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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being paved and opened by his own workmanship, and so handled, that
none durst appear to stand in the place; at last, and with much ado,
he obtained his own ends, and therewith his fatal destruction,
leaving the Queen and the court, where he stood impregnable and firm
in her grace, to men that long had fought and waited their times to
give him a trip, and could never find any opportunity, but this of
his absence, and of his own creation; and those are true
observations of his appetite and inclinations, which were not of any
true proportion, but hurried and transported, with an over desire,
and thirstiness after fame, and that deceitful fame of popularity;
and, to help on his catastrophe, I observe likewise two sorts of
people that had a hand in his fall: the first was the soldiery,
which all flock unto him, as it were foretelling a mortality, and
are commonly of blunt and too rough counsels, and many times
dissonant from the time of the court and State; the other sort were
of his family, his servants and his own creatures, such as were
bound by safety, and obligations of fidelity, to have looked better
to the steering of that boat, wherein they themselves were carried,
and not to have suffered it to fleet, and run on ground, with those
empty sails of tumour of popularity and applause; methinks one
honest man or other, who had but the brushing of his clothes, might
have whispered in his ear, "My lord, look to it, this multitude that
follows you will either devour you, or undo you; do not strive to
overrule all, of it will cost hot water, and it will procure envy,
and if needs your genius must have it so, let the court and the
Queen's presence by your station, for your absence must undo you."
But, as I have said, they had sucked too much of their lord's milk,
and instead of withdrawing they drew {65} the coals of his ambition,
and infused into him too much of the spirit of glory, yea, and mixed
the goodness of his nature with a touch of revenge, which is
evermore accompanied with a destiny of the same fate. Of this
number there were some of insufferable natures about him, that
towards his last gave desperate advice, such as his integrity
abhorred, and his fidelity forbade, amongst whom Sir Henry Walton
notes, without injury, his Secretary Cuffe, as a vile man and of a
perverse nature: I could also name others that, when he was in the
right course of recovery, settling to moderation, would not suffer a
recess in him, but stirred up the dregs of those rude humours,
which, by times and his affections out of his own judgment, he
thought to repose and give them a vomit. And thus I conclude this
noble lord, as a mixture between prosperity and adversity, once a
child of his great mistress's favour, but a son of Bellona.


My lord of Buckhurst was of the noble house of Sackvilles, and of
the Queen's consanguinity, or as the people then called him FILL-
SACKS, by reason of his great wealth, and the vast patrimony left to
his son, whereof in his youth he spent the best part, until the
Queen, by her frequent admonitions, diverted the torrent of his
profusion; he was a very fine gentleman, of person and endowments,
both of art and nature, but without measure magnificent, till on the
turn of his honour, and the alloy, that his yearly good counsel had
wrought upon those immoderate courses of his youth, and that height
of spirit inherent to his house; and then did the Queen, as a most
judicious, indulgent prince, who, when she saw the man grown settled
and staid, gave him an assistance, and advanced him to the
treasurership, where he made amends to his house for his mis-spent
time, both in the increasement of his estate and honour, which the
Queen conferred upon him, together with the opportunity to remake
himself, and thereby to show that this was a child that should have
a share in her grace.

They much commend his elocution, but more the excellency of his pen,
for he was a scholar, and a person of a quick dispatch, faculties
that yet run in the blood; and they say of him, that his secretaries
did little for him, by the way of indictment, wherein they could
seldom please him, he was so facete and choice in his phrases and
style; and for his dispatches, and for the content he gave to
suitors, he had a decorum seldom put in practice, for he had of his
attendance that took into a roll the names of all suitors, with the
date of their first addresses; so that a fresh man could not leap
over his head, that was of a more ancient edition excepting the
urgent affairs of the State.

