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Sir Christopher Hatton.

DIED A. D. 1591.

This minister of Queen Elizabeth was the youngest son of William Hatton, of Holdenby, Hants. He entered at St Mary hall, Oxford, and thereafter at the Inner Temple. During his residence at the latter, he appeared at court. At a masque, where he danced in presence of Elizabeth, he attracted ber attention by his figure and performance; and from this occasion we have to date his course of political advancement, which, however, appears to have failed of putting a final termination to his exhibitions in the dance. He became a queen's pensioner, and thereafter was created successively, gentleman of the privy-chamber, captain of the guard, vice-chamberlain, and privy-councillor. We find him taking an active part, while vice-chamberlain, in the trial of Dr Williain Parry for high treason, which occurred in 1585. He was not satisfied that judgment should pass immediately on Parry's confession. “ These matters,” said he, "contained in this indictment, and confessed by this man, are of great importance; they touch the person of the queen's majesty in the highest degree, the very state and well-being of the whole commonwealth, and the truth of God's word established in her majesty's dominions; and they contain the open demonstration of that capital envy of the man of Rome, that hath set himself against God and godliness, all good princes, good governments, and good men. Wherefore, I pray you, for the satisfaction of this great multitude, let the whole truth appear, that every one may see that the matter of itself is as bad as the indictment purporteth, and as the prisoner hath confessed."! The court accordingly proceeded with the cause, and the vicechamberlain took a special part in the examination of the prisoner. This trial afforded him an opportunity of paying the following compliment to the queen :" It was a wonder to see the magnanimity of her majesty, which, after that thou hadst opened those traiterous practices in sort as thou hast laid it down in thy confession, was, nevertheless, such, and so far from all fear, as that she would not so much as acquaint any one of her highness's privy-council with it, to my knowledge; no, not until after this thy enterprise discovered and made manifest. And besides that which thou hast set down under thine own hand, thou didst confess that thou hadst prepared two Scottish daggers, fit for such a purpose ; and those being disposed away by thee, thou didst say that another would serve thy turn. And, withal, Parry, didst thou not also confess before us, how wonderfully thou wert appalled and perplexed upon a sudden, at the presence of her majesty at Hamptoncourt, this last summer, saying, that thou didst think thou then sawest in her the very likeness and image of King Henry VIII?”.

Whether Hatton's professed admiration of Elizabeth materially influenced his farther elevation may be but matter of conjecture-but, in 1587, on the death of Bromley, he was raised to the office of lord-chancellor. In his course of aggrandisement, he had been subjected, as


" 2

Criminal Trials, ( Library of Entertainıng Knowledge,) vol. i. p. 254

*Ibid. p. 268.

may well be supposed, to hostility at court. It is recorded of Leices. ter, Elizabeth's unworthy favourite, that, when Sir Christopher was ill, and the queen paid him a daily visit, the earl endeavoured to supplant the man on whom she was showering such condescending kindness, in favour of Edward Dyer, who had given offence at court. Even Hatton's appointment to the chancellorship has been represented as a scheme supported by his enemies in order to involve him in disgrace ; and it is stated, that, at first, the sergeants refused to plead at his bar. There seems reason, indeed, to suppose that he had but imperfectly studied law, and this deficiency might appear to us sufficient of itself to have disqualified him for the high and responsible office of lord-chancellor, did we not attend to a distinction between its present functions and those which, it is probable, belonged to it then. Miss Aiken remarks, 3 “ It was only since the reformation that this great office had begun to be filled by common-law lawyers : before this period it was usually exercised by some ecclesiastic who was also a civilian ; and instances were not rare of the seals having been held in commission by noblemen during considerable intervails :—facts which, in justice to Hatton and to Elizabeth, ought, on this occasion, to be kept in mind.” Indeed, the office seems anciently to have been one of equity, rather in the sense of absolute justice, than in that of right, as determined by legal rules or manifold precedents."

Prudence and good sense may go far to conquer difficulties that might seem to require far higher faculties to overcome them. Hatton took two sergeants to advise him in cases that came before him, and he gave public satisfaction as lord-chancellor, although it seems that, at first, on the queen's expressing dissatisfaction with her own nomination, he offered to resign. Another mark of royal favour for Sir Christopher is a letter to the bishop of Ely, already quoted in the · Life of Elizabeth,' in which she calls on the prelate to stand by an agreement he had made. The engagement referred to was the giving up a garden and orchard connected with Ely-house, in the neighbourhood of Holborn. On the prelate refusing, Hatton prosecuted him in chancery, gained his suit, and built on the place a magnificent house encompassed with gardens, the memorial of which many of our readers may recognise in that part of London known by the name of Hatton-Garden. That the chancellor was somewhat covetous of property belonging, or supposed to belong, to the church, seems not unlikely, from a similar incident recorded of himn by Sir John Harring

