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of Essex had made on the queen. “ This office I performed to his lordship," says he, “ to the grieving and bitter incensing of the contrary party against me, when, notwithstanding, I had discovered, as is aforesaid, in my reconcilement his lordship's coldnesse of affection to me, and had plainly told my lord himself mine own resolution, in which I still persisted not to follow his lordship any more to the warres ; yet, to make a full return as could for the good favour the world supposed his lordship bore me, fearing more to incurre the opinion of ingratitude than the malice of any enemies, how great soever, which the delivery of truth could procure me.”

De Vere's reward for this and other services was his appointment to the governorship of Brille. Before he had resided two months here, he planned an enterprise for the taking of Turnhoult, which completely succeeded, although the conduct of Prince Maurice prevented the forces of the States from reaping all the advantages of the movements which De Vere had suggested. In January 1598, De Vere returned to England, and presented himself at court, where he seems to have been but indifferently received. He then retired to the Hague, where he continued to reside till recalled by his royal mistress on the threat of an invasion. In 1599 we find him again in the field with Prince Maurice, and, contrary to what might have been expected from him, counselling the prince to be cautious how he attempted to carry the war into Flanders. His advices, though not wholly disregarded, were in the main overlooked; and the result was, that the archduke Albert, who commanded the Spanish forces, soon pressed upon the small army of the States, and compelled Maurice to risk a battle against great odds. De Vere's admirable dispositions, however, secured the victory for the patriots, and won for him, from all competent judges, a place in the first rank of military commanders. The defeat of the Spaniards was complete, although the whole brunt of the battle was borne by De Vere's English troops alone.

The last and most illustrious military service performed by De Vere was the defence of Ostend against the archduke Albert, who has placed it suddenly in a state of siege. The force of the besiegers exceed 13,000 men; the total force under De Vere's command did not exceed 2400; yet with this comparatively insignificant garrison, scarcely amounting to one half of the number required for manning the fortifications, did he baffle the utmost efforts of the archduke to get possession of the place. Once only did De Vere condescend to negotiation with his powerful antagonist, for the purpose of gaining time. The questionable stratagem succeeded, and the arrival of reinforcements enabled him again to hurl defiance at his proud foe, which he did in the following laconic note:

“ We have heretofore held it necessary, for certain reasons, to treat with the deputies which had authority from your higlinesse ; but whilst we were about to conclude upon the conditions and articles, there are arrived certain of our ships of warre, by whom we have received part of that which we had need of; and that we cannot, with our honour and oath, continue the treaty, nor proceed in it, which we hope that your highnesse will not take in ill part; and that, nevertheless, when your power shall reduce us to the like estate, you will not refuse, as a most generous prince, to vouchsafe us again a gentle audience. From our town of Ostend, 25th day of December, 1601.


Nothing could now exceed the indignation of the archduke, who swore a solemn oath that he would spare no living thing within the walls of the devoted town, and instantly issued orders to prepare for the assault. On the 8th of January, the assault commenced soon after midnight; but the assailants were so warmly received that, after a desperate conflict, they were compelled to retire with a loss of 2000 men. Notwithstanding this gallant and successful conduct, De Vere was shortly afterwards superseded in the command of Ostend by General Dorp. In June 1603, we find him in attendance at the court of St James's. The next year, the conclusion of peace between England and Spain compelled James to withdraw his troops from the Low countries, and led, therefore, to the dismissal of De Vere from the military employment which he held under the States.

On the 28th of August, 1608, Sir Francis died at his own house in London, in the 54th year of his age. He was interred in St John's chapel, Westminster, where a fine monument was erected to his memory by his widow, the daughter of a London citizen. He had three sons and two daughters, all of whom died before hiin. “ Sir Francis Vere,” says Sir Robert Naughton, “was of that ancient and most noble extract of the earls of Oxford; and it may be a question whether the nobility of his house, or the honour of his achievements, might most commend him; but that we have an authentic rule,

Nam genus et proavos et quæ non fecimus ipsi,

Vix ea nostra voco. For though he was an honourable slip of that ancient tree of nobility, which was no disadvantage to his virtue, yet he brought more glory to the name of Vere than he took blood from the family. He was, amongst all the queen's swordsmen, inferior unto none, but superior unto many; of whom it may be said, to speak much of him were to leave out somewhat that might add to his praise, and to forget more than would make to his honour. I find not that he came much to court, for he lived almost perpetually in the camp; but when he did, none had more of the queen's favour, and none less envied; for he seldome troubled it with the noise and alarms of supplications,—his way was another sort of undermining. They report that the queen, as she loved martial men, would court this gentleman as soon as he appeared in her presence; and surely he was a soldier of great worth and command,—thirty years in the service of the States, and twenty years over the English in chief, as the queen's general !"

