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Herein we your Majesties most loving and obedient Subjeets, earnestly depend upon your princely Resolution, which we assure our felves shall be to God moji acceptable, and to us no other, than the Slate of your Regall Authoritie may afford us, and the approoved arguments of your tender Care for our Safetie under your Charge, dooth promise to our ExpeElation.
A Report of Her MAJESTIES moji gratious Answere, delivered by her
Felfe verbally, to the first Petitions of the Lords and Commons, being the Estates of Parliament, in her Chamber of Presence at Richmond, the aij
. Day of November 1586. at the full almost of xxviij. Yeeres of her Reigne : Whereof the Reporter requireth of all that were Hearers, a favourable Interpretation of his Intent, because he findeth that he cannot exprefle the same answerable to the Original, which the Learned call Prototypon.
HE bottomlesse Graces and immeasurable Benefits bestowed upon
me by the Almightie, are, and have bene such, as I must not onely
acknowledge them, but admire them, accounting them as well Miracles as Benefites, not so much in Respect of his Divine Majestie, with whome nothing is more common than to doe Things rare and singular : as in Regard of our Weakenesse, who can not sufficiently set foorth his wonderfull Workes and Graces, which to mee have bene so many, so diversely folded and imbroydered one upon another, as in no forte I am able to exprese them.
And although there liveth not any, that may more justly acknowledge them selves infinitely bounde unto God then I, whose Life he hath miracu. lously preserved at sundry Times (beyonde my Merite) from a Multitude of Perils and Dangers : yet is not that the Cause, for which I count my felfe the deeplyeft bounde to give him my humblest Thankes, or to yeelde him greatest Recognition : but this which I shall tell you hereafter, which will deserve the Name of Wonder, if rare Things and seeldom seene be worthie of Accompt: Even this it is, that as I came to the Crowne with the willing Hearrs of my Subjects, so doe I now after xxviii. Yeres Reigne, perceive in you no Dimunition of good Willes, which if happily I should want, well might I breath, but never thinke I lived.
And now, albeit I finde my Life hath bene full dangerously sought, and Death contrived by such as no Desert procured: yet am I therein so cleare from Malice (which hath the Property to make Men glad at the Falles and Faultes of their Foes, and make them feeme to doe for other Caufes, when Rancor is the Ground) as I protest it is and hath bene my grievous Thought, that one, not different in Sexe, of like Estate, and my neere Kin, shoulde fall into fo great a Crime: yea, I had fo litle Purpose to pursue her with any Colour of Malice, that as it is not unknowen to some of my Lordes here, (for nowe I will play the Blabbe) I secretly wrote her a Letter upon the Difcovery of fundry Treasons, that if she woulde confesle them, and privately
acknows acknowledge them by her Letters to my selfe, shee never shoulde neede be called for them into fo publike Question. Neither did I it of Minde to circum vent her: for then I knew as much as the could confesse, and so did I write. And if even yet, nowe that the Matter is made but to apparani, I thought she truely would repent (as perhappes she would easily appeare in outwarde Mewe to doe) and that for her, none other would take the Matter upon them, or that we were but as two Milke Maides with Pailes upon our Armes, or that there were no more Dependancie upon us, but mine owne Life were onely in Danger, and not the whole Estate of your Religion and well Doings, I protest (wherein you may beleeve me, for though I may have many Vices, I hope I have not accustomed my Tongue to be an Instrument of Untrueth) I would most willingly pardon and remit this Offence.
Or if by my Death, other Nations and Kingdoms might truely say, that this Realme had attained an everprosperous and forishing Estate: I would (I assure you) not desire to live, but gladly give my Life, to the Ende my Death might procure you a better Prince.
And for your Sakes it is, that I desire to live, to keepe you from a worse. For as for me, I assure you I finde no great Cause I should be fonde to live: I take no such Pleasure in it, that I shoulde much wish it, ncr conceave such Terror in Death, that I should greatly feare it: and yet I say not, but if the Stroke were comming, perchance Flesh and Blood would be moved with it, and seeke to shunne it.
I have had good Experience and Tryall of this World: I know what it is to be a Subject, what to be a Soveraigne : what to have good Neighbors, and sometime meete evill Willers. I have founde Treason in Trust, seene great Benefits litle regarded, and in stead of Gratefulnes, Courses of Purpose to crosse.
