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These new attitudes were given added depth when royalty appeared in the city. Two such visits were made between 1558 and 1640: one by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574, and the second by Queen Anne of Denmark in 1613. Both occasioned magnificent displays of civic pomp. Since much honor accrued from these rare opportunities to entertain royalty, every effort was made to show the city at its best. But these two events reveal a very different profile than had appeared for the visit of Henry VII. In both instances the celebrations took the form of massive military displays in which the prowess of the city’s Trained Bands went hand in hand with their show of loyalty and obedience to royal rule. Instead of stressing the city’s antiquity and independence, the mayor and his brethren emphasized their city’s place in the larger organization of the state and their own subordination to the monarchy.[57] We can see this clearly in the description of Queen Elizabeth’s visit.

When Elizabeth came to Bristol in 1574, “the mayor and all the council riding upon good steeds, with footcloths, and pages by their sides” received Her Majesty within Lawford’s Gate, just outside the boundaries of the city. There an interesting series of exchanges took place, in marked contrast to the symbolism adopted in 1486. At the gate “the mayor delivered [his] mace unto her Grace,” thus relinquishing the sign of his authority as her lieutenant, “and she delivered it unto him again,” reinforcing her authority over the city and his dependence upon her for favor. After an oration by John Popham, the recorder, and the delivery of a gift of £100 in gold to her, the queen was escorted through the city in a procession in which “the mayor himself rode nigh before the Queene, betweene 2 serjeants at arms.”[58] This procession, with each rider holding his proper place in relation to the queen and the others in the order of march, set the tone for the military displays that occupied the queen’s time for the rest of her three-day stay.

To give the displays added meaning, the city hired the poet Thomas Churchyard to supply an allegory, which was presented to the queen in speeches and in a little book interpreting for her the actions of the armed bands.[59] The allegory pitted peace against war and put the city on the side of peace:

Dissenshion breeds the brawll,
     and that is Pomp and Pried:
The Fort on law and order stands,
     and still in peace would bied.
The Warrs is wicked world,
     as by his fruets is seen:
The Fortres representith peace,
     and takes thy part O Queen.[60]
Later we learn that the Fort stands for the “Citie.” The “Citie” resists war and shows “what follies and conflicts rise in Ciuill broyls, and what quietnesse coms by a mutual loue and agrement.”[61] “Our traed doth stand on Siuill lief / and thear our glory lies,” it says,
Wee Marchants keep a mean vnmixt,
     with any iarrying part:
And bryng boeth Treble and the Baess,
     in order still by art.[62]
However, it required human reason and will to tune the parts of a community into harmony with one another, for order in this allegory is conceived as an active principle; it must be created and not merely preserved. “Our orders maks the roister meek,” says the “Citie,”
and plucks the prowd on knees.
The stif and stubborne kno the yoek,
     and roets vp rotten trees
That may infect a fruetfull feeld,
     what can be sweet and sownd:
But in that soyl whear for offence,
     is due correction fownd.
Wee make the siuill laws to shien,
     and by example mield
Reform the rued, rebuek the bold,
     and tame the contrey wyeld.[63]

Nevertheless, vanity could undermine this harmony, by encouraging people “to prowl about for pens and piuish pealf” to the neglect of their fellows. Such selfishness was shortsighted, however; it bred dissension and blinded one to danger. To overcome this threat it was necessary for citizens to move beyond their petty, private interests into the service of the queen and the nation. All were members of her “staet,” and hence must be “a true and loyal stock…reddy…with losse of lief” to battle her foes.[64] Thus the “Citie” declares that “though our ioy be most in peace, and peace we do maintain…Yet haue we soldyars” that

…daer blade hit with the best,
     when cawse of contrey coms
And cals out of courage to the fight,
     by sound of warlike Droms.[65]

It was only from the monarch, however, that peace and order could come to the city. She was a “Prince in deed of princely minde…the toutchstoen…the Pillar, Prop and stay [o]f eury region far or neer.” She was the “noble Judge” who stood above the fray to decide great quarrels. Hence her “helpyng hand” was needed “to cord disorders” wherever they appeared:[66]

And blest be God we haue a Prince,
     by whom our peace is kept:
And vnder whom this Citie long,
     and land hath safly slept.
For whomliekwyse a thousand gifts,
     of grace enioy we do:
And feell from God in this her rayne
     ten thousand blessyngs to.
And mark how mad Dissension thriues,
     that would set warres abroetch:
Who sets to saell poer peoples liues,
     and gets but viell reproetch.
And endles shaem for all their sleights:
O England ioy with vs:
And kis the steps whear she doth tread,
that keeps her countrey thus.
In peace and rest, and perfait stay,
whearfore the god of peace:
In peace by peace our peace presarue,
and her long lief encrease.[67]

The dependence upon the queen so clearly articulated in these verses was repeated in the mock battle itself. The third and last day of the maneuvers ended with three assaults upon the fort, but the enemy, having been repulsed, agreed to a parley. The attackers offered the “good Citizens and Soldiors” of the fort a chance to surrender and “depart with bag and bagaeg,” honorably but in defeat. “To which the Fort maed answer, that the Cortaynes nor Bulwarks was not their defence, but the corrage of good peple, & the force of a mighty prince (who saet and beheld all these doyngs) was the thing they trusted to.” With this the enemy was defeated and peace was declared. “[A]t which pece boeth sides shot-of their Artillery, in sien of triumphe, and so crying God saue the Queen, these triumphs and warlik pastimes finished.”[68]

Throughout these three days the underlying theme was the city’s place in the royal chain of command. The queen came to town “with princely trayn and power,” and to honor her the city called out the Trained Bands to guard and wait upon her. The citizens thus fell “with all orders and marshall manner” into line with this princely train. Churchyard’s allegory, moreover, gave added stress to the queen’s position as commander. He arranged, for example, to have the gentlemen waiting upon the queen join with the citizens in defense of the fort. In addition, during one of the mock engagements, John Robartes, a common councillor, came to the queen to crave her aid “in their defence that peace desiers.” Later, on the third day, “nue suckors commyng from the Court to the Forts great comfort” turned the tide of battle. To cap this symbolism, the queen exercised the prerogative of commander in rewarding the Trained Bands with a gift of 200 crowns for a banquet.[69] Whereas Henry VII’s stay in Bristol had stressed the city’s independence from the ruling monarch, Elizabeth I’s emphasized just the reverse. Instead of arising from autonomy, as was claimed in the fifteenth century, civic unity now required the authority of the monarch.[70]

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