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Picture of Queen Elizabeth on her throne. The Illustrious and most Renowned Princesse
Elizabeth late Queene of England


of the

Most Renowned and Victorious
Late Queen of England;

All the most Important and Remarkable Passages of
State, both at Home and Abroad (so far as they
were linked with English Affairs) during her
Long and Prosperous Reign.

Written by William Camden,
Clarenceux King at Arms.

The Fourth Edition,
Revised and compared with the Original, whereby many
gross Faults are amended, several Periods before omitted are added
in their due places, and the English Phrase much altered,
more consonant to the Mind of the Authour.
With a new Alphabetical Index of all the Principal things contained
in the History.

Printed by M. Flesher, for R. Bentley at the Post-Office
in Covent-Garden. 16881688.

excerpta-b2,c1,A-C2,D4,E1r,E1v,E2r,E2v,E3r,E3v; pp.v-xvi,1-24 E4r 25 excerpt37 lines

The Estates
exhort the
Queen to
When the Assembly of Parliament was now to be dissolved, they
all thought good that the Third Estate, or Lower House, should
advise the Queen to marry betimes: yet would not the Temporal
Lords joyn with them, lest any of them might seem to propound it
in hope to prefer himself. Thomas Gargrave therefore, Speaker of
the Lower House, with some few selected men, after leave obtained,
came unto the Queen, and making his excuse by his Office, the
Queen’s Courtesie, and the Weightiness of the matter, went forward
to this purpose: “There is nothing which with more ardent affection
we beg of God in our daily prayers, than that our Happiness hitherto E4v 26
hitherto received by your most gratious Government may be perpetuated
to the English Nation unto all eternity, Whilstin our
mind and cogitation we cast many ways how this may be effected,
we can find none at all, unless your Majesty should either reign
for ever, (which to hope for is not lawfull;) or else by Marriage
bring forth Children, Heirs both of their Mother’s Vertue and
Empire, (which God Almighty grant.) This is the single, the
onely, the all-comprehending Prayer of all English-men. All other
men, of what place and degree soever, but especially Princes, must
have a care, that though themselves be mortal, yet the Commonwealth
may continue immortal. This immortality may your
Majesty give to the English, if (as your humane nature, Age, Beauty
and Fortune do require,) you will take some man to your Husband,
who may be a Comfort and Help unto you, and a Consort in
Prosperity and Adversity. For (questionless) more availeth the
Help of one onely Husband for the effecting of matters, than
the joynt Industry of many men. Nothing can be more contrary
to the publick Respects, than that such a Princess, in whose Marriage
is comprehended the Safety and Peace of the Commonwealth,
should live unmarried, and as it were a Vestal Virgin. A
Kingdom received from Ancestours is to be left to Children, who
will be both an Ornament and Strength to the Realm. The Kings
of England have never been more carefull of any thing, than that
the Royal Family might not fail of Issue. Hence it was, that
within our fresh memory Henry the VII. your Grandfather, provided
his Sons Arthur and Henry of Marriage even in their tender years.
Hence it was that your Father sought to procure Mary Queen of
to be a Wife for his young Son Prince Edward, then scarce
eight years old: and very lately your Sister, Queen Mary, being
well in years, married Philip of Spain. If lack of Children use to
be inflicted by God as a great Punishment as well upon Royal as private
Families; what and how great a Sin may it be, if the Prince
voluntarily pluck it upon himself, whereby an infinite heap of Miseries
must needs overwhelm the Commonwealth with all Calamities
which the mind even dreadeth to remember? Which that it may
not come to pass, not onely we few that are here present, but even
all England, yea all English men, do prostrate our selves at your
feet, and with humble voice and frequent Sighs do from the bottom
of our hearts most submissively pray and beseech you.”
These things
spake he eloquently and more amply.

Her answer. She answered briefly: “In a matter most unpleasing, most pleasing
to me is the apparent Good will of you and my People, as
proceeding from a very good mind towards me and the Commonwealth.
Concerning Marriage, which ye so earnestly move me
to, I have been long since perswaded, that I was sent into this
world by God to think and doe those things chiefly which may tend
to his Glory. Hereupon have I chosen that kind of life which is most F1r 27
most free from the troublesome Cares of this world, that I might
attend the Service of God alone. From which if either the
tendred Marriages of most Potent Princes, or the danger of Death
intended against me, could have removed me, I had long agone
enjoyed the honour of an Husband. And these things have I
thought upon when I was a private person. But now that the
publick Care of governing the Kingdom is laid upon me, to draw
upon me also the Cares of Marriage may seem a point of inconsiderate
Folly. Yea, to satisfie you, I have already joyned my self in
Marriage to an Husband, namely, the Kingdom of England.
And behold”
(said she, which I marvell ye have forgotten,) “the
Pledge of this my Wedlock and Marriage with my Kingdom.”

(And therewith she drew the Ring from her Finger, and shewed it,
wherewith at her Coronation she had in a set form of words solemnly
given her self in Marriage to her Kingdom.) Here having made
a pause, “And do not” (saith she) “upbraid me with miserable lack
of Children: for every one of you, and as many as are Englishmen,
are Children and Kinsmen to me; of whom if God deprive
me not, (which God forbid) I cannot without injury be accounted
Barren. But I commend you that ye have not appointed
me an Husband, for that were most unworthy the Majesty of
an absolute Princess, and unbeseeming your Wisedom, which are
Subjects born. Nevertheless if it please God that I enter into another
course of life, I promise you I will doe nothing which may
be prejudicial to the Commonwealth, but will take such a Husband,
as near as may be, as will have as great a Care of the Commonwealth
as my self. But if I continue in this kind of life I have
begun, I doubt not but God will so direct mine own and your
Counsels, that ye shall not need to doubt of a Successour which
may be more beneficial to the Commonwealth than he which may
be born of me, considering that the Issue of the best Princes many
times degenerateth. And to me it shall be a full satisfaction, both
for the memorial of my Name, and for my Glory also, if when I
shall let my last breath, it be ingraven upon my Marble Tomb,
‘Here lieth Elizabeth, which Reigned a Virgin, and died
a Virgin.’”

excerpt11 lines F stowed F1v excerptF1v,F2r,F2v,F3r,F3v,F4r,F4v,G-Z4,Aa-Zz4,Aaa-Zzz4,Aaaa-Vvvv4,Xxxx1r,Xxxx1v,Xxxx2r,Xxxx2v; pp. 28-661 + 41 unnumbered pages.