ELIZABETH IN THE TOWER
 THE imprisonment of Queen Elizabeth in the Tower, which was briefly alluded to in the last chapter, deserves a more
full narration than was possible to give to it there. She had retired from court some time before the
difficulties about the Spanish match arose. It is true that she took sides with Mary in the contest with
Northumberland and the friends of Jane Grey, and she shared her royal sister's triumph in the pomp and parade
of the coronation; but, after all, she and Mary could not possibly be very good friends. The marriages of their
respective mothers could not both have been valid. Henry the Eighth was so impatient that he could not wait for
a divorce from Catharine before he married Anne Boleyn. The only way to make the latter marriage legal,
therefore, was to consider the former one null and void from the beginning, and if the former one was
not thus null and void, the latter must be so. If Henry had waited for a divorce, then both marriages might
 valid, each for the time of its own continuance, and both the princesses might have been lawful heirs; but as
it was, neither of them could maintain her own claims to be considered a lawful daughter, without denying, by
implication at least, those of the other. They were therefore, as it were, natural enemies. Though they might
be outwardly civil to each other, it was not possible that there could be any true harmony or friendship
A circumstance occurred, too, soon after Mary's accession to the throne, which resulted in openly alienating
the feelings of the two ladies from each other. There was a certain prisoner in the Tower of London, a
gentleman of high rank and great consideration, named Courteney, now about twenty-six years of age, who had
been imprisoned in the Tower by King Henry the Eighth when he was only twelve years old, on account of some
political offenses of his father! He had thus been a close prisoner for fourteen years at Mary's accession; but
Mary released him. It was found, when he returned to society again, that he had employed his solitary hours in
cultivating his mind, acquiring knowledge, and availing himself of all the opportunities for improvement which
 situation afforded, and that he came forth an intelligent, accomplished, and very agreeable man. The interest
which his appearance and manners excited was increased by the sympathy naturally felt for the sufferings that
he had endured. In a word, he became a general favorite. The rank of his family was high enough for Mary to
think of him for her husband, for this was before the Spanish match was thought of. Mary granted him a title,
and large estates, and showed him many other favors, and, as every body supposed, tried very hard to make an
impression on his heart. Her efforts were, however, vain. Courteney gave an obvious preference to Elizabeth,
who was young then, at least, if not beautiful. This successful rivalry on the part of her sister filled the
queen's heart with resentment and envy, and she exhibited her chagrin by so many little marks of neglect and
incivility, that Elizabeth's resentment was roused in its turn, and she asked permission to retire from court
to her residence in the country. Mary readily gave the permission, and thus it happened that when Wyatt's
rebellion first broke out, as described in the last chapter, Elizabeth was living in retirement and seclusion
at Ashridge, an estate of hers at some
dis-  tance west of London. As to Courteney, Mary found some pretext or other for sending him back again to his
prison in the Tower.
Mary was immediately afraid that the malcontents would join with Elizabeth and attempt to put forward her name
and her claims to the crown, which, if they were to do, it would make their movement very formidable. She was
impressed immediately with the idea that it was of great importance to get Elizabeth back again into her power.
The most probable way of succeeding in doing this, she thought, was to write her a kind and friendly letter,
inviting her to return. She accordingly wrote such a letter. She said in it that certain evil-disposed persons
were plotting some disturbances in the kingdom, and that she thought that Elizabeth was not safe where she was.
She urged her, therefore, to return, saying that she should be truly welcome, and should be protected against
all danger if she would come.
An invitation from a queen is a command, and Elizabeth would have felt bound to obey this summons, but she was
sick when it came. At least she was not well, and she was not mach disposed to underrate her sickness for the
sake of being able to travel on this occasion.
 The officers of her household made out a formal certificate to the effect that Elizabeth was not able to
undertake such a journey.
In the mean time Wyatt's rebellion broke out; he marched to London, was entrapped there and taken prisoner, as
is related at length in the last chapter. In his confessions he implicated the Princess Elizabeth, and also
Courteney, and Mary's government then determined that they must secure Elizabeth's person at all events, sick
or well. They sent, therefore, three gentlemen as commissioners, with a troop of horse to attend them, to bring
her to London. They carried the queen's litter with them, to bring the princess upon it in case she should be
found unable to travel in any other way.
