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by Sir Robert Naunton. 1892 Cassell

Sir Robert Naunton was of an old family with large estates, settled at Alderton, in Suffolk. He was at Cambridge in the latter years of Elizabeth's reign, having entered as Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, and obtained a Fellowship at Trinity Hall. Naunton went to Scotland in 1589 with an uncle, William Ashby, whom Queen Elizabeth sent thither as Ambassador, and was despatched to Elizabeth's court from Scotland as a trusty messenger. In 1596-7 he was in France, and corresponded with the Earl of Essex, who was his friend. After the fall of Essex he returned to Cambridge, and was made Proctor of the University in 1601, three years after Paul Hentzner's visit to England. Then he became Public Orator at Cambridge, and by a speech made to King James at Hinchinbrook won his Majesty's praise for Latin and learning. He came to court in the service of Sir James Overbury, obtained the active friendship of George Villiers Duke of Buckingham, and was sworn as Secretary of State on the 8th January, 1617. The king afterwards gave Naunton the office of Master of the Court of Wards and Liveries.

Sir Robert Naunton wrote his recollections of the men who served Queen Elizabeth when he was near the close of his own life. It was after 1628, because he speaks of Edward Somerset, Earl of Worcester, as dead, and before 1632, because he speaks of Sir William Knollys living as the only Earl of Banbury. He was created Earl of Banbury in 1626, and died in 1632. The "Fragmenta Regalia" were first published in 1641, after Sir Robert's death. They were reprinted in 1642 and 1653, since which date they have appeared in various collections. There was a good edition of them in 1870 among the very valuable "English Reprints" for which we are indebted to Professor Edward Arber.


To take her in the original, she was the daughter of King Henry VIII. by Anne Boleyn, the second of six wives which he had, and one of the maids of honour to the divorced Queen, Katharine of Austria (or, as the now styled, Infanta of Spain), and from thence taken to the royal bed.

That she was of a most noble and royal extract by her father will not fall into question, for on that side was disembogued into her veins, by a confluency of blood, the very abstract of all the greatest houses in Christendom: and remarkable it is, considering that violent desertion of the Royal House of the Britons by the intrusion of the Saxons, and afterwards by the conquest of the Normans, that, through vicissitude of times, and after a discontinuance almost of a thousand years, the sceptre should fall again and be brought back into the old regal line and true current of the British blood, in the person of her renowned grandfather, King Henry VII., together with whatsoever the German, Norman, Burgundian, Castilian, and French achievements, with their intermarriages, which eight hundred years had acquired, could add of glory thereunto.

By her mother she was of no sovereign descent, yet noble and very ancient in the family of Boleyn; though some erroneously brand them with a citizen's rise or original, which was yet but of a second brother, who (as it was divine in the greatness and lustre to come to his house) was sent into the city to acquire wealth, AD AEDIFICANDAM ANTIQUAM DOMUM, unto whose achievements (for he was Lord Mayor of London) fell in, as it is averred, both the blood and inheritance of the eldest brother for want of issue males, by which accumulation the house within few descents mounted, IN CULMEN HONORIS, and was suddenly dilated in the best families of England and Ireland: as Howard, Ormond, Sackville, and others.

Having thus touched, and now leaving her stirp, I come to her person, and how she came to the crown by the decease of her brother and sister.

Under Edward VI. she was his, and one of the darlings of Fortune, for, besides the consideration of blood, there was between these two princes a concurrency and sympathy of their natures and affections, together with the celestial bond (confirmative religion), which made them one; for the King never called her by any other appellation but his sweetest and dearest sister, and was scarce his own man, she being absent; which was not so between him and the Lady Mary.

Under her sister {19} she found her condition much altered; for it was resolved, and her destiny had decreed it, for to set her apprentice in the school of affliction, and to draw her through that ordeal-fire of trial, the better to mould and fashion her to rule and sovereignty: which finished, Fortune calling to mind that the time of her servitude was expired, gave up her indentures, and therewith delivered into her custody a sceptre as the reward of her patience; which was about the twenty-sixth of her age: a time in which, as for her internals grown ripe, and seasoned by adversity, in the exercise of her virtue; for, it seems, Fortune meant no more but to show her a piece of variety and changeableness of her nature, but to conduct her to her destiny, I.E., felicity.

She was of person tall, of hair and complexion fair, and therewith well favoured, but high-nosed; of limbs and features neat; and, which added to the lustre of these external graces, of a stately and majestic comportment, participating in this more of her father than of her mother, who was of an inferior alloy, plausible, or, as the French hath it, more DEBONAIRE and affable: virtues which might well suit with majesty, and which, descending as hereditary to the daughter, did render her of a sweeter temper, and endeared her more to the love and liking of the people, who gave her the name and fame of a most gracious and popular princess.

The atrocity of the father's nature was rebated in her by the mother's sweeter inclinations; for (to take, and that no more than the character out of his own mouth) HE NEVER SPARED MAN IN HIS ANGER, NOR WOMAN IN HIS LUST.

If we search farther into her intellectuals and abilities, the wheel-course of her government deciphers them to the admiration of posterity; for it was full of magnanimity, tempered with justice, piety, and pity, and, to speak truth, noted but with one act of stain, or taint, all her deprivations, either of life or liberty, being legal and necessitated. She was learned, her sex and time considered, beyond common belief; for letters about this time, or somewhat before, did but begin to be of esteem and in fashion, the former ages being overcast with the mists and fogs of the Roman {20} ignorance; and it was the maxim that over-ruled the foregoing times, that IGNORANCE WAS THE MOTHER OF DEVOTION. Her wars were a long time more in the auxiliary part, and assistance of foreign princes and states, than by invasion of any; till common policy advised it, for a safer way, to strike first abroad, than at home to expect the war, in all which she was ever felicitous and victorious.

The change and alteration of religion upon the instant of her accession to the crown (the smoke and fire of her sister's martyrdoms scarcely quenched) was none of her least remarkable actions; but the support and establishment thereof, with the means of her own subsistence amidst so powerful enemies abroad, and those many domestic practices, were, methinks, works of inspiration, and of no human providence, which, on her sister's departure, she most religiously acknowledged--ascribing the glory of her deliverance to God above; for she being then at Hatfield, and under a guard, and the Parliament sitting at the self-same time, at the news of the Queen's death, and her own proclamation by the general consent of the House and the public sufferance of the people, falling on her knees, after a good time of respiration, she uttered this verse of the Psalm:


And this we find to this day on the stamp of her gold, with this on her silver:


Her ministers and instruments of State, such as were PARTICIPES CURARUM, or bore a great part of the burthen, were MANY, and those MEMORABLE; but they were only FAVOURITES, and not MINIONS; such as acted more by HER princely rules and judgments, than by their OWN wills and appetites; for we saw no Gaveston, Vere, or Spencer, to have swayed alone, during forty-four years, which was a well-settled and advised maxim; for it valued her the more, it awed the most secure, it took best with the people, and it staved off all emulations, which are apt to rise and vent in obloquious acrimony even against the prince, where there is ONE ONLY admitted into high administrations.


The principal note of her reign will be, that she ruled much by faction and parties, which she herself both made, upheld, and weakened, as her own great judgment advised; for I do dissent from the common and received opinion, that my Lord of Leicester was ABSOLUTE and ALONE in her GRACE; and, though I come somewhat short of the knowledge of these times, yet, that I may not err or shoot at random, I know it from assured intelligence that it was not so; for proof whereof, amongst many (that could present), I will both relate a story, and therein a known truth, and it was thus: Bowyer, the Gentleman of the Black Rod, being charged by her express command to look precisely to all admissions in the Privy Chamber, one day stayed a very gay captain (and a follower of my Lord of Leicester) from entrance, for that he was neither well known, nor a sworn servant of the Queen; at which repulse, the gentleman (bearing high on my lord's favour) told him that he might, perchance, procure him a discharge. Leicester coming to the contestation, said publicly, which was none of his wonted speeches, that he was a knave, and should not long continue in his office; and so turning about to go to the Queen, Bowyer, who was a bold gentleman and well-beloved, stepped before him, and fell at Her Majesty's feet, relates the story, and humbly craves Her Grace's pleasure, and in such a manner as if he had demanded whether my Lord of Leicester was King, or Her Majesty Queen: whereunto she replied (with her wonted oath, GOD'S- DEATH) "My lord, I have wished you well, but my favour is not so locked up for you that others shall not participate thereof; for I have many servants unto whom I have, and will, at my pleasure, bequeath my favour, and likewise resume the same; and if you think to rule here, I will take a course to see you forthcoming; {23} I will have here but one MISTRESS, and no MASTER; and look that no ill happen to him, lest it be severely required at your hands:" which so quailed my Lord of Leicester, that his faint humility was, long after, one of his best virtues.

Moreover, the Earl of Sussex, then Lord Chamberlain, was his professed antagonist to his dying day; and for my Lord Hunsdown, and Sir Thomas Sackville, after Lord Treasurer, who were all contemporaries, he was wont to say of them, that they were of the tribe of Dan, and were NOLI ME TANGERE, implying that they were not to be contested with, for they were, indeed, of the Queen's nigh kindred.

From whence, and in many more instances, I conclude that she was absolute and sovereign mistress of her graces, and that all those to whom she distributed her favours were never more than tenants-at- will, and stood on no better terms than her princely pleasure, and their good behaviour.

And this also I present as a known observation, that she was, though very capable of counsel, absolute enough in her own resolution; which was ever apparent even to her last, and in that of her still aversion to grant Tyrone {24} the least drop of her mercy, though earnestly and frequently advised thereunto, yea, wrought only by her whole Council of State, with very many reasons; and, as the state of her kingdom then stood, I may speak it with assurance, necessitated arguments.

If we look into her inclination, as it was disposed to magnificence or frugality, we shall find in them many notable considerations; for all her dispensations were so poised as though Discretion and Justice had both decreed to stand at the beam, and see them weighed out in due proportion, the maturity of her paces and judgments meeting in a concurrence; and that in such an age that seldom lapseth to excess.

To consider them apart, we have not many precedents of her LIBERALITY, nor any large donatives to PARTICULAR men, my Lord of Essex's book of PARKS excepted, which was a princely gift; and some more of a lesser size to my Lord of Leicester, Hatton, and others.

