Page images

Martin Luther, professor in the University of Wittenberg, was an Augustine monk. Henry, wrote a book against Luther, and gained the title of “Defender of the Faith.” Luther lived to see the Protestant religion taught in Germany, Switzerland, and England.

DEFENDER OF THE FAITH. --Martin Luther had roused all Saxony, Germany, and Europe with his doctrine of the Reformation, and being provoked by opposition, had written several books in support of his teaching. These came into the hands of Henry, who wrote a book in Latin against the principles of Luther. He sent a copy of it to Pope Leo X., who received so magnificent a present with great testimony regard, and conferred on him the title of defender of the faith, which is still kept by the sovereigns of England, and is stamped on our coins, defensor fidei.

Thomas Cromwell, Lord Chancellor, came into favour after his master's (Wolsey's) disgrace. Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, a Roman Catholic, who came into power in Mary's reign. Dr. Colet, dean of St. Paul's, assisted Thomas Cranmer in the Reformation.

MAID OF KENT, 1534.-Elizabeth Barton, of Kent, commonly called the Holy Maid of Kent, had been subject to hysterical fits, that threw her into convulsions, and made her utter strange sayings, which, as she was scarcely conscious of them during the time, had soon after entirely escaped her memory. The silly people in the neighbourhood, struck with these appearances, said that her ravings were inspirations. Richard Masters, vicar of the parish, went to Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, who gave orders to watch her in her trances, and carefully note down her future sayings. Masters and Dr. Bocking, a canon of Canterbury, gave out that diseases of all kinds could be cured by her. Hundreds visited Elizabeth, and pretended miracles were freely circulated. The King at last thought the matter worthy of his attention; and having ordered Elizabeth and her friends to be arrested, he brought them before the Star Chamber, where a full confession was made. Elizabeth, Masters, and others, suffered for their crime.--Collier.

MISCELLANEOUS TRANSACTIONS.—During this reign England traded largely with the Netherlands. The Flemish introduced carrots, turnips, and hops into the country. Many foreigners settled in England, and exceeded Englishmen in beauty of workmanship; as many as 15,000 Flemings alone settled in London. Harrison, the historian, asserts that 72,000 criminals were executed during this reign for theft and murder. A great improvement took place in a stricter administration of justice. The prices of labour and food were fixed; this did not work very well, and had to be repealed. Several laws were passed against beggars and vagrants, who had been formerly supported by money and food from the convents. In 1546 the rate of interest on money was first fixed. Many colleges and schools were endowed by the king after the suppression of the monasteriese.g. Trinity College, Cambridge, and Christ Church, Oxford.

Exercise. 1. Give a brief sketch of the reign of Henry VIII. 2. Who were his wives? 3. What was the Reformation ? 4. Who was Wolsey ? 5.· Name the battles fought in this reign.

EDWARD VI. Birth and Reign.-Born 1537; succeeded 1547; died, aged 16 years. Was the son of Henry VIII, and Lady Jane Seymour.

War.--With the Scotch, who were defeated at the battle of Pinkie, 1547,

Chief Events.-Duke of Somerset appointed Lord Protector; was a great favourer of the Protestant religion. The first Prayer Book used, 1549. The Earl of Northumberland caused Somerset to be beheaded. His son, Earl Dudley, married Lady Jane Grey, granddaughter to Henry VII.'s sister Mary, In 1549 further alterations were made in the Prayer Book. In 1553 Edward VI. died, and Lady Jane Grey succeeded for a few days, being dethroned and cast into prison by Mary.

Visit to ARCHANGEL.—In 1552 an expedition of three ships, commanded by Sir Hugh Willoughby, was fitted out by a few merchants and gentlemen of London, to search for a northeast passage to India and China. No one knew then that such a passage was impracticable on account of the ice; and the leader, Sir Hugh, set sail in the highest spirits, after receiving many marks of favour from the young king. Edward watched the departing ships from his palace at Greenwich, little thinking of the sad fate which awaited most of the brave sailors. Sir Hugh and 70 of his companions were frozen up in a harbour on the east coast of Lapland, and died of cold and hunger; the others reached Archangel, and travelled overland to Moscow, then the capital of Russia, where the Czar took them into great favour, and willingly consented that his subjects should trade with England. Before this time Englishmen hardly knew that there was such a country as Russia.

DEATH OF EDWARD VI.-Edward had been seized in 1551 with measles, then with small-pox; but having perfectly recovered from both, the nation entertained hopes that they would only serve to confirm his health; and he had afterwards

made a progress through parts of the kingdom. It was suspected that he had overheated himself in exercise, as he was seized with an obstinate cough, which could not be cured. Symptoms of a fatal consumption appeared, and men saw with great concern his bloom and vigour insensibly decay. The languishing state of Edward's health caused Northumberland pretended concern, as he wished the crown to be given to Lord Dudley, his son, who had married Lady Jane Grey, cousin to the young king; so to carry out his plan he removed all except his own friends from court. At last Northumberland got Edward to make the settlement. From that time Edward grew worse every day, and no hopes were entertained of his recovery. To make matters worse his physicians were dismissed by Northumberland's advice, and he was put into the hands of an ignorant old woman, who undertook in a little time to restore him to his former health. After the use of her medicines all the bad symptoms increased to the most violent degree; he felt a difficulty of speech and breathing; his pulse failed, his legs swelled, his colour became livid, and many other signs appeared of his approaching end. He expired at Greenwich on the 6th July, 1553, in the 16th year of his age, and the seventh of his reign. His last recorded words wereO Lord, save thy chosen people of England ! Defend this realm from papistry, and maintain thy true religion.”-Fuller.