The party arrived at Ashridge at ten o'clock at night. They insisted on being admitted at once into the chamber
of Elizabeth, and there they made known their errand. Elizabeth was terrified; she begged not to be moved, as
she was really too sick to go. They called in some physicians, who certified that she could be moved without
danger to her life. The next morning they put her upon the litter, a sort of covered bed, formed like a
palanquin, and borne, like a palanquin, by men. It was twenty-nine miles
 to London, and it took the party four days to reach the city, they moved so slowly. This circumstance is
mentioned sometimes as showing how sick Elizabeth must have been. But the fact is, there was no reason whatever
for any haste. Elizabeth was now completely in Mary's power, and it could make no possible difference how long
she was upon the road.
The litter passed along the roads in great state. It was a princess that they were bearing. As they approached
London, a hundred men in handsome uniforms went before, and an equal number followed. A great many people came
out from the city to meet the princess, as a token of respect. This displeased Mary, but it could not well be
prevented or punished. On their arrival they took Elizabeth to one of the palaces at Westminster, called
Whitehall. She was examined by Mary's privy council. Nothing was proved against her, and, as the rebellion
seemed now wholly at an end, she was at length released, and thus ended her first durance as a political
It happened, however, that other persons implicated in Wyatt's plot, when examined, made charges against
Elizabeth in respect to it, and Queen Mary sent another force and arrested
 her again. She was taken now to a famous royal palace, called Hampton Court, which situated is on the Thames, a
few miles above the city. She brought many of the officers of her household and of her personal attendants with
her; but one of the queen's ministers, accompanied by two other officers, came soon after and dismissed all her
own attendants, and placed persons in the service of the queen in their place. They also set a guard around the
palace, and then left the princess, for the night, a close prisoner, and yet without any visible signs of
coercion, for all these guards might be guards of honor.
The next day some officers came again, and told her that it had been decided to send her to the Tower, and that
a barge was ready at the river to convey her. She was very much agitated and alarmed, and begged to be allowed
to send a letter to her sister before they took her away. One of the officers insisted that she should have the
privilege, and the other that she should not. The former conquered in the contest, and Elizabeth wrote the
letter and sent it. It contained an earnest and solemn disavowal of all participation in the plots which she
had been charged with encouraging, and begged
 Mary to believe that she was innocent, and allow her to be released.
The letter did no good. Elizabeth was taken into the barge and conveyed in a very private manner down the
river. Hampton Court is above London, several miles, and the Tower is just below the city. There are several
entrances to this vast castle, some of them by stairs from the river. Among these is one by which prisoners
accused of great political crimes were usually taken in, and which is called the Traitors' Gate. There was
another entrance, also, from the river, by which a more honorable admission to the fortress might be attained.
The Tower was not solely a prison. It was often a place of retreat for kings and queens from any sudden danger,
and was frequently occupied by them as a somewhat permanent residence. There were a great number of structures
within the walls, in some of which royal apartments were fitted up with great splendor. Elizabeth had often
been in the Tower as a resident or a visitor, and thus far there was nothing in the circumstances of the case
to forbid the supposition that they might be taking her there as a guest or resident now. She was anxious and
uneasy, it is true, but she was not certain that she was regarded as a prisoner.
 In the mean time, the barge, with the other boats in attendance, passed down the river in the rain, for it was
a stormy day, a circumstance which aided the authorities in their effort to convey their captive to her gloomy
prison without attracting the attention of the populace. Besides, it was the day of some great religious
festival, when the people were generally in the churches. This day had been chosen on that very account. The
barge and the boats came down the river, therefore, without attracting much attention; they approached
landing-place at last, and stopped at the flight of steps leading up from the water to the Traitors' Gate.