I find not that he was any way ensnared in the factions of the
court, which were all his times strong, and in every man's note, the
Howards and the Cecils of the one part, and my Lord of Essex, &c.,
on the other, for he held the staff of the treasury fast in his
hand, which made them, once in a year, to be beholden to him; and
the truth is, as he was a wise man and a stout, he had no reason to
be a partaker, for he stood sure in blood and in grace, and was
wholly intentive to the Queen's service; and such were his
abilities, that she might have more cunning instruments, but none of
a more strong judgment and confidence in his ways, which are
symptoms of magnanimity, whereunto methinks this motto hath some
kind of reference, AUT NUNQUAM TENTES, AUT PERFICE. As though he
would have charactered, in a word, the genius of his house, or
express somewhat of a higher inclination, than lay within his
compass; that he was a courtier is apparent, for he stood always in
her eye and in her favour.


My Lord Mountjoy was of the ancient nobility, but utterly decayed in
the support thereof, patrimony, through his grandfather's excess,
his father's vanity in search of the philosopher's stone, and his
brother's untimely prodigality; all of which seemed, by a joint
conspiracy, to ruinate the house, and altogether to annihilate it;
as he came from Oxford, he took the Inner Temple in the way to
court, whither he no sooner came, but he had a pretty kind of
admission, which I have heard from a discreet man of his own, and
much more of the secrets of those times; he was then much about
twenty years of age, brown-haired, of a sweet face, and of a most
neat composure, tall in his person. The Queen was then at
Whitehall, and at dinner, whither he came to see the fashion of the
court, and the Queen had soon found him out, and, with a kind of an
affected favour, asked her carver who he was; he answered he knew
him not, insomuch that an inquiry was made, one from another, who he
might be, till at length it was told the Queen, he was brother to
the Lord William Mountjoy. Thus inquiry, with the eye of her
majesty fixed upon him, as she was wont to do, and to daunt men she
knew not, stirred the blood of the young gentleman, insomuch as his
colour went and came; which the Queen observing, called unto him,
and gave him her hand to kiss, encouraging him with gracious words,
and new looks, and so diverting her speech to the lords and ladies,
she said that she no sooner observed him but she knew there was in
him some noble blood, with some other expressions of pity towards
his house; and then, again demanding his name, she said, "Fail you
not to come to the court, and I will bethink myself, how to do you
good;" and this was his inlet, and the beginning of his grace; where
it falls into consideration that, though he wanted not wit nor
courage, for he had very fine attractives, as being a good piece of
a scholar, yet were those accompanied with the retractives of
bashfulness, and natural modesty, which, as the wave of the house of
his fortune then stood, might have hindered his progression, had
they not been reinforced by the infusion of sovereign favour, and
the Queen's gracious invitation; and that it may appear how he was,
and how much that heretic, necessity, will work in the directions of
good spirits, I can deliver it with assurance, that his exhibition
was very scanty, until his brother died, which was shortly after his
admission to the court; and then was it no more but a thousand marks
PER ANNUM, wherewith he lived plentifully, and in a fine garb, and
without any great sustentation of the Queen, during all her times.

And, as there was in nature a kind of backwardness, which did not
befriend him, nor suit with the motion of the court, so there was in
him an inclination to arms, with a humour of travelling and gadding
abroad, which had not some wise men about him laboured to remove,
and the Queen laid in her command, he would, out of his own native
propension, marred his own market; for as he was grown by reading,
whereunto he was much addicted, to the theory of a soldier, so was
he strongly invited by his genius, to the acquaintance of the
practice of the war, which were the causes of his excursions, for he
had a company in the Low Countries, from whom he came over with a
noble acceptance of the Queen; but, somewhat restless in honourable
thoughts, he exposed himself again and again, and would press the
Queen with pretences of visiting his company so often, till at
length he had a flat denial; yet he struck over with Sir John Norris
into the action of Britanny, which was then a hot and active war,
whom he would always call his father, honouring him above all men,
and ever bewailing his end; so contrary he was in his esteem and
valuation of this great commander to that of his friend, my Lord of
Essex; till at last the Queen began to take his digressions for
contempt, and confined his residence to the court, {66} and her own
presence; and, upon my Lord of Essex's fall, so confident she was of
her own princely judgment, and the opinion she had conceived of his
worth and conduct, that she would have this noble gentleman and none
other to bring in the Irish wars to a propitious end; for it was a
prophetical speech of her own, that it would be his fortune and his
honour to cut the thread of that fatal rebellion, and to bring her
in peace to the grave; wherein she was not deceived: for he
achieved it, but with much pains and carefulness, and not without
the forces and many jealousies of the court and times, wherewith the
Queen's age and the malignity of her settling times were replete.
And so I come to his dear friend in court, Secretary Cecil, whom, in
his long absence, he adored as his saint, and counted him his only
MECENAS, both before and after his departure from court, and during
all the time of his command in Ireland; well knowing that it lay in
his power, and by a word of his mouth, to make or mar him.


