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HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN..
By the decease of Elizabeth queen of England, the issues of king Henry the eighth failed, being spent in one generation, and three successions. For that king, though he were one of the goodliest persons of his time, yet he left only by his six wives three children; who reigned successively, and dying childless, made place to the line of Margaret, his eldest sister, married to James the fourth king of Scotland. There succeeded therefore to the kingdom of England James the sixth then king of Scotland, descended of the same Margaret both by father and mother: so that by a rare event in the pedigrees of kings, it seemed as if the divine providence, to extinguish and take away all envy and note of a stranger, had doubled upon his person, within the circle of one age, the royal blood of England by both parents. This succession drew towards it the eyes of all men, being one of the most memorable accidents that had happened a long time in the Christian world. For the kingdom of France having been re-united in the age before in all the provinces thereof formerly dismembred and the kingdom of Spain being, of more fresh memory, united and made entire, by the annexing of Portugal in the person of Philip the second; there remained but this third and last union, for the counterpoising of the power of these three great monarchies; and the disposing of the affairs of Europe thereby to a more assured and universal peace and concord. And this event did hold men' sobservations and discourses the more, because the island of
Great Britain, divided from the rest of the world, was never before united in itself under one king, notwithstanding the people be of one language, and not separate by mountains or great waters; and notwithstanding also that the uniting of them had been in former times industriously attempted both by war and treaty. Therefore it seemed a manifest work of providence, and a case of reservation for these times; insomuch that the vulgar conceived that now there was an end given, and a consummation to superstitious prophecies, the belief of fools, but the talk sometimes of wise men, and to an ancient tacit expectation, which had by tradition been infused and inveterated into men's minds. But as the best divinations and predictions are the politic and probable foresight and conjectures of wise men, so in this matter the providence of King Henry the seventh was in all men's mouths; who being one of the deepest and most prudent princes of the world, upon the deliberation concerning the marriage of his eldest daughter into Scotland, had, by some speech uttered by him, shewed himself sensible and almost prescient of this event.
Neither did there want a concurrence of divers rare external circumstances, besides the virtues and condition of the person, which gave great reputation to this succession. A king in the strength of his years, supported with great alliances abroad, established with royal issue at home, at peace with all the world, practised in the regiment of such a kingdom, as might rather enable a king by variety of accidents, than corrupt him with affluence or vain-glory; and one that besides his universal capacity and judgment, was notably exercised and practised in matters of religion and the church: which in these times, by the confused use of both swords, are become so intermixed with considerations of estate, as most of the counsels of sovereign princes or republics depend upon them: but nothing did more fill foreign nations with admiration and expectation of his succession, than the wonderful and, by them, unexpected consent of all estates and subjects of England, for the
receiving of the king without the least scruple, pause, or question. For it had been generally dispersed by the fugitives beyond the seas, who, partly to apply themselves to the ambition of foreigners, and partly to give estimation and value to their own employments, used to represent the state of England in a false light, that after queen Elizabeth's decease there must follow in England nothing but confusions, interreigns, and perturbations of estate, likely far to exceed the ancient calamities of the civil wars between the houses of Lancaster and York, by how much more the dissentions were like to be more mortal and bloody, when foreign competition should be added to domestical; and divisions for religion to matter of title to the crown. And in special, Parsons the Jesuit, under a disguised name, had not long before published an express treatise, wherein, whether his malice made him believe his own fancies, or whether he thought it the fittest way to move sedition, like evil spirits, which seem to foretel the tempest they mean to move; he laboured to display and give colour to all the vain pretences and dreams of succession which he could imagine; and thereby had possessed many abroad that knew not the affairs here with those his vanities. Neither wanted there here within this realm, divers persons both wise and well affected, who though they doubted not of the undoubted right, yet setting before themselves the waves of people's hearts, guided no less by sudden and temporary winds, than by the natural course and motion of the waters, were not without fear what might be the event. For queen Elizabeth being a princess of extreme caution, and yet one that loved admiration above safety; and knowing the declaration of a successor might in point of safety be disputable, but in point of admiration and respect assuredly to her disadvantage; had from the beginning set it down for a maxim of estate, to impose a silence touching succession. Neither was it only reserved as a secret of estate, but restrained by severe laws, that no man should presume to give opinion, or main
tain argument touching the same: so, though the evidence of right drew all the subjects of the land to think one thing; yet the fear of danger of law made no man privy to others thought. And therefore it rejoiced all men to see so fair a morning of a kingdom, and to be thoroughly secured of former apprehensions; as a man that awaketh out of a fearful dream. But so it was, that not only the consent, but the applause and joy was infinite, and not to be expressed, throughout the realm of England upon this succession: whereof the consent, no doubt, may be truly ascribed to the clearness of the right; but the general joy, alacrity, and gratulation, were the effects of differing causes. For queen Elizabeth, although she had the use of many both virtues and demonstrations, that might draw and knit unto her the hearts of her people; yet nevertheless carrying a hand restrained in gift, and strained in points of prerogative, could not answer the votes either of servants or subjects to a full contentment; especially in her latter days, when the continuance of her reign, which extended to five and forty years, might discover in people their natural desire and inclination towards change: so that a new court and a new reign were not to many unwelcome. Many were glad, and especially those of settled estate and fortune, that the fears and uncertainties were overblown, and that the dye was cast. Others, that had made their way with the king, or offered their service in the time of the former queen, thought now the time was come for which they had prepared: and generally all such as had any dependence upon the late earl of Essex, who had mingled the service of his own ends with the popular pretence of advancing the king's title, made account their cause was mended. Again, such as might misdoubt they had given the king any occasion of distaste, did contend by their forwardness and confidence to shew, it was but their fastness to the former government, and that those affections ended with the time. The papists nourished their hopes, by collating the case of the papists in England, and under queen Elizabeth,
and the case of the papists in Scotland under the king: interpreting that the condition of them in Scotland was the less grievous, and divining of the king's government here accordingly: besides the comfort they ministered to themselves from the memory of the queen his mother. The ministers, and those which stood for the presbytery, thought their cause had more sympathy with the discipline of Scotland than the hierarchy of England, and so took themselves to be a degree nearer their desires. Thus had every condition of persons some contemplation of benefit, which they promised themselves; over-reaching perhaps, according to the nature of hope, but yet not without some probable ground of conjecture. At which time also there came forth in print the king's book, intitled, Barikov Aupov: containing matter of instruction to the prince his son touching the office of a king; which book falling into every man's hand, filled the whole realm, as with a good perfume or incense, before the king's coming in; for being excellently written, and having nothing of affection, it did not only satisfy better than particular reports touching the king's disposition, but far exceeded any formal or curious edict or declaration, which could have been devised of that nature, wherewith princes in the beginning of their reigns do use to grace themselves, or at least express themselves gracious in the eyes of their people. And this was for the general the state and constitution of men's minds upon this change; the actions themselves passed in this manner,
The rest is wanting.