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it hath been aforetime; and, if it please
"My Lord, Mr. Shelton sayes, he is master of this house; what fashion that shall be, I cannot tell, for I have not
seen it before. My Lord, ye be so ho-have great comfort in her Grace, for she nourable yourself, and every man reporteth your Lordship loveth honour, that I trust your Lordship will see this house honourably ordered, howsomever
is as toward a child, and as gentle of conditions as ever I knew one in my life, Jesu preserve her Grace. And as for a day or two at a time, or whensoever it
The following interesting letter from the governess of Elizabeth, Lady Bryan, to Mr. Secretary Cromwell, will afford an idea of the neglect and contempt to which she was for a period exposed:
"When your Lordship was last here, it pleased you to say that I should not mistrust the King's Grace nor your Lordship, which word was more comfort to me than I can write, as God knoweth. And now it boldeth me to shew you my poor mind. My Lord, when the Lady Mary's Grace was born, it pleased the King's Grace to appoint me lady mistress, and make me a Baroness; and so I have been, and am so still, to the children his Grace have had since. Now it is so, my Lady Elizabeth is put from that degree she was before, and what degree she is at now I know not, but by hearsay; therefore, I know not how to order her, nor myself, nor none of hers that I have the rule of, that is, her woman and her groomes: beseeching you to be good Lord to my Lady, and to all hers, and that she may have some raiment, for she hath neither gown, nor kirtel, nor petticoat, nor no manner of linen for smocks, nor kerchiefs, nor sleeves, nor rails, nor body-stitchet, nor handkerchiefs, nor mufferlers, nor biggens. All this her Grace must take, I have driven off as long as I can, that, by my troth, I cannot drive it no longer; beseeching you, my Lord, that ye will see that her Grace may have that is needful for her, as my trust is ye will do; beseeching you, my own good Lord, that I may know from your writing how I shall order myself, and what is the King's Grace's pleasure and yours that I shall do, in everything and whatsoever it shall please the King's Grace or your Lordship to command me at all times, I shall fulfill it to the best of my power.
shall please the King's Grace to have her set abroad, I trust so to endeavour me that she shall so do as shall be to the King's honour and hers, and then after to take her ease again.
"I think Master Shelton will not be content with this; he may not know it is my desire, but that it is the King's pleasure and yours it should be so. Good, my Lord, have my Lady's Grace and us, her poor servants, in your remembrance, and your Lordship shall have our hearty prayers by the grace of Jesu. O, ever preserve your Lordship with long life, and as much honour as your noble heart can desire! From Hunsdon, with the evil hand of her that is your daily bed-precocious. Wriothesley says, "when MARGET BRYAN." he visited her in December, 1539, she enquired after the King's welfare with as great gravity as if she had been forty years old," and he adds, "if she be no worse educated than she then appeared to me, she will prove an honour and a blessing to her father, whom the Lord long preserve."
Queen, Jane Seymour, she carried the chrism for her new-born half-brother, and on returning, walked with infant dignity in the procession, the Princess Mary leading her by the hand, and the Lady Herbert bearing her train. For some time after Prince Edward's birth, Elizabeth was permitted to reside under the same roof with him. Between the brother and sister a sincere affection sprang up, and the day Edward was two years old the Princess made him a birth-day present of "a shyrte of cam' yke of her owne woorkynge." Shehad then just entered the seventh year of her age, and was remarkably attractive and
"I beseech you, my own good Lord, be not miscontent that I am so bold to write thus to your Lordship; but, I take God to my judge, I do it of true heart, and for my discharge; beseeching you accept my good mind."
This letter, an evidence of the minute details on which the first minister of the state was expected in those days to
With Henry the Eighth's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, Elizabeth formed an ardent friendship. The first letter, said to have been written by the Princess, was a compliment to that august lady on her marriage. The original is lost, but the following is a copy, moderbestow his attention, rendered it ap-nized in phraseology as well as orthoparent that the Lady Bryan and Mr. Shelton, the chief officers at Hunsdon, where Elizabeth then resided, each desired to bring up the Princess after their own notion. However, we may presume that the reasonable request of Lady Bryan was granted, for we hear no more of the vexatious dispute, and are assured that much of the greatness of Elizabeth, as a Queen, was due to Lady Bryan's judicious training and education, combined with the adversity which at once bastardized her, and deprived her of the injurious magnificence and adulation which, ere she could lisp, had been showered upon her as the heiress to the throne.
"I am anxiously desirous to see your Majesty, but as the King, my father, has commanded me not to leave my house for the present, I cannot as yet gratify my wish. In the meantime I beg of your Grace to accept this my written devotion and respects to you as my Queen and my mother. My youth prevents me from doing more than heartily felicitating you on your marriage, and sincerely wishing that your good will for me equals my zeal for your service."
