OREALD.COM - An Old Electronic Library
eng: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Reign of Queen Elizabeth. (Continued) page 8

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 <8> 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Elizabeth received him with every demonstration o! affection, and great rejoicings and discharge of fireworks testified that the public ceased to regard the match with aversion. Elizabeth exacted a written promise from the duke, and gave him a similar one in return, to look on each other's enemies as their own, to assist each other in all emergencies, and that neither of them should make a treaty with the King of Spain without the consent of the other. This being done, she took a ring from her finger, and placing it on that of Anjou, in the presence of the foreign ambassadors and of the English Court, she pledged herself by that ceremony to become his wife, and ordered Walsingham, Bedford, Leicester, Hatton, the Bishop of Lincoln, and the Earl of Sussex, to draw up a programme of the rites to be observed, and the contract to be signed on the occasion. Anybody would have deemed the matter settled at last; and so satisfied were the foreign ambassadors, that Castelnau posted a despatch to France, and St. Aldegonde to the Netherlands, that all was finally arranged; and at Brussels the marriage was celebrated as if already accomplished, by the discharge of artillery, by fireworks, and all the usual demonstrations of rejoicing.

Nothing, however, was farther from completion. The next day the duke received a message from the queen, requesting him to go to her, when he found her pale and drowned in tears. She declared that she had passed the night in the greatest anguish from the determined opposition of her ministers and the grief and alarm of her ladies; that she found the prejudices of her people against her marriage insuperable, and that, much as she loved him, she must give it up. Hatton, who was present - showing that this was not meant for a private interview - supported her view of the case with various arguments; and the duke, returning to his apartment in high dudgeon, flung the ring from him, and swore that the Englishwomen were as fickle and capricious as their climate.

This breach was still, however, kept private. Elizabeth, who probably really liked the duke, though she could not find in her heart to marry him, still entreated him to remain, as she might prevail over her difficulties, and effect the marriage. She displayed every sign of the warmest attachment in public and in private, and did everything possible to amuse him. Three months went over in this extraordinary manner, the public out of doors all the time deeming the matter a settled one, and venting its dislike in all manner of ways. The people asked how it was that the queen had so soon forgotten St. Bartholomew, and heaped all sorts of al use on both the devoted Anjou and the French nation at large; whilst in France the Catholics were equally violent at one of their princes marrying a heretic, and the grand supporter and promoter of heresy.

Elizabeth, roused to a pitch of terrible wrath by vile reports, which her enemies spread abroad concerning her and her favourite, let her vengeance fall on the author of a pamphlet called "The Gaping Gulf," showing the dangers of this marriage. The author was one John Stubbs, a student of Lincoln's Inn. Elizabeth laid hold on him, his printer and publisher, and had them condemned in the Court of Queen's Bench to have their right hands cut off. The printer was suffered to depart, but the sentence was executed on Stubbs and his publisher in the market-place of Westminster, by driving a cleaver through the wrist with a mallet. What would our authors and publishers say to such treatment now-a-days? The foolish Stubbs, the moment his hand was off, waving his cap with the left, cried – "Long live the queen!"

At the end of three months Anjou grew weary of this silly farce, and announced his determination to depart. Even, then Elizabeth would not permit him to go without exacting a promise that he would soon return. She stormed, she raved, she called the states of the Netherlands, which summoned him to his duties there, des coquins, and accompanied the duke to Canterbury, where she parted from him weeping like a girl.

Truly did the great Elizabeth present a very undignified figure before the nation at this moment. As Anjou pursued his journey thence to Sandwich, she sent after him constant messengers to inquire after his health and comfort; and scarcely had he got on board his ship when the Earl of Sussex appeared with a passionate request that he would return. On her journey home, Her Majesty carefully avoided the very sight of Whitehall, lest it should remind her of the happy hours she had spent there with the beloved Anjou.

On his arrival in the Netherlands, Anjou found plenty of employment in contending with the genius and the forces of the Prince of Parma. He found, also, that the real authority in the country was centred in the Prince of Orange, and resolving to make himself the actual master of it, he laid a plan of seizing all the chief towns in the states on the same day. He failed. The Dutch, resenting the attempt, attacked his troops on all sides, and soon compelled him to fly back to France, where he terminated his existence at Chateau Thierry, in June, 1584, not without suspicion of poison. So great was Elizabeth's fondness for this prince, whom she might have married, and would not, that even at this period no one dare for some time inform her of his death, which she appeared to bewail with all the symptoms of real and deep grief.

