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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 523



that he would storm the city. The Spanish ambassador fled in dismay. The clergy, the lawyers, the Lord Mayor, the aldermen, and the leading citizens, would not venture abroad without being clothed in armour, which they wisely concealed beneath, their accustomed habiliments. As not one of the royal residences at Westminster had been built to withstand a siege, the panic-struck ministers urged the Queen to seek refuge in the Tower. Tut, with a cool intrepidity, which singularly contrasted with the timidity of those around her, she resolved to remain at her post, and ordering her ministers to provide the means of defence, mounted her horse, rode to the city, entered the Guildhall, accompanied by her ladies and officers of state, and to fix the loyalty of the Londoners, addressed a firm and dignified speech to the Lord Mayor and the citizens. " The men of Kent," she said, " are disobedient and disloyal. At first their leaders condemned my intended marriage with the Prince of Spain, now they have betrayed their real design. They demand the custody of my person, tbe appointment of my council, and the command of the Tower. Their object evidently is to obtain the exercise of the royal authority, and to abolish the national worship ; but I am convinced that my people love me too well to surrender mc into the hands of rebels. As for this marriage, ye shall understand, that I enterprised not the doing thereof without the advice of all our privy council ; nor am I, I assure ye, so bent to my own will, or so affectionate, that for my own pleasure I would choose where I list, or need must have a husband. I have hitherto lived a maid, and doubt nothing but, with God's grace, I am able to live so still. Certainly, did I think that this mar riage were to the hurt of you, my sub jects, or the impeachment of my royal estate, I would never consent thereunto ; and 1 promise you on the word of a Queen, that if it shall not appear to the Lords and Commons in Parliament forthe benefit of the whole realm, I will never marry while I live. Wherefore, stand fastagainst theserebels, your enemiesand mine ; fear them not, for I assure ye, I fear them nothing at all : and I will leave with you my Lord Howard, and my Lord Admiral, who will be assistant with the Mayor for your defence." This harangue concluded, the assembled citizens made the hall ring.with acclamations. Mary returned to Westminster by water, and by the next morning twenty thousand men had enrolled their names for the protection of the city and their Queen. On that day Wyatt entered Southwark, but being defeated in his efforts to take London Bridge he retreated, but not till after the rebels bad plundered Gardiner's palace and so completely destroyed his library, that, says Stowe, men might have waded knee deep in the leaves of torn books. Having arranged a plan with his still numerous friends in tbe city to surprise Ludgate before the break of day, Wyatt, for that purpose, marched to Kingston, crossed tbe Thames there, and before sunrise on the seventh of February, was hastening with his rebel band towards Hyde Park. About two o'clock on this eventful morning, the palace of Whitehall was filled with consternation by the news of his approach and expectations. Without a moment's loss every point liable to attack was barricaded, the palace was filled with guards, the Queen's ladies did nothing but weep, wring their hands, and utter bitter lamentations, and Gardiner, on his knees, again besought Mary to seek refuge in the Tower, which she again sternly refused. " I have every confidence," said she, " in the courage and strength of my soldiers and my loyal subjects; and, therefore, will not set them an example of cowardice." At four in the morning the drums beat to arms. The royal forces, amounting to ten thousand infantry and one thousand five hundred cavalry, were mustered, and posted at intervals from Charing Cross to St. James's palace, and at other points in the vicinity, so as to afford the best defence to St. James's and to Whitehall, as the rebels knew not in wmich of these palaces tbe Queen was sojourning. The hill, now known as St. James's Street, opposite St. James's, was occupied with a battery of cannon and a strong squadron of horse, under Lord Clinton. About


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