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small pleasur; nothyng consyderyng hys honour wyche thys mater toucheth not a lytel ; for so muche as I at sundry tymes declared unto hym the only cause of my repayre into those partyes, was for the comoditie of that parke, wyche els I wold not have done ; he notwythstandyng hathe so. used the mater with gyvyng Master Long suche courage, that he refuseth to receyve such cattell as are bought for the provysyon of my house; and so in the meane tyme I am forced to comytt them to fermers. My Lord, I beseche yow send me worde with spede, how I schall use my self to my new brother. And thus I take my leve with my moost humble and harty commendatyons, wyschyng yow all yowr godly desyres, and so well to do as I wold myself and better. From Chelsey in grett haste.. By your humble true and lovyng wyfe in her hart,
KATERYN THE QUENE, K. P.-P. 61. My Lord, Thys shalbe to desyre you to receyve my humble and moost harty recommendatyons and thanks for your letter, whyche was no soner come than welcome. I percey ve ye have had no lytell trobell and busyness with your mater : I never thowght the contrary, but ye schuld have muche ado to brynge yt to passe as ye wold have yt, neverthelesse I supposed my Lorde Protectour wold have used no delay with his frend and naturall brother in a mater wyche ys upright and just, as I take yt. What wyll he do to other that be indyfferent to hym I juge not very well. I pray God he may dysceyve me, for hys owne welthe and benyfyte more than for myne none. Now I have uttered my coler, I schall desyre yow, good my Lord, with all hart not to unquyett yourself with any of hys unfrindely parts, but bere them for the tyme as well as ye can ; wyche I knowe ys moche bettre than ether myne advyse or doyng can expresse. I am very sory for the newes of the Frenche men: I pray God yt be not a latte to our journey : as sone as ye knowe what they will do, good my Lord, I beseche yow lett me here from yow, for I shall not be very quyett tyll I knowe. I gave your lytell knave yowr blessing who lyke an onest man styred apase after and before ; for Mary Odell beyng a bed wyth me had layd her hand upon my belly to fele yt styre. Yt hathe styred thyse thre dayes every mornyng and evenyng, so that I trust whan ye come, it wyll make you sum passe tyme. And thus I end, byddyng my sweet hart and lovyng husband better to fare than my self.
From Hanworth thys Saterday in the mornyng. My Lord, I thanke yow with all my hart for Master Hotton, desyryng yow to contynewe hys good, or els I fere me he schall never lyve in quyet with my Lord Dacres, to whom I pray yow make my recomendatyons, asseuryng hym that I wyll be hys frend, in case he use Master Hotton well; or els hys ennemy.
By your most lovyng obedyent and humble wyff,
KATERYN THE QUENE, K.P.-P. 62. The “ little knave,” to which her Majesty so delicately alludes, caused her death, as she died in childbed on the 5th of September in the same year, though some writers have had the
confidence to assert that she was poisoned by her husband. The child proved to be a girl, and was born in September, 1548 : it survived both its parents, but died an infant. With the exception of a few documents relating to Sir William Sheryngton, Vice-Treasurer of the Mint at Bristol, who was suspected of malversation in that office, the next relate to the conduct of the Lord Admiral. Before we allude more particularly to them, a short review must be taken of that nobleman's career, since some knowledge of it is necessary to understand the passages which will be extracted.
