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made for sustaining a siege. All the morning the din and hurry of martial preparation resounded through the palace. Edward himself tells us, in his own diary, that five hundred suits of armour were brought down from the armoury, to arm the servants and other men attendant on the Protector and himself, so that with the soldiers and guards there was a goodly body of men for defence.
But as the day wore on, the uneasiness of the Protector increased. No news, indeed, was brought of the approach of any hostile force; but Petre, whom he had despatched the day before to the Lords in London, “to know for what cause they gathered their powers together, and, if they meant to talk with him, that they should come in a peaceable manner,” and to treat for an amicable arrangement, had not yet returned, and the delay began to excite serious suspicions in his mind.
The summons of the criers whom he had sent out, and the proclamation he had circulated, had, it is true, been so far responded to, that a large crowd had collected in the outer Green Court; but that they had come rather out of curiosity than sympathy was evident enough.
Besides, rumours had reached him, which were too precise to be altogether devoid of truth, that the members of the Council in London had seized the Tower, displaced his Lieutenant, and installed an officer of their own; and that his messenger had been forcibly detained.
There was evidently no time to lose: it would be hopeless to attempt to hold his own at Hampton Court unless he could count on the surrounding population. Perhaps the sight of their young King might animate them to loyal enthusiasm and produce the desired effect. Edward was, therefore, hurried from his lodgings, and though it was already dark, and he was suffering from a cold, he was brought into the First Court, where the soldiers were drawn up in martial array. The scene must have been a striking one, as the young and feeble King and his uncle emerged through the archway of the Clock Tower, with Cranmer, Paget, Cecil, and others, preceded by the heralds sounding a march on their trumpets, while the flare of the torches gleamed on the armour of the guards, who greeted them with cheers. Arrived at the Great Gate-house, where the heavy oak doors had been rolled open, Somerset and the King advanced to the stone bridge over the moat in front of the gate.
History does not record what reception they gave their young sovereign when, at the bidding of his uncle, he addressed them, and said, “I pray you, be good to us and our uncle." Somerset himself then harangued them, imploring them to defend him, and warning them that it was the King that was aimed at in the actions of the Council, and that if he fell he was determined not to fall alone, but that the King would fall also.
So piteous and selfish an appeal was little calculated to arouse the enthusiasm of his hearers. It was received in complete silence; and Somerset, mortified and apprehensive, went back into the palace to ponder on the situation he was in.
He soon arrived at the conclusion that the only thing to
EDWARD VI. AND THE PROTECTOR SOMERSET.
do was to fly to a place of greater security. So, in an hour or two after, at nine or ten o'clock at night, in spite of the feeble condition of Edward, he hurried him away, with all his people and guards, to Windsor Castle.
Five days after he made an abject submission to his enemies, and was lodged a prisoner in the Tower; while Edward, who was probably not sorry to be released from
EDWARD VI. AND HIS COUNCIL. (From a Woodcut on the title-page of the Statutes of 1551.) his tutelage, returned to Hampton Court-or ’Ampton Court, as he preferred to write it-to appoint Warwick, the Protector's deadly enemy, Lord Great Master and Lord High Admiral.
Edward was at this palace again in July, 1551, and this sojourn of the King's at Hampton Court is memorable for the issuing, on July 18th, by the Council of the famous proclamation addressed to the bishops, inviting them and