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day with a band of two hundred gentlemen. A report was spread in the city of a design by Cobham and Raleigh against the life of Essex, who was to throw himself, in his attempt, on the support of the citizens of London, and if he succeeded in securing their assistance, was to use it for gaining access to the queen. In the morning of next day, which was Sunday, the 8th of February, the lord-keeper and two other crown-officers demanded entrance into Essex-house in the queen's name, and on entering by the wicket, saw the earl, with some of his friends, standing in the midst of a multitude of people. The lordkeeper conversed with him respecting these hostile appearances. Essex represented himself as injured by perfidy. During the conference, there was a tumult among the people, whom the lord-keeper, putting on his hat, commanded to lay down their arms and leave the place. On this, a cry of violence was raised, and Essex, remarking that he had to go to the city, but should soon return, drew his sword, and rushed out of his house accompanied by about two hundred men, having previously directed his visitors to be detained. Forthwith he proceeded through the city, where he shouted, “ For the queen, for the queen,-a plot is laid for my life!" Still a popular favourite, he was greeted with benedictions on his way. But from ignorance of his meaning, or indisposition to join so hazardous a cause, the citizens made no powerful movement on his side. The court-party, however, took measures of defence., Lord Burleigh made his appearance, accompanied by a few horsemen. The palace was fortified, and troops were placed at Ludgate. On these, Sir Christopher Blount made an attack, and killed an officer ; but he himself was wounded and taken prisoner, and a young man of the same party was killed. After this skirmish, Essex, who had himself been shot through the hat, proceeded to Queenhithe, and thence to Essex-house, from which he found the prisoners he had left behind him gone. He fortified the house. It was soon surrounded by the queen's troops, commanded by the lord-admiral and others. Sir Robert Sidney called for a surrender, to which the earl at last consented. Next day he was taken to the Tower; and on the 19th he was brought to trial in Westminster-hall, along with his comrade, the earl of Southampton. When called upon to lift up his hand, Essex remarked, “ that he had, before that time, done it often at her majesty's command, for a better purpose." On the indictment being read, he pleaded not guilty. Sir Edward Coke, as attorney-general, delivered an oration against him, in which he methodically considers, first, the quality of the rebellion,-secondly, the manner of it,--thirdly, the persons who engaged in it,—and fourthly, the person against whom it was committed, ending in these insolent terms,—“ The ear) would call a parliament, and himself decide all matters which did not make for his purpose. A bloody parliament would that have been, where my lord of Essex, that now stands all in black, would have worn a bloody robe ! But
now, in God's just judgment, he of his earldom shall be Robert the Last, that of a kingdom thought to be Robert the First.”
In prison, the earl was wrought upon by a divine chosen by himself, but employed, it has been supposed, by government, to serve their own purposes. Essex, under this influence, is said to have made a full disclosure, confessing what had been proved against him on the trial, and mentioning certain persons confederate with him in the scheme. He also asked forgiveness of those whom he had represented as his enemies. In regard to his confession, however, it has been remarked, and it may be proper to repeat, that we only know what was made known respecting it by the queen and council. It seems also to be uncertain whether or not he requested to be executed privately. Doubt has even been thrown of late on the long familiar record of Elizabeth's vacillating conduct in regard to the signing of the warrant for his death. For this fact, however, there is surely strong evidence in the statement of Camden and the character of the queen-how doubtful soever the story of Lady Southampton and the ring, as noticed in our life of Elizabeth, may be. At length, however, his doom was sealed, and on the 25th of February, 1601, he was brought to a scaffold erected within the Tower. The execution was private, but there were a few spectators. One of these was Sir Walter Raleigh, but this is a matter of which different accounts are given. On the scaffold, Essex was attended by Dr Barlow. He de. nied having meant any violence to the person of the queen, but confessed that he was a most wretched sinner, and that his sins were more in number than the hairs of his head. As he laid down his neck on the block, he commended his soul to Jesus Christ, and after a delay, in the course of which he said, “ O strike I strike !" three blows from the executioner severed his head from his body.
Thus died, in the 34th year of his age, the gallant earl of Essex. Rash and imprudent he unquestionably was, nor can he be said to have always acted a brilliant part in the enterprises, or an honourable one amidst the rivalries, of his short but active and eventful life. “Give nie the man,” says a well-known Roman poet, “ who can be praised independently of death,”" and that the favourable interest felt in the life of Essex is, in a great degree, derived from the touching circumstances in which he closed it, it may be impossible to deny. Yet the gallantry of bis nature, the beauty of his writings, and, it may be, the very fash and outbreak of his fiery mind,' still invest him with a certain moral radiance, which, false and unwarranted as perhaps in a great degree it is, may yet go far to explain the popularity which crowned him in his life-time.
