Images de page

the Lord Strange, the earl's son, and all the manhood of Lancashire and Cheshire, would go over the seas and fetch the earl home. A matter for no purpose to be spoken of, but to note the force of the love which the people do bear to the earl, who, with his son, is firmly bent against the pope.

The Earl of Bath also, lieutenant of Devonshire, had, as is said, great forces of his own ready to have impeached the landing of any strangers in Devonshire. The Earl of Pembroke also, being lieutenant of Somersetshire and Wiltshire, and lord president of all Wales, was ready to have come to the Queen with three-hundred horsemen, and five-hundred footmen, all of his own retiuue, leaving all the countries under his charge fully furnished.

I omit hear to speak of the bands of horseinen, belonging to the Earls of Northumberland and Cumberland, which, though they were ready to have been shewed at the same time, yet de carls, hearing of the Spanish army approaching, went voluntarily to the sea-side in all haste, and came to the Queen's navy before the fight afore Calais. Where they, being in several of the Queen's ships, did, with their own persons, valiant services against the King's Armada : and, to shew the great readiness in a generality of sundry others at the same time, to adventure their lives in the said service, there went to the sea at the same time divers, gentlemen of good reputation, who voluntarily, without any charge, and without knowledge of the Queen, put theinselves into the Queen's navy in sundry ships, wherein they served at the fight before Calais ; of which number, being very great, I remembei that the names of some of them were these: Mr. Henry Brook, son and heir to the Lord Cobham, Sir Thomas Cecil, son and heir to the lord treasurer, Sir William Hatton, heir to the lord chancellor, Sir Horatio Pallavicino, a knight of Genoa, master Robert Cary, son to the Lord Hunsdon, Sir Charles Blunt, brother to the Lord Montjoy. But much speech is of two gentlemen of the court that went to the navy at the same time, whose names are Thomas Gerard, and William Hervy, to me not known, but now here about London spoken of with great fame. These two-adventured out of a ship-boat, to scale the great galliass, wherein Moncada was, and entered the sainc only with their rapiers; a matter commonly spoken, that never the like was hazarded before, considering the height of the galliass compared to a ship-boat.

And yet, to make it inore manifest, how carnest all sorts of noblemeri, and gentlemen, were to adventure their lives this service, it is reported that the Earl of Oxford, who is one of the most antient earls of this land, went also to the sca to serve in the Queen's army. There went also, for the same purpose, a second son of the lord treasurer, called, as I can remember, Robert Cecil : there went also, about that time, to the scas, the Lord Dudley, an antient baron of the realm, and Sir Walter Raleigh, a gentleman of the Queen's privy chamber, and in his company a great number of young gentlemen, amongst whom I remember the names of the heir of Sir Thomas Cecil, called William Cecil, of Edward Darcy, Arthur George, and such others; with the rehearsul of whom I do not comfort myself, but only to shew you, how far we have been

deceived, to think that we should have had a party here for us, when, as we see both by land and sea, all sorts of men were so ready of their own charges, without either commandment or entertainment, to adventure their lives in defence of the Queen and the realm.

And for the Earl of Huntingdon's forces, being lieutenant general in the north, it is reported, that he hath put in readiness for an army in Yorkshire, and other countries commonly limited to serve against Scotland; to the number of forty-thousand well-armed footmen, and near hand ten-thousand horsemen, to come to him, if any occasion of invasion should be in the north parts, to whom are joined with their forces three lords in the north, the Lord Scroop, Lord Darcy, and Lord Euers.

There are also divers other lords that are lieutenants of countries, that have in readiness of their proper charges good numbers of horsemen: as the Earl of Kent, lieutenant of Bedfordshire, the Lord Hunsdon, lord chamberlain, Lieutenant of Norfolk and Suffolk, the Lord Cobham, Lieutenant of Kent, the Lord Gray of Buckinghamshire, the Lord North of Cambridgeshire, Lord Chandos of Gloucestershire, Lord St. John of Huntingdonshire, Lord Buckhurst of Sussex; and so, by this particular recital not unmeet for your knowledge, it is to be nated what disposition the nobility of the realm had, at this time, to hare withstood all invasion. And, if perchance you shall perusc your ordinary catalogue of the great lords of the realm, you shall find, that these are the substance of all the great Lords, saving three young carls, within age, Rutland, Southampton, and Bedford; all three brought up in perverse religion. And so remaineth to be spoken of the Earl of Arundel, who is in the tower, for atteinpting to have fled out of the realm, by provocation of him that now is Cardinal Allen; who, howsoever he may be affected to the catholick religion, yet I hear most certainly that he offereth his life in defence of the Queen against all the world.

