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England under the Tudors By Arthur D. Innes Characters: 77050

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:05


[Sidenote: Features of the Reign]

The reign of Elizabeth may be said to have been distinguished primarily by three leading features. The first is the development and establishment of England as the greatest maritime power in the world, a process which has been traced with some fulness. The second is that sudden and amazing outburst of literary genius in the latter half, and mainly in the last quarter, of the reign, for which there is no historical parallel except in Athens, unless once again we find it in England two centuries later: whereof the last few pages have treated. The third is the Ecclesiastical settlement, on which it has hitherto been possible only to touch. This, with certain other aspects of the reign, remain for discussion in this concluding chapter.

[Sidenote: State and Church]

In this settlement, the primary fundamental fact, politically speaking- for theological problems do not fall within our range-is the recognition by the State of the Church as an aspect of the body politic, and of her organisation as a branch of the body politic, subject to the control of the Sovereign and maintained by the sanction of the Sovereign's supremacy; precluding the interference of any external authority, and overriding any claims to independent authority on the part of the organisation itself; requiring from all members of the body politic conformity, under penalties, to the institutions thus regulated, and rejection of any authority running counter thereto. The secondary fact is that the State thus sanctioned such institutions as, under a reasonable liberty of interpretation, might be accepted without a severe strain of conscience by persons holding opinions of considerable diversity; so that conformity should be possible to the great bulk of the nation, including many who might not in theory admit the right of the State to a voice in the matter at all.

The politicians, that is, deliberately chose a via media. Theologically, the dividing line lay between those who desired the Mass and reunion with Rome, and those who rejected the Mass and derived their dogmas from Geneva. Under Mary, the Government had thrown itself on the side of the former; under Edward, mainly on that of the latter. Elizabeth's Government would have neither. It would not admit the papal claim to override the secular authority, or the equally dictatorial claims of the Genevan ministry as exemplified by John Knox; the first necessity for it was to assert secular supremacy, the second to make its definitions of dogma sufficiently ambiguous to be reconcilable with the dogmatic scruples of the majority of both parties; with the result however of shutting out both determined Romanists and determined Calvinists, while the Church thus regulated contained two parties, one with conservative, the other with advanced, ideals.

The outward note of Conservative churchmen was insistence on ceremonial observances, as that of the advanced men was dislike of them. But as the reign advanced, another feature acquires prominence-the protest of the Puritans against the Episcopalian system of Church Government, with the correspondingly increased emphasis laid on the vital necessity of that system by the Conservatives.

[Sidenote: The State and the Catholics]

The Queen's personal predilections were at all times on the Conservative side; those of her principal advisers always leaned towards the Puritans- at the first Cecil, Bacon, and Elizabeth's own kinsmen, Knollys and Hunsdon; then Walsingham, drawing Leicester with him. But in the early years of her rule, when it was imperative to minimise all possible causes of discontent, the admission of the largest possible latitude in practice was required, even if it was accompanied by legislation which gave authority for restrictive action. It followed however from the political conditions that direct hostility to the Queen was to be feared only from the Catholics-the whole body of those who would have liked to see the old religion restored in its entirety. This was emphasized by the Papal Bull excommunicating Elizabeth in 1570-a political blunder on the part of the Pope which greatly annoyed and embarrassed Philip at the time. The result, joined with the Northern Rising, the Ridolfi plot, and the indignation aroused by the day of St. Bartholomew, was to strengthen the hands of the Puritans and to give open Catholicism the character of a political offence; and to this an enormously increased force was added in 1581 by the Jesuit mission. During these years, parliaments were all unfailingly and increasingly Puritan, and Puritanism was steadily making way all over the country, not without the favour of the leading divines. Elizabeth herself viewed this tendency with extreme dislike, mercilessly snubbing bishops and others who seemed to betray inclinations in this direction-Grindal in particular, Parker's successor at Canterbury, suffered from her displeasure; but she could not suppress it. She might-and did-say a good deal; but she could not in act go nearly as far as she would have wished, in opposition to subjects whose political loyalty was indisputable, as well as extremely necessary to her security.

[Sidenote: The Church and the Puritans]

So long as the advanced movement concerned itself chiefly with the "Vestiarian Controversy" and matters of ceremonial observance, it did not assume primary importance in the eyes of politicians. But by the middle of the reign the question of the form of Church Government had come to the front, and the demand to substitute the Presbyterian system for the Episcopalian was being put forward by Cartwright and his followers and had even produced a Presbyterian organisation within the Church. Moreover the school commonly called Brownists, who developed into the sect of Independents, were propounding the theory that the Church consisted not of the whole nation but only of the Elect. Puritanism was therefore threatening to become directly subversive of the established order. Then came the mission of Parsons and Campian. The effect of this in regard to Catholics was twofold. It necessitated an increased severity in dealing with any one who recognised papal authority: and made it more imperative than ever to induce Catholics to be reconciled with the State Church, by emphasizing the Catholic side of her institutions, and consequently by checking Puritan developments. On the other side, it was so obviously impossible for the Puritans to withdraw their loyalty from Elizabeth that to conciliate them was superfluous; they were adopting an attitude antagonistic to the approved constitution of the Church; and there was a suggestion of rigid even-handed justice in waging war upon their propaganda at the same time as on that of Rome. Whitgift, succeeding Grindal at Canterbury in 1583, opened the campaign against Puritanism-not indeed with the favour either of parliament or of the leading statesmen, whose personal sympathies were with the advanced party, but manifestly with encouragement from the Queen.

[Sidenote: Archbishop Whitgift]

Whitgift's own attitude was that of the Disciplinarian rather than of the theologian. The method of operation was by the issue of Fifteen Articles to which all the clergy were required to subscribe: the sanction thereof being the authority of the Court of High Commission. Under the Act of Supremacy of 1559, the appointment of a Commission to enforce obedience to the law in matters ecclesiastical had been authorised. This Court was fully constituted in December 1583, and proceeded by methods which Burghley himself held to be too inquisitorial. A good deal of indignation was aroused, and the Puritans were in effect made more aggressive, their attacks on the existing system culminating in 1589 in the distinctly scurrilous "Martin Mar-prelate" tracts, which were so violent as to produce a marked reaction. This on the one side, coupled with the partly genuine and partly mythical plots of the ultra-Catholics on the other, brought about sharp legislation in 1593, resulting in an increased persecution of the Catholics after that time, and in the compulsory withdrawal of the extreme nonconformists to the more sympathetic atmosphere of the Netherlands. At the same time the "High" theory of the Church's authority was formulated by Bancroft (afterwards Archbishop), and what may be called the Constitutional theory of Church Government was propounded in the Ecclesiastical Polity of Hooker. All of this was the prologue to the great controversy which was to acquire such prominence under the Stuarts.

[Sidenote: The Persecutions]

In writing of the persecutions under Elizabeth alike of Catholics and of Puritans, it is not uncommon to imply that the political argument in their defence was a mere pretext with a theological motive. As a matter of fact however, the distinction between Elizabeth's and Mary's persecutions is a real one. Broadly speaking, it is now the universally received view that no man ought to be penalised on the score of opinions conscientiously held, however erroneous they may be; but that if those opinions find expression in anti-social acts, the acts must be punished. Punishment of opinions is rightly branded as persecution. Now although in effect not a few persons, Puritans or Catholics, were put to death by Elizabeth, and many more imprisoned or fined-as they would have said themselves, for Conscience' sake-this was the distinction specifically recognised by her; which, without justifying her persecutions, differentiates them from those of her predecessors. Henry and Mary frankly and avowedly burnt victims for holding wrong opinions-for Heresy. Anabaptism no doubt was accounted a social as well as a theological crime; but no one ever dreamed of regarding Ann Ascue or Frith as politically dangerous. Mary kindled the fires of Smithfield for the salvation of souls, not for the safety of her throne. Whereas the foundation of Elizabeth's persecutions was that opinions as such were of no consequence: but that people who would not conform their conduct to her regulations must either be potential traitors politically or anarchists socially. Her proceedings are brought into the category of persecutions, because she treated potential anarchism or treason as implying overt anarchism or treason, though unless and until she discovered such implication in a given opinion, any one was at liberty to hold it or not as he chose; its truth or falsity was a matter of entire indifference. To punish the implied intention of committing a wrong act is sufficiently dangerous in principle; but it is to be distinguished from punishment for holding an opinion because it is accounted a false one.

