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BOOK and a papist in profession, he neither can nor will greatly
shield you: and if he grow to be king, his defence will be like Ajax shield, which rather weighed them down, then defended those that bare it. Against contempt, if there be any, which I will never believe, let your excellent vertues of piety, justice, and liberality, daily, if it be possible, more and more shine; let such particular actions be found out, (which be easie, as I think, to be done,) by which you may gratifie all the hearts of your people: let those in whom you find trust, and to whom you have committed trust in your weighty affairs, be held up in the eyes of your subjects. Lastly, doing as you do, you shall be as you be, the example of princes, the ornament of this
the comfort of the afflicted, the delight of your people, and the most excellent fruit of your progenitors, and the perfect mirrour of your posterity.
subject of her marriage, and the succession moved to her
MOST excellent princess, my most gracious sovereign, ry, Titus, and good lady,
I crave of your majesty, prostrate before your feet, pardon for my boldness in writing unto you at this time, whereunto I am brought by the great confidence I have had given unto me heretofore by your self for my writing unto your majesty: and partly am enforced by mine own conscience, burthened with the charge of my love and duty to your majesty and my country, and with the knowledge and foresight I have, as a man may have by some experience ; how much the matter whereof I will write doth import, either to the content and quietness of your majesties mind, and to the perpetual tranquility and peace of this realm; being perfected in a right course, or to the contrary, if by private affections; without any respect to that which may, and is like to follow hereafter, if it be otherwise finished at this time, than it ought to be by right and conscience.
I understand, that there hath been a suit moved unto your BOOK
II. majesty for the mariage of your most noble person, (whom I beseech God long to preserve unto us,) and for the entail of the succession of
your crown, if
leave us without heirs of your body. Which suit made unto your majesty in general, without limitation for your mariage, or for the succession, like, as I suppose, no good man may or can be against the furtherance of the suit, (and I my self have heretofore not long agon written unto your majesty by your favour to that effect.) So that if any person shall do prejudice unto you, by debating and disputing of titles in open and great presence,a he is not much to be commended. For it should not As was be done in open presence, I say, without your majesties seems, in
done, it former licence. For so might follow much inconvenience, that parliawhich doth not, nor cannot yet appear. It is the
It is the greatest matter that ever I or any man alive at this day can remember, hath been brought in deliberation in our days. And therefore every part thereof, as well your majesties answer bb See her to the motion, did require good consideration (which I answerin heard you did most prudently) as for the further progress Jour. p. 75. by your majesty in that part of the matter, which toucheth succession must of necessity have a time to be determined; because it is subject to divers affections and humours, founded upon private respects : some desiring (after your majesty and the heirs of your body) that a man should succede without any regard to the title of a woman, whatsoever it be, forgetting, (as I have heard that noble prince of worthy memo ry, the king your father, say,) that the greatest anchor-hold of this crown after king Henry I. took root from the heirgeneral Mawde, daughter and heir to the said Henry. Who was maried first to the emperor, and after his decease to Jeffrey Plantagenet, earl of Anjou. Of which second came Henry II. (none alien, though he were born out of the realm,) rightful king by course of nature, and by descent of bloud. Of whom your majesty is rightfully descended ; and unto whom, by course of nature, descent of bloud, and by the laws of this land, your majesty is right and lawful heir and successor of this crown.
And therefore I say under your majesties correction, that right, whether it be in man or woman, ought to take place. For it is well known, sithence the conqueror's time, yea, and before also, that the greatest troubles, yea, and almost the only trouble that hath chaunced within this realm, (until your grandfather and grandmother, king Henry VII. and queen Elizabeth his wife; the one claiming from the house of Lancaster, and the other from the house of York, were joined in one,) hath been for lack of right dealing in matter
of succession; and by swarving therein present civil war 129 hath followed. And if not some time present, yet within
three descents after the swarving, great mischief and inconvenience bath followed unto the heirs of the swarvers, and their partakers, and to many others, both great and small of
the other party that were not guilty. King Ste- And in brief, to repeat to your majesty, first, when king Henry 11. Stephen in the right of his mother, suster to king Henry I.
took upon him the crown, by the help and power of Henry the bishop of Winchester, (one of his uncles,) from his cousin Mawde, daughter and heir to king Henry I. his mother's brother, upon colour that he was a mar, and Mawde a wo man; and her son Henry Plantagenet young, and not able to govern, it is well known what cruel wars did follow thereupon in the realm, until such time as the matter being taken up by communication, Henry, Mawde's son, was restored to
the right of his inheritance. John and Then after Henry II.reigned his son Richard I. who dying
without issue, appointed Arthur of Britain, son to Jeffrey, his second brother to be his heir. But John, the younger brother of Richard, after Richard's death, took upon him the crown. Whereby great troubles within this realm followed then presently; and afterward, both in John his own time, (notwithstanding that Arthur dyed,) and also in his son's time, king Henry III, that civil plague ceased not.
