Paul Hentzner.

Travels in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and Fragmenta regalia; or, Observations on Queen Elizabeth, her times and favourites online

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lost some notes of truth in these two nobles, which I would present;
and therewith touched somewhat, which I would not, if the equity of
the narration would have permitted any omission.


Sir John Perrot was a goodly gentleman, and of the sword; and he was
of a very ancient descent, as an heir to many subtracts of gentry,
especially from Guy de Brain of Lawhorn; so was he of a very vast
estate, and came not to Court for want and to these advancements.
He had the endowments of carriage and height of spirit, had he
alighted on the alloy and temper of discretion; the defect whereof,
with a native freedom and boldness of speech, drew him on to a
clouded sitting, and laid him open to the spleen and advantage of
his enemies, of whom Sir Christopher Hatton was professed. He was
yet a wise man and a brave courtier, but rough and participating
more of active than sedentary motions, as being in his instillation
destined for arms. There is a query of some denotations, how he
came to receive the foil, and that in the catastrophe? for he was
strengthened with honourable alliances and the prime friendship in
Court of my Lords of Leicester and Burleigh, both his contemporaries
and familiars; but that there might be (as the adage hath it)
falsity in friendship: and we may rest satisfied that there is no
dispute against fate, and they quit him for a person that loved to
stand too much alone on his legs, of too often regress and
discontinuance from the Queen's presence, a fault which is
incompatible with the ways of Court and favour. He was sent Lord-
Deputy into Ireland, as it was then apprehended, for a kind of
haughtiness and repugnancy in Council; or, as others have thought,
the fittest person then to bridle the insolences of the Irish; and
probable it is that both, considering the sway that he would have at
the Board, being head in the Queen's favour, concurred, and did
alike conspire his remove and ruin. But into Ireland he went, where
he did the Queen very great and many services, if the surplusage of
the measure did not abate the value of the merit, as after-time
found to be no paradox to save the Queen's purse, but both herself
and my Lord Treasurer Burleigh ever took for good service; he
imposed on the Irish the charge for bearing their own arms, which
both gave them the possession and taught them the use of weapons;
which provided in the end to a most fatal work, both in the
profusion of blood and treasure.

But at his return, and upon some account sent home before, touching
the state of that kingdom, the Queen poured out assiduous
testimonies of her grace towards him, till, by his retreat to his
Castle of Cary, which he was then building, and out of a desire to
be in command at home as he had been abroad, together with the
hatred and practice of Hatton, then in high favour, whom he had, not
long before, bitterly taunted for his dancing, he was accused for
high treason, and for high words, and a forged letter, and
condemned; though the Queen, on the news of his condemnation, swore,
by her wonted oath, that the jury were all knaves: and they
delivered it with assurance that, on his return to the town after
his trial, he said, with oaths and with fury, to the Lieutenant, Sir
Owen Hopton, "What! will the Queen suffer her brother to be offered
up as a sacrifice to the envy of my flattering adversaries?" Which
being made known to the Queen, and somewhat enforced, she refused to
sign it, and swore he should not die, for he was an honest and
faithful man. And surely, though not altogether to set our rest and
faith upon tradition and old reports, as that Sir Thomas Perrot, his
father, was a gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and in the Court
married to a lady of great honour, which are presumptions in some
implications; but, if we go a little further and compare his
pictures, his qualities, gesture, and voice, with that of the King,
which memory retains yet amongst us, they will plead strongly that
he was a surreptitious child of the blood royal.