Finally, while we must condemn her persecution both of Puritans and of Catholics alike, it is only fair, in comparing her with her predecessor, to remember that, in the five and forty years of her reign, the whole number of persons who suffered death as Catholics or as Anabaptists was considerably less than the number of the Martyrs in four years of Mary's rule.

[Sidenote: Economic progress]

By adopting Cecil's ecclesiastical policy of the via media, Elizabeth saved England from the internecine religious strife which almost throughout her reign made the political action of France so inefficient. The constant wars of the Huguenots with the Leaguers or their predecessors had their counterpart for Philip also, whose struggle with the Netherlanders was to a great extent in the nature of a civil war. Fully realising how seriously both France and Spain were hampered by these complications, she was able to conduct her diplomatic manoeuvres with an audacity quite as remarkable as her duplicity, gauging to a nicety the carrying capacity of the very thin ice over which she was constantly skating. Thus while both those Powers were perpetually exhausting their resources and draining their exchequers with costly wars, England, free from any similar strain, was rapidly growing in wealth; and while the national expenditure was kept comparatively low, manufactures were multiplied, and the commerce which was driven by the stress of war from the great trade-centres of the Netherlands was being absorbed by English ports. Moreover that forcible trading indulged in by John Hawkins in the earlier ventures of the reign-giving place, as time went on to the process of systematic preying upon Spanish treasure-provided very substantial dividends for the Queen, as well as filling the pockets of her loyal subjects. Thus again she was able to avoid making perpetual demands on her parliaments, and when demands were made the parliaments could usually meet them in a generous and ungrudging spirit.

[Sidenote: The currency; Retrenchment]

Nevertheless, no little financial skill and courage were required to restore the public credit which had fallen to such disastrous depths in the two preceding reigns; and this was done to a large extent by a policy of determined financial honesty. The miserable system of debasing the coinage was brought to an end; the current coins were called in and paid for at not much under their actual value in silver, and the new coins issued were of their face value. Debts contracted by Government were punctually paid, and as an immediate consequence the Government soon found itself able to borrow at reasonable instead of ruinous rates of interest. Private prosperity and public confidence advanced so swiftly that before Elizabeth had been a dozen years on the throne substantial loans could be raised at home without applying to foreign sources. Elizabeth never spent a penny of public money without good reason; sometimes-as in Ireland habitually, and to some degree at the time of the Armada though not so seriously as is commonly reputed-her parsimony amounted to false economy; often it took on a pettifogging character in her dealings with the Dutch, with the Huguenots, and with the Scots, though in the last case at least it must be admitted that either party was equally ready to overreach the other if the chance offered. But for very many years a very close economy was absolutely essential if debts were to be paid. That economy was facilitated by the lavish expenditure of prominent men on public objects; due partly to a desire for display, partly-at least in the case of the buccaneering enterprises-to bold speculation in the hope of large profits, but partly also beyond question to a very live public spirit. Yet when every allowance has been made for the assistance from such sources, it remains clear that Elizabeth's resources were husbanded with great skill, and her government carried on with a surprisingly small expenditure; that expenditure being on the whole very judiciously directed-so that, for instance, the royal navy, at least throughout the latter half of the reign, was maintained in a very creditable state of efficiency; though the number of the ships was not large, and the organisation proved inadequate, when the crisis came, to meet all the demands of the seamen.

[Sidenote: Wealth and Poverty]

The general prosperity however was not due to any notable advance in official Economics. What it owed to the Government was the immense improvement in public credit brought about by the restored coinage, and the punctual repayment of loans and settlement of debts, coupled with confidence in a steady rule and freedom from costly wars. Trade did indeed greatly benefit by the enlightened action of the State in encouraging the settlement in England of craftsmen from the Netherlands, with the consequent development of the industries they practised and taught. But the vital fact of the enormously increased wealth of the country must be attributed to the energy and initiative of the merchants and the adventurers in taking advantage of the new fields opened to them, of the displacement of trade by the wars on the Continent, and of the exposure of foreign, especially but not exclusively Spanish, shipping to depredation.

How far this increased wealth benefited the labouring classes is a moot question. It would seem on the whole that the process of converting arable land into pasture which had been going on all through the century was already becoming less active even in the first years of the reign, and had reached its limit some while before the Armada. As the displacement of labour diminished, fixity and regularity of employment increased, while the labour already displaced was gradually absorbed by the rapid growth of manufactures. This may perhaps in some degree explain the almost unaccountably sudden cessation of laments over agricultural depression. Still, the effective wage earned tended to drop: that is, although wages rose when measured in terms of the currency, that rise did not keep pace with the advance in prices, the influx of silver into Europe diminishing its purchasing power. Hence the old problem of dealing with poverty in its two forms-honest inability to work and dishonest avoidance of work- remained acute. There was always a humane desire that the deserving poor should be assisted, and an equally strong sentiment in favour of punishing rogues and vagabonds-persons who declined to dig but were not ashamed to beg; with perhaps an excessive inclination to assume that wherever there was a doubt the delinquent should not have the benefit of it. The savagery however of the earlier Tudor laws against vagabonds was mitigated, and honest efforts were made to find a substitute for the old relief of genuine poverty by the Monasteries. This took in the first place the form of enactments for the local collection of voluntary contributions to relief-funds; and culminated in the Acts of the last five years of the reign, substituting compulsory for voluntary contribution, and establishing that Poor-law system which remained substantially unchanged until its reformation in the nineteenth century.

[Sidenote: Trade Restrictions and Development]

The idea that Governments do well not to interfere with the natural unaided operation of economic laws had not yet come into being; and attempts, mainly futile, to control wages and to force labour into particular channels, continued. In one direction however the artificial encouragement of one industry may have had a beneficial effect. Navigation laws tended, per se, to check general commerce; but they gave a stimulus to the English marine at a time when its rapid development was of the utmost national importance; not directly increasing the interchange of commodities as a whole, but encouraging the English carrying-trade, and advancing the growth of the sea-power which made a more extended commerce possible; and thus indirectly counterbalancing the direct ill effects. It is possible even to find some defence for one aspect of Monopolies. The granting of a monopoly of trade in particular regions-Russia, Guinea, the Levant, the East Indies-to Companies of merchants, had a definite justification. Individual private competitors could not conduct the trade on a large scale; large corporations, secured against rivals, could face the risks and the heavy expenditure requisite to success, and could be granted a liberty of action, being left to their own responsibilities, which was impracticable for the private trader. Amongst these, very much the most notable is the great East India Company which was incorporated on the last day of December 1600. Here, its birth only is to be chronicled; its history belongs to the ensuing centuries. But the bestowal on individuals of the monopoly of trade in particular articles by the Royal privilege was manifestly bad in itself; it became so serious an abuse that a determined parliamentary attack was made on the system in 1597; and even then Elizabeth found it necessary to promise enquiry. Nothing practical however was done, and the parliament of 1601 returned to the charge with such obvious justification that the Queen very promptly and graciously promised to abolish the grievance, and thanked the Commons for directing her attention to the matter.

