free ebooks

A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

For the Spanish monarchy the union with England


From

time to time seditious movements showed the insecurity of the situation. At the beginning of 1556 traces were detected of a plan for plundering the treasury in order to levy troops with the money.[176] The Western counties were discontented because Courtenay was removed from among them: he died subsequently in Italy. Sir Henry Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland's cousin, rallied around him some zealous and enterprising malcontents, who planned a complete revolution: he found secret support in France, whither he fled.[177] In April 1557 a grandson of the Duke of Buckingham, Thomas Stafford, also coming from France, landed and made himself master of Scarborough castle. He had only a handful of followers, but he ventured to proclaim himself Protector of the realm, which he promised to secure against the tyranny of foreigners, and 'the satanic designs of an unlawful Queen.' He was crushed without difficulty. But in the general ferment which this aroused, it was observed how universal was the wish for a change.[178]

Meanwhile foreign affairs took a turn which threatened to involve England in a dangerous complication. The peace between the great powers had not been concluded: the truce they had made was broken off at the instigation of the Pope; hostilities began again, and Philip II returned to England for a couple of months to induce her to join in the war against France. The diplomatic correspondence shows that the imperial court from the beginning

valued their near relation to England chiefly as the basis of an alliance against France. We can easily understand how this early object was now attained. Besides many other previous wrongs, Stafford's enterprise, which was ascribed to the intrigues of France, was a motive for declaring war against that Power. And a French war still retained its old charm for the English: their share in it surpassed all expectation. The English land forces co-operated with decisive effect in the great victory of S. Quintin, and similarly the appearance of the English fleet on the French coasts ensured Philip's predominance on the ocean. But it is very doubtful whether this was the part the English power should have played at this moment. By his father's abdication and retirement into the cloister Philip had become lord and master of the Spanish monarchy. Could it be the mission of the English to help in consolidating it in his hands? On the foundation then laid, and mainly through the peace which France saw herself compelled to make, its greatness was built up. For the Spanish monarchy the union with England, which rested on the able use to which the existing troubles and the personal position of the Queen were turned--and which, strictly speaking, was still a result of the policy of Ferdinand the Catholic--was of indescribable advantage: to the English it brought a loss which was severely felt. They had neglected to put Calais in a proper state of defence; at the first attack it fell into the hands of the French. The greatest value was still laid in England on a possession across the sea, which seemed indispensable for the command of the Channel; its extension was the main object of Henry VIII's last war: that now it was on the contrary utterly lost was felt to be a national disaster; the population of the town, which consisted of English, was expelled together with the garrison.

And as Pope Paul IV was now allied with the King of France, the result was that he found himself at war with Philip II (whom he tried to chase from Naples), and hence with England as well. His hatred to the house of Austria, his aversion to the concessions made in England with reference to church property, and to the religious position which Cardinal Pole had hitherto taken up in the questions at issue within the Catholic Church, determined the Pope to interfere in the home affairs of England with a strong hand. For these Cardinal Pole was the one indispensable man, on whose shoulders the burden of affairs rested. But it was this very man whom Paul IV now deprived of his legatine power, on which much of his consequence rested, and transferred it to a Franciscan monk.


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us