These former Remembrances, present Feeling, and future Expectation of Evils, I say, have made me thinke, An Evill, is much the better, the lesse while it endureth: and so, them happiest, that are soonest hence: and taught me to beare with a better Minde these Treasons, then is common to my Sexe : yea, with a better Heart perhaps, then is in some Men. Which I hope you wil not meerly impute to my Simplicitie or Want of Understanding, but rather, that I thus conceived, that had their Purposes taken Effect, I should not have found the Blow, before I had felt it: and, though my Perill should have bene great, my Paine shoulde have bene but smal and short : wherein, as I would be loth to dye so bloody a Death, so doubt I not, but God would have given me Grace to be prepared for such an Event, Chance when it shall, wbich I referre to his good Pleasure.
And now, as rouching their Trealons and Conspiracies, together with the Contriver of them, I will not so prejudicate my selfe and this my Realme, as to say or thinke, that I might not, without the last Statute, by the ancient Lawes of this Land, have proceeded against her, which was not made particularly to prejudice her: though perhaps it might then be suspected, in respect of the Disposition of such as depend that Way.
It was so farre from being intended to intrap her, that it was rather an Admonition to warne the Danger thereof: but sich it is made, and in the Force of a Lawe, I thought good, in that which might concerne her, to proceede according thereunto, rather then by Course of common Law: wherein, if you the Judges have not deceived me, or that the Books you brought me were not falle (which God forbid) I might as justly have tried her, by the ancient Lawes of the Land.
But you Lawyers are so nice in sifting and Nanning every Woorde and Leto ter, that many Times you stand more upon Forme then Matter, upon Sillables then Sence of the Lawe. For in the Strictnes and exact folowing of common Forme, Thee must have beene indited in Stafford Shire, have holden up her Hand at the Barre, and bene tried by a Jurie: A proper Course forsooth, to deale in that Manner with one of her Estate. I thought it better therfore, for avoiding of these and more Absurdities, to commit the Cause to the Inquisition of a good Nomber of the greatest and most noble Personages of this Realme, of the Judges and others of good Accompt, whose Sentence I must approove : And all litle enough : For we Princes, I tel you, are set on Stages, in the Sight and Viewe of all the World duely observed : The Eres of many beholde our Actions: A Spot is soone fpied in our Garments: A Blemish quickely noted in our Doings. It behooveth us therefore, to be carefull that our Proceedings bee just and honourable.
But I must tell you one Thing more, that in this last Acte of Parliament you have brought me to a narrowe Straight, that I must give Direction for her Death, which cannot be to mee but a most grievous and irkesome Burthen. And least you might mistake mine Absence froin this Parliament (which I had almost forgotten) although there be no Cause why I should willingly come amongst Multitudes, for that amongest many some may be Evil : yet hach it not bene the Doubt of any such Daunger or Occasion that kept me from thence, but onely the great Griefe to heare this Cause spoken of, especially, that such a one of State and Kin, should neede so open a Declaration, and that this Nation should be so spotted with Blots of Dinoialtie. Wherein the leffe is my Grief, for that I hope the better part is mine, and those of the worse not much to be accompted of, for that in seeking my Destruction, they might have spoiled their owne Soules.
And even nowe coulde I tell you, that which woulde make you forie. It is a Secrete, and yet I will tell it you, although it is knowen, I have the Properrie to keepe Counsell
, but too well oftentimes to mine owne Perill. It is not long since mine Eyes did see it written, that an Oche was taken within few Daies, either to kill mee or to be hanged themselves : and that to be performed ere one Moneth were ended. Hereby I see your Danger in me, and neither can or will be so unthankfull or carelesfe of your Consciences, as not provide for your Safecie.
I am not unmindeful of your Oth made in the Association, manifesting your great good Wils and Affections taken and entred into, upon good conScience, and true Knowledge of the Guilt, for Safety of my Person, and Confervation of my Life, done (I protest to God) before I heard it, or ever.
thought of such a Matter, until a great Nomber of Handes with many Obligations were shewed mee, at Hampten Court, signed and subscribed with the Names and Seales of the greatest of this Lande : which as I doe acknowledge as a perfect Argument of your true Heartes, and great Zeale to my Safetie : fo shall my Bonde be stronger tied to greater Care for all your good.
