Queen Elizabeth I biography



AFTER all the stormie, tempestuous and blustering windie weather of Queene Marie was overblowne, the darksome clouds of discomfort dispersed, the palpable fogs and mists of most intollerable miserie consumed, and the dashing showers of persecution overpast, it pleased God to send England a calm and quiet season, a cleare and lovelie sunshine, and a world of blessings by good Queene Elizabeth, into whose gracious reign we are now to make an happie entrance as followeth.

On her entering the citie of London she was received of the people with prayers, wishes, welcomings, cries and tender words, all which argued a wonderfull earnest love of most obedient subjects towards their sovereign. And on the other side, her grace, by holding up her hands and merrie countenance to such as stood farre off, and most tender and gentle language to those that stood nigh unto her grace, did declare herselfe no lesse thankfullie to receive her people's good will than they lovinglie offered it to her.

And it was not onelie to those her subjects who were of noble birth that she showed herself thus verie gracious, but also to the poorer sort. How manie nosegaies did her grace receive at poore women's hands? How oftentimes staid she her chariot when she saw anie simple bodie offer to speake to her grace? Especiallie is it to be remembered how a branch of rosemarie given her grace with a supplication about Fleetbridge was seene in her chariot till her grace came to Westminister not without the marvellous wondering of such as knew the presenter, and noted the queene's most gracious receiving and keeping the same. Therefore may the poore and needie looke for great hope at her grace's hand, who hathshown so loving a carefulnesse for them.

Moreover, because princes be set in their seat by God's appointing, and they must therefore first and chieflie tender the glorie of Him from whom their glorie issueth; it is to be noted in her grace that for so much as God hath so wonderfullie placed her in the seat of government of this realme, she in all her doings doth show herselfe most mindful of His goodness and mercie shewed unto her.

And one most notable signe thereof her grace gave at the verie time of her passage through London, for in the Tower, before ever she entered her chariot, she lifted up her eies to Heaven and saith as followeth.

'O Lord Almightie and everlasting God, I give Thee most heartie thanks that Thou hast beene so mercifull unto me as to spare me to behold this joyfull daie. And I acknowledge that Thou hast dealt as wonderfullie and as mercifullie with me as Thou diddest with Thy true and faithful servant Daniell Thy prophet, whom Thou delivredst out of the den from the crueltie of the greedie and raging lions; even so was I overwhelmed, and onelie by Thee delivered. To Thee, therefore, onelie be thankes, honor and praise, for ever. Amen.'

ON Sundaie, the five and twentieth daie of Januarie, her majestie was with great sollemnitie crowned at Westminster, in the Abbey church there, by doctor Oglethorpe, bishop of Carlisle. She dined in Westminster hall which was richlie hung, and everything ordered in such royall manner as to such a regall and most solemn feast appertained. In the meanetime, whilst her grace sat at dinner, Sir Edward Dimmocke, knight, her champion by office, came riding into the hall in faire complete armour, mounted upon a beautiful courser, richlie trapped in cloth of gold, and in the midst of the hall cast down his gauntlet, with offer to fight in her quarell with anie man that should denie her to be the righteous and lawfull queene of this realme. The queene, taking a cup of gold full of wine, dranke to him thereof, and sent it to him for his fee. Finallie, this feast being celebrated with all due and fitting royal ceremonies, tooke end with great joy and contentation to all the beholders.

Yet, though there was thus an end of the ceremonies befitting the queene's coronation, her majesty was everywhere received with brave shows and with pageants, all for the love and respect that her subjects bare her. Thus on Whitsundaie, in the first year of her reign, the citizens of London set forth a muster before the queene's majestie at Greenwich in the parke there, of the number of 1,400 men, whereof 800 were pikes, armed in fine corselets, 400 shot in shirts of mail, and 200 halberdiers armed in Almaigne rivets; these were furnished forth by the crafts and companies of the citie. To everie hundred two wifflers were assigned, richlie appointed and apparelled for the purpose. There were also twelve wardens of the best companies mounted on horsebacke in coates of blacke velvet, to conduct them, with drums and fifes, and sixe ensigne all in jerkins of white sattin of Bridges, cut and lined with black sarsenet, and caps, hosen and scarfs according. The sergeant-majors, capteine Contstable and capteine Sanders, brought them in order before the queene's presence, placing them in battell arraie, even as they should have fought; so the show was verie faire, the emperour's and the French king's ambassadors being present.

Verilie the queene hath ever shown herselfe forward and most willing that her faithfull subjects should be readie and skilfull in war as in peace. Thus in the fourteenth yeare of her reign, by order of her council, the citizens of London, assembling in their several halles, the masters chose out the most likelie and active persons to their companies to be pikemen and shot. To these were appointed divers valiant capteines, who to train them up in warlike feats, mustered them thrice everie weeke, teaching the gunners to handle their pieces.

In the arts of peace likewise, she is greatlie pleased with them who are good craftsmen, and shews them favour. In government we have peace and securitie, and do not greatlie fear those who may stir up wicked rebellion within our land, or may come against us from beyond the sea.





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