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    Ch. 29 - Queen Mary

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    Chapter 29
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    THE Duke of Northumberland was very anxious to keep the young
    King's death a secret, in order that he might get the two
    Princesses into his power. But, the Princess Mary, being informed
    of that event as she was on her way to London to see her sick
    brother, turned her horse's head, and rode away into Norfolk. The
    Earl of Arundel was her friend, and it was he who sent her warning
    of what had happened.

    As the secret could not be kept, the Duke of Northumberland and the
    council sent for the Lord Mayor of London and some of the aldermen,
    and made a merit of telling it to them. Then, they made it known
    to the people, and set off to inform Lady Jane Grey that she was to
    be Queen.

    She was a pretty girl of only sixteen, and was amiable, learned,
    and clever. When the lords who came to her, fell on their knees
    before her, and told her what tidings they brought, she was so
    astonished that she fainted. On recovering, she expressed her
    sorrow for the young King's death, and said that she knew she was
    unfit to govern the kingdom; but that if she must be Queen, she
    prayed God to direct her. She was then at Sion House, near
    Brentford; and the lords took her down the river in state to the
    Tower, that she might remain there (as the custom was) until she
    was crowned. But the people were not at all favourable to Lady
    Jane, considering that the right to be Queen was Mary's, and
    greatly disliking the Duke of Northumberland. They were not put
    into a better humour by the Duke's causing a vintner's servant, one
    Gabriel Pot, to be taken up for expressing his dissatisfaction
    among the crowd, and to have his ears nailed to the pillory, and
    cut off. Some powerful men among the nobility declared on Mary's
    side. They raised troops to support her cause, had her proclaimed
    Queen at Norwich, and gathered around her at the castle of
    Framlingham, which belonged to the Duke of Norfolk. For, she was
    not considered so safe as yet, but that it was best to keep her in
    a castle on the sea-coast, from whence she might be sent abroad, if
    necessary.

    The Council would have despatched Lady Jane's father, the Duke of
    Suffolk, as the general of the army against this force; but, as
    Lady Jane implored that her father might remain with her, and as he
    was known to be but a weak man, they told the Duke of
    Northumberland that he must take the command himself. He was not
    very ready to do so, as he mistrusted the Council much; but there
    was no help for it, and he set forth with a heavy heart, observing
    to a lord who rode beside him through Shoreditch at the head of the
    troops, that, although the people pressed in great numbers to look
    at them, they were terribly silent.

    And his fears for himself turned out to be well founded. While he
    was waiting at Cambridge for further help from the Council, the
    Council took it into their heads to turn their backs on Lady Jane's
    cause, and to take up the Princess Mary's. This was chiefly owing
    to the before-mentioned Earl of Arundel, who represented to the
    Lord Mayor and aldermen, in a second interview with those sagacious
    persons, that, as for himself, he did not perceive the Reformed
    religion to be in much danger - which Lord Pembroke backed by
    flourishing his sword as another kind of persuasion. The Lord
    Mayor and aldermen, thus enlightened, said there could be no doubt
    that the Princess Mary ought to be Queen. So, she was proclaimed
    at the Cross by St. Paul's, and barrels of wine were given to the
    people, and they got very drunk, and danced round blazing bonfires
    - little thinking, poor wretches, what other bonfires would soon be
    blazing in Queen Mary's name.

    After a ten days' dream of royalty, Lady Jane Grey resigned the
    Crown with great willingness, saying that she had only accepted it
    in obedience to her father and mother; and went gladly back to her
    pleasant house by the river, and her books. Mary then came on
    towards London; and at Wanstead in Essex, was joined by her half-
    sister, the Princess Elizabeth. They passed through the streets of
    London to the Tower, and there the new Queen met some eminent
    prisoners then confined in it, kissed them, and gave them their
    liberty. Among these was that Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, who
    had been imprisoned in the last reign for holding to the unreformed
    religion. Him she soon made chancellor.

    The Duke of Northumberland had been taken prisoner, and, together
    with his son and five others, was quickly brought before the
    Council. He, not unnaturally, asked that Council, in his defence,
    whether it was treason to obey orders that had been issued under
    the great seal; and, if it were, whether they, who had obeyed them
    too, ought to be his judges? But they made light of these points;
    and, being resolved to have him out of the way, soon sentenced him
    to death. He had risen into power upon the death of another man,
    and made but a poor show (as might be expected) when he himself lay
    low. He entreated Gardiner to let him live, if it were only in a
    mouse's hole; and, when he ascended the scaffold to be beheaded on
    Tower Hill, addressed the people in a miserable way, saying that he
    had been incited by others, and exhorting them to return to the
    unreformed religion, which he told them was his faith. There seems
    reason to suppose that he expected a pardon even then, in return
    for this confession; but it matters little whether he did or not.
    His head was struck off.

    Mary was now crowned Queen. She was thirty-seven years of age,
    short and thin, wrinkled in the face, and very unhealthy. But she
    had a great liking for show and for bright colours, and all the
    ladies of her Court were magnificently dressed. She had a great
    liking too for old customs, without much sense in them; and she was
    oiled in the oldest way, and blessed in the oldest way, and done
    all manner of things to in the oldest way, at her coronation. I
    hope they did her good.

    She soon began to show her desire to put down the Reformed
    religion, and put up the unreformed one: though it was dangerous
    work as yet, the people being something wiser than they used to be.
    They even cast a shower of stones - and among them a dagger - at
    one of the royal chaplains who attacked the Reformed religion in a
    public sermon. But the Queen and her priests went steadily on.
    Ridley, the powerful bishop of the last reign, was seized and sent
    to the Tower. LATIMER, also celebrated among the Clergy of the
    last reign, was likewise sent to the Tower, and Cranmer speedily
    followed. Latimer was an aged man; and, as his guards took him
    through Smithfield, he looked round it, and said, 'This is a place
    that hath long groaned for me.' For he knew well, what kind of
    bonfires would soon be burning. Nor was the knowledge confined to
    him. The prisons were fast filled with the chief Protestants, who
    were there left rotting in darkness, hunger, dirt, and separation
    from their friends; many, who had time left them for escape, fled
    from the kingdom; and the dullest of the people began, now, to see
    what was coming.

    It came on fast. A Parliament was got together; not without strong
    suspicion of unfairness; and they annulled the divorce, formerly
    pronounced by Cranmer between the Queen's mother and King Henry the
    Eighth, and unmade all the laws on the subject of religion that had
    been made in the last King Edward's reign. They began their
    proceedings, in violation of the law, by having the old mass said
    before them in Latin, and by turning out a bishop who would not
    kneel down. They also declared guilty of treason, Lady Jane Grey
    for aspiring to the Crown; her husband, for being her husband; and
    Cranmer, for not believing in the mass aforesaid. They then prayed
    the Queen graciously to choose a husband for herself, as soon as
    might be.

    Now, the question who should be the Queen's husband had given rise
    to a great deal of discussion, and to several contending parties.
    Some said Cardinal Pole was the man - but the Queen was of opinion
    that he was NOT the man, he being too old and too much of a
    student. Others said that the gallant young COURTENAY, whom the
    Queen had made Earl of Devonshire, was the man - and the Queen
    thought so too, for a while; but she changed her mind. At last it
    appeared that PHILIP, PRINCE OF SPAIN, was certainly the man -
    though certainly not the people's man; for they detested the idea
    of such a marriage from the beginning to the end, and murmured that
    the Spaniard would establish in England, by the aid of foreign
    soldiers, the worst abuses of the Popish religion, and even the
    terrible Inquisition itself.

    These discontents gave rise to a conspiracy for marrying young
    Courtenay to the Princess Elizabeth, and setting them up, with
    popular tumults all over the kingdom, against the Queen. This was
    discovered in time by Gardiner; but in Kent, the old bold county,
    the people rose in their old bold way. SIR THOMAS WYAT, a man of
    great daring, was their leader. He raised his standard at
    Maidstone, marched on to Rochester, established himself in the old
    castle there, and prepared to hold out against the Duke of Norfolk,
    who came against him with a party of the Queen's guards, and a body
    of five hundred London men. The London men, however, were all for
    Elizabeth, and not at all for Mary. They declared, under the
    castle walls, for Wyat; the Duke retreated; and Wyat came on to
    Deptford, at the head of fifteen thousand men.

