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terwards states to the Duke his opinion that there had been some secret promise between the Princess, Mrs. Ashley, and the cofferer, never to confess till death; "and if this be so," he remarks, “it will never be got out of her but either by the King's Majesty or else by your Grace." On another occasion, Sir Robert tried her with feigned intelligence of Parry's having confessed; on which she called him "False wretch," and said "it was a serious matter for him to make such a promise and to break it." Sir Robert, with all his pains, was unable to elicit a single fact of decisive importance, as to the alleged illicit intercourse of Lord Seymour with the Princess Elizabeth; but that there was in the connection between them a great deal more than met the public eye, there can be no question. In a letter from Elizabeth herself to the Duke of Somerset, she admits "that she did indeed send her cofferer to speak with the Lord High Admiral, but on no other business than to recommend to him one of her chaplains, and to request him to use his interest that she might have Durham Palace for her London house; that Parry, on his return, informed her, that the Admiral said she could not have Durham Palace, which was wanted for a mint, but offered her his own house for the time of her being in London; and that Parry then inquired of her, whether, if the council would consent to her marrying the Admiral, she would herself be willing? That she refused to answer this question, demanding, who bade him ask it? He said, no one; but from the Admiral's inquiries, as to what she spent in her house, and whether she had got her patents for certain lands signed, and other questions of a like nature, he thought he was rather given that way than otherwise." She denies that her governess ever advised her to marry the Admiral without the consent of the council; but relates the hints which Mrs. Ashley had thrown out, of his attachment to her, and the artful attempts made by her to discover how she stood affected towards such a connection with that personage. In conclusion, Elizabeth remarks, with great spiritfrom her but by great policy." He af- |“ Master Tyrwhitt and others have told
Again, on the following day, Sir Robert Tyrwhitt writes to the Duke of Somerset, that all he has yet gotten from the Princess was by gentle persuasion, whereby he began to grow with her in credit; "for I do assure your Grace she hath a good wit, and nothing is obtained
minating his brother, rather than of clearing the Princess, sent Sir Robert Tyrwhitt to her residence at Hatfield, empowered to examine her on the whole matter; and his papers inform us of some interesting facts. When, by means of a spurious letter, he had led her to believe that both Mrs. Ashley and her cofferer, Parry, were committed to the tower, "her Grace was," he says, "marvellously abashed, and did weep very tenderly a long time, demanding whether they had confessed any thing or not." Sending for Sir Robert soon after, the Princess related several circumstances which she had forgotten to mention, when the master of the household and master Denny came from the Protector to examine her. "After all this," continues Sir Robert, "I did require of the Lady Elizabeth to consider her honour, and the peril that might ensue, for she was as yet but a subject; and I farther declared what a woman Mrs. Ashley was, with a strong assurance, that if she would open or reveal every thing herself, all the evil and shame should be ascribed to her and her associates, and her youth considered, both with the King's Majesty, your Grace's, and the whole council. But in no way would she, by Mrs. Ashley, or the cofferer, confess any practice concerning my Lord Admiral; and yet I do see in her face that she is guilty, and plainly perceive that she will yet abide more storms ere she accuse Mrs. Ashley. Upon sudden news, that the master of the household and Master Denny were arrived at the gate, the cofferer went hastily to his chamber, and said to his wife-I would I had never been born, for I am undone,' and wrung his hands, and cast away his chain from his neck, and his rings from his fingers. This is confessed by his own servant, and there are divers witnesses of the same.'
me, that there goeth rumours abroad which greatly affect both my honour and honesty (which above all things I esteem); amongst these, that I am in the Tower, and with child by my Lord Admiral. My Lord, these are shameful slanders, for which, besides the desire I have to see the King's Majesty, I shall most humbly desire your Lordship, that I may come to the court after your first determination, that I may shew myself there as I am."