Her rewards chiefly consisted in grants and leases of offices, and places of judicature; but for ready money, and in great sums, she was very sparing; which, we may partly conceive, was a virtue rather drawn out of necessity than her nature; for she had many layings- out, and as her wars were lasting, so their charge increased to the last period. And I am of opinion with Sir Walter Raleigh, that those many brave men of her times, and of the militia, tasted little more of her bounty than in her grace and good word with their due entertainment; for she ever paid her soldiers well, which was the honour of her times, and more than her great adversary of Spain could perform; so that when we come to the consideration of her FRUGALITY, the observation will be little more than that her BOUNTY and it were so woven together, that the one was {25} stained by an honourable way of sparing.

The Irish action we may call a malady, and a consumption of her times, for it accompanied her to her end; and it was of so profuse and vast an expense, that it drew near unto a distemperature of State, and of passion in herself; for, towards her last, she grew somewhat hard to please, her armies being accustomed to prosperity, and the Irish prosecution not answering her expectation, and her wonted success; for it was a good while an unthrifty and inauspicious war, which did much disturb and mislead her judgment; and the more for that it was a precedent taken out of her own pattern.

For as the Queen, by way of division, had, at her coming to the crown, supported the revolted States of Holland, so did the King of Spain turn the trick upon herself, towards her going out, by cherishing the Irish rebellion; where it falls into consideration, what the state of this kingdom and the crown revenues were then able to endure and embrace.

If we look into the establishments of those times with the best of the Irish army, counting the defeat of Blackwater, with all the precedent expenses, as it stood from my Lord of Essex's undertaking of the surrender of Kingsale, and the General Mountjoy, and somewhat after, we shall find the horse and foot troops were, for three or four years together, much about twenty thousand, besides the naval charge, which was a dependant of the same war; in that the Queen was then forced to keep in continual pay a strong fleet at sea to attend the Spanish coasts and parts, both to alarm the Spaniards, and to intercept the forces designed for the Irish assistance; so that the charge of that war alone did cost the Queen three hundred thousand pounds per annum at least, which was not the moiety of her other disbursements and expenses; which, without the public aids, the state of the royal receipts could not have much longer endured; which, out of her own frequent letters and complaints to the Deputy Mountjoy for cashiering of that list as soon as he could, might be collected, for the Queen was then driven into a strait.

We are naturally prone to applaud the times behind us, and to vilify the present; for the concurrent of her fame carries it to this day, how loyally and victoriously she lived and died, without the grudge and grievance of her people; yet the truth may appear without detraction from the honour of so great a princess. It is manifest she left more debts unpaid, taken upon credit of her privy-seals, than her progenitors did, or could have taken up, that were a hundred years before her; which was no inferior piece of State, to lay the burthen on that house {26} which was best able to bear it at a dead lift, when neither her receipts could yield her relief at the pinch, nor the urgency of her affairs endure the delays of Parliamentary assistance. And for such aids it is likewise apparent that she received more, and that with the love of her people, than any two of her predecessors that took most; which was a fortune strained out of the subjects, through the plausibility of her comportment, and (as I would say, without offence) the prodigal distribution of her grace to all sorts of subjects; for I believe no prince living, that was so tender of honour, and so exactly stood for the preservation of sovereignty, was so great a courtier of the people, yea, of the Commons, and that stooped and declined low in presenting her person to the public view, as she passed in her progress and perambulations, and in her ejaculations of her prayers on the people.

And, truly, though much may be written in praise of her providence and good husbandry, in that she could, upon all good occasions, abate her magnanimity, and therewith comply with the Parliament, and so always come off both with honour and profit; yet must we ascribe some part of the commendation to the wisdom of the times, and the choice of Parliament-men; for I said {27} not that they were at any time given to any violent or pertinacious dispute, the elections being made of grave and discreet persons, not factious and ambitious of fame; such as came not to the House with a malevolent spirit of contention, but with a preparation to consult on the public good, and rather to comply than to contest with Majesty: neither dare I find {28} that the House was weakened and pestered through the admission of too many YOUNG HEADS, as it hath been of LATTER times; which remembers me of the Recorder Martin's speech about the truth of our late Sovereign Lord King James, {29} when there were accounts taken of FORTY gentlemen not above TWENTY, and some not exceeding SIXTEEN years of age; which made him to say, "that it was the ancient custom for old men to make laws for young ones, but there he saw the case altered, and there were children in the great council of the kingdom, which came to invade and invert nature, and to enact laws to govern their fathers." Such {30} were in the House always, {31} and took the common cause into consideration; and they say the Queen had many times just cause, and need enough, to use their assistance: neither do I remember that the House did ever capitulate, or prefer their private to the public and the Queen's necessities, but waited their times, and, in the first place, gave their supply, and according to the exigence of her affairs; yet failed not at the last to attain what they desired, so that the Queen and her Parliaments had ever the good fortune to depart in love, and on reciprocal terms, which are considerations that have not been so exactly observed in our LAST assemblies. And I would to God they had been; for, considering the great debts left on the King, {32} and to what incumbrances the House itself had then drawn him, His Majesty was not well used, though I lay not the blame on the whole suffrage of the House, where he had many good friends; for I dare avouch it, had the House been freed of half a dozen popular and discontented persons (such as, with the fellow that burnt the temple of Ephesus, would be talked of, though for doing mischief), I am confident the King had obtained that which, in reason, and at his first occasion, he ought to have received freely, and without condition. But pardon this digression, which is here remembered, not in the way of aggravation, but in true zeal of the public good, and presented IN CAVEAT of future times: for I am not ignorant how the genius and spirit of the kingdom now moves to make His Majesty amends on any occasion; and how desirous the subject is to expiate that offence at any rate, may it please His Majesty to make a trial of his subjects' affections; and at what price they value now his goodness and magnanimity.

But to our purpose: the Queen was not to learn that, as the strength of the kingdom consisted in the multitude of her subjects, so the security of her person consisted and rested in the love and fidelity of her people, which she politically affected (as it hath been thought) somewhat beneath the height of her natural spirit and magnanimity.

Moreover, it will be a true note of her providence, that she would always listen to her profit: for she would not refuse the information of meanest personages, which proposed improvement; and had learned the philosophy of (HOC AGERE) to look unto her own work: of which there is a notable example of one Carmarthen, an under officer of the Custom House, who, observing his time, presented her with a paper, showing how she was abused in the under-renting of the Customs, and therewith humbly desired Her Majesty to conceal him, for that it did concern two or three of her great counsellors, {33} whom Customer Smith had bribed with two thousand pounds a man, so to lose the Queen twenty thousand pounds per annum; which being made known to the Lords, they gave strict order that Carmarthen should not have access to the back-stairs; but, at last, Her Majesty smelling the craft, and missing Carmarthen, she sent for him back, and encouraged him to stand to his information; which the poor man did so handsomely that, within the space of ten years, he was brought to double his rent, or leave the Custom to new farmers. So that we may take this also in consideration, that there were of the Queen's Council which were not in the catalogue of saints.

Now, as we have taken a view of some particular motives of her times, her nature, and necessities, it is not without the text to give a short touch of the HELPS and ADVANTAGES of her reign, which were NOT without {34} paroles; for she had neither husband, brother, sister, nor children to provide for, who, as they are dependants on the Crown, so do they necessarily draw livelihood from thence, and oftentimes exhaust and draw deep, especially when there is an ample fraternity royal, and of the princes of the blood, as it was in the time of Edward III. and Henry IV. For when the Crown cannot, the public ought to give honourable allowance; for they are the honour and hopes of the kingdom; and the public, which enjoys them, hath the like interest with the father which begat them; and our common law, which is the inheritance of the kingdom, did ever of old provide aids for the PRIMOGENITUS {35} and the eldest daughter; for that the multiplicity of courts, and the great charges which necessarily follow a king, a queen, a prince, and royal issue, was a thing which was not IN RERUM NATURA {36} during the space of forty- four years, {37} but worn out of memory, and without the consideration of the present times, insomuch as the aids given to the late and Right Noble Prince Henry, and to his sister, the Lady Elizabeth, which were at first generally received as impositions for knighthood, though an ancient law, fell also into the imputation of a tax of nobility, for that it lay long covered in the embers of division between the Houses of York and Lancaster, and forgotten or connived at by the succeeding princes: so that the strangeness of the observation, and the difference of those latter reigns, is that the Queen took up much BEYOND the power of law, which fell not into the murmur of people; and her successors took nothing but by warrant of the law, which nevertheless was received, THROUGH DISUSE, to be injurious to the liberty of the kingdom.

Now before I come to any mention of her favourites, for hitherto I have delivered but some oblivious passages, thereby to prepare and smooth a way for the rest that follows:

It is necessary that I touch on the religiousness of the other's reign, I mean the body of her sister's {38} Council of State, which she retained entirely, neither removing nor discontenting any, although she knew them averse to her religion, and, in her sister's time, perverse to her person, and privy to all her troubles and imprisonments.

A prudence which was incompatible to her sister's nature, for she both dissipated and presented the major part of her brother's Council; but this will be of certain, that how compliable and obsequious soever she found them, yet for a good space she made little use of their counsels, more than in the ordinary course of the Board, for she had a dormant table in her own privy breast; yet she kept them together and in their places, without any sudden change; so that we may say of them that they were then of the Court, not of the Council; for whilst she AMAZED {39} them by a kind of promissive disputation concerning the points controverted by both Churches, she did set down her own gests, without their privity, and made all their progressions, gradations; but for that the tenents of her secrets, with the intents of her establishments, were pitched before it was known where the Court would sit down.

Neither do I find that any of her sister's Council of State were either repugnant to her religion, or opposed her doings; Englefeild, Master of the Wards, excepted, who withdrew himself from the Board, and shortly after out of her dominions; so pliable and obedient they were to change with the times and their prince; and of them will fall a relation of recreation. Paulet, Marquis of Winchester, and Lord Treasurer, had served then four princes, in as various and changeable times and seasons, that I may well say no time nor age hath yielded the like precedent. This man, being noted to grow high in her favour (as his place and experience required), was questioned by an intimate friend of his, how he had stood up for thirty years together, amidst the change and ruins of so many Chancellors and great personages. "Why," quoth the marquis, "ORTUS SUM E SALICE, NON EX QUERCU," I.E., "I am made of pliable willow, not of the stubborn oak." And, truly, it seems the old man had taught them all, especially William, Earl of Pembroke, for they two were always of the King's religion, and always zealous professors: of these it is said that being both younger brothers, yet of noble houses, they spent what was left them, and came on trust to the Court, where, upon the bare stock of their wits, they began to traffic for themselves, and prospered so well that they got, spent, and left more than any subjects from the Norman Conquest to their own times; whereupon it hath been prettily spoken that they lived in a time of dissolution.

