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thereof, not doubting but your good service and worthyness shall answer our expectations." Sir James's “bounty and honourable dealing towards the Irish” was, Campion informs us, remembered by them with gratitude"; "and his evill successes, in good attempts, whilst Deputy of Ireland,” says Hollingshed, “ did not answer his valour and good deserts, and albeit the time of his government was not long ;" yet he adds," he continued until the death of Edward the Sixth,” but this assertion is not strictly correct, for he returned to England in December, 1552, when Sir Thomas Cusack and Sir Gerard Aylmer were intrusted with the government of Ireland in consequence of his absence 3. It is evident that his proceedings there did not give satisfaction to the English Privy Council; but the only documents which would throw light on the subject, Sir James Croft's correspondence, are for the present concealed from the world, by the silly regulation respecting the contents of the State Paper Office, to which we have before alluded. That he was not recalled in disgrace, may be inferred, by his being about that time constituted deputy constable of the Tower 5.
The accession of Queen Mary produced a temporary revolution in Sir James's fortunes; and the rigour with which he was treated admits of no other conclusion, than that he was inimical to her government and authority. He was removed from the deputy constableship of the Tower the day after the death of Edward the Sixth ®, and more than one writer asserts, that he was implicated in Wyatt's conspiracy?. Stow 8 infornis us, that he quitted London on the 23rd or 25th of January, 1554, to raise forces in Wales; and these statements are supported by the fact of his being delivered to the custody of Mr. Mitton, and committed to the Tower on the 21st of February, 1554, by order of the Privy Council. On the 17th of April following, he was arraigned on a charge of high treason at Guildhall, with Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, and convicted"; but Mary spared his life, though he was remanded to the Tower, where he seems to have remained until the 18th of January, 1555, when he was
1 “Campion's Historie of Ireland,” forming part of “the Historie of Ireland, col. lected by three learned authors, viz. Meredith Hanmer, Edmund Campion, and Edmund Spenser." Dublin, 1633, folio, p. 124.
• Hollingshed's Irish Chronicle, vol. vi. p. 325.
"Successions of England's Monarchs.”
“bounde" over to a “good abearinge," and fined 5001. According to Heywood, he had been suspected of treasonable designs in favour of the Princess Elizabeth ; and whilst she was in the Tower, he says,
“ Gardiner, with divers others of the council, came to have a second examination of her, demanding what conference she had with Sir James Acroffts, being then a prisoner in the Tower, and brought into her presence on set purpose to confront her, alleadging that the speech, which they had privately, was about her removal from Abridge to Dunnington Castle. At the first shee was somewhat amazed, not remembring that shee had any such house; but having recollected herself, she said 'as touching my remove to Dunnington, my officers, and you, Sir James Crofts, being then present, can wel testifie, whether any rash or unbeseeming word did at that time passe my lippes, which might not have well become a faithful and loyal subject. The Earl of Arundell having replied, “Sir James Crofts kneeled unto her, being heartily sory that ever hee should see that day to bee a witnesse against her, taking God to witnesse that hee never knew anything by her worthy of the least suspicion.””-Heywood's England's Elizabeth, 12mo. 1631, p. 141.
Within less than three years, however, from the time of his enlargement, Sir James recovered the Queen's confidence, for in August, 1557, he was employed in her service in the North, under the Earl of Shrewsbury?, and Lord Wharton 3; but whether, as Mr. Lodge conjectures, as a member of the council there, or as a Lord of the Marches, is uncertain, though there can be no question that his situation was of some importance, and the Earl of Shrewsbury, on one occasion, praises his conducta.
No sooner had Elizabeth succeeded to the throne, than being actuated, either by a sense of his merits, or perhaps by gratitude for the fidelity which he had displayed towards her, she bestowed unequivocal proofs of her esteem upon him. Sir James was restored in blood on the 3rd March, 15595, in the first year of her reign, and was soon afterwards appointed Governor of Berwick 6.
