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Reign of Queen Elizabeth. (Continued) page 12

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Though it was proved on the clearest evidence, after the most careful inquiry, that there was no movement for the Duke of Guise's invasion, and that not a single soldier had been raised for the purpose, yet this mattered nothing; Francis Throckmorton was hanged at Tyburn, cut down and embowelled, with all the barbarities of the period.

At this time Elizabeth and her ministers were greatly disconcerted by the independent bearing of James of Scotland, and every art of Walsingham was exerted, backed by gold, to revive the power of the English faction there. Mar, Angus, and Gowrie, the chiefs of the "Raid of Ruthven," were again set on foot to raise soldiers; and the preachers were made to sound the alarm from the pulpits that the Reformation was in danger. James - or rather Arran, his minister - saw the danger, and took the field against the insurgents. Gowrie, after a sharp struggle, was secured and executed as a traitor. Mar and Angus fled at the approach of the Royal army, and many of their followers escaped to England. Elizabeth was preparing to support them by arms, but finding herself too late, negotiated through Walsingham for the return of the fugitives; but James refused to listen to her proposals, declared them rebels, and confiscated their estates.

But the appearance of James's independence was deceitful. He had been educated under very unfavourable circumstances. The celebrated classical scholar, Buchanan, had been his tutor, and had stuffed much musty knowledge into his head, with very little idea of principle. When, in after years, Buchanan was upbraided with turning out such a ridiculous Royal pedant, he replied that if they had known the brains he had had to operate upon, they would only have wondered that he turned out anything at all. From the moment that George Buchanan let him out of his hands, he found himself surrounded by two parties, inspired by no higher sentiment than the seizure of power, and the aggrandisement of self; all was hollow, hard, treacherous, and even murderous. The only idea that this scene elicited from the word-stuffed cranium of James, was that the cunningest fellow was the wisest, and that the true art of life was to cheat the most cleverly. This precious philosophy, which had falsehood for its means and self for its end, he dignified with the name of kingcraft. We shall hereafter find him boasting of it, and indoctrinating his son with it. He cost Charles his head, and by the transmission of the same dogma, he destroyed the monarchy for a time, and the rule of his family for ever.

James, whilst appearing so independent and incorruptible to Elizabeth, was turning a very different face to the kings of Prance and Spain, to the Duke of Guise and the Pope. To them he professed to sympathise deeply with the misfortunes of his mother, to resent her treatment, to desire her restoration and joint rule. He declared a predilection for Popery - and for what object? merely to draw what money he could from them. But it may be said that Elizabeth would have been only too happy to furnish him. with money. Undoubtedly, but that must have been on the understanding that Mary remained in her hands. The moment that he consented to such an arrangement, his game was played out with the Continental monarchs; he would show that he was indifferent to the fate of his mother, and none of her allies could any longer put faith in him. But whilst he courted the Roman Catholic monarchs and drew money from them, he was all the more desirable object of conquest to Elizabeth. The more she was alarmed at his favour with her rivals, the higher would be his power with her. When he had exhausted their funds or their patience, then ho could have recourse to Elizabeth; and this time was now approaching. James received payment after payment, but he did nothing whatever, except make almost any promise required. His continental friends grew disgusted, and so he betook himself to the English queen.

There was another negotiation on foot for the release of his mother, and he ordered his favourite Gray, the master of Mar, to meet Nau, the secretary of Mary, and to treat with the English ministers, with the assistance of the French ambassador. The surface of the transaction appeared so fair, and all parties so much in earnest, that once more the hopes of Mary and of her friends were highly raised, only, as in all these cases, to be speedily dashed. Mar, like Morgan, Mary's commissioner, was a traitor; Morgan was in the pay, or ready to take the pay, of Burleigh. He was received by the queen and her ministers with chilling coldness on his arrival; but he possessed ample means to warm them up. He had been in Paris with a recommendation from the friends of Mary; had been admitted to the confidence of her chief friends there, Persons the Jesuit, and the Archbishop of Glasgow. From them he was initiated into all the secrets of their movements for the liberation of Mary, and these secrets ho was ready to communicate to Elizabeth and her ministers for a proper return. Ho had his secret instructions, and, though professing to act with Nau, he soon found cause to dissent from him. On perceiving the value of the information which he held, the arms of the queen and her ministers were open to receive him, and they were soon on such terms that he actually proposed a marriage betwixt his boy king and the elderly lady Elizabeth. Probably he never expected that Elizabeth would depart from her uniform conduct in regard to matrimonial proposals, but he was well assured that nothing could flatter her so much; and he obtained a goodly sum of money, with a promise of more, the amount and the frequency of the favour to be regulated by the amount of service in return.