And where account was made to have a party in this realm, which by these former relations appcar could not be possible, the whole nobility being assured to the Queen, and the force of the people not violently bent that way; in this very time was offered to the Queen as great a party for her, to come to her service, and defence of the realm, as, out of all christendom, she should not have to all respects a stronger: which was the King of Scots, who, hearing of the intended invasion of the realm, sent a gentlemen to the Queen, with his letter, as I credibly heard, to offer her all the power that he had to defend her and her realm ; and, if she so would, he would come in his own person, and hazard his own life, to defend this realm against all invaders, for religion, or any other pretence whatsoever. So by this you may see, what account may be made of any vain promises, made in the name of this king. And, because you shall perceive that I have good means to have intelligence of any other forces of the realm for defence thereof, it is most certain, as I hear, and I have seen a list or roll of a great number both of horsemen and footmen, which the bishops of the realm have of their own charges, with the contribution of the clergy, raised up in bands of horsemen and footmen, which are to be led by noble gentlemen at the Queen's nomination; and those bands must be vainly termed, Milites Sacri; i. e. holy knights.

As to the last point of the three foundations of the principal hope conceived, whereupon the invasion was chiefly grounded and taketi in hand, which was most certainly and generally believed, that there should be found here in the realm a strong party of catholicks, against the Queen, to join and assist the invaders, upon the appearing of the Spanish navy; by my former relations of the general, great, and fervent love of the people towards the Queen, and of the great offers of service now made by the whole nobility of the realm, this their foundation inay appear to have been wrong laid, only by vain imaginations, as it were, upon a quicksand, or rather as flying in the air. And yet it appeareth very truly that no small account was made hereof by the King of Spain, and by his principal ministers; for there is nothing at this present more universally, with one lamentable voice, spuken of, by all the multitude of the Spaniards, now here prisoners, yea by the chiefest of them, than that they now evidently sce, that the King their master was with such informations greatly abused, yea rather betrayed. For they say, there was no man of value in all this army, but he heard it constantly affirmed, and so delivered for confort of all that served therein, before they were shipped, that they should not be afraid of any resistance to land in England, for that there was good assurance given to the King, that they should find a strong army of catholicks ready in their favour, as soon as ever their navy should be seen upon the sea coast, and so they all here say they were encouraged to come to this journey; otherwise, many of them swear they would never have come of ship-board ; so unlikely, they say, it was, and against all reason, to invade a rcalm, with opinion to conquer it, without both some title of right, and a party also, but especially without a good sure party.

And, therefore, now finding this report very falsc, many of these prisoners do by name curse you, as being the King's ambassador ; as him, they say, who, upon the opinion of the knowledge which you had gotten in England, was therein more credited than any other, and had these many years together tempted the King, their master, upon hope, and other such like persuasions, to attempt such a matter as this was; being utterly in all wisdom to have been condemned, without some certainty of this latter part, especially tu have had a strong party here. They also curse all such Englishmen as have fled out of this country, whom they spare not to call arrant tray, tors, for offering the sale of their country to the Pope and the King of Spain. And these prisoners add also, that they were borne in band, that this country was so open to march in, and so weak to withstand any force, and the people so miserable, as they thought the conquest thereof had been of no more difficulty than the overcoming of a number of naked Indians was at the beginning of the conquest thereof by King Ferdinand.

And now, for strength of this country and people: many of these prisoners having been brought froin the sea-cvasts bither iv London, whereby they have observed the country and the people, do speak mat


