Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature


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A priest was so imprudent, after this sermon, as to open his repository of images and relicts, and prepare himself to say mass. The audience, who were wrought up to a disposition for any furious enterprize, were as much enraged as if the spectacle had not been quite familiar to them: They attacked the priest with fury, broke the images in pieces, tore the pictures, overthrew the altars, scattered about the sacred vases; and lest no implement of idolatrous worship, as they called it, entire or unbroken.

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They thence proceeded with additional numbers, and augmented rage, to the monasteries of the Grey and Black friars, which they pillaged in an instant: The Carthusians underwent the same fate; and the populace, not content with robbing and expelling the monks, vented their fury on the buildings, which had been the recepticles of such abomination; and in a very little time nothing but the walls of these stately edifices were left standing. Even the earl of Argyle, and the lord James Stuart, prior of St.

Sworn Bond in Tudor England

Andrew's, the Queen's natural brother, tho' deeply engaged with the reformers, attended the regent in this enterprize, either because they blamed the fury of the populace, or hoped by their influence and authority to mediate some agreement between the parties. The congregation, on the other hand, made preparations for defence; and being joined by the earl of Glencarne from the West, and being countenanced by many of the nobility and gentry, they appeared formidable from their numbers, as well as the zeal by which they were animated.

They joined to all these declarations an address to the established church; and they affixed this title to it. They told the ecclesiastics, "As ye by tyranny intend not only to destroy our bodies, but also by the same to hold our souls in bondage of the devil, subject to idolatry; so shall we, with all the force and power which God shall grant unto us, execute just vengeance and punishment upon you: Yea, we shall begin that same war which God commanded Israel to execute against the Canaanites; that is, contract of peace shall never be made, till ye desist from your open idolatry, and cruel persecution of God's children.

Andrew's, and to form an accommodation with them. This capitulation, it is pretended, was not exactly observed. These two leaders now desired no better pretext for deserting the regent and openly joining their associates, than the complaints, however doubtful, or rather false, of her breach of promise. The regent, who marched against them with her army, finding their power so much increased, was glad to conclude a truce for a few days, and to pass over with her forces to the Lothians.

The insurgents besieged and took Perth; proceeded thence to Stirling, where they exercised their usual sury; and finding nothing able to resist them, they bent their march to Edinburgh, the inhabitants of which, as they had already anticipated the zeal of the congregation against the churches and monasteries, gladly opened their gates to them.

Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature

The regent, with the few forces which remained with her, took shelter in Dunbar, where she shut herself up, in expectation of a reinforcement from France. MEANWHILE, she employed her partizans in representing to the people the dangerous consequences of this open rebellion; and she endeavoured to convince them, that the lord James, under pretence of religion, had formed the scheme of wresting the scepter from the hands of the sovereign. On the interposal of the duke of Chatelraut, who still adhered to her, she agreed to a capitulation, in which she granted them a toleration of their religion, and they engaged to commit no farther depredations on the churches.

Soon after they evacuated the city of Edinburgh; and before they left it, they proclaimed the articles of agreement; but they took care to publish only the articles favourable to themselves, and they were guilty of an imposture, in adding one to the number, viz. The regent having got a reinforcement of men from France, began to fortify Leith; and the congregation seduced the duke of Chatelraut to their party, who had long appeared inclined to them, and who was at last determined by the arrival of his son, the earl of Arran, from France, where he had escaped many dangers, from the jealousy, as well as bigotry, of Henry and the duke of Guise.

More French troops soon after disembarked under the command of La Brosse, who was followed by the bishop of Amiens and three doctors of the Sorbonne. The leaders of the congregation, well acquainted with these views, were not insensible of their danger, and saw that their only safety consisted in the vigour and success of their measures. They were encouraged by the intelligence received of the sudden death of Henry the second; and having passed an act from their own authority, depriving the Queen dowager of the regency, and ordering all the French troops to evacuate the kingdom, they collected forces to put their edict in execution against them.

They became masters again of Edinburgh; but found themselves unable to keep long possession of that city. The French, who found it impossible to subsist for want of provisions, and who saw that the English were continually reinforced by new numbers, were obliged to capitulate. Wotton, whom Elizabeth had sent to Edinburgh for that purpose. In order to hasten the execution of this important treaty Elizabeth sent ships, by which the whole French forces were transported into their own country. THUS all Europe saw, in the first transaction of this reign, the genius and capacity of the Queen and her ministers.

She stopped not till she had brought the matter to a final issue; and had converted that very power, to which her enemies trusted for her destruction, into her firmest support and security. By exacting no improper conditions from the Scotch insurgents, even during their greatest distress, she established an entire confidence with them; and having cemented the union by all the tyes of gratitude, interest and religion, she now possessed an influence over them above what remained even with their native sovereign.

