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Mrs. Clive's, with the long meadow before the same, and all the furniture there; after their deaths or marriages, to go to the same uses as Strawberry-hill; and with a restriction not to let the house for longer than a year.
By the same codicil be also directs all the boxes containing his prints, books of prints, &c. to be conveyed to Strawberryhill, to remain as heir-looms appurtenant to that estate ; and makes it a particular request to the person in possession of his favourite residence, that the books, and every article of furniture there, may be preserved with care, and not disposed of, nor even removed. But all the letters written to him by such of his friends as shall be living at the time of his death, are to be returned to the writers.
Strawberry-hil he bequeathed to the hon. Mrs. Anne Damer, and a legacy of 20001. to keep it in repair, on condi. tion that she resides there, and does not dispose of it to any person, unless it be to the countess dowager of Waldegrave, on whom and her heirs it is entailed. He died worth 91,000l. 3 percents. This villa of Strawberry-hill, so often mentioned, was originally a small tenement, built in 1698, by the earl of Bradford's coachman, as a lodging-house. Colley Cibber was one of its first tenants; and after bim, successively, Talbot, Bishop of Durham, the marquis of Carnarvon, Mrs. Cbevevix, the toy-woman, and lord John Philip Sackville. Mr. W. purchased it 1747, began to fit it up in tbe Gothic style 1753, and completed it 1776. He permitted it to be shewn, by tickets, to parties of four, from May to October, between the hours of twelve and three, and only one party a day. The best concise account of this villa, and its valuable contents, that has hitherto appeared, may be found in Mr. Lysons's “Environs of London." A catalogue raisonnée of its furniture was drawn up by the noble owner, printed at Strawberry-hill in 1774, and is now among his works. He devoted a great part of his life and fortune to the embellishment of this villa, which has long been viewed as one of the greatest curiosities near the metropolis. . In it he had amassed a collection of pictures, prints, and drawings, selected with great taste.
His intervals of leisure, health, and spirits, he employed in the works above mentioned, most of which have been favourites with the public, althougų they are of very opposite merits. He was alternately a poet, an historian, a politician, an antiquary, and a writer of dramas and romances. Of all his works his own opinion appeared to be 1573 at the court of France, where he acquitted himself with great capacity and fidelity, sparing neither pains nor money to promote the queen's interest, who, however, did not support him with much liberality. It was even with great difficulty that he could procure such supplies as were. necessary for the support of his dignified station. In a letter from him (Harleian MSS. No. 260), to the earl of Leicester, dated Paris, March 9, 1570, he earnestly solicits for some allowance on account of the great dearth in France; desiring lord Leicester to use bis interest in his behalf, that he might not be so overburthened with the care how to live, as to be bindered from properly attending to the business for which he was sent thither.
Five days after he wrote a letter to lord Burleigh, which gives a curious account of the distresses to which Elizabeth's representative was reduced by her singular parsimony.
6. Your lordship knoweth necessity hath no law, and therefore I hope that my present request, grounded on necessity, will weigh accordingly. And surely if necessity forced me not hereto, I would forbear to do it for many respects. I do not doubt, after my lord of Buckhurst's return, but you shall understand, as well by himself, as by others of his train, the extremity of dearth that presently reigneth here; which is such as her majesty's allowance doth not, by 5l. in the week, defray my ordinary charges of household. And yet neither my diet is like to any of my predecessors, nor yet the number of my borses so many as they heretofore have kept. I assure your lordship, of sool. I brought in my purse into this country, I have not left in money and provision much above 3001.; far contrary to the account I made, who thought to have had always 5001. beforehand to have made my provisions, thinking by good husbandry somewhat to have relieved my disability otherwise,” &c. In another letter, dated June 22, 1572, he again solicits lord Burleigh for an augmentation of his allowance, alledging, that otherwise be should not be able to bold out: but notwithstanding this and other solicitations, there is much reason to believe that the queen kept him in considerable difficulties.
His negociations and dispatches during the above embassy were collected by sir Dudley Digges, and published in 1655, folio, with this title, " The complete Ambassador; or, two Treatises of the intended Marriage of queen Elizabeth, of glorious memory; comprised in Letters of Negotiation of sir Francis Walsingham, her resident in France. Together with the answers of the lord Burleigh, the earl of Leicester, sir Thomas Smith, and others. Wherein, as in a clear Mirrour, may be seen the faces of the two Courts of England and France, as they then stood; with many remarkable passages of State, not at all mentioned in any history." These papers display Walsingham's acuteness, discernment, and fitness for the trust that was reposed in him.