Elizabeth declared that she was no traitor and that she would not be landed there. The nobleman who had charge
of her told her simply, in reply, that she could not have her choice of a place to land. At the same time, he
offered her his cloak to protect her from the rain in passing from the barge to the castle gate. Umbrellas had
not been invented in those days. Elizabeth threw the cloak away from her in vexation and anger. She found,
however, that it was of no use to resist. She could not choose. She stepped from the barge out upon the stairs
 in the rain, saying, as she did so, "Here lands as true and faithful a subject as ever landed a prisoner at
these stairs. Before thee, O God, I speak it, having now no friends but thee alone."
A large company of the warders and keepers of the castle had been drawn up at the Traitors' Gate to receive
her, as was customary on occasions when prisoners of high rank were to enter the tower. As these men were
always dressed in uniform of a peculiar antique character, such a parade of them made quite an imposing
appearance. Elizabeth asked what it meant. They told her that that was the customary mode of receiving a
prisoner. She said that if it was, she hoped that they would dispense with the ceremony in her case, and asked
that, for her sake, the men might be dismissed from such attendance in so inclement a season. The men blessed
her for her goodness, and kneeled down and prayed that God would preserve her.
She was extremely unwilling to go into the prison. As they approached the part of the edifice where she was to
be confined, through the court-yard of the Tower, she stopped and sat down upon a stone, perhaps a step, or the
curb stone of a walk. The lieutenant urged her to
 go in out of the cold and wet. "Better sitting here than in a worse place," she replied, "for God knoweth
whither you are bringing me." However, she rose and went on. She entered the prison, was conducted to her
room, and the doors were looked and bolted upon her.
Elizabeth was kept closely imprisoned for a month; after that, some little relaxation in the strictness of her
seclusion was allowed. Permission was very reluctantly granted to her to walk every day in the royal
apartments, which were now unoccupied, so that there was no society to be found there, but it afforded her a
sort of pleasure to range through them for recreation and exercise. But this privilege could not be accorded
without very strict limitations and conditions. Two officers of the Tower and three women had to attend her;
the windows too, were shut, and she was not permitted to go and look out at them. This was rather melancholy
recreation, it must be allowed, but was better than being shut up all day in a single apartment, bolted and
ELIZABETH IN THE TOWER.
There was a small garden within the castle not far from the prison, and after some time Elizabeth was permitted
to walk there. The gates and doors, however, were kept carefully
 closed, and all the prisoners, whose rooms looked into it from the surrounding buildings, were closely watched
by their respective keepers, while Elizabeth was in the garden, to prevent their having any communication with
her by looks or signs. There were a great many persons confined at this time, who had been arrested on charges
connected with Wyatt's rebellion, and the authorities seem to have been very specially vigilant to prevent the
possibility of Elizabeth's having communication with any of them. There was a little child of five years of age
who used to come and visit Elizabeth in her room, and bring her flowers. He was the son of one of the
subordinate officers of the Tower. It was, however, at last suspected that he was acting as a messenger between
Elizabeth and Courteney. Courteney, it will be recollected, had been sent by Mary back to the Tower again, so
that he and Elizabeth were now suffering the same hard fate in neighboring cells. When the boy was suspected of
bearing communications between these friends and companions in suffering, he was called before an officer and
closely examined. His answers were all open and childlike, and gave no confirmation to the idea which had been
entertain-  ed. The child, however, was forbidden to go to Elizabeth's apartment any more. He was very much grieved at this,
and he watched for the next time that Elizabeth was to walk in the garden, and putting his mouth to a hole in
the gate, he called out, "Lady, I can not bring you any more flowers."
After Elizabeth had been thus confined about three months, she was one day terribly alarmed by the sounds of
martial parade within the Tower, produced by the entrance of an officer from queen Mary, named Sir Thomas
Beddingfield, at the head of three hundred men. Elizabeth supposed that they were come to execute sentence of
death upon her. She asked immediately if the platform on which Lady Jane Grey was beheaded had been taken away.
They told her that it had been removed. She was then somewhat relieved. They afterward told her that Sir Thomas
had come to take her away from the Tower, but that it was not known where she was to go. This alarmed her
again, and she sent for the constable of the Tower, whose name was Lord Chandos, and questioned him very
closely to learn what they were going to do with her. He said that it had been decided to remove her from the
Tower, and send
 her to a plane called Woodstock, where she was to remain under Sir Thomas Beddingfield's custody, at a royal
palace which was situated there. Woodstock is forty or fifty miles to the westward of London, and not far from
the city of Oxford.
