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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 525

of the blackest spots on the character of Mary; "for," remarks Lvngard, "her youth ought to have pleaded most pow erfully in her favour; and if it were feared that she would again be set up by the factions as a competitor with her Sovereign, tbe danger might certainly have been removed by some expedient less cruel than the infliction of death.'3 Of the conspirators, Wyatt, the Duke of Suffolk, the Lord Thomas Gray, and William Thorney, were executed ; about fifty of tho common men who had deserted the Queen's band under Bret, were hanged at different parts of the metropolis, many being citizens, before their own doors; half-a-dozen suffered in Kent, and the remainder, to the number of five hundred, were led to tbe yard of the palace, with halters round their necks, when the Queon appeared at a balcony above, and pronounced their pardon in person. These executions have induced some writers to charge Mary with unnecessary cruelty, a charge we hesitate to affirm, as the numbers put to death on this occasion were trifling in comparison to the victims of rebellions in the preceding reigns—in that of Elizabeth, and even so near our own times as those of the first and the second Georges. Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, who, there is little doubt, had, at least, countenanced the malcontent, was tried a few days after Wyatt. He defended himself with courage and energy, and when the partial judge, Bromley, endeavoured to browbeat him, he boldly answered : " My Lord Chief Justice, ί did hear when her Majesty was pleased to call you to your honourable office, she said, ' I charge you, sir, to minister the law and justice "indifferently, without respect of person; and, notwithstanding the old error amongst you, which will not admit any \vitnes3 to speak, or other matter to be heard in favour of the adversary, the crown being a party, it is my pleasure that whatever can bo brought in favour of the subject may be admitted and heard; you are to sit there not as advocates for me, but as indifferent judges between me and my people.' " " It was not to me," replied Bromley, " but to Morgan, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, that her Majesty delivered this charge." Sir Nicholas protested that thecbargs applied to all the judges; and then called Sir Francis Inglefield, (a privy councillor and officer of the royal household), who said, "It is true, you were at my house at the time of the rebellion, and quite ignorant of the whole matter." The testimony of this witness induced the wavering jury to pronounce Throgmorton not guilty. The judge was astonished at their boldness, and as they had broken through the long established custom of condemning all prisoners arraigned by the crown, he imprisoned them; the Star Chamber* heavily fined them, and Throgmorton was detained a captive in the Tower. When the Queen heard of these unjust proceedings she liberated Throgmorton, restored him to his titles and estates, and remitted the fines of tbe jury who had honourably acquitted him. When Throgmorton was tried, the Queen was severely indisposed ; her sickness has been attributed to his acquittal by the jury ; indeed, general history asserts that she recommitted him to the Tower ; but the part taken by her confidant, Sir Francis Englefield, is a proof that she was not averse to his acquittal. In truth, it was those members of her privy council which constituted the infamous Star Chamber, that sent him to * This inquisitorial court was instituted by Henry the Seventh, for trials by a committee of tho privy council. It sat in the Star Chamber, in Westminster Palace, defied the laws, corrupted the judges, indicted any amount of punishment it chose on those it selected for its victims; and by cajoling and controlling the crown, gave to the present reign a. character singularly cniel and tyrannical. Fartizau historians have heightened the horrors of its cruel doings during Mary's sovereignty, and laid the whole to tin; charge on her; an injustice, which it is the duty of lier biographer to rectify. Although Mary exercised sovereign sway, she neither possessed the power to dissolve the Cuurt of Star Chamber, narto prevent it from violating law and justices. It had ruled the realm since the death-sickness of Henry the Eighth ; increased in strength during the minority of Kdward the Sixth, and now resolutely refused to bow to the will of a Queen Regnant uf disputed title.

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