[Sidenote: Tavellers]

We have already in a previous chapter followed in the wake of adventurous voyagers and explorers prior to the Armada, and recorded the first disastrous experimental efforts towards colonisation; but, in dealing specifically with the seamen, we passed by overland explorations such as those of Jenkinson, who during the first decade of Elizabeth's reign journeyed through Russia, and into Asia over the Caspian sea. More momentous still in its results was the Eastern expedition of Newbery and Fitch; who starting in 1583 went through Syria to Ormuz, and were thence conveyed to Goa, the Portuguese head-quarters on the West coast of India. Fitch remained longer than his chief, visiting Golconda, Agra (the seat of the Great Mogul Akbar), Bengal, Pegu, Malacca, and Ceylon, and bringing home in 1591 stories of India and its wealth, which were in no small degree responsible for the formation, in 1599, of the Association which was next year incorporated as the East India Company.

[Sidenote: Maritime expansion]

After the Armada, the sea-faring spirit was naturally even intensified. To a great extent however it was absorbed in privateering-which combined with its attractions in the way of mere adventure the advantages of being profitable, patriotic, and pious. In connexion with the direct scheme of colonial settlements, we have only Raleigh's two unsuccessful relief expeditions to Virginia conducted by White and Mace, and the attempt, also unsuccessful, to start a colony in what afterwards became New England, under Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. More striking, but belonging to a somewhat different category, was Raleigh's own voyage to the Orinoco, in search of Eldorado and the golden city of Manoa; disappointing in its results, but ably conducted and from the point of view of explorers, as such, by no means unfruitful. Equally noteworthy are the two great voyages of James Lancaster, who was the first English captain to reach the Indian seas by the Cape route (1592), and in 1601 sailed thither again in command of the first fleet of the new Association of East India Merchants, and opened up for his countrymen the trade with the Spice Islands. But except for this second voyage of Lancaster's, a very real and definite achievement in the history of commercial expansion, the voyages of the day, full of brilliant exploits in the annals of seamanship and of adventure, and collectively marking an epoch in England's oceanic development, were not individually notable for specific results.

[Sidenote: The Constitution]

Constitutional theory does not appear to have differed in the reigns of Henry VIII. and his great daughter. The monarch's will was supreme; but the people could give expression to its will through Parliament when in session. The practical rule, however, which prevented any collision between the two forces, was that both monarchs kept a careful finger on the pulse of the nation. Like her father, Elizabeth never allowed herself to set a strong popular feeling at defiance. She desired that her people should be prosperous and free, though she objected to their interference in the conduct of political affairs; she desired that within the realm of England order should be maintained and the law strictly administered. If practices inconsistent with the liberty of the subject prevailed, they were applied only to persons who were assumed by herself, her ministers, and the bulk of their fellow-subjects, to have placed themselves outside the pale. The ministers who carried out her will avoided the arbitrary methods of Wolsey and Cromwell, whose master had preserved his own popularity by making scape-goats of them when their unpopularity ran too high, squaring his account with the People at their expense. Elizabeth never found it necessary to square her account with the People, whose hearts vibrated in sympathy with her essential loyalty to them. Few of them probably shared her views on the sanctity of crowned heads as such, which amounted almost to a superstition; but the country was pervaded with a passionate loyalty to the person of its Queen. On the other side, the record of her Parliaments shows that freedom of speech was making way, though she would not formally admit the principle: while the Parliaments cared much less about its formal admission than its practical prevalence. She snubbed the persistent Puritans for their obstinate oratory on the ecclesiastical and matrimonial questions, but they managed to have their say (which she ostensibly ignored), without suffering more than sharp reprimands and occasional detention in ward; and that contented them. Like Henry, she recognised that the one thing Parliaments would not endure was taxation without their own consent. On one occasion when she found she could do without a grant she had asked for and obtained, she remitted it; the harmony of mutual confidence ensured the readier co-operation.

Parliament under Elizabeth gave not infrequent proof that it was tenacious of what it held to be its privileges: as the Queen showed that she was tenacious of what she considered her prerogatives. But each, without abating their right, or prejudicing their theoretical claim, was willing to make practical concession to the other in action. It was only in the closing years of the reign that abstract Theories of the State began to be formulated-a process which became exceedingly active in the next century, when kings and parliaments began to take diametrically conflicting views of political exigencies. Under Elizabeth, all such discussions were purely academic; under the Stuarts, they became actively practical. For the Stuarts, unlike Elizabeth, recklessly challenged popular opposition precisely on the points as to which popular opinion was most sensitive. Harmony gave way to discord, co-operation to antagonism; collision and disaster followed-"red ruin and the breaking up of laws".

[Sidenote: The Elizabethans]

The popular judgment which has glorified the reign of Elizabeth as perhaps the most splendid period in the annals of England can be endorsed, without ignoring the defects in the character of the Queen, her Ministers, her Courtiers, or her People. A new day had dawned upon the world; new possibilities, vast and undefined, were presenting themselves; new thoughts were possessing the minds of men; new blood was throbbing in their veins. The English race was awaking to a sense of its powers, grasping with a splendid audacity at the mighty heritage whose full import was yet unrealised. The Elizabethans were, as a nation, triumphing in the first glow of exuberant and healthy youth: with the faults of youth as well as its virtues. Sheer delight in the exercise of physical energies, in perilous adventure for its own sake irrespective of ulterior ends, in the keen encounter of wit, in the bold fabric-building of imagination, characterised the Elizabethan as they characterised the Marathonomachoi two thousand years before; as the Athens of Salamis was the mother of Aeschylus and Sophocles, so the England of the Armada was the mother of Marlowe and Shakespeare and Spenser.

[Sidenote: Raleigh]

The typical Elizabethan, the man who presents in his own person the most marked characteristics that belong to his time, is Sir Walter Raleigh. His was the large imagination which conceived a new and expanding England beyond the seas; the broad grasp of ideas which made him a leading exponent of the theory of the Oceanic policy and the new naval methods; the ready practicality which made him, after Drake's day, perhaps the ablest of Elizabeth's captains; the versatility and culture, which place him securely in the second flight of the writers of the time; the breadth of intellectual outlook which caused his enemies to call him an atheist, coupled with an actual sincerity of belief; boundless energy, daring, ambition. His too were the fiery temper and the contemptuous arrogance which made him at one time the best-hated man in England outside a narrow circle of devoted admirers; while for all his pride he could match Hatton himself in preposterous adulation of the Queen. He could be as chivalrous as Sidney, and as merciless as an Inquisitor: he could be gorgeously extravagant, or the veriest Spartan, as circumstances demanded. He was in brief the epitome of Elizabeth's England: a figure assuredly very far from godlike but no less assuredly heroic.

It may be doubted if ever the joie de vivre was so generally prevalent in England as in those spacious days. Such a national mood is in danger of being followed by a lapse into an effeminate hedonism, from which England as a whole was saved by the antagonistic development of the essentially masculine if crude puritanism, whose vital spirit had already begun to take possession of a large proportion of the population without as yet evicting paganism. Under this at present secondary impulse, attributable very largely to the new familiarity with the Old Testament engendered by the translation of the Bible, men quickly learnt to look upon themselves as the chosen people of the Lord of Sabaoth who gave them the victory over their enemies, and to whom with entire sincerity they gave the glory; while they found a satisfying warrant in the Scriptures for spoiling the Egyptians and smiting the Amalekites, symbolising specifically the Spaniards and the Irish. The particular aspect of Puritanism which belongs to rigid Calvinism, in all its grim austerity, was confined so far to a very limited section: for the majority an extensive biblical vocabulary was consistent with a thorough appreciation of virile carnal enjoyments: the dourness of John Knox hardly infected the neighbouring country. For the most part, even the intolerance of the age was not that born of religious fanaticism, but was the normal outcome of a full-blooded self-confidence. The Elizabethans are apt to startle us by a display of apparently callous cruelty at one moment, and an almost reckless generosity at the next. They slaughtered the garrison of Smerwick in cold blood, and treated the vanquished at Cadiz with a chivalrous consideration which amazed its recipients. They kidnapped the sons of Ham from Africa for lucre; with the "Indians" of South and Central America they were always on excellent terms, and the Californians proffered divine honours to Francis Drake. These are paradoxes precisely similar in kind to those which so often puzzle amiable and mature observers of the British schoolboy to-day. Broadly, they were governed by instincts and impulses rather than by reasoned ethical theory, instincts occasionally barbaric but for the most part frank and generous; and they were sturdily loyal to the somewhat primitive code of right and wrong which was the outcome.