Exercise. 1. Describe the reign of Edward VI. 2. Give a brief sketch of the reign of Mary. 3. What Reformers were burnt in her reign ?

4. Name the battles fought in the reigns of Edward VI. and Mary. 5. How did the Reformation proceed in these reigns ?

MARY I. Birth and Reign.-Daughter of Henry VIII. and Catharine of Arragon; born 1516, succeeded to the throne 1553, and died in 1558, at the age of 42 years. Married King Philip of Spain.

Chief Events.-Restoration of the Roman Catholic religion by Bishops Bonner and Gardiner, in 1553. Mary's marriage with Philip, 1554, caused an insurrection under Sir Thomas Wyatt, who was taken prisoner and beheaded.

Two days after, Lord Guildford Dudley and his wife, Lady Jane Grey, were executed. 1555 to 1558, 277 Reformers were burnt; amongst whom were Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester ; Rogers, Prebendary of St. Paul's; Ridley, Bishop of Oxford ; Latimer, Bishop of Worcester; and Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1557 the English lost Calais, the last of our French possessions.

EXECUTION OF LADY JANE GREY.-When the insurrection of Sir Thomas Wyatt was crushed, Lady Jane Grey, her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley, and her father, the Duke of Suffolk, were falsely charged with being concerned in the plot. Warning was given to the Lady Jane to prepare for her death, a doom which she had long expected, and which the innocence of her life, as well as the misfortunes to which she had been exposed, rendered no wise unwelcome to her. Three days were aliowed her. On the day of her execution Lord Guildford desired leave to see his wife, but Lady Jane said, “Not so, my dear husband; the tenderness of our parting would overcome the strength of both; our separation would be only for a moment; we shall soon rejoin each other in a scene where our affections will be for ever united, and where death, disappointment, and misfortune cannot reach us, or disturb our eternal felicity.” It had been intended to execute the Lady Jane and her husband together, on the same scaffold at Tower Hill, but the Council, dreading the compassion of the people for their youth, beauty, and innocence, gave orders that she should be beheaded within the verge of the Tower. She saw her husband led to execution, and gave him, from her window, a token of remembrance. She even saw. his headless body carried away in a cart. Sir J. Gage, Constable of the Tower, led her to execution, and on the way asked Lady Jane for a small token, which he might keep as a perpetual memorial of her. She gave him her table-book, with sentences written in Greek, another in Latin, a third in English. It read thus (being in memory of her husband), “ That human justice was against his body, but Divine mercy would be favourable to his soul." “ That if her fault deserved punishment, her youth at least, and her imprudence were worthy of excuse.” God and posterity, she trusted, would show her favour.” On the scaffold she made a speech to the bystanders, to this effect: “ My offence was not the having laid my hand upon the crown, but the not rejecting it with sufficient constancy; that I have less erred through ambition than through reverence to my parents, whom I have been taught to respect and obey; that I willingly receive death as the only satisfaction I can make to the injured State, and though my infringement of the laws have been constrained, I can show by my voluntary submission to this sentence, that I am desirous to atone for that disobedience into which too much filial piety has betrayed me; that I have justly deserved this punishment for being made the instrument, though the unwilling instrument, of the ambition of others : and that the story of my life, I hope, might at least be useful, by proving that innocence excuses not great misdeeds, if they tend anywise to the destruction of the Commonwealth.” With a steady serene countenance she sub

" That The gover

mitted herself to the executioner, at the age of seventeen.Holingshed.

THE LOSS OF CALAIS.—This was the last town held by the English in France. After the French defeat at St. Quentin by the English, several bodies of troops went towards the borders of France, and the whole being re-united, made an unexpected march towards Calais. At the same time a large number of French ships, being ordered into the Channel, under pretence of cruising on the English coast, made an attack by sea on the fortifications. The I'rench assaulted Fort St. Agatha with 3000 men, and the garrison, though they made a brave defence, were soon obliged to abandon the place, and retreat to Newnam Bridge. The siege of this latter place was immediately undertaken, and at the same time the feet battered the Risbank, which was at the entrance of the harbour, nor, Lord Wentworth, was a brave officer, but as the greater part of his weak garrison was shut up in the castles of Newnam and Risbank, he ordered them to surrender, and with a few soldiers he hastened into the town of Calais, to defend that from his enemy. The garrison of Newnam made their escape, but that of the Risbank had to give themselves up as prisoners of war.

The Duke of Guise now blockaded Calais by sea and land, and in eight days forced the English to give up Calais, which they had held for more than two centuries, and which had cost Edward III. a siege of eleven months, and the loss of a large body of men.-Thuan.

Eminent Men.-Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, remarkable for his learning; was burnt at Oxford. Cardinal Pole, a great supporter of the Roman Catholic power. Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, signed in an unguarded moment a paper of recantation,

Exercise. 1. Sketch the reign of Elizabeth. 2. Name the chief men of her reign. 3. What was the Spanish Armada ? 4. What is the history of the Reformation in her reign? 5. Name some events of her reign, with dates.

ELIZABETH. Birth and Reign.-Born 1533, ascended the throne 1558, and died 1603, at the age of 70 years. Was the daughter of Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn.. This queen never married.

THE CORONATION.-Camden relates: Just before the coronation, Queen Elizabeth made a grand progress through London, whose streets were then narrow and dark, and the upper storeys

the houses projected so far beyond the lower that persons passing in the street beneath could see but a narrow strip of


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »