« PreviousContinue »
But the rival families were not in this way to be reconciled. The Seymours stood aloof, and the King was persuaded to proceed to extremities with the Howards.
The greatest blame has been thrown on the Duchess of Richmond for having borne testimony against her brother the Earl of Surrey; but perhaps her conduct does not deserve all the odium that has been attached to it. That there was much family disunion is apparent. The father and son are themselves said to have been on bad terms shortly before their disgrace. Both the son and the daughter quarrelled with their mother, who complained that “never woman had born so ungracious an eldest son, and so ungracious a daughter and unnatural, as she had done.” The Duchess of Richmond countenanced and associated with Mrs. Holland, who had supplanted the Duchess of Norfolk in the affections of her lord. All this was bad enough. Moreover, it appears from Mrs. Holland's confession that the Duchess of Richmond “ loved not ” the Earl of Surrey :7 yet this does not bear out Lord Herbert’s assertion that she had “grown an extreme enemy of her brother.” That historian saw and made his use of the depositions alleged against the Duke of Norfolk and Earl of Surrey, but it is to be regretted that we have not now access to the originals: for, as he was so entirely mistaken with respect to the Duchess of Norfolk,8 it might also appear that he viewed the conduct of
the Duchess of Richmond in an erroneous light. At any event, why should it be supposed” that she came forward as “ the unsolicited accuser of her Father and her Brother?” The very contrary was probably the fact, for the state inquiries of former times frequently compelled very unwilling testimony. In fact, the manner in which she was surprised into these disclosures has been revealed by a very interesting state paper, published more recently 'than the works of the writers whose sentiments are here referred to. By this document it is shown that, when the Duke of Norfolk and Earl of Surrey were arrested, the Duchess of Richmond was at her usual residence, her father's mansion of Keninghall near Thetford, whither three Commissioners, Sir John Gate, Sir Richard Southwell, and Sir Wymound Carew, were dispatched in all haste, in order to anticipate the arrival of the news by any friendly messenger. Their report to the King, which is as follows, not only gives altogether a graphic picture of this startling catastrophe in a great household, but shows how overcome with alarm and doubt the Duchess herself was, and how in her natural anxiety to defend her father (for she has been gratuitously charged with “accusing ” him) she was entrapped perhaps into making further admissions respecting her brother than she might otherwise have done. , “Pleas it your most Roiall Majestie to be advertised, that, receiving our depeche
* “Mrs. Holland confessed that the Earl of Surrey loved her (Mrs. Holland) not, nor the Duchess of Richmond him, and that she addicted herself much to the said Duchess.” Dr. Nott's version of this is—“the Duchess of Richmond, for what reason is not known, cherished a violent hatred against her brother.” (p. xcvi.)
* See March, p. 265.
* “The next person that deposed was the Duchess of Richmond. She exhibited
the afflicting spectacle of a young and beautiful woman presenting herself–oh! how it adds to the natural deformity of perfidy and unkindness to come thus accompanied 1– as the unsolicited accuser of her father and her brother, knowing that her accusation went to take away their lives, and not only to destroy the credit, but to endanger the very existence, of her family. Yet all her depositions went no farther than to say,” &c. Ibid. p. xcix. . If no farther,” where was the imputed malice : The deposition itself is now before the reader, who must determine whether it justifies the preceding remarks, or, the description of it given by Mr. Lodge in his Holbein Heads as “a body of evidence so keenly pointed, and so full of secrets, which from their nature must have been voluntarily disclosed by her, that we cannot but suspect her conduct of a degree of rancour unpardonable in any case, and in this unnatural.”
s :* Papers, temp. Henry VIII. (published by the Record Commission) vol. i. p.
from your Honorable Counsaill, upon Sondaie at night last, betwixt three and foure of the clocke in th'afternoone, wee arived at your Highnes' towne of Thetforde, seven miles from Kennynghall, the Mondaie at night following, and were at the Duke of Norfolk his howse this Tuesdaie, the fourteneth of this instant, by the breke of the daie, soo that the furst newes of the Duke of Norfolk and his soon” cam thether by us. And for a begynnyng, findeng the stuarde absent in service, taking musters, wee called the Duke his almoner, a man in whom he reposed a great trust, for th'ordre of his housholde, and expences of the same, to whom, aftre ordre furst taken with the gates and back doores, we dyd declare our desire to speake with the Duchesse of Richmond and Elizabeth Holland, bothe whiche wee founde at that tyme newlie risen, and not redie. Neverthelesse, haveng knowleadge that wee wolde speake with them, they cam unto us, without delaie, into the dyneng chamber, and soo wee imparted unto them the case and condicion wherin the said Duke and his soon, without your great mercy, dyd stonde. Wherwith, as wee founde the Duchesse a woman sore perplexed, trimbleng, and like to fall downe, soo, commyng to herself agayne, shee was not, wee assure your Majestie, forgetfull of her dewtie, and dyd most humblie and reverentiie, upon her knees, humble herself in all to your Highnes; saieng that althoughe nature constrained her soore to looue her father, whom she hathe ever thought to be a trewe and faithfull subject, and alsoo to desire the well doeng of his soon, her naturall brother, whom she noteth to be a rasshe man, yeat, for her part, she wolde, nor will, hide or conceill any thing from your Majesties knowledge, speciallie if it be of weight, or otherwise as it shall fall in her remembraunce; which she hathe promised, for the better declaration of her integrity, to exhibite in writeing unto your Highnes, and your Honorable Counsaill. And perceiving her humble conformity, we dyd comfort her in your great mercy; wherof, useng a trothe and franknesse in all thinges, wee advised her not to despaire. Herupon wee desired the sight of her chambers and coofers, of which presentlie she delivered us the keys, and assigned her woman to shewe us not onlie her chamber, but soo her coofers and closett, where hetherto wee have founde noo writinges worthie sending. Her coofers and chambers soo bare, as your Majestie wolde hardlie think. Her juelles, suche as she hadde, solde, or lende to gage, to paie her
debtes, as she, her maydens, and the almoner doo saie. We will neverthelesse, for our dutie, make a further and more earnest serche. “Thus, Sir, aftre a noote taken of her chamber, and all her thinges, wee serched the said Elizabeth Holland, where wee have founde gerdelles, beades, buttons of golde, pearle, and ringes, sett with stones of diverse sortes, wherof, with all other thinges, wee make a booke to be sent unto your Highnes. “And as we have begonne here, at this hedde howse, where, at our present arrivall, weedyd take certeyne ordre for the suertie and staie of all thinges, soo have wee presentlie and at one instant, sent of our most discreat and trustie servauntes unto all other his howses in Norfolk and Suffolk, to staie that nothing shalbe embeaseled, untill wee shall have tyme to see them; emonge which wee doo not omytte Elizabeth Holland her howse, newlie made in Suffolk, which is thought to be well furnished with stuff, wherof your Highnes shall alsoo be advertised, as we shall finde it. The almoner chardgeth himself with all, or the more part, of the Duke his plate, redye to be delivered into our handes. Money of the said Duke he hath mone, but supposeth that the stuarde, upon this last accompt, hathe suche as dothe remayne; wherof, by our next letters, your saide Majestie shalbe asserteyned, and semblablie of the said Dukc his juells, founde here or elswhere, and of the clere yerelie valewe of his possessions, and all other his yerelie revenues. And forasmoche as the said Duke, and his soon, the Duchesse of Richmond, and Eliabeth Holland, be absent, soo as neither ladies nor gentlewomen remayne here, other then thBrle of Surrey his wief and children, with certen wounen in the norsery attending upon them, wee most humblie beseche your Majestie to signifie unto us, whether you will have thole householde continewe, or in parte to be desolved; reserving suche as unto your Highness shall seem meat, t'attend upon the said Earle his wief, lookeng her tyme to lye inne at this next Candlemasse; beseching your Highnes to signify unto us, where, and in what place, your pleasour is to bestowe her for the tyme; and alsoo whom it pleaseth your Grace to appoint for the defraeing of the chardge of the householde, if the same have contynuance; and whether, aftre receipt of the Duke his plate and juelles, we shall sende them, or staie them there, and in whose chardge they shall remayne in. All the said Duke his writenges and
* The Duke of Norfolk was arrested on the 12th of December 1546,
bookes wee have taken into our chardge,
“Signed, Rich. South wrill. “Signed, WYMoUNDE CAREw. “Superscribed, “To the Kinges most excellent Ma. jestie in hast, hast, post, hast, for thy lif.”
The substance of the Duchess of Richmond's deposition, as given by Lord Herbert, was as follows:
“Mary, Duchess of Richard, being examined, confessed that the Duke, her father, would have had her marry Sir Thomas Seymour, brother to the Earl of Hertford, which her brother also desired, wishing her withal to endear herself so into the King's favour, as she might the better rule here [him *) as others had done, and that she refused; and that her father would have had the Earl of Surrey to have matched with the Earl of Hertford's daughter,” which her brother likewise heard of, (and that this was the cause of his father's displeasure,) as taking Hertford to be his enemy. And that her brother was so much incensed against the said Earl, as the Duke his father said thereupon, “His son would lose as much as he had gathered together.' Moreover, that the Earl her brother should say, ‘These new men loved no nobility; and if God called away the King, they should
“Signed, John GATE. smart for it.' And that her brother hated
* This is not inserted in the State Papers.
