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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Were proceeding to deliberate on the subsidies demanded


But

what now was the consequent situation of affairs in England! The Queen, who recognised no higher authority than that of the Papal See, was obliged to have Paul IV's messages intercepted, lest they should become known. While the ashes of the reputed heretics were still smoking on their Calvaries, the man who represented the Catholic form of religion, and was working effectively for its progress, was accused of falling away from the orthodox faith, and summoned to Rome to answer for it.

Meanwhile England did not feel herself strong enough, even with the help that Philip offered, to attempt the reconquest of Calais. The finances were completely disordered by the war; and the Parliament showed little zeal in restoring the balance: just before this the Queen had found herself obliged even to diminish the amount of a subsidy already as good as voted. However unwilling she might be to take the step after her previous experiences, she had to decide once more in the autumn of 1558 on calling a Parliament. Circumstances wore an appearance all the more dangerous, as the Scotch were allied with the victorious French: the Queen represented to the Commons the need of extraordinary means of defence. A number of the leading lords appeared in the Lower House to give additional weight to the demand of the Crown by their presence. The Commons, though not quite willingly, were proceeding to deliberate on the subsidies demanded, when an event happened which relieved

them from the necessity of coming to any resolution.

A tertian or quartan fever was then prevalent in the Netherlands and in England, which was very fatal, especially to elderly persons of enfeebled health.[179] The Queen, who had been for some time visited by her usual attacks of illness, could not resist this disease, when suffering besides, as she was, from deep affliction at the disappointment of all her hopes, and from heart-rending anticipations of the future: once more she heard mass in her chamber--she died before it was ended, on the 17 November 1558. Cardinal Pole also was suffering: completely crushed by this news he expired the following night. It was calculated that thirteen bishops died a little before or after the Queen. As if by some predetermined fate the combination of English affairs which had been attempted during her government came at once to an end.

NOTES:

[165] The Queen imputed the chief blame to Paget 'Quand l'on a parle de la peyne des heretiques, il a sollicite les Seigneurs pour non y consentir ny donner lieu a peyne de mort' Renard a l'empereur, in Tytler ii. 386.

[166] Les seigneurs quils ont pension du roy font tels et si bons offices es contrees et provinces du roy ou ils ont charge que l'on ne oye dire si non que le peuple est content de l'alliance; ce que divertit les mauvais.' Renard a l'empereur, 13 Oct. Papiers d'etat iv. 348.


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