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Transcript - Document 1

Letter from Princess Elizabeth to her sister, Queen Mary I 16 March 1554.

(Catalogue reference: EXT 11/25)

  1. If any ever did try this olde saynge that a kinges worde was more tha[n]
  2. a nother ma[n]s othe I most humbly beseche your M[aiestie] to verefie it in
  3. me and to reme[m]ber your last promis and my last demau[n]de that I
  4. be not co[n]demned without answer and due profe wiche it semes that now I am for
  5. that without cause provid I am by your counsel frome you co[m]manded
  6. to go vnto the tower a place more wonted for a false traitor, tha[n] a tru
  7. subiect wiche thogth I knowe I deserve it not, yet in the face of
  8. al this realme aperes that it is provid wiche I pray god I may dy the
  9. shamefullist dethe that ever any died afore I may mene any suche
  10. thinge, and to this present hower I protest afor God (who shal juge
  11. my trueth) whatsoever malice shal devis) that I never practyced
  12. conciled nor co[n]sentid to any thinge that migth be preiudicial
  13. to your parson any way or daungerous to the state by any
  14. mene, and therfor I hu[m]bly beseche your maiestie to let
  15. me answer afore your selfe and not suffer me to trust your
  16. counselors yea and that afore I go to the tower (if it
  17. be possible) if not afor I be further co[n]demned howbeit I
  18. trust assuredly your highnes wyl give me leve to do it afor
  19. I go for that thus sha[m]fully I may not be cried out on as now I shal
  20. be yea and without cause let co[n]sciens move your hithnes to
  21. take some bettar way with me tha[n] to make me be co[n]de[m]ned
  22. in al me[n]s sigth afor my desert knowen. Also I most hu[m]bly
  23. beseche your higthnes to pardon this my boldnes wiche
  24. innoce[n]cy procures me to do togither with hope of your natural
  25. kindnis wiche I trust wyl not se me cast away without desert
  26. wiche what it is I wold desier no more of God but that you
  27. truly knewe. Wiche thinge I thinke and beleve you shal
  28. never by report knowe vnles by your selfe you hire. I have
  29. harde in my time of many cast away for want of comminge
  30. to the presence of ther prince and in late days I harde my
  31. lorde of So[m]merset say that if his brother had bine sufferd
  32. to speke with him he had never sufferd but the
  33. perswasions wer made to him so gret that he was brogth
  34. in belefe that he coulde not live safely if the admiral lived
  35. and that made him give his consent to his dethe thogth
  36. thes parsons ar not to be co[m]pared to your maiestie yet I
  37. pray god a[...]l perswatio[n]s perswade not one sistar again[st]
  38. the other and al for that the have harde false report and
  39. not harkene to the trueth
  40. knowen
  41. therfor ons again with hu[m]blenes of my hart, bicause I am not
  42. sufferd to bow the knees of my body I hu[m]bly crave to speke
  43. with your higthnis wiche I wolde not be so bold to desier
  44. if I knewe not my selfe most clere as I knowe my selfe most
  45. tru, and as for the traitor Wiat he migth paraventur writ
  46. me a lettar but on my faithe I never receved any from him and
  47. as for the copie of my lettar sent to the fre[n]che kinge I pray
  48. God co[n]fou[n]d me eternally if ever I sent him word, message
  49. toke[n] or lettar by any menes, and to this my truith
  50. I will stande into my dethe.
  51. I humbly crave but only one worde
  52. of answer fro[m] your selfe.
  53. Your highnes most faithful subiect that
  54. hathe bine from the beginninge, and wylbe
  55. to my ende. Elizabeth
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