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* If she enrich any, it is but to make them the subject “ of her spoil; if she raise others, it is but to pleasure * herself with their ruin; what she adored yesterday, is “ to-day her pastime; and, if I now permit her to adorn “ and crown me, I must to-morrow suffer her to crush 6 and tear me to pieces. Nay, with what crown doth " she present me? A crown which hath been violently " and shamefully wrested from Catharine of Arragon, “ made more unfortunate by the punishment of Anne
Boleyn, and others that wore it after her; and why 66 then would
you have me add my blood to theirs, and 6 be the third victim from whom this fatal crown may be C ravished with the head that wears it? But in case it “ should not prove fatal to me, and that all its venom
were consumed, if fortune should give me warranties “ of her constancy, should I be well advised to take
upon me those thorns, which would dilacerate, though
not kill me outright? To burden myself with a yoke “ which would not fail to torment me, though I were o assured not to be strangled with it? My liberty is " better than the chain you proffer me, with what pre“ cious stones soeverit be adorned, or of what gold soever " framed. I will not exchange my peace for honorable “ and precious jealousies, for magnificent and glorious “ fetters. And if you love me sincerely, and in good
earnest, you will rather wish me a secure and quiet fortune, though mean, than an exalted situation exposed to the wind, and followed by some dismal fall.”
But notwithstanding the prudence, goodness, and eloquence of this speech, she was at length prevailed upon by the exhortations of her father, the intercession of her mother, and the artful persuasion of the Duke of Northumberland, and, above all, the earnest desires of her husband, whom she tenderly loved, to yield her assent to what was still to be done.* And thus with an heavy
* The mention of the crown, says Bishop Burnet, when her father, with her father-in-law, saluted her Queen, did rather heighten her disorder upon the king's death. She said she knew by the laws of the kingdom, and by natural right, the crown was to go to the king's sisters, so that she was afraid of burdening her conscience, by se suming that which belonged to them; and that she was unwilling to enrich herself by the spoils of others. But they told her, that all that had been done was accordiog to the law, to wbich all the judges and counsellors had set their hands. This, joined with their persuasions, and the importunity of her husband, at length prevailed with her to submit, of which her father-in-law afterwards said in council, that she was rather by inticement of the counsellors and force made to accept of the crown, than came to it by her own seeking and request -- Burnet's History of the Reformation, Vol. II. p. 235.
disinclined heart she suffered herself to be conveyed to the Tower, where she entered with all the state of a Queen, attended by the principal nobility, and what was very extraordinary, with her train supported by the Duchess of Suffolk her mother, in whom, if in any of this line, the right of succession lay. About six o'clock in the afternoon she was proclaimed Queen with all due solemnities in the city; the same day she also assumed the royal title, and afterwards proceeded to exercise some acts of sovereignty. But the royalty of this worthy lady was 'but of very short duration, a sun-beam of glory, which was soon utterly extinguished in clouds and darkness! for, on the 19th of the same month, the Princess Mary was proclaimed Queen, in London, so that the reign of this lady was only a vapour of about nine days continuance.
As soon as the Duke of Suffolk, who now resided with his daughter in the Tower, was informed of the Princess
ry's proclamation, he went to his daughter's apartments, and, in the softest terms he could, acquainted her that matters had taken such a different turn, that, laying aside the state and dignity of a Queen, she must fall back into the condition of a private person. To which intelligence she, with a composed and serene countenance, made the following answer: Sir, I better brook this message « than that of my advancement to royalty. Out of
obedience to you, and to my mother, I have grievously “ sinned, and offered violence to myself. I now willingly,
Lady Jane, says the writer of the British Biography, was alto. geiher uninfluenced by any ambitious views, and the settlement of the succession was by no means agreeable to her. Indeed it does not apo pear that she was at all consulted about it either by her father, or by the duke of Northumberland, por does she seem even to have been acquainted with it ill after king Edward's decease. Vol. II. p. 490.
« and as obeying the emotions of my soul, relinquish " the crown, and endeavour to salve those faults com“ mitted by others, if at least so great a fault can be
salved, by a willing relinquishment and ingenuous ac“ knowledgment of them."
Thus ended her reign, but with the end of her reign commenced the severest afflictions. She, who had been lately a queen in the Tower, soon found her palace turned into a prison. She also saw the father of her husband with all his family, and many of the nobility and gentry in the same circumstances, for supporting her claim to the crown, and this grief must have been considerably increased by his being so soon after brought to the block. Before the end of the month she had also the sad mortification of finding her own father, the duke of Suffolk, in the same circumstances of imprisonment with herself. On the third of November, in the same year, 1553, she and her husband were carried from the Tower to Guildhall, with archbishop Cranmer, and others; and was there arraigned and convicted of high treason by judge Morgan, who pronounced sentence of death upon them. However, the strictness of her own and her husband's confinement was mitigated in December, by a permission to take the air in the queen's garden, and other little indulgences. These circumstances might give some gleam of hope; but queen Mary at length determined to take off both lady Jane and her husband. The fatal news made no great impression upon her; the bitterness of death was passed, she had long expected it, and was so well prepared for the worst, that she was very little discomposed.