Elizabeth was very much alarmed at this intelligence. Her mind was filled with vague and uncertain fears and
forebodings, which were none the less oppressive for being uncertain and vague. She had, however, no immediate
cause for apprehension. Mary found that there was no decisive evidence against her, and did not dare to keep
her a prisoner in the Tower too long. There was a large and influential part of the kingdom who were
Protestants. They were jealous of the progress Mary was making toward bringing the Catholic religion in again.
They abhorred the Spanish match. They naturally looked to Elizabeth as their leader and head, and Mary thought
that by too great or too long-continued harshness in her treatment of Elizabeth, she would only exasperate
them, and perhaps provoke a new outbreak against her authority. She determined, therefore, to remove the
princess from the Tower to some less odious place of confinement.
 She was taken first to Queen Mary's court, which was then held at Richmond, just above London; but she was
surrounded here by soldiers and guards, and confined almost as strictly as before. She was destined, however,
here to another surprise. It was a proposition of marriage. Mary had been arranging a plan for making her the
wife of a certain personage styled the Duke of Savoy. His dominions were on the confines of Switzerland and
France, and, Mary thought that if her rival were once married and removed there, all the troubles which she,
Mary, had experienced on her account would be ended forever. She thought, too, that her sister would be glad to
accept this offer, which opened such an immediate escape from the embarrassments and sufferings of her
situation in England. But Elizabeth was prompt; decided, and firm in the rejection of this plan. England was
her home, and to be Queen of England the end and aim of all her wishes plans. She had rather continue a captive
for the present in her native land, than to live in splendor as the consort of a sovereign duke beyond the
Mary then ordered Sir Thomas Beddingfield to take her to Woodstock. She traveled on
 horseback, and was several days on the journey. Her passage through the country attracted great attention. The
people assembled by the wayside, expressing their kind wishes, and offering her gifts. The bells were rung in
the villages through which she passed. She arrived finally at Woodstock, and was shut up in the palace there.
This was in July, and she remained in Woodstock more than a year, not, however, always very closely confined.
At Christmas she was taken to court, and allowed to share in the festivities and rejoicings. On this
occasion—it was the first Christmas after the marriage of Mary and Philip—the great hall of the palace was
illuminated with a thousand lamps. The princess sat at table next to the king and queen. She was on other
occasions, too, taken away for a time, and then returned again to her seclusion at Woodstock. These changes,
perhaps, only served to make her feel more than ever the hardships of her lot. They say that one day, as she
sat at her window, she heard a milk-maid singing in the fields, in a blithe and merry strain, and said, with a
sigh, that she wished she was a milk-maid too.
Kings Philip, after his marriage, gradually
 interested himself in her behalf, and exerted his Influence to have her released; and Mary's ministers had
frequent interviews with her, and endeavored to induce her to make some confession of guilt, and to petition
Mary for release as matter of mercy. They could not, they said, release her while she persisted in her
innocence, without admitting that they and Mary had been in the wrong, and had imprisoned her unjustly. But the
princess was immovable. She declared that she was perfectly innocent, and that she would never, therefore, say
that she was guilty. She would rather remain in prison for the truth, than be at liberty and have it believed
that she had been guilty of disloyalty and treason.
At length, one evening in May, Elizabeth received a summons to go to the palace and visit Mary in her chamber.
She was conducted there by torch-light. She had a long interview with the queen, the conversation being partly
in English and partly in Spanish. It was not very satisfactory on either side. Elizabeth persisted in asserting
her innocence, but in other respects she spoke in a kind and conciliatory manner to the queen. The interview
ended in a sort of reconciliation. Mary put a valuable ring upon Elizabeth's finger in token of the
 renewal of friendship, and soon afterward the long period of restraint and confinement was ended, and the
princess returned to her own estate at Hatfield in Hertfordshire, where she lived some time in seclusion,
devoting herself, in a great measure, to the study of Latin and Greek, under the instructions of Roger Ascham.
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