Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/8

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Beale
Beale
4

English merchant ships on which the Prince of Orange had laid an embargo in the Scheldt in retaliation for acts of piracy committed by English privateers upon Dutch shipping. The ships were set free at once, but a pecuniary indemnity for the detention, which Beale was instructed to claim, was the subject of much dispute, and apparently was never conceded. In June 1576 Augustus, elector of Saxony, had summoned to Torgau a convention of Saxon divines for the purpose of settling certain disputed questions of theology, in particular, whether omnipresence was or was not an attribute of the physical body of Jesus. The result of their labours was seen in the 'Book of Torgau,' which, after revision at Bergen in the following year by James Andreä, or Andreas, chancellor and provost of the university of Tübingen, and certain other eminent theologians, was issued under the title, 'Formula of Concord,' as the only authoritative exposition of the orthodox creed of Saxony. This work not only explicitly affirmed the ubiquity of the body of Jesus to be an integral part of the creed, but declared all such as denied that doctrine (Cryptocalvinists, as they were called) to be heretics. At this juncture Elizabeth saw fit to despatch Beale on a kind of circular tour to visit the courts of the Lutheran princes of Germany, and put in a plea for toleration in favour of the Cryptocalvinists. We learn from one of his papers that, for the purposes of this mission, 'he made a long and winter journey, making a circuit to and fro of 1400 English miles at the least, repairing personally to nine princes, and sending her majesty's letters to three others.' Elsewhere he says that 'he obtained that which he was sent for, i.e. that the Elector of Saxony and Palatine would surcease from proceeding to a condemnation of other reformed churches that did not agree with the ubiquitaries.' Languet, in a letter to Sidney, dated Frankfort , 8 Jan. 1577-8, is able to write: 'Master Beale has met with no small difficulties in going through his appointed task, but by his prudence and dexterity he has so surmounted them that I hope our churches are saved from the perils which threatened them from the movements of Jacobus Andreas and some other theologians.' In the same letter Languet praised Beale's 'agreeable conversation,' and 'his character, genius, and manifold experience.' Beale was at that time returning to England, and Languet's letter, with which he was entrusted, was to serve as an introduction to Sidney. Writing of marriage, Languet observes: 'Take the advice of Master Beale on the matter. He believes that a man cannot live well and happily in celibacy.' In another letter he writes that Beale 'often used to launch out into the praises of matrimony.'

According to Beale's account he was very ill provided with funds for this journey, while his royal mistress, of course, complained of his extravagance. In a letter to the lord treasurer vindicating himself from the charge he says: 'And I protest upon my allegiance that the gifts I gave at the Duke of Brunswick's in ready money and money's worth for her majesty's honour, being her gossips, and having had nothing to my knowledge sent unto them (and in other places), came to better than 100l. And whoso knoweth the fashions and craving of these princes' courts may well see that, having been at so many places, I could not escape with less. My charges came in this voyage to 932l. one way or another. Before my going over I sold a chain which I had of the Queen of Scots for 65l.' The fact that Beale received a token of esteem from Mary Stuart is interesting in connection with his subsequent relations with that unfortunate lady. During Walsingham's absence in the Netherlands in the summer of 1578 Beale acted as secretary of state, as also in 1581 and 1583, on occasion of Walsingham's missions to France and Scotland in those years. In the autumn of 1580 he took part in the examination of Richard Stanihurst, the jesuit, 'touching the conveying of the late Lord Garret [Gerald Fitzgerald, Lord Offaley] into Spain at the instigation of Thomas Fleming, a priest,' and in 1581 was one of the commissioners who took the depositions of Edmund Campion before his trial. It is significant, however, that the commission under which he acted extended only to threatening with torture. When it was determined to have actual recourse to that method of persuasion, Beale's name was omitted (doubtless at his own request) from the commission. This year Walsingham, being appointed governor of the Mines Royal, made Beale his deputy. According to the latter's own account he did his duty in this post for fifteen years, keeping the accounts with regularity, without receiving any remuneration. Between 1581 and 1584 he was employed in negotiating with the Queen of Scots at Sheffield. Camden suggests that he was chosen for this business on account of his notorious bias in favour of puritanism, designating him 'hominem vehementem et austere acerbum,' 'quo non alter Scotorum Reginae prae religionis studio iniquior.' However this may have been, it is certain that he soon came to be suspected of secret partiality to the cause of Mary, and of something like treachery to the council. Of these negotiations he gives the following account: 'Six several