[Sidenote 1: The Queen's Ministers]

[Sidenote 2: The Queen]

These qualities, joined with an indomitable audacity and an eminently practical shrewdness, were characteristic of the men who were the hand and heart of England. Other qualities were needed for the brains which had to direct her policy; the patient common sense of Burghley, the keen penetration of Walsingham, the solid shrewdness of Nicholas Bacon, vir pietate gravis. The craftiness of the younger Cecil, the time-serving of Francis Bacon, mark a lower type of politician; not rare perhaps in Elizabeth's time, but not generally characteristic among her servants. To draw full value, however, from the capacities of those statesmen, a monarch of exceptional ability was needed. It was the peculiar note of Elizabeth's dealings with her ministers that having once realised their essential merits, she never withdrew her confidence. She flouted, insulted and browbeat them when their advice ran counter to her caprices; but no man suffered in the long run for standing up to her, however she might be irritated. Nor can we attribute this to such a loyalty of disposition on her part as marked her rival Mary alone among Stuarts: to whom such baseness as she displayed in her treatment of Davison would have been impossible. Elizabeth had no sort of compunction in making scape-goats of such men as he. But she knew the men who could not be replaced, a faculty rare in princes; she would never have deserted a Strafford as did Mary's grandson. She drove Burghley and Walsingham almost to despair by her caprices; but if she overrode their judgment, it was not to displace them for other advisers more congenial to her mood, but to take affairs into her own hands, and manipulate them with a cool defiance of apparent probabilities, a duplicity so audacious that it passed for a kind of sincerity, which gave her successes the appearance of being due to an almost supernatural good luck. Histrionics were her stock-in-trade: she was eternally playing a part, and playing it with such zest that she habitually cheated her neighbours, and occasionally, for the time being, even herself, into forgetting that her role was merely assumed for ulterior purposes. When a crisis was reached where there was no further use for play-acting, she was again the shrewd practical ruler who had merely been masked as the comedienne. Other queens have been great by the display of intellectual qualities commonly accounted masculine, or of virtues recognised as the special glories of their own sex; Elizabeth had the peculiar ingenuity deliberately to employ feminine weakness, incomprehensibility, and caprice, as the most bafflingly effective weapons in her armoury.

A noble woman she was not. The miracle of virtues and charms depicted by courtiers and poets existed, if she did exist at all, entirely in their exuberant imaginations. She could be indecently coarse and intolerably mean; she could lie with unblushing effrontery; her vanity was inordinate. But voracious as she was of flattery it never misled her; she could appreciate in others the virtues she herself lacked; behind the screen of capriciousness, an intellect was ever at work as cool and calculating as her grandfather's, as hard and resolute as her father's. To understand her People was her first aim, to make them great was her ultimate ambition. And she achieved both.



i. Contemporary Rulers, 1475-1542.

ii. Do. do., 1542-1603.

iii. Genealogy of Lennox Stewarts.

iv. Genealogy of Howards and Boleyns.

v. House of Habsburg.

vi. Houses of Valois and Bourbon.

vii. House of Guise.

B. Claims to the English Throne.

C. The Queen of Scots.

D. Bibliography.


[Tables omitted]





When Henry of Richmond was hailed king of England on Bosworth Field, the principles and the practice of succession to the English throne were in a state of chaos; as far as hereditary right is concerned, his claim could hardly have been weaker. The titles both of his son and grandson were indisputable. Those of Mary and of Elizabeth were both questionable. From Elizabeth's accession to her death, it was uncertain who would succeed her. Accordingly, in the reign of Henry VII. we find actual pretenders put forward, and potential ones suspected and punished. No attempt was ever made to challenge Henry VIII. or Edward VI.: but there were sundry executions on the hypothesis of a treasonous intent to grasp at the crown, in the reign of the former. Lady Jane Grey was set up against Mary, and Elizabeth herself was under suspicion in that reign. Against Elizabeth, Mary Stewart's title was constantly urged; after the death of the Queen of Scots, Philip of Spain set up a claim on his own account; and at different times, the claims to the succession of a large variety of candidates were canvassed. It has seemed advisable therefore to give a complete genealogical table, which appears at the beginning of this volume: and the following summary, for convenient reference.


It was perfectly certain that whoever was rightful king or queen of England in 1485, Richard III. was personally a usurper who had secured the throne by murdering the king and his brother, and setting aside his other nieces and nephew, the children of his elder brothers of the House of York. They however were not in a position to assert themselves. If therefore the representative of the rival House of Lancaster could succeed in deposing the usurper, he would thereby create a claim for himself, beyond that of heredity, as the man who had released the nation from the tyrant; as Henry IV. had done. If he married the heiress of York, the two would unite the hereditary claims of the rival Houses, and the title of their offspring would be technically indisputable.

Through his mother, Henry Tudor was now the acknowledged representative of the House of Lancaster. On the assumption-for which there was no indisputable precedent-that a woman could succeed in person, his mother had the prior title, but since she did not appear as a claimant that technical difficulty could be passed over. On the like assumption, the Princess Elizabeth represented the House of York. Henry thus stood for the one House, the Princess Elizabeth for the other. Henry deposed and killed Richard. As soon as Elizabeth was his wife, and while both he and she lived, no one living could with much plausibility assert a prior claim. Henry's own personal claim however would continue disputable (though not his children's) in the event of his wife's demise; therefore, to strengthen his position, he sought and obtained the ratification of his own title by parliament before marrying Elizabeth, so as to have a sort of legal claim independent of her.

Still, until the sons of this union should be old enough to maintain their own rights in person, there remained the obvious possibility that the claims of a male member of the House of York might be asserted: the male members living being Warwick, and, through their mother, his De la Pole cousins.

Now the hereditary claim of the House of Lancaster, descending from John of Gaunt, the fourth son of Edward III., required ab initio the assumption that descent must be in direct male line; for if succession through the female line were recognised, the House of York h

ad the prior claim, as descending through females from Lionel of Clarence third son of Edward III. But when Henry VI. and his son were both dead, there was left no representative of John of Gaunt in direct male line. The only male Plantagenet remaining was young Warwick, son of George of Clarence, of the House of York; Plantagenet in virtue of his descent, in unbroken male line, not from Lionel of Clarence but from Edmund of York, fifth son of Edward III.

Thus, except on the hypothesis that the settlement of 1399 had excluded the entire House of York from the succession, no Lancastrian claim could hold water, technically. Granting succession through females, Elizabeth was the heir; denying it, Warwick was the heir.

Although accepted as the sole possible representative of John of Gaunt, and therefore of the House of Lancaster, Henry Tudor's claim to that position lay only in the female line, through his Beaufort blood. This title was the more ineffective because the Beauforts themselves were the illegitimate offspring of John of Gaunt by Katharine Swynford, and had only been legitimated by Act of Parliament under Richard II.; while even that legitimation had been rendered invalid, as concerned succession to the throne, by the Act of Henry IV. which in other respects confirmed it.

Nevertheless although there were other indubitably legitimate descendants of John of Gaunt living, no claim on behalf of any of them was put forward till a full century had elapsed. The royal House of Portugal sprang from the second and that of Castile from the third daughter of Lancaster; so that after the death of Mary Stewart, Philip II. of Spain, posing as their representative, claimed the inheritance, ignoring the superior title of his cousin Katharine of Braganza. But in 1485, the title of any alien would have been flatly repudiated by the whole country. There remained only in England, descending through his mother from John of Gaunt's eldest daughter, a young Neville who had just succeeded to the Earldom of Westmorland; whose line was extinguished in the person of the Earl who took part in the Northern rising of 1569. This branch however appears to have been completely ignored from first to last.