1 Proceedings of the Privy Council, Harleian MSS. 643, f. 29. The sum paid to
3 Ibid. p. 271.
6 Sadler's State Papers, vol. i. p. 471. The following is a list of the lands granted to him from the 1st to the 13th Queen Elizabeth :
Anno primo 5th August. Jacobo Croft militi. Diversas decimas in Luston et Eyton Manerii de Luston. Herefordshire. (No rent stated.)
Anno 13mo. Jacobo Croft militi. Boscum vocat: Longbeach Wood, Kent. Rent 1342.
The Queen made grants of lands in Herefordshire to Thomas Croft, in the 5th, 7th, and 9th years of her reign. He appears to have been Thomas Croft the brother of Sir James, who married Audrey, daughter of Sir Philip Paris of Lynton, in Cambridgeshire, Knight. Addit. MSS. 5510.
On the 5th of August, in that year, instructions were issued to the Earl of Northumberland, Sir Ralph Sadler, and Sir James Croft, to treat with the ministers of the Queen Dowager of Scotland ? ; and a letter was written to Sadler and him on the 15th of that month by the Privy Council, in which he is addressed as Captain of the town and castle of Berwick. It would exceed the limits of this memoir to detail his proceedings whilst he held that situation, of which minute accounts will be found in the Sadler and Burghley papers, where great part of his correspondence occurs 4. His colleague, Sir Ralph Sadler, thus describes him, in one of his letters to Sir William Cecill, from Berwick, in September, 1559, recommending him for the situation of Warden of the Marches, an office which he was unwilling to accept because of his poverty, and because Scotland did not agree with his health : “ He is surely the metest man that I do knowe, bothe to have the charge of this towne as he hathe, and also to be Warden of the East Marches 5 ;” and he adds, that if he “ wolde take uppon him that charge, I beleve you can not finde a meter man in England 5." In September, 1559, a skirmish took place on Morham Chase, near Berwick, when a party of the garrison was surprised by a body of Scots and French from Eyemouth, while engaged in collecting forage, but on Sir James Croft's appearing with a reinforcement, the enemy retired and the English remained masters of the field. On the 28th of February, 1560, the Queen informed the Duke of Norfolk that she had selected Sir James Croft to accompany Lord Grey in the attempt to remove the French forces; and “for his entertainment during his absence,” the Duke was to determine “ what should seem convenient for his degree with authority to be chief of counsel with the Lord Grey, and the second person there for our service, in case of the lack of the Lord Grey to take charge and entertainment?;" and the intimation to Sir James of his appointment by the Privy Council was worded in the most flattering terms. In April, 1560, he and Sir George Howard had an interview with the Queen Dowager at Edinburgh 9 : in the same month he was second in command at the siege of Leith, where his conduct was loudly complained of by the Duke of Norfolk; and as the charges brought against him were of a very serious nature, it is necessary to enter into a short discussion on the
Sadler's State Papers, vol. i. p. 387, and Haynes's Burghley Papers, p. 211. 2 Ibid. vol. i. p. 471. 3 Haynes's Burghley Papers, pp. 221 to 228, 231 to 233, 235 to 237, 253 to 258. * See also the Cottonian Mss., Caligula, B. vii. 3 Sadler's State Papers, vol. i. p. 471. 6 Hollingshed, and Sadler's State Papers, vol. i. p. 483. 7 Haynes's Burghley Papers, pp. 256-7. 8 Ibid, pp. 257-8. • Ibid, p. 279.
