delivered the despatches into her own hand, and brought
back her replies ; — notwithstanding this, Mary refused to
pass sentence upon her, and affected to believe her in-
nocent. Neither would she deal harshly with Courtenaj^
though equally satisfied of his guilt ; and Renard, unable
to penetrate her motives, began to apj^rehend that she still
nourished a secret attachment to him. The truth was,
the Princess and her lover had a secret friend in Gardiner,
who counteracted the sanguinary designs of the Ambas-
sador. Baffled in this manner, Renard determined to lose
no time with the others. Already, by his agency, the Duke
of Suffolk, Lord Thomas Grey, and Wyat, were condemned
— Dudley and Jane alone were wanting to the list.
Touched by a strong feeling of compassion for their
youth, and yet more by the devotion Jane had exhibited
to her husband, Mary hesitated to sign their death-war-
rant. She listened to all Renard's arguments with atten-
tion, but they failed to move her. She could not bring
herself to put a period to the existence of one whom she
knew to be so pure, so lovly, so loveing, so blameless, as
Jane. But Renard was determined to carry his point.
" I will destroy them all," he said ; " but I will begin
with Dudley and Jane, and end with Courtenay and Eliza-
During the examination of the conspirators, the Queen
though she had moved her court to Whitehall, passed
much of her time at the Tower, occupied in reading the
depositions of the prisoners, or in framing interrogatories
to put to them. She also wrote frequent despatches to
THE TOWER OF LONDOI?. 48l
the Emperor, whose counsel she asked in her present
diflQculties ; and while thus occupied, she was often
closeted for hours with Renard,
Whether by accident, or that the gloomy legend con-
nected with it, harmonizing with his own sombre thoughts,
gave it an interest in his eyes, Renard had selected for
his present lodging in the Tower, as intimated by Night-
gall, the chamber in which the two youthful princes were
destroyed. It might be that its contiguity to the Hall
Tower, where Mary now for the most part held her con-
ferences with her Council, and with which it was con-
nected by a secret passage, occasioned this selection — or
he might have been influenced by other motives — suffice
it to say he there took up his abode ; and was frequently
visited within it by Mary. Occupying the upper story of
the Bloody Tower, this mysterious chamber looks on the
north upon the ascent leading to the Green, and on the
south upon St. Thomas's Tower. It is now divided into
two rooms by a screen — that to the south being occupied
as a bedchamber ; and tradition asserts that in this part
of the room the " piece of ruthless butchery " which
stamps it with such fearful interest was perpetrated. On
the same side, between the outer wall and the chamber,
runs a narrow passage, communicating on the west with
the ballium wall, and thence with the lieutenant's lodgings,
by which the murderers are said to have approached ;
and in the inner partition is a window, through which
they gazed upon their sleeping victims. On the east, the
passage communicates with a circular staircase, descend-
ing to a small vaulted chamber at the right of the gate-
way, where the bodies were interred. In later times this
mysterious room has been used as a prison lodging. It
was occupied by Lord Ferrers during his confinement in
the Tower, and more recently by the conspirators Watson
On the evening appointed by Nightgall for the assas-
sination of Renard, the proposed victim and the Queen
were alone within this chamber. The former had rs-
482 'THE TOWER OF LONDON.
newed all his arguments, and with greater force than
ever, and seeing he had produced the desired impression,
he placed before her the warrant for the execution of Jane
and her husband.
" Your Majesty will never wear your crown easily till
you sign that paper," he said.
" T shall never wear it easily afterwards," sighed Mary.
" Do 5'ou not remember Jane's words ? She told me, I
should be fortunate in my union, and my race should con-
tinue upon the throne, if I spared her husband. They
seem to me prophetic. If I sign this warrant I may de-
stroy my own happiness."
" Your Highness will be not turned from your purpose
by such idle fears," rejoined Renard, in as sarcastic a
tone as he dared assume. " Not only your throne may
be endangered, if you suffer them to live, but the Catholic
" True," replied Mary, " I will no longer hesitate."
And slie attached her signature to the warrant.
