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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 507



ther and mine, with all his predecessors, evermore used, wherein, also, I have buon brought up from my youth, and thereunto my conscience doth not only bind me, which by no means will suffer me to think one thing- and do another ; but also the promise made to the Emperor by your Majesty's council was an assurance to rue that in so doing- I should not offend the laws, although they aeem now to qualify and deny the tiling-; and at my last waiting upon your Majesty, I was so bold to declare my mind and conscience to the same ; and desired your Highness, rather than you should eonstrain me to leave the mass, to take my life, whereunto your Majesty made me a very gentle answer. And now I beseech your nighness to give mc leave to write what I think touching your Majesty's letter. Indeed, they be signed with your own hand, and, nevertheless, in my opinion, not your majesty in effect, because it is well known (as heretofore I have declared in the presence of your highness), that, although, our Lord be praised, your Majesty hath far more knowledge and greater gifts than others of your years ; yet it is not possible that your Highness can at these years be a judge in matters of religion; and, therefore, I take it that tho matter in your letter proceedeth from such as do wish those things to take place which be most agreeable to themselves, by whose doing (your Majesty not offended) I intend not to rule my conscience. And thus, without molesting your Highness any further, I humbly beseech the same ever for God's sake to bear with me as you have done, and not to think that by my doings or example any inconvenience might grow to your Majesty or your realm, for I use it not after any such sort, putting no doubt but in time to come whether I live or die, your Majesty shall perceive my intent is grounded upon a true love towards you, whose royal estate I beseech Almighty God long to continue, which is, and * shall be, my daily prayer, according to my duty. And after pardon craved of your majesty for these rude and bold letters, if neither at my humble suit nor for regard of tho promise made to the Emperor, your Highness will suffer and bear with me as you have done till your Majesty may he a judge herein yourself and right under stand their procecdiags (of which your goodness I despair not) ; otherwise, rather than to offend God and my con science I offer my body at your will, and death shall be more welcome than life with a troubled conscience. Most humbly beseeching your Majesty to pardon my slowness in answering your letters, for my old disease would not suffer me to write sooner ; and thus I pray Almighty God to keep your Majesty in all virtue and honour, with good health and long life to his pleasure. " From my poor house at Copped Hall, the nineteenth of August. "Your Majesty's most " humble sister, " MAIIY." On the twenty-third of August, four days after the receipt of this letter, Rochester, Waldcgrave, and Ingleficld were called before the King and council at Windsor, and again ordered to execute the charge they had received on the fourteenth. Eut they boldly refused, declaring it was against their consciences, and they would rather submit to any punishment than undertake what they could not find in their hearts or consciences to perform. They were committed to close confinement in the Tower for contempt; and the privy council deputed three of their own body—the Lord Chancellor Riche, Mr. Secretary Petre, and Sir Anthony Wingfield, the Comptroller of the King's household, to repair together to the Lady Mary's grace, with the King's letters. They did so, and the following was the report of her grace's answer : " A note of the report of the message done to the Lady Mary's grace by us, the Lord Riche, Lord Chancellor of England, Sir Anthony Wingfield, Knight of the Order and Comptroller of the King's Majesty's most honourable household, and William. Peeter, knight, one of his Majesty's two principal secretaries; and of her grace's answer to the same ; eported by us all three to the King's Majesty, and the lords of his Majesty's


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