After his return, in 1573, he was appointed one of the principal secretaries of state, and sworn a privy-counsellor, and soon after received the honour of knighthood. He now devoted himself solely to the service of his country and sovereign ; and by his vigilance and address preserved her crown and life from daily attempts and conspiracies. Io 1578, he was sent on an embassy to the Netherlands, and in 1581, went a third time ambassador to France, in order to treat of the proposed marriage between the queen and the duke of Anjon; and also to conclude a league offensive and defensive between both kingdoms. He resided in France from about the middle of July to the end of the year. In 1583, he was sent into Scotland on an embassy to king James, attended with a splendid retinue of one hundred and twenty horse. The particular design of this embassy is not very clearly expressed by historians. It appears to bave been partly occasioned by king James haying taken into his councils the earl of Arran, a nobleman very obnoxious to queen Elizabeth. Sir James Melvil, who was at this time at the Scottish court, mentions their expecting the arrival of secretary Walsingham, “a counsellor,” he says, “ of worthy qualities, who had great credit with the queen of England.” Sir James was sent to welcome hin, and to inform him, “That his majesty was very glad of the coming of such a notable personage, who was known to be endued with religion and wisdom, whom he had ever esteemed as his special friend, being assured that his tedious travel in his long royage (being diseased as he was) tended to more substantial points for the confirmation of the amity between the queen his sister and bim, than had been performed at any time before."
Walsingham had then an audience of the Scotch king, and after several other private conferences with him, set out again for England. But during his stay in Scotland he declined having any intercourse with the earl of Arran,
" for be esteemed the said earl,” says Melvil, “a scorner of religion, a sower of discord, and a despiser of true and honest men; and therefore he refused to speak with him, or enter into acquaintance; for he was of a contrary nature, religious, true, and a lover of all honest men." Arran, in resentment, did every thing he could to affront Walsingham; but the latter, on his return, made a very advantageous representation to Elizabeth, of the character and abilities of king James. Hume observes, that Elizabeth's chief purpose in employing Walsingham on an embassy 6 where so little business was to be transacted, was to learn, from a man of so much penetration and discernment, the real character of James. This young prince possessed very good parts, though not accompanied with that vigour and industry which his station required ; and as he excelled in general discourse and conversation, Walsingham entertained a higher idea of his talents than he was afterwards found, when real business was transacted, to have fully merited.” Lloyd, who imputes universal genius to Walsingham, says, that he could "as well fit the humour of king James with passages out of Xenophon, Thucydides, Plutarch, or Tacitus, as he could that of Henry king of France with Rabelais's conceits, or the Hollander with mechanic discourses."
Sir Francis Walsingham was not only assiduous in the discharge of those important trusts which were immediately committed to him, or were connected with bis office as secretary of state, but he was also zealous to promote every public-spirited design, especially what regarded trade and navigation, which the English were at this time extending with great success to all parts of the world. Among others he patronized the celebrated Hakluyt in his studies and discoveries, and also promoted sir Humphrey Gilbert's voyage for the settling of Newfoundland, by procuring him a sum of money and two ships from the merchants of Bristol.
In 1586, that “the distance between the churches (of Rome and England) should be made wide enough,” Antony Wood informs us that a new divinity-lecture was founded at Oxford by sir Francis, “a man of great abilities in the schools of policy, an extreme bater of the popes and church of Rome, and no less a favourer to those of the puritan party." Io the letters which sir Francis addressed to the chancellor of the university on this occasion, he
says, “ whereas it is found by good experience, that the learning in popery, and in superstition, whereof our Englishmen of late years trained in the seminaries beyond the sea so greatly glory, and so much hurt her majesty's good subjects, when they come to this realm from thence, hath by no means grown and taken root so deeply in those seminaries as by certain public teachers in those seminaries that read and handle only common places of their false religion, which some call dictates, whereby the English Jesuits, and late made priests beyond sea, though in truth of small or no reading at all themselves, yet make a great shew of learning : I cannot but marvel, and much mislike, that in our universities here at home, as great care is not had for advancement of true religion of God bere professed, by some more lectures of divinity to be read, especially the handling the principal parts of our religion, whereby no doubt but that the ministry of the churches of this realm, which should spring from the university, would be not only better to deliver all true doctrine, but also to confute upon every occasion the contrary,” &c.-The first lecturer nominated by sir Francis, was the celebrated Dr. John Rainolds (See RAINOLDS, p. 494), but the lecture was only of the temporary kind, and is supposed to have ceased on the founder's death.
In the same year, 1586, he displayed his usual sagacity and vigilance in the management of every thing relative to the detection of Babington's conspiracy against queen Elizabeth ; and in October was one of the commissioners appointed to try Mary queen of Scotland. In the course of this trial Mary indirectly charged sir Francis with counterfeiting her letters and cyphers, and with practising both against her life and her son's. Upon this sir Thomas rose up, and protested that his heart was free from all malice against the Scottish queen. “ I call God," says he, “to witness, that as a private person I bave done nothing unbeseeming an houest man; neither in my public condition and quality have I done any thing unworthy of my place. I confess, that out of my great care for the safety of the queen and realm, I have curiously endeavoured to search and sift out all plots and designs against the saine. If Ballard (one of the persons concerned in Babington's conspiracy) bad offered me his assistance, I should not have retused it; yea, I would have rewarded him for his pains and service. If I have tampered any thing with him, why did