Sir Robert Cecil, since Earl of Salisbury, was the son of the Lord
Burleigh, and, by degrees, successor of his places and favours,
though not of his lands; for he had Sir Thomas Cecil, his elder
brother, since created Earl of Exeter; he was first Secretary of
State, then Master of the Court of Wards, and, in the last of her
reign, came to be Lord Treasurer: all which were the steps of his
father's greatness, and of the honour he left to his house. For his
person, he was not much beholden to Nature, though somewhat for his
face, which was the best part of his outside: for his inside, it
may be said, and without offence, that he was his father's own son,
and a pregnant precedent in all his discipline of state: he was a
courtier from his cradle, which might have made him betimes; but he
was at the age of twenty and upwards, and was far short of his
after-proof, but exposed, and by change of climate he soon made show
what he was and would be.

He lived in those times wherein the Queen had most need and use of
men of weight; and, amongst many able ones, this was chief, as
having taken his sufficiency from his instruction who begat him, the
tutorship of the times and court, which were then academies of Art
and Cunning. For such was the Queen's condition, from the tenth or
twelfth of her reign, that she had the happiness to stand up,
whereof there is a former intimation, environed with many and more
enemies, and assaulted with more dangerous practices, than any
prince of her times, and of many ages before: where we must not, in
this her preservation, attribute it to human power, for that in his
own omnipotent providence God ordained those secondary means, as
instruments of the work, by an evident manifestation of the same
work, which she acted; and it was a well-pleasing work of his own,
out of a peculiar care he had decreed the protection of the work-
mistress, and, thereunto, added his abundant blessing upon all and
whatsoever she undertook: which is an observation of satisfaction
to myself, that she was in the right; though, to others now
breathing under the same form and frame of her government, it may
not seem an animadversion of their worth: but I leave them to the
peril of their own folly, and so come again to this great minister
of state and the staff of the Queen's declining age; who, though his
little crooked person could not promise any great supportation, yet
it carried thereon a head and a head-piece of a vast content; and
therein, it seems, Nature was so diligent to complete one and the
best part about him, as the perfection of his memory and
intellectuals; she took care also of his senses, and to put him in
LYNCEOS OCULOS, or, to pleasure him the more, borrowed of Argos, so
to give unto him a prospective sight; and, for the rest of his
sensitive virtues, his predecessor, Walsingham, had left him a
receipt to smell out what was done in the conclave.

And his good old father was so well seen in mathematics, that he
could tell you, throughout Spain, every part, every port, every
ship, with its burden; whither bound, what preparations, what
impediments for diversion of enterprises, counsel, and resolution;
and, that we may see, as in a little map, how docible this little
man was, I will present a taste of his abilities.

