The future Queen Elizabeth writes one last letter to her younger brother, King Edward VI before his death saying “I intend not to fear your graces goodwill, which as I know never disarmed, so I trust you will stand by me…Thus as one desirous to hear of your majesties health, though unfortunate to see it, I shall pray to god for him to preserve you.”
In today’s post, I have translated a very endearing letter the Princess Elizabeth, future queen of England, wrote to her brother shortly before his death on July 6th, 1553. She wrote from Hatfield House after attempting to gain an audience to see Edward but then was not allowed admittance due to his declining health. After being turned away, she quickly pens him to wish good health, assure him of her loyalty, and best intentions. The disappointment rings loud and clear in her words of not being able to see her brother after making the journey to the Palace of Placentia, also know as Greenwich Palace, where after a short seven year reign, Edward’s final illness ended his life at only fifteen years old.
Translation By The Chronicles Of History:
To the Kings most excellent majesties,
Like a ship in stormy weather that plucks down the sails for better winds, so do I, my most noblest of kings. By most unfortunate chance, my joy and comfort like a ship’s sails have been plucked down this Thursday last. I do trust one day that the troublesome waves will be repulsed backwards so that a gentle wind may bring me forward to my haven. On two chief occasions I have been saddened very much and grieved greatly. One for I doubted your majesties health and another for all my long travels I went without what I came for. First I am relieved in part for what I now understand of your health, and also that your Majesties lodging is far from my Lord Marques chamber. Of my other grief I am not eased, but the best is that whatever other folks will suspect, I intend not to fear your graces goodwill, which as I know never disarmed, so I trust you will stand by me. For if your graces desires that I should return (whose will is a commandment) had not been, I would not have made the half of my way, the ending of my journey. Thus as one desirous to hear of your majesties health, though unfortunate to see it, I shall pray to god for him to preserve you. From Hatfield this present Saturday.
Your Majesty’s humble sister to command,
Like as a shipman in stormy wether plukes downe the sailes tarijnge for bettar winde, so did I, most noble Kinge, in my vnfortunate chanche a thurday pluk downe the hie sailes of my ioy and comfort and do trust one day that as troblesome waues have repulsed me bakwarde, so a gentil winde wil bringe me forwarde to my hauen. Two chief occasions moued me muche and griued me gretly, the one for that I doubted your Maiesties helthe, the other bicause for al my longe tarijnge I wente without that I came for. Of the first I am releued in a parte, bothe that I vnderstode of your helthe, and also that your Maiesties loginge is far from my Lorde Marques chamber. Of my other grief I am not eased, but the best is that whatsoever other folkes wil suspect, I intende not to feare your graces goodwil, wiche as I know that I never disarued to faint, so I trust wil stil stike by me. For if your Graces aduis that I shulde retourne (whos wil is a commandemente) had not bine, I wold not haue made the halfe of my way, the ende of my iourney. And thus as one desirous to hire of your Maiesties helth, thogth vnfortunat to se it, I shal pray God for euer to preserue you. From Hatfilde this present Saterday.
Your Maiesties humble sistar
To the Kinges most
BOOK PICK OF THE DAY
A kinswoman to Elizabeth I, Lettice Knollys had begun the Queen’s glittering reign basking in favor and success. It was an honor that she would enjoy for two decades. However, on the morning of September 21st, 1578, Lettice made a fateful decision. When the Queen learned of it, the consequences were swift. Lettice had dared to marry without the Queen’s consent. But worse, her new husband was Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the Queen’s favorite and one-time suitor.Though she would not marry him herself, Elizabeth was fiercely jealous of any woman who showed an interest in Leicester. Knowing that she would likely earn the Queen’s enmity, Lettice married Leicester in secret, leading to her permanent banishment from court. Elizabeth never forgave the new Countess for what she perceived to be a devastating betrayal, and Lettice permanently forfeited her favor. She had become not just Queen Elizabeth’s adversary. She was her rival. But the Countess’ story does not end there. Surviving the death of two husbands and navigating the courts of three very different monarchs: Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Charles I, Lettice’s story offers an extraordinary and intimate perspective on the world she lived in.
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