The vital fact remained, that Henry was the representative, acknowledged on all hands, of the House of Lancaster. He claimed the throne on that ground, ratified the claim on the field of Bosworth, and confirmed it by a Parliamentary title. The Plantagenet Princess, he married: their offspring combined the titles of the two Houses. The Plantagenet Earl was shut up in the Tower, and finally perished on the scaffold without offspring.

The accession of Henry was bound politically, in spite of his marriage, to have the effect of a Lancastrian victory. The extreme Yorkist partisans, who could always find asylum and encouragement with Margaret of Burgundy, were not likely to be satisfied with such a result; but they had nothing approaching a case for anyone except the young Earl of Warwick, a prisoner in the Tower. Hence the first attempt was to put forward a fictitious Warwick, Lambert Simnel. This scheme collapsed at the battle of Stoke. Then it was that the Yorkists fell back on the resuscitation of Richard of York, murdered in the Tower with Edward V. If he was alive, his title could not be seriously challenged. So he was brought to life in the person of Perkin Warbeck. When Warwick and Perkin were both dead, there was no one to fall back on but the De la Poles of Suffolk; since at this stage the two senior Yorkist branches-the Courtenays of Devon, and the Poles (a quite different family from the De la Poles) could not be erected into dangerous candidates. [See Frontispiece.] The claims of the Courtenays would derive from the younger daughter of Edward IV.: those of the Poles from the Countess of Salisbury, Warwick's sister: those of the De la Poles from Elizabeth, sister of Edward IV.


Under Henry VIII., there was no claim which could stand against the king's own. But in the course of his reign, he found it convenient to put out of the way Buckingham, who was not only (like the Tudors) of Beaufort blood but also traced descent from Thomas, sixth son of Edward III.; and twenty-five years later his grandson Surrey: also the heads of the De la Poles, the Poles, and the Courtenays.


Edward succeeded his father as a matter of course, being his one indubitably legitimate son. But who was to follow Edward? Henry had two daughters, born ostensibly in wedlock. But the marriages of both mothers had been pronounced void by the courts. Prima facie therefore, the succession went first to the offspring of Henry's eldest sister Margaret; but these might be ruled out as aliens. Next it would go to the offspring of his younger sister Mary, the Brandons, of whom the senior was Frances Grey; who however gave place (as Margaret of Richmond had done for Henry VII.) to her daughter Lady Jane. It will thus be seen that Lady Jane had technically a respectable title. It left out of count however that the Lennox Stewarts, the offspring of Margaret Tudor by her second marriage, were English as well as Scottish subjects and therefore not barred as aliens.

But, in spite of the ruling of the Courts, no one who believed in the Papal authority could admit that Mary Tudor was illegitimate. Again both she and Elizabeth were the children of unions entered on in bona fides, and only invalidated subsequently on technical grounds: grounds, in the one case, inadequate in the eyes of the Roman Church, and in the other never made public. Hence; although it is perfectly clear that if Katharine was Henry's lawful spouse, the marriage with Anne was bigamous and its offspring illegitimate, whereas, if Anne was Henry's lawful spouse then the marriage with Katharine was void from the beginning and its offspring illegitimate-that is, while both Mary and Elizabeth might be illegitimate, it was quite impossible that both should be legitimate-yet the advantages of setting the whole problem on one side by acknowledging the right of each to the succession, in order, were obvious. And this was done by the Will of Henry VIII. to which Parliament by anticipation gave the validity of a statute.

Mary then succeeded Edward, and Elizabeth succeeded Mary, in virtue of their recognition under Henry's will.


On Elizabeth's accession then; the validity of Henry's Will being admitted, no other title could stand against that instrument, and the Brandon branch would succeed in priority to the Stewarts. But evidently it could be argued that no instrument whatever could confer priority on an illegitimate heir over a legitimate one; or on a junior over a senior branch; and since no secular authority had power to annul the marriage between Henry and Katharine, nothing after Mary Tudor's death could set aside the title of Mary Stewart. Mary might accede to an arrangement as a matter of policy, but she could not abrogate her right, or admit that she was barred as an alien. On the other hand, the Greys might be pushed forward under the Will as heirs, in opposition to Mary; but they could not be seriously upheld as rivals to Elizabeth herself; and the same applied to the living representatives of the Poles, the Earl of Huntingdon and Arthur Pole. There were now no De la Poles, nor Courtenays.

With Mary Stewart as the only possible figure-head for a revolt, Elizabeth had no disposition to strengthen her position by acknowledging her as heir presumptive, since that would be an immediate incentive to her own assassination by Mary's adherents, who would be anxious to secure their candidate against the possible appearance of an heir apparent. It was safer to leave the question of her successor an open one, so that any overt act in favour of any particular candidate would be tolerably certain to recoil on that candidate's head. Therefore Elizabeth would acknowledge neither Mary nor another, though it can hardly be doubted that she did herself look upon the royal Stewarts as the rightful claimants, throughout her reign.

But when the Queen of Scots was dead, the Catholics were at once in want of a Catholic candidate. James of Scotland was a Protestant: so was Arabella, representing the Lennox Stewarts; so were Katharine Grey and her husband Lord Hertford (the son of the old Protector Somerset); so was their son. Lord Beauchamp; Huntingdon, the Pole representative, was a Protestant too. The Countess of Derby, like Katharine Grey, was a grandchild of Mary Brandon; but the Stanleys, though Catholics, rejected all overtures. As Elizabeth's end approached, various schemes were no doubt propounded for marrying Arabella to a Catholic, even to Beauchamp on the understanding that both were in due time to declare themselves Catholics. But the immediate result of Mary Stewart's death was that Philip of Spain entered the field as the Catholic candidate, as tracing descent from John of Gaunt through both his father and his mother. Later, his daughter Isabella was put forward.

From the legitimist point of view however the title of James of Scotland was indisputable. The stroke of deliberate policy by which Henry VII. had mated his eldest daughter to the Scots King James IV. bore its fruit when, precisely a hundred years later, the crowns of England and Scotland were united by the accession of Margaret's great-grandson to the southern throne.



The life of Mary Tudor has been in its place described as supremely tragic; that of Mary Stewart presents a tragedy not greater but more dramatic- whatever view we may take of her guilt or innocence with regard to Darnley, to Bothwell, to the conspirators who would fain have made her Queen of England. Of the misdeeds laid to her charge, that of unchastity has no colourable evidence except in the case of Bothwell, for whom it may be considered certain that she had an overwhelming passion; and even there the evidence is not more than colourable. That she was cognisant of the intended murder of Darnley can be doubted only by a very warm partisan: but in weighing the criminality even of that, it must be remembered not only that Darnley himself had murdered her secretary before her eyes, and had insulted her past forgiveness, but that political assassinations were connived at by the morals of the times. Henry VIII. had preferred to commit his murders through the forms of law, but had encouraged the assassination of Cardinal Beton which John Knox applauded. In Italy, every prominent man lived constantly on his guard against the cup and the dagger. Philip, Parma, Alva, Mendoza, encouraged the murder of Elizabeth, and incited or approved that of Orange. The royal House of France was directly responsible for the slaughter of St. Bartholomew. Henry III. of France assassinated Henry of Guise; the Guises in turn assassinated Henry. Many of the Scottish nobility, including certainly Lethington and Morton, if not Murray, were beyond question as deep as Mary, if not deeper, in the murder of Darnley. And in England it may be said frankly that there was no sentiment against political murder, but only against murder without sanction of Law. Given a person whose life was regarded as possibly dangerous to the State, the public conscience was entirely satisfied if any colourable pretext could be found on which the legal authorities could profess to find warrant for a death sentence, though the proof, on modern theories of evidence, might be wholly inconclusive. In plain terms, if Mary had not followed up the murder by marrying the "first murderer," the deed would not have been regarded as particularly atrocious, or as placing her in any way outside the pale. But that marriage was fatal. Darnley was killed because while he lived his intellectual and moral turpitude were perfectly certain to wreck his wife's political schemes; but the new marriage was equally destructive politically and drove home the belief that passion, not politics, was the real motive of the murder. Whether politics or passion were the real motive, whether either would have sufficed without the other, whether even together they would have sufficed without the third motive of revenge for Rizzio, no human judgment can tell. But if under stress of those three motives in combination, Mary connived at the murder, it proves indeed that her judgment failed her, but not that according to the standards of the day she was unusually wicked.

