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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 474



straight, it should have been a great doubt whether the child born should nave been accounted the lateKing'sor the admiral's"—an awkward predicament, as Henry the Eighth willed that her issue by him, whether male or female, should be presumptive heir to his crown, Leti states that Katherine and Seymour were betrothed thirty-four days after King Henry's death, and married several months later; and King Edward the Sixth, in his journal, names May as their bridal month. Presuming this to be correct, their furtive intercourse was only of a few weeks' duration. Finding it would be impossible to keep the secret much longer, Seymour broke the matter, not as a marriage already consummated, but one to which he aspired, to his brother, (who, with the council, was highly offended at his presumption), and to the King and the Princess Mary. Mary's reply does her honour ; she says : " MY LORD, "After my hearty commendations, these shall be to declare to you that according to your accustomed gentleness I have received six warrants from you by your sen-ant, this bearer, for the which 1 do give you my hearty thanks; by whom also I have received your letter wherein (as me thinketh) ί perceive strange news concerning a suit you have in hand to the Queen for marriage; for the sooner obtaining whereof you seem to think that my letter might do you pleasure. My lord, in this ease, I trust your wisdom doth consider, that if it were for my nearest kinsman and dearest friend in life of all other creatures in the world, it standcth less with my poor honour to be a medler in this matter, considering whoso wife her grace was of late ; and besides, that if she be minded to grant your suit, my letters shall do you but small pleasure; on the other side, if the remembrance of the King's majesty, my father (whose soul God pardon)will not suffer her to grant your suit, I aui nothing able to persuade ner to forget the loss of bim who is as yet very ripe in my own remembrance. Wherefore, I aliali most earnestly require you (the premises considered) to think no unkindness in me though I refused to he a medlcr in any ways in this matter. Assuring you that (wooing matters set apart, wherein I being a maid am nothing cunning), if otherwise it shall lay in my little power to do you pleasure, I shall be as glad to do it as you to require it, both for his blood sake that you be of, and'also for the gentleness which I have always found in you. As knoweth Almighty God, to whose tuition I commit you. " From Wansted, this Saturday, at night, being the fourth of June. " Your assured friend " to my power, "MAKY." The young, unsuspicious King Edward was readily induced to believe that the admiral would make a suitable husband for his beloved step-mother ; and in the end wrote a letter to Katherine, heartily thanking her for consenting at his request to do what she had previouly done without his knowledge ; in conclusion, the simple monarch — he was in his tenth year—says, " I will so provide for you both, that if, hereafter, any grief befall I shall be a sufficient succour in your godly or praiscablc enterprises. Kare ye well, with much increase of honour and virtue in Christ. From St. James, the five-and-twentieth day of Juno. "EDWARD." Aware of the value of King Edward's friendship, Seymour lost no opportunity to foster and strengthen it, whilst Somerset, the Protector, did all in his power to cause a breach between his brother and the youthful sovereign, and to provent their intercourse. This, however, was impossible during the life-time of the Queen-dowager. Through the agency of Bishop Latimer, of John Fowler, a gentleman of Edward's privy chamber, and others, Seymour kept up a correspondence with the young King, secretly supplied him with various sums of money, purchased the esteem and support of his preceptors, and the gentlemen of his chamber, and at length having made Edward believe that the Protector was


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