In Parry's confession, he relates what passed between himself and the Lord High Admiral, when he waited upon him by command of the Princess, and alludes to the earnest manner in which the Admiral had urged "her endeavouring to procure, by way of exchange, cer
tain crown lands which had been the Queen's, and which were adjacent to his own; from which he inferred, that he wanted to have both them and the Princess for himself. That the Admiral said he wished the Princess to go to the Duchess of Somerset, and by her means make suit to the Protector for the lands, and for a town house, and to entertain her Grace for the furtherance thereof. That when he repeated this to the Princess, she would not at first believe that he had ever uttered such words, or could wish her so to do; but on his declaring that it was true, she seemed to be angry that she should be driven to make such suits, and said, 'In faith I will not go there, nor begin to flatter now.' That Parry had repeated his visits to the Lord High Admiral oftener than was at first acknowledged, either by Elizabeth or himself, is clearly indicated by a confession afterwards addressed to the Protector by the Princess; but even with this confession, Sir Robert Tyrwhitt declares himself unsatisfied as to the real nature of this mysterious connection. Parry was afterwards rewarded for his fidelity to Elizabeth, who made him comptroller of the royal household, an office which he held till his death.
Mrs. Ashley, in consequence of the part she played in this affair of the Admiral, was removed from her situation of governess to the Princess, and Lady Tyrwhitt, the wife of Sir Robert, suc
ceeded in her place. On this occasion, the behaviour of Elizabeth is thus described in a letter from Sir Robert Tyrwhitt to the Protector :
"Pleaseth your Grace to be informed, that after my wife's repair hither, she declared to the Lady Elizabeth, that she was called before your Grace and the council, and had a rebuke; that she had not taken upon herself the office to see her well governed, in the lieu of Mrs. Ashley. The answer of the Lady Elizabeth was, that Mrs. Ashley was her mistress, and that she had not so demeaned herself, that the council should now need to put any other mistress in her place. Whereunto my wife replied, seeing she did allow Mrs. Ashley to be her mistress, she need not be ashamed to have any
honest woman in her stead. She took the matter so heavily to heart, that she wept all that night, and sighed all the next day, till she received your letter; and then she sent for me, and asked me whether it was best for her to write to you again or not: I said, if she would make answer that she would follow the advice of your letter, I thought she had better write; but in the end I perceived that she was very loth to have a governess; and to avoid the same, she said, the world would note her to be a great offender, having so hastily a governess appointed her. And after all, she fully hopes to recover her old mistress again. The love she yet beareth her is greatly to be wondered at. I told her, if she would but consider her honour, and the sequel thereof, she would, considering her years, make suit to your Grace to have one sent, rather than delay being without one for an hour. She cannot digest such advice in any way; but if I should speak my mind, it were more meet she should have two than one. She would in any wise write to your Grace, wherein I offered her my advice, which she would in no wise follow, but write her own will and pleasure. She beginneth now a little to droop, by reason she heareth that my Lord Admiral's houses are all dispersed. And my wife telleth me that she cannot hear him discommended, but she is ready to make answer therein; and so she hath not been ac
Instead of addressing to Somerset the sentiments desired by the crafty Tyrwhitt, Elizabeth, in the subjoined cautious epistle, urged the Protector and the council to endeavour to stop the scandalous reports in circulation against her.
customed to do, unless Mrs. Ashley were | bring forth any that had reported it, touched, whereunto she was very ready you and the council would see it redrest, to make answer vehemently." which thing, though I can easily do it, I would be loath to do it, for because it is my own cause, and again that should be but a abridging of an evil name of me, that am glad to ponesse [punish] them, and so get the evil will of the people, which thing I would be loath to have; but if it must seem good unto your Lordship, and the rest of the council, to send forth a proclamation into the countries, that they refrain their tounges, declaring how the tales be but lies, it should make both the people think that you and the council have great regard that no such rumours should be spread of any of the King's majesty's sisters as I am, though unworthy; and also I should think myself to receive such friendship at your hands as you have promised me, although your Lordship hath shewed me great already; howbeit I am ashamed to ask it any more, because I see you are not so well-minded thereunto. And as concerning that you say, that I give folks occasion to think, in refusing the good to uphold the evil, I am not of so simple understanding, nor would I that your Grace should have so evil opinion of me, that I have so little respect to my own honesty that would maintain it if I had sufficient promise of the same, and so your Grace shall prove me when it comes to the point; and thus I bid you farewell, desiring God always to assist you in all your affaires.
