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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 494



clos, wo must remember that tbe death of Anne Eolcyn, and the degradation of the Princess Elizabeth, placed her a step nearer to the throne than she was at the period of her mother's demise ; consequently, was tbe succession the great object of lier ambition, policy would not have permitted her to voluntarily relinquish her claims thereto, which, in fact, she did, by deliberately signing the third of these articles. It therefore appears probable that she renounced her rights for no personal motive beyond that of regaining the lost affections of her only surviving parent, doubtless expecting, that that parent would at his death, if not before, acknowledge her as his firstborn, and restore her to her rights ; a policy more weak than wicked, and if not to be commended, at least not deserving, as some party writers would have us believe, of censure, the bitterest, severest. On the twenty-first of July, Wriothesly, by Cromwell's orders, waited upon her to ascertain if she had signed the articles, and brought her an assurance, that in the event of her compliance, her household should be established, and she should no longer be compelled to call Elizabeth, princess, but only sister. With the much-desired, duly signed articles, she sent the following" humble, lowly-spirited epistle: — The Princess Mary to Cromwell. " Good Mr. Secretary, how much am I bound unto you, which have not only travelled when I was almost drowned in folly, to recover me before I sunk, and was" utterly past recovery, and so to present mo to the face of grace and mercy, hut also desistetti not sithence with your good and wholesome counsels so to arm me from any relapse, that I cannot, unless I were too wilful and obstinate, (whereof now there is no spark in me), fall again into any danger; but leaving the recital of your goodness apart, which I cannot recount, I answer to the particularities of your credence, sent by my friend, Mr. Wriothesly. First, concerning the Princess (so Γ think I must call her yet, for I would be loth to offend), I offered at her entry to that name and honour, to call her sister, but it was refused unless I would also add the other title unto it, which I denied, not then more obstinately than I am now sorry for it, for that I did therein offend my most gracious father and his just laws. And now that you think it meet, I shall never call her by other name than sister. Touching the nomination of such women as I would have about mo; surely, Mr. Secretary, what men or women soever the King's Highness shall appoint to wait on me, without exception, shall be to me right heartily and without respect welcome ; albeit, to express my mind to you, whom I think worthy to be accepted, for their faithful service done to the King's Majesty and to me, sithence they came into my company, I promise you, on my faith, Margaret baynton and Susanna Clariencieux have in every condition used themselves as faithfully, painfully, and diligently, as ever did women in such a case : as sorry when I was not so conformable as became me, as glad when I inclined anything to my duty as could be demised. One other there is that was some time my maid, whom for her virtue I love, and could he glad to have in my company, that is, if ary Brown ; and here be all that I will recommend, and yet my estimation of this shall be measured at the King's Highness, my most merciful father's pleasure and appointment, as reason is. "Eor mine opinion touching pilgrimages, purgatory, reliques, and suchlike, I assure you I have none at all,* but such as 1 shall receive from him that hath mine whole heart in keeping, that is, the King's most gracious Highness, my most benign father, who shall imprint ia the same, touching these matters and all others, what his inestimable * This sentence is a piece of slavish hypocrisy. Mary had an opinion, and a bigoted one, on these vexed subjects of religions ceremonials; and although she respected her father, she surely could not, at least before this letter was penned, July, 1546, have thought him a monarch of inestimable virtue, however learned and wise she might have deemed him. However, Mary lived in an age when hypocrisy and servileflattery were the vogue, and in this respect she has, perhaps, gone scarcely so far as her Bister Elizabeth, aa will appear farther on.


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