    But these, in their turn, fell away. When he came to Southwark,
    there were only two thousand left. Not dismayed by finding the
    London citizens in arms, and the guns at the Tower ready to oppose
    his crossing the river there, Wyat led them off to Kingston-upon-
    Thames, intending to cross the bridge that he knew to be in that
    place, and so to work his way round to Ludgate, one of the old
    gates of the City. He found the bridge broken down, but mended it,
    came across, and bravely fought his way up Fleet Street to Ludgate
    Hill. Finding the gate closed against him, he fought his way back
    again, sword in hand, to Temple Bar. Here, being overpowered, he
    surrendered himself, and three or four hundred of his men were
    taken, besides a hundred killed. Wyat, in a moment of weakness
    (and perhaps of torture) was afterwards made to accuse the Princess
    Elizabeth as his accomplice to some very small extent. But his
    manhood soon returned to him, and he refused to save his life by
    making any more false confessions. He was quartered and
    distributed in the usual brutal way, and from fifty to a hundred of
    his followers were hanged. The rest were led out, with halters
    round their necks, to be pardoned, and to make a parade of crying
    out, 'God save Queen Mary!'

    In the danger of this rebellion, the Queen showed herself to be a
    woman of courage and spirit. She disdained to retreat to any place
    of safety, and went down to the Guildhall, sceptre in hand, and
    made a gallant speech to the Lord Mayor and citizens. But on the
    day after Wyat's defeat, she did the most cruel act, even of her
    cruel reign, in signing the warrant for the execution of Lady Jane
    Grey.

    They tried to persuade Lady Jane to accept the unreformed religion;
    but she steadily refused. On the morning when she was to die, she
    saw from her window the bleeding and headless body of her husband
    brought back in a cart from the scaffold on Tower Hill where he had
    laid down his life. But, as she had declined to see him before his
    execution, lest she should be overpowered and not make a good end,
    so, she even now showed a constancy and calmness that will never be
    forgotten. She came up to the scaffold with a firm step and a
    quiet face, and addressed the bystanders in a steady voice. They
    were not numerous; for she was too young, too innocent and fair, to
    be murdered before the people on Tower Hill, as her husband had
    just been; so, the place of her execution was within the Tower
    itself. She said that she had done an unlawful act in taking what
    was Queen Mary's right; but that she had done so with no bad
    intent, and that she died a humble Christian. She begged the
    executioner to despatch her quickly, and she asked him, 'Will you
    take my head off before I lay me down?' He answered, 'No, Madam,'
    and then she was very quiet while they bandaged her eyes. Being
    blinded, and unable to see the block on which she was to lay her
    young head, she was seen to feel about for it with her hands, and
    was heard to say, confused, 'O what shall I do! Where is it?'
    Then they guided her to the right place, and the executioner struck
    off her head. You know too well, now, what dreadful deeds the
    executioner did in England, through many, many years, and how his
    axe descended on the hateful block through the necks of some of the
    bravest, wisest, and best in the land. But it never struck so
    cruel and so vile a blow as this.

    The father of Lady Jane soon followed, but was little pitied.
    Queen Mary's next object was to lay hold of Elizabeth, and this was
    pursued with great eagerness. Five hundred men were sent to her
    retired house at Ashridge, by Berkhampstead, with orders to bring
    her up, alive or dead. They got there at ten at night, when she
    was sick in bed. But, their leaders followed her lady into her
    bedchamber, whence she was brought out betimes next morning, and
    put into a litter to be conveyed to London. She was so weak and
    ill, that she was five days on the road; still, she was so resolved
    to be seen by the people that she had the curtains of the litter
    opened; and so, very pale and sickly, passed through the streets.
    She wrote to her sister, saying she was innocent of any crime, and
    asking why she was made a prisoner; but she got no answer, and was
    ordered to the Tower. They took her in by the Traitor's Gate, to
    which she objected, but in vain. One of the lords who conveyed her
    offered to cover her with his cloak, as it was raining, but she put
    it away from her, proudly and scornfully, and passed into the
    Tower, and sat down in a court-yard on a stone. They besought her
    to come in out of the wet; but she answered that it was better
    sitting there, than in a worse place. At length she went to her
    apartment, where she was kept a prisoner, though not so close a
    prisoner as at Woodstock, whither she was afterwards removed, and
    where she is said to have one day envied a milkmaid whom she heard
    singing in the sunshine as she went through the green fields.
    Gardiner, than whom there were not many worse men among the fierce
    and sullen priests, cared little to keep secret his stern desire
    for her death: being used to say that it was of little service to
    shake off the leaves, and lop the branches of the tree of heresy,
    if its root, the hope of heretics, were left. He failed, however,
    in his benevolent design. Elizabeth was, at length, released; and
    Hatfield House was assigned to her as a residence, under the care
    of one SIR THOMAS POPE.

