« НазадПродовжити »
AMONG WHICH ARE INTERSPERSED
OTHER SOLEMNITIES, PUBLIC EXPENDITURES, AND REMARKABLE EVENTS,
DURING THE REIGN OF THAT ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCESS.
Original manuscripts, öcarce Pamphlets, Corporation Records, Parochial Kegisters, tr. &c.
ILLUSTRATED WITH HISTORICAL NOTES,
BY JOHN NICHOLS, F. S. A. LOND. EDINB. & PERTH.
It is now nearly Forty Years since the plan of collecting the Progresses and Public Processions of Queen ELIZABETH was suggested to the present Editor, by the Rev. Dr. PERCY, afterwards Bishop of Dromore, and the Rev. Dr. HENLEY, afterwards Principal of the East India Company's College at Hertford. Both these learned Divines had for some time contemplated such an undertaking ; but were prevented by superior professional avocations !; and the proposal met with a ready acquiescence from one to whom labour was ever delightful.
Assisted by the steady co-operation and the invariable friendship of Mr. Gough, and indulged with the unreserved communication of whatever could be contributed from his deep researches into English Literature and antient manners, or from the rich storehouse of Topographical information which he pre-eminently possessed, I readily undertook the task; and in the progress of it was favoured with the liberal contributions of Mr. Steevens, whose intimacy with the writings of the ELIZABETHAN age was unbounded, and his taste unquestionable.
After some years groaning through the press, Two Volumes were published in 1788; and the impression, being small, was speedily sold.
A Third Volume, after an interval of nineteen years, was published in 1807; but of that Volume very few copies escaped the calamitous Fire, which, on the 8th of February 1808, destroyed an immense mass of much more valuable property.
Since that period, a re-publication of the “ Progresses," methodically arranged, has been one of the Editor's favourite amusements; and the reception of the former Volumes affords the gratifying hope that what is now respectfully submitted to the publick will not prove unacceptable.
These Volumes contain, besides a Collection of Visits, Progresses, &c. a variety of Conceits, Devices, Poems, Songs, Speeches, Orations, &c. which accompanied the excursions, or were exhibited on other occasions. Among these, some are of
" The forming of such a Collection was a favourite design with the late Rev. Michael Tyson, B.D. Fellow and Tutor of Ben'et College, Cambridge, who communicated his thoughts on the subject to several of his Friends, particularly to Dr. Henley and Mr. Gough; but death prevented Mr. Tyson from carrying this into execution. VOL. I.
a graver, some of a looser kind; some odd or humorous, some learned, witty, or instructive; all marking a period to which men were emerging from the barbarity and ignorance wherein they had long been held both by the Church and State. They had not at that time passed far beyond the dawnings of real knowledge and science. What they obtained was still disfigured and interrupted by the jargon, the quidlibets, and absurdities of the Schools, which, under a parade of learning and instruction, really promoted ignorance, and have been too successfully employed for such baneful purposes. The principles of liberty also, and of religious reformation, which began to take place, were as yet but imperfectly understood, and their benefits but incompletely enjoyed. The Queen herself had a degree of her Father's domineering spirit; and, though a true friend to the Reformation, retained a love to some kind of Popish pomp and ceremony, together with high notions of the sacred rights of Royalty. Those were most likely to obtain her favour, who cherished, or appeared to cherish, such opinions ; and with such persons her Court was surrounded, and similar sentiments very much pervaded the minds of the people. A superstitious awe of Majesty produced unmanly adulation and servile attentions. The ill effects of such principles were displayed in a succeeding Reign, when the whole Kingdom was thrown into confusion; in consequence, on the one hand, of that despotic power which the Prince had been made to believe he possessed; and on the other, of the worthier notions concerning their just rights, which the people had by that time more generally imbibed. Miserable was the state of those days; yet, at present, we perceive and enjoy the fruits of that and other Revolutions, under a Government which we know how to value, and for which we are duly grateful'.
The Ceremonial of this illustrious Lady's Christening is prefixed as a suitable introduction to her subsequent splendour; and the series of hazards which she experienced for three years during the Reign of her Sister is the proper preliminary to the many Visits with which she gratified her subjects during her whole Reign. Her early years indeed were marked by the greatest propriety of conduct. During the Reign of King Edward; the short-lived sway of “ Jane the Queen ;” and the more difficult task she had to perform under that of Queen Mary, this accomplished Princess exhibited a submissive but dignified demeanour.
See the Monthly Review, 1789, vol. LXXXI. p. 133. · Camden says, King Edward, from the softness of her voice, and the meekness of her temper, was wont to call her his Sweet Sister Temperance.