Within one month of the death of Anjou there fell a far more noble and important man. The Prince of Orange, the great champion and founder of the independence of Holland, perished by the hand of an assassin. The ban of Philip had not failed to operate, though at a distance of four years, Balthazar Gerard, impelled by fanaticism and the 25,000 crowns offered by Philip, shot him on the 10th of July, 1584.

It is now necessary to trace the course of events in Ireland and Scotland during the years we have just passed over. A great work had been going on in the former, the object of which was to reduce the turbulent native chiefs to obedience, and to establish English settlers in the lands of those who were driven out or exterminated.

The most distinguished of those chiefs was Shane O'Neil, the Earl of Tyrone. Henry VIII. had granted the succession to Matthew, an illegitimate son of the old earl's; but Shane, the eldest legitimate son, would not submit to this arrangement. He was supported in his claims by the people, and vindicated his rights. By the persuasion of the Earl of Sussex, at that time governor, he was induced to appear at the Court of Elizabeth in 1362. He laid his claims before her, and excited a great sensation by appearing in his native costume, attended by a guard armed with battle-axes and clad in saffron-coloured vests. Elizabeth did not grant all his requests, but expressed herself highly pleased with his presence, and made him great promises. But Shane was too sensitive and independent in his feelings and ideas to be a very orderly subject. Frequently he did essential service as the ally of the English Government, but more frequently was compelled to seek vengeance for injuries and encroachments. In 1565, in three years after his appearance at the English Court, he was driven into open rebellion; and after a severe struggle was compelled to seek refuge in the wilds of Ulster amongst the Scots. There, at the instigation of Piers, an English officer, he was assassinated, his estates confiscated, with those of all his followers, comprising one-half of Ulster, and the name and dignity of O'Neil abolished for ever.

That which was done in Ulster had to be done in every other province of Ireland. Whenever insurrection broke out and was suppressed, the lands were forfeited to the Crown. But so long as the Crown held nominally these lands, the natives continued to hold them really. To remedy this and to ensure a certain forfeiture to the rebels, and a reward to the English conquerors, Sir Thomas Smith proposed that these lands should be granted in various portions to English settlers, who, in prosecution of their own claims, would drive out the rebel natives and cultivate the country. It needs no reflection to perceive that this system must be fruitful beyond conception in crimes, murders, and miseries. Lands were granted to a bastard son of the projector's, and to numerous other adventurers. They drove out the Irish, and these came back in infuriated numbers, with fire and desolation. Under this frightful system the country soon became a desert. To put an end to these sanguinary scenes, Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex, represented that it needed only a sufficient force on the part of the English. He offered to bring under subjection, and to colonise, the district of Clanhuboy in Ulster. His proposals were that the queen and himself should furnish equal shares of the charge, and the colony being organised, should be divided equally between them. The courtiers who had envied him his favour with Elizabeth, pretended to promote his design till he had embarked all his fortune in it, when they threw all possible obstacles in his way. Through these hindrances, it was late in the summer of 1573 before he arrived in Ireland, and then only to find that the Lord-deputy Fitzwilliam questioned his powers; and on proceeding to the lands of Clanhuboy, Phelim O'Neil and his adherents contended with him for its possession fort by fort. He maintained his ground, however, through the winter, though grievously suffering from the bad quality of the provisions furnished by the queen's contractors, and from the ill-armed condition of his troops - for the evils which mowed down our army in the Crimea, were among the most ancient evils of the English Government. Essex is said to have invited Phelim O'Neil to a banquet.,, and there assassinated him and his attendants; but this did not mend his position. The Lords Dacre and Rich, and many gentlemen, abandoned the enterprise and returned home. Though deserted and unable to conquer his own allotted territory, he assisted the lord-deputy to suppress the rebels in other parts of the island. He returned to England in 1575, and was appointed Earl Marshal of Ireland, but with no adequate force; and ultimately died, September 22nd, 1576, at Dublin, as it was asserted, by poison administered to him at the instigation of Leicester. That villain noble, the great favourite of Elizabeth, who had murdered his first wife, Amy Robsart, next married, or pretended to marry, Douglas Howard, the widow of Lord Sheffield. After having a son by her he repudiated the marriage, and, as she herself asserted, attempted to poison her so that her hair and nails fell off, and commenced an intrigue with the wife of Essex, by whom he is said to have had two children whilst Essex was absent in Ireland. On the death of Essex, Sir Francis Knollys compelled him to marry his daughter, Essex's widow; which marriage, as we have seen, Simier, the ambassador of Anjou, revealed to Elizabeth, who from that day hated the lady, one of the handsomest and most charming women of her time, with a deadly and undying hatred.