subject. That the attempt against Leith was unsuccessful is well known, and the failure was attributed to a want of co-operation on the part of Sir James. In a letter from the Duke of Norfolk to Cecill, dated on the 26th of April, he observes: “I must needs say plainely to you, therebe two in the feld, the one so far to seek, the other so desperate as nothing proceedeth ;" and he evidently imputes the want of success to Croft's constantly treating with, instead of assaulting, the besieged'. The measures adopted against Leith were so unsatisfactory to Norfolk and the Privy Council, that Sir Peter Carew was sent to inquire into the affair, who, among other things, was instructed to obtain the opinions of Lord Grey, Sadler, Croft, and others, on the best means of surprising and taking the town?. In this attempt success appeared hopeless; and suspicion having been excited of Sir James Croft's conduct, the Duke of Norfolk summoned him to Berwick to await the arrival of Cecill : but on the 2nd of June, Norfolk, in a letter to the Queen, expressly charged Sir James with having encouraged the garrison of Berwick in robbery, by his “unsatiable pilling and polling;" and his Grace added, he had “ used hymself so suspiciouslye in this your Maiesties last servyes, (as partly I did advertize your Highnes by my cousin Percye,) as having the choise putt to me, by your Maiesties lettres, of sending hym upp or stayeing hym here, I durst doe non other, for avoiding of worse, but delyver hym your Highnes lettres, for repayring to the courte; whose disordynatt doings if they may skape unpunysshable, lett your Maiesty ever thinke hereafter rather to be worse served then better. These three things are hable to be tried to his face: First, that sythens his going into Scotland, he hath goon about by all meanes to discorage your Majesty's freends in Scotland, and, howsoever he was affected at the first, I knowe not, but I found hym never but against thes your Majesties proceedings; the daunger whereof, the caase standing as nowe it dooth, I truste your Majestie dothe wel ynoughe consider, if he had been hable to do, according to his good will: Secundarly, as it is to be tryed by all those that were in the fild, at the daye of th’assault he did hoolly neglect his dewtie and charge committed unto hym: Thirdly, his manifest deceaving of your Majestie, which, consideryng the great disorder is rysen therebye, I do not accompt for the lest of his ill doings. All thes are to be tryed to his face, besides many other gret presumptions of greter matters, which whensoever your Majesty shall commaund me, I will declare to any one, who may retorne to your Majesty with report therof I trust your Highnes woll waye your own estate, and the daungers that maye ensewe by suffring of ony such disorders to skape unpunnysshed."
1 Haynes's Burghley Papers, p. 299. 2 Ibid. p. 310.
3 P. 327. VOL. 1. -PART III.
On the 15th of that month Cecill, speaking of these robberies to Sir William Petre from Berwick, says, “ It have been no small fault of Sir J. C. which is now there, both to give example and to nourish them therein : surely his fault in that part be too evident in this town, whereof I am sorry'.” Croft was accordingly sent to the court to answer these charges ? ; but the only notice of any proceedings on the question which has been discovered, is the following entry in Lord Burghley's Journal :
* 1560.' August 19th, Sir James Crofts was charged with sundry defaults both by the Duke of Norfolk and the Lady Gray, before the council at Winchester 3."
The result of this investigation, according to Camden, was his removal from the government of Berwick, which was given to Lord Grey; but that writer acquits Croft of any defect of courage on the occasion ; though he says, that from his objecting to the attack on Leith, the cause of the defeat" lay at his door; for that he not approving the design (whether out of his real opinion, or favour of the French, or malice to Grey, I will not take upon me to determine), had stayed at his post, like an idle spectator, without offering to support the distrest party;" and adds, “ that both Norfolk and Grey also accused him in their private letters to the Queen of maintaining a secret correspondence with the Queen Regent of Scotland, and opposing this expedition.”
The greater part of these charges were probably unfounded, since no heavier punishment was inflicted on Sir James than his removal from the command of Berwick. It may, indeed, be doubted whether his being superseded in his government of that town was considered a mortification ; for, whilst he held it, he complained that the country did not agree with his health, and it was scarcely possible, with any regard to the advantage of the Queen's service, that he should be again joined to colleagues with whom he had quarrelled. There is but one circumstance which renders it likely that he then fell into disgrace; namely, that for ten years no other notice of him occurs than that one of the objections stated by Burghley to the marriage of the Queen with the Earl of Leicester, in April, 1566, was the fear that the Earl “would study nothing but to enhance his own particular friends to wealth, to offices, to lands,” among whom he includes Sir James Croft.:. At the end of that long period he had, however, completely regained the Queen's confidence even, which is somewhat questionable, if he had previously lost it, as
1 Haynes's Burghley Papers, p. 321. 2 Murdin's Burghley Papers, p. 751. 3 Ibid. p. 751. 4 Ilavnes's Burr'ley Stare Papers, p 111.