But for as much as this Matter is rare, waightie, and of great Consequence, I thinke you doe not looke for any present Resolution: the rather, for that, as it is not my Manner, in Matters of far lesse Moment, to give speedy Answer without due Consideration, so in this of such Importance, I thinke it verie requisite with earnest Prayer to beseech his Divine Majestie, so to illuminate my Understanding, and inspire me with his Grace, as I may doe and determine that, which shall serve to the Establishment of his Church, Preservation of your Estates, and Prosperitie of this Commonwealth under my Charge. Wherein (for that I knowe Delaie is dangerous) you shal have with all Conveniencie our Resolution delivered by our Message. And what ever any Prince may merite of their Subjects, for their approoved Testimonie of their unfained Sinceritie, eyther by governing juftly, voide of all Partialitie, or Sufferance of any Injuries done (even to the poorest) that doe I assuredly, promise inviolablie to performe, for Requitall of your
The Occasions of the Second Accesse. THIS Answere thus made by her Majestie, the Lords and Commons were liberation had of this Petition, being (as it appeared) of her mercifull Dispo. sition of Nature, and her Princely Magnanimitie, in some Conflict with her felfe what to doe in a Cause so weightie and important to her and the Realme, sent by the Lorde Chauncelour (as I heard) and by the Mouth of an Honorable Person, and a right worthy Member of the Lower House, this Message to both Houses: moving and earnestly charging them, to enter into a further Consideration, whether there might not be some other Way of Remedy, then that they had already required, so farre disagreeing from her owne naturall Inclination. Whereupon, the Lord: and Commons in either Houses assembled, had sundry Consultations, both in their severall Houses generally, and by private Committees deputed fpecially, and after Conference had betwixt the sayd Conimittees, it was resolved with Unanimitie of Consent amongst them in the Lower House, and by universall Concorde in the Upper Houle (the Question there propounded to every one of the Lords) that there could be found no other sound and assured Meane, in the Depth of their Understanding, for the Continuance of the Christian Religion, Quiet of the Realme, and Safetie of her Majesties moft Royall Perfon, then that which was conteined in their former Petition. The Reasons whereof, were fumnarily these that followe: which are more shortly reported, then they were uttered,
A Briefe Report of the Second Accesse the 24. of November 1586,
and of the Answere made in the Name of the Lords of Parliament, to a Message sent from hir MAJESTIE by the L. Chancelour after hir first Answere.
HE Lord Chauncelour accompanied with above five or fixe and twentie
to deliver the Resolution of all the Lords of Parliament, concerning a Mesage which he had not long before delivered from her Majestie, for further Consultation, whether any other Meanes could be ihought of, or found out by any of ibem, how the Scottish Queenes Life might be spared, and yet her Majesties Per son saved out of Perill, and the State of the Realme preserved in Quiet, deo clared, that according to that he had received in Commandement from her Majestie, be bad imparted the same to the Lordes assembled in the Upper House, whome be found by their generall Silence much amazed at the propounding thereof, confidering the same bad bene before in Deliberation amongst them, and resolved upon, and as appeared by their former Petition exhibited to her Highnesse, wherein they had expressed the same Resolution. Notwithstanding, for ber Majesties further Satisfaction, they had entred into a newe Consultation, and for that Purpose selected a great Nomber of the choycest Persons of that higher House of Parliament, to conferre thereof, either privatly or together with the Lower House: which also was done accordingly at several Times. At all which Conferences it was concluded by them all, and so afterwards by the whole Assembly of both Houses, that there could be no other assured Meanes for the Preservation of ber Majesties Life, and Continuance of God's Religion, and Quiet of this Staté, then by the full Execution of the Sentence according to their former Petition, instantly presing her Majestie with many Arguments and Reasons tending thereto, all which, though by Distance from bis Lordship I could not wel conceive, yet this I did remember precisely and especially was one, that as it were Injustice to denie Execution of Law, at the Suit of any one particular, and the meanest of her People : so much more, not to yeelde to the earnest Instance and bumble Prayers of all her faithful and loving Subjects. And so cor.cluded with earnest Petition for her Majesties resolute Determination and Answere, for a present and Speedy Direction by Proclamation, and otherwise also, according to the Forme of ibe Statute.
A Summarie Report of the Second Speech, uttered by the Speaker
of the Lower House, by Direction of all the Commons.
HAT if her Majestie should be safe without taking away the Life of the
of these Meanes following. 1. First, that happily he might be reclaimed and become a repentant Convert, agnising her Majesties great Mercie and Favours in remitting ber beynous