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ten days on the ground supported by cushions, and died in the 70th year of her age, A.D. 1603, after indicating (as was said) that the King of Scots was to be her successor.
Like all the sovereigns of the Tudor family, she ruled both court and kingdom with a sway little less arbitrary than the rule of Eastern despots. The power of the nobles had been much broken in the wars of the Roses, and the influence of the Commons had not yet reached its full growth. Her reign is however one of the most glorious periods of English history. Commerce and agriculture revived under her wise enactments, and towards the close of her reign the law for the maintenance of the poor was passed, which must ever be viewed as a great national provision for the destitute and afflicted. The literature of England blazed forth with unexampled brightness during this and the early part of the next reign. Shakspere, Ben Jonson, Massinger, Beaumont and Fletcher, Ford, Webster, Sir Philip Sidney, and Edmund Spenser, among our poets; Jewel and Hooker among our divines; Ascham among our scholars; John Stow among our antiquaries; and Lord Bacon among our philosophers, are still names ever to be held in honour. The domestic architecture also of England never flourished so much as in the reign of Elizabeth. She was accustomed to make royal progresses. in all parts of her dominions, which served greatly to preserve her popularity; and on these journeys she visited those stately mansions of her nobles, so many of which are still the ornaments of our sylvan scenes. On these visits she was entertained with pageants, in which the quaintness of the prevailing taste was oddly blended with the chivalrous feeling, which still cast a lingering lustre on the habits of society. With many weaknesses, and faults of personal character, the memory of Elizabeth has yet come down to us, as entitled to the reverence and gratitude of Englishmen; and she will ever be recorded in our annals as a great and glorious queen.
Buried at Westmin
Born at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh.
Reigned 22 years. From A.D. 1603 to A.D. 1625.
Archbishops of Canterbury.
Richard Bancroft, A.D. 1604—1611.
George Abbott, A.D. 1611-1633.
By the accession of James, the two kingdoms which had so long divided the island were united under the same prince, of the royal house of Stuart. The new king was possessed of considerable learning, and often showed much shrewdness and sagacity; but these qualifications, as well as his unquestionable kindness of heart, were spoilt by a childish vanity and want of moral courage. Slovenly in his own person, he was yet greatly captivated by splendour of apparel and personal beauty in his courtiers, and suffered himself to be led by favourites, who had no better qualifications than these. He had imbibed very lofty notions of the kingly power, and was on this account inclined to the English Church, which has ever favoured the principle of monarchy, rather than to the presbyterian system, in which he had been brought up, and which in the course of this and the following reigns became more and more infected with a levelling and republican spirit. Before he reached London he had received from the Puritans a petition for redress of what they considered grievances in the Established Church; and a conference was soon appointed at Hampton Court between several bishops and the chief puritan divines. In this discussion James himself took part with singular sagacity, and its result was wholly favourable to the Church. The demands of the Puritans were far too unreasonable to be granted, and very soon set aside the hope of agreement; but their objections may have contributed to produce some of the alterations which were soon afterwards made in the Book of Common Prayer. Among these may be mentioned the appointment of forms of thanksgiving upon several occasions; the addition of
questions and answers on the sacraments to the Catechism, which before that time had ended with the answer to the question immediately following the Lord's Prayer. James succeeded also in the course of his reign in re-establishing episcopacy in his native kingdom. Scotland had not cared to have bishops since the Reformation; and this was rightly felt by the king to affect its whole ecclesiastical polity. The ancient line of Scottish bishops had come to an end in the person of James Beaton, archbishop of Glasgow, who died April 24, 1603. King James nominated bishops to the thirteen Scottish sees; and then sent for three of them to London, where they were consecrated by English bishops on Oct. 21, 1610: on their return they consecrated the rest.
At the Hampton Court conference it was also agreed that a new translation should be made of the Holy Scriptures; and that noble version which is still used by authority in our Church was now prepared with great care by the most learned divines. Thus far James's proceedings were good; it may however be doubted whether his measures were not, in some respects, so conducted, in England as well as in Scotland, as only to embitter the feelings which were now gaining ground against that constitution of the Church, of which he saw the beauty and the apostolic origin. A plot was formed almost immediately on his accession, in favour of Lady Arabella Stuart, who (as well as James himself) was a descendant of Henry VII. She was treated with great harshness by the king, and died in prison. Sir Walter Raleigh was detained for thirteen years in the Tower for being implicated in this plot.
A much more serious conspiracy was soon afterwards entered into by the papists, who were disappointed in their expectation of being favoured by the new king. This is called the Gunpowder Plot, because the conspirators formed
4 John Spottiswood, Andrew Lamb, and Gavin Hamilton, who were consecrated respectively Bishops of Glasgow, Brechin, and Galloway. This succession also came to an end in the person of Thomas Sydserf, who died Bishop of Orkney in 1663. But previously to his death, another consecration of bishops for the Church in Scotland had been obtained from England. On December 15, 1661, James Sharpe, Andrew Fairfull, Robert Leighton, and James Hamilton were consecrated respectively to the sees of St. Andrew's, Glasgow, Dumblane, and Galloway. From them the present episcopate in Scotland is derived.