Obrázky stránek

Various other schools were founded at the suggestion of * Edward VI., or by the influence of those about him. His example influenced Queen Elizabeth; and corporate bodies and private individuals, during his reign and the two or three reigns succeeding it, became founders of various places of education. Of the public schools, Eton, a royal foundation, had risen in Henry VI.'s time. Winchester has been already noticed. Each of these had a college at one of the universities intimately connected with it. Two institutions similar to these in having a peculiar college allotted to them at a university, were established after the Reformation began; these were Westminster School, founded by Queen Elizabeth in 1560, and endowed with studentships at Christ Church, Oxford; and Merchant Taylors' school, is by a London Guild or Company" in 1561, to which Sir Thomas White attached nearly all the fellowships of St. John's, Oxford, which he founded about the same time. Sir Thomas Pope' founded Trinity college, Oxford, in 1554. Harrow school was founded by John Lyon in 1560. Rugby school by Laurence Sheriffe in 1567. The schools at Birmingham, Bury St. Edmunds, Norwich, Sherborne, and Shrewsbury, are attributable to Edward VI. The Charterhouse was established on the site of a suppressed Carthusian monastery by Thomas Sutton in 1611. Wadham and Pembroke colleges, Oxford, were founded early in the 17th century.

[ocr errors]

Now, if the fact of these foundations evidenced nothing else, it would at least show that the Church, which was now being purified, considered learning her best human auxiliary. The Greek language was no longer looked upon with mistrust, or the Hebrew almost considered an heretical study, as was the case when Dean Colet founded St. Paul's school, and committed it to the care of the Mer

7 Sir Thomas Pope was one of King Henry the Eighth's visitors of abbeys. In the division of the spoil he had obtained, on easy terms, a grant from the Crown of a small college at Oxford, which had been founded by the Bishop and Prior of Durham, for a nursery to their monastery. It is probable that he felt some compunction at having Church property in his possession; accordingly, he founded a new college on the same site, and endowed it with the same lands, with the addition of various manors of his own. His acts were an embodiment of the feeling which, not many years after, made Sir Henry Spelman write his work, called, "Churches not to be violated."

cers' Company, in 1510. "Persons to teach in good and cleane Latin literature, and also in Greeke, yf such might be gotten," were sought for, and in matters of religion they were to teach, "yf neede be, the Catechisme and instruccons of the Articles of the Faith and the Ten Commandements in Latine."

We scarcely know how much we are indebted to the youthful prince, who was the first to turn men's minds from spoliation of churches and colleges to the endowment of educational institutions. His dying prayer seems thus to have had, in some sort, an accomplishment: "O Lord God, deliver this realm from papistry, and maintain thy true religion, that I and my people may praise thy name, for Jesus Christ's sake."



Born at Greenwich. Buried at Westminster. Reigned From A.D. 1553 to A.D. 1558.

5 years.

Archbishops of Canterbury.

Thomas Cranmer, A.D. 1533–1555.
Reginald Pole, A.D. 1555—1558.

THE attempt of Northumberland to secure the crown for his daughter-in-law was utterly unsuccessful. The Lady Jane was indeed proclaimed, and conducted to the Tower (as was usual) with a view to her coronation. But the sovereignty of "Queen Jane," as she is styled in public documents of the period, only lasted thirteen days, from July the 6th to July the 19th, 1553. The true principle of succession was now too well established in public opinion to be easily set aside, and the right of Mary was so universally acknowledged, that she entered London without opposition. Northumberland was beheaded, after showing himself as abject in adversity as he had been insolent in prosperity. Jane and her husband (of whom neither was more than seventeen) were imprisoned, but their lives were spared for about a year. Upon an insurrection, which

was headed by Sir Thomas Wyatt, the warrant was issued for their execution. Lord Guildford suffered first; and Jane saw from a window her husband's headless trunk, as it was carried back in a cart. She died with an admirable meekness and piety; and it may be believed that a spirit, of which no earthly crown was worthy, was thus summoned to a far more glorious inheritance. Ascham, who was tutor to Elizabeth, has related an anecdote of this young lady, which shows her early piety and thoughtfulness. Going one day to the residence of her family, he found her studying Plato on the immortality of the soul, when the rest of the family were hunting in the park. When he expressed surprise that she did not join the others in their pleasure, she smiled and said, I fancy all their sport is a shadow to the pleasure which I find in Plato. Alas! good folks, they little know what true pleasure is." When her dignity was first announced to her, she burst into tears, and expressed her sense of unfitness for it. She could scarcely be prevailed on to accept the office which her relatives forced upon her, and at last acknowledged her fault in having given way to their entreaty.