Renard watched her with a look of such fiendish ex-
ultation, that an unseen person who gazed at the moment
into the room, seeing a tall dark figure, dilated by the
gloom, for it was deepening twilight, and a countenance
from which everything human was banished, thought he
beheld a demon, and, fascinated by terror, could not with-
draw his eyes. At the same moment, too, the Queen's
favorite dog, which was couched at her feet, and for a
short time previously had been uttering a low growl, now
broke into a fierce bark, and sprang towards the passage-
window. Mary turned to ascertain the cause of the ani-
mal's disquietude, and perceived tliat it had stifl'ened in
every joint, while its barking changed to a dismal howl.
jSTot without misgiving, she glanced towards the window
— and there, at the very place whence she had often heard
that the murderers had gazed upon the slumbering inno-
cents before the bloody deed was done — there, between
those bars, she beheld a hideous black mask, through the
holes of which glared a pair of flashing orbs.
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 4S3
Repressing a cry of alarm, she called Renard's attention
to the object, when she was equally startled by his ap-
pearance. He seemed transfixed \vith horror, T^dth his
right hand extended towards the mysterious object, and
clenched, while the left grasped his sword. Suddenly,
he gained his consciousness, and drawing his rapier,
dashed to the door — but ere he could open it, the mask
had disappeared. He hurried along the passage in the
direction of the lieutenant's lodgings, when he encount-
ered some one who appeared to be advancing towards him.
Seizing this person by the throat and presenting his
sword to his breast, he found from the voice that it was
NORTH VIEW OF THE BLOODY TOWER,
HOW THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH WAS CONFRONTED WITH
SIR THOMAS WYAT IN THE TORTURE-CHAMBER.
As Elizabeth passed beneath the portal of the Bloody
Tower on her way to the lieutenant's lodgings, whither
she was conducted after quitting Traitor's Gate by
Bedingfeld and Sussex, she encountered the giants, who
doflfed their caps at her approach, and fell upon their
knees. All three were greatly affected, especially Magog,
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 485
whose soft and sensitive nature was completely overcome.
Big tears rolled down his cheeks, and in attempting to
utter a few words of consolation his voice failed him.
Touched by his distress, Elizabeth halted for a moment,
and laying her hand on his broad shoulder, said in a tone,
and with a look calculated to enforce her words, " Bear
up, good fellow, and hke a man. If I shed no tears for
myself, those who love me need shed none. It is the
duty of my friends to comfort — not to dishearten me.
My case is not so hopeless as you think. The Queen will
never condemn the innocent and unheard. Get up, I
say, and put a bold face on the matter, or you are not
your father's son."
Roused by this address, Magog obeyed, and rearing his
bulky frame to its full height, so that his head almost
touched the spikes of the portcullis, cried in a voice of
thunder, " Would your innocence might be proved by the
combat, madam, as in our " and he hesitated — " I mean
your royal father's time ! I would undertake to maintain
your truth against any odds. Nay, I and my brethren
would bid defiance to the whole host of your accusers."
" Though I may not claim you as champions," replied
Elizabeth, " I will fight my own battle as stoutly as you
could fight it for me."
" And your Grace's courage will prevail," rejoined Og.
" My innocence will," returned Elizabeth.
" Right," cried Gog. " Your Grace, I am assured,
would no more harbor disloyalty against the Queen than
we should, seeing that "
" Enough," interrupted the Princess hastily. " Fare-
well, good friends," she continued, extending her hand
to them, which they eagerly pressed to their lips,
" farewell ! Be of good cheer. No man shall have cause
to weep for me."
" This is a proud, though a sad day," observed Og, who
was the last honored by the Princess's condescension,
" and will never be obliterated from my memory. By my
father's beard ! " he added, gazmg rapturously at the
4SC THE TOWER OF LONDON.
long, taper fingers he was permitted to touch, " it is the
most beautiful hand I ever beheld, and whiter than the
Pleased by the compliment — for she was by no means
insensible to admiration — Elizabeth forgave its unseason-
ableness for its evident sincerity, and smilingly departed.
But she had scarcely ascended the steps leading to the
Green, when she was chilled by the sight of Renard, who
was standing at the northern entrance of the Bloody
Tower, wrapped in his cloak, and apparently waiting to
see her pass.
As she drew near, he stepped forward, and made her a
profound but sarcastic salutation. His insolence, how-
ever, failed in its effect upon Elizabeth. Eyeing him with
the utmost disdain, she observed to Bedingfeld, " Put
that Spanish knave out of my path. And he who will
remove him from the Queen's councils will do both her
and me a good turn."
