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rant directed to secretary Davidson (F), thd seventh of February following: though- Elizabeth pretended it was quite contrary to
(F) She was executed in pursuance of a warrant, &c.] The sentence pasted on her was approved by the English parliament, ami earnestly pressed by it to be put in execution. Nor was any one more earnest in the matter than Elizabeth herself; for she deemed Mary's life incompatible with her own fafety, and therefore determined to shorten it. But it was a matter of much delicacy, and what she would have been glad to have been excused from appearing; in. She would fain therefore have had her put out of the way by Sir Amias Paulet, and Sir Drue Drury, and had it hinted to them by the secretaries Davidson and Walsingham. But they were too wife to be caught, and too honest to execute so barbarous a deed, and therefore boldlv refused, to the queen's no small mortisication. Mr. Tindal seems to intimate something os a doubt about the genuineness of the letters [fsl^po'j?'8 here referred to (a), but I think without reason. For England, to me they have all the marks of genuineness, and are translated by perfectly agreeable to that dexterity and management Tindal Vol. for which Elizabeth was so famolls. When these
in the notes, arts failed, the warrant in the hands of Davidson, signFoi. Lond. ed by the queen, was made use of by the council, the ,733. queen being not openly acquainted with it, and Mary, by means of it, had her head severed from her body.—* So that James's conduct could not fave his mother, nor could henry III. of France, by his ambassador, respite the execution of her sentence, but a violent death was her fate. But, if what historians tell us is true, *tis no wonder Elizabeth paid so little regard to the solicitations in the behalf of the unfortunate Mary. For 'tis afsirmed, that Beilievre, the French ambassador, whatI? li'i22^' ever 'n Pub''c ne pretended, had private orders to soli(c) Id. i>. cit the de.^th of the queen (b). And Gray, the Scotch 131. Win- envoy, on this occasion, is faid likewise in private, to "^svoU adv''e tne making her away, faying, adead woman bites £ ""not (<).
her intentions, seemed greatly grieved at it,' and turned out, and fined the secretary by reason of it (G)., '- i"
(G) Though Elizabeth pretended it was contrary to her intentions, and turned out and fined the secretary by reason of it.] The execution of Mary could not be concealed, nor was it thought proper by Elizabeth to justify it. She therefore threw the blame upon poor Davidson, and made him suffer for being an instrument in bringing about what she most of all desired. She denied not, but she commanded him to draw a warrant under the great seal forthe queen of Scots'execution; but after it was done.she seemed angry: however she left it in his hands, without telling him what he should do with,* it. Whereupon the council being consulted by Davids
Jon, it was unanimously resolved to execute the warrant, and accordingly it was carried to Fotheringay, and produced the desired effect. Elizabeth, in the mean time, pretended she had changed her mind; but none of her counsellors talked to her upon the subject, or attempted to hinder the execution, as they certainly 'would have done, had they not been fatisfied in her intentions. But when the wished-for event took place, then Elizabeth pretended great sorrow, and prosessed her disinclination towards it; and to convince the world thereof, she wrote to the Scotch king, by a cousin of hers, and had Davidson cited into the Starchamber, where he was fined 10,000/. and imprisoned during the queen's pleasure. Though " she herself "could not deny, but that which she laid to his charge "was done without hope, sear, malice, envy, or any *' respect of his own, but merely for her fasety both "of state and person." (a) This sentence on David- W c^3»
son was very severe, and carried the dissimulation to a^^gg * great pitch, for the man lost his post, and /tfvVlong in prison. So hard and difficult is the service of princes! $0 dangerous complying with their inclinations, for" C .t> 1 .>v. .. • there
Indeed, Elizabeth and her ministers managed "James as they pleased; they fully pnderstanding his temper, councils, and designs:
there is no laying obligations upon them ; and after you have done all to please and oblige them, to serve a turn, or even gratify a present humour, they will discard or ruin you: for they think their subjects made for them; v that 'tis a favour to employ them; and that they are of no worth, any farther than they promote their deigns. If people therefore knew when they were well, they would be thankful for a peaceable retreat, and strive not to mix in counsels with those whose aim it is to outwit and mischief each other; nor would they be desirous of climbing up so high, as that a fall is fatal. But the ambitious in vain are cautioned to check their career. Nothing but some fad miscarriage, difappointment or disgrace, will teach them the needful lessons of humility and moderation, or cause them to enjoy contentedly the blessings of private life. Before I take my leave of this affair, 