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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 407



nour to be touched thereby, but her honour only to be clearly disparaged. And I am in such a perplexity, that my mind is clean amazed, for I never had better opinion in woman than I had in her, which maketh me to think that she should not be culpable. And, again, I think your highness would not have gone so far, except she had surely been culpable. Now, I think that your Grace best knowcththat, next unto your Grace, I was most bound unto her of all creatures living. Therefore, I most humbly beseech your Grace to suffer me in that which, with God's leave, nature and also her kindness biudeth me unto, that is, that I may, with your Grace's favour, wish and pray for her that she may declare herself inculpable and innocent, And if she be found culpable, considering your Grace's goodness towards her, and from what condition your Grace, of your only mere goodness, took her, and set the crown upon her head, I repute him not your Grace's faithful servant and subject, nor true unto the realm, that would not desire the offence, without mercy, to be punished, to the example of all others. And as I love her not a little for the love which I judged her to bear towards God and his gospel, so, if she be proved culpable, there is not one that loveth God and his gospel that ever will favour her, but must hate her above all others, and the more they favour the gospel, the more they will hate her; for then there was never creature in our time that so much slandered the gospel. And God hath sent her this punishment, for that she feignedly hath professed his gospel in her mouth, and not in heart and deed. And though she have offended, so that she hath deserved never to be reconciled unto your Grace's favour, yet Almighty God hath manifoldly declared his goodness towards your Grace, and never offended you. lint your Grace, I am sure, acknowlcdgeth that you have offended him. Wherefore, I trust that your Grace will bear no less entire favour unto the truth of the gospel than you did before ; forasmuch as your Grace's favour to the gospel was not led by affection unto her, but by zeal unto the truth. And thus I beseech Almighty God, whose gospel he hath ordained your Grace to be defender, for ever to preserve your Grace from all evil, and give you, at the end, the promise of his gospel. "From Lambeth, the third day of May." As Anne could not be drawn into an admission of her guilt, Henry sent a message, enforced by the urgent reasonings of Lady Rochi'ord, urging her, by ample confession, to atone for her gross crimes ; but, as she had already resolved to die, "she said that she could confesse noe more than she had already done. But as be sayd she must conceale nothing, she would add this, that she did acknowdc-dge herselfe indebted to the King for many favours—for raysing her first to be * * * next to be a Marques, next to be his Queenc, and that now ho could bestowe noe further honour upon her than if he were pleased to make her by martirdome a saint." She then dictated the following letter to Henry, but whether it ever met his eye is questionable. " SIR, " Tour Grace's displeasure and my imprisonment are things so strange unto me, as what to write or what to excuse, I am altogether ignorant. Whereas you send unto me, willing me to confess a truth, and so obtain your favour, by sueh an one whom you know to be mine ancient professed enemy.* I no sooner received this message by him, than I rightly conceived your meaning ; and if as you say, confessing a truth indeed may procure my safety, I shall, with all willingness and duty, perform your command. But let not your Grace ever imagine that your poor wife will ever be brought to acknowledge a fault where not so much as a thought thereof proceeded. And, to speak a truth, never prince had wife more loyal in all duty, and in all true affection, than you have ever found in Anne Boleyn, with which name and place I could willingly have contented myself, if God and your * Doubtless the Duke of Suffolk.


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