commencement of this reign prognofticated that felicity and glory, which, during its whole courfe, fo uniformly attended it '.

ELIZABETH was at Hatfield when he heard of her fifter's death; and after a few days fhe went thence to London through crowds of people, who strove with each other in giving her the ftrongeft teftimony of their affection. On her entrance into the Tower, fhe could not forbear reflecting on the great difference between her prefent fortune and that which a few years before had attended her, when she was conducted to that place as a prifoner, and lay there expofed to all the bigotted malignity of her enemies. She fell on her knees, and expreffed her thanks to Heaven, for the deliverance, which the Almighty had granted her from her bloody perfecutors; a deliverance, fhe faid, no less miraculous than that which Daniel had received from the den of lions. This act of pious gratitude feems to have been the laft circumftance, in which he remembered any past

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CHA P. hardships and injuries. With a prudence and magXXXVIII. nanimity truly laudable, fhe buried all offences 1558. in oblivion, and received with affability even

those who had acted with the greatest malevolence against her. Sir Harry Benningfield himself, to whofe cuftody fhe had been committed, and who had treated her with feverity, never felt, during the whole courfe of her reign, any effects of her refentment. Yet was not the gracious reception, which she gave, prostitute and undiftinguishing. When the bifhops came in a body to make their obeifance to her, fhe expreffed to all of them fentiments of regard; except to Bonner, from whom he turned afide, as from a man polluted with blood, who was a juft object of horror to every heart fufceptible of humanity.

AFTER employing a few days in ordering her domeftic affairs, Elizabeth notified to foreign courts, her fifter's death, and her own acceffion. She fent Lord Cobham to the Low Countries, where Philip then refided; and she took care to express to that monarch, her gratitude for the protection which he had afforded her, and her defire of perfevering in that friendship which had fo happily commenced between them. Philip, who had long forefeen this event, and who stilk hoped, by means of Elizabeth, to obtain that dominion over Engend, of which he had failed in espousing Mary, immediately dispatched orders. to the duke of Feria, his ambaffador at London,

2

Burnet, vol. ii. p. 374.

3

Ibid. Heylin, p. 102.

to make proposals of marriage to the queen; and c HA P. he offered to procure from Rome a difpenfation XXXVIII. for that purpose. But Elizabeth foon came to 1558. the refolution of declining the propofal. She faw, that the nation had entertained an extreme averfion to the Spanish alliance during her fifter's reign; and that one great cause of the popularity, which fhe herself enjoyed, was the prospect of being freed, by her means, from the danger of foreign fubjection. She was fenfible, that her affinity with Philip was exactly fimilar to that of her father with Catherine of Arragon; and that her marrying that monarch was, in effect, declaring herself illegitimate, and incapable of fucceeding to the throne. And though the power of the Spanish monarchy might still be fufficient, in oppofition to all pretenders, to fupport her title, her maf culine fpirit difdained fuch precarious dominion, which, as it would depend folely on the power of another must be exercised according to his inclinations *. But while these views prevented her from entertaining any thoughts of a marriage with Philip, fhe gave him an obliging, though evafive, anfwer; and he still retained fuch hopes of fuccefs, that he fent a meffenger to Rome, with orders to folicit the difpenfation.

THE queen too, on her fifter's death, had writ-. ten to Sir Edward Carne, the English ambassador at Rome, to notify her acceffion to the pope; but the precipitate nature of Paul broke through

4

Camden in Kennet, p. 370. Burnet, vol. ii. p. 375.

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