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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Then the restoration of the Catholic Church in Scotland


He

had hitherto, at least publicly, held to the Protestant faith: even now he occasionally attended the preaching: but after a little wavering he avowed himself a Catholic and drew over a number of lords with him by his example. The Catholic interest thus obtained a complete ascendancy at court.

And now Mary did not delay a moment longer in making decisive advances to the Catholic powers. She had in fact no need to fear that the King of Spain would be offended at her refusing his nephew, if she attached herself to him in other matters. When she announced her marriage to him, she not merely requested him to interest himself for her and her husband's claims in England; she designated him as the man whom God had raised up above all others to defend the holy Catholic religion, and asked for his help to enable her to withstand the apostates in her kingdom: as long as she lived, she would join him against all and every enemy.[212] This quite fell in with the ideas which Philip himself cherished. From the park of Segovia in October 1565 he commissioned Cardinal Pacheco to reassure the Pope with the declaration that he meant to support the Queen of Scots not less than the Pope himself. In this they must, he remarked, keep three points in view: first the subjugation of her rebellious subjects, which he thought not difficult, as Elizabeth would not support them; then the restoration of the Catholic Church in Scotland, than which nothing would give him greater

satisfaction; lastly, the most difficult of all, the obtaining the recognition of her right to the English throne: in all this he would support the Queen with his counsel and with money: he could not however come forward himself, it could only be done in the Pope's name.[213]

The ordinary accounts of the conferences at Bayonne have proved erroneous, as the proposals which were certainly made there by the Spaniards were not accepted. But Philip II's resolutions seem not less comprehensive in this case; these were his hostility to Queen Elizabeth, still concealed from the world but fully clear to his own consciousness, and his resolve to do everything in his power to place Mary, if not now, yet at a future time on the English throne. The great movement he was designing was to begin from Scotland. Like the Guises at a later time, so now Mary and her partisans in England and Scotland, if he supported her, were to be instruments in his hand.

Mary had the good fortune to break up the seditious combination of some lords who opposed her marriage. Strengthened by this she prepared for quite a different state of things. She received money from Spain: Pope Pius V had promised to support her as long as he had a single chalice to dispose of. She expected disciplined Italian troops from him: artillery and other munitions of war were brought together for her in the Netherlands. Leaning on Rome and Spain the spirited Queen hoped to become capable of any great enterprise.[214]

It was clearly to be expected that she would unite a political tendency with the religious one. In the letter quoted above Philip reminds her how dangerous to monarchy were the doctrines of the pretended Gospellers:[215] opinions like those which Knox, regardless of all else, put before her personally, as to the limitations of royal power justified by religion, she as a matter of course would not endure. It is more surprising to find that she also called in question the rights which the nobility claimed as against the royal government, assigning a sort of theoretic ground for her view. The nobles base them, so she said, on the services of their ancestors; but if the children have renounced their virtue, neglect honour, care only for their families, despise the King and his laws and commit treason, must the sovereign even then still let his power be limited by theirs? How vast were the plans which this Queen entertained--to restore Catholicism in Scotland, to resume the war against the nobility in which her ancestors had failed, to overthrow the Protestant opinions, and therewith to become one day Queen of England!


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