Elizabeth I to Lord Henry and Lady Margery Norris, 6 September 1599 (SP 12.272 f.161)
Lord and Lady Norris had suffered badly as a result of Elizabeth’s wars in Ireland. Four of their sons had already died in the queen’s service, most recently Henry and Sir Thomas. Only Sir Edward now survived, and Elizabeth recalled him from Ireland to comfort his grieving parents.
Right trustie and wellbeloved, and right deare and wellbeloved we greet you well. The bitter accident lately befallen you, which is the cause of our writing seeing it touches you both with equall smart, And our desire that all the comfort whiche we wishe to you, may reach to each of you with like effect is the cause that we have coupled you togither in our letter. Lothe we were to have written at all, because in such accidentes (for the most part) the offering of comfort is but the presenting of freshe occasion of sorrowe. But yet being well persuaded of your constant resolution, grounded aswell on the experience of other lyke mishaps, which your yeares have seene, as also chiefly uppon your religious obedience to the work of His handes, whose strokes are unavoydable: we could not forbeare to doe our part, partly because we conceave that we shall therein propose our self for our example to you, our losse in political respect… being no less than yours in naturall consideration; And partly by giving you assurance that whatsoever from us may minister comfort by demonstrating towardes […] of you the value we made of the departed shall not faile to be employed to your best contentmentes; assuring you that this hard happe of yours shall rather serve us for matter to increase our care of you then anie waye to abate it. And because that we knowe it would be some staye to your sorrows to have him in your eyes, who is in forraine partes, we will give order that as soon as possibly he may leave his chardge in good sort, he shalbe with you to yield you all duty and service he may.