Certain it is that he lived not long in the Tower; and that after
his decease, Sir Thomas Perrot, his son, then of no mean esteem with
the Queen, having before married my Lord of Essex's sister, since
Countess of Northumberland, had restitution of his land; though
after his death also (which immediately followed) the Crown resumed
the estate, and took advantage of the former attainder; and, to say
the truth, the priest's forged letter was, at his arraignment,
thought but as a fiction of envy, and was soon after exploded by the
priest's own confession. But that which most exasperated the Queen
and gave advantage to his enemies was, as Sir Walter Raleigh takes
into observation, words of disdain, for the Queen, by sharp and
reprehensive letters, had nettled him; and thereupon, sending others
of approbation, commending his service, and intimating an invasion
from Spain; which was no sooner proposed but he said publicly, in
the great chamber at Dublin: - "Lo, now she is ready to ** herself
for fear of the Spaniards: I am again one of her white boys," which
are subject to a various construction, and tended to some
disreputation of his Sovereign, and such as may serve for
instruction to persons in place of honour and command, to beware of
the violences of Nature, and especially the exorbitance of the
tongue. And so I conclude him with this double observation: the
one, of the innocency of his intentions, exempt and clear from the
guilt of treason and disloyalty, therefore of the greatness of his
heart; for at his arraignment he was so little dejected with what
might be alleged, that rather he grew troubled with choler, and, in
a kind of exasperation, he despised his jury, though of the Order of
Knighthood, and of the especial gentry, claiming the privilege of
trial by the peers and baronage of the realm, so prevalent was that
of his native genius and haughtiness of spirit which accompanied him
to the last, and till, without any diminution of change therein, it
broke in pieces the cords of his magnanimity; for he died suddenly
in the Tower, and when it was thought the Queen did intend his
enlargement, with the restitution of his possessions, which were
then very great, and comparable to most of the nobility.


Sir Christopher Hatton came to the Court as his opposite; Sir John
Perrot was wont to say, by the galliard, for he came thither as a
private gentleman of the Inns of Court, in a masque: and, for his
activity and person, which was tall and proportionable, taken into
her favour. He was first made Vice-Chamberlain, and, shortly after,
advanced to the place of Lord Chancellor. A gentleman that, besides
the graces of his person and dancing, had also the endowment of a
strong and subtle capacity, and that could soon learn the discipline
and garb, both of the times and Court; and the truth is, he had a
large proportion of gifts and endowments, but too much of the season
of envy; and he was a mere vegetable of the Court that sprung up at
night and sunk again at his noon.

"Flos non mentorum, sed sex fuit illa virorum."


My Lord of Effingham, though a courtier betimes, yet I find not that
the sunshine of his favour broke out upon him until she took him
into the ship and made him High Admiral of England. For his
extract, it might suffice that he was the son of a Howard, and of a
Duke of Norfolk.

And, for his person, as goodly a gentleman as the times had any, if
Nature had not been more intentive to complete his person, than
Fortune to make him rich; for, the times considered, which were then
active, and a long time after lucrative, he died not wealthy; yet
the honester man, though it seems the Queen's purpose was to render
the occasion of his advancement, and to make him capable of more
honour. At his return from the Cadiz voyage and action, she
conferred it upon him, creating him Earl of Nottingham, to the great
discontent of his colleague, my Lord of Essex, who then grew
excessive in the appetite of her favour, and the truth is, so
exorbitant in the limitation of the sovereign aspect, that it much
alienated the Queen's grace from him, and drew others together with
the Admiral to a combination, to conspire his ruin; and though, as I
have heard it from that party (I mean the old Admiral's faction)
that it lay not in his proper power to hurt my Lord Essex, yet he
had more fellows, and such as were well skilled in the setting of
the train; but I leave this to those of another age; it is out of
doubt that the Admiral was a good, honest, and brave man, and a
faithful servant to his mistress; and such a one as the Queen, out
of her own princely judgment, knew to be a fit instrument in her
service, for she was a proficient in the reading of men as well as
books; and as sundry expeditions, as that aforementioned, and '88,
do better express his worth and manifest the Queen's trust, and the
opinion she had of his fidelity and conduct.

Moreover, the Howards were of the Queen's alliance and consanguinity
by her mother, which swayed her affection and bent it toward this
great house; and it was a part of her natural propensity to grace
and support ancient nobility, where it did not entrench, neither
invade her interest; from such trespasses she was quick and tender,
and would not spare any whatsoever, as we may observe in the case of
the duke and my Lord of Hertford, whom she much favoured and
countenanced, till they attempted the forbidden fruit, the fault of
the last being, in the severest interpretation, but a trespass of
encroachment; but in the first it was taken as a riot against the
Crown and her own sovereign power, and as I have ever thought the
cause of her aversion against the rest of that house, and the duke's
great father-in-law, Fitz-Allen, Earl of Arundel, a person in the
first rank of her affections, before these and some other jealousies
made a separation between them: this noble lord and Lord Thomas
Howard, since Earl of Suffolk, standing alone in her grace, and the
rest in her umbrage.