4 The word “here" is a misprint for “him,” and the allusion is explained by the following extract. Some one, it appears, had been so wicked as to suggest that the Earl of Surrey recommended his sister to become the mistress of her royal father-inlaw, a course which, whatever latitude of sin the reader may be disposed to attribute to the shameless monarch, no one will be ready to admit could be shared by the gallant Surrey, nor (it may be hoped) will be ready to ascribe to the Duchess of Richmond, at this time resident in great retirement in the country. The passage is from a series of queries drawn by the Lord Chancellor Wriothesley, and interlined (as shown in Italic) by the tremulous hand of the King himself. “If a man cumpassing with hymselfe to gorerne the realme, do actually go abourght to rule the Kinge, and shuld, for that purpose, advise his doughter, or suster, to becom his harlot, thynkyng therly to bryny it to passe, and soo wolde rule bothe fader and soon, as by thys newte artycle doth appere; whatt thys importyth "
This passage in particular is especially open to suspicion of inaccuracy. The Earl of Surrey had been married to Lady Frances Vere so long before as the year 1532, and she survived him to the year 1577. In 1532 the Seymours were nobodies, for the Lady Jane did not attract the King's notice until 1536. It was between Surrey's children and those of the Earl of Hertford that the alliance was to have been formed, as is shown by the Duke of Norfolk's own statement already given. So Mr. Lodge, in his memoir of the Earl of Surrey, in Chamberlain's Holbein Heads, was misled by Lord Herbert, where he mentioned “the resentment of the Earl of Hertford, whose daughter Surrey had refused to marry;” an assertion which he subsequently omitted in his “Illustrious Portraits,” where the causes of the Earl of Surrey's ruin are thus stated, probably with much greater approach to the truth. “Surrey, irritated to the utmost by the revocation of his command in France, had indulged in bitter and contemptuous remarks and sarcasms on Hertford, to whose influence he ascribed it, and had even menaced him with revenge under a new reign, a threat most offensive to lichry, whose health was then daily declining ; and Hert. ford is supposed to have heard and repeated those speeches to the King,”
them all since his being in custody in Windsor Castle; but that her father seemed not to care for their ill-will, saying, ‘His truth should bear him out.” Concerning arms, she said, that she thought that her brother had more than seven rolls; and that some that he had added more [? were] of Anjou and of Lancelot du Lac. And that her father, since the attainder of the Duke of Buckingham (who bare the King's arms), where the arms of her mother (daughter to the said Duke), were rayned in his coat, had but a blank quarter in the place, but that her brother had reassumed them. Also, that instead of the Duke's coronet was put to his arms a cap of maintenance purple, with powdred fur, and with a crown, to her judgment, much like to a close crown; and underneath the arms was a cipher, which she took to be the King's cipher, H. R. As also, that her father never said that the King hated him, but his councillers; but that her brother said, the King was displeased with him (as he thought) for the loss of the great journey; which displeasure, he conceived, was set forward by them who hated him, for setting up an altar in the church at Boulogne. And that her brother should say, “God long save my father's life; for, if he were dead, they would shortly have my head.’ And that he reviled some of the present council, not forgetting the old cardinal. Also, that he dissuaded her from going too far in reading the Scripture. Some passionate words of her brother she likewise repeated ; as also some circumstantial speeches, little for his advantage, yet so as they seemed much to clear her father.”
It is obvious that the Earl of Surrey and his sister differed in religious opinions. The Earl had recently set up a new altar at Boulogne, whilst she was a patroness of Foxe the martyrologist. The Duke of Norfolk when in prison, with an apparent inconsistency characteristic of a period of unsettled opinions, requested permission to hear mass and to “receive his Maker,” and at the same time to purchase for his reading a copy of Sabellicus, “who doth declare, most of any book that I have read, how the Bishop
of Rome from time to time hath usurped his power against all Princes, by their unwise sufferance.” The Earl of Surrey's children were taken from their mother, and committed to the care of their aunt the Duchess of Richmond, and she immediately engaged John Foxe as their preceptor, “in which charge,” we are told, “he deceived not the expectation the Duchess, a woman of great wisdom, had of him.”" And it is worthy of remark that both the Earl's sons remained Protestants: Thomas fourth Duke of Norfolk, at his execution in 1572, offered the most decided avowal of Protestantism; and Henry Earl of Northampton (though a man whose moral and religious character is enveloped with dark suspicions,) died Chancellor of the university of Cambridge. The Duchess of Richmond's house is thus mentioned as the place of education of her nephew Thomas Duke of Norfolk, in a MS. “Life of that renowned Confessor Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel.” “His father, T. D. of N. was a prince of a very moderate disposition and moral good life, though not a little tinctured with heresy, by reason of his education in his aunt’s the Duchess of Richmond's house, which was a receptacle and harbour of pernicious persons tainted in that kind, and in particular of the infamous apostate John Bale, and also of John Foxe, the author of that pestilent book, the Acts and Monuments.’’s It is further stated that the Duchess's household was usually kept at the castle of Ryegate, which was one of the Duke of Norfolk's manors, and that Foxe was the first of the reformed faith who “preached the Gospel” in the town.” Whatever may have been the feelings of the Duchess of Richmond to. wards her brother, it will be observed that from the first she rather sought to exculpate her father, and he appears to have always retained a kindly feeling
7 “I have not been popishly inclined ever since I had any taste for religion, but was always averse to the popish doctrine, and embraced the true religion of Jesus Christ, and put my whole trust in the blood of Christ, my blessed Redeemer and Saviour.”
