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An Answere to the Proclamation of
THE REBELS OF THE NORTH, 1569.
HE following curious Ballad * is locally inter
esting, since it relates to the Rebellion of 1569, in which the principal parties were
Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and U
Charles Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, for the purpose of liberating the Queen of Scotland, and the restoration of the Roman
Catholic Religion. The first overt act of the Rebels was committed at Durham, where the bibles and prayer books were rent and destroyed; and after a rapid march to Clifford Moor, they mustered all their forces ; but unsupported by the Catholics in every other part of the kingdom, disappointed of promised aid from without, and wanting both talent and money for such an enterprise, they suddenly retreated.
“ Most shallowly did you these arms commence,
Fondly brought here, and foolishly sent hence!” They then laid seige to Barnard Castle, which was gallantly defended by Sir George Bowes, for ten days ; thus giving time for the Earl of Sussex, lord president of the North, to advance with the forces collected at York, and supported by the army of the South, under the command of the Earl of Warwick.
The rebels, disappointed and disheartened, did not wait to meet the Queen's army, but dispersed and fled on their approach. The Earls and their principal followers took refuge in Scotland. The Earl of Northumberland perished on the scaffold, at York, 22nd August, 1572; and the Earl of Westmoreland escaped to Flanders, and passed the remainder of his life in exile, on the slender and precarious bounty
• In the British Magazine for April, 1833, p. 417, a quotation is given from a churchWarden's accounts, in “ 1570, Item, for vij. ballys consarneng ye Rebells, to be soung, vijd." which would tend to the conclusion, that ballads, similar to the present, were published by authority.
There are two copies of this black letter metrical tract, (which is of the utmost rarity) at Cambridge: one is in the public library of the University, and the other in the library of St. John's College ; and many years ago, a copy was in Longman's Catalogue, which sold at a high price. The Editor is indebted to the kindness of Thomas Wright, esq. M. A. author of “Elizabeth and her Times,” (through the permission of the author of the memorials of the rebellion of 1569) for the present transcript from the first named copy.
of the King of Spain; and subject to every contumely, discomfort, and privation.
“I have lived long enough: my way of life
Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf;
I must not look to have."
The immediate subject of this ballad, is a commentary on the first proclamation, issued by the earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland :-viz.
“WE, Thomas, Earl of Northumberland, and Charles, Earl of Westmoreland, the Queen's true and faithful subjects, to all the same of the old Catholick Religion. Know yee, that we, with many other well disposed persons, as well of the Nobility, as others, have promised our faiths in the furtherance of this our good meaning. Forasmuch, as divers disordered and evil disposed persons, about the Queen's Majesty, have by their subtil and crafty dealing to advance themselves, overcome in this our realm the true and catholick religion towards God: and by the same abused the Queen, disordered the Realm, and now lastly, seek and procure the destruction of the Nobility: We therefore have gathered our selves together to resist by force; and the rather by the help of God and you, good People; and to see redress of these things amiss, with restoring of all ancient Customs and Liberties to God's church, and this noble realm: Lest if we should not do it our selves, we might be reformed by strangers, to the great hazzard of the state of this our Country; whereunto we are all bound."-Strype's Annals, vol. I. c. 54, p. 547.
In the dispatches of “la Mothe-Fénélon,” the French Ambassador, this proclamation it is stated to have been signed by Northumberland, Westmorelande, and nine others; and in the “ Apuntamientos para la historia del Rey Don Felipe Segundo de Espana” it is signed by Tomas, Conde de Nortumberland. El Conde de Vestmorland. Christobal N. Duel. (Christopher Nevill). Ricardo Noturn, (Richard Norton). Egmundo Rateis, &c. (Egremond Ratcliffe, &c.)
AN ANSWERE TO THE PROCLAMATION OF THE REBELS
OF THE NORTH, 1569.
** LORDE stretch out thy mightye hande
Against this raging route,
Which they doe go aboute,
And make this realme a pray,
What so like fooles they say.
Yourselves Princes to be
To sende it out with WE.
The princes phrase ye take in hande
O well disposed men :
And he that rulde the Pen.
Yourselves in wordes to bee,
Doe with your wordes agree.
As subjectes in their guise,
With force of armes doe rise.
To all the olde and Catholike
That be of such religion
And foolish of opinion.
And you their minde againe,
And so in fielde be slaine
Will lyke your crooked style :
Will lyke it, but a whyle,
Chorath, Dathan, and Abiram,
Or else Achitophell With Absolon, Adoniah
Of their olde faith ye smell.
Is waxen stale for age,
With mighty Rebels rage;
Though you thinke nothing so :
And suffered truth to growe.
When God and prince is ioynde in one
For to defende the truth
Marke then what it ensuth :
Must needes with speede be seene
And such a quiet queene.
With you to take your parts,
But farre from noble harts.
Belyke ye would make men in doubt
That some doe beare the face
To turne unto your case.
That alwayes bene trewe, If you
have such, then name them out From Judas' line, the Jewe. That they with speede may hang themselves,
For treason to their Prince,
A poysonde nursing stinche.
Such as you be, hir noble grace
Hath trusted over long,
For hir ye are to strong.
It may be so, the nobles mo
Both fathers and their sonnes
Out of the noble Nortounes.
In this your enterprise,
Your meaning good and wise.
What fayth is that what doe you meane ?
When fayth to Prince is broke ? You meane to pull your neckes from tye
Of gentle princes yoke : And set yourselves at libertie
And eke your rowte so rude
Eche shall himself intrude
Not woorst in all your ranke
And lookes for as much thanke.
You say hir grace is led by such
As wicked are and evil.
I may say, by the Devil.
If ye might have your choyse
Should have your holy voyse.
As lamb for to be slaine
Hir grace for all hir paine.
But this I would ye should me tell
When she came to hir throne, What was she then of age or wit ?
Give answere every one ?
And eke hir head so wise
Could more in hir devise ?