To conclude, then, of all the former reign, it is said that those two lived and died chiefly in her grace and favour: by the letter written upon his son's marriage with the Lady Catherine Grey, he had like utterly to have lost himself; but at the instant of consummation, as apprehending the unsafety and danger of intermarriage with the blood royal, he fell at the Queen's feet, where he both acknowledged his presumption, and projected the cause and the divorce together: so quick he was at his work, that in the time of repudiation of the said Lady Grey, he clapped up a marriage for his son, the Lord Herbert, with Mary Sidney, daughter to Sir Henry Sidney, then Lord Deputy or Ireland, the blow falling on Edward, the late Earl of Hertford, who, to his cost, took up the divorced lady, of whom the Lord Beauchamp was born, and William, now Earl of Hertford, is descended.

I come now to present them to her own election, which were either admitted to her secrets of State, or taken into her grace and favour; of whom, in order, I crave leave to give unto posterity a cautious description, with a short character or draught of the persons themselves (for, without offence to others, I would be true to myself), their memories and merits, distinguishing those of MILITIAE {40} from the TOGATI; {41} and of both these she had as many, and those as able ministers, as had any of her progenitors.


It will be out of doubt that my Lord of Leicester was one of the first whom she made Master of the Horse; he was the youngest son then living of the Duke of Northumberland, beheaded PRIMO MARIAE, {42} and his father was that Dudley which our histories couple with Empson, and both be much infamed for the caterpillars of the commonwealth during the reign of Henry VII., who, being of a noble extract, was executed the first year of Henry VIII., but not thereby so extinct but that he left a plentiful estate, and such a son who, as the vulgar speaks it, would live without a teat. For, out of the ashes of his father's infamy, he rose to be a duke, and as high as subjection could permit or sovereignty endure. And though he could not find out any appellation to assume the crown in his own person, yet he projected, and very nearly effected it, for his son Gilbert, by intermarriage with the Lady Jane Grey, and so, by that way, to bring it into his loins. Observations which, though they lie beyond us, and seem impertinent to the text, yet are they not much extravagant, for they must lead us and show us how the after- passages were brought about, with the dependences on the line of a collateral workmanship; and surely it may amaze a well-settled judgment to look back into these times and to consider how the duke could attain to such a pitch of greatness, his father dying in ignominy, and at the gallows, his estate confiscated for pilling and polling the people.

But, when we better think upon it, we find that he was given up but as a sacrifice to please the people, not for any offence committed against the person of the King; so that upon the matter he was a martyr of the prerogative, and the King in honour could do no less than give back to his son the privilege of his blood, with the acquiring of his father's profession, for he was a lawyer, and of the King's Council at Law, before he came to be EX INTERIORIBUS CONSILIIS, {43} where, besides the licking of his own fingers, he got the King a mass of riches, and that not with hazard, but with the loss of his life and fame, for the King's father's sake.

Certain it is that his son was left rich in purse and brain, which are good foundations, and fuel to ambition; and, it may be supposed, he was on all occasions well heard of the King as a person of mark and compassion in his eye, but I find not that he did put up for advancement during Henry VIII.'s time, although a vast aspirer and a provident stayer.

It seems he thought the King's reign was much given to the falling- sickness, but espying his time fitting, and the sovereignty in the hands of a pupil prince, he then thought he might as well put up, for it was the best; for having the possession of blood, and of purse, with a head-piece of a vast extent, he soon got to honour, and no sooner there but he began to side it with the best, even with the Protector, {44} and, in conclusion, got his and his brother's heads; still aspiring till he expired in the loss of his own, so that posterity may, by reading of the father and grandfather, make judgment of the son; for we shall find that this Robert, whose original we have now traced the better to present him, was inheritor to the genius and craft of his father, and Ambrose of the estate, of whom hereafter we shall make some short mention.

We took him now as he was admitted into the Court and the Queen's favours, and here he was not to seek to play his part well and dexterously; but his play was chiefly at the fore-game, not that he was a learner at the latter, but he loved not the after-wit, for the report is (and I think not unjustly) that he was seldom behind-hand with his gamesters, and that they always went with the loss.

He was a very goodly person, tall, and singularly well-featured, and all his youth well-favoured, of a sweet aspect, but high-foreheaded, which (as I should take it) was of no discommendation; but towards his latter, and which with old men was but a middle age, he grew high-coloured, so that the Queen had much of her father, for, expecting some of her kindred, and some few that had handsome wits in crooked bodies, she always took personage in the way of election, for the people hath it to this day, KING HENRY LOVED A MAN.

Being thus in her grace, she called to mind the sufferings of HIS ancestors, both in her father's and sister's reigns, and restored his and his brother's blood, creating Ambrose, the elder, Earl of Warwick, and himself Earl of Leicester; and, as he was EX PRIMITIS, or, OF HER FIRST CHOICE, so he rested not there, but long enjoyed her favour, and therewith what he listed, till time and emulation, the companions of greatness, resolved of his period, and to colour him at his setting in a cloud (at Conebury) not by so violent a death, or by the fatal sentence of a judicature, as that of his father and grandfather was, but, as is supposed, by that poison which he had prepared for others, wherein they report him a rare artist. I am not bound to give credit to all vulgar relations, or the libels of his time, which are commonly forced and falsified suitable to the words and honours {45} of men in passion and discontent; but what blinds me to think him no good man, amongst other things of known truth, is that of my Lord of Essex's {46} death in Ireland and the marriage of his lady, which I forbear to press in regard he is long since dead, and others are living whom it may concern.

To take him in the observation of his letters and writings, which should best set him off, for such as have fallen into my hands, I never yet saw a style or phrase more seemingly religious and fuller of the strains of devotion; and, were they not sincere, I doubt much of his well-being, {47} and, I fear, he was too well seen in the aphorisms and principles of Nicholas the Florentine, and in the reaches {48} of Cesare Borgia.

And hereto I have only touched him in his courtships. I conclude him in his lance; {49} he was sent Governor by the Queen to the revolted States of Holland, where we read not of his wonders, for they say he had more of Mercury than he had of Mars, and that his device might have been, without prejudice to the great Caesar, VENI, VIDI, REDIVI.

RADCLIFFE, Earl of Sussex.

His {50} co-rival was Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex, who in his constellation was his direct opposite, for indeed he was one of the Queen's martialists, and did her very good service in Ireland, at her first accession, till she recalled him to the Court, whom she made Lord Chamberlain; but he played not his game with that cunning and dexterity as the Earl of Leicester did, who was much the fairer courtier, though Sussex was thought much the honester man, and far the better soldier, but he lay too open on his guard; he was a godly gentleman, and of a brave and noble nature, true and constant to his friends and servants; he was also of a very ancient and noble lineage, honoured through many descents, through the title of Fitzwalters. Moreover, there was such an antipathy in his nature to that of Leicester, that, being together in Court, and both in high employments, they grew to a direct frowardness, and were in continual opposition, the one setting the watch, the other the guard, each on the other's actions and motions; for my Lord of Sussex was of so great spirit, which, backed with the Queen's special favour and support, {51} by a great and ancient inheritance, could not brook the other's empire, insomuch as the Queen upon sundry occasions had somewhat to do to appease and atone them, until death parted the competition, and left the place to Leicester, who was not long alone without his rival in grace and command; and, to conclude this favourite, it is confidently affirmed that, lying in his last sickness, he gave this CAVEAT to his friends:-

"I am now passing into another world, and I must leave you to your fortunes and the Queen's grace and goodness; but beware of gipsy" (meaning Leicester), "for he will be too hard for you all; you know not the beast so well as I do."


I come now to the next, which was Secretary William Cecil, for on the death of the old Marquis of Winchester he came up in his room: a person of a most subtle and active spirit.

He stood not by the way of constellation, but was wholly attentive to the service of his mistress, and his dexterity, experience, and merit therein challenged a room in the Queen's favour which eclipsed the other's over-seeming greatness, and made it appear that there were others steered and stood at the helm besides himself, and more stars in the firmament of grace than Ursa Major.

He was born, as they say, in Lincolnshire, but, as some aver upon knowledge, of a younger brother of the Cecils of Hertfordshire, a family of my own knowledge, though now private, yet of no mean antiquity, who, being exposed, and sent to the City, as poor gentlemen used to do their sons, became to be a rich man on London Bridge, and purchased {52} in Lincolnshire, where this man was born.

He was sent to Cambridge, and then to the Inns of Court, and so came to serve the Duke of Somerset in the time of his Protectorship as Secretary, and having a pregnancy to high inclinations, he came by degrees to a higher conversation with the chiefest affairs of State and Councils; but, on the fall of the duke, he stood some years in umbrage and without employment, till the State found they needed his abilities; and although we find not that he was taken into any place during Mary's reign, unless (as some say) towards the last, yet the Council several times made use of him, and in the Queen's {53} entrance he was admitted Secretary of State; afterwards he was made Master of the Court of Wards, then Lord Treasurer, for he was a person of most excellent abilities; and, indeed, the Queen began to need and seek out men of both guards, and so I conclude to rank this {54} great instrument amongst the TOGATI, for he had not to do with the sword, more than as the great paymaster and contriver of the war which shortly followed, wherein he accomplished much, through his theoretical knowledge at home and his intelligence abroad, by unlocking of the counsels of the Queen's enemies.

