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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

And a summons sent to Northumberland to submit to her


It

seemed as though the crown would once more be fought for in open field just as it had been a century before, and that in fact, just as then, the neighbouring powers would interfere. On Northumberland's side French help was expected; on the other hand application was already made to the Emperor to send armed troops over the sea to his cousin.[159] It was not however this time to reach such a point: while the combination attempted in favour of Jane Grey met with strong popular resistance, it was shattered to pieces by internal discord. If the new Queen had such a good right as they told her, she would share it with none, not even with her husband; she would not appear as a creature of the Dudleys and a tool of their ambition: she would only name him a duke and would not allow him to be crowned with her as King. We recognise in this her high idea of the kingly power and its divine right; but we can also easily conceive that the discord which broke out on this point in the family could not but act on the members of the Privy Council, of whom only a section were in complete understanding with Northumberland, while the rest had merely yielded to the ascendancy of his power. While the duke was expecting armed reinforcements from London, a complete revolution took place there: under the management of the Privy Council Mary was proclaimed Queen, and a summons sent to Northumberland to submit to her. The fleet which was destined to prevent Mary's flight had already declared for her; the
troops which were called out in the counties to fight against her crossed over to her side; in Northumberland's camp the same opinion gained the upper hand: the duke felt himself incapable of withstanding it: he allowed himself to be carried along by it like the rest. Men saw the extraordinary spectacle of the man who had marched out to destroy Mary now ordering her accession to be proclaimed in his encampment, he accompanied the herald and himself cried out Mary's name.[160] These English nobles have boundless ambition, they grasp with bold hand at the highest prizes: but they have no inner power of resistance, as against the course of events and public opinion they have no will of their own. However the duke might behave, he could not save either his freedom or his life. Soon afterwards Mary entered London amid the joyous shouts of the people. She was still united as closely as possible with her sister Elizabeth: they appeared together hand in hand. Jane Grey remained as a prisoner in the Tower, which she had entered as Queen. Never did the natural right of succession, as it was established by the testator of the inheritance and the Parliament, obtain a greater triumph.

After the succession was decided, the great questions of government came into the foreground, above all the question what position Mary should take up with regard to religious matters.

Among the Protestants the opinion prevailed that it could not yet be known whether she would not let religion remain in the state in which she found it. Towns where the Protestant feeling was strongest joyfully attached themselves to her in this expectation.


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