"To the right noble and my singular good Lord, my Lord Privy Seal, be this delivered."
The first public ceremony in which Elizabeth took part, was the christening of Edward the Sixth. She was just four years old when, borne in the arms of the Earl of Hertford, brother to the
By one of the terms of her divorce, Anne of Cleves was granted permission to see Elizabeth as often as she wished, provided that the Princess did not address her as Queen. Katherine Howard,
who was sincerely attached to the youthful Elizabeth, anxiously desired to remove from her the brand of illegitimacy. After that unhappy Queen had suffered on the block, Elizabeth resided for some time with her sister Mary at Havering Bower. Soon after the birth of the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, Henry formed the project of uniting the whole island under one crown, by the marriage of that infant Queen with his son Prince Edward. As a further means of securing this important object, he, in the autumn of 1543, offered the hand of Elizabeth to the Earl of Arran, who then laid claim to the regency of Scotland. Thus early were blended the interests and happiness of two princesses, whose celebrated rivalry and illustrious character were destined to endure, until the life of one was sacrificed to the jealousy and hatred of the other. The Kings of France and England eagerly contended for the hand of the youthful Mary: while that of Elizabeth was offered to a Scottish Earl, of equivocal birth and indifferent reputation. Yet so little was the Scottish Earl flattered by the offer, that he actually declined the honour, and the future Queen of England remained unbetrothed!
deprived me for a whole year of your
"Your most obedient daughter,
Katherine Parr, the last and one of the best of Henry the Eighth's wives, was a great admirer of Elizabeth. She caused her to be present at her royal marriage, and when the Princess, in her twelfth year, deeply offended her father by committing an offence, the nature of which has not been handed down to us, she interceded in her behalf with the royal tyrant; an act of motherly kindness, which evidently proved succcessful,* and which Elizabeth acknowledged in the subjoined epistle.
This year, 1544, Henry the Eighth restored Elizabeth to her right of succession; and, although the act which pronounced her illegitimate remained for ever unrepealed, she was, nevertheless, universally recognised as a Princess Royal of England; and so completely was the divorce forgotten, that in 1546, when France, Spain, and England, had concluded a treaty of peace, propoElizabeth with Philip, Prince of Spain, sals were made for the marriage of that same Philip, afterwards her brother
"Inimical fortune, envious of all good and ever revolving human affairs, has Henry the Eighth, in his letter to Katherine of September the eighth, says: "We pray you to give in our name, one
hearty blessing to all our children." Eliza-in-law, her friend and protector in ad
beth, we therefore may presume, was forgiven by her father before he went to France. See memoirs of Katherine Parr, page 445.
versity; then a second time her suitor, and afterwards her bitterest enemy.
Death of Henry the Eighth-Lord Seymour marries the Queen Dowager-His improprieties with Elizabeth-He offers her marriage on the death of the Queen Dowager-He is arrested-Elizabeth is placed under restraint-Their conduct investigated-Confession of Mrs. Ashley and Parry-Elizabeth's behaviour-Her letter to the Protector, asserting her innocence-Seymour attainted-Elizabeth appeals in behalf of Mrs. Ashley and Parry-Seymour beheaded-Harrington's sonnet to his memory-Elizabeth's learning-Correspondence with Edward the Sixth-Restored to royal favour-Futile efforts to marry her to the Prince of Denmark-Quarrels with Northumberland-King Edward wills the Crown to Jane Gray-Extracts from Elizabeth's Household Book.
