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chaunced within this realme, untill your Graundfather and Graundmother, Kinge Henrye the vijth and Quene Elizabeth his wief, (thone clayming from thouse of Lancaster, and thother from thouse of York, now joyned in one), hath bin for lacke of right dealinge in the matter of succession; and by swarving therin present civile warre hath followed, and if not sometime present, yet within three discentes after the swarving, great mischief and inconveniens hath followed unto the heires of the swarvers and their partakers, and to manye others, both great and small, of thother partie that weare not giltie. Stephen and Henry the second.—And in briefe to repete to youre Matie, first, when King Stephen (in the right of his mother, syster to King Henry the First,) toke uppon him the crowne by the helpe and power of Henry the Byshopp of Winchester, one of his uncles, from his cousin Maud, daughter and heire to King Henrye the first, his mother's brother, uppon colloure that he was a man and Mawde a woman, and her sonne, Henry Plantagenet, younge, and not hable to governe, yt is well knowen what civill warres did follow theruppon in the realme, untill such tyme as the matter being taken up by [not legible] Henry, Maud's sonne, was restored to the right of his inheritauns. John and Arthur—Then, after Henry the Second raigned his sonne Richard the first, who, dieng without issue, appointed Arthur of Brittanie, sonne of Jeffrey his second brother, to be his heire; but John, the younger brother of Richard, before Richard his death, tooke uppon him the Crowne, wherby great troubles within this realme followed then presentlye, and afterwardes bothe in John his own tyme (notwithstanding that Arthur died) and also in his sonnes tyme, King Henry the Third, the civill plage ceassed not. Richard the second, Henry the iiijth.—In Richard the second his tyme, Edmunde Mortymer, Earle of Marche, who married the daughter and heire of Lionell Duke of Clarens, was declared heir apparaunt by Parliament: yet, nevertheles, when the said Richard was deprived of his kingdom, Henry Earle of Derby, sonne to John Duke of Lancaster, a second brother to the said Lionell, was, by Parlyament, made Kinge; after whome his sonne Henry the vth raigned ; and after him his sonne Henry the vi", in whose tyme was advanced great civile warre, great ruine of great families, and great effusion of blood royall; for, as yt is written, by the swarving of the right of succession after the death of Richard the second, untill the tyme that Edward the iiij" by mariage with the heire of Clarens had gotten the quiett possession of the Crowne, there was, in the meane season, slayne succession of the blood royall. Eduard the vith—Richard the iijd.—And in Richard the Third his tyme, what mischeif fell by his taking the Crowne uppon him, and disinheriting his brother King Edward the iiijth his children, I have heard diverse men tell in my tyme, that they both knew yt and felt parte of the smarte of yt. And then came that happie mariage (as I have said before) wherby the Houses of York and Lancaster were conjoyned; which happie conjunction of those two in one, if it shold be broken and brought to any one of the House of York alone, or of the House of Lancaster alone, as longe as there is anie alive that hath just tytle herin, then both the child that is yett unborne which maie fele the smarte off yt, besides those which maie suffer in the meane season. Jane—Marye.—Nowe last, in your Maties owne daies what civill discord was like to have risen by swarving from the right line off discent (the Lady Jane Graye taking uppon her the crowne of this realme), your Matie did see, yf God had not provided otherwise, and some others did fele the smarte of yt, wherof some yet remayning, I trust, will learne by the tyme past, and others will take example by them in the lyke hereafter. Thentaylle of the Crowne.—And because there be some that speake of thentayling of the crowne by your Matie, alledging examples of some of your auncestors; perswading therfrom, that there is no cause why your Matie shold feare to name your successor, true ytt is indeed (as I have heard) that some of your auncestors did make thentaill, but yet neuer to anie other person then to ther own children, or to ther brethren and sisters children, and so left yt to the next right heire, cutting off all other taille: whether your Matie be in the case of your auncestors or no, I doubt not but by your wisdome you do consider. The heire male in Fraunce.