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944 [944]

Actes and Monumentes of the Church.

one, to speake against our crown, and to deny our kingdom, as to require that our lawes may be broken, vnto xxi. yeres. Be we not your crowned, anoynted, and establyshed kyng? wherin then be we of lesse maiestie, of lesse autoritie, or lesse state, then our progenitours kynges of this Realme? except your vnkyndnes, your vnnaturalnesse wil diminish our estimation? we haue hetherto, since the death of our father, by the good aduise & coūsel of our dere & entierly beloued vncle, kept our state, mainteined our realme, preserued our honor, defended our people from al enemies: we haue hetherto ben feared, & dred of our enemies: yea, of princes, kings, & nations, yea, herein we be nothing inferiours to any our progenitors (which grace we knowlege to be geuen vs from God) & how els, but by good obedience of our people, good counsel of our magistrates due execution of our lawes. By autoritie of our kingdome, England hetherto hath gained honor: during our reigne, it hath wonne of the enemy and not lost. It hath ben marueiled, that we of so yong yeres haue reigned so nobly, so royally, so quietly. And how chanceth it, that you our subiects, of that our coūtrie of Deuōshire, wil geue the first occasion to slaūder this our realm of Englād, to geue corage to the enemie, to note our realme of the euil of rebelliō, to make it a pray to our old enemies, to diminish our honor, which God hath geuen, our father left, our good vncle & coūsell preserued vnto vs: what greater euill could ye cōmit, thē euen now, when our forrein enemy in Scotland, & vpon the sea seketh to inuade vs, then to arise in this maner against our law, to prouoke our wrath, to aske our vengeaunce, & to geue vs an occasion, to spend that force vpon you, which we ment to bestow vpon our enemies, to begin to sley you with that sword which we drewe forth against Scottes & other enemies: to make a cōquest of our own people, whiche otherwise should haue ben of the whole realme of Scotlād. Thus far ye se we haue discended frō our high maiestie for loue, to considre you in your base & simple ignorance, & haue ben content, to send you an instructiō, like a fatherly prince, who of iustice might haue sent you your destruction, like a king to rebelles. And now let you know, that as you se our mercy aboundant, so if ye prouoke vs further, we sweare to you by the liuing God, by whom we reigne, ye shall fele the power of the same God, in our sword, whiche how mighty it is, no subiect knoweth, how puissant it is, no priuat man cā iudge, how mortal it is, no English hart dare thinke: but surely, surely, as your lord & prince, your only king & maister, we saye to you repent your selfs, & take our mercy without delay, or els, we wil forthwith extend our princely power, & execute our sharp sword against you, as against very Infidels and Turkes, & rather aduenture our own royal persone, state & power, then the same shall not be executed.

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And if you will proue the example of our mercy, learne of certaine which lately did aryse, pretending some griefes, and yet acknowleging their offēces haue not only receiued most humbly their pardon, but fele also by our ordre to whom all publik ordre only perteineth, redresse deuised for their griefs. In thend, we admonish you of your duties to God whom ye shal answer in the day of the Lord, & of your duties towards vs, whome ye shal answer by our ordre, & take our mercye whylest God so enclineth vs, lest when ye shalbe constrayned to aske, we shalbe to muche hardened in hart to graunt it you: and where ye shal now here of mercie, mercie and life, ye shal then heare of iustice, iustice and death.

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Geuen at Richmond the viii. day of Iuly, the iii.
yeare of our reigne.

☞ And thus leauing of the story of these rebels, passing ouer also the rebels of Norfolke, omitting moreouer the disturbance of the Scots, who defeiting the mariage betwene K. Edward and the quene of Scots, cōcluded betwixt kyng Henry 8. and Therle of Arrain & the whole parliamēt ther, wer x. M. of them slaine in the fielde. &c. Nowe wee wyll entre (God willing) 

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Mary Tudor

Mary's campaign of overt resistance to the protestant policies of the Protector' s government began with the introduction of the 1549 Prayer Book at Whitsun in that year, a day upon which she caused mass to be celebrated with exceptional splendour in her chapel at Kenninghall. On 16 June the Council wrote to her a restrained letter 'giving her advice to be conformable and obedient to the observation of his Majesty's laws…', which provoked the response given here. Mary based her resistance on two points: firstly that her father's settlement should not be changed while her brother was a minor, because the Royal Supremacy was vested in him personally, and secondly that her conscience could not accept the validity of 'a late law of your own making', which called in question the whole authority of a minority government. For a discussion of these issues, see D. Loades, Mary Tudor: A Life (1989), pp.145-6. Mary's position was supported and exploited throughout by the Imperial ambassadors, first Francois Van der Delft and later Jehan Scheyfve, whose aim was to cause the maximum embarrassment to the English government, short of an outright breakdown of diplomatic relations. At the change-over of ambassadors in July 1551, Mary planned to escape to the continent, and then changed her mind (D.L. Loades, Mary Tudor (, pp.153-5). The most disturbing letter from the King was that of 24 January 1550, wherein he makes it clear that he is personally supportive of the policies which she has been attributing to his council. Her reply of 3 February makes the extent of her disquiet plain.