    It would seem that Philip, the Prince of Spain, was a main cause of
    this change in Elizabeth's fortunes. He was not an amiable man,
    being, on the contrary, proud, overbearing, and gloomy; but he and
    the Spanish lords who came over with him, assuredly did
    discountenance the idea of doing any violence to the Princess. It
    may have been mere prudence, but we will hope it was manhood and
    honour. The Queen had been expecting her husband with great
    impatience, and at length he came, to her great joy, though he
    never cared much for her. They were married by Gardiner, at
    Winchester, and there was more holiday-making among the people; but
    they had their old distrust of this Spanish marriage, in which even
    the Parliament shared. Though the members of that Parliament were
    far from honest, and were strongly suspected to have been bought
    with Spanish money, they would pass no bill to enable the Queen to
    set aside the Princess Elizabeth and appoint her own successor.

    Although Gardiner failed in this object, as well as in the darker
    one of bringing the Princess to the scaffold, he went on at a great
    pace in the revival of the unreformed religion. A new Parliament
    was packed, in which there were no Protestants. Preparations were
    made to receive Cardinal Pole in England as the Pope's messenger,
    bringing his holy declaration that all the nobility who had
    acquired Church property, should keep it - which was done to enlist
    their selfish interest on the Pope's side. Then a great scene was
    enacted, which was the triumph of the Queen's plans. Cardinal Pole
    arrived in great splendour and dignity, and was received with great
    pomp. The Parliament joined in a petition expressive of their
    sorrow at the change in the national religion, and praying him to
    receive the country again into the Popish Church. With the Queen
    sitting on her throne, and the King on one side of her, and the
    Cardinal on the other, and the Parliament present, Gardiner read
    the petition aloud. The Cardinal then made a great speech, and was
    so obliging as to say that all was forgotten and forgiven, and that
    the kingdom was solemnly made Roman Catholic again.

    Everything was now ready for the lighting of the terrible bonfires.
    The Queen having declared to the Council, in writing, that she
    would wish none of her subjects to be burnt without some of the
    Council being present, and that she would particularly wish there
    to be good sermons at all burnings, the Council knew pretty well
    what was to be done next. So, after the Cardinal had blessed all
    the bishops as a preface to the burnings, the Chancellor Gardiner
    opened a High Court at Saint Mary Overy, on the Southwark side of
    London Bridge, for the trial of heretics. Here, two of the late
    Protestant clergymen, HOOPER, Bishop of Gloucester, and ROGERS, a
    Prebendary of St. Paul's, were brought to be tried. Hooper was
    tried first for being married, though a priest, and for not
    believing in the mass. He admitted both of these accusations, and
    said that the mass was a wicked imposition. Then they tried
    Rogers, who said the same. Next morning the two were brought up to
    be sentenced; and then Rogers said that his poor wife, being a
    German woman and a stranger in the land, he hoped might be allowed
    to come to speak to him before he died. To this the inhuman
    Gardiner replied, that she was not his wife. 'Yea, but she is, my
    lord,' said Rogers, 'and she hath been my wife these eighteen
    years.' His request was still refused, and they were both sent to
    Newgate; all those who stood in the streets to sell things, being
    ordered to put out their lights that the people might not see them.
    But, the people stood at their doors with candles in their hands,
    and prayed for them as they went by. Soon afterwards, Rogers was
    taken out of jail to be burnt in Smithfield; and, in the crowd as
    he went along, he saw his poor wife and his ten children, of whom
    the youngest was a little baby. And so he was burnt to death.