As to her conduct in England-whatever it was-in connexion with the Ridolfi, Throgmorton, and Babington plots. In the first place, she owed Elizabeth no gratitude. She was perfectly well aware that the Queen kept her alive because-unlike her ministers and her people-she thought Mary alive was on the whole more useful than dangerous. Mary always without any sort of concealment asserted throughout the eighteen years of her captivity her quite indisputable right to appeal to the European Powers for deliverance. She always denied that she had any part in or knowledge of schemes for Elizabeth's assassination. Those denials were never met by any evidence [Footnote: Cf. Hume in State Papers, Spanish, III., iii.] more conclusive than alleged copies of deciphered correspondence, or the confessions of prisoners on the rack or under threat of it. But assuming that her denials were false, that in one or other instance or in all three she was guilty, she did only what Valois and Habsburg and half the leading statesmen in Europe were doing, with the approbation of Rome, and without Mary's excuse. For they had the opportunity of overthrowing Coligny, Orange, Henry of Guise, and Elizabeth herself in fair fight; Mary had not: her crime therefore at the worst was infinitely less than theirs. To a caged captive much may be forgiven which in those others could not be forgiven.

And if in her prison she did assent to her own deliverance by assassination, and condescend (as no doubt she did) to use in some of her dealings with her captor some of that duplicity whereof that captor was herself a past mistress-if she used on her own behalf the weapons which were freely employed against her-she displayed at all times other qualities which were splendidly royal. She never betrayed, never disowned, never forgot a faithful servant or a loyal friend. If she bewitched the men who came in contact with her, she was the object of a no less passionate devotion on the part of all her women; not that transient if vehement emotion which a fascinating fiend can arouse when she wills, but a devotion persistent and enduring. And withal she dreed her weird with a lofty courage, faced it full front with a high defiance, which must bespeak for ever the admiration at least of every generous spirit.

All this we may say and yet do justice to the attitude towards her of the people of England. For to them, her life was a perpetual menace. The idea of her succession was to half of them unendurable, yet if Elizabeth died it could be averted only at the cost of a fierce civil war, aggravated almost certainly by a foreign invasion. About her, plots were eternally brewing which if they came to a head must involve the whole nation in a bloody strife. She engaged when she could in negotiations which could not do otherwise than imperil the peace of the realm. If no law or precedent could be found applicable to such a situation, there was clear moral justification for removing such a public danger in the only possible way. Mary's release would only have aggravated it; her death was the one solution. England had no hesitation in assuming the grim responsibility which the Queen of England was fain to evade at her servants' expense.



The works enumerated in this bibliography are such as may usually be found in the larger public libraries, or are available to members of the London Library. In most cases a few words of description are added, and the whole list has been so classified that the reader-it is hoped-will be able without much difficulty to pick out those volumes which will best help him whether to a general view or in gathering detailed information on specific points.

* * * * *

To a student "taking up" the Tudor period, the best brief general introduction, as a preliminary survey of the whole subject is to be found- judging from the writer's early experiences-in two small volumes in the "Epoch" Series (Longmans), Seebohm's Era of the Protestant Revolution, and Creighton's Age of Elizabeth.

The continuous narrative, in extenso, is presented consecutively in The Tudor Period, vol. i., by W. Busch (translated by A. M. Todd) for Henry VII.: Brewer's Henry VIII. (2 vols.) for Henry VIII. to the fall of Wolsey: Froude's History of England (12 vols.) from the fall of Wolsey to the Armada-cautious though the reader must be; with Major Martin Hume's Treason and Plot for Elizabeth's closing years.

Proceeding to the detailed list; the first division gives authorities covering all sections of the Tudor Period. Then, under each reign, are the authorities for that reign, selected as being on the whole the most prominent or the most informing. These are divided into contemporary, i.e. Tudor; Intermediate; and Modern, i.e. publications (roughly) of the last half century. Further classification is introduced, where it seems likely to be of assistance.


The Carew Papers (Ireland).

Four Masters, Chronicle of The: Celtic Chronicles, collated and translated circa 1632 by four Irish Priests. Hakluyt's Voyages.

The Hatfield Papers (Historical MSS. Commission). The period before Elizabeth occupies only half of vol. i.; the rest of which, with the following volumes of the series, is devoted to that reign. Rymer's Foedera. Stow, Annals and Survey of London and Westminster.


Hallam's Constitutional History of England. A valuable study of the constitutional aspects of the period; and especially of the attitude of the Government to the great religious sections of the community.

Hook's Lives of the Archbishops; a work somewhat coloured by the author's ecclesiastical predilections.

Lingard's History of England; a fair-minded account written avowedly from a Roman Catholic point of view. Valuable data have however been brought to light since Lingard wrote.

Von Ranke's Englische Geschichte, translated as "History of England principally in the seventeenth century": not a detailed history of this period, but marked by the Author's keen historical insight.

--- History of the Popes, for those aspects of the period suggested by the title: see also Macaulay's Essay on this work.

Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials, containing transcripts of many important documents. The compiler however occasionally went astray; as in a remarkable instance noted at p. 129.


Ashley, W. J., Introduction to English Economic History. Brown,

P. Hume, History of Scotland.

Cambridge Modern History: vol. ii., The Reformation. Useful for reference, and containing a very full bibliography of the subject. Cc. xiii.-xvi. deal more particularly with England. Also vol. iii., The Wars of Religion.

Chambers, Cyclopaedia of English Literature, containing useful surveys, criticisms, and extracts. [New edition.]

Chambers, E. K., The Mediaeval Stage, invaluable prolegomena to a History of the Elizabethan stage as yet unwritten. Clowes, Sir W. Laird, The Royal Navy; vol. i.

Cunningham, W., Growth of English Industry and Commerce: the best

Economic Authority. Dictionary of National Biography.

Green, J. R., Short History of the English People, admirably reproducing the atmosphere of the period.

Lang, Andrew, History of Scotland, vols. i. and ii.: a strong corrective to the ordinary English treatment of Scottish relations.

Morley, Henry, English Writers; partly critical, partly consisting of numerous and ample extracts.

Rait, J. S., Relations between England and Scotland, 500 to 1707. A short study.

Rogers, Thorold, Six Centuries of Work and Wages, and History of

Agriculture and Prices.

Social England, edd. H. D. Traill and J. S. Mann. Contributions by leading authorities, dealing at length with aspects commonly neglected in Political Histories.

Stubbs (Bishop), Seventeen Lectures on the Study of Medieval and Modern History; and Lectures on European History (pub. 1904, delivered twenty-five years earlier); very useful to the student, from their extremely lucid method.


André, Bernard, De Vita atque gestis Henrici Septimi, and Annales Henrici Septimi (to be found in Gairdner's Memorials, infra). André was the court historiographer, and was blind. Honest, but not altogether trustworthy, or adequate.

Fabyan, Robert, New Chronicles of England and France, (supplement), ed. Ellis: and London Chronicle: both, in their present form, probably summaries from the original record compiled by Fabyan as the events took place; upon which original it would seem that both Hall and Stow largely based their Chronicles of the reign.

Hall, Edward, Chronicle: compiled chiefly from Polydore Vergil, and

Fabyan for this reign. For Henry VIII., he is literally a contemporary.

