Page:The house of Cecil.djvu/47

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WILLIAM, LORD BURGHLEY 33

paymaster of the House of Ewelme, of which institution she was foundress, and proposed to appoint him, with others, as a commission to examine into the matter, being " determined to remove the violence and oppression " and to have the poor thoroughly considered. At the same time she sent him the patent of the stewardship of the manor of Colly- Weston, signed and sealed. 1 Yet these confidential relations were conducted with so much caution and discretion on Cecil's part that, as Dr. Jessopp has observed, " all the researches of three centuries have failed to discover, in all the enormous mass of documents that have come to light and bearing upon this period, a single letter or instrument which indicates that any intrigues were going on between Elizabeth and Cecil during the later years of Mary's reign." 2

During this period of his life he was living at Wimbledon, though we know nothing of the house he lived in. He was already a landowner on a large scale. In November, 1551 between the arrest of Somerset and his trial he received an enormous grant of estates in Lincolnshire and Rutland ; and his landed property was consider- ably increased on the death of his father in March, I 553- Soon afterwards he began the first enlarge- ment of Burghley House, for though that estate and mansion had been left to his mother, and during her life he always regarded it as hers, he spent immense sums on it.

1 Cal. of Hatfield MSS., I. 434.

a William Cecil, Lord Burghley, p. 9.

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