My Lord of Devonshire, upon certainty that the Spaniards would
invade Ireland with a strong army, had written very earnestly to the
Queen and to the Council for such supplies to be timely sent over,
that might enable him both to march up to the Spaniard, if he did
land, and follow on his prosecution without diverting his intentions
against the rebels. Sir Robert Cecil, besides the general dispatch
of the Council (as he often did) writ thus in private, for these two
then began to love dearly:

"My lord, out of the abundance of my affection, and the care I have
of your well-doing, I must in private put you out of doubt or fear,
for I know you cannot be sensible, otherwise than in the way of
honour, that the Spaniards will not come unto you this year; for I
have it from my own, what his preparations are in all his parts, and
what he can do; for, be confident, he beareth up a reputation, by
seeming to embrace more than he can gripe; but, the next year, be
assured, he will cast over to you some forlorn troops, which, how
they may be reinforced beyond his present ability, and his first
intention, I cannot, as yet, make any certain judgment; but I
believe, out of my intelligence, that you may expect the landing in
Munster, and, the more to distract you, in several places, as, at
Kinsale, Beerhaven, and Baltimore; where, you may be sure, coming
from sea, they will first fortify, and learn the strength of the
rebels, before they dare take the field. Howsoever, as I know you
will not lessen your care, neither your defences, whatsoever lies in
my power to do you and the public service, rest thereof assured."

And to this I could add much more, but it may (as it is) suffice to
present much of his abilities in the pen, that he was his crafts-
master in foreign intelligence, and for domestic affairs. As he was
one of those that sat at the helm to the last of the Queen, so was
he none of the least in skill, and in the true use of the compass;
and so I shall only vindicate the scandal of his death, and conclude
him; for he departed at St. Margaret's, near Marlborough, at his
return from Bath, as my Lord Vice-Chamberlain, my Lord Clifford, and
myself, his son, and son-in-law, and many more can witness: but
that the day before, he swooned on the way, and was taken out of his
litter, and laid into his coach, was a truth out of which that
falsehood concerning the manner of his death had its derivation,
though nothing to the purpose, or to the prejudice of his worth.


Sir Francis Vere was of that ancient, and of the 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 quae nos 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 of blood from the

He was, amongst all the Queen's swordsmen, inferior to none, but
superior to many; of whom it may be said, to speak much of him were
the way 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 the court, for he lived almost
perpetually in the camp; but, when he died, no man had more of the
Queen's favour, and none less envied, for he seldom troubled it with
the noise and alarms of supplications; his way was another sort of

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: and he, that had seen the battle of
Newport, might there best have taken him and his noble brother, {67}
the Lord of Tilbury, to the life.


My Lord of Worcester I have here put last, but not least in the
Queen's favour; he was of the ancient and noble blood of the
Beauforts, and of her {68} grandfather's kin by the mother, which
the Queen could never forget, especially where there was an
incurrence of old blood with fidelity, a mixture which ever sorted
with the Queen's nature; and though there might hap somewhat in this
house, which might invert her grace, though not to speak of my lord
himself but in due reverence and honour, I mean contrariety or
suspicion in religion; yet the Queen ever respected his house, and
principally his noble blood, whom she first made Master of her
Horse, and then admitted him of her Council of State.

In his youth, part whereof he spent before he came to reside at
court, he was a very fine gentleman, and the best horseman and
tilter of the times, which were then the manlike and noble
recreations of the court, and such as took up the applause of men,
as well as the praise and commendation of ladies; and when years had
abated those exercises of honour, he grew then to be a faithful and
profound counsellor; and as I have placed him last, so was he the
last liver of all her servants of her favour, and had the honour to
see his renowned mistress, and all of them, laid in the places of
their rests; and for himself, after a life of very noble and
remarkable reputation, and in a peaceable old age, a fate that I
make the last, and none of my slightest observations, which befell
not many of the rest, for they expired like unto a light blown out
with the snuff stinking, not commendably extinguished, and with an
offence to the standers-by. And thus I have delivered up my poor
essay, or little draft of this great princess and her times, with
the servants of her state and favour. I cannot say I have finished
it, for I know how defective and imperfect it is, as limned only in
the original nature, not without the active blessings, and so left
it as a task fitter for remoter times, and the sallies of some
bolder pencil to correct that which is amiss, and draw the rest up
to life, than for me to have endeavoured it. I took it in
consideration, how I might have dashed into it much of the stain of
pollution, and thereby have defaced that little which is done; for I
profess I have taken care to master my pen, that I might not err
ANIMO, {69} or of set purpose discolour each or any of the parts
thereof, otherwise than in concealment. Haply there are some who
will not approve of this modesty, but will censure it for
pusillanimity, and, with the cunning artist, attempt to draw their
line further out at length, and upon this of mine, which way (with
somewhat more ease) it may be effected; for that the frame is ready
made to their hands, and then haply I could draw one in the midst of
theirs, but that modesty in me forbids the defacements in men
departed, their posterity yet remaining, enjoying the merit of their
virtues, and do still live in their honour. And I had rather incur
the censure of abruption, than to be conscious and taken in the
manner, sinning by eruption, or trampling on the graves of persons
at rest, which living we durst not look in the face, nor make our
addresses unto them, otherwise than with due regard to their
honours, and reverence to their virtues.


