Throkmorton’s Letter to Elizabeth, from Paris, 21st July 1561., pp.332-338.

It may please your Majesty to understand: Having intelligence, that Monsieur d’Oysell had advertised the Queen of Scotland, by Rollet her secretary, the 17th of this present, what answer your majesty had made him; and hearing also of the sundry praises and discourses made here, of that your majesty answered, I sent to Dampier (a house of the Cardinal of Lorrain’s) the 19th of this month, to the Queen of Scotland, to require audience of her, which she appointed me to have the next day, in the afternoon, at St. German’s.

The 20th of this present, in the afternoon, I had access to the said Queen of Scotland, with whom I found Monsieur d’Oysell talking when I entered into her chamber; she dismissed Monsieur d’Oysell, and rose from her chair, when she saw me; unto whom I said, Madam, whereas you sent lately Monsieur d’Oysell to the Queen my mistress, to demand her majesty’s safe conduct, for your free passage, by sea, into your own realm, and to be accommodated with such favours, as upon events, you might have need of upon the coast of England: the Queen my mistress hath not thought good to suffer the said Monsieur d’Oysell to pass into Scotland, nor to satisfy your desire, for your passage home, neither for such other favours, as you required to be accommodated withall, at her majesty’s hand; inasmuch as you have not accomplished the ratification of the treaty, accorded by your deputies, in July, now twelve months ago, at Edinburgh, which in honour you are bound many ways to perform; for besides, that you stand bound by your hand and seal, whereby your commissioners were authorised, it may please you, madam, to remember that many promises have been made, for the performance thereof, as well in the king your husband’s time, as by yourself, since his death, and yet notwithstanding the treaty remaineth unratified, as before, a whole year being expired since the accord thereof, which by your commissioners was agreed to have been ratified within sixty days: So as upon this unamicable and indirect dealing, the Queen my mistress hath refused you these favours, and pleasures, by you required, and hath grounded this her majesty’s strangeness unto you, upon your own behaviour, which her majesty doth uncomfortably, both for that your majesty is, as she is, a Queen, her next neighbour, and next kinswoman; nevertheless, her majesty hath commanded me to say unto you, madam, (quoth I) that if you can like to be better advised, and to ratifie the treaty, as you in honour are bound to do, her majesty will not only give you and your’s free passage, but also will be most glad to see you pass through her realm, that you may be accommodated with the pleasure thereof, and such friendly conference may be had betwixt you, as all unkindness may be quenched, and an assured perfect amity betwixt you both for ever established. Having said thus much unto her, the said Queen sat down, and made me sit also by her; she then commanded all the audience to retire them further off, and said, Monsieur l’ambassadour, I know not well my own infirmity, nor how far I may with my passion be transported; but I like not to have so many witnesses of my passions, as the Queen your mistress was content to have, when she talked with Monsieur d’Oysell: There is nothing that doth more grieve me, than that I did so forget myself, as to require of the Queen your mistress that favour which I had no need to ask; I needed no more to have made her privy to my journey, than she doth me of hers; I may pass well enough home into my own realm, I think, without her passport, or license; for though the late King your master (said she) used all the impeachment he could both to stay me, and to catch me, when I came hither, yet you know Monsieur l’ambassadour, I came hither safely, and I may have as good means, to help me home again, as I had to come hither, if I would employ my friends: Truly (said she) I was so far from evil meaning to the Queen your mistress, that at this time I was more willing to employ her amity to stand me in stead, than all the friends I have; and yet you know, both in this realm, and elsewhere, I have both friends, and allies, and such as would be glad, and willing to employ both their forces, and aid to stand me in stead; you have, Monsieur l’ambassadour (quoth she) oftentimes told me, that the amity between the Queen your mistress and me were very necessary, and profitable for us both; I have some reason (quoth she) now to think, that the Queen your mistress is not of that mind; for I am sure, if she were, she would not have refused me thus unkindly; it seemeth she maketh more account of the amity of my disobedient subjects, than she doth of me their sovereign, who am her equal in degree, though inferior in wisdom and experience, her nighest kinswoman and her next neighbour; and trow you (quoth she) that there can be so good meaning between my subjects and her, which have forgotten their principal duty to me, their sovereign, as there should be betwixt her and me? I perceive, that the Queen your mistress doth think, that because my subjects have done me wrong, my friends and allies, wil forsake me also: Indeed your mistress doth give me cause to seek friendship, where I did not mind to ask it; but Monsieur l’ambassadour, let the Queen your mistress think, that it will be thought very strange amongst all princes, and countries, that she should first animate my subjects against me, and now being a widow, to impeach my going into my own country: I ask her nothing but friendship; I do not trouble her state, nor practise with her subjects; and yet I know there be in her realm that be inclined enough to hear offers, I know also they be not of the mind she if of, neither in religion, nor other things. The Queen your mistress doth say, that I am young, and do lack experience; indeed (quoth she) I confess, I am younger than she is, and do want experience: But, I have age enough, and experience to use myself towards my friends and kinsfolks friendly and uprightly; and I trust my discretion shall not so fail me, that my passion shall move me to use other language of her than it becometh of a Queen, and my next kinswoman. Well, Monsieur l’ambassadour, I could tell you, that I am as she is, a Queen allied, and friended, as is known; and I tell you, also, that my heart is not inferior to hers, so as an equal respect would be had betwixt us on both parts; but I will not contend in comparisons: first, you know (quoth she) that the accord was made in the late king my lord and husband’s time; by whom, as reason was, I was commanded and governed; and for such delays as were then, in his time, used in the said ratification, I am not to be charged: Since his death my interest failing in the realm of France, I left to be advised by the council of France, and they left mine also to my own council; indeed (quoth she) my uncles being, as you know, busy in the affairs of this realm, do not think meet to advise mer in my affairs; neither do my subjects, nor the Queen your mistress, think meet that I should be advised by them, but rather by the council of my own realm; here are none of them, nor none such, as is thought meet, that I should be counselled by; the matter is great, it toucheth both them and me, and in so great a matter, it were meet to use the advice of the wisest of them; I do not think it meet in so great a matter to take the counsel of private and unexpert persons, and such as the Queen your mistress knoweth be not most acceptable to such of my subjects as she would have me be advised by; I have (quoth she) oftentimes told you, that as soon as I had their advices, I would send the Queen your mistress such an answer as should be reasonable; I am about to haste me home as fast as I may, to the intent the matter might be answered; and now the Queen your mistress will in no wise suffer neither me to pass home, nor him that I sent into my realm; so as Monsieur l’ambassadour (quoth she) it seemeth the Queen your mistress will be the cause why in this matter she is not satisfied, or else she will not be satisfied; but liketh to make this matter a quarrel still betwixt us, whereof she is the author: The Queen, your mistress saith, that I am young, if I would in the state and country that I am in, proceed to such a matter of myself, without any counsel; for that, which was done by the King, my late lord and husband, must not be taken to be my act; so as neither in honour, nor in conscience, am I bound, as you say I am, to perform all that I was by my lord and husband commanded to do; and yet (quoth she) I will say truly unto you, and as God favours me, I did never mean otherwide unto her than becometh me to my good sister and cousin, nor meant her no more harm than to myself; God forgive them that have otherwise persuaded her, if there be any such. What is the matter, pray you, Monsieur l’ambassadour (quoth she) that doth so offend the Queen your mistress, to make her thus evil affected to me? I never did her wrong, neither in deed, nor speech; it should the less grieve me, if I had deserved otherwise than well; and though the world may be of divers judgments of us, and our doings, one to another, I do well know, God, that is in heaven, can and will be a true judge, both of our doings and meanings. I answered, Madam, I have declared unto you my charge commanded by the Queen my mistress, and have no more to say to you on her behalf, but to know your answer, for the ratification of the treaty.