—The governement of the realme of Fraunce in apoincting the Crowne to the heire male onelie, cutting awaye the heires generall, causeth some men here to lyke well of the succession of the heires male here in this realme; but whosoever shall reade the story of Fraunce since Phillippus Pulchers daies, shall finde after the decesse off his sonnes without heires, that by the disenherison of Isabell, Phillippus his daughter, mother to Edward the Third, who was indead, and so ys your Matie by discent from her, rightfull heire to the Crowne of Frauns, there was never realme that hath suffered more calamytie in yt selfe, and by everie meanes then that realme hath suffered ever since yt swarved from the right succession untill within these nientie years (the quarrell nevertheles remayning at thes daies). This discourse, wherin I note a disenherison of some right heires, and off callamities that fell theruppon, ys to put your Matie in remembraunce to use great and deep deliberation, and to understand thorowghly wher the right resteth by the lawe of this land, which is the rule wherby all your subjectes must be ordred, and wherby they hold all that they have, and wherunto the Princes of this realme do promise solempnelie at ther coronation to have a speciall regarde. Yf your Matie knowe nott already where the right resteth by the lawe of this land, your Matie hath good meanes to knowe, if it shall please you to use yt, by calling unto your selff all your Judges, Barons of thexchequer, your Serjeauntes and Atturneys Generall of the Duchie and of the Wardes, and your Solicitor, and in your Maties own royall person to advize them (by such solempne and earnest wordes as I knowe your Matie can use in such an earnest matter) nott onelie to declare unto your Matie (after they have consulted theruppon) in writing subscribed with ther own handes, in whome by the lawes of this land the right resteth, but allso to kepe secret unto them selffes ther opinion therin without disclosing the same unto anye partie (without your Maties formall licens) but to your Matie your selff as they will answer at ther perills. And then may your Matie att your will and pleasure kepe close or discover the same as tyme shall require, to whome and in such sorte, either in open counsaill, other open assemblie or in this Parliament; or if tyme will not serve, at an other tyme of Parliament as your Matie shall think convenient for a full and mature considerans had therof: and your Matie maye knowe thopinions (if it shall so please you) allso of others, though they be not of your cownsaill, grave and learned men in the lawe of this land. For the better conducing wherof to effect, a pedigre shold be delyvered by your Matie to your said Judges and learned cownsaill, with such objections as maie be alledged against anye person that hath at this daie anye maner of pretens to the succession. In this wise your Matie shall both preserve the dignitie, prerogative and majestie of your estate royall, and also satisfie the desire of your good subjectes, avoyding therby also all such parcialities as at this daie, peradventure, leade diverse men to leane to diverse uppon diverse respectes, and finallie so ende the matter as your Matie shall never be disquieted in mynd, and so provide by your wisdome with good advise taken and followed (if the case shall so require), that neither the state of the lawes of this realme at this day, which diverse much do feare, neyther yet anie other thinge shall not be in any other parte or member altered or chaunged contrary to the governement already established. But if yt will please your Matie to be (after a sorte) a Christ unto us, a Redeemer, a Saviour off us by mortifying your own affection for us, and for our sakes, by mariage, take the paine to bring furth princely children, then shuld youe not nede to feare thentaill; then shuld your Ma" be quiet; then shuld we be happie, and then your Matie with a better secury tie and with longer deliberation (by understanding of everie body his pretens, and what everychone off them could saie for themselffes) establish the matter rightfully. But in this pointe I speake the lesse toching mariage, bicause I have heretofore, by your Maties goodnes, presumed not onelie to write unto you at large, but allso presentlie to move your Matie eftsones by word of mouth therin. I praie God directe your harte in these two pointes speciallie, and in all other your doinges, according to his will and pleasure.
Thus ceassing to trouble your Matie anye longer, I make my reffuge (wher I beganne) to your Maties clemencye, trusting that you will take this my writing in gracious parte according to my true meaning. For I take God to record I haue no manner off respect in this matter to anie manner off person, but onelie to the right, uppon whome soever yt shall fall, and the lawes of this land, forgetting your knowledg, wherof I have brieflie declared myn opinion, for a meane to be used by your Matio (yf it so please you), and I have sumarelie sett forth before your eyes the civill warres within this realme, with their causes, tymes and persons. And this I have donne for discharge of my consciens towardes God, and my duetie to your Matie and my countrey. And I have donne yt the rather because I was apointed by your writte to be at your Parlyament with other noblemen, to geve cownsaill in great and weightie matters concerning the publique weale of this realme: from whens being enforced by sycknes to be absent, and having your Maties licens (as my Lord Robert hath declared unto me in your Maties behalf), I have thought yt my parte to write thus muche unto your Ma", and to your Matie alone. And trusting, and allso beseching your Mate most humblie that yt will please youe to take this my writing into your protection, as a thing submitted in every pointe to your Maties judgment and correction, I praie God protecte your Matie long to his honor, your own contentation, and the comffortes and quietnes of us all and off our posterytie.