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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

That his rights should not be impaired by her condemnation


She

had besides a great reward to offer him. Distasteful as it was to her to speak of her successor, she then determined to give the King the assurance that nothing should be done which was prejudicial to his claim, and she agreed to a secret acknowledgment of it.[298] Her ambassador gave expression to these views in Scotland, and she herself spoke in similar terms to the Scottish ambassador in England.

The acceptance of these overtures by King James was the decisive event of his life. He was not so blind as not to see that any promise on the part of England, although not binding in regular form, afforded a kind of certainty entirely different from all the assurances of the League, however comprehensive. The Queen moreover pledged herself to a subsidy that was very acceptable to the poverty of the Scots, while her protection served the King himself as a stay against his nobles, whom he dared not alienate, but on whom he could not allow himself to be dependent.

Thus in July 1586 an offensive and defensive alliance was concluded at Berwick between the King and Queen in order to protect the religion adopted in their dominions, which, in the language of the Prayer-book, they termed the 'Catholic,' and to repel, not only every invasion, but every attempt on the person of their majesties or their subjects, without regard to any ties of blood or relationship. The King promised the Queen to come to her assistance with all

his forces in the event of any attack on the Northern counties, and not to allow his subjects to support any hostile movements which might take place in Ireland. Every word shows how absolutely and entirely in the events that were at hand he identifies the interests of England with his own.[299]

It was of more especial advantage to the Queen that James entirely renounced the cause of his mother. He had exerted himself in her behalf, but his intercession never went beyond the limits of friendly representation. Mary's secret resignation of her claims in favour of Philip II had certainly not been unknown to him; he complained on one occasion that she threatened him on his throne and was as little attached to him as to the Queen of England. He loudly condemned her conspiracies against Elizabeth and gave utterance to the unfeeling remark that she might drain the cup which she had mixed for herself. At the trial of his mother he was content with obtaining an assurance from the English Parliament, which was of great importance to him, that his rights should not be impaired by her condemnation. The claims to the English throne which brought Mary to destruction rather served to strengthen her son, as it threw him altogether on the side of the English system.[300]

On the approach of the Spanish armada James at once placed his power and his person at the disposal of the Queen. He assured her that he would behave not as a foreign prince, but as if he were her son and a citizen of her realm. With unusual decision he put himself at the head of the Protestant nobles, and pursued the Catholic lords who gave ear to those Spanish overtures which he had resisted.

He now sought for a wife in a Protestant family. With the concurrence, if not at the instigation, of the English ministers, he solicited the hand of a daughter of Frederick II, King of Denmark, whom Elizabeth had praised for adhering to the general interests of the Protestant world. In this enterprise James was influenced by the consideration that if any other


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