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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 501



married one Russell, in the service of her sister, and her attendance, now much wanted, could not he had, as appears in the following letter, which Mary received from Elizabeth :—• " Good sister, as to hear of your sickness is unpleasant tome, so is it nothing fearful, for that I understand it is your old guest that is wont so oft to visit you, whose coming, though it be oft, yet is it never welcome ; but, notwithstanding, it is comfortable for that. Jamlaprœvisa minus feriunt. And as I do understand your need of Jane Russell's service, so am I sorry that it is by my man's occasion letted, which, if I had known before, I would have caused his will to give place to need of her service ; for as it is her duty to obey his command, so is it his part to attend your pleasure ; and as I confess it were meeter for him to go to her, since she attends upon you, so, indeed, he required the same ; but for that divers of his fellows had business abroad, that made him tarry at home. Good sister, though I have good cause to thank you for your oft sending to me, yet I have more occasion to render you my hearty thanks for your gentle writings, which, how painful it is to you, I may well guess by myself. And you may well see, by writing so oft, how pleasant it is to me. And thus I end to trouble you, desiring God to send you as well to do as you can think and wish, or I desire or pray. From Ashbridge, scribbled this twenty-seventh of October. " Your loving sister, " ELIZABETH." " To my well-beloved sister, Mary." Henry the Eighth was doomed to the usual fate of despotic monarchs. By his will, he ordered masses to be said for bis soul, and enjoined his executors to bring up his son in the Catholic faith, doubtless meaning his own tyrannic church of the Six Articles. But the men who, in his latter days, had served him with slavish obsequiousness, were the first, after his death, to overturn his darling Îirojects. Somerset, to make his private ortuno, and Cranmer, as a matter of conscience, in the first mouths of Ed ward's reign, took measures for the immediate establishment of the Protestant Church,* so sweeping and decisive, that Gardiner was imprisoned in the Fleet ; and Mary sent several letters of remonstrance to the Protector. These letters are said to have been lost or destroyed ; but the following, copied from the Lansdowne MSS., and written by Mary, was evidently addressed to Somerset at this crisis :— *' It is no small grief to me to perceive that they whom the King's Majesty, my father (whose soul God pardon), made in this world of nothing, in respect of that they become to now, and at his last end put in trust to see his will performed, whereunto they were all sworn upon a book : it grieveth me, I say, for the love I bear to them, to see both how they brake his will, and what usurped power they take upon them in making (as they call it) laws both clean contrary to his proceeding and will, and also against the custom of all Christendom, and, in my conscience, against the law of God and his church, which passeth all the rest ; but though you, among you, have forgotten the King, my father, yet, both God's commandments and nature will not suffer me to doso ; wherefore, with God's help, I will remain an obedient child to his laws as he left them, till such time as the King's Majesty, my brother, shall have perfect years of discretion to order the power that God hath sent him, and to he a judge in these matters himself, and, I doubt not, but he shall then accept my so doing better than theirs, which have taken a piece of his power upon them in his minority. " I do not a little marvel that you can find fault with me for observing of that law which was allowed by him that was a king, not only of power, but also of * It is worthy of remark, that the paraphrases of Erasmus, including that of St. John, translated by Mary, was, at this period, reprinted by the Government, and a copy provided for every clergyman and for every parish throughout the realm. Thus, at the very time Mary was opposing the establishment of the Protestant Church of England, that church adopted the work of her own pen I as one of its beacon lights.


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