صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ing the coming storm were driven to the necessity of expatriation, to avoid the calamities which threatened to overwhelm them at home. Mary in the mean time in all matters of im. portance consulted her kinsman the Emperor Charles V. who freely gave bis advice in furtherance of a design he entertained to obtain her hand for his son Philip of Spain ; Philip was a widower twenty-seven years of age, and eleven years younger than Mary, who, from a jealous dislike to the Princess Elizabeth, had formed a resolution to marry from the hour of her accession. The Queen's marriage had frequently formed the subject of deliberation in the council, and several foreign Princes had been proposed, Cardinal Pole, and Courtnay, Earl of Devonshire, both her countrymen, were also spoken of, but Pole was rejected on account of his age, and Courtnay for his irregularities; while she secretly sought the advice of the Emperor, who recommending his son, she immediately accepted him. He also advised her to proceed with gentle caution in the restoration of the old religion, but in this matter she remained inexorable. On the announcement of the intended marriage the House of Commons voted an address to the Queen, beseeching her to prefer an English Consort, which proved so unpalatable, that shortly after she dissolved the Par. liament.

The discontent diffused by the Queen's proposed marriage and the violent and sudden change in religion gave rise to the enterprize known as Wyat's insurrection, ostensibly raised for the purpose of preventing the union with Philip, but which being ill planned and worse executed was speedily suppressed ; Sir Thomas Wyat and about 400 of his followers expiating their folly on the scaffold. The enemies of the Princess Elizabeth having reported that she was privy to this rebellion, she was imprisoned and questioned, but ultimately released at the intercession of Gardiner. An opportunity was now afforded to Mary to wreak her vengeance upon the Lady Jane Grey, still confined in the Tower. The guilt of the Duke of Suffolk was imputed to her, and she was, therefore, as well as Lord Guild. ford her husband, executed on the same day, Lord Guildford being beheaded on Tower-hill and Lady Jane within the walls of the Tower.

A Parliament was now summoned which proved less complaisant than the former, for though it ratified the treaty of marriage, yet it rejected all other measures proposed by Ministers, particularly bills to enable the Queen to dispose of the Crown by will, and for the revival of the ancient laws against the Lollards; Mary, therefore, dissolved it at the end of one month.

The Queen now waited with much anxiety and impatience the arrival of her consort, who after considerable delay arrived, and in a few days being married at Westminster, they made a grand public entry into London, ultimately removing to Windsor, which they made their residence. Philip was presently followed by Pole in the character of Legate, to which he had been appointed by Pope Julius III. at the private intercession of Mary herself. A new parliament was assembled, and the reconciliation with the See of Rome was confirmed by a number of laws, the most important of which was that for the restoration to the Pope of the ecclesiastical supremacy. Both Houses voted an address to Philip and Mary, acknowledging that they had been guilty of a most horrible defection from the true church; professing a sincere repentance of their past transgressions ; declaring their resolution to repeal all laws enacted in prejudice of the Church of Rome; and praying their majesties, that since they were happily uninfected with that criminal schism, they would intercede with the holy father for the absolution and forgiveness of their penitent subjects. The request was easily granted. The legate, in the name of his holiness gave the Parliament and Kingdom absolution, freed them from all censures, and received them again into the bosom of the Church. It had been contemplated even to restore the Church and Abbey Lands, which had been confiscated by the Reformation, but Gardiner finding such a measure would be met with determined hostility, prudently abandoned it.

The Queen who might now be supposed to have attained the summit of her wishes, was not however yet content. Living in an age when the cruel punishment of offenders against the Church of Rome, seems to have been considered a religious duty, since all Papists, agreed in inflicting it, and being also of a cruel and revengeful disposition, she determined to put into execution the penal laws against the Protestants which had recently been passed by the Parliament. Pole, is said, to have discouraged, and Gardiner to have urged with precipitancy, the horrible persecution which at once filled England with scenes of murder and bloodshed, and which reign of terror, has ever since been remembered with detestation, and furnishes a melancholy proof that the divine precept of Charity to all men,forms no part of the Roman Catholic creed or practice.

Having thus far given a brief sketch of Mary's reign, it now becomes a painful duty to record the sufferings of the noble army of Martyrs, who gave up their last breath, amidst excruciating tortures, with unshaken firmness and constancy to the Protestant Church and faith, whose pure and simple doctrines afforded them consolation in extremity, and disarmed death of its terrors ; we shall reserve till after the relation of these appalling atrocities, any further notice of a Sovereign, whose name remains a cruel stain on the page of English History

Commissioners having been appointed with instructions to put to the torture and commit to the flames all persons convicted of heresy, and those who were termed incorrigible protestants, Gardiner commenced with great alacrity the cruel work, assisted by Bonner, who carried his cruelty to even greater excess than the former, since the far greater proportion of Martyrs were condemned by Bonner. The first victim to the implacable vengeance of the persecutors was

JOHN ROGERS,

Burned at Smithfield, Feb. 4., 1555.

This unfortunate man was of good family, and educated at the University of Cambridge, whence he was appointed chaplain to the company of Merchant adventurers at Antwerp. There he formed an acquaintance with Tindal and Coverdale who had been driven from England on account of their religious opinions. The three friends made the first translation of the Bible into English published at Hamburgh, 1532, under the assumed name of Matthew; Rogers correcting the press, and translating a portion of the Apocrypha and contributing some of the notes. Mr. Rogers having seceded from the Church of Rome, married and settled at Wittemburg, in Saxony, where he soon acquired the German language and became the pastor of a congregation at that place. On the accession of Edward VI. he came to England, at the invitation of Ridley, Bishop of London ; who appointed him vicar of St Sepulchre's, and a prebend and divinity reader of St Paul's. When Mary made her entry into London, Rogers had the hardihood to preach at Paul's Cross, exhorting the people to resist popery, for which he was summoned before the privy council, then filled with violent Papists, who however dismissed him for a time; but, upon the Queen's proclamation against preaching the reformed doctrines, he was ordered to be confined to his own house, where he remained six months, when he was removed to Newgate by order of Bonner and treated with great severity. Gardiner presided at the Council of Bishops before which he was summoned, when having been several times examined, and firmly refusing to be shaken in his attachment to the Protestant faith, he was finally condemned to be burnt, which sentence he listened to with the greatest calmness and resignation. On being suddenly awakened from a sound sleep to prepare for the stake, he was taken before Bonner to be degraded, who cruelly denied his request for an interview with his wife, but she, accom

« السابقةمتابعة »