Italian Relation, An, (Author unknown: ed. Camden Society), by an Italian visitor to England.

Letters and Papers, Richard III. and Henry VII., ed. Gairdner.

Letters and Papers Henry VIII., (vols. i. and ii.) ed. Brewer.

Letters, Despatches and State Papers, from Simancas, ed. Bergenroth. Spanish relations.

Lyndsay of Pitscottie, Historie of Scotland: picturesque but not too trustworthy.

Macchiavelli, N., The Prince. An interesting contrast to the political philosophy of the Utopia.

Memorials of Henry VII., ed. Gairdner: contemporary records.

More, Sir T., Utopia, first book (illustrating social and economic conditions).

Paston Letters, ed. Gairdner; correspondence of the Paston family.

Polydore Vergil, Historiae Anglicae Libri. P. V. was an Italian who came to England in 1502. For the earlier years of Henry VII. he had access to good sources of information; for the latter years he was a witness, but with the inevitable limitations of a foreign observer.


Bacon, Francis, History of the Reign of King Henry VII. This has been the basis of all the popular histories, for the reign. It is often referred to as "contemporary". But Bacon was not born till fifty years after Henry's death, and did not write the history till he was over fifty himself. His work contains much that is merely rhetorical amplification of above named contemporary authorities, with occasional imaginative variations and misreadings: nor does he appear to have had additional sources of information.

Ware, De Hibernia; a supplement to which contains annals of Irish

History in the reign of Henry VII.; written in the time of Charles I.


Busch, Wilhelm, England under the Tudors, vol. i., Henry VII.

Translated by A. M. Todd. The one complete and thorough account of the

reign, with an exhaustive examination of the authorities: and notes by

J. Gairdner.

Gairdner, J., Henry VII. (Twelve English Statesmen series), an admirable study but with less detail; written before Busch's work was published.

Seebohm, F., The Oxford Reformers, Colet, Erasmus and More: an illuminating study.



Calendar of State Papers

(1) State Papers, Henry VIII. A series of eleven volumes edited before the commencement of the series next named. These are referred to in this work as "S. P."; and the next series mentioned, as "L. & P."

(2) Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII. Vols. i.-iv. ed. Brewer, vols. v. ff. ed. J. Gairdner and others. Dr. Brewer carried his work down to the fall of Wolsey, arranging all available documents so far as possible chronologically, but without other classification. His introductions have been edited as two solid volumes (v. infra) by Dr. Gairdner. The subsequent editors were restricted as to the length of introduction permitted but the same system of arrangement is followed. Throughout, all documents of any importance are transcribed with fulness.

(3) State Papers, Venetian, (4) State Papers, Ireland, (5) (State Papers, Spanish;_ all official collections throwing some light on (various aspects of the history. [2, 3, and 5 belong to the Rolls series.]

Hamilton Papers (Scotland) 2 vols.: full transcriptions of the Hamilton collection of Papers.

Letters of Thomas Cromwell, ed. Merriman, a complete collection of all the available letters of Cromwell, with a historical survey.


Buchanan, G., History of Scotland; the author was an excellent scholar but a violent partisan with a rudimentary idea of evidence.

Cavendish, Life of Cardinal Wolsey. The author was a member of Wolsey's household, from 1526, and regarded him with affection and admiration.

Fabyan: see under Henry VII.

Fish, Simon, The Supplicacyon for the Beggers, a pamphlet illustrating the most extravagant anti-clerical attitude, just before Wolsey's fall.

Foxe, J., Acts and Monuments, commonly known as the "Book of Martyrs". The work of a strong but honest partisan and a good hater. Narratives of the Reformation by the same author.

Hall's Chronicle: see under Henry VII.

Holinshed, Raphael, Chronicle: compiled in the reign of Elizabeth. It forms with Hall's Chronicle, the basis of the popular impressions of English History down to Elizabeth, partly no doubt because Shakespeare, drawing upon those works, has made those popular impressions permanent.

Knox, John, History of the Reformation; less valuable perhaps as a record of facts set forth with a strong bias than as a revelation of the mental attitude of the great Reformer and his followers.

Latimer, Hugh, Sermons.

Lyndsay, Sir David, Poetical Works, for Social and Ecclesiastical conditions in Scotland.

Lyndsay of Pitscottie, Historie of Scotland. See under Henry VII.

More, Thomas, Utopia (1516) expresses the ideas of an advanced political thinker, and incidentally, directly or by implication, conveys much information as to prevalent social economic and intellectual conditions.

Pole, Reginald (Cardinal), Epistolae, illustrating the Cardinal's own views.

Roper, W., Life of Sir T. More, whose son-in-law the author was.

Sanders, Nicholas, History of the Anglican Schism presented from the extreme (contemporary) Catholic point of view.

Skelton, J., Poems.

Macchiavelli, N., The Prince.


Burnet, Gilbert, History of the Reformation; painstaking, liberal-minded and Orthodox, but requiring modification in the light of later information.

Prescott, Conquest of Mexico and Peru: the classical work on the subject.

Robertson, Charles V.

Strype, Memorials of Cranmer.


Armstrong, E., Charles V., the best record of the Emperor's career.

Brewer, J. S., The Reign of Henry VIII.: Introductions to the vols. of "L. & P." to the fall of Wolsey: edited in 2 vols. by J. Gairdner. Incomparable as an examination and exposition of the Cardinal's career.

Creighton (Bishop), Wolsey (in the Twelve English Statesmen series), practically an exposition of Brewer for the general reader.

Froude, J. A., History of England from the fall of Wolsey to the defeat of the Armada. An English classic, but an unsafe guide. Mr. Froude studied and made use of an immense mass of evidence not before available; but his transcriptions and summaries are not always distinguishable nor always accurate. He was unable to describe otherwise than picturesquely and impressively, and his colouring of events is frequently imaginative; he was overpowered by an anti-clerical passion and an almost blind enthusiasm for Henry VIII.

Oppenheim, M., History of the Administration of the Royal Navy, etc.

Seebohm, F., Era of the Protestant Revolution ("Epoch" series), professedly for school use, but extremely useful to even advanced students.

Pollard, A. F., Henry VIII.; a sumptuous study.


Dixon, R. W., History of the English Church (vols. i. and ii.): actually, of the Reformation in England, down to Elizabeth. Further volumes have however been added. The author holds a brief against the anti-clericals of every kind; his view may be summarised as Anglo-Catholic: the precise antithesis of Froude. He is full and careful in his documentary evidence, but is so persistently ironical as occasionally to convey prima facie an impression diametrically opposed to what was intended.

Gairdner, J., History of the English Church in the Sixteenth Century, concluding with the death of Mary. An admirably judicial survey, with a moderate predilection for the Conservative side.

Gasquet, F. A., Henry VIII. and the English Monasteries, and The Eve of the Reformation. Very able and judicial statements of the case for Home and the loyal Roman Catholics.

Innes, A. D., Cranmer and the English Reformation (in "The World's

Epoch Makers"): a short study.

Mason, A. J., Thomas Cranmer (in "Leaders of Religion"): a short study.

Moore, Aubrey, History of the Reformation. This volume consists almost entirely of notes, varying in fulness, for courses of lectures delivered by Canon Moore. The student will find them of much assistance in classifying and correlating events, and touched with flashes of insight. The High Anglican position is taken for granted throughout.

Pollard, A. F., Cranmer (in "Heroes of the Reformation" series); somewhat fuller than the above-mentioned studies.

Seebohm, F., The Oxford Reformers. (See under Henry VII.)

Taunton, E., Thomas Wolsey, Reformer and Legate-from the Roman point of view.

Westcott (Bishop), History of the English Bible.



Calendar of State Papers, Edward VI., etc., Domestic; vol. i. (Rolls.) Little more than a catalogue. Somewhat amplified by the Addenda in vol. vi.