After the death of Essex, the system of planting Ireland, as it was called, still went on. The destruction of the O'Neils all the other clans regarded as only preliminary to their own. They therefore appealed to the Kings of Spain and France for assistance; and on their declaring themselves unable, from their own dangers and insurrections at home, to assist them, they implored the protection of the Pope, Gregory XIII. His holiness launched a bull at the heretic queen, declaring Ireland forfeited, as previous bulls had declared England and Wales forfeited. Under his encouragement two adventurers, Thomas Stukely and James Fitzmaurice, set out to proclaim the bull, and to carry the arms of his holiness all over Ireland. Stukely, however, having obtained a ship of war, 600 soldiers, and 3,000 stand of arms, carried them to the service of the King of Portugal, and died fighting in his wars against the Moors. Fitzmaurice, a brother of the Earl of Desmond, and a deadly enemy of the English invaders, was more faithful; and after suffering shipwreck on the coast of Galicia, landed at Smerwick, in Kerry, in June, 1579. He had with him, however, only eighty Spanish soldiers, and a few Irish and English, refugees; and his expedition proved an utter failure, for the inhabitants had no faith in so insignificant a knot of adventurers. Fitzmaurice being killed in a private quarrel, his followers fled into the territories of his brother, the Earl of Desmond.

The Earl of Desmond professed himself a loyal subject; but he was suspected of favouring the insurgents, and the English marched into his demesnes and plundered them. Another detachment from the Pope, however, landed at Smerwick, the port which Fitzmaurice had made. It consisted of several hundred men, having a large sum of money, and 5,000 stand of arms, under the command of San Guiseppe, an Italian. Lord Grey de Wilton, the new lord-deputy, had recently suffered a defeat in the vale of Glandaclough; but he managed to besiege this foreign force in their newly-erected fort, whilst Admiral Winter blockaded them on the sea side. After three days' resistance, the handful of Italians and Spaniards put out a flag of truce, and offered to surrender on condition that their lives were spared. Foreign writers all assert that this, was granted them; but Sir Richard Bingham, who was present, says that they surrendered one night at the pleasure of the lord-deputy, to have mercy or not, as he, willed. Sir Walter Raleigh and Spenser, the poet, were in Grey's army, and their conduct reflects no honour upon them. Sir Walter Raleigh entered the fort to receive their arms, and then ordered them all to be massacred and this proceeding Spenser endeavours to vindicate. He was Lord Grey's secretary; and whilst he styles him "a most gentle, affable, loving, and temperate lord," he gives this account of his act: - "The enemy begged that the?" might be allowed to depart with their lives and arms according to the law of nations. He asked to see their commission from the Pope or the King of Spain. They had none: they were the allies of the Irish. 'But the Irish,' replied Grey, 'are traitors, and you must suffer as traitors. I will make no terms with you; you may submit or not.' They yielded, craving only mercy, which it not being thought good to show them, for danger of them if being saved, they should afterwards join the Irish, who were much emboldened by those foreign successes, and also put in hope of more ere long. There was no other way but to make that short end of them as was made."

This was a fatal precedent to the French and Spaniards, against whom our own countrymen were fighting in the very same manner by the orders of Elizabeth, in France, in the Netherlands, and in South America; and whilst we denounce the savage slaughter of English adventurers in the transatlantic lands of Spain wherever they were found without mercy or quarter, we are bound to remember that we thus set them the example, and furnished them with warrant.

<<< Previous page <<< >>> Next page >>>
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 <8> 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Pictures for Reign of Queen Elizabeth. (Continued) page 8

Place of Imprisonment in the Tower
Place of Imprisonment in the Tower >>>>
A London Street
A London Street >>>>
The First Royal Exchange
The First Royal Exchange >>>>
Trial of the Duke of Norfolk
Trial of the Duke of Norfolk >>>>
House of Sir Thomas Gresham
House of Sir Thomas Gresham >>>>
John Fox
John Fox >>>>
Bear-baiting >>>>
Reception of Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth Castle
Reception of Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth Castle >>>>
The French Ambassador at Court
The French Ambassador at Court >>>>
Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser >>>>
William Cecil
William Cecil >>>>
Execution of Two Brownists
Execution of Two Brownists >>>>
Court of Henry III. of France
Court of Henry III. of France >>>>
Queen Elizabeth Knighting Francis Drake
Queen Elizabeth Knighting Francis Drake >>>>
Sir Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney >>>>
Death of Sir Philip Sidney
Death of Sir Philip Sidney >>>>

Home | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About