Smithfield was then with faggots fild, And many places more beside; At Coventry was Sanders kild, 15 At Glocester eke good Hooper dyde; And to escape this bloudy day, Beyond-seas many fled away.
Among the rest that sought reliefe And for their faith in daunger stood, 20 Lady Elizabeth was chiefe, King Henries daughter of royall blood; Which in the Tower prisoner did lie, Looking each day when she should die.
The Dutchesse of Suffolke, seeing this, 25 Whose life likewise the tyrant sought, Who in the hope of heavenly blisse Within God's word her comfort wrought,[L28]
For feare of death was faine to flie, And leave her house most secretly. 30
That for the love of Christ alone, Her lands and goods she left behind, Seeking still for that pretious stone, The worde of trueth, so rare to find: She with her nurse, her husband, and child, 35 In poor array their sights beguild.
Thus through London they passed along, Each one did passe a severall streete; Thus all unknowne, escaping wrong, At Billings-gate they all did meete: 40 Like people poore, in Gravesend barge, They simply went with all their charge.
And all along from Gravesend towne With easie journeyes on foote they went; Unto the sea-coast they came downe, 45 To passe the seas was their intent; And God provided so that day, That they tooke shippe and sayld away.
And with a prosperous gale of wind In Flanders safe they did arive; 50 This was to their great ease of minde, Which from their hearts much woe did drive; And so with thanks to God on hie, They tooke their way to Germanie.
Thus as they traveld, thus disguisde, 55 Upon the high way sodainely By cruell theeves they were surprisde, Assaulting their small companie; And all their treasure and their store They tooke away, and beate them sore. 60
The nurse in middest of their fight Laid downe the child upon the ground; She ran away out of their sight, And never after that was found: Then did the Dutchesse make great mone 65 With her good husband all alone.
The theeves had there their horses kilde, And all their money quite had tooke; The pretty babie, almost spild, Was by their nurse likewise forsooke, 70 And they farre from their friends did stand, All succourlesse in a strange land.
The skies likewise began to scowle; It hayld and raind in pittious sort; The way was long and wonderous foule; 75 Then may I now full well report Their griefe and sorrow was not small, When this unhappy chaunce did fall.
Sometime the Dutchesse bore the child, As wet as ever she could be, 80 And when the lady kind and mild Was wearie, then the child bore hee; And thus they one another easde, And with their fortunes were well pleasde.
And after many wearied steppes, 85 All wet-shod both in durt and myre, After much griefe, their hearts yet leapes, (For labour doth some rest require); A towne before them they did see, But lodgd therein they could not bee. 90
From house to house they both did goe, Seeking where they that night might lie, But want of money was their woe, And still the babe with cold did crie; With capp and knee they courtsey make, 95 But none on them would pittie take.
Loe here a princesse of great blood Did pray a peasant for reliefe, With tears bedewed as she stood!
Yet few or none regardes her griefe; 100 Her speech they could not understand, But gave her a pennie in her hand.
When all in vaine the paines was spent, And that they could not house-roome get, Into a church-porch then they went, 105 To stand out of the raine and wet: Then said the Dutchesse to her deare, "O that we had some fier heere!"
Then did her husband so provide That fire and coales he got with speede; 110 She sate downe by the fiers side, To dresse her daughter, that had neede; And while she drest it in her lapp, Her husband made the infant papp.
Anone the sexton thither came, 115 And finding them there by the fire, The drunken knave, all voyde of shame, To drive them out was his desire: And spurning forth this noble dame, Her husbands wrath it did inflame. 120
And all in furie as he stood, He wroung the church-keies out of his hand, And strooke him so, that all of blood His head ran downe where he did stand; Wherefor the sexton presently 125 For helpe and ayde aloude did cry.
Then came the officers in hast, And tooke the Dutchesse and her child, And with her husband thus they past, Like lambes beset with tygers wild, 130 And to the governour were they brought, Who understood them not in ought.
Then Maister Bartue, brave and bold, In Latine made a gallant speech, Which all their miserie did unfold, 135 And their high favour did beseech: With that, a doctor sitting by Did know the Dutchesse presently.
And thereupon arising straight, With minde abashed at their sight, 140 Unto them all that there did waight, He thus brake forth, in wordes aright: "Behold within your sight," quoth hee, "A princesse of most high degree."
With that the governour and the rest 145 Were all amazde the same to heare, And welcommed these new-come guestes With reverence great and princely cheare; And afterward conveyd they were Unto their friend Prince Cassemere. 150
A sonne she had in Germanie, Peregrine Bartue cald by name, Surnamde The Good Lord Willobie, Of courage great and worthie fame.
Her daughter young, which with her went, 155 Was afterward Countesse of Kent.
For when Queene Mary was deceast, The Dutchesse home returnde againe, Who was of sorrow quite releast By Queene Elizabeth's happie raigne: 160 For whose life and prosperitie We may prayse God continually.
9. There is said to be a place so called in the archiepiscopal palace at Lambeth.
28. _So_, C. G. G. R., for which in.
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF FAMOUS THO. STUKELY, AN ENGLISH GALLANT IN THE TIME OF QUEENE ELIZABETH, WHO ENDED HIS DAYES IN A BATTAILE OF KINGS IN BARBARIE.