Yet he appears to have been a moderate, prudent, and sensible

He supported the church of England, and discouraged the Puritans, but was opposed to the rigid enforcement of certain statutes lately passed against the Roman Catholics. He was also a man of

ton. 5


* Court of Elizabeth, vol. ij. p. 205. • Equity, in the acceptation in which that word is used in English jurisprudence," says Sir J. Mackintosh,” ( Life of Sir T. More) “is no longer to be confounded with that moral equity which generally corrects the unjust operation

of law, and with which it seems to have been synonymous in the days of Selden and Bacon.". In conformity with this view, it may be remarked, that we do not observe legal knowledge to be represented by the duke of Norfolk, as one of More's qualifications for the office of lordchancellor, in the eloquent speech which he delivered at Sir Thomas's instalment, as given in the life of that eminent man, by More and Mackintosh.

• Brief View of the Church of England.

9 6


some literary attainments. Warton supposes him to have written part of a drama, composed by five students of the Inner Temple, entitled • Tancred and Sigismunda,' 6 of which the fourth act has this inscription at the end— Composuit Ch. Hat-and, from the circumstance that part of the queen's translation of a tragedy, preserved in MSS. in the Bodlein library, at Oxford, is in his autograph, a female biographer of Elizabeth ? infers, that he probably assisted her in her literary pursuits. He has also been supposed to be the author of 'A treatise concerning Statutes or Acts of Parliament, and the expression thereof. For two or three years before his death, he was vice-chancellor of Oxford, where he did much for the improvenient of the university. He died in 1591, after a considerably protracted illness. His death was attributed to a broken heart, occasioned by the queen's severity in demanding certain sums received by him as tithes and first-fruits, which he was unable to pay. Whether there is truth in this explanation of his death it seems impossible to ascertain with certainty ; but the queen paid him great attention in his illness, and remitted to his heir, her claims against the chancellor's estate.


Sir John Perrot.

DIED A.D. 1592.

COMMON report, as well as personal resemblance, gave Sir John Perrot, sometime deputy of Ireland, Henry VIII. for a father. Whether the popular rumour was correct or not in this instance, Sir John resembled his alleged parent in some other points besides those merely external; his temper was as haughty and violent, and his language equally coarse and abusive. The family from which he derived his name and property was settled at Haroldtone in Pembrokeshire. In 1572, Sir John greatly distinguished himself against the Munster rebels ; and, as lord-deputy of Ireland, some years after, he exhibited a policy at once humane and prudent, in checking as much as possible the tyranny which the English settlers exercised towards the natives of that country, and extending his protection to the natives. His proposal to apply the revenues of St Patrick's cathedral to the purposes of general education in Ireland raised the clergy against him, and by means of forged documents his enemies succeeded in representing him to Elizabeth as a man of deep and dangerous enterprises, who aimed at nothing less than securing the sovereignty of Ireland for himself. His own hasty and rash temper lent considerable support to their representatives; and at length in 1592, he was put upon his trial for high treason. The heads of the indictment were: his contemptuous language respecting the queen,—his secret encouragement of the Spanish invasion,—and generally his favouring of traitors. Of the first only of these charges could he be proved guilty with any show of reason and justice, but an obsequious jury found him guilty of all. On leaving the bar, he is reported to have exclaimed, “God's death! will the queen suffer her

* This drama is given in Dodsley's Old Plays, 2d edit.

'Miss Ašken, Court of Elizabeth, vol. ii. p. 28.

brother to be sacrificed to the envy of his gossiping adversaries ?" The queen seems to have felt the force of the appeal, and delayed the issuing of the warrant for his execution. But in September, 1592, this victim of malice perished in the Tower under the joint influence of a broken heart and constitution.

Sir John Hawkins.

BORN A. D. 1520.- DIED A. D. 1595.