From that hour the doom, of Mary was definitively sealed, and James became the obsequious tributary of the English Court. The effect was immediately seen. Creighton, a Jesuit of Scotland, and Abdy, a priest of that country, were seized by a Dutch cruiser, on their way home from France; and, in spite of Scotland and Holland being at profound peace, were conveyed, as an acceptable sacrifice to Elizabeth, to England. Creighton, on being taken, had torn up some papers and thrown them into the sea. Sufficient of these were collected to show that they contained plans for the rescue of the Scottish queen, and in the Tower the sight of the rack made him disclose much more. This exciting information was made the most of. An association was formed, under the influence of Government, by which all the members bound themselves to pursue and kill every person who should attempt the life of the queen, and every person for whose advantage it should be attempted. This palpably pointed at the Scottish queen. The bond of association was shown to Mary as a means of intimidating her. At the first glance she perceived that it was aimed at her life; but, after a moment of astonishment, she proposed to sign the bond herself, so far as she was concerned, which, of course, was not permitted, as it would have neutralised the whole intention but it was industriously circulated for signature amongst those who dared not well do otherwise.

The same object was pursued in the Parliament, which met on the 23rd of November. After the clergy had granted an aid of six shillings in the pound to be paid in three years, and the Commons a subsidy and two-fifteenths, an Act was passed condemning as traitors any one who had been declared by a court of twenty-four commissioners cognisant of any treasonable designs against the queen; and Mary and her issue were excluded from the succession in case of the queen coming to a violent death. The Roman Catholics were also treated with increased severity, in consequence of the alleged plots. No Popish clergyman was to be allowed to remain in the kingdom; if found there after forty days, he was pronounced guilty of high treason; any one knowing of his being in the country, and not giving information within twelve days, was to be fined and imprisoned during the queen's pleasure; and any one receiving or relieving him was guilty of felony. All students in Popish seminaries were called on to return to their native country within six months after proclamation; parents sending their children to such seminaries without licence were to forfeit for every such offence a hundred pounds; and the students themselves forfeited all right to the property of their parents.

On the third reading of this bill, an extraordinary circumstance took place, leading to strange results, which have never been fully explained, although they have engaged the consideration of all historians to throw some reasonable light upon them. One Dr. Parry, a Welsh civilian, rose and denounced the bill as "a measure savouring of treasons, full of blood, danger, and despair to English subjects, and pregnant with fines and forfeitures, which would go to enrich, not the queen, but private individuals."

This speech greatly astonished the House, both because it required a boldness or a rashness to make such an avowal which very few had, and still more because the man was notorious as one who had long been in the pay of Burleigh as a spy upon the Papists, and who had brought home from Italy accounts of the schemes for the assassination of the queen enough to create the utmost horror. He had been in the service of the Earl of Pembroke, then in that of the queen, and had been employed by Burleigh for some years on the Continent in collecting secret information. On his return he married a rich widow, spent her fortune, got into debt, attempted to murder his chief creditor, and only escaped death, as is supposed, by the influence of Burleigh. He then returned to the Continent again in the pay of Burleigh, and pretended to be a convert to Popery in order to worm out the secrets of eminent men of that faith. He addressed himself to the Jesuit Creighton at Lyons, to Parma at Venice, professing his desire to kill the queen if he could only be assured that it was lawful. He was introduced by Parma to the minister of the Pope, Campeggio; and, returning to France, broached the same design to Waytes and other English priests. On his return to England he assured Elizabeth, in the presence of Burleigh and Walsingham, that he had been solicited by the Pope to murder the queen, and produced a letter from Cardinal Como in proof of it. On the strength of this he demanded a pension; but was told that he had done nothing to deserve it, for the letter of Cardinal Como made not the most distant allusion to any such project.