    The next day, Hooper, who was to be burnt at Gloucester, was
    brought out to take his last journey, and was made to wear a hood
    over his face that he might not be known by the people. But, they
    did know him for all that, down in his own part of the country;
    and, when he came near Gloucester, they lined the road, making
    prayers and lamentations. His guards took him to a lodging, where
    he slept soundly all night. At nine o'clock next morning, he was
    brought forth leaning on a staff; for he had taken cold in prison,
    and was infirm. The iron stake, and the iron chain which was to
    bind him to it, were fixed up near a great elm-tree in a pleasant
    open place before the cathedral, where, on peaceful Sundays, he had
    been accustomed to preach and to pray, when he was bishop of
    Gloucester. This tree, which had no leaves then, it being
    February, was filled with people; and the priests of Gloucester
    College were looking complacently on from a window, and there was a
    great concourse of spectators in every spot from which a glimpse of
    the dreadful sight could be beheld. When the old man kneeled down
    on the small platform at the foot of the stake, and prayed aloud,
    the nearest people were observed to be so attentive to his prayers
    that they were ordered to stand farther back; for it did not suit
    the Romish Church to have those Protestant words heard. His
    prayers concluded, he went up to the stake and was stripped to his
    shirt, and chained ready for the fire. One of his guards had such
    compassion on him that, to shorten his agonies, he tied some
    packets of gunpowder about him. Then they heaped up wood and straw
    and reeds, and set them all alight. But, unhappily, the wood was
    green and damp, and there was a wind blowing that blew what flame
    there was, away. Thus, through three-quarters of an hour, the good
    old man was scorched and roasted and smoked, as the fire rose and
    sank; and all that time they saw him, as he burned, moving his lips
    in prayer, and beating his breast with one hand, even after the
    other was burnt away and had fallen off.

    Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, were taken to Oxford to dispute with
    a commission of priests and doctors about the mass. They were
    shamefully treated; and it is recorded that the Oxford scholars
    hissed and howled and groaned, and misconducted themselves in an
    anything but a scholarly way. The prisoners were taken back to
    jail, and afterwards tried in St. Mary's Church. They were all
    found guilty. On the sixteenth of the month of October, Ridley and
    Latimer were brought out, to make another of the dreadful bonfires.

    The scene of the suffering of these two good Protestant men was in
    the City ditch, near Baliol College. On coming to the dreadful
    spot, they kissed the stakes, and then embraced each other. And
    then a learned doctor got up into a pulpit which was placed there,
    and preached a sermon from the text, 'Though I give my body to be
    burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.' When you
    think of the charity of burning men alive, you may imagine that
    this learned doctor had a rather brazen face. Ridley would have
    answered his sermon when it came to an end, but was not allowed.
    When Latimer was stripped, it appeared that he had dressed himself
    under his other clothes, in a new shroud; and, as he stood in it
    before all the people, it was noted of him, and long remembered,
    that, whereas he had been stooping and feeble but a few minutes
    before, he now stood upright and handsome, in the knowledge that he
    was dying for a just and a great cause. Ridley's brother-in-law
    was there with bags of gunpowder; and when they were both chained
    up, he tied them round their bodies. Then, a light was thrown upon
    the pile to fire it. 'Be of good comfort, Master Ridley,' said
    Latimer, at that awful moment, 'and play the man! We shall this
    day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust
    shall never be put out.' And then he was seen to make motions with
    his hands as if he were washing them in the flames, and to stroke
    his aged face with them, and was heard to cry, 'Father of Heaven,
    receive my soul!' He died quickly, but the fire, after having
    burned the legs of Ridley, sunk. There he lingered, chained to the
    iron post, and crying, 'O! I cannot burn! O! for Christ's sake
    let the fire come unto me!' And still, when his brother-in-law had
    heaped on more wood, he was heard through the blinding smoke, still
    dismally crying, 'O! I cannot burn, I cannot burn!' At last, the
    gunpowder caught fire, and ended his miseries.

    Five days after this fearful scene, Gardiner went to his tremendous
    account before God, for the cruelties he had so much assisted in
    committing.