In a memoir of Lord Seymour by Mr. Lodge, distinguished, like every other production of that writer's pen, by its elegance, a most unfavourable view is taken of his character. Those opinions have been chiefly, if not entirely, formed from the confessions of his servants which were for the first time printed in this volume ; but we confess we cannot attribute to them quite so much importance as that writer has done. That Seymour was jealous of his brother's power, we have already admitted; nor are we disposed to deny that he was endowed with a boundless ambition. The story that he poisoned his wife, Katherine Parr, is one of those idle fables which are unworthy of a moment's credit; and the suspicion of it, as well as of his unkindness to her, rest only upon the equivocal testimony of Lady Tyrwhit. Until the death of Henry the Eighth, the Lord Admiral and his brother had, to use the words of the distinguished biographer whom we have cited, “ manifested a mutual cordiality and confidence. The constant favour of Henry had left no room for alarm in the . timid breast of the one, and the haughty strictness of his rule had curbed the swelling pride of the other; but the death of that imperious prince was the signal for their total disunion.” According to Mr. Lodge's representation, from that moment Seymour, who was soon afterwards created Lord Seymour of Sudley and Lord Admiral, devoted himself to the attainment of his ambitious designs. His first step was to gain the hand of the widow of his late sovereign : but higher hopes speedily dawned upon him; and it has been said that the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth, and Lady Jane Grey, were the successive objects of his attention; that with the Princess Elizabeth he was on terms of improper familiarity during his wife's life-time, whom he removed by a violent death, that she might be no obstacle to his wishes; that he used every effort to form a powerful party to oppose his brother the Protector's authority, and strove to gain the favour of the young monarch by presents of money, and to prejudice him against his eldest uncle. Of nearly all these offences his biographer has found proof in the “ confessions," as they are termed, of his servants, his friends, and his
sovereign; and as the most material parts of their statements will be abstracted, our readers will be able to judge for themselves of the correctness of those accusations, without our being obliged to deviate so much from the object of this review as to enter into a discussion on the subject. Even if the extraordinary historical facts which they develop do not justify the devotion of so much space as they will occupy, the private anecdotes which they present of Edward the Sixth, the Princess afterwards Queen Elizabeth, Lady Jane Grey, the Protector, and the principal individual concerned, Lord Seymour, as well as of other illustrious personages of the times, undoubtedly do so. The first “ confession” which occurs is that of Wyghtman, one of the Lord Admiral's servants. He merely stated that frequent conferences had been held between Thomas Parry, the cofferer to the Princess Elizabeth, and the Lord Admiral; that Nicholas Throkmorton and himself had discussed his master's prospects since the death of the Queen; and that he had endeavoured to restrain him from “ offring such extremity” to some persons with whom he had disputes about “ his owne pryvate gayne;" and also“ frome wryting of suche sharpe and unsavery letters to my Lord Protectour's grace;" but without effect, he adds, " for if he had oones conceyved opynion by his owne perswasions, neyther lawyer nor other could turne him 1.” Sir Robert Tyrwhit, in his letters to the Protector, dated at Hatfield, on the 22nd of January, 1548-9, asserts, that when the Princess Elizabeth knew,
“ That boyth Mestrys Aschlay and her cofferer was put into the Towre, she was marvelous abashede, and ded wepe very tenderly a long tyme, demandyng of my Lady Browne, wether they had confessed eny thyng or not; wych my Lady Browne incontenley declared unto me. Whereupon her Grace dyd sende for me, who at my comyng declared, that she had forgottyne sertayne thyngs to be opened to my Lord grett Master and Master Denne, wych she wold opyne unto me, and alle other thyngs wych she coulde call to her remembranse that she donne; the affect wherof was no more but concerning a letter that she had wryttene to my Lord Admyrall in the favor of her chaplayne Alene; and in the end of the same she mayd request to credyt her trusty servant, her cofferer, in all other thyngs. But she sayth she dyd meyne in that point that my Lorde Admyrall shuld be sewter to your grace for Durhame Place; the sayd letter beyng wryttene and devysed by the cofferer, and delivered by hyme to my Lord Admyrall. And the other ys thys, that her cofferer dyd wrytt to Mestrys Aschlay, that my Lorde Admyrall wold se her in hys way goyng to Sewdlay; wherin Mestrys Aschlay dyd answer by her letter agayne, that he shuld in no weye
come hether for feyr of suspicyon : she declarynge the affect of her letter to my Lady's Grace; her Grace was mych offendyd with her, and advysed her not to wryte so, because she wold not have her to take apone her the knowledge of eny sych thyng. After all thys, I dyd requyre her to consider her honor and the parell that myght insewe, for she was but a subject: and I further declared what a womane Mestrys Ashlay was, with a long syrcumstance, saying, that yf she wold opyne all thynges her selffe, that all the eyll and shayme shuld be ascry byd to them, and her yowth consedered boywth wyth the Kyng's Magesty, your Grace, and the hool consell: But in no waye she will not confesse eny practys by Mestrys Aschlay or the cofferer, consarnyng my Lord Admirall; and yet do I se yt in her face that she ys guylte, and do parsav as yet, she wyll abyd no stormys, or she ackews Mestrys Aschlay. Upone sodene news that my Lorde grett Master and Master Denne was arryved at the gatt, the cofferer went hastely to his chamber, and sayd to my lady hys wyffe, I wold I had never beyne bourne, for I am undone, and wrange hys hands, and cast away his cheyne from his necke, and hys ryngs from hys fingers. Thys ys confessed by hys owne servant and dyvers wytnes of the sayme. My lady hys wyffe ys at London, wher yowr grace may caws her to be examyned. Another of his servants doth confesse that at hys comyng into hys chambre, he loked very pall and sorowfull, and dyd marvell much at the same. At thys present I can fynde no mor matter wurthe the wryttyng, but comyt your Grace to the levyng God wyth mych honor.”—Pp. 70, 71.