De Vere was a man of letters, as well as an accomplished general, and wrote an account of the principal military transactions in which he was engaged, which was published from his MSS. by Dr William Dillingham, in 1657, under the title of “The Commentaries of Sir Francis Vere.'



Cardinal Bourchier.

DIED A. D. 1487.

Thomas Bounchier, archbishop of Canterbury in the successive reigns of Henry VI., Edward IV., Edward V., Richard III., and Henry VII., was descended from an illustrious family, being the son of William Bourchier, earl of Ewe in Normandy. He was educated at Oxford, and was chancellor of that university from 1433 to 1437. His first ecclesiastical preferment was that of dean of the collegiate church of St Martin's, London, from which, in 1433, he was advanced by Pope Eugenius IV. to the see of Worcester. Within one year of his elevation to the prelacy, the monks of Ely, on the death of their bishop, made choice of Bourchier as his successor, but the king refused his consent to the translation, and that see continued vacant for seven years, at the end of which period Bourchier succeeded in obtaining the royal consent to his removal. The author of the Historia Eliensis' accuses Bourchier of neglect of duty and oppressive conduct during the time he filled that see: nevertheless, it would appear, that the monks of Canterbury, though left entirely to their own will in the matter, unanimously elected him archbishop of Canterbury, in the room of John Kemp, in 1454. Shortly after his elevation to the primacy, he was created cardinal-priest of St Cyriacus in Thermis.

The cardinal appears to nave been a pious well-meaning man, but little qualified to head the church during so convulsed a period as that through which his primacy extended. Richard's sophistry prevailed on him to persuade the queen to place her infant son in his murderous uncle's hands, and he abandoned the child to his fate when his own credit and favour at court might have been endangered by any interference on his behalf. Yet, it was probably to the very mediocrity of his talents, and softness his character, that he was indebted for his own personal preservation during the fiercest struggles of the Yorkists and Lancastrians; he saw successive princes of both parties mount the throne, and lived to perform the ceremony which united the two sur. viving branches of these deadly foes, having officiated at the marriage of Henry VII. and Elizabeth of York. Fuller quaintly observes, “his hand first held that sweet posie wherein the white and red roses were tied together."

Bourchier was a man of considerable learning, but we possess no works of his except a few synodical decrees. The noble art of printing lies under considerable obligations to him, if we may credit Wood, whose account, however, of the matter, is not altogether accurate. He states, that “the archbishop being informed that the inventor, Tossan, alias John Guthenberg, had set up a press at Harlem, was extremely desirous that the English should be made masters of so beneficial an art. To this purpose he persuaded King Henry VI. to despatch one Robert Turnour, belonging to the wardrobe, privately to Harlem. This man, furnished with a thousand marks, of which the archbishop supplied three hundred, enbarked for Holland ; and to disguise the matter, went in company with one Caxton, a merchant of London, pretending himself to be of the same profession. Thus concealing his name and his business, he went first to Amsterdam, then to Leyden, and at last settled at Harlem ; where, having spent a great deal of time and money, he sent to the king for a fresh supply, giving lis highness to understand, that he had almost compassed the enterprise. In short, he persuaded Frederick Corselli, one of the compositors, to carry set of letters, and embark with him in the night for London. When they arrived, the archbishop, thinking Oxford a more convenient place for printing than London, sent Corselli down thither; and lest he should slip away before he had discovered the whole secret, a guard was set upon the press ; and thus the mystery of printing appeared ten years sooner in the university of Oxford than at any other place in Europe, Harlem and Mentz excepted. Not long after, there were presses set up at Westminster, St Albans, Worcester, and other monasteries of note."