The accomplished, the brave, and romantic Lord Herbert of Cherbury
was born in this reign, and laid the foundation of that admirable
learning of which he was afterwards a complete master.


{1} His name was Sir Thomas Falconer.

{2} This is not true, for her legitimacy was with good reason

{3} This is a mistake; her epitaph says stipendia constituit tribus
hoc coenobio monachis et doctori grammatices apud Wynbourne.

{4} Sir Giles Dawbney; he was not Earl of Bridgewater, not a Lord.

{5} This romantic inscription probably alluded to Philip II., who
wooed the Queen after her sister's death; and to the destruction of
his Armada.

{6} This probably alluded to the woollen manufacture; Stow mentions
his riding through the Cloth Fair on the Eve of St. Bartholomew.

{7} The collar of SS.

{8} He probably means rushes.

{9} Her father had been treated with the same deference. It is
mentioned by Foxe in his "Acts and Monuments," that when the Lord
Chancellor went to apprehend Queen Catherine Parr, he spoke to the
King on his knees. King James I. suffered his courtiers to omit it.

{10} Lord Treasurer Burleigh died August 4, 1598.

{11} She was the daughter, sister, and aunt, of Sir William, Henry,
and Sir Philip Sidney.

{12} This was a strange blunder to be made so near the time, about
so remarkable a person, unless he concluded that whoever displeased
Henry VIII. was of course put to death.

{13} This is a mistake; it was the surcoat of Edward IV., enriched
with rubies, and was preserved here till the civil war.

{14} This is confounded with the Round Tower.

{15} It is not clear what the author means by hypocaustis; I have
translated it bathing-rooms; it might mean only chambers with

{16} The original is optici; it is impossible to guess what colour
he meant.

{17} Here are several mistakes.

{18} This is another most inaccurate account: the murderers of
Becket were Tracy, Morville, Britton, and Fitzurse.

{19} Queen Mary.

{20} Viz., Popish.

{21} "This is the work of the Lord, and it is wonderful in our

{22} "I have chosen God for my help."

{23} i.e. "I will confine you."

{24} The Irish rebel.

{25} al. not.

{26} al. horse.

{27} al. find

{28} al. say.

{29} The First.

{30} Fathers.

{31} During Queen Elizabeth's reign.

{32} Charles I.

{33} Burleigh, Leicester, and Walsingham.

{34} al. were without.

{35} The eldest son.

{36} Existing.

{37} In which she ruled.

{38} Mary.

{39} al. amused.

{40} Camp.

{41} Council.

{42} In the first year of Queen Mary.

{43} Of his Privy Council.

{44} Of his Privy Council.

{45} al. humours.

{46} Of which you have an account hereafter in this small pamphlet.

{47} In a future state.

{48} The art of poisoning.

{49} Martial state.

{50} Leicester's.

{51} al. supported by.

{52} An estate.

{53} Elizabeth's.

{54} Counsellors.

{55} Because notwithstanding many dissented from the Reformed
Establishment in many points of doctrine, and still acknowledged the
Pope's infallibility and supremacy, yet they looked not upon these
doctrines and discipline to be fundamentals, or without which they
could not be saved; and, therefore, continued to assemble and
baptise and communicate for the space of ten years in the Reformed

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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 8 of 9)