Thomas Stuckley, says Fuller, "was a younger brother, of an ancient, wealthy, and worshipful family, nigh Ilfracombe in this county [Devon], being one of good parts; but valued the less by others, because overprized by himself. Having prodigally mis-spent his patrimony, he entered on several projects (the issue general of all decayed estates); and first pitched on the peopling of Florida, then newly found out, in the West Indies. So confident his ambition, that he blushed not to tell Queen Elizabeth, 'that he preferred rather to be sovereign of a mole-hill, than the highest subject to the greatest king in Christendom;' adding, moreover, 'that he was assured he should be a prince before his death.' 'I hope,' said Queen Elizabeth, 'I shall hear from you, when you are stated in your principality.' 'I will write unto you,' quoth Stuckley. 'In what language?' said the Queen. He returned, 'In the style of princes: To our dear sister.'
"His fair project of Florida being blasted for lack of money to pursue it, he went over into Ireland, where he was frustrated of the preferment he expected, and met such physic that turned his fever into frenzy; for hereafter resolving treacherously to attempt what he could not loyally achieve, he went over into Italy.
"It is incredible how quickly he wrought himself through the notice into the favour, through the court into the chamber, yea closet, yea bosom of Pope Pius Quintus; so that some wise men thought his Holiness did forfeit a parcel of his infallibility in giving credit to such a _glorioso_, vaunting that with three thousand soldiers he would beat all the English out of Ireland.
"The Pope finding it cheaper to fill Stuckley's swelling sails with airy titles than real gifts, created him Baron of Ross, Viscount Murrough, Earl of Wexford, Marquis of Leinster; and then furnished this title-top-heavy general with eight hundred soldiers, paid by the King of Spain, for the Irish expedition.
"In passage thereunto, Stuckley lands at Portugal, just when Sebastian, the king thereof, with two Moorish kings, were undertaking a voyage into Africa. Stuckley, scorning to attend, is persuaded to accompany them. Some thought he wholly quitted his Irish design, partly because loath to be pent up in an island (the continent of Africa affording more elbow-room for his achievements); partly because so mutable his mind, he ever loved the last project (as mothers the youngest child) best. Others conceive he took this African in order to his Irish design; such his confidence of conquest, that his breakfast on the Turks would the better enable him to dine on the English in Ireland.
"Landing in Africa, Stuckley gave council which was safe, seasonable, and necessary; namely, that for two or three days they should refresh their land soldiers; whereof some were sick, and some were weak, by reason of their tempestuous passage. This would not be heard; so furious was Don Sebastian to engage; as if he would pluck up the bays of victory out of the ground, before they were grown up; and so, in the battle of Alcaser, their army was wholly defeated: where Stuckley lost his life.
'A fatal fight, where in one day was slain, Three kings that were, and one that would be fain!'
"This battle was fought anno 1578, where Stuckley, with his eight hundred men, behaved himself most valiantly, till overpowered with multitude." _Worthies of England_, by Nuttall, i. 414.
Mr. Dyce, in his prefatory note to Peele's _Battle of Alcazar_, having cited the above extract with several poetical notices of Stukeley, mentions another play founded on this adventurer's exploits (_The Famous Historye of the Life and Death of Captaine Thomas Stukely_), acted in 1596, and printed in 1605 (Peele's _Works_, ii. 85).
The ballad is from _The Crown-Garland of Golden Roses_ (Percy Society, vol. vi.) p. 33. There are some verses on Stukeley's projected voyage to Florida in Mr. Collier's _Old Ballads_, in the first volume of the Percy Society, p. 73.
In the west of England Borne there was, I understand, A famous gallant in his dayes, By birth a wealthy clothier's sonne; Deeds of wonder he hath done, 5 To purchase him a long and lasting praise.
If I should tell his story, Pride was all his glory, And lusty Stukely he was call'd in court; He serv'd a bishop of the west, 10 And did accompany the best, Maintaining still himselfe in gallant sort.
Being thus esteemed, And every where well deemed, He gain'd the favour of a London dame, 15 Daughter to an alderman, Curtis he was called then, To whom a sutor gallantly he came.
When she his person spied, He could not be denied, 20 So brave a gentleman he was to see; She was quickly made his wife, In weale or woe to lead her life, Her father willingly did so agree.
Thus, in state and pleasure, 25 Full many daies they measure; Till cruell death, with his regardles spight, Bore old Curtis to his grave, A thing which Stukely wisht to have, That he might revell all in gold so bright. 30
He was no sooner tombed, But Stukely presumed To spend a hundred pound that day in waste: The bravest gallants of the land Had Stukelies purse at their command; 35 Thus merrily the time away he pass'd.
Taverns and ordinaries Were his cheefest braveries,[L38]
Goulden angells flew there up and downe; Riots were his best delight,[L40] 40 With stately feastings day and night; In court and citty thus he won renowne.
Thus wasting land and living By this lawlesse giving, At last he sold the pavements of his yard, 45 Which covered were with blocks of tin; Old Curtis left the same to him, Which he consumed vainely, as you heard.