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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 527



and her clemency but encouraged their treachery. Unpopular as her marriage was, she resolved to proceed with it. Early in March, Count Egmont returned from Brussels with the ratification of the treaty on the part of the Emperor, and, on the subsequent Thursday, he was introduced by Lord Admiral Howard and the Earl of Pembroke to Mary and the lords of her council, in her private orator)'. The Queen, on her knees before the altar, said she called God to witness that she had resolved to marry purely for the good of her kingdom ; she had pledged her faith to her people, nor would she ever permit affection for her husband to seduce her from the performance of this, the first, the most sacred of her duties. After this address, which was delivered with moving and earnest eloquence, she exchanged the ratification of the treaty with tho ambassador, he espoused her in the name of the Prince of Spain, all present united with her in praying that God would make the marriage fortunate and prosperous ; and she put on her finger a rich jewelled ring, sent from the Emperor as a present from bis son. At his departure, Count Egmont inquired if Mary had any commands for Philip. " You may bear him our affectionate commendations," said the Queen ; " and when he has commenced the correspondence, we shall be pleased to write"—a significant hint that she considered herself neglected by her betrothed. The four succeeding months, Penaud, the Emperor's resident ambassador, perpetually urged Mary to bring Courtney and the Princess Elizabeth to the block, assuring her that Philip could not venture to come to England till vengeance had been taken on the rebels who had opposed the marriage. She, however^, turned a deaf ear to the murderous proposal, and so greatly annoyed Renaud by, on Good Friday, and in compliance with established custom, releasing several state prisoners—one of these being Northampton, the brother in-law of Katherine Parr—that he assured her, if she continued her impolitic clemency, his Prince would never comò to England, Gardiner was even more urgent than • Renaud for the destruction of Elizabeth, Î " Hey wood," says he, "sent a warrant, under seal, for her execution ; but the lieutenant of the Tower, suspecting false play, shewed the instrument to the Queen, who denied all knowledge of it, ealled Gardiner and others whom she suspected before her, severely rated them for their inhuman usage of her sister, and, for her better security, placed her under the charge and protection of Sir Henry liedingneld, a gentleman devoted to Mary's interests, but who religiously protected Elizabeth from the murderous attacks of Gardiner and the council." On the second of April, the Queen's third Parliament, although summoned to meet at Oxford, was, apparently at the request of the citizens, ealled together at Westminster. Mary attended with the Lords and the Commons at the mass of the Holy Ghost, in Westminster Abbey; but Gardiner opened the session, and in a set speech introduced the articles of the Queen's marriage. AL though the Parliament ratified these articles, they, to effectually cut off any hopes that Philip or his friends might entertain of his possessing the royal authority in England, refused to make it treason to imagine or attempt the death of the Queen's husband whilst she was alive; and passed a law in which they declared " that her Majesty, as their only Queen, should solely, and as a sole queen, enjoy the crown and sovereignty of her realms, with all the pre-eminence, dignities, and rights thereto belonging, in as large and ample a manner as before, without any title or claim accruing to the Prince of Spain, cither as tenant by courtesy of the realm, or by any other means." Whilst this measure was passing, Mr. Skinner, a patriotic member of the Commons, alarmed the House by declaring, that as the Queen derived her title from the common or oral law, perhaps she would defy all written laws, in which kings only were mentioned as the heads of the nation, and ride despotic Queen of England. Absurd as this alarm, appeared, it was not altogether


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