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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

During which Wyatt lay before the city


of Suffolk, in Kent Thomas

Wyatt. As the Queen's Privy Council was even now not unanimous, they hoped to bring about an overthrow of the government before it was yet firmly established: and either to compel the Queen to dismiss her evil counsellors and give up the Spanish marriage, or if she remained obstinate to put her sister Elizabeth in her place, who would then marry Courtenay. The French, who saw in the Queen's marriage with the prince of Spain a danger for themselves, urged on the movement, and had a secret understanding with the rebels; their plan was to support it by an incursion from Scotland where they were then the masters, and an attack on Calais.[163] But as often happens with such comprehensive plans, the government detected them; the attempt to carry them out had to be made before the preparations were complete; in most of the places where an effort was made it was suppressed without much trouble. Carew fled to France; Suffolk, who in vain tried to draw Coventry over to his side, was captured. On the other hand Sir Thomas Wyatt's rising in Kent was formidable. He collected a couple of thousand men, defeated the royal troops, some of whom joined him, and as he had the sympathies of a great part of the inhabitants of London with him, he attempted forthwith an attack on the capital. But the new order of things had too firm a legal foundation to be so easily overthrown. The Queen betook herself to the Guildhall and addressed the assembled people, decided as she was and confident in the goodness
of her cause; the general feeling was in favour of supporting her. All armed for defence. For a couple of days, during which Wyatt lay before the city, every one was under arms, mayor, aldermen and people; the lawyers went to the courts with armour under their robes: priests were seen celebrating mass with mail under their church vestments. The Queen had some trustworthy troops, whose leader, the Earl of Pembroke, told her he would never show his face to her again if he did not free her from these rebels. When Wyatt at last appeared in Hyde Park with exhausted and badly fed men, he was met and beaten by an overwhelming body of Pembroke's troops; with a part of his followers he was driven into the city, and there made prisoner without much bloodshed.

It has always been reckoned to the Queen's credit that amid the alarm of these days she never quitted the unfortified palace. She had now an opportunity to rid herself completely of Northumberland's faction. Jane Grey, whose name at least had been mentioned, her father Suffolk, her uncle Thomas Grey, were executed; Wyatt also and a great number of the prisoners paid for their rebellion with their lives.[164]

NOTES:

[155] King Edward: My devise for the succession: in 'Chronicle of Queen Anna, with illustrative documents and notes' by Nicholls, 89.

[156] King Edward's Minutes for his last will. In 'Chronicle of Queen Anna, with illustrative documents and notes' by Nicholls, 101.

[157] Engagement of the council, the signatures all autograph. Ibid. 90.

[158] This was done by a correction. The original text was 'to the Lady Jane's heires masle;' instead of 'Jane's,' the King now wrote 'to the Lady Jane and her h. m. (Nares' Burghley i. 452. Nicholls, 87.)


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