" Your Grace has sufficient room to pass," returned Re-
nard, with bitter irony, and laying his hand upon the
hilt of his sword, as if determined to resist any attempt
to remove him. " Your prison within the Bell Tower is
prepared, and if my counsels have any weight with her
Majesty, you will quit it only to take the same path, and
ascend the same scaffold as your mother, Anne Boleyn."
"Another such taunt," cried Sussex fiercely, "and
neither, the sacred character of your office nor the pro-
tection of the Queen shall save you from my sword."
And he thrust him forcibly backwards.
Elizabeth moved on at a slow and stately pace, while
the guard closing round her and Sussex, opposed the
points of their halberds to the infuriated Ambassador.
"Your Highness has increased Renard's enmity," ob-
served Bedingfeld, with a troubled look.
"I fear him not," replied Elizabeth dauntlessly. " Let
him do his worst. English honesty will ever prove more
than a match for Spanish guile."
Entering the lieutenant's lodgings, and traversing the
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 487
long gallery already described as running in a westerly
direction, Elizabeth soon reached the upper chamber of
the Bell Tower, which, she was informed by Sir Thomas
Brydges, was appointed for her prison.
" It is a sorry lodging for a king's daughter," she ob-
served, " and for one who may be Queen of this realm.
But since my sister will have it so, I must make shift
with it. How many attendants are allowed me ? "
" One female," replied Brydges.
" Why not deprive me of all ? " cried the Princess pas-
sionately. " This chamber will barely accommodate me.
I will be alone."
" As your Grace pleases," replied Brydges, " but I can-
not exceed my authority."
" Can I write to the Queen ? " demanded Elizabeth.
" You will be furnished with writing materials, if it is
your purpose to prepare your confession," returned the
lieutenant. " But it must be delivered to the Council,
who will exercise their discretion as to transmitting it to
" All ! " exclaimed the Princess, " am I at theb^ mercy ! "
" Alas ! madam, you are so," replied Bedingfeld ; " but
the Chancellor is your friend."
" I am not sure of it," returned Elizabeth. " Oh that
I could see the Queen, were it but for one minute. My
mother perished because she could not obtain a hearing
of my royal sire, whose noble nature was abused in re-
spect to her ; and the Duke of Somerset himself told me,
that if his brother the Admiral had been allowed speech
of him, he would never have consented to his death.
But it is ever thus. The throne is surrounded by a
baneful circle, whose business is to prevent the approach
of truth. They keep me from my sister's presence well
knowing that I could clear myself at once, while they fill
her ears with false reports. Bedingfeld, you are her faith-
ful servant, and therefore not my enemy. Tell her, if
she will grant me an audience alone, or before her coun-
cillors, I will either approve my innocence or consent to
488 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
lose my head. Above all, implore her to let me be con-
fronted with Wyat, that the truth may be extorted from
" The interview would little benefit your Grace," re-
marked Brydges. " Wyat confesses your privity to the
" He lies," replied Elizabeth fiercely. " The words
have been put into his mouth with the vain hope of
pardon. But he will recant them if he sees me. He
dare not — will not look me in the face, and aver that I
am a partner in his foul practices. But I will not believe
it of him. Despite his monstrous treason, he is too brave,
too noble-minded, to act so recreant a part."
" Wyat has undergone the question ordinary and ex-
traordinary, madam," replied Brydges; "and though he
endured the first with surprising constancy, his fortitude
sank under the severity of the latter application."
" I forgive him," rejoined Elizabeth in a tone of deep
commiseration. " But it proves nothing. He avowed
thus much to escape further torture."
" It may be," returned Brydges, " and for your Grace's
sake I hope it is so. But his confession, signed with his
own hand, has been laid before the Queen."
" Ah ? " exclaimed Elizabeth, sinking into the only seat
which the dungeon contained.
" I beseech your Highness to compose yourself," cried
Bedingfeld compassionately. " We will withdraw and
leave you the the care of your attendant."
" I want no assistance," replied Elizabeth, recovering
herself. " Will you entreat her Majesty to grant me an
audience on the terms I have named, and in the presence
" It must be speedy, then," remarked Brydges, " for he
is adjudged to die to-morrow."
" To-morrow ! " echoed Elizabeth. " Nay, then, good
Bedingfeld, seek the Queen without delay. Implore her
])y the love she once bore me — by the love I am assured
ghe bears me still — to interrogate me before this traitor.