What has been already related concerning the subject of our memoirs affords us strong proofs of this lady's, fine understanding, her most uncommon proficiency in learning, and her most noble and excellent spirit, that ascended to the highest elevation of human life with sincere reluctance, and descended from it with as sincere pleasure. But the brighter part of her character, her piety and goodness, are still behind, of which, that we may have a clear and full view, let us particularly attend
her in the sunset of life, and collect, if I may so speak, every ray which adorned her in her preparation for death, and even in her last moments.
Lady Jane was early instructed in the principles of the Reformed Religion, which she seriously and attentively studied, and for which she was extremely zealous, and this, together with her other excellent and amiable accomplishments, greatly endeared her to king Edward. Her dislike of popery, particularly in one of its worst abominations, that of idolatry, was shewn, as it is credibly reported of her, when she was very young. Upon a visit to princess Mary, at New-Hall, in Essex, she took a walk with lady Anne Wharton. Happening to pass by the chapel, lady Anne made a low courtesy to the host, at which lady Jane testified some surprize, and asked whether the princess Mary was there? lady Anne answered, No, but I made my courtesy,” said she, 66 to him who made us all." Why," replied lady Jane, 6 how can that which hath been made by the 66 baker, be He who hath made us all ?” This speech of hers, it is said, being carried to the princess Mary, gave her a dislike to lady Jane, which she retained ever after.
But her attachment to the Reformed Religion, her knowledge of it, and her capacity to defend it, are more especially evinced in conversation between herself and him who was afterwards Dr. Feckenham, otherwise Howman,* who was sent by the queen but two days before her death to discourse with lady Jane, and to use his best endeavours to reconcile her to the church of Rome; but, notwithstanding his arguments, he could not induce
* John de Feckenham was so called because he was horn in a cote tage near the forest of Feckenham in Worcestershire, his right name being Howman. He was first admitted into Evesham monastery, and at eighteen years of age he was sent to Gloucester (now Worcester) college in Oxford. After studying there some years, and taking his degree of Bachelor of Divinity, he becaine chaplain to Booner, bishop of London, and on queen Mary's accession was made her chaplain. In May 1556 he was made doctor of divinity by the avis versity of Oxford ; and in September following appoinied abbot of Westminster Abbey. He is said to have been a geoerous and benevolent man.
her to relinquish the principles of the reformed church; and, when taking his leave of her, said, “ that he was sorry for her; for I am sure,” saith he,
we shall never meet."
66 True it is,” said lady Jane, “ that we shall never meet, except God turn your heart; for " I am assured, unless you repent, and turn to God,
you are in an evil case; and I pray God, in the “ bowels of his mercy, to send you his Holy Spirit, for " he hath given you his great gift of utterance, if it pleased him also to open the eyes
heart." It has been mentioned before, that lady Jane's father had two chaplains, Messrs. Harding and Aylmer, who were also her preceptors. Mr. Harding, it seems was, in King Edward's days, a zealous protestant, and was not only a preacher of the Reformed Religion, but was very fervent in animating its professors to abide by it in the face of all persecution and danger. But, upon the return of popery, in queen Mary's reign, he renounced his protestantism, and became a papist.+ Upon his apostacy lady Jane wrote him a letter which abundantly shewed that however he was qualified to instruct her in the matters of learning, she was no less capable to instruct him in the greater concerns of religion.
We shall now present our readers with a letter from this pious lady written to her father during the time of her imprisonment: her father, who, by his solicitations to her to take the crown, became the unhappy instrument of her untimely death.
66 FATHER, “ Although it hath pleased God to hasten my death
* We must conceive that this was understood as it was spoken, as flowing from a religious zeal, and not from any distaste of contradiction, or any dislike to his person, since we find that Mr. Feckenham, far from deserting, attended her to the very last, and that the lady Jane shewed a very proper sense of his attention and respect for her in the sight and hearing of all who were upon or near the scaffold.Biographia Britannica, Vol. IV. p. 2421.
+ It does not appear but that Mr. Harding, after his embracing popery, persisted in its profession to the end of his days, and accordo ingly we find him afterwards engaged on the popish side as a writer against bishop Jewel