vellously thereof, counting the same invincible, otherwise than by treason of some great party within the realm. But whether all these speeches, which are commonly reported of them, proceed from their hearts, or tbat they speak thus to please the English, because they are well used by them, who also are casily deceived with Aattery, I know not; but sure I am they do thus speak daily, with outward shew of great passions against such as have been persuaders to the King for this journey. Divers of them also which are of good judgment, and have heard of such of the English banished men as have been in Spain, and have known some of then there (as of long time Sir Francis Englefield, and of late, the Lord Paget and his brother) have curiously inquired, of what power they were and credit here, to have a party. They also inquired of the Earl of Westmoreland; although of him they confess he is a man but of small government. But our adversaries here have so abased these and all the rest, to have been of no credit to carry any numbers of men, but by the Queen's authority, when they were at their best; as their prisoners wonder how the King could be so deceived to give them pensions, otherwise than for charity, because of their religion. But they confess they have often heard in Spain, how the King was once notably deceived, when one Thomas Stukeley, a private Englishman, who fled out of Ireland for debt and other lewd actions into Spain, not being worth one penny, his debts being paid, and but the second son of a mean gentleman, pretended, and was believed in Spain (by so intitling himseli') to be a duke, a marquis, and an earl of Ireland, and so was a long time entertained, as a man that could do great service against the Queen of England; until, at length, the King understood his falshoor, and banished him Sout of pain. And after, repairing to Roine, was by the Pope also maintained for a time, until he was discovered even by some good catholicks, that could not endure the Pope's Holiness to be so grossly mocked; of whom, some of the prisoners, using merry speeches, how both the Emperor Charles, and afterwards this King and the Pope, were so notably deceived by this Stukeley, do conclude merrily, that they think some of these English, that have thus abused the King, have followed Stukeley's steps. And, in very truth, I and many others have been very often ashamed to hear so broad speeches of the King and of the Pope, yea, of the Emperor Charles, whom such a companion, as Stukeley was, could so notably deceive; and it was the more to be marvelled, how he could deceive the Catholick King, considering he was known to many of his council, at the King's being in England, to have been but a vaunting beggar, and a ruffian, and, afterwards, a pirate against the Spaniards.

Now, my lord ambassador, by these my large relations of the evil things past, and of the opinions of such as I have lately dealt withal, with mine own conceit also, which I do not vainly imagine, your Lordship may sce, in the first part, our present calamily, and miserable edte: in the second part, the state of this Queen, her realm, her people, their minds, their strength; so far contrary to the expectation of the Pope's Holiness, the King Catholick, and especially of you (my Lord) and all others that have been in hand these many years with this action, as I know not what course shall, or may be thought meet to take,



seeing it is seen by experience, that by force, our cause cannot be relieved. Neither will any change amend the matter, when this Queen shall, end her days, as all princes are mortal. For both the universality of the people, through the realm, are so firmly and desperately bent against our religion, as nothing can prevail against their united forces : and whosoever shall by right succeed to this crown, after the Queen (who is likely to live as long as any king in christendom) if the crown should come to the King of Scots, or to any other of the blood royal, as there are very many, within this realm, descended both of the royal houses of York and Lancaster, there is no account to be made, but every one of them, that now live at this day, are known to be as vehemently disposed to withstand the authority of the Pope, as any of the most carnest protestants or hereticks in the world. So as to conclude, after all circumstances well considered, for the present, I know no other way, but to commit the cause to Almighty God, and to all the saints in heaven, with our continual prayers; and in earth, to the holy counsels of the Pope, and his cardinals, with our supplications to relieve the afflicted number of our exiled brethren, and to send into the realm discreet, holy, and learned men, that may only, in secret manner, without intermeddling in matters of estate, by teach: ing us, confirm us in our faith, and gain, with charitable instruction, others that are not rooted in heresy.

And for relief of such as are forced to pay yearly great sums of money out of their revenue, because they forbear to come to the church, it were to be charitably considered, whether there might not be some dispensation from the Pope's holiness, for some few years, to tolerate their coming to the church, without changing of their faith: considering a great number do stand therein, not for any thing, as they say, used in this church, that is directly contrary to God's law, but for that the rites and prayers, though they are collected out of the body of the scripture, are not allowed by the catholick church, and the head thereof, which is the Pope's holiness.: and for that cause justly, all true catholicks account this church to be schismatical: by which remedy of toleration, a great number of such, as will be perpetually catholicks, might enjoy their livings and liberty; and, in process of time, the catholick religion, by God's goodness, might, with more surety be increased, to the honour of God, than ever it can be by any force whatsoever. For so did all Christian religion, at the first begin, and spread itself over the world; not by force, but only by teaching, and example of holiness in the teachers, against all human forces. And so I will end my long letter, with the sentence which King David used four times in one da his psalms. Et clamaverunt ad, dominum in tribulatione eorum, & de angustia eorum liberavit eos* : and so must we make that for our foundation to lay our hope upon, for all other hopes are vain and false.

[blocks in formation]

• And they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distressi

« PrécédentContinuer »