Sir John Packington was a gentleman of no mean family, and of form
and feature nowise disabled, for he was a brave gentleman, and a
very fine courtier, and for the time which he stayed there, which
was not lasting, very high in her grace; but he came in, and went
out through disassiduity, drew the curtain between himself and the
light of her grace, and then death overwhelmed the remnant, and
utterly deprived him of recovery; and they say of him that had he
brought less to her Court than he did, he might have carried away
more than he brought, for he had a time of it, but was an ill
husband of opportunity.


My Lord of Hunsdown was of the Queen's nearest kindred, and, on the
decease of Sussex, both he and his son successively took the place
of Lord Chamberlain. He was a man fast to his prince, and firm to
his friends and servants; and though he might speak big, and therein
would be borne out, yet was he the more dreadful, but less harmful,
and far from the practice of the Lord of Leicester's instructions,
for he was downright; and I have heard those that both knew him well
and had interest in him, say merrily of him that his Latin and
dissimulation were alike; and that his custom of swearing and
obscenity in speaking made him seem a worse Christian than he was,
and a better knight of her carpet than he could be. As he lived in
a roughling time, so he loved sword and buckler men, and such as our
fathers were wont to call men of their hands; of which sort he had
many brave gentlemen that followed him, yet not taken for a popular
and dangerous person: and this is one that stood among the TOGATI,
of an honest, stout heart, and such a one, that, upon occasion,
would have fought for his prince and country, for he had the charge
of the Queen's person, both in the Court and in the camp at Tilbury.


Sir Walter Raleigh was one that, it seems, Fortune had picked out of
purpose, of whom to make an example and to use as her tennis-ball,
thereby to show what she could do, for she tossed him up of nothing,
and to and fro to greatness, and from thence down to little more
than to that wherein she found him, a bare gentleman; and not that
he was less, for he was well descended, and of good alliance, but
poor in his beginnings: and for my Lord Oxford's jests of him for
the jacks and upstarts, we all know it savoured more of emulation,
and his honour than of truth; and it is a certain note of the times,
that the Queen, in her choice, never took in her favour a mere
viewed man, or a mechanic, as Comines observes of Lewis XI., who did
serve himself with persons of unknown parents, such as were Oliver,
the barber, whom he created Earl of Dunoyes, and made him EX
SECRETIS CONSILIIS, and alone in his favour and familiarity.

His approaches to the University and Inns of Court were the grounds
of his improvement, but they were rather extrusions than sieges, or
settings down, for he stayed not long in a place; and, being the
youngest brother, and the house diminished in his patrimony, he
foresaw his destiny, that he was first to roll through want and
disability, to subsist otherwise before he came to a repose, and as
the stone doth by long lying gather moss. He was the first that
exposed himself in the land-service of Ireland, a militia which did
not then yield him food and raiment, for it was ever very poor; nor
dared he to stay long there, though shortly after he came thither
again, under the command of the Lord Grey, but with his own colours
flying in the field, having, in the interim, cast a mere chance,
both in the Low Countries and in the voyage to sea; and, if ever man
drew virtue out of necessity, it was he, and therewith was he the
great example of industry; and though he might then have taken that
of the merchant to himself,

"Per mare, per terras, currit mercator ad Indos."

He might also have said, and truly, with the philosopher, "OMNIA MEA
MECUM PORTO," for it was a long time before he could brag of more
than he carried at his back; and when he got on the winning side, it
was his commendation that he took pains for it, and underwent many
various adventures for his after-perfection, and before he came into
the public note of the world; and thence may appear how he came up

"Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum."

Not pulled up by chance, nor by any great admittance; I will only
describe his natural parts, and these of his own acquiring.