Calendar of State Papers, Edward VI., Foreign, 1 vol. (Rolls.) Fairly full.

Calendar of Scottish State Papers, Ed. Bain.

Hamilton Papers (Scotland).


Buchanan, History of Scotland.

Foxe, Acts and Monuments.

Holinshed, Chronicle.

Knox, History of the Reformation.

Lyndsay of Pitscottie, Historie of Scotland.

Literary Remains of Edward VI., Ed. Nichols.

Pole, Reginald, Epistolae.

Sanders, Nicholas, History of the Anglican Schism.

Smith, Sir T., De Republica Anglorum


As for Henry VIII.


Armstrong, E., Charles V.

Dicey, A. V., The Privy Council.

Froude, J. A., History of England. In this and the next reign,

Mr. Froude is much less erratic.

Oppenheim, M., The Royal Navy, etc.

Pollard, A. F., England under Protector Somerset. The best work on the time; though the impression given of Somerset is somewhat more favourable than the facts quite warrant, the rehabilitation was to a great extent necessary and justified. Much information as to authorities is given in the bibliography.

Tytler, P. F., England in the Reigns of Edward VI. and Mary.


Dixon, History of the English Church, vols. iii, iv.

Gairdner, J., History of the English Church in the Sixteenth


Gasquet, F. A., Edward VI. and the Book of Common Prayer.

Innes, A. D., Cranmer and the English Reformation.

Mason, A. J., Thomas Cranmer.

Moore, Aubrey, History of the Reformation.

Pollard, A, F., Cranmer.



Calendar of State Papers, Mary, Foreign, 1 vol.

Otherwise, the list of contemporary authorities is the same as for Edward

VI., with some omissions. The Domestic Calendar, Edward VI., etc.

(vol. i.) extends on to 1580: and the remaining vols. to the end of

Elizabeth bear the same title.


As for Henry VIII.


Stone, J. M., Mary I. Queen of England takes the place of England under Protector Somerset for Edward VI. The facts are fairly and honestly stated; though the perspective differs considerably from that of Protestant writers, the bias is not nearly so marked as in the same writer's work on the Renaissance: and the portrait of Mary herself is probably the truest we have.

Otherwise, the list for Edward VI. is practically repeated for Mary.



Calendar of State Papers, Edward VI., etc., Domestic: (Rolls). Vol. i. 1547-80. A meagre catalogue. Vol. ii. 1580-90, somewhat less meagre. Vols. iii.-vi. 1590-1603, generally full transcriptions; but the Introductions are of much less use to the student than in Henry VIII. L. & P., or the other "Rolls" series of Elizabeth. Vols. vi. and vii., addenda to vols. i. and ii.; the description, as for vols. iii-vi.

Calendar of State Papers, Foreign, Elizabeth: (Rolls). 14 vols., 1558-81. Very full and informing; the introductions being very useful guides to the contents.

Calendar of State Papers, Irish: (Rolls). Sufficiently full and satisfactory.

Calendar of State Papers, Spanish: (Rolls). 1558-1603. Selected and translated by Major Martin Hume, chiefly from the Simancas archives. Very valuable, and full for most of the period.

Slate Papers relating to the Spanish Armada: 2 vols.: ed. Professor Laughton, whose Introduction is of great interest. Sidle Papers: Scotland and Mary Queen of Scots. Hamilton Papers. Hardwicke Papers. Letters of Mary Queen of Scots: ed. A. Strickland. Statutes and Constitutional Documents: ed G. W. Prothero.


Buchanan, History of Scotland. Camden, W., Britannia, a survey of the realm, and Annals of Queen Elizabeth. Foxe, J., Book of Martyrs. Holinshed, Chronicle. Knox, John, Works. Lesley, John (Bishop of Ross), History of Scotland. The Bishop was in constant diplomatic employment, on behalf of Mary. Lyndsay of Pitscottie, Historie of Scotland, ending 1563. Marprelate Tracts. Sanders, N., History of the Anglican Schism. Raleigh, Sir W., Works; notably The Discovery of Guiana, The Fight at the Azores, and the Relation of the Cadiz Action. But the works contain passim discussions which throw light on contemporary history. Spenser, E., Faerie Queen, Book I.; the Elizabethan spirit embodied in poetry. Not less necessary to a sympathetic understanding of the times than the Canterbury Tales, or Milton's Poems, for other periods.


Burnet, History of the Reformation. Macaulay, Lord, Essay on Burleigh and his Times, ostensibly a critique on the Nares Biography. Nares, E., Memoirs of Lord Burleigh. Neal, D., History of the Puritans. Strype, Annals of the Reformation; and Lives of Parker, Grindal, and Whitgift. Wright, T., Queen Elisabeth and her Times.


Beesley, E. S., Queen Elizabeth in the Twelve English Statesmen series. Rather a biography than a history; i.e. the Queen's personality holds almost exclusive possession of the stage. Brown, P. Hume, Scotland in the Time of Queen Mary; a study of social conditions, not politics or persons, in Scotland; inferentially, useful to the student of English social conditions.

Corbett, J., Drake and the Tudor Navy, 2 vols., the most complete study of the Naval development under Elizabeth. Indispensable for this subject. Also Drake in the English Men of Action series.

Creighton (Bishop), Queen Elizabeth.

Dixon, History of the English Church.

Fleming, D. Hay, _Mary Queen of Scots; (to her captivity in England).

Frere, W. H., History of the English Church.

Froude, History of England, vols. vii.-xii.; closing with the Armada. Mary Queen of Scots is the wicked heroine, Burghley the hero, the dramatic presentation of other characters depending largely on-and varying with-their relations to these two. These preconceptions must be borne in mind, in following a most fascinating narrative. Mr. Froude accumulated an unprecedented quantity of evidence, but does not always present it with accuracy, or weigh its value. The Elizabethan Seamen is also an interesting and graphic study.

Harrison, F., William the Silent, in the "Foreign Statesmen" series.

Hosack, J., Mary Queen of Scots and her Accusers, a vigorous presentation of the case on Mary's behalf.

Hume, Martin: (1) The Courtships of Queen Elizabeth-a special aspect of the reign which called for a specific treatment. (2) The Love Affairs of Mary Queen of Scots treated from the political, not the dramatic, point of view. (3) The Great Lord Burghley, a sympathetic study. (4) The Year after the Armada, to be read in conjunction with Corbett's Drake. (5) Treason and Plot, the best account of the Queen's closing years. (6) Life of Sir Walter Ralegh. (7) Introductions to the State Papers, Spanish, Elizabeth.

Jusserand, J. J., The Elizabethan Novel, a very interesting study, by a Frenchman, of this particular literary development; and A Literary History of the English People.

Lang, Andrew, The Mystery of Mary Stewart, a most ingenious examination of a practically insoluble problem: performed in the true spirit of historical investigation. The conclusions, with a less exhaustive treatment of the evidence, are presented in the History of Scotland-which is also a running criticism on English affairs as they affected, or were affected by, Scotland.

Laughton, Introduction to the State Papers relating to the Armada.

Lee, Sidney, Life of Shakespeare; and Great Englishmen of the

Sixteenth Century.

Moore, Aubrey, History of the Reformation.

Motley, J. R., Rise of the Dutch Republic, the classical work on the subject.

Oppenheim, M., History of the Administration of the Royal Navy, etc.

Procter, F., and Frere, W. H., New History of the Book of Common


Rodd, Sir Rennell, Raleigh in English Men of Action series.

Seeley, Sir J. R., The Expansion of England, lecture v.; and, The

Growth of British Policy from Elizabeth to William III. (2 vols.).

Sichel, E., Catherine de Medici, etc.; an account of some leading characters on the Continent.

Skelton, J., Maitland of Lethington, an able study of the "Scottish


Tomlinson, J. R., The Prayer-Book, Articles, Homilies-from a strongly "Protestant" point of view.

[Illustration: Spanish America about 1580]

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