* Tierney's History of Arundel. * Life of Foxe.
towards her. In his will he thus acknowledges her exertions to obtain his release from confinement, and in the education of his grandchildren :
“Unto my daughter the Lady Mary Duchess of Richmond the sum of 500l., as well in consideration that she is my daughter, as that she hath been at great costs and charges in making suit for my delivery out of imprisonment, and in bringing up my said son of Surrey's children.”
This will was dated on the 18th July 1554. The Duchess of Richmond had about two years before received from the Crown an equally honourable acknowledgement of her care :
“Edward the Sixth, &c. To all men to whom these presents shall come greeting. Whereas our right dear and right entirely beloved cousin the Duchess of Richmond hath now of a good time, as we are credibly informed, been charged with the finding two sons and three daughters of the Earl of Surrey, attainted of treason; Know you, that we, minding both to ease our said cousin of those charges, and nevertheless to have the said children well brought up, and knowing no better place for their virtuous education than with our said cousin, have of our grace especial and mere motion given and granted unto her for the finding of the said children an annuity or yearly pension of one hundred pounds of lawful money of England. &c. &c. With one half-yearly payment in retrospect. Writ of Privy Seal, 4 July 6 Edw. VI.”2 On the whole it would appear that, whereas the Duchess of Richmond has been hitherto chiefly named as having officiously borne testimony against her brother and her father, she rather deserves to be remembered for her dutiful exertions to obtain her father's release, and for her vigilant care over her brother's children, for whose sake she was contented to remain unmarried, though still a young woman, at the same time that their mother, the Countess of Surrey, accepted a second husband. The Duchess of Richmond died on the 9th of Dec. 1557;” but the place of her burial is not recorded. A portrait drawn by Holbein of “The Lady of Richmond,” remains
in the Royal Collection, and is engraved by Bartolozzi in the volume published in 1795 by Chamberlain. In the accompanying biographical notice by the late Mr. Lodge it is remarked that “the style of The Lady, which was no uncommon designation of a Princess at that time, was undoubtedly meant to denote her husband's indirect relation to royalty.” The circumstance of her remaining a widow was perhaps connected in some degree with her holding that position. No other letter of the Duchess of Richmond has been found but that already introduced ; the last few lines of which are engraved in fac-simile in Nott's Life of Surrey, vol. i. p. 167, ańd another portion of the same in the 17th plate of my engraved “Autographs of Remarkable Personages,”4to. 1829. A manuscript volume of poetry, chiefly by Sir Thomas Wyatt, in the library of the Duke of Devonshire, is supposed by Dr. Nott to have belonged to the Duchess of Richmond. At p. 143 is written “Madame Margaret et Madame de Richemont.” Dr. Nott imagined that several pieces in the volume were written by her hand."
Remainders of the Peerages granted to the Protector Somerset.
SINCE the memoir of Anne Duchess of Somerset in the last Magazine was printed, I have consulted the Patent Rolls in order to ascertain the precise terms of the remainders of the Peerages granted to Sir Edward Seymour, afterwards the Protector Somerset. As they are especially remarkable, and have not hitherto been correctly stated, I take this opportunity to make them known.
He was created Viscount Beauchamp on the 5th June, 1536, with remainder to the heirs male of his body thereafter to be begotten.
“Prefato Edwardo et heredibus masculis de corpore suo imposterum et deinceps legittime procreandis.” (Rot. Pat. 28 Hen. VIII. p. 3.)
This shows that the note of Sir
* Nott, p. cxii. from MS. archives at Norfolk House.
* Recital of a grant to Lord North, in the Patent Rolls, Nott, Appx. p. xeviii.
* Preface to Works of Wyatt, p. ix.