We must now take it, and that of truth, into observation that, until the tenth of her reign, the times were calm and serene, though sometimes overcast, as the most glorious sun-rising is subject to shadowings and droppings, for the clouds of Spain, and the vapours of the Holy League, began to disperse and threaten her felicity. Moreover, she was then to provide for some intestine strangers, which began to gather in the heart of her kingdom, all which had relation and correspondency, each one to the other, to dethrone her and to disturb the public tranquillity, and therewithal, as a principal mark, the Established religion, for the name of Recusant then began first to be known to the world; until then the Catholics were no more than Church-Papists, {55} but now, commanded by the Pope's express Catholic Church, their mother, they separate themselves; so it seems the Pope had then his aims to take a true number of his children; but the Queen had the greater advantage, for she likewise took tale of her opposite subjects, their strength and how many they were, that had given their names to Baal, who {56} then by the hands of some of his proselytes fixed his bulls on the gates of St. Paul's, which discharged her subjects of all fidelity and received faith, and so, under the veil of the next successor, to replant the Catholic religion. So that the Queen had then a new task and work in hand that might well awake her best providence, and required a muster of new arms, as well as courtships and counsels, for the time then began to grow quick and active, fitter for stronger motions than them of the carpet and measure; and it will be a true note of her magnanimity that she loved a soldier, and had a propensity in her nature to regard and always to grace them, which the Court, taking it into their consideration, took it as an inviting to win honour, together with Her Majesty's favour, by exposing themselves to the wars, especially when the Queen and the affairs of the kingdom stood in some necessity of the soldiers, for we have many instances of the sallies of the nobility and gentry; yea, and of the Court and her privy favourites, that had any touch or tincture of Mars in their inclinations, to steal away without licence and the Queen's privity, which had like to cost some of them dear, so predominant were their thoughts and hopes of honour grown in them, as we may truly observe in the exposition of Sir Philip Sidney, my Lord of Essex and Mountjoy, and divers others, whose absence, and the manner of their eruptions, was very distasteful unto her, whereof I can hereunto add a true and no impertinent story, and that of the last: Mountjoy, who, having twice or thrice stole away into Brittany, where, under Sit John Norris, he had then a company, without the Queen's leave and privity, she sent a message unto him with a strict charge to the general to see him sent home.

When he came into the Queen's presence, she fell into a kind railing, demanding of him how he durst go over without her leave. "Serve me so," quoth she, "once more, and I will lay you fast enough for running; you will never leave till you are knocked on the head, as that inconsiderate fellow Sidney was; you shall go when I send. In the meantime, see that you lodge in the Court" (which was then at Whitehall), "where you may follow your book, read, and discourse of the wars." But to our purpose. It fell out happily to those, and, as I may say, to these times, that the Queen during the calm time of her reign was not idle, nor rocked asleep with security, for she had been very provident in the reparation and augmentation of her shipping and ammunition, and I know not whether by a foresight of policy, or any instinct, it came about, or whether it was an act of her compassion, but it is most certain she sent no small troops to the revolted States of Holland, before she had received any affront from the King of Spain, that might deserve to tend to a breach of hostility, which the Papists maintain to this day was the provocation to the after-wars; but, omitting what might be said to this point, these Netherland wars were the Queen's seminaries or nursery of very many brave soldiers, and so likewise were the civil wars of France, whither she sent five several armies.

They were the French scholars that inured the youth and gentry of the kingdom, and it was a militia, where they were daily in acquaintance with the discipline of the Spaniards, who were then turned the Queen's inveterate enemies.

And thus have I taken in observation her DIES HALCYONII--I.E., these years of hers which were more serene and quiet than those that followed, which, though they were not less propitious, as being touched more with the points of honour and victory, yet were they troubled and loaded ever, both with domestic and foreign machinations; and, as it is already quoted, they were such as awakened her spirits and made her cast about her to defend rather by offending, and by way of provision to prevent all invasions, than to expect them, which was a piece of the cunning of the times; and with this I have noted the causes and PRINCIPIUM {57} of the wars following, and likewise points to the seed-plots from whence she took up these brave men and plants of honour who acted on the theatre of Mars, and on whom she dispersed the rays of her grace; who were persons, in their kinds of care, virtuous, and such as might, out of their merit, pretend interest to her favours, of which rank the number will equal, if not exceed, that of her gown-men, in recount of whom I will proceed with Sir Philip Sidney.


He was the son of Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland, and President of Wales, a person of great parts, and of no mean grace with the Queen; his mother was sister to my Lord of Leicester, from whence we may conjecture how the father stood up in the sphere of honour and employments, so that his descent was apparently noble on both sides; and for his education, it was such as travel and the University could afford none better, and his tutors infuse; for, after an incredible proficiency in all the spheres of learning, he left the academical for that of the Court, whither he came by his uncle's invitation, famed after by noble reports of his accomplishments, which, together with the state of his person, framed by a natural propensity to arms, soon attracted the good opinions of all men, and was so highly praised in the esteem of the Queen, that she thought the Court deficient without him; and whereas, through the fame of his desert, he was in election for the kingdom of Pole, {58} she refused to further his preferment, it was not out of emulation of advancement, but out of fear to lose the jewel of her time. He married the daughter and sole heir of Sir Frances Walsingham, the Secretary of State, a lady destined to the bed of honour, who, after his deplorable death at Zutphen, in the Low Countries, where he was at the time of his uncle Leicester's being there, was remarried to the Lord of Essex, and, since his death, to my Lord of St. Albans, all persons of the sword, and otherwise of great honour and virtue.

They have a very quaint conceit of him, that Mars and Mercury fell at variance whose servant he should be; and there is an epigrammatist that saith that Art and Nature had spent their excellences in his fashioning, and, fearing they could not end what they had begun, they bestowed him up for time, and Nature stood mute and amazed to behold her own mark; but these are the particulars of poets.

Certain it is he was a noble and matchless gentleman, and it may be said justly of him, without these hyperboles of faction, as it was of Cato Uticensis, that he seemed to be born only to that which he went about, VIR SATILIS INGENII, as Plutarch saith it; but to speak more of him were to make them less.


Sir Francis Walsingham, as we have said, had the honour to be Sir Philip Sidney's father-in-law; he was a gentleman at first, of a good house, and of a better education, and from the University travelled for the rest of his learning. Doubtless he was the only linguist of his times, how to use his own tongue, whereby he came to be employed in the chiefest affairs of State.

He was sent Ambassador to France, and stayed there LEGAR long in the heat of the civil wars, and at the same time that Monsieur was here a suitor to the Queen; and, if I be not mistaken, he played the very same part there as since Gondomar did here. {59} At his return he was taken principal Secretary, and for one of the great engines of State, and of the times, high in his mistress's (the Queen's) favour, and a watchful servant over the safety of his mistress.

They note him to have certain courtesies and secret ways of intelligence above the rest; but I must confess I am to seek wherefore he suffered Parry {60} to play so long as he did, hang on the hook, before he hoisted him up; and I have been a little curious in the search thereof, though I have not to do with the ARCANA REGALIA IMPERII, for to know it is sometimes a burden; and I remember it was Ovid's criminant error that he saw too much, but I hope these are collaterals, and of no danger.

But that Parry, having an intent to kill the Queen, made the way of his access by betraying of others, and in impeaching of the priests of his own correspondency, and thereby had access to confer with the Queen, as oftentimes private and familiar discourse with Walsingham, will not be the query of the mystery, for the Secretary might have had an end of a further discovery and maturity of the treason; but that, after the Queen knew Parry's intent, why she would then admit him to private discourse, and Walsingham to suffer him, considering the conditions of all the designs, and to permit him to go where and whither he listed, and only under the secrecy of a dark sentinel set over him, was a piece of reach and hazard beyond my apprehension. I must again profess that I have read many of his letters, for they are commonly sent to my Lord of Leicester and of Burleigh out of France, containing many fine passages and secrets, yet, if I might have been beholding to his cyphers, they would have told pretty tales of the times; but I must now close him up, and rank him amongst the TOGATI, yet chief of those that laid the foundations of the French and Dutch wars, which was another piece of his fineness of the times, with one observation more, that he was one of the greatest always of the Austrian embracements, for both himself and Stafford that preceded him might well have been compared to him in the Gospel that sowed his tares in the night; so did they their seeds in division in the dark; and as it is a likely report that they father on him at his return, the Queen speaking to him with some sensibility of the Spanish designs on France: "Madam," he answered, "I beseech you be content, and fear not; the Spaniard hath a great appetite and an excellent digestion, but I have fitted him with a bone for these twenty years that your Majesty should have no cause to doubt him, provided that, if the fire chance to slake which I have kindled, you will be ruled by me, and cast in some of your fuel, which will revive the flame."


My Lord Willoughby was one of the Queen's first swordsmen; he was of the ancient extract of the Bartewes, but more ennobled by his mother, who was Duchess of Suffolk. He was a great master of the art MILITARY, and was sent general into France, and commanded the second army of five the Queen had sent thither, in aid of the French. I have heard it spoken that, had he not slighted the Court, but applied himself to the Queen, he might have enjoyed a plentiful portion of her grace; and it was his saying, and it did him no good, that he was none of the REPTILIA, intimating that he could not creep on the ground, and that the Court was not his element; for, indeed, as he was a great soldier, so he was of a suitable magnanimity, and could not brook the obsequiousness and assiduity of the Court; and as he was then somewhat descending from youth, happily he had an ANIMAM REVERTENDI, or a desire to make a safe retreat.


And now I come to another of the TOGATI, Sir Nicholas Bacon, an arch-piece of wit and of wisdom. He was a gentleman, and a man of law, and of a great knowledge therein, whereby, together with his after-part of learning and dexterity, he was promoted to be Keeper of the Great Seal, and being of kin to the Treasurer Burleigh, and {61} also the help of his hand to bring him to the Queen's great favour, for he was abundantly facetious, which took much with the Queen, when it suited with the season, as he was well able to judge of the times; he had a very quaint saying, and he used it often to good purpose, "that he loved the jest well, but not the loss of his friend;" and that, though he knew that "VERUS QUISQUE SUAE FORTUNAE FABER," was a true and good principle, yet the most in number were those that numbered themselves, but I will never forgive that man that loseth himself to be rid of his jests.

He was father to that refined wit which since hath acted a disastrous part on the public stage, and of late sat in his father's room as Lord Chancellor; those that lived in his age, and from whence I have taken this little model of him, give him a lively character, and they decipher him to be another Solon, and the Simon of those times, such a one as OEdipus was in dissolving of riddles; doubtless he was an able instrument, as it was his commendation that his head was the mallet, for it was a very great one, and therein kept a wedge, that entered all knotty pieces that come to the table.

And now again I must fall back to smooth and plane a way to the rest that is behind, but not from my purpose. There have been, about this time, two rivals in the Queen's favour, old Sir Francis Knowles, Comptroller of the House, and Sir Henry Norris, whom she had called up at Parliament to sit with the Peers in the higher House, as, Henry Norris of Rycot, who had married the daughter and heir of the old Henry Williams of Tayne, a noble person, and to whom, in her adversity, the Queen had been committed to his safe custody, and from him had received more than ordinary observances; now, such was the goodness of the Queen's nature, that she neither forgot the good turns received from the Lord Williams, neither was she unmindful of this Lord Norris, whose father, in her father's time, and in the business of her brother, died in a noble cause, and in the justification of her innocency.


