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“ He saw the interest of this state altered six times, and died an honest man: the crown put upon four heads, yet he continued a faithful subject : religion changed, as to the publick constitution of it, five times, yet he kept the faith.*
“ A Spartan one day boasted, that his countrymen had been often buried in Athens; the Athenian replied ; but we are most of us buried at home. So great was Sir Ralph's success in the Northern wars, that many a Scotchman found his grave in England ; so exact his conduct and wariness, that few Englishmen had theirs in Scotland; the same ground giving them their coffin, that did their cradle ; and their birth, that did their death. Our knight's two incomparable qualities, were discipline and intelligence; the last discovered him all the enemies' advantages, and the first gave them
“ His two main designs were, 1. An interest in his prince, by service ; 2. An alliance with the nobility by marriage : upon which two bottoms he raised himself to that pitch of honour and estate,
* If this means, as may be shrewdly suspected, “ the faith of the day," the same compliment might be paid to the memory of that wary and orthodox divine, the Vicar of Bray.
that time could not wear out, nor any alterations embezzle ; he bequeathing to his worshipful posterity the blessing of heaven upon his integrity; the love of mankind for his worth ; and (as Mr Fuller saith) a pardon granted him when he attended my Lord Cromwell at Rome, for the sins of his family for three immediate generations, (expiring in R. Sadler, Esquire, lately dead.) His last negotiation was that in Scotland, during the troubles there about Queen Mary : So searching and pearcing he was, that no letter or advise passed, whereof he had not a copy ; so civil and obliging, that there was no party that had not a kindness for him ; so grave and solid, that he was present at all counsels ; so close and unseen, that his hand, though unseen, was in every motion of that state : and so successfull, that he left the nobility so divided, that they could not design anything upon the king; and the king so weak, that he could not cast off the queen ; and all so tottering, that they must depend on Queen Elizabeth.
“ Three things he bequeathed such as may have the honour to succeed him, 1. All letters that concerned him since of years, filed; 2. All occurrences, since he was capable of observation, registred ; 3. All expenses, since he lived of himself, booked. Epaminondas was the first Grecian, and Sir Ralph Sadler was one of the last Englishmen."
The monument of Sir Ralph Sadler is worth a particular description, as the inscription alludes to his history; and with these, the last memorials of his fame and grandeur, his history will be appropriately concluded.
Description of the Monument of Sir Ralph Sad
ler, in Standon Church, Hertfordshire.
The monument is supported by two round pillars, with an arch in the middle, in which the following inscription is placed :
“ This worthie knighte in his youth was brought up with Thomas Cromwell, afterwards Lord Cromwell; and when he came to man's estate he became his secretarie, by meanes whereof he did writ manie thinges touchinge matters of state, and by that meanes he in continuance of time was knowen to King Henrye the VIII., who conceaving a good opinion of him as a man meete to serve him, took him from the Lord Cromwell, abote the 26 yeare of his raigne, into his service, and abote the 30 yeare of his raigne made him one of his principal secretaries. The Kinge did most employe him in service towarde Scotland, whither he sente
* Lloyd's State Worthies, p. 95.–Of the first of these legacies bequeathed by Sir Ralph Sadler, the public now enjoys the benefit by means of the late publication of his Correspondence; the loss of the second is matter of deep regret.
him in diverse and sondrie jorneys, both in warre and peace, in which service he behaved himself with such diligence and fidelite, and he ever came home in the Kinge's favour, and not unrewarded. He was of the privie counsell with King Henry the VIII. ; with King Edward the VI. ; he was made Knight Banneret at Muskelborowe fielde ; and in the 10th yeare of Quene Elizabeth he was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in whiche office he continued until his deathe. He was a diligente and trustye servante to his prince, and faythful to the state, and beloved in his countrie. He died in the 80th yeere of his age, A.D. 1587, and in the 29th yeare of Quene Elizabeth, and is here buried.”
Under this inscription is the effigy of a knight in armour, lying upon a piece of stone cut in the form of a mat, under which is inscribed his motto. Below are the effigies of his three sons and four daughters, kneeling.
The monument is surmounted with Sir Ralph's coat-armorial, which, by patent dated February 4, 1575, is the following: “ He beareth Or, a Lion Rampant, party per Fesse, Azure, and Gules, Armed and Langued Argent. Crest—on a wreath a Demi-Lyon Rampant Azure, crowned with a Ducal Coronet; Or; motto, Servire Deo Sapere.”
At the foot of one of the pillars is the following inscription :
“ Ambitioni hostis, in conciliis apertus, fidelis regis famulus, at semper amator patriæ, virtute crevit.”
Near the Monument stood the standard which he took from the King of Scotland, armed with iron, and as high as a horseman's sword could reach.
On a stone in the chancel of the church is the following description :
Radelphus Sadleir titulum sortitus equestrem,
Obiit An. Dom. 1587, 29 Elizth. etatis 80.
Richard Vernon Sadleir, Esq. of Southampton, the present venerable representative of Sir Ralph, paid the following tribute at the tomb of his great ancestor :
VERSES ON A VISIT TO THE
MONUMENT OF SIR RALPH SADLER, KNIGHT BANNERET,
AT STANDON IN HERTFORDSHIRE.
Spirit revered ! if aught beneath the sky,