He had, in the outward man, a good presence, in a handsome and well-
compacted person; a strong natural wit, and a better judgment, with
a bold and plausible tongue, whereby he could set out his parts to
the best advantage; and these he had by the adjuncts of some general
learning, which by diligence he enforced to a great augmentation and
perfection, for he was an indefatigable reader, by sea and land, and
one of the best observers, both of men and of the times; and I am
somewhat confident that among the second causes of his growth there
was variance between him and my Lord General Grey, in his second
descent into Ireland, which drew them both over to the council-
table, there to plead their own causes; where what advantage he had
in the case in controversy I know not, but he had much the better in
the manner of telling his tale, insomuch as the Queen and the lords
took no slight mark of the man and his parts; for from thence he
came to be known, and to have access to the lords; and then we are
not to doubt how such a man would comply to progression; and whether
or no my Lord of Leicester had then cast a good word for him to the
Queen, which would have done him no harm, I do not determine; but
true it is, he had gotten the Queen's ear in a trice, and she began
to be taken with his election, and loved to hear his reasons to her
demands: and the truth is, she took him for a kind of oracle, which
nettled them all; yea, those that he relied on began to take this
his sudden favour for an alarm and to be sensible of their own
supplantation, and to project his, which made him shortly after sing

"Fortune, my foe, why dost thou frown?"

So that, finding his favour declining, and falling into a recess, he
undertook a new peregrination, to leave that TERRA INFIRMA {62} of
the court for that of the waves, and by declining himself, and by
absence to expel his and the passion of his enemies; which, in
court, was a strange device of recovery, but that he then knew there
was some ill office done him; yet he durst not attempt to mend it,
otherwise than by going aside thereby to teach envy a new way of
forgetfulness, and not so much as think of him. Howsoever, he had
it always in mind never to forget himself; and his device took so
well that, in his return, he came in as rams do, by going backward
with the greater strength, and so continued to the last, great in
her favour, and captain of her guard: where I must leave him, but
with this observation, though he gained much at the court, he took
it not out of the Exchequer, or merely out of the Queen's purse, but
by his wit, and by the help of the prerogative; for the Queen was
never profuse in delivering out of her treasure, but paid most and
many of her servants, part in money, and the rest with grace; which,
as the case stood, was then taken for good payment, leaving the
arrears of recompense due for their merit, to her great successor,
{63} who paid them all with advantage. {64}


Sir Foulke Greville, since Lord Brooke, had no mean place in her
favour, neither did he hold it for any short time, or term; for, if
I be not deceived, he had the longest lease, the smoothest time
without rubs of any of her favourites; he came to the court in his
youth and prime, as that is the time, or never: he was a brave
gentleman, and hopefully descended from Willoughby, Lord Brooke, and
admiral to Henry the Seventh; neither illiterate, for he was, as he
would often profess, a friend to Sir Philip Sidney, and there are
now extant some fragments of his pen, and of the times, which do
interest him in the muses, and which show in him the Queen's
election had ever a noble conduct, and it motions more of virtue and
judgment than of fancy.

I find that he neither sought for nor obtained any great place or
preferment in court, during all his time of attendance: neither did
he need it, for he came thither backed with a plentiful fortune,
which, as himself was wont to say, was then better held together by
a single life, wherein he lived and died a constant courtier of the


My Lord of Essex, as Sir Henry Walton notes him, a gentleman of
great parts, and partly of his times and retinue, had his
introduction by my Lord of Leicester, who had married his mother; a
tie of affinity which, besides a more urgent obligation, might have
invited his care to advance him, his fortunes being then, through
his father's infelicity, grown low; but that the son of a Lord
Ferrers of Chartly, Viscount Hertford, and Earl of Essex, who was of
the ancient nobility, and formerly in the Queen's good grace, could
not have room in her favour, without the assistance of Leicester,
was beyond the rule of her nature, which, as I have elsewhere taken
into observation, was ever inclinable to favour the nobility: sure
it is, that he no sooner appeared in court, but he took with the
Queen and the courtiers; and, I believe, they all could not choose
but look through the sacrifice of the father on his living son,
whose image, by the remembrance of former passages, was a fresh
leek, the bleeding of men murdered, represented to the court, and
offered up as a subject of compassion to all the kingdom.

