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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 502



knowledge how to order his power, to which law all of you consented, and seemed at that time, to the outward appearance, very well to like the same ; and that you could find no fault, all this while, with some among yourselves, for running half a year before that which you now call a law, ye, and before the bishops came together, wherein, me thinketh, you do me very much wrong, if 1 should not have as much pre-eminence to continue in keeping a full authorized law, made withoutparcyalyle, as they had both to break tbe law, which at that time, yourselves must need confess, was of full power and strength, and to use alterations of their own invention, contrary both to that and your new law, as you call it." In this letter, Mary boldly accuses Somerset, and his colleagues in office, of breaking her father's will. In tho lost epistles, she entreats them to educate her brother, tbe young King-, as ordained by that will, in the Catholic faith ; accuses them of interfering with religion, as established by her father, and reiterates the declaration contained in the above letter, that whatever laws they made to the contrary, she would remain obedient to her father's laws till Edward the Sixth was of ago. We have but one of Somerset's replies, and, in this, neither a candid avowal of the inconsistency of Ilenry the Eighth's will, nor of the Protector's intentions to at once establish the Protestant faith—he, as a matter of political expediency, made assertions regarding himself, and bis colleagues, and the religious tenets of Henry the Eighth, wholly at variance with facts. He thus proceeds :— "Madam, my humble commendations to your Grace premised.—I have received your letters of the second of this present, acknowledging myself thereby much bound unto your grace ; nevertheless, I am sorry to perceive that your Grace should have a wrong opinion of me and others, which were by the King, your late father, put in trust as executors of his will ; albeit, I trust there shall be no such fault found in us, as in the same your Grace hath alleged ; and, for my part, I know none of us that will willingly neglect the full execution of every jot of his said will, as far as shall and may stand with the King, our master's honour and surety that now is, not doubting but our proceedings therein, and in all things committed to our charge, shall be such as shall be able to answer the whole world, both in honour and discharge of our consciences. And where your Grace writeth that the most part of the realm, through a naughty liberty and presumption, are now brought into such a division, as if we executors go not about to bring them to that stay that our late master left them, they will forsake all obedience unless they have their own will and phantasies ; and then it must follow that the King shall not bo well served, and that all other realms shall have us in an obloquy and derision, and not without just cause. Madam, as these words, written or spoken by you, soundeth not well, so can I not persuade myself that they have proceeded from the sincere mind of so virtuous and so wise a lady, but rather by the setting on and procurement of some uncharitable and malicious person. Such hath been the King's Majesty's proceedings, our young noble master that now is, that all his faithful subjects have cause to render thanks for the manifold benefits shewed unto his Grace, and to his people, and realm, sithenee the first day of his reign, and to think that God is contented and pleased with bis ministers, who seek nothing but the true glory of God, and the surety of the King's person, with the quietness and wealth of his subjects. And where your Grace writeth also that there was godly order and quietness left by the King, our late master, your Grace's father, in this realm, at the time of his death, I do something marvel, for, if it may please you to call to your remembrance that his Grace departed from this life before he had fully finished such orders as he minded to have established to his people, no kind of religion w7as perfected at his death, but left all uncertain, most like to have brought us in parties and division, if God had not only helped


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