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 489
If he perishes with this confession uncontradicted, I am
" Your words shall be repeated to her Highness," re-
plied Bedingfeld, " and I will not fail to add my entreaties
to your own. But I cannot give a hope that your request
will be granted."
" It is fortunate for your Highness that the Queen
visits the Tower to-day," observed Brydges. " Her
arrival is momently expected. As I live ! " he exclaimed,
as the bell was rung overhead, and answered by the beat-
ing of drums and the discharge of cannon from the
batteries, " she is here ! "
"It is Heaven's interposition in my behalf," cried
Elizabeth. " Go to her at once, Bedingfeld. Let not the
traitor Renard get the start of you. I may live to re-
quite the service. Go — go."
The old knight obeyed, and the others immediately
afterwards retired, closing the door upon the Princess,
and placing a guard outside.
Left alone, Elizabeth flew to the narrow and strongly-
grated loophole commanding the southern ward, through
which the Queen must necessarily pass on her way to
the palace, in the hope of catching a glimpse of her. She
had not to wait long. Loud fanfares of trumpets re-
sounded from the gate of the By-ward Tower. These
martial flourishes were succeeded by the trampling of
steeds, and fresh discharges of ordnance, and the next
moment a numerous retinue of horse and foot emerged
from the gateway. Just as the royal litter appeared, it
was stopped by Sir Henry Bedingfeld, and the curtains
were drawn aside by Mary's own hand. It was a moment
of intense interest to Elizabeth, and she watched the
countenance of the old knight, as if her life depended
upon each word he uttered. At first she could not see
the Queen's face, but as Bedingfeld concluded, Mary
leaned forward, and looked up at the Bell Tower. Un-
certain whether she could be seen, Elizabeth determined
to make her presence known, and thrusting her himd
490 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
through the bars, waved her kerchief. Mary instantly
drew back. The curtains of the litter were closed ; Bed-
ingfeld stepped aside ; and the cavalcade moved on.
" She will not see me ! " cried Elizabeth, sinking back
in despair. "I shall perish like my mother."
The Princess's agitation did not subside for some time.
Expecting Bedingfeld to return with the tidings that
Mary had refused her request, she listened anxiously to
every sound, in the hope that it might announce his
arrival. Hour after hour passed by and he came not, and
concluding that he did not like to be the bearer of ill
news, or what was yet more probable, that he was not
allowed to visit her, she made up her mind to the worst.
Elizabeth had not the same resources as Jane under
similar circumstances. Though sincerely religious, she
iiad not the strong piety that belonged to the other, nor
could she, like her, divorce herself from the world, and
devote herself wholly to God. Possessing the greatest
fortitude, she had no resignation, and while capable of
enduring any amount of physical suffering, could not
Tsontrol her impatience. Her thoughts were bitter and
mortifying enough, but she felt no humiliation ; and the
only regrets she indulged were at having acted so unwise
a part. Scalding tears bedewed her cheeks — tears that
would never have been shed if any one had been present ;
and her mingled emotions of rage and despair were so
powerful, that she had much ado to overcome them. Un-
governable fury against Mary took possession of her, and
she pondered upon a thousand acts of revenge. Then
came the dreadful sense of her present situation — of its
hopelessness — its despair. She looked at the stone walls
by which she was enclosed, and invoked them to fall
upon her and crush her ; and she rushed towards the
massive and iron-girded door, as if she would dash her-
self against it with impotent fury. Her breast was
ravaged by fierce and conflicting passions ; and when she
iigain returned to her seat, she grasped it convulsivelj^ to
prevent herself from executing the desperate deeds that
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 491
suggested themselves to her. In after years, when the
crown was placed upon her head, and she grasped one of
the most powerful sceptres ever swayed by female hand
— when illustrious captives were placed in that very
dungeon by her command, and one royal victim, near
almost to her as a sister, lingered out her days in hope-
less captivity, only to end them on the block — at such
seasons she often recalled her own imprisonment — often
in imagination endured its agonies, but never once with a
softened or relenting heart. The sole thought that now
touched her, and subdued her violence, was that of Cour-
tenay. Neither his unworthiness nor his inconstancy
could shake her attachment. She loved him deeply and
devotedly, with all the strength and fervor of her char-
acter ; and though she had much difficulty in saving him
from her contempt, this feeling did not abate the force of
her regard. The idea that he would perish with her, in
some degree reconciled her to her probable fate.
