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Leicester, about the year 1557, and had a spacious house in "...ood-street, London, another in Westminster, and another at Richmond; yet, according to a memorandum found among his papers, he “resided constantly at Court.” He was particularly favoured by Queen Elizabeth, and by James the First. The former sent him on an embassy to the Ottoman Porte: and, on his return, he was appointed to a lucrative office in the Exchequer, and held several other places of honour and trust. It is evident he acquired considerable riches, as many of the nobility, and even the monarch”, borrowed money of him. In the reign of James, however, he petitioned the Lord Mayor of London to excuse him from serving the office of alderman; and alledged as a reason, that the king owed him so much money, as rendered him incapable of supporting the usual expenses of that civic honour. He was ordered to pay a fine of 300l. and excused. He made a present, among other things, of a portrait of Sir Thomas
Vol. IX. C C WHITE,
*The following state letter, addressed to Mr. Heyrick by order of Queen Elizabeth, is a curious specimen of the style of writing, and state of the nation in 1596-7. “By the Queene. Trustie and wel-belovid, we greete yow well. The contynuall greate charges wo" wee have, for the necessarie defence of and preservacon of o' dominions and subjectes, are so notorious as neede not to be otherwise declared then may instlie be conceaved by all our loving subiects, being but of comon understanding. And therefore, at this presente, finding cause of increase and contynuaunce of suche charges exceeding all other ordinary meanes; and not mynding to presse of subiects w” anie presente free gifte of monie, but only to be supplied wo some reasonable pencon by waie of loane for onne yeare's space; wee have made specialle choice of such o' loving subiectes as are knowne to be of abiletie; amongest wo" we accompte yow one; and therefore we require yow, by these presentes, to lend us the some of fiftie poundes for the space of one yeare, and the same to be payde unto Benedict Barnham or Thomas Looe, aldermen, by us appointed as collectors thereof, woo we promise to repaye to yow or yo' assignes, at the end of one yeare, in the receipte of of Exchequer, upon giving of this privie seale subscribed by the said collectors, testifieing the receipte thereof. Geven under of privie seale at of palace of Westm', the xxvi" daie of January, in the xxxix” yeare of of, raign. * THO. KERY.”
WHITE, to the corporation of Leicester. In the year 1605, he
* Nichols's Hist. of Leicestershire,Vol. III. p. 150, &c. where is a portrait of Sir William, and many curious particulars respecting him, and the times when he lived.
of one solid oak tree, which measured thirty-four feet in circumference. Among several portraits, is one of King James the First, and another of his consort, Queen Anne of Denmark, both originals, and presented by the Monarch to Sir William Heyrick.
At BRADGATE are the ruins of an old mansion, which was formerly magnificent and spacious. The place was parcel of the manor of Groby, and belonged, at an early period, to Hugh Grentesmainell, from whom it passed, by marriage, to Robert Blanchmains, Earl of Leicester, and afterwards, by marriage again, to Saher de Quency, Earl of Winton. A park was here in 1247, when Roger de Quency, Earl of Winton, granted permission, by written agreement, to Roger de Somery, to “enter at any hour on the forest of him the earl, to chace in it (ad versandum) with nine bows and six hounds, according to the form of a cyrograph before made, between the aforesaid Roger, Earl of Winton, and Hugh de Albaniaco, Earl of Arundel, in the court of the Lord the King at Leicester. And if any wild beast, wounded by any of the aforesaid bows, shall enter the aforesaid park by any deer-leap, or otherwise, it shall be lawful for the aforesaid Roger de Somery, and his heirs, to send one man, or two of his, who shall follow the aforesaid wild beast, with the dogs pursuing that wild beast, within the aforesaid park, without bow and arrows, and may take it on that day whereon it was wounded, without hurt of other wild beasts in the aforesaid park abiding; so that if they be footmen they shall enter by some deer-leap, or hedge; and if they be horsemen, they shall enter by the gate, if it shall be open; and otherwise shall not enter before they wind
their horn for the keeper, if he will come".” The park, in Leland's time, was “VI miles in cumpase,” and the foundation and walls of “a greate gate-house of brike” were left unfinished when this tourist visited Bradgate. He also states, C c 2 that
*This agreement is printed at length, in Nichols's History of Leicestershire, Vol. III. p. 661.
that Thomas, the first Marquis of Dorset, erected, and “almost
beneath an arch on the monument is a figure in armour, of the .
nobleman, and another of his wife, and the front and summit are decorated with the armorial bearings and quarterings of the families of Grey, Hastings, Valence, Ferrers of Groby, Astley, Widvile, Bouvile, and Harrington. LADY JANE GREY, a native of this place, was born in 1537. She was the eldest daughter of Henry Grey, Marquis of Dorset, and Duke of Suffolk, by Frances, eldest daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. The wife of the latter was Mary, Queen Dowager to Louis XII. of France, and youngest daughter of Henry the Seventh of England. Jane Grey was married to Lord Guildford Dudley, son of the Duke of Northumberland. She was prevailed on to accept the British crown, but reigned only nine days, when she and her husband were imprisoned in the Tower; and soon afterwards both were beheaded, by command of Queen Mary, in 1554. Thus she fell a sacrifice to the ambition of her relatives, at the early age of seventeeh; and all authors who have written about her life, or times, have indiscriminately portrayed her as a paragon of excellence and merit. Though it may be deemed irrelevant to the nature of this work to investigate and minutely detail such subjects, yet a few cursory remarks, it is hoped, will not be extraneous, or useless. Lady Jane Grey, afterwards Lady Dudley, according to her own statement, was treated with great rigour by her parents, who employed Roger Ascham and Dr. Aylmer to instruct her in
* Itinerary, Vol. I. p. 19, 21.
the usual education of the times; and, in the routine of instruction, the Protestant Religion constituted an essential part. Indeed, if we estimate her character by her own writings, we shall infer, that the scriptures, and religious books, were the chief subjects of her study and solicitude. Her tutors, however, panegyrised her learning, and the Martyrologists and Protestant advocates (for religion then engrossed the minds of men) descanted on her virtues, meekness, humility, and “godliness.” Subsequent writers have admitted, and repeated, nearly the whole of these encomiums. Bigots and enthusiasts never discriminate, and from such writers we are not likely to obtain plain facts and “unvarnished truth!” If full credit be given to the statement of her tutors, Ascham and Aylmer", she was one of the most extraordinary females that ever lived in this, or any other country. They relate, that their pupil, at the age of sixteen, understood the Greek, Latin, French, and Italian languages, and was also acquainted with the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Arabic. It is further asserted, that she played on several musical instruments, and sometimes accompanied the tunes with her voice: and added to these accomplishments the advantage of writing a fine hand, and excelling in various kinds of needle work. Such transcendant attainments seem to exceed the bounds of credibility, and are nearly allied to those monkish romances of saints and martyrs, invented by craft, to impose on credulity. The historical interest attached to the memory of this lady, and the engaging accounts that have been given of her meekness, amiableness, and learning, combining with the afflicting and inhuman circumstance of her murder, all conspire to rouse our feelings, and excite our sympathies in her behalf: but we must not allow these emotions io impose
C c 3 - Oll,
* Dr. Aylmer, flying from Henry the Eighth, and the court, found an asylum at Bradgate, and a friend and patron in the Marquis of Dorset. “He was for some time the only preacher in Leicestershire, where he so effectually fixed the Protestant Religion, that neither force nor fraud could blot it out.” Nichols's History of Leicestershire, Vol. IIL. p. 667. Strype's Life of Aylmer, p. 9.