HE demise of Henry lover of the Queen Dowager Katherine; the Eighth, which and a few weeks afterwards, their marhappened on the riage was privately solemnized. The twenty-eighth of impropriety and haste of this marriage January 1547, ma- so offended the Princess Mary, that she terially affected the wrote to Elizabeth, requesting her to situation and pros- leave the home of Katherine Parr, where pects of Elizabeth. she at that time abode, and come and By the testament of Henry, the houses dwell with her; but Elizabeth being of Parliament were empowered to regu- too wise to put a public affront on the late the government of the country King's adored uncle, who was then during the minority of his son, now intriguing to supersede the Protector Edward the Sixth, and to arrange the Somerset, declined to accept Mary's inorder of succession to the crown. The vitation, on the plea that she could not Act of Parliament was confirmed, by withdraw herself from the Queen, who which his two daughters, Mary and had shown her so much kindness, withElizabeth, were restored to their rights. out appearing ungrateful. In his will, Henry bequeathed to each of them a pension of three thousand pounds, with a marriage portion of ten thousand pounds, on condition of their not marrying without the consent of such of his executors as should then be alive. Sixteen persons were appointed, who were to exercise, in common, the royal functions, until the young King should reach the age of eighteen. The Earl of Hertford, the brother of Lady Jane Seymour, who now assumed the title of Duke of Somerset, was declared Protector of the realm, and Governor of the King's person. His brother, Lord Seymour, of Sudeley, was created Lord High Admiral. Immediately after the death of Henry, the Admiral proffered Elizabeth his hand in marriage. By the advice of Katherine Parr, the Princess, then in her fourteenth year, declined the offer. But, to her annoyance, only five days after this refusal, Lord Seymour was the accepted
The youthful Elizabeth had been, previous to the death of her father, entrusted to the care and protection of the Queen Dowager, with whom she resided, either at Chelsea, or the more sylvan retreat of Hanworth. It thus happened, that after the Queen's marriage with Seymour, the Princess found herself domesticated under the roof of the Lord High Admiral, and consequently she soon became an object of his marked attention. Neither respect for her exalted rank, nor a sense of the deep responsibility attached to the office of guardian, with which the circumstance of his marriage with the Queen Dowager invested him, were sufficient to restrain him from a certain freedom of behaviour towards Elizabeth, which no limits of propriety could justify. On some occasions the Princess endeavoured to repel his rudeness by such expedients as her youthful inexperience suggested; but her governess and attendants, gained
documents have been fortunately preserved, and furnish some very singular traits of the early character of their royal mistress. They cast upon Mrs. Ashley the double imputation, of having permitted such behaviour to pass before her eyes as she certainly ought not to have endured for a moment, and of having disclosed particulars to Parry, which reflected the utmost disgrace on herself, the Lord High Admiral, and the Princess Elizabeth. And so far was the Princess from resenting anything that Mrs. Ashley had either done or confessed, that she continued to patronize her in the highest degree, and after her accession to the throne promoted her husband to a high and lucrative office :-a circumstance which certainly affords strong suspicion, that there were some important secrets in her possession, respecting later transactions between the Princess and Seymour, which she had but too faithfully kept. It may, however, be urged, in palliation of the liberties which she accused the Admiral of taking, and the Princess of tolerating, that Elizabeth had barely completed her fourteenth year, at the period when this intercourse took place. Experience, nevertheless, proves, that, even at that early age, young ladies, educated in all the learning and accomplishments of the great, are not to be trusted with impunity in the society of the vicious and profligate.
over and intimidated, were guilty of a treacherous neglect of their duty, and even the Queen Dowager herself was deficient in delicacy and due caution, until the improprieties detailed in the memoirs of Katherine Parr excited her jealousy, when a quarrel ensued between the royal step-mother and step-daughter; which, although it did not destroy the friendship subsisting between them, terminated in their immediate and final separation.
About a week before Whitsuntide, in 1548, Elizabeth removed with her governess, Mrs. Katherine Ashley, who was related by marriage to Anne Boleyn, and with the rest of her ladies and officers of state, from the home and guardianship of Katherine Parr to Cheston, and subsequently to Hatfield and Ashridge. In September the Queen Dowager died in child-bed, and very soon afterwards the Lord Admiral aspired to the hand of Elizabeth herself, who, after the death of her stepmother, was left, at the critical age of fifteen, without a paternal adviser to follow the dictates of her own maidenly will, and the pernicious counsels of her wily governess and of her intriguing cofferer, Thomas Parry, in both of whom her confidence was unlimited. Seymour having gained over these notable agents, and through them opened a direct correspondence with Elizabeth, his iniquitous designs prospered for some time according to his desires. Although he was twenty years her senior, Elizabeth loved him; and, as she afterwards acknowledged, would have married him, if the consent of the royal executors, required by law, could be obtained. But this being impossible whilst Somerset was at the head of affairs, he plotted against the government, and on the sixteenth of January was arrested and committed to the Tower on a charge of high treason, and a few days afterwards Elizabeth was placed under restraint.
The confessions of Mrs. Ashley and of the man Parry before the Privy Council, contain all that is known of the conduct of the Lord High Admiral towards the Princess Elizabeth, during the life-time of the Queen Dowager. These authentic
Elizabeth refused the Lord High Admiral permission to visit her after he became a widower, on account of the general belief that she was likely to become his wife; and no trace was at this period fcund of any correspondence between them; yet Harrington afterwards suffered an imprisonment, for having delivered to her a letter from Seymour. The partiality of the Princess betrayed itself, by many involuntary tokens, in presence of her attendants, who were thus encouraged to entertain her with accounts of the attachment of the Lord High Admiral, and to enquire whether, if the consent of the council could be obtained, she would consent to admit his addresses. The Admiral proceeded with caution equal to that of Elizabeth.
The Protector, with the hope of cri