My Lord Norris had, by this lady, an apt issue, which the Queen highly respected, for he had six sons, and all martial and brave men: the first was William, the eldest, and father to the late Earl of Berkshire, Sir John (vulgarly called General Norris), Sir Edward, Sir Thomas, Sir Henry, and Maximilian, men of haughty courage, and of great experience in the conduct of military affairs; and, to speak in the character of their merit, they were persons of such renown and worth as future times must, of duty, owe them the debt of an honourable memory.


Sir Francis Knowles was somewhat near in the Queen's affinity, and had likewise no incompetent issue; for he had also William, his eldest son, and since Earl of Banbury, Sir Thomas, Sir Robert, and Sir Francis, if I be not a little mistaken in their names and marshalling; and there was also the Lady Lettice, a sister of those, who was first Countess of Essex, and after of Leicester; and those were also brave men in their times and places, but they were of the Court and carpet, and not by the genius of the camp.

Between these two families there was, as it falleth out amongst great ones and competitors of favour, no great correspondency; and there were some seeds, either of emulation or distrust, cast between them; which, had they not been disjoined in the residence of their persons, as that was the fortune of their employments, the one side attending the Court, and the other the Pavilion, surely they would have broken out into some kind of hostility, or, at least, they would entwine and wrestle one in the other, like trees circled with ivy; for there was a time when, both these fraternities being met at Court, there passed a challenge between them at certain exercises, the Queen and the old men being spectators, which ended in a flat quarrel amongst them all. For I am persuaded, though I ought not to judge, that there were some relics of this feigned that were long after the causes of the one family's almost utter extirpation, and the other's improsperity; for it was a known truth that so long as my Lord of Leicester lived, who was the main pillar on the one side, for having married the sister, the other side took no deep root in the Court, though otherwise they made their ways to honour by their swords. And that which is of more note, considering my Lord of Leicester's use of men of war, being shortly after sent Governor to the revolted States, and no soldier himself, is that he made no more account of Sir John Norris, a soldier, then deservedly famous, and trained from a page under the discipline of the greatest captain in Christendom, the Admiral Castilliau, and of command in the French and Dutch Wars almost twenty years. And it is of further observation that my Lord of Essex, after Leicester's decease, though addicted to arms and honoured by the general in the Portugal expedition, whether out of instigation, as it hath been thought, or out of ambition and jealousy, eclipsed by the fame and splendour of this great commander, never loved him in sincerity.

Moreover, and certain it is, he not only crushed, and upon all occasions quelled the youth of this great man and his famous brethren, but therewith drew on his own fatal end, by undertaking the Irish action in a time when he left the Court empty of friends, and full-fraught with his professed enemies. But I forbear to extend myself in any further relation upon this subject, as having lost some notes of truth in these two nobles, which I would present; and therewith touched somewhat, which I would not, if the equity of the narration would have permitted any omission.


Sir John Perrot was a goodly gentleman, and of the sword; and he was of a very ancient descent, as an heir to many subtracts of gentry, especially from Guy de Brain of Lawhorn; so was he of a very vast estate, and came not to Court for want and to these advancements. He had the endowments of carriage and height of spirit, had he alighted on the alloy and temper of discretion; the defect whereof, with a native freedom and boldness of speech, drew him on to a clouded sitting, and laid him open to the spleen and advantage of his enemies, of whom Sir Christopher Hatton was professed. He was yet a wise man and a brave courtier, but rough and participating more of active than sedentary motions, as being in his instillation destined for arms. There is a query of some denotations, how he came to receive the foil, and that in the catastrophe? for he was strengthened with honourable alliances and the prime friendship in Court of my Lords of Leicester and Burleigh, both his contemporaries and familiars; but that there might be (as the adage hath it) falsity in friendship: and we may rest satisfied that there is no dispute against fate, and they quit him for a person that loved to stand too much alone on his legs, of too often regress and discontinuance from the Queen's presence, a fault which is incompatible with the ways of Court and favour. He was sent Lord- Deputy into Ireland, as it was then apprehended, for a kind of haughtiness and repugnancy in Council; or, as others have thought, the fittest person then to bridle the insolences of the Irish; and probable it is that both, considering the sway that he would have at the Board, being head in the Queen's favour, concurred, and did alike conspire his remove and ruin. But into Ireland he went, where he did the Queen very great and many services, if the surplusage of the measure did not abate the value of the merit, as after-time found to be no paradox to save the Queen's purse, but both herself and my Lord Treasurer Burleigh ever took for good service; he imposed on the Irish the charge for bearing their own arms, which both gave them the possession and taught them the use of weapons; which provided in the end to a most fatal work, both in the profusion of blood and treasure.

But at his return, and upon some account sent home before, touching the state of that kingdom, the Queen poured out assiduous testimonies of her grace towards him, till, by his retreat to his Castle of Cary, which he was then building, and out of a desire to be in command at home as he had been abroad, together with the hatred and practice of Hatton, then in high favour, whom he had, not long before, bitterly taunted for his dancing, he was accused for high treason, and for high words, and a forged letter, and condemned; though the Queen, on the news of his condemnation, swore, by her wonted oath, that the jury were all knaves: and they delivered it with assurance that, on his return to the town after his trial, he said, with oaths and with fury, to the Lieutenant, Sir Owen Hopton, "What! will the Queen suffer her brother to be offered up as a sacrifice to the envy of my flattering adversaries?" Which being made known to the Queen, and somewhat enforced, she refused to sign it, and swore he should not die, for he was an honest and faithful man. And surely, though not altogether to set our rest and faith upon tradition and old reports, as that Sir Thomas Perrot, his father, was a gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and in the Court married to a lady of great honour, which are presumptions in some implications; but, if we go a little further and compare his pictures, his qualities, gesture, and voice, with that of the King, which memory retains yet amongst us, they will plead strongly that he was a surreptitious child of the blood royal.

Certain it is that he lived not long in the Tower; and that after his decease, Sir Thomas Perrot, his son, then of no mean esteem with the Queen, having before married my Lord of Essex's sister, since Countess of Northumberland, had restitution of his land; though after his death also (which immediately followed) the Crown resumed the estate, and took advantage of the former attainder; and, to say the truth, the priest's forged letter was, at his arraignment, thought but as a fiction of envy, and was soon after exploded by the priest's own confession. But that which most exasperated the Queen and gave advantage to his enemies was, as Sir Walter Raleigh takes into observation, words of disdain, for the Queen, by sharp and reprehensive letters, had nettled him; and thereupon, sending others of approbation, commending his service, and intimating an invasion from Spain; which was no sooner proposed but he said publicly, in the great chamber at Dublin: --"Lo, now she is ready to ** herself for fear of the Spaniards: I am again one of her white boys," which are subject to a various construction, and tended to some disreputation of his Sovereign, and such as may serve for instruction to persons in place of honour and command, to beware of the violences of Nature, and especially the exorbitance of the tongue. And so I conclude him with this double observation: the one, of the innocency of his intentions, exempt and clear from the guilt of treason and disloyalty, therefore of the greatness of his heart; for at his arraignment he was so little dejected with what might be alleged, that rather he grew troubled with choler, and, in a kind of exasperation, he despised his jury, though of the Order of Knighthood, and of the especial gentry, claiming the privilege of trial by the peers and baronage of the realm, so prevalent was that of his native genius and haughtiness of spirit which accompanied him to the last, and till, without any diminution of change therein, it broke in pieces the cords of his magnanimity; for he died suddenly in the Tower, and when it was thought the Queen did intend his enlargement, with the restitution of his possessions, which were then very great, and comparable to most of the nobility.


Sir Christopher Hatton came to the Court as his opposite; Sir John Perrot was wont to say, by the galliard, for he came thither as a private gentleman of the Inns of Court, in a masque: and, for his activity and person, which was tall and proportionable, taken into her favour. He was first made Vice-Chamberlain, and, shortly after, advanced to the place of Lord Chancellor. A gentleman that, besides the graces of his person and dancing, had also the endowment of a strong and subtle capacity, and that could soon learn the discipline and garb, both of the times and Court; and the truth is, he had a large proportion of gifts and endowments, but too much of the season of envy; and he was a mere vegetable of the Court that sprung up at night and sunk again at his noon.

"Flos non mentorum, sed sex fuit illa virorum."


My Lord of Effingham, though a courtier betimes, yet I find not that the sunshine of his favour broke out upon him until she took him into the ship and made him High Admiral of England. For his extract, it might suffice that he was the son of a Howard, and of a Duke of Norfolk.

And, for his person, as goodly a gentleman as the times had any, if Nature had not been more intentive to complete his person, than Fortune to make him rich; for, the times considered, which were then active, and a long time after lucrative, he died not wealthy; yet the honester man, though it seems the Queen's purpose was to render the occasion of his advancement, and to make him capable of more honour. At his return from the Cadiz voyage and action, she conferred it upon him, creating him Earl of Nottingham, to the great discontent of his colleague, my Lord of Essex, who then grew excessive in the appetite of her favour, and the truth is, so exorbitant in the limitation of the sovereign aspect, that it much alienated the Queen's grace from him, and drew others together with the Admiral to a combination, to conspire his ruin; and though, as I have heard it from that party (I mean the old Admiral's faction) that it lay not in his proper power to hurt my Lord Essex, yet he had more fellows, and such as were well skilled in the setting of the train; but I leave this to those of another age; it is out of doubt that the Admiral was a good, honest, and brave man, and a faithful servant to his mistress; and such a one as the Queen, out of her own princely judgment, knew to be a fit instrument in her service, for she was a proficient in the reading of men as well as books; and as sundry expeditions, as that aforementioned, and '88, do better express his worth and manifest the Queen's trust, and the opinion she had of his fidelity and conduct.

Moreover, the Howards were of the Queen's alliance and consanguinity by her mother, which swayed her affection and bent it toward this great house; and it was a part of her natural propensity to grace and support ancient nobility, where it did not entrench, neither invade her interest; from such trespasses she was quick and tender, and would not spare any whatsoever, as we may observe in the case of the duke and my Lord of Hertford, whom she much favoured and countenanced, till they attempted the forbidden fruit, the fault of the last being, in the severest interpretation, but a trespass of encroachment; but in the first it was taken as a riot against the Crown and her own sovereign power, and as I have ever thought the cause of her aversion against the rest of that house, and the duke's great father-in-law, Fitz-Allen, Earl of Arundel, a person in the first rank of her affections, before these and some other jealousies made a separation between them: this noble lord and Lord Thomas Howard, since Earl of Suffolk, standing alone in her grace, and the rest in her umbrage.


