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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 508



privy council, at Windsor, on the twentyninth day of August, anno 1551. " First, having received commandment and instructions from the King's Majesty, we repaired to the said Lady Mary's house, at Copped Hall, in Essex, on } riday last, being tho twentyeighth of this instant, in tbe morning, where, shortly after our coming, I, the Lord Chancellor, delivered his Majesty's letters to her, which she received upon her knees, saying, that for the honour of the King's Majesty's hand, wherewith tbe said letters were signed, she would kiss the letter ; and not for the matter contained in them ; for the matter, said she, I take to proceed not from his Majesty, but from you, his council. " In the reading of the letter which she did read secretly to herself, she said these words in our hearing ; ' Ah I good Mr. Cecil took much pains here.' " When she had read the letter, we began to open the matter of our instructions to her ; and as I, the Lord Chancellor, began, she prayed me to be short; for, said she, I am not well at ease, and I will make you a short answer, notwithstanding that I have already declared and written my mind to his Majesty plainly with my own hand, " After this, wc told her at length how the King's Majesty having used all gentle means and exhortations that he might to have reduced her to the rites of religion and order of divine service set forth by the laws of the realm, and finding her nothing conformable, but still remaining in her former error, had resolved by the whole estate of his Majesty's privy council, and with the consent of divers others of the nobility, that she should no longer use the private mass nor any other divine service that is set forth by the laws of the realm ; and here we offered to show her the names of all those which were present at this consultation and resolution ; but, she said, she cared not for any rehearsal of their names, for, said she, I know you be all of one sort therein. "W e told her further, that the King's Majesty's pleasure was, we should also give strait charge to her chaplains, that none of them should presume to say any mass or other divine service than is set forth by tbe laws of the realm, and like charge to all her servants, that none of them should presume to hear any mass or other divine service than is aforesaid. Hereunto her answer was thus : first, she protested that to the King's Majesty she was, is, and ever will be, bis Majesty's most humble and most obedient subject, and poor sister ; and would most willingly obey all his commandments in any thing (her conscience saved), yea, and would willingly and gladly suffer death to do his Majesty good ; but rather than she will agree to use any other service than was used at the death of tho late King, her father, she would lay her head on the block and suffer death ; but, said she, I am unworthy to suffer death in so good a quarrel. When the King's Majesty, said she, shall come to such years that be may be able to judge these things himself', his Majesty shall find me ready to obey his orders in religion ; but now in these years, although he, good, sweet King, have more knowledge than any other of his years, yet it is not possible that bo can be a judge of these things ; for, if ships were to be sent to the sea, or any other thing to bo done touching the policy and government of the realms, I am sure you would not think his highness yet able to consider what were to be dene, and much less, said she, can he, in these years, discern what is fit in matters of divinity. And if my chaplains do say no mass I can bear none, no more can my poor servants ; but as for my servants, I know it shall be against their wills, as it shall be against mine, for if they could come where it were said they would hear it with good will ; and as for my priests, they know what they have to do, the pain of your laws is but imprisonment for a short timo, and if they will refuse to say mass for fear of that imprisonment, they may do therein as they will ; but none of your new service, said she, shall be used in my house, and if any bo said in it I will not tarry in the bouse. " And after this Ave declared unto her grace, according to our instructions, for what cause the lords of the King's


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