Clifford, Earl of Cumberland
BORX A. D. 1568.-DIED A. D. 1603.
George CLIFFORD, distinguished as a man of naval enterprise, was
• Criminal Trials, ( Library of Entertaining Knowledge,) vol. i. p. 369, 370. 10 That Raleigh, however, in the closing days of Essex, was warmly opposed to him, seems evident from a letier of the former to Sir Robert Cecil, printed in Murdon's State Papers, and republished in Dr Campbell's Lives of the British Admirals, Memoir of Sir W. Raleigh. Let the queen hold Bothwell,” says Sir Walier, " while she hath him. He will ever be the canker of her estate and safety. Princes are lost by secure ily, and preserved by prevention. I have seen the last of her good days, and all ours, after his liberty.” Dr Campbell considers the reference here to Bothwell as an allusion to the character and conduci of Stuart, earl of Both well, which the Doctor compares with those of Essex, remarking, that“ there is nothing more shrewd and sensible in the letter than the giving Essex the name."
“ Hunc volo laudari qui sine morte potest.”—Martial.
the son of the second, and grandson of the first, Clifford, earl of Cumberland, the latter of whom, son of Lord Clifford, (who, disguised in his youth as a Westmoreland shepherd, on the accession of Henry VII., assumed the hereditary title,) was advanced to the earldom by Henry VIII. George Clifford was born in 1568, in the county of Westmoreland, and, by direction of Queen Elizabeth, whose ward he became by his father's death, proceeded to Cambridge, and studied under Dr Whitgift
. At the university his mind was especially bent on mathematics—to which circumstance, it is little to be wondered at that his future nautical distinction should have been in some degree attributed. So early as 1586, he fitted out a few ships, wbich, proceeding to the coast of America, made inroads on the trade of Portugal. In 1588, he commanded a ship against the Spanish armada, and took a distinguished part in an action fought on that memorable occasion, off the town of Calais. The defeat of this formidable attempt at the invasion of England, was followed by hostile expeditions undertaken by English subjects, though occasionally, at least, encouraged and assisted by the queen, against the Spanish power. Sir Francis Drake, after conducting one of the most considerable of these, which proved a disastrous enterprise, was met on his way home by the earl of Cumberland, who had equipped a fleet of seven vessels, six of which were prepared at his own expense, the other being lent him by the queen. The earl was enabled, by granting a seasonable supply of provisions, to avert the death of many of Drake's crew, and proceeding onward to the Terceiras, seized some prizes, one of which, estimated at £100,000, was lost in the return on the coast of Cornwall. Cumberland engaged in several other expeditions of the kind, but after a few voyages, always declined Elizabeth's proposals to lend him vessels of her own, because, it is alleged, of her imposing it as an express condition, that he should never lay any of her vessels on board a Spanish ship, the idea of which seems to have been associated in her mind with suspicions of fire anu devastation. In one of these enterprises, undertaken in 1598, with a squadron of eleven ships, fitted out at his own expense, he sought to intercept a Lisbon feet in its passage to India. Failing in this object, he proceeded to the Canaries, plundered the island of Lancerota, and went onwards to America. Landing at Puerto Rico, he took the capital, for which he refused a ransom offered by the inhabitants. His object, it seems, was to make this his head-quarters, from which he might engage in cruising on the Spanish coasts. But disease spreading among his men, he returned home. Indeed, although the earl, in his maritime career, was occasionally fortunate, yet, on the whole, he did greatly less to aggrandize his fortune than to manifest his zeal.
But Cumberland was not merely a maritime adventurer, and, if his distinction chiefly rests on his foreign enterprise, his character would be very incompletely drawn, did we not advert to his eminence at court. He was one of the knights-tilters who graced that splendid scene, and proved eminently successful in the chivalrous amusements of the time. At these he wore, set with diamonds, on his high-crowned beaver, a glove, which her Majesty, by design or by accident, had dropped, and, on his taking it up, desired him to retain. On the retirement of Sir Henry Lee from the situation of queen's champion, the earl succeded him. The ceremonies of his installation were characteristic of the time. After the knights-tilters had performed in courtly exercises, Sir Henry and his intended successor proceeded to the bottom of the gallery, where the queen and her retinue were seated, advancing to the sound of music, which was accompanied by a ditty in which a performer behind the scenes made mention of the old age and proposed retirement of the venerable champion. During this part of the ceremonial, there appeared a pavilion in imitation of a vestal temple, in front of which stood an ornamented pillar, having a tablet attached to it, with the name of Elizabeth inscribed. The tablet was presented to the queen, as were also certain rich presents which had been laid on an altar within the pavilion. At the bottom of the pillar, the aged champion, now disarmed, offered to his royal mistress the accoutrements of his office, and then, on his knees, presented to her the earl of Cumberland, whom he prayed her to accept of as her knight. The queen assented—on which Sir Henry armed and mounted the earl, and invested his own person with a peaceful garb. Cumberland received another honour from Elizabeth when, in 1591 or 1592, she presented him with the order of the Garter, “which," says a biographer of the British admirals,' “in her reign, was never bestowed till it had been deserved by signal services to the public.” She seems also to have sought, by his instrumentality, to control the spirit of the earl of Essex, and, at the condemnation of that ill-fated favourite by the privy council, in 1600, Cumberland endeavoured to mitigate the sentence, to which, however, he assented, in expectation, he alleged, of Essex receiving mercy from the queen. He was in great favour with Elizabeth's successor, James VI., but died early in his reign. That event happened on the 30th of October, 1605. The earl's remains were conveyed from the Savoy, London, to Skipton in Yorkshire, and there interred. Before his death he had squandered his fortune; nor, high as he may rank as a man of talent, science, enterprise, and chivalry, is his memory as a husband free from the charge of cruelty. From his lady, a daughter of the earl of Bedford, he was separated, and for her future comfort he failed of making adequate provision. He was the last male beir of his family, but his only daughter Anne deserves a particular notice.
