The Proposition. To promote a Woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion or empire above any realm, nation or city is
- Repugnant to nature.
- Contumely to GOD.
- The subversion of good order, of all equity and justice.
- Men illuminated only by the light of nature have seen and determined that it is a thing most repugnant to nature, that Women rule and govern over men.
Surprisingly enough, Elizabeth I was offended. Who’d have thunk it? Oh, no, I didn’t mean you, said Knox:
To the verteuus and godlie ELIZABEHT by the grace of GOD quen of England etc JOHN KNOX desireht the perpetuall Encrease of the Holie Spiritt. etc.
As your graces displeasur against me most Iniustlie conceaned, hath be[en] and is to my wretched hart a burthen grevous and almost intollerabill, so is the testimonye of a clean conscience to me a stay and vphold that in desperation I sink not, how vehement that ever the temptations appear, for in GODDis presence my conscience beareht me reacord that maliciouslie nor of purpose I inoffended your grace, nor your realme….
I can not Deny the Writeing of a booke against the vsurped aucthoritie and Iniust regiment of wemen, neyther yet am I mynded to retract or to call any principall point or proposition of the sam[e], till treuth and veritie do farther appear, but why that eyther your grace, eyther yit ony such as vnfeanedlie favourthe libertie of England should be offended at the aucthor of such a work I can perceaue no iust occasion. For first my booke tuchheht not your graces’ person in especiall, neyther yit is it preiudiciall till any libertie of the realme yf the tyme and my Writing be indifferently considered. How could I be enemy to your graces person?
The Queen still wasn’t impresssed. So Knox wrote again explaining that it was all Mary Queen of Scots’ doing:
May it please your maiestie that it is heir certainlie spoken that the Queen of Scotland travaleht earnestlie to have a treatise intituled the first blast of the trompett confuted by the answere of the learned in Diuerse realmes, And farther that she lauboureht to inflambe the hartes of princes against the writar.
What’s a plain honest man to do with such unreasonable harpies?