THE subsequent measures of the Scotch reformers tended still more to cement their union with England. Being entirely masters of the kingdom, they made no farther ceremony or scruple, in fully effecting their purpose. In the treaty of Edinburgh it had been agreed, that a Parliament or convention should soon be assembled; and the leaders of the Congregation, not waiting till the Queen of Scots should ratify that treaty, thought themselves fully intitled, without the sovereign's authority, immediately to summon a Parliament.

The Parliament seem to have been actuated by the same spirit of rage and persecution. The prelates of the antient faith appeared in order to complain of great injustice committed on them by the invasion of their property, but the Parliament took no notice of them; till at last, these ecclesiastics, tired with fruitless attendance, departed the town. They were then cited to appear; and as no body presented themselves, it was voted by the Parliament, that the ecclesiastics were entirely satisfied, and found no reason of complaint.

John, was sent over to France to obtain the ratification of these acts; but was very ill received by the Queen, who absolutely denied the validity of a Parliament, summoned without the royal consent; and she refused her sanction to these statutes. Their new preachers, who had authority sufficient to incite them to war and insurrection, could not restrain their rapacity; and fanaticism concurring with avarice, an incurable blow was given to the papal authority in that country. It was the contests of religion, which first inspired the French with courage openly to oppose their exorbitant authority.

THE theological disputes, first started in the north of Germany, and next in Switzerland, countries at that time wholly illiterate, had long ago penetrated into France; and as they were assisted by the general discontents against the court and church of Rome, and by the zealous spirit of the age, the proselytes to the new religion were secretly encreasing in every province. Henry the second, in imitation of his father Francis, had opposed the progress of the reformers; and tho' a prince addicted to pleasure and society, he was transported by a vehemence, as well as bigotry, which had little place in his predecessor's conduct.

The death of Henry put some stop to the persecutions; and the people, who had admired the constancy of the new preachers, now heard with favour and prepossession their arguments and doctrines. But the cardinal of Lorraine, as well as his brother, who were possessed of the legal authority, thought it their interest to support the established religion; and when they revived the exercise of the penal statutes, they necessarily engaged the malecontent princes and nobles in the protection of the new religion.

ELIZABETH was not dissatisfied to learn, that her avowed enemies had met with so severe a check, and she was determined to make advantage of it against the Queen of Scots, whom she still regarded as a dangerous rival. But she received for answer, that till she had given satisfaction, by ratifying the treaty of Edinburgh, she could expect no favour from a person whom she had so much injured. I can, with God's leave, return to my own country without her leave; as I came to France, in spite of all the opposition of her brother, King Edward: Neither do I want friends, both able and willing, to conduct me home, as they have brought me hither; tho' I was desirous rather to make an experiment of her friendship than of the assistance of any other person.

I have often heard you say, that a good correspondence between her and myself would conduce much to the security and happiness of both our kingdoms: But were she well convinced of this truth, she had hardly denied me so small a request.

Besides her friendship, I ask nothing at her hands: I neither trouble her, nor concern myself in the affairs of her kingdom: Not that I am ignorant, that there are now in England a great many malecontents, who are no friends to the present establishment. She is pleased to upbraid me as a person little experienced in the world: I freely own it; but age will cure that defect. I would also say, by her leave, that I am a Queen as well as she, and not altogether friendless: And, perhaps, I have as great a soul too; so that methinks we should be upon a level in our treatment of each other.

But she, it seems, intends to stop my journey; so that either she will not let me give her satisfaction, or is resolved not to be satisfied; perhaps, on purpose to keep up the disagreement betwixt us. She has often reproached me with my being young; and I must be very young, indeed, and as ill advised, to treat of matters of such great concern and importance, without the advice of my Parliament. I have not been wanting in any friendly offices to her; but she disbelieves or overlooks them.

Thea Cervone (Author of Sworn Bond in Tudor England)

I could heartily wish, that I was as near allied to her in affection as in blood: For that, indeed, would be a most valuable alliance. SUCH a spirited reply, notwithstanding the obliging terms interspersed in it, was but ill fitted to conciliate friendship between these rival princesses, or cure those mutual jealousies which had already taken place. This change of abode and situation was very little agreeable to that princess. Besides the natural prepossessions in favour of a country in which she had been educated from her earliest infancy, and where she had borne so high a rank, she could not forbear regreting her departure from among that people, so celebrated for their humane and sociable disposition, and their respectful attachment to their sovereign, and reflecting on the disparity of the scene which lay before her.

It is said, that after she was embarked at Calais, she kept her eyes fixed on the coast of France, and never turned them from that beloved object, till darkness fell, and intercepted it from her view. She then ordered a couch to be spread for her under the open air; and charged the pilot, that, if in the morning the land was still in sight, he should awake her, and afford her one parting view of that country in which all her affections were centered.

The weather proved very calm, so that the ship made little way in the night-time: And Mary had once more an opportunity of seeing the French coast.

Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature
Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature
Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature
Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature
Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature Sworn Bond in Tudor England: Oaths, Vows and Covenants in Civil Life and Literature

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