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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Netherlandish and Scotch nobility had done


V would not have been absolutely against the plan of his cousin giving her hand to an English lord, whom England might obey more easily than a stranger: but, when she showed such an aversion to it, he did not hesitate for a moment as to what advice to give her. One of his brother's sons was taken into consideration, but rejected by him on the ground that there was already much ill-will against Spain stirring in the Netherlands, and a union of the German line with England might some day make it difficult for his own son to maintain those provinces: he therefore proposed him to the Queen. Don Philip, not yet thirty but already a widower for the second time, was just then negociating for a marriage with a Portuguese princess. These negociations were broken off and counter ones opened with England. Mary showed a joyful inclination to it at the first word: it was to this that her secret thoughts had turned.

It looked as if the dynastic union of the Burgundian-Spanish house with the English, which was also a political alliance and had been violently broken off at the same time with that alliance, would now be restored more closely than before, and this time for ever. Men took up the idea that Philip's eldest son was to continue the Spanish line, as Ferdinand and his sons the German, but that from the new marriage, if it should be blest with offspring, an English line of the house of Burgundy was to proceed: a prospect of the extension of the power

of England and of her influence on the continent, which it was expected would set aside all opposition.

In England however every voice was against it, among nobles and commons, people and Parliament, high and low. The imperial court fully believed that it was Gardiner who brought the matter forward in Parliament. The House resolved to send a deputation to the Queen with the request that she would marry an Englishman. Mary, who had as high an idea of her prerogative as any of her predecessors or successors, felt herself almost insulted; she interrupted the speech as soon as she understood its purport, and declared that Parliament was taking too much on itself in wishing to give her advice in this matter: only with God, from whom she derived her crown, would she take counsel thereon.[161] When the Parliament, not satisfied with this, prepared a fresh application to her, it was dissolved.

But if this happened among men who adhered to her views in other points, what would those say who saw themselves, contrary to their expectation, oppressed and endangered by the Queen's measures in religious matters?

The agitation was so general that men caught at the hope of putting an end to all that was begun by a sudden rising. We find a statement which must not be lightly rejected, that the English nobility, which had taken great part in the Reformation movement and put itself in possession of much church property, came to an understanding at Christmas 1553, and decided on a general rising on the next Palm Sunday, 18th March:[162] thus doing as the French, German, Netherlandish and Scotch nobility had done, who took the initiative in this matter. In Cornwall Peter Carew was to have the lead, in the Midland Counties the Duke

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