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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

At the head of which Gardiner appeared as Lord Chancellor


Her

cousin, the Emperor Charles, who justly regarded her accession as a victory, and who from the first moment exercised the greatest influence on her resolutions, advised her before all things to moderate her Catholic zeal. She should reflect that many of the lords by whom she was now supported, a part of the Privy Council, and the people of London, were Protestants, and guard against estranging them. She should at once call a Parliament to show that she meant to rule in the accustomed manner, and take care that the Northern counties, as well as Cornwall, where men still held the most firmly to Catholicism, were represented in it.

This good advice was not without influence on the Queen. In a tumult which arose two days after her arrival in the city, she had the Lord Mayor summoned in order to tell him that she would force no man's conscience, she hoped that the people would through good instruction come back to the religion which she herself professed with full conviction. When she repeated this soon after in a proclamation, she added that these things must shortly be ordered by common consent. But of what kind this order would be, there could be already no doubt after these words: she desired a change, but intended to bring it about in a legal manner.

In all the steps taken by her government her Catholic sympathies predominated. She felt no scruple in using the spiritual rights, which the constitution gave her,

in favour of Catholicism. As 'Head of the Church next under God,' Mary forbade all preaching and interpretation of Scripture without special permission. But she entrusted the power of giving this permission to the same Bishop Gardiner who had offered the most persevering resistance to the Protestant tendencies of the previous government. The antagonism between the bishops entered again on an entirely new phase: the Catholics rose, the Protestants were depressed to the uttermost. Tonstal, Heath, and Day were, like Gardiner, restored to their sees on the ground of the protests lodged against the proceedings taken with reference to them at their deprivation, protests which were regarded as valid. Ridley had to give up the see of London again to Bonner: the Bishops of Gloucester and Exeter experienced the royal displeasure; not merely Latimer but also Cranmer were imprisoned in the Tower. Everywhere the images were replaced, in many churches the celebration of the mass was revived. Those preachers who declared themselves against it had to follow their bishops to prison. The Calvinistic model-congregation was dissolved. The foreign scholars quitted the country; and their most zealous followers also fled to the continent before the coming storm of persecution.

At the beginning of October the Queen's coronation took place with the old customary ceremonies, for which the Emperor's leading minister, Granvella, Bishop of Arras, sent over a vase of consecrated oil, on the mystical meaning of which great stress was again laid. The Queen had some scruples about the coronation, as she wished previously to get rid of her title, 'Head of the Church': but the Emperor saw danger in delay; he thought the declaration she had in the deepest secrecy made to the Roman See, that she meant to re-establish its authority, removed any religious scruple. He fully approved of the coronation preceding the Parliament, and recommended the Queen, in virtue of her constitutional right, without any delay to name bishops and prelates, who might be useful to her at its impending meeting.

But the supreme power once constituted, as formerly in the civil wars, so also in the times of the Reformation movement, had always exercised a decisive influence on the composition of the Parliamentary assemblies; would not this then be the case when it had declared itself again Catholic? No doubt the government, at the head of which Gardiner appeared as Lord Chancellor, used all the means at its disposal to guide the elections according to its views. It appears to have been with the same motive that the Queen in a proclamation, which generally breathed nothing but benevolence, remitted payment of the subsidies last voted under her brother. Yet we can hardly attribute the result wholly to this. Parliamentary elections are wont to receive their impulse from the mistakes of the last administration and the evils that have come to light: and much had undeniably been done under Edward VI which could not but call forth discontent. The ferment at home was increased by financial disorder: church property had suffered enormous losses. But above all the supreme power had taken a sudden start in breaking through its ancient bounds. And, last of all, the Protestant tendencies had allied themselves with an undertaking which ran directly counter to the customary law and to previous Parliamentary enactments. And so it might come to pass that the same feelings swayed the elections which had mainly brought about Mary's accession.


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