It appears to have been at this crisis that he made his extraordinary statement in the House of Commons. He was tormented with debts and creditors; and had failed to induce the Government by his dirty employment on the Continent to rescue him from his difficulties. Can anything, therefore, be more likely than that his speech was the sudden outburst of his vexation with the Government, made probably in the hope that his opposition and the exposures it was in his power to make might compel ministers to do that for him out of policy which they would not out of good will?

He was at once given into custody to the sergeant by the House; but the next day was liberated by the command of the queen, who said he had partly explained his notions to her satisfaction. Most likely it had been thought best to close his mouth by a concession to some of his claims. But within six weeks he was again arrested on a charge of high treason, and conducted to the Tower, This time it appears to have been on the charge of an Edmund Neville, a member of the Westmoreland family, who had been employed to watch the Jesuit Persons at Rouen, Neville had returned to England to prosecute his right to the inheritance of the last Lord Latymer, in which he was opposed by the eldest son of Burleigh, who had got possession of it. As Neville and Parry had been associates, and had mutually tempted each other with the professed projects of murdering the queen, it is not at all improbable but that Parry might now be employed to criminate Neville, and thus get rid of his troublesome claims. But Neville turned the tables on Parry, denounced him as having endeavoured to incite him to assassinate the queen, and Parry at length confessing it, was sent to the Tower on the 1st of February, 1585.

Parry had failed to get rid of Neville and his troublesome opposition to the claims of Burleigh's son; but being now in custody, it would appear that it occurred to the ministers that he might be made a useful instrument at this moment in swelling the odium against the Roman Catholics. Accordingly, he made a confession in the Tower, the sum and substance of which was this: - That Morgan had instigated him to murder the queen; that Cardinal Como, in the name of the Pope, had approved of the design - (this, be it remarked, was the very thing which Elizabeth and her ministers, when he was at large, had declared was wholly unproved); that on seeing Elizabeth, he was so much struck by her glorious mind and person that he repented; yet again, reading the treatise of Dr. Allen in reply to Burleigh, on the right of subjects to resist and depose tyrannical sovereigns, he had been inspired afresh to her destruction, and had incited Neville to carry out that object.

So far from denying this on his trial, he pleaded guilty; his confession was read, and the chief justice prepared to pass sentence upon him. On this, in the greatest astonishment, like Francis Throckmorton, he exclaimed that he was deceived; that he was perfectly innocent; that the whole story contained in his confession was a tissue of lies, which had been extorted from him by threats and promises; that he had never really harboured a thought of murder; and that the Cardinal Como had never given any approbation of it. He demanded to be allowed to withdraw his plea, but was not permitted; sentence of death was pronounced upon him. It is quite clear that he had been promised his life if he would make a confession so damning to the Catholics, and was now thunderstruck to see that faith was not kept with him. He protested that if he perished his blood would lie on the head of the queen.

The discovery, by his extraordinary speech, that ho was an unsafe man, who, being in possession of dangerous secrets, in a moment of discontent might let them out, was probably the cause of his being selected for the victim on this occasion. He had now done the work of Elizabeth and her ministers, and nothing could save him. On the scaffold, to which he was brought March 2nd, 1585, he again passionately protested his innocence. Topcliffe, the notorious pursuivant, asked him how then he explained the letter of the cardinal. Parry declared that there was nothing of the kind in the letter, and begged that it might be examined; but the only reply was a command to make an end. He had sent a letter to the queen, declaring that he was chiefly overthrown by her own hand. On the Scaffold he protested again that he was her true servant J had never dreamt of harm to her, and that "in her own conscience she knew it" In the midst of his devotions the cart was drawn away, and after one swing he was cut down and butchered with the executioner's knife, giving a great groan when his bowels were taken out.

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