This lady was born in 1589, at Skipton castle, and married, first to Lord Buckhurst, of whom she wrote a memorial, and afterwards to the earl of Pembroke." She erected a monument to the memory of the poet Daniel, who had been her instructor, and raised a similar memorial over the honoured grave of Spenser. Nor must we here omit her famous answer to Sir Joseph Williamson, the secretary of state, who had proposed a member for the countess's burgh of Appleby :—“I have been bullied by an usurper,—I have been neglected by a court, — but I will not be dictated to by a subject,—your man sha'nt stand.” Two hospitals and seven churches were either built or repaired by this high-spirited female in whose character, it may be natural to recognise, acting in a different direction, and pervaded, perhaps, by nobler prin. ciples, the ardour and activity of mind which prompted her father's course of adventurous and persevering enterprise.
i Dr J. Campbell.
Here, Earl of Oxford.
BORN CIRC. A. D. 1540.-DIED A. D. 1604.
EDWARD Vere, seventeenth earl of Oxford, was born in the year 1540 or 1541. His character presents an extraordinary union of the rudeness and impetuosity of a feudal baron with the mental accomplishments and personal graces of the scholar and travelled nobleman. Having spent some years of his early life in foreign travel, he is said to have imported not a few of the refinements and fopperies of other countries into England. In particular, he is said to have been the first who introduced the use of embroidered gloves and perfumery; he aped Italian dresses, and was called the mirror of Tuscanismo;' yet he was not a mere petit-maitre, but held an honourable place among the chivalrous and fiery spirits of his age. In the manly exercises of the tilt and tournament he had few superiors; and on one occasion he acquitted himself so gallantly in the jousts, that the fair umpires led him, all armed as he was, into the presence-chamber, to receive the prize from her majesty's hand. Soon after enjoying this distinguished honour, he incurred a disgrace equally marked and public, being committed to the Tower for dishonourable conduct towards one of the queen's maids of honour. On other occasions, his fierce and lawless spirit burst forth with an impetuosity which defied all checks but those of absolute coercion and physical restraint. Having been wounded by Sir Thomas Knevet in a duel, which he had himself provoked, he sought to take open and fatal revenge upon his antagonist, and was only prevented carrying his bloody design into execution by the interference of the queen, who also allowed Sir Thomas to keep a guard around his own person. He also publicly insulted the amiable Sir Philip Sidney in the tennis-court of the palace, and the queen could discover no other means of preventing fatal consequences than by entreating Sir Philip to make an apology to the overbearing nobleman, which Sir Philip did in compliance with her majesty's wishes, although he instantly retired from court in disgust. In 1586, the earl sat as great chamberlain of England on the trial of Mary, queen of Scots ; and, in 1588, we find him fitting out ships at his own expense against the armada. Thomas, duke of Norfolk, was the nephew of this nobleman, and on Burleigh refusing to intercede for the duke, Oxford got so incensed, that “in most absurd and unjust revenge,” he forsook his own wife's bed, and sold or dissipated the greater part of that vast inheritance which had been bequeathed to him by his ancestors.
He died in the early part of the reign of James I.
This nobleman enjoyed in his own times a considerable poetical reputation. Among his eulogists, are his contemporaries Lilly, Munday, and Spenser. His once celebrated comedies have perished, but some of his sonnets, which are preserved in the · Paradise of Dainty Devices,' are not the worst in that curious collection. His lady was also a poetess. Some of her pieces are to be found in a collection of odes and sonnets, entitled • Diana,' published by one John Southern.