FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
who, in September, was hanged as a traitor.
In the spring of 1557, Elizabeth, during her abode at Somerset House, paid Mary frequent friendly visits, which the Queen returned by a progress to tbe Princess at Hatfield, and by inviting her to a splendid banquet and pageant at Richmond. About this time, Philip endeavoured to force the Princess to espouse, first, his friend the Prince of Saxony, and afterwards Eric, heir of the great Gustavus Vasa, King of Sweden, liut when Mary found she conscientiously objected to the matches, she made common cause with her against Philip, and for once had the resolution to oppose the will of her husband, by refusing to compel Elizabeth to marry against her will.
In March, Philip re-visited Mary, for the purpose of forcing England into a war with France. She left the decision to her council, who, as the French monarch had played the false friend to her, and incited plots to dethrone her, willingly gratified his wish, The Queen borrowed money to equip her army at the very high interest of twelve per cent. ; and she pardoned most of the rebels in the late insurrection, on condition that they joined this army. Philip left England in July. In August, the Prince of Savoy won "for him the victory of St. Quintin ; but this dearly-purchased acquisition was followed by tbe loss of Calais, in the subsequent January ; and a war with Scotland, which was then united with France under one royal family. The Scots having burst over the border, Mary resolved to head an expedition against them in person. She had the will but not the strength for such an effort. The loss of Calais overwhelmed her with woe, and increased her bodily weakness. "I f mv breast is opened after death," she said, "the word Calais will be found engraven on my heart."
In August, 1-5-58, she experienced a
febrile indisposition at Hampton Court,
and, as she grew worse, removed to St.
James's. II ere it became evident that
her disease was the same fever which,
during tbe wet, ungenial seasons that
marked her reign, had proved fatal to
thousands of her subjects. The tidings of the death of the Emperor, in September, 1558, filled her with sorrow, and produced a violent relapse of the fever. On tbe ninth of November, Conde dc
Eeria arrived with a letter and a ring from Philip to his dying wife, and with secret orders to secure for him the goodwill of the heir to the crown. Mary, who had already named her sister as her successor, cordially welcomed him ; and a few days afterwards, sent Jane Dormer, afterwards Duchess of Feria, to deliver her jewels* to Elizabeth, and to request her to be good to her servants, pay the debts she had contracted on the privy seal, and support the Popish church. *' Elizabeth," says the Duchess, " swore to comply with these requests ; and she prayed God that the earth might open aud swallow her up alive, if she was not a true Koman Catholic."
Whilst the hand of death was on the
Queen, the council pushed forward the
religious persecution with murderous
zeal. Even Underbill, the Hot Gospeller,
although one of Mary's household, was
threatened ; but the bold Protestant de
clared, that if any one dared to serve
him with a warrant not duly signed by
five of the council, he would cut his
head off his shoulders—a remark which
induces a belief that many of the enor
mities committed in Mary's reign were
not even legally sanctioned by the exe
cutive. As lSurnet says, " during the
persecution, seldom more than three of
the council sat in consultation, and these
councils were never attended by the
Queen nor by Cardinal Pole."
When it became evident that the hand
of death was on Mary, the court deserted
her to pay adulation to Elizabeth, their
lutare sovereign. Her real friends, how
ever, remained by her bedside to lighten
her dying moments. On tbe sixteenth
of November, her dissolution commenced:
she remained composed, cheerful, and
conscious to the last momcut. About
four in the morning, on the seventeenth,
* To claim the merit to himself of sending these jewels, Philip caused a present of his own to be added—a valuable casket that he had left at St. James's, and which he knew
i Elizabeth greatly admired.