There was in this young lord, together with a goodly person, a kind
of urbanity and innate courtesy, which both won the Queen, and too
much took up the people to gaze on the new-adopted son of her
favour; and as I go along, it will not be amiss to take into
observation two notable quotations; the first was a violent
indulgence of the Queen (which is incident to old age, where it
encounters with a pleasing and suitable object) towards this great
lord, which argued a non-perpetuity; the second was a fault in the
object of her grace, my lord himself, who drew in too fast, like a
child sucking on an over uberous nurse; and had there been a more
decent decorum observed in both, or either of these, without doubt,
the unity of their affections had been more permanent, and not so in
and out, as they were, like an instrument well tuned, and lapsing to

The greater error of the two, though unwilling, I am constrained to
impose on my Lord of Essex, and rather on his youth, and none of the
least of the blame on those that stood sentinels about him, who
might have advised better, but that like men intoxicated with hopes,
they likewise had sucked in with the most of their lord's receipts,
and so, like Caesars, would have all or none; a rule quite contrary
to nature, and the most indulgent parents, who, though they may
express more affection to one in the abundance of bequeaths, yet
cannot forget some legacies, and distributives, and dividends to
others of their begetting; and how hurtful partiality is, and
proves, every day's experience tells us, out of which common
consideration they might have framed to their hands a maxim of more
discretion, for the conduct and management of their new-graved lord
and master.

But to omit that of infusion, and to do right to truth, my Lord of
Essex, even of those that truly loved and honoured him, was noted
for too bold an ingrosser, both of fame and favour; and of this,
without offence to the living, or treading on the sacred grave of
the dead, I shall present the truth of a passage yet in memory.

My Lord of Mountjoy, who was another child of her favour, being
newly come, and then but Sir Charles Blount (for my Lord William,
his elder brother, was then living) had the good fortune to run one
day well at tilt, and the Queen was therewith so well pleased, that
she sent him, in token of her favour, a Queen at chess in gold,
richly enamelled, which his servants had the next day fastened unto
his arm with a crimson ribband; which my Lord of Essex, as he passed
through the Privy Chamber, espying with his cloak cast under his
arm, the better to command it to the view, enquired what it was, and
for what cause there fixed: Sir Foulke Greville told him, it was
the Queen's favour, which the day before, and next after the
tilting, she had sent him; whereat my Lord of Essex, in a kind of
emulation, and as though he would have limited her favour, said "Now
I perceive every fool must have a favour." This bitter and public
affront came to Sir Charles Blount's ear, at which he sent him a
challenge; which was accepted by my lord, and they met near Marybone
Park, where my lord was hurt in the thigh, and disarmed. The Queen,
missing of the men, was very curious to learn the truth, but at last
it was whispered out; she sware by God's death, it was fit that some
one or other should take him down and teach him better manners,
otherwise there would be no rule with him; and here I note the
imminution of my lord's friendship with Mountjoy, which the Queen
herself did then conjure.

Now for his fame we need not go far, for my Lord of Essex, having
borne a grudge to General Norris, who had unwittingly offered to
undertake the action of Brittany with fewer men than my lord had
before demanded; on his return with victory, and a glorious report
of his valour, he was then thought the only man for the Irish wars;
wherein my Lord of Essex so wrought, by despising the number and
quality of the rebels, that Norris was sent over with a scanty
force, joined with the relics of the veteran troops of Britain, of
set purpose, and as it fell out, to ruin Norris; and the Lord
Burrows, by my lord's procurement, sent at his heels, and to command
in chief, and to convey Norris only to his government at Munster;
which aggravated the great heart of the general to see himself
undervalued, and undermined, by my lord and Burrows, which was, as
the Proverb speaks, JUVENES DOCERE SENES.

Now my Lord Burrows in the beginning of his prosecution died,
whereupon the Queen was fully bent to send over my Lord Mountjoy;
which my Lord of Essex utterly misliked, and opposed with many
reasons, and by arguments of contempt towards Mountjoy (his then
professed friend and familiar) so predominant was his desire to reap
the whole honour of closing up that war, and all others; now the way

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Online LibraryPaul HentznerTravels in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and Fragmenta regalia; or, Observations on Queen Elizabeth, her times and favourites → online text (page 7 of 9)