This renowned naval commander was born at Plymouth about the year 1520. He was descended of a respectable family in Devonshire, and was the son of Captain William Hawkins. Young John was early introduced to a seafaring life, and evinced an ardent attachment to it. His youth was spent principally in voyages to Spain and Portugal and the Canary islands. These voyages were mainly devoted to commercial purposes, and designed to extend the trade of England. By the experience thereby gained, Hawkins became qualified for more enlarged plans and bolder enterprizes. Unhappily, however, these plans were not always projected with a due respect for honour and justice. In 1562, he led the way in the lucrative but infamous traffic in slaves. Having induced some English merchants to embark with him in this enterprize, he fitted out several vessels, with which he repaired to the coast of Guinea. There he contrived, partly by purchase and partly by violence, to obtain a cargo of human beings to the amount of three hundred, which he took immediately to Hispaniola and disposed of in an unlawful traffic. Success and extensive gains made him still bolder and more rapacious. In 1564, he returned to the Guinea coast with a larger force of men and shipping. Carrying on his kidnapping enterprize to greater extent, he lost some of his men, but still obtained a large number of Negroes, for which he again found a ready market, and obtained a high price. Those brutal proceedings, instead of kindling the indignation of his countrymen, rather conduced to spread abroad his fame, and to draw the admiring eyes of the world upon the bold and successful commander who had thus shown a new and speedy way to riches.' In 1567, he proceeded upon a third expedition, having under his command two of the queen's ships and four of private owners. Having obtained by purchase and violence four hundred slaves, he proceeded to Spanish America, but on his arrival at Rio de la Flacha, the governor refused to have any traffic with him. Without farther ceremony he landed and took the town, and was thereby enabled to dispose of his Negroes to the inhabitants. At this period the Spaniards were at peace with England, but disputed the right of free trade which England claimed. Hawkins, however, asserted the rights of his country with great vigour and spirit. From this port he sailed to Carthagena, and there disposed of the remainder of his slaves, but on his voyage back was overtaken by a

" It will appear in the present age a singular proof of the barbarism of those times, that even an armorial distinction should be sought for the man who brought so foui a blot on the escutcheon of his country. A crest of arms was granted him by patent, consisting of a demy-moor in his proper colour, bound with a cord-a fit and worthy symbol of the inhuman feats which had emblazoned the name of Hawkins.

storm in the bay of Mexico, and driven into the harbour of St Juan de Ulloa. He entered this harbour without soliciting permission to do so, and it was recorded at the time as an instance of generous forbearance, that he did not seize twelve rich merchantmen then in the harbour, but contented himself with taking hostages for the supply of whatever he might want. While Hawkins was refitting in this harbour, a fleet of Spaniards appeared, which was suffered to enter the harbour after a negotiation. The Spanish viceroy gave assurances of friendship to the English commander, but it was only to secure time, and make preparations for an attack. As soon as Hawkins perceived his situation he determined to fight with the greatest obstinacy. His force was greatly inferior and quite unfit to cope with the Spaniards. The result was deeply disastrous to the English squadron. Hawkins, after a terrible conflict, was obliged to seek safety by flight. With one ship and a bark he made sail, but was obliged through inadequate provision, to put half his men on shore, in a creek of the bay. He then made the best of his way for England, and after enduring great hardships reached it in January, 1568.

From this period his ardour for naval enterprizes appears to have subsided. He quietly applied himself to the service of his country in the office of treasurer of the navy, to which he was appointed in 1573. There were several younger men and officers of great merit who had been bred under himself, and among these, none more justly renowned than his kinsman Drake. Soon after this appointment, he was very near losing his life through being mistaken by an assassin for the vice-chamberlain Hatton. For some years Hawkins continued to advise and direct the naval enterprizes, though he took no direct part in their execution; but in 1588, when the naval power of Spain was brought against England in the formidable and splendid armada, Hawkins of course, as an experienced and brave commander, was called forth to action. He had the commission of rear-admiral on that memorable occasion, and commanded the Victory. He subsequently received the honour of knighthood and the flattering commendations of the queen for his conduct on that emergency. In 1590, two squadrons of ships were sent out to infest the Spanish coast, and interrupt their feet which was expected with treasure from the new world. One of these squad. rons was put under his command; the other under Sir Martin Frobisher. This cruize however failed in its main objects, though it greatly dis. tressed Spain, and contributed to the maintenance of our naval su. periority. Hawkin's last enterprize was in conjunction with Drake against the West Indies. The commanders quarrelled, the enterprize failed, and Hawkins falling ill through vexation, and probably through the wound his pride had received in being obliged to submit to Drake, died before any thing had been effected, on the 21st of November, 1595. He had been twice returned member of parliament for his native place, Plymouth. He founded an hospital at Chatham, for poor and infirm and sick sailors. He was admitted to be an able and judicious officer; and though his fame is sullied by the part he took in establishing the slave-trade, yet he contributed greatly to establish the maritime reputation of his country. He was highly esteemed for his thorough knowledge of every branch of naval affairs. His courage was rather cool than enterprising, rather firm than bold. His manners were rude and harsh, and he was more beloved by his men than by his officers. In

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