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here in tavarnes, but also in France, therfore I pray you and wyll you, that you dow exclud him from medlyng any kynd of way in the court of the Admyralte, and soo with my harte comendacions I rest
Your lovyng frend,
(Signed) NOTINGHAM.* (P.S. I dow marvell how such a paltre fello came to be a proctor.)
In 1602, when the Queen's health was giving way, the Lord Admiral was frequently sent for ; from him she received such intelligence of what was going forward, as she could with confidence trust to. At this time there was a general anxiety about the state of her health. To an inquiry of Dr. Julius Cæsar, regarding the state of the Queen's health, the Earl's answer is, “Good Dr. Cæsar, I thank
your love in sending unto me. I thank God her Majestie doth now begin to pull up her spirittes, and to talk in better manner, and more cheerfully then since her extremity of sickness, which is no little comfort to us all. I hope God will still increase her strength.” And he adds in a P.S., “Her Majestie hath even now made a reasonable good mele, and is chearfull after it.” † The Queen frequently desired to see the Lord Admiral, for whom indeed she had the highest respect. One day, on leaving London for Richmond, the Queen said to him, “My throne has
been held by princes in the way of succession, and ought not to go to any but to my next and immediate heir.” A few months after this, when on her death-bed, the Privy Council, anxious to ascertain with certainty her sentiments about a successor, desired the Lord High Admiral (as one to whom she had spoken on the subject), the Lord Keeper Egerton, Sir Robert Cecil the Secretary, and the Archbishop of Canterbury to be present. On the question being put, she faintly replied, “A royal successor, a King, her kinsman, the King of Scots.” The Archbishop then advised her to fix her thoughts upon God, and she replied she did so, nor did her mind in the least wander from Him; she then fell into a kind of lethargy, and after a short lapse of time she became speechless, and on the 24th March, 1603, expired; “ taking leave,” says Camden, “ of her crown and life in such a way that her decease was the same (which Augustus wished for), happy and peaceable, after a glorious reign of forty-four years and four months, and in the seventieth
of her age.” * The death of two great sovereigns, who for forty years had employed their subjects in unremitting hostility, opened a way to an honourable peace for their successors, and in 1604 King James forthwith availed himself of it. The treaty was ratified in London by the Constable of Castile. The Earl
year of her
of Nottingham was appointed ambassador to Spain, whither he proceeded with a numerous and splendid train of attendants.* “ The Spaniards," says Hume,
were much surprised when they beheld the blooming countenances and graceful appearance of the English, whom their bigotry, inflamed by the priests, had represented as so many monsters and infernal demons.”
The Earl of Nottingham was appointed Lord High Steward at the coronation, and one of the seven Lords for the office of Earl Marshal; and was also continued by James as Lord High Admiral to the year 1619, when Villiers Duke of Buckingham was appointed to that high situation. At the time of his resignation he had held the office thirtyfour years. The King on this occasion settled on him a pension of 1000l. a year, and remitted a debt of 18,0001. or 20,0001., incurred by the maintenance of a large family, and the keeping up of five or six houses, one of which at Deptford was pulled down not many years ago, when a coat of arms of the noble Earl was discovered in it; but he contributed very largely in providing ships and men entirely at his own expense, both against the Spanish Armada and for the voyage to Cadiz. His liberality and generosity were unbounded, and in particular to all matters connected with the naval service; he was kind and charitable beyond measure to the poor seamen of the fleet. He borrowed 3000 pystolets from the money taken by Drake out of De Valdez' ship; “ For," says he, “ by Jesus, I had not three pounds lefte in the world ;” and he adds, “ I will repay it within ten days after my coming home; but I do assure you my plate has gone before :" and he observes, “If I had not some (money) to have bestowed upon some poor and miserable men, I should have wished myself out of the worlde.”
* Stow has told us of what they consisted :- 266 The 28th of March, Charles, Earle of Nottingham, Lorde High Admirall of all England, being accompanied and attended with one Earle, three Barons, thirty Knightes, and many gentlemen of note and quallitie, one Herault, two Doctors of Physick, besides thirty gentlemen of his owne, in cloakes of blacke velvet, six Pages in cloakes of oreng tawny velvet, like to the rest of their apparell ; hee had also fower score yeomen in livery cloakes of oreng tawny cloath, six trumpeters in oreng colour damaske, and livery cloakes of tawny cloath, and six footmen in oreng tawny velvet ; hee was well furnished with divers coaches and chariots, very richly adorned, the like whereof have not been seen in former
Presently after their departure from Spaine the Spaniardes published a booke, by authoritie, concerning the demeanour of the English in this embassie, wherein they highly commended the grave and noble behaviour of the Lord Ambassador, and other the lords and gallant gentlemen of his companie, and the sober and peaceable behaviour of all his servants, friends, and followers.” -Stow.
His generous disposition appears about this time to have reduced his finances to a very low ebb. Nothing could manifest this more strongly than the following expression of his feelings in a letter (No. 13) to Sir F. Walsinghanı :—“If it please God
to call me to him in this service (the Armada) of her Majesty, which I amost willing to spend my life in, her Majesty, of her goodness, will bestow my boy upon my poor wife, and let my poor wife have the keeping either of Hampton Court or Oatlands, I shall think myself most bound to her Majesty; for I do assure you, Sir, I shall not leave her so well as so good a wife doth deserve."
The few remaining years of this venerable peer were passed in honourable ease and retirement, until the time of his decease, which took place on the 14th December, 1624, in the 88th year of his age, at which advanced period he died, and, he had lived, beloved and respected, by the nation at large.
The Earl of Nottingham appears, indeed, to have passed through a long and active life, without making a single enemy; and every writer, who has occasion to mention his name, has something to say in his praise; the only failing ascribed to him, if it could be so called, was his want of learning, a defect at this time not uncommon, even among the highest ranks of society. Queen Elizabeth herself wa a much better Latin than English scholar: the reason is obvious enough; for the one there were grammars and fixed rules, for the other none. The defect in the language of the Lord Admiral was amply compensated by good sense and good conduct. The Queen oft repeated“ Howard was born to serve and save his country.” Camden says “ he was a person extremely graceful