"Written in haste from Hatfeild, this 21st February.
"Your assured Friend, to my little 66 power,
"Having received your Lordship's letters, I perceive in them your good will towards me, because you declare to me plainly your mind in this thing, and again, for that you would not wish that I should do anything that should not seem good unto the council, for which thing I give you most hearty thanks. And whereas, I do understand that you do take in evil part the letters that I did write unto your Lordship, I am very sorry that you should take them so, for my mind was to declare unto you plainly as I thought in that thing, which I did also the more willingly, because (as I write to you) you desired me to be plain with you in all things; and as concerning that point that you write, that I seem to stand in my own wit, in being so well assured of my own self, I did assure me of myself no more than II trust the truth shall try; and to say that which I knew of myself, I did not think should have displeased the council or your Grace. And surely, the cause why that I was sorry that there should be any such about me, was because that I thought the people will say that I deserved throughout my lewd demeanour to have such a one, and not that I mislike anything that your Lordship or the council shall think good, for I know that you and the council are charged with me; or that I take upon me to rule myself, for I know they are most deceived that trusteth most in themselves, wherefore I trust you shall never find that fault in me, to the which thing I do not see that your Grace has made any direct answer at this time, and seeing they make so evil reports already, shall be but a increasing of their evil tounges. Howbeit you did write, that if I would
"To my very good Lord, my Lord Protector."
The bill of attainder against Lord Seymour, of Sudeley, passed the Lords on the 4th of March, 1549: the clandestine courtship of Elizabeth formed one of the articles against him; and as the Princess feared that the imprisoned governess, Mrs. Ashley, and her husband, would be involved in his fall, she addressed the
subjoined appeal to Somerset in their | because of my youth, because that she I behalf. loved so well is in such a place, thus hope prevailing more with me than fear, hath won the battel, and I have at this time gone forth with it, which I pray God be taken no other ways than it is meant.
"I have a request to make unto your Grace, which fear has made me omit till this time for two causes, the one because I saw that my request for the rumours which were spread abroad of me took so little place, which thing when I considered I thought I should little profit in any other suit; howbeit now I understand that there is a proclamation for them, (for the which I give your Grace and the rest of the council most humble thanks) I am bolder to speake for another thing, and the other was because peradventure your Lordship and the rest of the council will think that I favour her evil doings for whom I shall speake for, which is Katharine Ashley, that it would please your Grace and the rest of the council to be good unto her, which thing I do not to favour her in any evil, (for that I would be sorry to do), but for this consideration which follow, the which hope doth teach me in saying that I ought not to doubt but that your Grace and the rest of the council will think that I do it for the other considerations. First, because she hath been with me a long time and many years, and hath taken great labour and pain in bringing me up in learning and honest, and therefore I ought of very duty speak for her, for Saint Gregory sayeth that we are more bound to them that bringeth us up well than to our parents, for our parents do that which is natural for them, that is, bringing us into this world, but our bringers-up is to cause us to live well in it; the second is, because I think that whatsoever she hath done in my Lord Admiral's matter, as concerning the marriage of me, she did it because knowing him to be one of the council, she thought he would not go about any such thing without he had the council's consent thereunto, for I have heard her many times say that she would not have me marry in any place without your Grace's and the council's consent: the third cause is because that it shall and doth make men thinke that I am not clear of the deed myself, but that it is pardoned in me
"Written in haste from Hatfield, this 7th day of March. Also, if I may be so bold, not offending, I beseech your Grace and the rest of the council, to be good to Master Ashley, her husband, which because he is my kinsman I would be glad he should do well. "Your assured Friend, to my "little power, "ÉLIZABETH.
