Edward Vi.

king of England, deserves notice here as a young prince of great promise and high accomplishments, rather than as a sovereign, although in the latter character he afforded every presage of excellence, had his life been spared. He was the only son of Henry VIII. by | queen Jane Seymour, and was born in 1538. From his maternal uncle, the duke of Somerset, he imbibed a zeal for the progress of the reformation. The ambitious policy of his courtiers, however, rendered his reign upon the whole turbulent, although his own disposition was peculiarly mild and benevolent, and amidst all these confusions, the reformation of religion made very great progress. He was at last, when in his sixteenth year, seized with the measles, and afterwards. with the small-pox, the effects of which he probably never quite recovered; and as he was making a progress through some parts of the kingdom, he was afflicted with a cough, which proved obstinate, and which gave way neither to regimen nor mexlicines. Several fatal symptoms of a consumption appeared, and though it was hoped, that as the season advanced, his youth and temperance might get the better of the malady, his subjects saw, with great concern, his bloom and vigour sensibly decay. After the settlement of the crown, which had been effected with the greatest difficulty, his health rapidly declined, and scarcely a hope was entertained of his recovery. His physicians were dismissed by the earl of Northumberland’s advice, and the young king was entrusted to the hands of an ignorant woman, who undertook to restore him to health in a very short time but the medicines prescribed were found useless violent symptoms were greatly aggravated and on the 6th of July, 1553, he expired at Greenwich, in the sixteenth year of his age, and the seventh of his reign. The excellent disposition of this young prince, and his piety and zeal in the prolestant cause, have rendered his memory dear to the nation. He possessed mildness of disposition, application to study and business, a capacity to learn and judge, and an attachment to equity and justice. He is to this day commemorated as the founder of some of the most splendid charities in the metropolis.

Many authors have preserved accounts of this prince’s writings. Cardan talks much of his parts and learning. Holland affirms that he not only wrote notes from the lectures or sermons he heard, but composed a comedy, entitled “The Whore of Babylon,” in Latin. It is more certain, howevar, that he wrote “The Sum of a conference with the Lord Admiral,” which, in his own hand, is extant among the Ashmolean Mss.; “A method for the proceedings in the council,” in the Cottonian library; and | King Edward VIth’s own arguments against the pope’s supremacy, &c.” translated out of the original, written with the king’s own hand in French, and still preserved. To which are added some remarks upon his life and reign, in vindication of his memory from Dr. Heylin’s severe and unjust censure, Lond. 1682. He drew himself the rough draught of a sumptuary law, which is preserved by Strype; and an account of a progress he made, which he sent to one of his particular favourites, called Barnahy Fiupatrick, then in France. The same author has given some specimens of his Latin epistles and orations, and an account of two books written by him; the first before he was twelve years of age, called “L’Encontre les Abus du Monde,” a tract of thirty-seven leaves in French, against the abuses of popery; it is dedicated to the protector, his uncle; is corrected by his French tutor, and attested by him to be of the king’s own composition. An original copy of this tract is noiv in the British Museum. The other, preserved in the library of Trinity college, Cambridge, is, “A Translation into French of several passages of Scripture, which forbid idolatry, or worshipping of false gods.” Tanner giresa list of Edward’s letters that are extant; and there is a large folio ms. in the British Museum, containing his exercises in Greek, Latin, and English, with his signature to each of them, as king of England. Cardan says that at die age of fifteen, our prince had learned seven languages, and was perfect in English, French, and Latin. Cardan adds, " he spoke Latin with as much readiness and elegance as myself. He was a pretty good logician; he understood natural philosophy and music, and played upon the lute. The good and the learned had formed the highest expectations of him, from the sweetness of his disposition, and the excellence of his talents. He had begun to favour learning before he was a great scholar himself, and to be acquainted with it before he could make use of it. Alas! how prophetically did he once repeat to me,

' Immodicis brevis est aetas, et rara senecrus’."

Bishop Burnet adds to this high character the following pleasing anecdote. King Edward VI. gave very early indications of a good disposition to learning, and of a most wonderful probity of mind, and above all, of great respect to religion, and every thing relating to it; so that when he was once in one of his childish diversions, somewhat | beingto be reached at, that he and his companions were too low for, one of them laid on the floor a great Bible that was in the room, to step on, which he beholding with great indignation, took up the Bible himself, and gave over his play for that time. The same historian has printed a new service, which was translated by the young monarch from English into Latin, with a view to abolish certain superstitious ceremonies used at the installation of the knights of the garter. Burnet has also published, what does Edward most credit of all, his “Diary or Journal.” In this we have a clear proof of his sense, knowledge, and goodness, far beyond what could have been expected at his years. It gives, says lord Orford, hopes of his proving a good king, as in so green an age he seemed resolved to be acquainted with his subjects and his kingdom. The original of this is in the Cottonian library, with the paper already mentioned, in the king’s hand-writing, which contains hints and directions delivered to the privy council, Jan. 19, 1551. Mr. Park has reprinted this curious paper in his edition of the “Royal and Noble Authors,” to which this article is considerably indebted. 1


Hist, of England. Burnet’s Reformation. Seward’s Anecdotes, Park’s Royal and Noble Authors.