Sir John Packington was a gentleman of no mean family, and of form and feature nowise disabled, for he was a brave gentleman, and a very fine courtier, and for the time which he stayed there, which was not lasting, very high in her grace; but he came in, and went out through disassiduity, drew the curtain between himself and the light of her grace, and then death overwhelmed the remnant, and utterly deprived him of recovery; and they say of him that had he brought less to her Court than he did, he might have carried away more than he brought, for he had a time of it, but was an ill husband of opportunity.


My Lord of Hunsdown was of the Queen's nearest kindred, and, on the decease of Sussex, both he and his son successively took the place of Lord Chamberlain. He was a man fast to his prince, and firm to his friends and servants; and though he might speak big, and therein would be borne out, yet was he the more dreadful, but less harmful, and far from the practice of the Lord of Leicester's instructions, for he was downright; and I have heard those that both knew him well and had interest in him, say merrily of him that his Latin and dissimulation were alike; and that his custom of swearing and obscenity in speaking made him seem a worse Christian than he was, and a better knight of her carpet than he could be. As he lived in a roughling time, so he loved sword and buckler men, and such as our fathers were wont to call men of their hands; of which sort he had many brave gentlemen that followed him, yet not taken for a popular and dangerous person: and this is one that stood among the TOGATI, of an honest, stout heart, and such a one, that, upon occasion, would have fought for his prince and country, for he had the charge of the Queen's person, both in the Court and in the camp at Tilbury.


Sir Walter Raleigh was one that, it seems, Fortune had picked out of purpose, of whom to make an example and to use as her tennis-ball, thereby to show what she could do, for she tossed him up of nothing, and to and fro to greatness, and from thence down to little more than to that wherein she found him, a bare gentleman; and not that he was less, for he was well descended, and of good alliance, but poor in his beginnings: and for my Lord Oxford's jests of him for the jacks and upstarts, we all know it savoured more of emulation, and his honour than of truth; and it is a certain note of the times, that the Queen, in her choice, never took in her favour a mere viewed man, or a mechanic, as Comines observes of Lewis XI., who did serve himself with persons of unknown parents, such as were Oliver, the barber, whom he created Earl of Dunoyes, and made him EX SECRETIS CONSILIIS, and alone in his favour and familiarity.

His approaches to the University and Inns of Court were the grounds of his improvement, but they were rather extrusions than sieges, or settings down, for he stayed not long in a place; and, being the youngest brother, and the house diminished in his patrimony, he foresaw his destiny, that he was first to roll through want and disability, to subsist otherwise before he came to a repose, and as the stone doth by long lying gather moss. He was the first that exposed himself in the land-service of Ireland, a militia which did not then yield him food and raiment, for it was ever very poor; nor dared he to stay long there, though shortly after he came thither again, under the command of the Lord Grey, but with his own colours flying in the field, having, in the interim, cast a mere chance, both in the Low Countries and in the voyage to sea; and, if ever man drew virtue out of necessity, it was he, and therewith was he the great example of industry; and though he might then have taken that of the merchant to himself,

"Per mare, per terras, currit mercator ad Indos."

He might also have said, and truly, with the philosopher, "OMNIA MEA MECUM PORTO," for it was a long time before he could brag of more than he carried at his back; and when he got on the winning side, it was his commendation that he took pains for it, and underwent many various adventures for his after-perfection, and before he came into the public note of the world; and thence may appear how he came up PER ARDUA:-

"Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum."

Not pulled up by chance, nor by any great admittance; I will only describe his natural parts, and these of his own acquiring.

He had, in the outward man, a good presence, in a handsome and well- compacted person; a strong natural wit, and a better judgment, with a bold and plausible tongue, whereby he could set out his parts to the best advantage; and these he had by the adjuncts of some general learning, which by diligence he enforced to a great augmentation and perfection, for he was an indefatigable reader, by sea and land, and one of the best observers, both of men and of the times; and I am somewhat confident that among the second causes of his growth there was variance between him and my Lord General Grey, in his second descent into Ireland, which drew them both over to the council- table, there to plead their own causes; where what advantage he had in the case in controversy I know not, but he had much the better in the manner of telling his tale, insomuch as the Queen and the lords took no slight mark of the man and his parts; for from thence he came to be known, and to have access to the lords; and then we are not to doubt how such a man would comply to progression; and whether or no my Lord of Leicester had then cast a good word for him to the Queen, which would have done him no harm, I do not determine; but true it is, he had gotten the Queen's ear in a trice, and she began to be taken with his election, and loved to hear his reasons to her demands: and the truth is, she took him for a kind of oracle, which nettled them all; yea, those that he relied on began to take this his sudden favour for an alarm and to be sensible of their own supplantation, and to project his, which made him shortly after sing -

"Fortune, my foe, why dost thou frown?"

So that, finding his favour declining, and falling into a recess, he undertook a new peregrination, to leave that TERRA INFIRMA {62} of the court for that of the waves, and by declining himself, and by absence to expel his and the passion of his enemies; which, in court, was a strange device of recovery, but that he then knew there was some ill office done him; yet he durst not attempt to mend it, otherwise than by going aside thereby to teach envy a new way of forgetfulness, and not so much as think of him. Howsoever, he had it always in mind never to forget himself; and his device took so well that, in his return, he came in as rams do, by going backward with the greater strength, and so continued to the last, great in her favour, and captain of her guard: where I must leave him, but with this observation, though he gained much at the court, he took it not out of the Exchequer, or merely out of the Queen's purse, but by his wit, and by the help of the prerogative; for the Queen was never profuse in delivering out of her treasure, but paid most and many of her servants, part in money, and the rest with grace; which, as the case stood, was then taken for good payment, leaving the arrears of recompense due for their merit, to her great successor, {63} who paid them all with advantage. {64}


Sir Foulke Greville, since Lord Brooke, had no mean place in her favour, neither did he hold it for any short time, or term; for, if I be not deceived, he had the longest lease, the smoothest time without rubs of any of her favourites; he came to the court in his youth and prime, as that is the time, or never: he was a brave gentleman, and hopefully descended from Willoughby, Lord Brooke, and admiral to Henry the Seventh; neither illiterate, for he was, as he would often profess, a friend to Sir Philip Sidney, and there are now extant some fragments of his pen, and of the times, which do interest him in the muses, and which show in him the Queen's election had ever a noble conduct, and it motions more of virtue and judgment than of fancy.

I find that he neither sought for nor obtained any great place or preferment in court, during all his time of attendance: neither did he need it, for he came thither backed with a plentiful fortune, which, as himself was wont to say, was then better held together by a single life, wherein he lived and died a constant courtier of the ladies.


My Lord of Essex, as Sir Henry Walton notes him, a gentleman of great parts, and partly of his times and retinue, had his introduction by my Lord of Leicester, who had married his mother; a tie of affinity which, besides a more urgent obligation, might have invited his care to advance him, his fortunes being then, through his father's infelicity, grown low; but that the son of a Lord Ferrers of Chartly, Viscount Hertford, and Earl of Essex, who was of the ancient nobility, and formerly in the Queen's good grace, could not have room in her favour, without the assistance of Leicester, was beyond the rule of her nature, which, as I have elsewhere taken into observation, was ever inclinable to favour the nobility: sure it is, that he no sooner appeared in court, but he took with the Queen and the courtiers; and, I believe, they all could not choose but look through the sacrifice of the father on his living son, whose image, by the remembrance of former passages, was a fresh leek, the bleeding of men murdered, represented to the court, and offered up as a subject of compassion to all the kingdom.

There was in this young lord, together with a goodly person, a kind of urbanity and innate courtesy, which both won the Queen, and too much took up the people to gaze on the new-adopted son of her favour; and as I go along, it will not be amiss to take into observation two notable quotations; the first was a violent indulgence of the Queen (which is incident to old age, where it encounters with a pleasing and suitable object) towards this great lord, which argued a non-perpetuity; the second was a fault in the object of her grace, my lord himself, who drew in too fast, like a child sucking on an over uberous nurse; and had there been a more decent decorum observed in both, or either of these, without doubt, the unity of their affections had been more permanent, and not so in and out, as they were, like an instrument well tuned, and lapsing to discord.

The greater error of the two, though unwilling, I am constrained to impose on my Lord of Essex, and rather on his youth, and none of the least of the blame on those that stood sentinels about him, who might have advised better, but that like men intoxicated with hopes, they likewise had sucked in with the most of their lord's receipts, and so, like Caesars, would have all or none; a rule quite contrary to nature, and the most indulgent parents, who, though they may express more affection to one in the abundance of bequeaths, yet cannot forget some legacies, and distributives, and dividends to others of their begetting; and how hurtful partiality is, and proves, every day's experience tells us, out of which common consideration they might have framed to their hands a maxim of more discretion, for the conduct and management of their new-graved lord and master.

But to omit that of infusion, and to do right to truth, my Lord of Essex, even of those that truly loved and honoured him, was noted for too bold an ingrosser, both of fame and favour; and of this, without offence to the living, or treading on the sacred grave of the dead, I shall present the truth of a passage yet in memory.

My Lord of Mountjoy, who was another child of her favour, being newly come, and then but Sir Charles Blount (for my Lord William, his elder brother, was then living) had the good fortune to run one day well at tilt, and the Queen was therewith so well pleased, that she sent him, in token of her favour, a Queen at chess in gold, richly enamelled, which his servants had the next day fastened unto his arm with a crimson ribband; which my Lord of Essex, as he passed through the Privy Chamber, espying with his cloak cast under his arm, the better to command it to the view, enquired what it was, and for what cause there fixed: Sir Foulke Greville told him, it was the Queen's favour, which the day before, and next after the tilting, she had sent him; whereat my Lord of Essex, in a kind of emulation, and as though he would have limited her favour, said "Now I perceive every fool must have a favour." This bitter and public affront came to Sir Charles Blount's ear, at which he sent him a challenge; which was accepted by my lord, and they met near Marybone Park, where my lord was hurt in the thigh, and disarmed. The Queen, missing of the men, was very curious to learn the truth, but at last it was whispered out; she sware by God's death, it was fit that some one or other should take him down and teach him better manners, otherwise there would be no rule with him; and here I note the imminution of my lord's friendship with Mountjoy, which the Queen herself did then conjure.