Thus meditating, alternately roused by the wildest re-
sentment, and, softened by thoughts of love, Elizabeth
passed the remainder of the day without interruption.
Worn out at length, she was about to dispose herself to
slumber, when the door was opened, and Sir Thomas
Brydges, accompanied by two serving-men and a female
attendant, entered the room. Provisions were placed
before her by the men, who instantly withdrew, and
Brydges was about to follow, leaving the female attendant
behind, when Elizabeth stopped him, and inquired what
answer Sir Henry Bedingfeld had brought from the
" My orders are to hold no communication with your
Grace," replied the lieutenant.
" At least, tell me when I am to be examined by the
Council?" rejoined Elizabeth. "The meanest criminal
has a right to be so informed."
But Brydges shook his head, and quitting the chamber,
closed the door, and barred it outside.
Controlling her feelings, as she was now no longer
492 THE TOWER OF LONDON.
alone, Elizabeth commanded her attendant to awaken
her in an hour, and threw herself upon the couch. Her
injunctions were strictly complied with, and she arose
greatly refreshed. A lamp had been left her, and taking
up a book of prayers, she addressed herself to her devo-
tions, and while thus occupied her mind gradually re-
sumed its composure. About midnight the door was
opened by the lieutenant, who entered the room attended
by Nightgall, and two other officials in sable robes, while
a guard of halberdiers, bearing torches, remained without.
"I must request your Grace to follow me," said
" Whither ? " demanded Elizabeth, rising. " To the
Queen's presence ? "
The lieutenant made no answer.
" To the Council ? " pursued the Princess ; " or to ex-
ecution? No matter. I am ready." And she motioned
the lieutenant to lead on.
Sir Thomas Brydges obeyed, and followed by the
Princess, traversed the gallery, descended the great stair-
case, and entered a spacious chamber on the ground floor.
Here he paused for a moment, while a sliding panel in
the wall was opened, through which he and his companion
A short flight of stone steps brought them to a dark
narrow passage, and they proceeded silently and slowly
along it, until their progress was checked by a strong
iron door, which was unfastened and closed behind them
by Nightgall. The jarring of the heavy bolts, as they
were shot into their sockets, resounded hollowly along
the arched roof of the passage, and smote forcibly upon
Elizabeth's heart, and she required all her constitutional
firmness to support her.
They were now in one of those subterranean galleries,
often described before, on either side of which were cells,
and the clangor called forth many a dismal response.
Presently afterwards, they arrived at the head of a stair-
case, which Elizabeth descended, and found herself in the
THE TOWER OF LONDON. 493
torture-chamber. A dreadful spectacle met her gaze. At
one side of the room, which was lighted by a dull lamp
from the roof, and furnished as before with numberless
hideous implements — each seeming to have been recently
employed — sat, or rather was supported, a wretched man
upon whom every refinement of torture had evidently
been practised. A cloak was thrown over his lower
limbs, but his ghastly and writhen features proved the
extremity of suffering to which he had been subjected.
Elizabeth could scarcely believe that in this miserable
object, whom it would have been a mercy to despatch,
she beheld the once bold and haughty Sir Thomas
Placed on the corner of a leathern couch, and sup-
ported by Wolfytt and Sorrocold, the latter of whom
bathed his temples with some restorative, Wyat fixed his
heavy eyes upon the Princess. But her attention was
speedily diverted from him to another person, whose pres-
ence checked her feelings. This was the Queen, who
stood on one side with Gardiner and Renard. Opposite
them was Courtenay, with his arms folded upon his
breast. The latter looked up as Elizabeth entered the
chamber, and after gazing at her for a moment, turned
his regards with an irrepressible shudder to Wyat.
Knowing that her safety depended upon her firmness,
though her heart bled for the tortured man, Elizabeth
disguised all appearance of compassion, and throwing
herself at the Queen's feet, cried, "Heaven bless your
Highness for granting me this interview! I can now
prove my innocence."
" In what way ? " demanded Mary coldly. " It would
indeed rejoice me to find I have been deceived. But I
cannot shut my ears to the truth. Yon traitor," she con-
tinued, pointing to Wyat, "who dared to rise in arms
against his sovereign, distinctly charges you with par-
ticipation in his rebellious designs. I have his confession,
taken from his own lips, and signed with his own hand,