Mary

, queen of England, and eldest daughter of Henry VIII. by his first wife, Catharine of Arragon, was born at Greenwich in Kent, Feb. 18, 1517. Her mother was very careful of her education, and provided her with tutors to teach her what was fitting. Her first preceptor was the famous Linacer, who drew up for her use “The rudiments of Grammar,” and afterwards, “De emendata structura Latini sermonis libri sex.” Linacer dying when she was but six years old, Ludovicus Vives, a very learned man of Valencia in Spain, became her next tutor; and composed for her, “De ratione studii puerilis.” Under the direction of these excellent men, she became so great a mistress of Latin, that Erasmus commends her for her epistles in that language.

Towards the end of her father’s reign, at the earnest so* licitation of queen Catharine Parr, she undertook to translate Erasmus’s “Paraphrase on the gospel of St. John*’ but being cast into sickness, as Udall relates, partly by overmuch study in this work, after she had made some progress therein, she left the rest to be done by Dr. Maliet, her chaplain. This translation is printed in the first volume of” Erasmus’s Paraphrase upon the New Testament,“London, 1548, folio; and before it is a Preface, written by Udall, the celebrated master of Eton-school, and addressed to the queen dowager. This Preface contains some remarks illustrative of the history of the times. Among other things, Udall takes occasion in it to observe to her majesty,” the great number of noble women at that time in England, not only given to the study of human sciences and strange tongues, but also so thoroughly expert in the Holy Scriptures, that they were able to compare with the best writers, as well in enditing and penning of godly and fruitful treatises, to the instruction and edifying of realms in the knowledge of God, as also in translating good books | out of Latin or Greek into English, for the use and commodity of such as are rude and ignorant of the said tongues. It was now,“he said,” no news in England, to see young damsels in noble houses, and in the courts of princes, instead of cards, and other instruments of idle trifling, to have continually in their hands either Psalms, Homilies, and other devout meditations, or else Paul’s epistles, or some book of Holy Scripture matters, and as familiarly both to read or reason thereof in Greek, Latin, French, or Italian, as in English. It was now a common thing to see young virgins so trained in the study of good letters, that they willingly set all other vain pastimes at nought for learning’s sake. It was now no news at all, to see queens and ladies of most high estate and progeny, instead of courtly dalliance, to embrace virtuous exercises of reading and writing, and with most earnest study, both early and late, to apply themselves to the acquiring of knowledge, as well in all other liberal arts and disciplines, as also most especially of God and his holy word. And in this behalf,“says he,” like as to your highness, as well for composing and setting forth many godly Psalms, and divers other contemplative meditations, as also for causing these paraphrases to be translated into our vulgar tongue, England can never be able to render thanks sufficient; so may it never be able, as her deserts require, enough to praise and magnify the most noble, the most virtuous, the most witty, and the most studious lady Mary’s grace, for taking such pain and travail in translating this paraphrase of Erasmus upon the gospel of St. John. What could be a more plain declaration of her most constant purpose to promote God’s word, and the free grace of his gospel“&c. Udall, however, was mistaken; as she never entertained any such purpose; for, soon after her accession to the throne, a proclamation was issued for calling in and suppressing this very book, and all others that had the least tendency towards furthering the Reformation. And Walpole is of opinion, that the sickness which came upon her while she was translating St. John, was all affected;” for,“says he,” she would not so easily have been cast into sickness, had she been employed on the Legends of St. Teresa, or St. Catharine of Sienna."

