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“ Neither you
The talents of queen Elizabeth were not admired by Clement, so much as they had been by Sixtus Quintus, his predecessor. Clement called her “an “ old woman without a husband, and without a “ certain successor. He said she must, at that time, be straitened for money, on account of the greatness of her former expenses : “nor I,” said the pope to the cardinal, “ are so old,
, “ but that we may yet behold her subdued; Eng“ land has been conquered often, and may be con“ quered again.” For the present, however, his holiness thought it would be most prudent to wait the queen's decease.
Under these impressions, “ the pope," says D'Ossat, “ has sent to his nuncio in the Low Countries, “ three briefs, to be kept secret, until he " should be informed of the death of
Eliza“ beth : and then to be forwarded to England; cs
one to the clergy, one to the nobility, and the “ other to the third estate. By these, the three “estates of England were exhorted to bind them“selves to receive a catholic king, whom the pope “ should propose to them; and whom they would “ find agreeable, profitable, and honourable ; and “ all for the glory and honour of God, the restora“ tion of the catholic religion, and the salvation of “their souls.". The cardinal proceeds to mention to the king the reply which he made to the pope; and offers several suggestions on the futility of the project.
His letter contains other interesting circumstances, which show how well the cardinal was infòrmed of every thing that related to the matters in agitation. He describes the persons most active in the business, and an individual residing åt Calais, through whom their correspondence was carried on.
The answer of the king is dated the 24th of December 1601, and shows good sense, a true spirit of justice, and great magnanimity. He treats the project of the pope as a perfect chimera. He observes, that it was founded upon the hopes held out by exiles, promising more than they could perform; feeble inštruments, doubtful friends, and dangerous advisers. The party of lady Arabella, his majesty pronounces to be
weak. “The king of Scot“ land,” he adds, “is the right heir. I desire, like “his holiness, that the kingdom of England should “ fall to the lot of a catholic prince; nor am I
ignorant of the reasons which should make me « wish that the crown of England should be kept
separate from that of Scotland; or of those which "should make me jealous of the connections which " the king of Scotland has in this country. But “it is an injustice to oppose what is just, and an
imprudence to engage in an undertaking so little “ likely to succeed, as that which is proposed by " the pope.—This, my cousin, is what my con“fidence in you, and my openness, have induced
me to write in answer to your letter.—You may “make what use of it you please. But my opinion “ is, that as much as you can, you should keep the pope from opening himself to you respecting the English succession." The king tells the cardinal, in another part of his letter, that the papal project would be attended “ with consequences quite contrary to those which “the pope expected, and render the condition of “ the catholics more miserable than ever, by making “ them take up arms in opposition to the laws of “ the kingdom, and to the lawful succession of the “ reigning monarch.”
Such was the project, which, in the following reign, subjected the pope and the catholics to so much censure. The fact was, that though a family estate was never transmitted from father to son with greater ease than the crown of England passed, on the death of Elizabeth, from the house of Tudor to the house of Stuart, a different scene had been generally apprehended. It had been expected that many competitors to the throne would arise ; and particularly it had been supposed, that the party, which had been principally instrumental in bringing Mary to the scaffold, would not quietly permit her son to ascend the throne. Those, it was thought, looked towards Arabella; and, being a catholic, her claims, it was imagined, would naturally be favoured by that party. These, as we have already observed, constituted, at the time of which we are speaking, the most numerous portion of the subjects of the realm. They considered themselves, therefore, entitled to a vote at the election, and the pope, seconding their views, claimed all their votes and interest for Arabella.
It appears that there were two briefs only ;--one directed to the archpriest and clergy; the other to the nobility and gentry of England. On the
trial of father Garnett, which we shall afterwards have occasion to mention, sir Edward Coke represented them, as enjoining the catholics, “not to “ admit any person, how near soever, upon the line
to the throne, after the queen’s death, unless such
person would not only tolerate the catholic religion, but promote it to the utmost of his
power ; and engage himself by oath, according “ to the custom of his ancestors, for that purpose. That these were the contents of the briefs, father Garnett did not deny. He admitted that they were transmitted to him, but he alleged in his defence that he kept them secret, showed them to very few, and soon after the accession of James, committed them to the flames * He also alleged, that both the
pope, and the superiors of his order, earnestly recommended to the catholics to bear their sufferings with patience, and to abstain from violence of every kind. This is confirmed by the letters both of father Garnett and of father Persons, produced by father Andreas Eudemon, in his defence of Garnett: some of which we shall afterwards notice.
* The writer has not discovered them in any
PROTESTATION OF ALLEGIANCE, PRESENTED TƠ THE QUEEN BY THIRTEEN SECULAR PRIESTS.
1602. ÎN 1602, while this unwise and criminal activity,– for by these terms we must again describe it - was displaying itself on the continent, thirteen priests presented to the council of her majesty a solemn protestation of allegiance, expressed in terms extremely well calculated to remove the prejudices entertained by the sovereign and the public against the general body of the catholics. We shall first mention the circumstance which led to this measure; then, insert the protestation.
On the 5th November 1601, the queen issued a singular proclamation * She notices in it, the dissentions between the secular and the regular clergy, and the combination, as she terms it, of some of the former with the latter; she then intimates, that the seculars, who preserved their integrity, were, in her consideration, less blameable than the regulars, or those who combined with them: she then orders all to depart the realm, within a time expressed,“ except such as, before a mem“ber of the privy council, a bishop, or the presi“ dent of Wales, should acknowledge allegiance “ and duty to her ;-with whom she should then “ take such further order as should be thought most “ fit and convenient.”
* Printed in Rymer's Fædera.