Зображення сторінки

would not be denied, composed his countenance; A. C, 1506. saying, Sir, you give law to me, and I will dic. « tate to you in my turn; Suffolk shall be deli15 vered up; but you will give me your honour " that his life shall be safe.” Henry agreeing to Bacon. this.proposal, he wrote a letter to the earl of Suffolk, assuring him that he had obtained his pardon; and the king confirming this affertion by another message, that nobleman returned to his own country, and was immediately committed close prisoner to the Tower. But the king had resolved that his royal guests should not quit his dominions until the earl's arrival ; and, in order to disguise the restraint, he entertained them with feasting and pastimes : through which, however, Philip easily perceived his intention, and therefore expressed no desire of departing, until the earl was actually secured. Then he was allowed to prosecute his voyage, after having been detained three months in England, during which he was installed in the order of the garter, and conferred that of the golden Aleece on Henry prince of Wales. On his arrival at Castile, he and his confort were lives at

Philip arso much caressed by the Spaniards, that Ferdinand tile, where did not think proper to insist upon the adminiftra- he dies. tion, but retired to his own kingdom of Arragon. Philip dying in a few months after he took possession, his queen was so overwhelmed with grief, that the lost her reason; and the government of Caftile reverted to her father Ferdinand, who is faid to have used no endeavour for her cure, left he should be sent back to Arragon. Mean while her infant son, Charles, was left to the guardianship of Lewis king of France, who discharged the office with uncommon fidelity, in appointing the lord of Chevres for his governor. But the disinterested conduct of the French king was not of long duration ; for he not only renounced his engagement:



4. C. 1506. with respect co his eldest daughter Claude, who was

betraathed to Charles, but likewise spirited up the
duke of Guelderland to recommence hoftilities in

Flanders, • left a league should be formed against
* him by the emperor, the archduke, and Ferdi-
nand. The Flemings intreated Maximilian to
come into their country, and take the reigns of
government into his own hands, during the mino-

rity of his grandchild Charles. The emperor proRymer.

mised to comply with their request. In the mean
time, he fent thither his daughter Margaret, widow
of the duke of Savoy, in quality of gouvernante
of the Low Countries : and that princess con-
cluded a provisional creaty of commercewith Henry,

which was ratified at Calais.
A. C.1507. In the fame place his ambassadors treated of a
Treaty of

match between the archduke Charles, and Mary, marriage

the king's second daughter. This contract, figned Philip's on the twenty-second of December, imported, Son Charles

, That the marriage should be consummated as soon the daughter as Charles should have attained to his fourteenth of Henry.

year; and that Mary's portion should amount to
two hundred and fifty thousand crowns of gold : ą,
sum which Henry could very well afford, consider-
ing his immense riches, and the method he took to
accumulate treasure. His two spunges, Empfon
and Dudley, still continued to suck up the sub-
stance of his people; and, in the course of this
year, commenced another severe prosecution against
Sir Wiiliam Capel, on pretence of misconduct du-
ring his mayoralty. He was fined in the sum of
two thousand pounds; but, being hardened by his
former fufferings, he refused to pay the money,
and was committed prisoner to the Tower, where
he continued till Henry's death. Knesworth, who
had likewise been mayor of London, and both his
sheriffs, were amerced in considerable fums on the
fame pretences; Hawes, an alderman, died of


[ocr errors]


vexation occasioned by fuch a charge; and Sir A.C.ogo : Lawrence Ailmer, with his two theriffs, being condemned to pay a fine of one thousand pounds, he refufed to comply with the sentence, choofing rather to go to prison, where he remained until his place was fupplied by Empfon himself.

The king, in the midst of these acts of extortion, was feized with the gout, which gradually affected his lungs ; so that he underwent severe fits of the althma, notwithstanding which he continued to transact his affairs with his usual diligence, until his health was fo much impaired, that he began to think of his diffolution ; not that he neglected his worldly affairs, though he now began to convert his attention to the concerns of his soul. He still employed his endeavours for the accomplishment of his daughter's marriage with the archduke; and in the month of December it was folemnized at Lon:

A. C. 1503 don, the lord of Berghes acting as proxy for Charles. At the same time this nobleman deposited in the hands of Henry a jewel, called The Rich Flower de Lys, by way of pledge for the sum of fifty thoufand crowns lent to the archduke ; and the emi. peror, as his tutor and grandfather, authorized the marriage, and the mortgage for the money, which he appropriated to his own use. As to the match AC, P:1, between 'king Henry and Margaret of Austria, though the contract had been settled to the facisfaction of all parties, the king's diforder prevented Polyd. Vit.. it from taking effect. Finding his end approach- gil. ing, he resolved to do something that might entitle him to the mercy of heaven : he seemed at length touched with the clamours of the people against Empfon and Dudley; he distributed a large sum in charity; he discharged all prisoners that were confined for debts under forty shillinys; and among other religious foundations finished the hospital of the Savoy, and a fine chapel in Westminster abbey.



[merged small][ocr errors]

A.C.1509. Then he made a will, in which he layed injunco
Death and tions upon his heir to make restitution of all that
character of his officers and ministers had unjustly extorted from
king Henry

his subjects ; and died at Richmond in the fifty-
third year of his age, and the four and twentieth of
his reign, leaving to his son Henry the crown of
England t, together with eighteen hundred thou-
sand pounds sterling in money, jewels, and place,
deposited in the vaults of his palace. Henry was
tall, strait, and well-shaped, though Nender ; of
a grave aspect, and faturnine complexion; auftere
in address, and reserved in conversation, except
when he had a favourite point to carry; and then
he could fawn, flatter, and practise all the arts of
insinuation. He inherited a natural fund of faga-
city, which was improved by study and experience;
nor was he deficient in personal bravery, or politi-
cal courage. He was cool, close, cunning, dark,
distrustful, and designing ; and of all the princes
who had sat upon the English throne, the most for-
did, selfish, and ignoble. He possessed in a peculiar
manner the art of turning all his domestic troubles,
and all his foreign disputes, to his own advantage :
hence he acquired the appellation of the English
Solomon ; and all the powers of the continent
courted his alliance on account of his wealth, ,
wisdom, and uninterrupted prosperity. The no-
bility he excluded entirely from the administracion
of public affairs, and employed clergymen and
lawyers, who, as they had no interest in the nation,
and depended intirely upon his favour, were more
obsequious to his will, and ready to concur in all his


+ Henry VII. had three sons and Margaret was queen of Scotland ; and
four daughters ; namely, Arthur, who Mary had just been affianced to Charles
died in the seventeenth year of his archduke of Austria; tho' she mara
age; Henry, who succeeded him on ried Lewis XII. of France, and after
the throne ; Edmund, who did not his decease, Charles Brandon, duke of
live to the years of discretion; two of Suffolk, Hollingshead.
his daughters died in their infancy i


arbitrary measures. At the same time it must be A, C, 1509, owned he was a wise legislator, chaste, temperate, affiduous in the exercise of religious duties ; decent in his deportment, and exact in the administration of justice, when his own private interest was not concerned; though he frequently used religion and justice as cloaks for perfidy and oppression. His soul was continually actuated by two ruling pasfions, equally base and unkingly; namely, the fear of losing his crown, and the desire of amassing riches; and these motives influenced his whole conduet. Nevertheless, his apprehension and avarice redounded on the whole to the advantage of the nation. The first induced him to depress the nobility, and abolish the feudal tenures, which rendered them equally formidable to the prince and the people ; and his avarice prompted him to encourage industry and trade, because it improved his customs, and enriched his subjects, whom he could afterwards pillage at discretion.

[ocr errors]


« НазадПродовжити »