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1272 [1272]

K. Henry. 8. The storye and death of Queene Anne.

MarginaliaThe death of Queene Anne.next folowing, folowed the death also of Queene Anne, who had now bene maried to the king the space of iij. yeares. In certein recordes thus we fynde, that þe king being in his Iustes at Grenewich, sodenly with a few persons, departed to Westmynster, and the nexte daye after Queene ANNE his wife was had to þe Tower, with the Lord Rochford her brother, and certayne other: and the. xix. day after was beheaded. The wordes of this worthy and Christian Lady at her death were these:

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MarginaliaThe wordes of Queene Anne at her death.Good christen people, I am come hether to dye, for according to the lawe, and by the lawe I am iudged to death, and therfore I will speake nothing agaynst it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speake any thyng of that, wherof I am accused and condemned to dye, but I pray God saue the kyng, and send hym long to raigne ouer you, for a gentler, or a more mercifull Prince was there neuer: and to me he was euer a good, a gentle, and soueraigne Lord. And if any person wyll medle of my cause, I require them to iudge the best. And thus I take my leaue of the world, and of you all, and I hartely desire you all to praye for me. O Lorde haue mercy on me. To God I commende my soule. MarginaliaQueene Anne beheaded.And so she kneled down, saying: to Christ I commend my soule: Iesu receyue my soule, repetyng the same diuers tymes, till at length the stroke was geuen and her head was striken of.

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MarginaliaCommendation of Queene Anne.And this was the end of that godly Lady & Queene. Godly I call her, for sondry respectes, what soeuer the cause was, or quarell obiected agaynst her. Fyrst her last words spokē at her death, declared no lesse her sincere fayth and trust in Christ, then dyd her quiet modestie vtter forth the goodnes of the cause and matter, what soeuer it was. Besides that, to such as wisely can iudge vpon cases occurrent, this also may seeme to geue a greate clearyng vnto her, that the kyng the thyrde day after, was maryed in his whites vnto an other. Certein this was, that for the rare and singular gyftes of her mynde so well instructed, & geuen toward God, with such a feruent desire vnto the truth, and settyng forth of sincere religion, ioyned wyth like gentlenes, modesty, and pytie toward all men, there hath not many such Queenes before her borne the crowne of England. Principally this one commendation she left behynd her, that duryng her lyfe, the religion of Christ most happely floryshed, and had a ryght prosperous course.

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MarginaliaThe mylde nature of Queene Anne in takyng admotion.Many things myght be written more of the manifold vertues, and the quyet moderation of her mylde nature, how lowly she would beare, not only to be admonished, but also of her owne accorde would requyre her chapleynes playnly and freely to tell whatsoeuer they saw in her a mysse. Also how bountifull she was to the poore, passing not only the common example of other Queenes, but also the reuenues almost of her estate: MarginaliaThe great almose of Queene Anne.in so much that the almose which she gaue in three quarters of a yeare, in distribution, is summed to the number of. xiiij. or xv. thousand poundes. Beside the great peece of money which her grace intended to impart into iiij. sondry quarters of the realme, as for a stocke there to be employed to the behoofe of poore artificers and occupiers. Agayn, what a zelous defender she was of Christes Gospell, all the world doth know, and her actes doe and will declare to the worldes ende. Amōgest which other her actes, this is one, that she placed M. Hugh Latimer in the Bishoprike of Worceter, and also preferred D. Shaxton to hys Bishoprike, being then accompted a good man. Furthermore, what a true fayth she bare vnto the Lord, this one example may stand for many: for that, when King Henry was with her at Wodstocke, and there being a frayde of an old blynd prophesie, for the which neyther he, nor other kings before hym durst hunte in the sayde parke of Wodstoke, nor enter into the towne of Oxford, at last through the christian and faythfull counsayle of that Queene, he was so armed agaynst all infidelitie, that both he hunted in the forsayd parke, and also entred into the town of Oxford, and had no harme. But because touchyng the memorable vertues of this worthye Queene, partly we haue sayd something before, partly because more also is promised to bee declared of her vertuous liffe (the Lord so permitting) by other who then were about her: I will cease in thys matter further to procede.

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This I can not but meruail, why the parlament holden this yeare, that is, the. xxviii. yeare of the Kynge, (which Parlament three yeares before had established & confirmed this mariage as most laufull) MarginaliaStatut. A. 28. Hen. n cap. 7.should nowe so sodeinlye and contrarye to their own doyngs, repeale and disable the sayd mariage agayne as vnlaufull, being so lawfully before cōtracted. MarginaliaParlaments not alwayes constant.But more I maruaill, why the said Parlamēt, after the illegittimation of the mariage enacted, not contented with that, should further proceede, and charge her with such carnall desires of her bodye, as to mysuse her selfe with her owne naturall brother the Lorde Rocheford, and others, being so contrary to all nature that no naturall man will beleue it.

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But in thys Acte of Parlament dyd lye (no doubt) some great mysterye, which here I will not stand to discusse, but onely that it maye bee suspected some secrete practising of the Papistes here not to bee lackyng, consideryng what a myghtye stoppe she was to their purposes and procedynges, and on the contrarye syde, what a stronge Bulwarke she was for the mainteinaunce of Christes Gospell and syncere religion, which they then in no case coulde abyde. By reason wherof, it maye easilye bee considered that thys Christian and deuoute Debora could lacke no enemyes amongest such a number of Philistians, both within the realme and without.

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Agayne, neyther is it vnlyke but that Steuen Winchester, being then abroad in Ambassie, was not altogether a sleepe. The suspition wherof may be the more coniecturall, for that Edmund Bonner Archdeacon of Leicester, and then Ambassadour in Fraūce succeding after Steuen Winchester, did manifestlye detecte hym of playne Papistry, as in þe sequele of their storyes, when we come to the tyme, more amplye (the Lord graunting) shall be expressed.

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MarginaliaThe lawfulnes of Queene Annes succession defended.And as touching the kynges minde & assent, although at that tyme through crafty setters on, he semed to bee sore bent both agaynst that Queene and to the dishereting of hys owne daughter: yet vnto that former will of the kyng so set agaynst her then, I will oppose agayne the last will of the kyng, wherin expressely and by name he dyd accept, and by playne ratification dyd alowe the succession of this mariage to stand good and laufull.

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MarginaliaDefence of Queene Anne agaynst priuye bacbyters.Furthermore, to all other sinister iudgementes and opinions, what so euer can be conceiued of man against that vertuous Queene, I obiecte and oppose agayn (as in stede of aunswere) the euident demonstration of Gods fauoure, in manteyning, preseruing, and aduansing þe ofspring of her bodye, the Lady ELIZABETH,nowe Queene, whom the Lord hath so meruelously cōserued from so manyfold daūgers, so royally hath exalted, so happely hath blessed with suche vertuous patience, and with suche a quiet reigne hetherto, that neyther the reigne of her brother EDWARD, nor of her syster Mary, to her is to bee compared, whether we consider the number of the yeares of their reignes, or the peaceablenes of their state. In whose royall and florishing regiment we haue to behold, not so much the naturall disposition of her mothers qualityes, as the secret iudgement of God in preseruing and magnifying the fruite and ofspring of that godly Queene.

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And finallye, as for the blasphemous mouth both of Cardinall Poole and of Paulus Iouius, that popishe Cardinall, who measuring belike other women by

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