    Cranmer remained still alive and in prison. He was brought out
    again in February, for more examining and trying, by Bonner, Bishop
    of London: another man of blood, who had succeeded to Gardiner's
    work, even in his lifetime, when Gardiner was tired of it. Cranmer
    was now degraded as a priest, and left for death; but, if the Queen
    hated any one on earth, she hated him, and it was resolved that he
    should be ruined and disgraced to the utmost. There is no doubt
    that the Queen and her husband personally urged on these deeds,
    because they wrote to the Council, urging them to be active in the
    kindling of the fearful fires. As Cranmer was known not to be a
    firm man, a plan was laid for surrounding him with artful people,
    and inducing him to recant to the unreformed religion. Deans and
    friars visited him, played at bowls with him, showed him various
    attentions, talked persuasively with him, gave him money for his
    prison comforts, and induced him to sign, I fear, as many as six
    recantations. But when, after all, he was taken out to be burnt,
    he was nobly true to his better self, and made a glorious end.

    After prayers and a sermon, Dr. Cole, the preacher of the day (who
    had been one of the artful priests about Cranmer in prison),
    required him to make a public confession of his faith before the
    people. This, Cole did, expecting that he would declare himself a
    Roman Catholic. 'I will make a profession of my faith,' said
    Cranmer, 'and with a good will too.'

    Then, he arose before them all, and took from the sleeve of his
    robe a written prayer and read it aloud. That done, he kneeled and
    said the Lord's Prayer, all the people joining; and then he arose
    again and told them that he believed in the Bible, and that in what
    he had lately written, he had written what was not the truth, and
    that, because his right hand had signed those papers, he would burn
    his right hand first when he came to the fire. As for the Pope, he
    did refuse him and denounce him as the enemy of Heaven. Hereupon
    the pious Dr. Cole cried out to the guards to stop that heretic's
    mouth and take him away.

    So they took him away, and chained him to the stake, where he
    hastily took off his own clothes to make ready for the flames. And
    he stood before the people with a bald head and a white and flowing
    beard. He was so firm now when the worst was come, that he again
    declared against his recantation, and was so impressive and so
    undismayed, that a certain lord, who was one of the directors of
    the execution, called out to the men to make haste! When the fire
    was lighted, Cranmer, true to his latest word, stretched out his
    right hand, and crying out, 'This hand hath offended!' held it
    among the flames, until it blazed and burned away. His heart was
    found entire among his ashes, and he left at last a memorable name
    in English history. Cardinal Pole celebrated the day by saying his
    first mass, and next day he was made Archbishop of Canterbury in
    Cranmer's place.

    The Queen's husband, who was now mostly abroad in his own
    dominions, and generally made a coarse jest of her to his more
    familiar courtiers, was at war with France, and came over to seek
    the assistance of England. England was very unwilling to engage in
    a French war for his sake; but it happened that the King of France,
    at this very time, aided a descent upon the English coast. Hence,
    war was declared, greatly to Philip's satisfaction; and the Queen
    raised a sum of money with which to carry it on, by every
    unjustifiable means in her power. It met with no profitable
    return, for the French Duke of Guise surprised Calais, and the
    English sustained a complete defeat. The losses they met with in
    France greatly mortified the national pride, and the Queen never
    recovered the blow.

    There was a bad fever raging in England at this time, and I am glad
    to write that the Queen took it, and the hour of her death came.
    'When I am dead and my body is opened,' she said to those around
    those around her, 'ye shall find CALAIS written on my heart.' I
    should have thought, if anything were written on it, they would
    have found the words - JANE GREY, HOOPER, ROGERS, RIDLEY, LATIMER,
    CRANMER, AND THREE HUNDRED PEOPLE BURNT ALIVE WITHIN FOUR YEARS OF
    MY WICKED REIGN, INCLUDING SIXTY WOMEN AND FORTY LITTLE CHILDREN.
    But it is enough that their deaths were written in Heaven.

    The Queen died on the seventeenth of November, fifteen hundred and
    fifty-eight, after reigning not quite five years and a half, and in
    the forty-fourth year of her age. Cardinal Pole died of the same
    fever next day.

    As BLOODY QUEEN MARY, this woman has become famous, and as BLOODY
    QUEEN MARY, she will ever be justly remembered with horror and
    detestation in Great Britain. Her memory has been held in such
    abhorrence that some writers have arisen in later years to take her
    part, and to show that she was, upon the whole, quite an amiable
    and cheerful sovereign! 'By their fruits ye shall know them,' said
    OUR SAVIOUR. The stake and the fire were the fruits of this reign,
    and you will judge this Queen by nothing else.
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