King Edward her brother dying the 6th of July, 1553, she was proclaimed queen the same month, and crowned in October, by Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester. | In July 1754, she was married to Philip prince of Spain, eldest son of the emperor Charles the Fifth; and now began that persecution against the Protestants, for which her reign is so justly infamous. Until her marriage with that tyrant, she appears to have been merciful and humane, for Holinshed tells us, that when she appointed sir Richard Morgan chief justice of the Common Pleas, she told him, “that notwithstanding the old error, which did not admit any witness to speak, or any other matter to be heard, (her majesty being party,) her pleasure was, that whatsoever could be brought in favour of the subject should be admitted to be heard; and moreover, that the justices should not persuade themselves to put in judgment otherwise for her highness than for her subject.” Hence some have carried their good opinion of her so far, as to suppose that most of those barbarities were transacted by her bishops, without her knowledge or privity; but as this was impossible, it would be a better defence, if she must be defended, to plead that a strict adherence to a false religion, and a conscientious observance of its pernicious and cruel dictates, overruled and got the better of that goodness of temper, which was natural to her. Yet neither this can be reasonably admitted when we consider her unkind and inhuman treatment of her sister, the lady Elizabeth; her admitting a council for the taking up and burning of her father’s body; her most ungrateful and perfidious breach of promise with the Suffolk men; her ungenerous and barbarous treatment of judge Hales, who had strenuously defended her right of succession to the crown; and of archbishop Cranmer, who in reality had saved her life. These actions were entirely her own; her treatment of Cranmer becomes aggravated by the obligations she had been under to him. Burnet says, “that her firm adherence to her mother’s cause and interest, and her backwardness in submitting to the king her father, were thought crimes of such a nature by his majesty, that he came to a resolution, to put her openly to death; and that, when all others were unwilling to run any risk in saving her, Cranmer alone ventured upon it. In his gentle way he told the king, That she was young and indiscreet, and therefore it was no wonder if she obstinately adhered to that which her mother and all about her had been infusing into her for many years; but that it would appear strange, if he should for this cause so far forget the father, as to proceed to | extremities with his own child; that, if she were separated from her mother and her people, in a little time there might be ground gained on her; but that to take away her life, would raise horror through all Europe against him;” by which means he preserved her. Queen Catharine, hearing of the king’s bloody intention, wrote a long letter to her daughter, in which she encouraged her to suffer cheerfully, to trust to God, and keep her heart clean. She charged her in all things to obey the king’s commands, except in the matters of religion. She sent her two Latin books; the one, “De vita Christi, with the Declaration of the Gospels;” the other, “St. Jerome’s Episles to Paula and Eustochium.” This letter of Catharine may be seen in the Appendix to Burnet’s second volume of the “History of the Reformation.” She fell a sacrifice, however, at last to disappointed expectations, both of a public and domestic kind, and especially the absence and unkindness of Philip; which are supposed, by deeply affecting her spirits, to have brought on that fever of which she died, Nov. 7, 1558, after a reign of five years, four months, and eleven days. “It is not necessary,” says Hume, “to employ many words in drawing the character of this princess. She possessed few qualities either estimable or amiable, and her person was as little engaging, as her behaviour and address. Obstinacy, bigotry, violence, cruelty, malignity, revenge, tyranny; every circumstance of her character took a tincture from her bad temper and narrow understanding. And amidst that complication of vices, which entered into her composition, we shall scarcely find any virtue but sincerity; a quality which she seems to have maintained throughout her whole life; except in the beginning of her reign, when the necessity of her affairs obliged her to make some promises to the Protestants which she certainly never intended to perform. But in these cases a weak bigoted woman, under the government of priests, easily finds casuistry sufficient to justify to herself the violation of a promise. She appears also, as well as her father, to have been susceptible of some attachments of friendship; and even without the caprice and inconstancy which were so remarkable in the conduct of that monarch. To which we may add, that in many circumstances of her life she gave indications of resolution and vigour of mind, a quality which seems to have been inherent in her family.

There are some of her writings still extant, Strype has | preserved three prayers or meditations of her composition the first, “Against the assaults of vice” the second, “A Meditation touching adversity;” the third, “A prayer to be read at the hour cf death.” In Fox’s “Acts and Monuments” are printed eight of her letters to king Edvvard and the lords of the council, on her nonconformity, and on the imprisonment of her chaplain Dr. Mallet. In the “Sylloge epistolarum,” are several more of her letters, extremely curious: one on the subject of her delicacy in never having written but to three men; one of affection for her sister; one after the death of Anne Boleyn; and one very remarkable of Cromwell to her. In “Haynes’s State papers,” are two in Spanish, to the emperor Charles the Fifth. There is also a French letter, printed by Strype from the “Cotton library,” in answer to a haughty mandate from Philip, when he had a mind to marry the lady Elizabeth to the duke of Savoy, against the queen and princess’s inclination: it is written in a most abject manner, and a wretched style. Bishop Tanner ascribes to her “A History of her own life and death,” and “An Account of Martyrs in her reign,” dated 1682; but this is manifestly an error. 1

1 Rapin, Hume, and Smollett’s Histories of England, but especially the Ecclesiastical Historians Fox, Eurnet, and —Strype. Walpokr’s Royal and Noble Authors, Park’s edition,