This execution betokened the stern and cruel disposition which will ever be assigned to Mary in English history. She was, indeed, sincerely devout, and possessed many high and noble qualities; nor must we forget the reason she had to view the Reformation with dislike, from all the misery of which it had been made the instrument to her mother Queen Katharine and herself. With every allowance, however, her character must be viewed as an instance of the dreadful effects of that bigotry and intolerance, which have disgraced the Roman Church far more than any other in Christendom.

Her first act had been to discharge the prisoners confined in the Tower during the late reign, among whom was the old Duke of Norfolk, who had languished there, with his unexecuted sentence hanging over him, ever since the death of Henry VIII. Edward Courtenay was released at the same time. This young nobleman was great grandson of Edward IV., and, like his father and grandfather, -་ was most unfortunate. Henry Courtenay, his father, was beheaded in 1538 by Henry VIII., for correspondence with

Cardinal Pole; his grandfather, William Courtenay, earl of Devon, the husband of Katharine, Edward V.'s sister, was attainted by Henry VII. He himself had passed his youth in confinement, a victim to his proximity to the crown. After his release, he acquired a degree of grace and accomplishment, which made him an ornament to the court. It is even said that he might have married Mary, if he had not neglected her for Elizabeth her sister. He died, however, at Padua, unmarried, in 1556, and thus the last descendant of the house of York, who was likely to endanger the heir of Henry VII., was removed.

At the same time also were released Gardiner and Bonner, bishops of Winchester and London. These became Mary's chief advisers and agents, and by their influence, she at once subjected her sister Elizabeth to harsh treatment, and compelled her to conform to the ritual of the Roman Church, which was now every where re-established. Cranmer and Ridley, with Latimer and Hooper, the bishops of Worcester and Gloucester, were committed to prison; and Cardinal Pole, a relative of the queen, was appointed by the pope his legate in England. He was afterwards consecrated archbishop of Canterbury.

Her next care was the settlement of her marriage, and, contrary to the advice even of Gardiner, her chancellor, she determined to marry Philip, prince of Spain, whose bigotry to the Roman see was well known. This choice was very unwelcome to the nation, and the English admiral is said to have fired on the Spanish fleet, though Philip was on board, because its topsails were not lowered to the ships of this nation, which even then began to regard herself as mistress of the sea. The haughtiness of Philip made him always unpopular in England, and the people attributed to his influence (perhaps more than was just) the cruelties that were practised to restore the papal system. Mary doated on her husband, though he treated her very distantly, and ere long retired to his own dominions.

The fires of Smithfield were soon rekindled for those who would not acknowledge the monstrous doctrine of transubstantiation. The first who suffered was Rogers, a married priest. He was brutally insulted by Gardiner and Bonner, and was denied an interview with his wife

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

and children, who, however, met him as he was led to the stake. He suffered with great constancy, as was invariably the case with the victims in these persecutions; nor did the married clergy show less willingness to suffer for conscience' sake, than those who were single. Hooper was burnt at Gloucester, in his own diocese. The names of Saunders, Taylor, Bradford, and Philpot, are among the most memorable of those who died for their religion in this reign, in which it is computed that about 300 persons were burnt, many of them women and children.

The most memorable, however, of the martyrs, from their character and station, were Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer. They were all sent to Oxford, where they were required to dispute with a commission on the subject of the Eucharist. The behaviour of the aged Latimer was marked by the quaint and homely simplicity for which he was distinguished, while Cranmer and Ridley bore themselves with great dignity and firmness. Ridley and Latimer were first burnt in the space before Balliol college'. 'The latter exclaimed at the stake: "Be of good Master Ridley! we shall this day, by God's grace, courage, light in England such a candle as I trust shall never be put

[merged small][ocr errors]

The case of Cranmer is even more touching. He was promised his life if he would recant, and it is certain that he did sign some form of recantation, When, however, he was brought to St. Mary's church to acknowledge his error publicly, he knelt down, and with many tears bewailed his sin in thus yielding through human frailness. At the stake, he stedfastly held in the flanes the hand which had signed the paper, exclaiming, "This hand hath offended; this unworthy right hand !"

The effect of all these executions (and of none more than the martyrdom of Cranmer) was to alienate the people from Rome. In the death of Cranmer, who had borne his elevation with great meekness, the malice and falseness of the papists were especially seen.

The only other event of much note in this reign was the loss of Calais, in a war in which Mary had been induced

8 A memorial of the three martyrs has lately been erected near the spot.

« PředchozíPokračovat »