In Richard II. his time, Edmund Mortimer, earl of March, Henry IV. who maried the daughter and heir of Lionel, duke of Cla
rence, was declared heir apparent by parlament. Yet nevertheless, when the said Richard was deprived of his kingdom,
Henry, earl of Darby, son to John, duke of Lancaster, a BOOK second brother to the said Lionel, was by parlament made king. After whom his son Henry V. reigned. And after him his son Henry VI. In whose time was mervailous great civil wars; great ruines of great families, and great effusion of the bloud royal. For it is written, by the swarving in the right of succession after the death of Richard II. until the time that Edward IV. by mariage with the heir of Clarence, had gotten the quiet possession of the crown; there was in the mean season slain fourscore of the bloud royal.
And in Richard III. his time, what mischief fell by his Edward V. taking the crown upon him; and disinheriting his brother Richard III. Edward IV. his children, I have heard divers men tell in my time, that they both knew it, and felt part of the smart of it. And then came that happy mariage, as I have said before, whereby the houses of York and Lancaster were conjoyned. Which happy conjunction of those two in one, if it should be broken, and brought to any one of the house of York alone, or of the house of Lancaster alone, as long as there is any alive that hath just title to them both, the child which is yet unborn may feel the smart of it: besides those which may suffer in the mean season.
Now last in your majesties own days, what civil discord Jane. Mary. was like to have risen by swarving from the right line of descent; the lady Jane Gray taking upon her the crown of this realm, your majesty did see, if God had not provided otherwise. And some others did feel the smart of it. Whereof some yet remaining, I trust, will learn by the time past : and other will take example by them in the like hereafter. And because there be some that speak of the entailing of the entail
of the the crown by your majesty, alledging examples of some of your auncestors: persuading therefore that there is no cause, why your majesty should fear to name your successor: truth it is indeed, that I have heard, that some of your auncestors did make the entail, but yet never to any other person than to their own children, or to their brethren or sisters children. And so left it to the next right heir ; cutting off all other taile. Whether your majesty be in the case of your aunces
The heir male of France.
BOOK tor or no, I doubt not but by your wisdom you do consi
The government of the realm of France, in appointing the crown to the heir male only, cutting off the heirs general, causeth some men here to like well of the heir male here in this land. But whosoever shall read the story of France, sithence Philippus Purcher his days, shall find after the de
cease of his son without heirs, that by the disherison of Isa130 bel, Philippus his daughter, mother to Edward III. who was
indeed, (and so is your majesty,) by descent from her, rightful heir to the crown of France; there was never realm that hath suffered more calamity in it, by us, and by our means, than that realm hath suffered, ever sithen it swarved from the right succession, until within these twenty years; the quarrel nevertheless remaining unto this day.
This discourse, wherein I note a disherison of some right heirs, and of calamities that fell thereupon, is to put your majesty in remembrance, to use great and deep deliberation, and to understand truly, where the right resteth by the law of this land. Which is the rule, whereby all your subjects must be ordered ; and whereby they hold al that they have; and wherunto the princes of this realm use to promise so lemnely at their coronation to have a special regard. If your majesty knew not already, where the right resteth by the law of this land, your majesty hath good means to know, (if it shall please you to use it,) by calling to your own self all your judges, barons of the exchequer, your sergeants, and atturneys general, of the dutchy and of the wards, and a so licitors: and in your majesties own royal person, to adjure them by such solemne and earnest word, as I know your majesty can use in such an earnest matter; not only to declare unto your majesty, after they have considered thereupon, in writing subscribed by their hands, in whom by the laws of this land the right resteth: and also to keep secret unto themselves their opinions therein ; without disclosing the same unto any person without your majesties former licence; but to your majesty your self, as they will answer at their perills. And then may your majesty at your will and
* Blotted out.