Now for his fame we need not go far, for my Lord of Essex, having borne a grudge to General Norris, who had unwittingly offered to undertake the action of Brittany with fewer men than my lord had before demanded; on his return with victory, and a glorious report of his valour, he was then thought the only man for the Irish wars; wherein my Lord of Essex so wrought, by despising the number and quality of the rebels, that Norris was sent over with a scanty force, joined with the relics of the veteran troops of Britain, of set purpose, and as it fell out, to ruin Norris; and the Lord Burrows, by my lord's procurement, sent at his heels, and to command in chief, and to convey Norris only to his government at Munster; which aggravated the great heart of the general to see himself undervalued, and undermined, by my lord and Burrows, which was, as the Proverb speaks, JUVENES DOCERE SENES.

Now my Lord Burrows in the beginning of his prosecution died, whereupon the Queen was fully bent to send over my Lord Mountjoy; which my Lord of Essex utterly misliked, and opposed with many reasons, and by arguments of contempt towards Mountjoy (his then professed friend and familiar) so predominant was his desire to reap the whole honour of closing up that war, and all others; now the way being paved and opened by his own workmanship, and so handled, that none durst appear to stand in the place; at last, and with much ado, he obtained his own ends, and therewith his fatal destruction, leaving the Queen and the court, where he stood impregnable and firm in her grace, to men that long had fought and waited their times to give him a trip, and could never find any opportunity, but this of his absence, and of his own creation; and those are true observations of his appetite and inclinations, which were not of any true proportion, but hurried and transported, with an over desire, and thirstiness after fame, and that deceitful fame of popularity; and, to help on his catastrophe, I observe likewise two sorts of people that had a hand in his fall: the first was the soldiery, which all flock unto him, as it were foretelling a mortality, and are commonly of blunt and too rough counsels, and many times dissonant from the time of the court and State; the other sort were of his family, his servants and his own creatures, such as were bound by safety, and obligations of fidelity, to have looked better to the steering of that boat, wherein they themselves were carried, and not to have suffered it to fleet, and run on ground, with those empty sails of tumour of popularity and applause; methinks one honest man or other, who had but the brushing of his clothes, might have whispered in his ear, "My lord, look to it, this multitude that follows you will either devour you, or undo you; do not strive to overrule all, of it will cost hot water, and it will procure envy, and if needs your genius must have it so, let the court and the Queen's presence by your station, for your absence must undo you." But, as I have said, they had sucked too much of their lord's milk, and instead of withdrawing they drew {65} the coals of his ambition, and infused into him too much of the spirit of glory, yea, and mixed the goodness of his nature with a touch of revenge, which is evermore accompanied with a destiny of the same fate. Of this number there were some of insufferable natures about him, that towards his last gave desperate advice, such as his integrity abhorred, and his fidelity forbade, amongst whom Sir Henry Walton notes, without injury, his Secretary Cuffe, as a vile man and of a perverse nature: I could also name others that, when he was in the right course of recovery, settling to moderation, would not suffer a recess in him, but stirred up the dregs of those rude humours, which, by times and his affections out of his own judgment, he thought to repose and give them a vomit. And thus I conclude this noble lord, as a mixture between prosperity and adversity, once a child of his great mistress's favour, but a son of Bellona.


My lord of Buckhurst was of the noble house of Sackvilles, and of the Queen's consanguinity, or as the people then called him FILL- SACKS, by reason of his great wealth, and the vast patrimony left to his son, whereof in his youth he spent the best part, until the Queen, by her frequent admonitions, diverted the torrent of his profusion; he was a very fine gentleman, of person and endowments, both of art and nature, but without measure magnificent, till on the turn of his honour, and the alloy, that his yearly good counsel had wrought upon those immoderate courses of his youth, and that height of spirit inherent to his house; and then did the Queen, as a most judicious, indulgent prince, who, when she saw the man grown settled and staid, gave him an assistance, and advanced him to the treasurership, where he made amends to his house for his mis-spent time, both in the increasement of his estate and honour, which the Queen conferred upon him, together with the opportunity to remake himself, and thereby to show that this was a child that should have a share in her grace.

They much commend his elocution, but more the excellency of his pen, for he was a scholar, and a person of a quick dispatch, faculties that yet run in the blood; and they say of him, that his secretaries did little for him, by the way of indictment, wherein they could seldom please him, he was so facete and choice in his phrases and style; and for his dispatches, and for the content he gave to suitors, he had a decorum seldom put in practice, for he had of his attendance that took into a roll the names of all suitors, with the date of their first addresses; so that a fresh man could not leap over his head, that was of a more ancient edition excepting the urgent affairs of the State.

I find not that he was any way ensnared in the factions of the court, which were all his times strong, and in every man's note, the Howards and the Cecils of the one part, and my Lord of Essex, &c., on the other, for he held the staff of the treasury fast in his hand, which made them, once in a year, to be beholden to him; and the truth is, as he was a wise man and a stout, he had no reason to be a partaker, for he stood sure in blood and in grace, and was wholly intentive to the Queen's service; and such were his abilities, that she might have more cunning instruments, but none of a more strong judgment and confidence in his ways, which are symptoms of magnanimity, whereunto methinks this motto hath some kind of reference, AUT NUNQUAM TENTES, AUT PERFICE. As though he would have charactered, in a word, the genius of his house, or express somewhat of a higher inclination, than lay within his compass; that he was a courtier is apparent, for he stood always in her eye and in her favour.


My Lord Mountjoy was of the ancient nobility, but utterly decayed in the support thereof, patrimony, through his grandfather's excess, his father's vanity in search of the philosopher's stone, and his brother's untimely prodigality; all of which seemed, by a joint conspiracy, to ruinate the house, and altogether to annihilate it; as he came from Oxford, he took the Inner Temple in the way to court, whither he no sooner came, but he had a pretty kind of admission, which I have heard from a discreet man of his own, and much more of the secrets of those times; he was then much about twenty years of age, brown-haired, of a sweet face, and of a most neat composure, tall in his person. The Queen was then at Whitehall, and at dinner, whither he came to see the fashion of the court, and the Queen had soon found him out, and, with a kind of an affected favour, asked her carver who he was; he answered he knew him not, insomuch that an inquiry was made, one from another, who he might be, till at length it was told the Queen, he was brother to the Lord William Mountjoy. Thus inquiry, with the eye of her majesty fixed upon him, as she was wont to do, and to daunt men she knew not, stirred the blood of the young gentleman, insomuch as his colour went and came; which the Queen observing, called unto him, and gave him her hand to kiss, encouraging him with gracious words, and new looks, and so diverting her speech to the lords and ladies, she said that she no sooner observed him but she knew there was in him some noble blood, with some other expressions of pity towards his house; and then, again demanding his name, she said, "Fail you not to come to the court, and I will bethink myself, how to do you good;" and this was his inlet, and the beginning of his grace; where it falls into consideration that, though he wanted not wit nor courage, for he had very fine attractives, as being a good piece of a scholar, yet were those accompanied with the retractives of bashfulness, and natural modesty, which, as the wave of the house of his fortune then stood, might have hindered his progression, had they not been reinforced by the infusion of sovereign favour, and the Queen's gracious invitation; and that it may appear how he was, and how much that heretic, necessity, will work in the directions of good spirits, I can deliver it with assurance, that his exhibition was very scanty, until his brother died, which was shortly after his admission to the court; and then was it no more but a thousand marks PER ANNUM, wherewith he lived plentifully, and in a fine garb, and without any great sustentation of the Queen, during all her times.

And, as there was in nature a kind of backwardness, which did not befriend him, nor suit with the motion of the court, so there was in him an inclination to arms, with a humour of travelling and gadding abroad, which had not some wise men about him laboured to remove, and the Queen laid in her command, he would, out of his own native propension, marred his own market; for as he was grown by reading, whereunto he was much addicted, to the theory of a soldier, so was he strongly invited by his genius, to the acquaintance of the practice of the war, which were the causes of his excursions, for he had a company in the Low Countries, from whom he came over with a noble acceptance of the Queen; but, somewhat restless in honourable thoughts, he exposed himself again and again, and would press the Queen with pretences of visiting his company so often, till at length he had a flat denial; yet he struck over with Sir John Norris into the action of Britanny, which was then a hot and active war, whom he would always call his father, honouring him above all men, and ever bewailing his end; so contrary he was in his esteem and valuation of this great commander to that of his friend, my Lord of Essex; till at last the Queen began to take his digressions for contempt, and confined his residence to the court, {66} and her own presence; and, upon my Lord of Essex's fall, so confident she was of her own princely judgment, and the opinion she had conceived of his worth and conduct, that she would have this noble gentleman and none other to bring in the Irish wars to a propitious end; for it was a prophetical speech of her own, that it would be his fortune and his honour to cut the thread of that fatal rebellion, and to bring her in peace to the grave; wherein she was not deceived: for he achieved it, but with much pains and carefulness, and not without the forces and many jealousies of the court and times, wherewith the Queen's age and the malignity of her settling times were replete. And so I come to his dear friend in court, Secretary Cecil, whom, in his long absence, he adored as his saint, and counted him his only MECENAS, both before and after his departure from court, and during all the time of his command in Ireland; well knowing that it lay in his power, and by a word of his mouth, to make or mar him.


Sir Robert Cecil, since Earl of Salisbury, was the son of the Lord Burleigh, and, by degrees, successor of his places and favours, though not of his lands; for he had Sir Thomas Cecil, his elder brother, since created Earl of Exeter; he was first Secretary of State, then Master of the Court of Wards, and, in the last of her reign, came to be Lord Treasurer: all which were the steps of his father's greatness, and of the honour he left to his house. For his person, he was not much beholden to Nature, though somewhat for his face, which was the best part of his outside: for his inside, it may be said, and without offence, that he was his father's own son, and a pregnant precedent in all his discipline of state: he was a courtier from his cradle, which might have made him betimes; but he was at the age of twenty and upwards, and was far short of his after-proof, but exposed, and by change of climate he soon made show what he was and would be.