In his next letter, dated at Hatfield on the following day, he informs his employer, that “ by gentyll perswasione” he had begun “ to grow wyth her in credit," and that in reply to his question whether, if the council consented she would marry the Lord Admiral, she replied with spirit, that “ she would not tell him what her mind was therein;" but demanded “what he meant, and who bade him ask that question;" and he concluded by assuring the Protector, that “ she hath a very good wytt and nothyng ys gottene off her, but by gret pollyse.” It is material to remember, that at that time Elizabeth was fifteen years and four months old, and had just completed her fifteenth year when Seymour was accused of maintaining an improper intercourse with her.
Wyghtman made another “confession” on the 23rd January; but it merely states that the Lord Admiral had written numerous letters, chiefly about recovering the jewels which Henry the Eighth had given to Katherine Parr, and that among others he had addressed the Princess Mary on the subject. A copy of that letter, which was dated on the 17th of December, is inserted. He begs her Highness to tell him whether the King had given Katherine the jewels, or only lent them to her for the occasion ; and in accordance with the manners of the age, supports his request by a gist :
“ I have sent your Grace this bearer to wayte upon you this Christenmas and to renewe and bring to your remembraunce suche lessons as I thinke youe have forgotten, because at my late being at St. Jones I saw never a payre of virgynalls stirring in all thole house ; wisheng that I had soome other thing that might be more pleasaunte and acceptable unto your Grace.”—P. 73.
The next statement is that of the King, and which is too interesting in itself, and too important with respect to the accusations brought against Seymour, to be abridged :
« The Lorde Admyrall cam to me in the tyme of the last Parliament at Westminster, and desyred me to wryght a thyng for hym. I asked hym what: He sayd it was no yll thyng, it is for the Quene's Majesty. I sayd if it were good, the Lords wold allow it; if it were yll, I wold not wryght in it. Than he sayd they wold take it in better parte if I wold wryght. I desyred hym to lett me alone in that matter. Cheke sayd afterwards to me; ye were not best to wryght. At another tyme within this two yere at lest, he sayd, ye must take apon you yourself to rule, for ye shall be hable enough as well as other kyngs; and than ye may geve your men sumwhat; for your unkell is olde, and I trust wyll not lyve long. I answered, it were better that he shuld dye. Than he sayd, ye ar but even a very beggarly kyng now, ye have not to play or to geve to your servaunts. I sayd, Mr. Stanop had for me. Than he sayd, he wold geve Fowler money for me, and so he dyd, as Fowler told me. And he gave Cheke money as I bad hym; and also to a boke-bynder, as Belmayn can tell; and to dyverse others at that tyme, I remembre not to whom. The Lord Admirall tolde me theise thyngs before at diverse tyme, twise or thrise. Fowler oftentymes sayd to me, ye must thanke my Lord Admirall for gentylnes that he shewed you, and for hys money, and was alwey praising of hym.
EDWARD!.” “In the month of September, Anno Domini 1547, the Lord Admirall told me, that my Lorde Protectour went to Scotland, but that he shulde never passe the Pease without losse of a great nombre of men, or of hymself; and therefor that he spent a great summ of money in vayn. At the returne of my Lorde my uncle, the Lord Admirall sayd, I was to bashfull in myne owne matters, and asked me why I did not speak to beare rule, as other kynges do. I seyd I neded not, for I was well enough. When he went into hys contrey, he desyred me, that yf any thing were sayd agaynst hym, that I shuld not beleve it, tyll he cam hymself.
EDWARD.”—P.74. A singular proof of the want of money which the young monarch experienced is afforded by a letter from Fowler to the Lord Admiral, dated at St. James's, on the 26th of June, 1547, but which the editor has erroneously assigned to the year 1548.
From the original, signed by the King.