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David Loades
University of Sheffield

into those matters which happened betwene the said K. Edward and his sister Mary, as by their letters here followyng, ar to be seen. 
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Although a number of letters from the council to Mary, and vice versa, survive in the State Papers and among the Harleian MSS, these are not among them, and the originals appear to be lost. The Council's latter of advice to the princess 'that the mass should not be used' survives as MS Harley 6195, f.5. A note of the instructions issued to Dr,.Hopton appears in the Council Register (Acts, II, pp.291-2), but the note is brief and it is not certain that this document is being referred to. The original of this does not appear to survive. The instruction given to the Lord Chancellor (Richard Rich), Sir Anthony Wingfield and Sir William Paget on 24 August 1551, does appear in the Council Register, together with their report. (Acts, III, pp.333, 336, 347), which is full and circumstantial, but which was not used by Foxe.

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¶ To my Lord Protector, and the rest of the kings Maiesties Couusell.

MY Lord, I perceaue by the letters which I late receyued from you, & other of the kinges Maiesties counsell, that ye be al sory to fynd so litle cōformitie in me touching the obseruation of his Maiesties lawes: who am well assured I haue offended no lawe, vnles it be a late lawe of your owne making, for the altering of matters of religon, whiche in my conscience is not worthye to haue the name of a lawe, both for the kings honors sake, the welth of the realme, & geuing an occasion of an euill brute thorow all Christendom, besides the parcialitie vsed in the same, and (as my said conscience is verely perswaded) thoffending of God,whiche passeth all the reste: but I am well assured that the king his fathers lawes wer allowed and consented to without compulsion by the whole Realme, bothe spirituall & temporall, and all ye executors sworne vpon a boke to fullfil the same, so that it was an authorised law, and that I haue obeyed and will doo with the grace of God, till the kings maiestie my brother shall haue sufficiente yeares to bee a iudge in these matters himselfe: wherin my Lord I was playn with you at my last being in the court: declaring vnto you at that time wherunto I would stand, and now doo assure you all, that the only occasion of my stay from altering myne opinyon, is for two causes. One principally for my consciēce sake: thother, that the king my brother shall not hereafter charge me to be one of those, that were agreable to suche alteratiōs in his tender yeres. And what frutes dayly grow by suche chaunges since the death of the kinge my father, to euery indifferent person it well appeareth, bothe to the displeasure of God and vnquyetnes of the Realme. Notwithstandinge, I assure you all, I woulde bee as lothe to see his highnes take hurt, or that any euil should come to this his Realme, as the best of you all, and none of you haue the lyke cause, considering how I am cōpelled by nature, being his maiesties pore and humble sister, most tenderly to loue and pray for hym, & vnto this his realme, being borne within the same, wish all welth and prosperitie to Gods honor. And if any iudge me the contrary for mine opinions sake, as I trust non doth, I doubte not in thend with gods help to proue my self as true a naturall and humble sister, as they of the contrary opinyon with all their deuises and altering of lawes, shall proue themselues true subiectes, praying you my Lorde and the rest of the counsell, no more to vnquiet and trouble me with matters touching my cōscience, wherein I am at a ful point with Gods helpe whatsoeuer shall happen to me, intendyng with his grace to trouble you litle with any worldly suites, but to bestow the short time I thinke to liue, in quyetnes, & pray for the kings maiestie and al you, hartely wishing that your procedings may be to Gods honor, the safegard of the kings person, and quyetnes to the whole Realme.

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Moreouer where your desire is, that I would sende my Controuler & doctor Hopton vnto you, by whom you wold signifye your mindes more amplye to my contentation & honor: it is not vnknowne to you all, that the chief charge of my house resteth only vpon the trauails of my said Controller. Who hath not ben absent from my house thre hole daies since the setting vp of thesame, vnles it were for my letters patents, so that if it were not for his continuall diligence, I think my litle portion would not haue stretched so far. And my Chaplayn by occasion of sicknes, hath ben long absent, & yet not able to ryde. Therfore lyke as I cannot forbeare my Controuller, and my priest is not able to iorney: So shal I desire you my Lord, and the rest of the councell, that hauing any thing to be declared vnto me, except matters of Religion, ye will eyther write your minds, or send som trusty person, with whom I shalbe contented to talke, & make aunswer as the case shall require, assuring you, that if any seruaunt of mine owne, eyther man or woman, or Chaplayne should moue me, to the contrary of my conscience, I woulde not geue eare to thē, nor suffer the like to be vsed within my house. And thus my Lorde with my harty commendatiōs, I wish vnto you and the rest as well to doo as my self. Frō my house at Kinning hall, the xxii. of Iune. 1549.

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Your assured frend to my power. Mary.

¶ A remembraunce of certayne matters, appointed by the Counsell to be declared by D. Hopton to the Lady Maries grace for aunswer to her former letter, which said Hopton was after she came to her reign B. of Norwich.

Her grace writeth that the law made by Parliament, is not worthy the name of a law, meaning the Statute for the Communion. &c.

☞ you shall say thereto.

THe fault is great in any subiect to disalowe a law of the kyng, a lawe of a Realme, by long study, fre disputatiō, and vniforme determination of the whole clergie consulted, debated, & cōcluded. But the greater fault is in her grace being next of any subiect in bloud & estate to the k. maiestie her brother & good lord, to geue exāple of disobedience, being a Subiect, or of vnnaturalnes, being his maiesties Sister, or of neglecting the power of the crowne, she being by limitation of law next to the same. Thexample of disobedience is moste perilous in this time, as she can well vnderstande. her vnkindnes resteth in the kings owne acceptatiō. the neglecting of the power before God is aunswerable, and in the worlde toucheth her honor.

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Thexcutors she sayth were sworne to kyng
Henry the viii. his lawes.

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