He lived in those times wherein the Queen had most need and use of men of weight; and, amongst many able ones, this was chief, as having taken his sufficiency from his instruction who begat him, the tutorship of the times and court, which were then academies of Art and Cunning. For such was the Queen's condition, from the tenth or twelfth of her reign, that she had the happiness to stand up, whereof there is a former intimation, environed with many and more enemies, and assaulted with more dangerous practices, than any prince of her times, and of many ages before: where we must not, in this her preservation, attribute it to human power, for that in his own omnipotent providence God ordained those secondary means, as instruments of the work, by an evident manifestation of the same work, which she acted; and it was a well-pleasing work of his own, out of a peculiar care he had decreed the protection of the work- mistress, and, thereunto, added his abundant blessing upon all and whatsoever she undertook: which is an observation of satisfaction to myself, that she was in the right; though, to others now breathing under the same form and frame of her government, it may not seem an animadversion of their worth: but I leave them to the peril of their own folly, and so come again to this great minister of state and the staff of the Queen's declining age; who, though his little crooked person could not promise any great supportation, yet it carried thereon a head and a head-piece of a vast content; and therein, it seems, Nature was so diligent to complete one and the best part about him, as the perfection of his memory and intellectuals; she took care also of his senses, and to put him in LYNCEOS OCULOS, or, to pleasure him the more, borrowed of Argos, so to give unto him a prospective sight; and, for the rest of his sensitive virtues, his predecessor, Walsingham, had left him a receipt to smell out what was done in the conclave.

And his good old father was so well seen in mathematics, that he could tell you, throughout Spain, every part, every port, every ship, with its burden; whither bound, what preparations, what impediments for diversion of enterprises, counsel, and resolution; and, that we may see, as in a little map, how docible this little man was, I will present a taste of his abilities.

My Lord of Devonshire, upon certainty that the Spaniards would invade Ireland with a strong army, had written very earnestly to the Queen and to the Council for such supplies to be timely sent over, that might enable him both to march up to the Spaniard, if he did land, and follow on his prosecution without diverting his intentions against the rebels. Sir Robert Cecil, besides the general dispatch of the Council (as he often did) writ thus in private, for these two then began to love dearly:

"My lord, out of the abundance of my affection, and the care I have of your well-doing, I must in private put you out of doubt or fear, for I know you cannot be sensible, otherwise than in the way of honour, that the Spaniards will not come unto you this year; for I have it from my own, what his preparations are in all his parts, and what he can do; for, be confident, he beareth up a reputation, by seeming to embrace more than he can gripe; but, the next year, be assured, he will cast over to you some forlorn troops, which, how they may be reinforced beyond his present ability, and his first intention, I cannot, as yet, make any certain judgment; but I believe, out of my intelligence, that you may expect the landing in Munster, and, the more to distract you, in several places, as, at Kinsale, Beerhaven, and Baltimore; where, you may be sure, coming from sea, they will first fortify, and learn the strength of the rebels, before they dare take the field. Howsoever, as I know you will not lessen your care, neither your defences, whatsoever lies in my power to do you and the public service, rest thereof assured."

And to this I could add much more, but it may (as it is) suffice to present much of his abilities in the pen, that he was his crafts- master in foreign intelligence, and for domestic affairs. As he was one of those that sat at the helm to the last of the Queen, so was he none of the least in skill, and in the true use of the compass; and so I shall only vindicate the scandal of his death, and conclude him; for he departed at St. Margaret's, near Marlborough, at his return from Bath, as my Lord Vice-Chamberlain, my Lord Clifford, and myself, his son, and son-in-law, and many more can witness: but that the day before, he swooned on the way, and was taken out of his litter, and laid into his coach, was a truth out of which that falsehood concerning the manner of his death had its derivation, though nothing to the purpose, or to the prejudice of his worth.


Sir Francis Vere was of that ancient, and of the most noble extract of the earls of Oxford; and it may be a question whether the nobility of his house, or the honour of his achievements, might most commend him, but that we have an authentic rule:

"Nam genus et proavos et quae nos non fecimus ipsi,

Vix ea nostra voco."

For though he was an honourable slip of that ancient tree of nobility, which was no disadvantage to his virtue, yet he brought more glory to the name of Vere than he took of blood from the family.

He was, amongst all the Queen's swordsmen, inferior to none, but superior to many; of whom it may be said, to speak much of him were the way to leave out somewhat that might add to his praise, and to forget more than would make to his honour.

I find not that he came much to the court, for he lived almost perpetually in the camp; but, when he died, no man had more of the Queen's favour, and none less envied, for he seldom troubled it with the noise and alarms of supplications; his way was another sort of undermining.

They report that the Queen, as she loved martial men, would court this gentleman, as soon as he appeared in her presence; and surely he was a soldier of great worth and command, thirty years in the service of the States, and twenty years over the English in chief, as the Queen's general: and he, that had seen the battle of Newport, might there best have taken him and his noble brother, {67} the Lord of Tilbury, to the life.


My Lord of Worcester I have here put last, but not least in the Queen's favour; he was of the ancient and noble blood of the Beauforts, and of her {68} grandfather's kin by the mother, which the Queen could never forget, especially where there was an incurrence of old blood with fidelity, a mixture which ever sorted with the Queen's nature; and though there might hap somewhat in this house, which might invert her grace, though not to speak of my lord himself but in due reverence and honour, I mean contrariety or suspicion in religion; yet the Queen ever respected his house, and principally his noble blood, whom she first made Master of her Horse, and then admitted him of her Council of State.

In his youth, part whereof he spent before he came to reside at court, he was a very fine gentleman, and the best horseman and tilter of the times, which were then the manlike and noble recreations of the court, and such as took up the applause of men, as well as the praise and commendation of ladies; and when years had abated those exercises of honour, he grew then to be a faithful and profound counsellor; and as I have placed him last, so was he the last liver of all her servants of her favour, and had the honour to see his renowned mistress, and all of them, laid in the places of their rests; and for himself, after a life of very noble and remarkable reputation, and in a peaceable old age, a fate that I make the last, and none of my slightest observations, which befell not many of the rest, for they expired like unto a light blown out with the snuff stinking, not commendably extinguished, and with an offence to the standers-by. And thus I have delivered up my poor essay, or little draft of this great princess and her times, with the servants of her state and favour. I cannot say I have finished it, for I know how defective and imperfect it is, as limned only in the original nature, not without the active blessings, and so left it as a task fitter for remoter times, and the sallies of some bolder pencil to correct that which is amiss, and draw the rest up to life, than for me to have endeavoured it. I took it in consideration, how I might have dashed into it much of the stain of pollution, and thereby have defaced that little which is done; for I profess I have taken care to master my pen, that I might not err ANIMO, {69} or of set purpose discolour each or any of the parts thereof, otherwise than in concealment. Haply there are some who will not approve of this modesty, but will censure it for pusillanimity, and, with the cunning artist, attempt to draw their line further out at length, and upon this of mine, which way (with somewhat more ease) it may be effected; for that the frame is ready made to their hands, and then haply I could draw one in the midst of theirs, but that modesty in me forbids the defacements in men departed, their posterity yet remaining, enjoying the merit of their virtues, and do still live in their honour. And I had rather incur the censure of abruption, than to be conscious and taken in the manner, sinning by eruption, or trampling on the graves of persons at rest, which living we durst not look in the face, nor make our addresses unto them, otherwise than with due regard to their honours, and reverence to their virtues.


The accomplished, the brave, and romantic Lord Herbert of Cherbury was born in this reign, and laid the foundation of that admirable learning of which he was afterwards a complete master.


{1} His name was Sir Thomas Falconer.

{2} This is not true, for her legitimacy was with good reason contested.

{3} This is a mistake; her epitaph says stipendia constituit tribus hoc coenobio monachis et doctori grammatices apud Wynbourne.

{4} Sir Giles Dawbney; he was not Earl of Bridgewater, not a Lord.

{5} This romantic inscription probably alluded to Philip II., who wooed the Queen after her sister's death; and to the destruction of his Armada.

{6} This probably alluded to the woollen manufacture; Stow mentions his riding through the Cloth Fair on the Eve of St. Bartholomew.

{7} The collar of SS.

{8} He probably means rushes.

{9} Her father had been treated with the same deference. It is mentioned by Foxe in his "Acts and Monuments," that when the Lord Chancellor went to apprehend Queen Catherine Parr, he spoke to the King on his knees. King James I. suffered his courtiers to omit it.

{10} Lord Treasurer Burleigh died August 4, 1598.

{11} She was the daughter, sister, and aunt, of Sir William, Henry, and Sir Philip Sidney.

{12} This was a strange blunder to be made so near the time, about so remarkable a person, unless he concluded that whoever displeased Henry VIII. was of course put to death.

{13} This is a mistake; it was the surcoat of Edward IV., enriched with rubies, and was preserved here till the civil war.

{14} This is confounded with the Round Tower.

{15} It is not clear what the author means by hypocaustis; I have translated it bathing-rooms; it might mean only chambers with stoves.

{16} The original is optici; it is impossible to guess what colour he meant.

{17} Here are several mistakes.

{18} This is another most inaccurate account: the murderers of Becket were Tracy, Morville, Britton, and Fitzurse.

{19} Queen Mary.

{20} Viz., Popish.

{21} "This is the work of the Lord, and it is wonderful in our sight."

{22} "I have chosen God for my help."

{23} i.e. "I will confine you."

(24} The Irish rebel.

{25} al. not.

{26} al. horse.

{27} al. find

{28} al. say.

{29} The First.

{30} Fathers.

{31} During Queen Elizabeth's reign.

{32} Charles I.

{33} Burleigh, Leicester, and Walsingham.

{34} al. were without.

{35} The eldest son.

{36} Existing.

{37} In which she ruled.

{38} Mary.

{39} al. amused.

{40} Camp.

{41} Council.

{42} In the first year of Queen Mary.

{43} Of his Privy Council.

{44} Of his Privy Council.

{45} al. humours.

{46} Of which you have an account hereafter in this small pamphlet.

{47} In a future state.

{48} The art of poisoning.

{49} Martial state.

{50} Leicester's.

{51} al. supported by.

{52} An estate.

{53} Elizabeth's.

{54} Counsellors.

{55} Because notwithstanding many dissented from the Reformed Establishment in many points of doctrine, and still acknowledged the Pope's infallibility and supremacy, yet they looked not upon these doctrines and discipline to be fundamentals, or without which they could not be saved; and, therefore, continued to assemble and baptise and communicate for the space of ten years in the Reformed Church of England.

{56} The Pope.

{57} Beginning.

{58} Poland.

{59} Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador, amused King James I. with much dissimulation.

{60} The traitor, of whom hereafter in this collection.

{61} had

{62} Instability.

{63} James I.

{64} He dishonourably cut off this good servant's head, and seized upon his estate.

{65} al. blew.

{66} As related before, in the account of Secretary William Cecil.

{67} Horatio.

{68} Elizabeth's.

{69} Willingly.

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