1 will observe that from the proceedings against Mary, it appears, that the queen and her parliament had no notion of such a facredness in the persons of princes, as to render them unaccountable to any earthly tribunal. For here is a sovereign princess, tried, condemned, and executed, with the approbation, yea in pursuance of the request of the parliament; and though Elizabeth, to fave appearances, feigned sorrow and indignation at the execution, yet no one has been so hardy as to put into her mouth a sentence tending to condemn the lawfulness of it. For she was too wife and understanding to have done it; nor could any who knew her character suppose her capable of. it. This doctrine was left to her successor, who had weakness enough to declare expressly, "that kings were ac(*) King "countaWe to God only." (b) A doctrine big with James's mischief, and sit for nothing but to make tyrants. But
works, p. of this I sliall have occasion to speak more hereafter. MO. r .... signs (H): so that they acted as they thought fit, without any regard to him, any farther
(H) Elizabeth and her ministers managed James as they pleased, and understood his temper, councils and designs.] It appears from Melvil, that the English were thoroughlv acquainted with the temper and behaviour of the king, and had those about him who took every opportunity to insinuate those notions into him, which were most acceptable to Elizabeth. "IVootton the am"bassador became one of his most familiar minions, "waiting upon him at all sixed pastimes." (a) And Sir(") Melvil, Richard Wigmore " was particularly instructed by Wal- p"l6'" "fingbam, in ail the proper methods to gain upon the "king's considence, and to observe and give an ac"count of all he faw in him; which he did very faith"fully." (b) And though James little thought it, his (4) Burner, most secret actions were known to the English ministry, j^J' S* and all his tranfactions abroad, how privately soever wood,s me. they were carried. For Elizabeth's ambassadors had a moirs, p. 9. very watchful eye over the Sco',;h; and what by ad- 8,°- Loai' dress, what by considerations o.-religion, but chiefly 17 by money, they became acquainted with every thing' James was negotiating every where. Thus for instance, Sir Henry Neville, though at Paris, had a watchful eye over the tranfactions of the Scotch king at Rome, and made himself master of them, though they were managed with the greatest caution: (c) and he was appriz- W Wined also of the negotiation of baron Ogilby in Spain, who *^s"lte offered in the name of " James to be reconciled to the 145,'146. "apostolic fee, and to enter into a confederacy with the letters "that crown, in order to rescue himself from the dan- ^^".j. "gers he was exposed to from Elizabeth, on whom he \a% at iargt. "offered, (upon condition of being assisted with twelve *' thoufand men armed and paid all the time the war "should last, and sive hundred thoufand ducats to be"gin it) to make war immediately, and declare him"self her enemy." (d). So that from hence it appears (J) winthat Elizabeth had him fast, and could have exposed wood,Vol.I.
C 2 him11,5'6**
than mere compliments. For the fear of losing the succession to the English crown, and the pension he enjoyed from Elizabeth,
him to the resentments of the English and Scottish nations whenever she pleased. For as Walsingham, Burnet fays, " thought the king was either inclined to turn (.) Rnrnet, " papist, or to be of no religion ;" (e) so these negoti"• •?• "ations, had they been published, would have brought over multitudes of others to the fame opinion; the consequence of which to him might have been fatal. No wonder then James's threatnings were little heeded: he was well known by the English court, and to know him was to stand in no awe of him; for big as he would talk on occasion, fighting was his known aversion. Indeed, after he came into England, he Was weak enough to pretend that he had the direction 6T the English affairs during his predecessor's reign: had this been so, they would have been managed like his own in Scotland, and as matters' afterwards were by him in England. Whereas ever, body knows, never councils were better conducted, never more glory by any administra.' tion acquired, than by Elizabeth's, and therefore he could have had no hand in the direction. That in the latter paitof that queen's reign, he cultivated a correspondence with somelaf her courtiers, and endeavoured by means of them to secure the succession, is true: and he was successsul in his applications. But still he guided not, but was guided, and as caresully watched as could be; and, perhaps, a knowledge of his weakness, love of ease, and aversion to business, did not a little contribute to engage some of the g}eat ones in his favour; who hoped that under him they'might acquire honours, power, and wealth, in which they were not much mistaken. For a prince of great abilities, how valuabse soever to a nation, is not the delight of self-interested statesmen. He will see with his own eyes, will' judge of men as they deserve, and reward only the wise and good ;' and therefore under such an one little is to be hoped for by them.