"To my very good Lord, my Lord Protector."
When Elizabeth was informed by one of Somerset's creatures of the decapitation of Seymour, which took place on the twentieth of March, she had the presence of mind to conceal her emotion, and with apparent sang froid remarked, "this day died a man with much wit and little judgment." This was the first of those fortunate escapes with which the singular and eventful life of Elizabeth so remarkably abounds. Her attachment to Seymour was the earliest and strongest impression of a tender nature which her heart was destined to receive, and although her characteristic caution would doubtless have restrained her from forming an irrevocable engagement, it might not have been in her power much longer to recede with honour, or even with safety, had the designs of Seymour proved successful.
Another faithful adherent of the youthful Elizabeth, at this period, was a gentleman in the service of the Lord Admiral, of the name of Harrington. He was repeatedly examined by the council respecting his master's intercourse with the Princess; but he revealed no secret of importance. He was subscquently taken by Elizabeth into her own household, and treated with distinguished favour. Indeed, so convinced was this gentleman, who was a man of talents, of her tenderness for the memory of a lover, that several years after her accession to
the throne, he ventured to present his royal mistress with a portrait of the Admíral, under which was inscribed the following sonnet to his memory:
"Of person rare, strong limb, and manly under my own observation.
By nature framed to serve on sea or land;
"For two years she pursued the study of Greek and Latin under my tuition; but the foundations of her knowledge in both languages were laid by the diligent instructions of William Grindal, my late beloved friend, and seven years my pupil in classical learning at Cambridge. After some years, when through her native genius, aided by the efforts of so excellent a master, she had made a great progress in learning, and Grindal, by his merit and the favour of his mistress, might have aspired to high dignities, he was snatched away by a sudden illness, leaving a greater blank of himself in the court than I remember any other to have done these many years.—I was ap pointed to succeed him in his office, and the work which he had so happily begun, without my assistance indeed, but not without some counsels of mine, I diligently laboured to complete. Now, however, released from the throng of a court, and restored to the felicity of my former learned leisure, I enjoy, through the bounty of the King, an honourable appointment in this university.
The unhappy fate of the Lord High Admiral Seymour, and the disgrace and danger in which Elizabeth had herself been involved, in consequence of her intercourse with that nobleman, afforded the young Princess a severe but useful lesson; and during the remainder of her brother's reign, she conducted herself with that extreme caution becoming her exalted station. Her time was now more agreeably spent in prosecuting her youthful studies, under the able superintendence of her learned preceptor, the celebrated Roger Ascham. The letters of this distinguished scholar, addressed to the rector of the University of Strasburgh, in 1550, abound with anecdotes of his royal pupil, of whose proficiency he was justly proud. We select the following interesting passages:
The lady Elizabeth hath accomplished her sixteenth year; and so much solidity of understanding, such courtesy united with dignity, have never been ob served at so early an age. She has the most ardent love of true religion, and of the best kind of literature. The constitution of her mind is exempt from female weakness, and she is endued with a masculine power of application. No
"Never was the nobility of England more learned than at present. Our illustrious King Edward, in talent, indus-apprehension can be quicker than herstry, perseverance and erudition, surpasses no memory more retentive. French and both his own years and the belief of Italian she speaks like English; Latin men. Numberless honourable ladies of with fluency, propriety, and judgment; the present time surpass the daughters she also spoke Greek with me, frequently, of Sir Thomas More in every kind of willingly, and moderately well. Nothing learning. But amongst them all, my can be more elegant than her handillustrious mistress, the lady Elizabeth, writing, whether in the Greek or Roshines like a star, excelling them more man character. In music she is very by the splendour of her virtues and her skilful, but does not greatly delight. learning, than by the glory of her birth. With respect to personal decoration, she In the variety of her commendable greatly prefers a simple elegance to show
On horse or foot, in peril or in play,
Friend to God's truth, and foe to Rome's de
qualities, I am less perplexed to find
Then soon advanced on higher steps to stand,