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Archbishop Morton.

BORS A. D. 1410.-DIED A. D. 1500.

This eminent prelate and statesman was born at Bere in Dorset shire in the year 1410. He studied at Oxford, where he was appointed principal of Peckwater Inn, and moderator of the civil law school. After a variety of ecclesiastical preferments, he was created archdeacon of Winchester in 1474, but in the same year was collated to the archdeaconry of Chester. His eminent abilities as a civilian recommended him to the notice of Cardinal Bourchier, who introduced him to the notice of Henry VI. In 1473 he was created bishop of Ely and lord-chancellor of England by that prince. His faithful adherence to the family of Edward IV. exposed him to the dreaded displeasure of the protector, Richard, who caused him to be apprehended on a charge of treason, but through the intercession of the university of Oxford, or some other potent advocate, was afterwards persuaded to release him, and give him in ward to the duke of Buckingham. Soon after this, he escaped from the duke's castle at Brecknock, and hastened in disguise to the continent, where he attached himself to the fortunes of Henry, earl of Richmond. It is understood to have been chiefly at the instigation of this prelate that the marriage was first suggested betwixt Henry and Edward's eldest daughter, Elizabeth, by means of which a union was ultimately effected betwixt the two rival houses of York and Lancaster.

As soon as Henry VII. was seated on the throne, preferment again Aowed in upon Morton, and, on the death of Bourchier, he was elected to the primacy by the monks of Canterbury. In 1487, he was constituted lord-chancellor of England, which office he retained till his death. To the favour in which he stood with an unpopular sovereign, Morton was indebted for the dislike which the people, on more occasions than one, evinced towards him ; and it does appear that the archbishop lent himself, with others of Henry's counsellors, to the unjust schemes of that monarch for enriching his private treasury. But Morton was himself a man of constant and profuse liberality. To the university of Oxford, he was at all times a munificent patron, and he expended large sums in building and repairing various public and ecele. siastical edifices within his diocese. One of the last acts of his life was to procure the canonization of Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury. Ile died on the 15th of September, 1500, and was interred in Canterbury cathedral. His life was written by Dr John Budden, in 1607; Sir Thomas More, in his Utopia, has pronounced a high eulogium upon this prelate. His contemporaries speak of him with much respect; and we are compelled to believe, that while he necessarily shared the odium attached to all Henry the Seventh's ministers, he acted the part of a true and faithful counsellor towards his sovereign, and often gave the king an honest opinion as to the probable effect of those measures by which the people were so grievously distressed and irritated.

Bishop Alcock.

DIED A. D. 1500.

John Alcock, bishop of Ely and lord-high-chancellor of Eng. land, was born at Beverley in the east riding of Yorkshire. The date of his birth is not recorded; it was probably somewhere between 1430 and 1440. He became a great favourite with Edward IV. who first made him dean of Westminster, then bishop of Rochester, in the year 1471, and afterwards keeper of the great seal in 1473. Three years after he was translated to the bishopric of Worcester, and, in 1486, to that of Ely. In the same year he was appointed by Henry VII. lord-chancellor of England.

Bale speaks in high terms of his piety and self-mortification. By others he is commended for his learning. It is difficult, however, to judge of the amount of learning possessed by any individual in those dark and illiterate times. It is certain that most of the knowledge to be any where found, was among the clergy, and, in general, the most distinguished among them were conversant merely with school divinity and the canon and civil law. There can be no doubt, however, that our bishop was highly esteemed in his day, and that his ecclesiastical and civil honours were the reward of his talents and learning. On account of his great skill and taste in architecture, Henry VII. appointed him comptroller of the royal works and buildings. While bishop of Worcester, he held the office of president of Wales. He employed his power and riches to some useful purposes. In the town of Kingston-upon-Hull

, he built and endowed a grainmar school and a chapel in which he was buried. At the episcopal palace of Ely, he erected the spacious hall and gallery; but he was most famous as the founder of Jesus' college, Cambridge. Godwin, in his Lives of the Bishops, gives the following account of this undertaking. “It was first a monastery of nuns, dedicated to Saint Railegund, and having fallen greatly in decay, the goods and ornaments of the church wasted, the lands diminished, and the nuns themselves

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