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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 460



ing him to accept her refusal, she, in a Ut of terror, told him to his head, that it was safer for a woman to become his leman than his wife, an expression which at any other time might have cost her her head, but which then only urged the enamoured sovereign to press his suit with redoubled zeal. Besides fear, Katherine had another and a more powerful objection to share the crown of the sovereign—she loved Sir Thomas Seymour. But Seymour, as he prized his life dearer than the possession of his mistress, quietly resigned the wealthy widow to his all-powerful sovereign and rival; and on the tenth of July, 1543, Cranmer, "for the honour and advancement of the realm," granted a licence for the " marriage of Henry and Katherine, without publication of banns, and in wb at ever house of God the King pleased." Two days afterwards, the marriage was performed with becoming solemnity, but without pageantry or ostentations display, by Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, in the presence of the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth, the Duchess of Suffolk, the Countesses of Hertford and Pembroke, the Earl of Hertford, Lord John Russell, Henry Howard, Sir Anthony Brown, Anthony Denny, William Herbert, and many other nobles, knights, and ladies. What were Katherine's feelings, when before God she vowed to love and obey the man who had sent two of his wives to tho scaffold, killed one by careless neglect, and divorced the two others, we have no means of ascertaining; but as she neither lacked discernment nor forethought, it appears probable that nothing short of the uncontrollable promptings of aspiring ambition could have induced her to assume a position so fraught with difficulties and deathly dangers ; a position, albeit, which her sound judgment and consummate skill enabled her to maintain to the last with honour and dignity, despite the petulance and waywardness of her bloated, diseased lord, and the desperate opposition of the Catholics, who, as she had become a staunch Protestant just previous to her marriage, very naturally believed that either she or they must fall. The particulars of Katherine'» conversion to the reformed religion are nowhere on record; all that is known on the subject being that she was educated a Catholic, and so remained till after the death of her second husband, Lord Latimer, and that, previous to her marriage to Henry the Eighth, she embraced the now doctrine, to which she firmly adhered to the day of her death. But a few days after her marriage to Henry, the Catholics, with Gardiner at their head, resolved to measure their power against hers. There wras a society at Windsor, headed by Anthony Person, a priest, Robert Testwood and John Marbeck, singing-men, and Henry Filmer, and, as it was suspected, secretly encouraged by Sir Philip Hobby, and other members of the royal household. The unprincipled Dr. London, a man formerly employed in the suppression of the monasteries, but who, since Cromwell's fall, had changed sides, and been made by Gardiner a prebendary of Windsor, gathered a book of information, denouncing every person in Windsor who favoured the new learning (one of the names by which the Reformation was known). This book was placed in the hands of Gardiner, who moved the King in council that a commission should be granted for searching all the houses at Windsor, for books written against the six articles. Henry consented to the measure, but exempted tbe Castle from the search, as he believed, or perhaps knew, that more of the denounced books would be found in the closets and chambers of the Queen and her household, than in all the town together. Some notes on the Bible, and a partly-finished concordance in English, being found in Marbeck's house,* and written by himself, served as a pretext for the arrest and condemnation of him and his friends. Great but vain efforts were made, to induce them to implicate the suspected members of the rovai housebold. Marbeck's talents and industry won for him the good will of several of the bishops. Some one, probably by * The crafty examination of Marheck took place in Our Ladyda GMpelle, at the east end I of St. Saviour's church, and which, in a re! stored and heautified state, now adorna the I western scene of London Bridge.


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