The Queen answered, I have aforetime shewed you, and do now tell you again, that it is not meet, for to proceed in this matter, without the advice of the nobles and states of mine own realm, which I can by no means have until I come amongst them. You know (quoth she) as well as I, there is none come hither, since the death of the King, my late husband, and lord, but such as are either, come for their private business, or such as dare not tarry, in Scotland. But, I pray you, Monsieur l’ambassadour (quoth she) tell me, how riseth this strange affection in the Queen your mistress towards me? I desire to know it, to the intent I may reform myself, if I have failed. I answered, Madam, I have by the commandment of the Queen my mistress, declared unto you the cause of her miscontentation already: But seeing you so desirous to hear, how you may be charged with any deserving, as one that speaketh of mine own mind, without instruction, I will be so bold, Madam, by way of discourse, to tell you. As soon as the Queen my mistress, after the death of her sister, came to the crown of England, you bore the arms of England, diversely quartered with your own, and used in your country notoriously, the stile, and title of the Queen my mistress, which was never by you put in use in Queen Mary’s time: And if any thing can be more prejudicial to a prince, than to usurp the title, and interest belonging to them, Madam, I do refer it to your own judgment. You see, such as be noted usurpers of other folks states, cannot patiently be born withal, for such doings; much more the Queen my mistress hath cause to be grieved (considering her undoubted and lawful interest) with the offer of such injury. Monsieur l’ambassadour, said she, I was then under the commandment of King Henry my father, and of the King my lord and husband; and whatsoever was done then, by their order, and commandments, the same was in like manner continued until both their deaths, since which time, you know I neither have bore the arms, nor used the title of England. Methinks (quoth she) these my doings might ascertain the Queen your mistress, that that which was done before, was done by commandment of them, that had the power over me; and also in reason she ought to be satisfied, seeing I order my doings as I tell you. It were no great dishonour to the Queen my cousin, your mistress, though I, a Queen also, did bear the arms of England; for I am sure, some, inferiour to me, and that be not on every side so well apparented as I am, do bear the arms of England. You cannot deny (quoth she) but that my grandmother was the King her father’s sister, and (I trow) the eldest sister he had. I do assure you, Monsieur l’ambassadour, and do speak unto you, truly, as I think, I never meant, nor thought matter against the Queen my cousin. Indeed (quoth she) I know what I am, and would be loth either to do others wrong, or suffer too much wrong to myself: And now that I have told you my mind, plainly, I pray behave yourself, betwixt us, like a good minister, whose part is, to make things betwixt princes rather better than worse. And so I took my leave of the said Queen, for that time. Paris, 21st July 1561. [The original is in the Cotton library, Calig. E. v. 87; Cabala, 345.]

One thought on “Throkmorton’s Letter to Elizabeth, from Paris, 21st July 1561., pp.332-338.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s