MY Lorde I have a requeste to make unto your Grace wiche I feare has made me omitte til this time for two causes, the one bicause I saw that my request for the rumors wiche were sprede abrode of me toke so litel place, wiche thinge whan I considered I thogth I shulde litel profit in any other sute, howbeit now I understande that ther is a Proclamacion for them (for the wiche I give your Grace and the rest of the counsel most humble thankes) I am the bolder to speake for a nother thinge; and the other was bicause paraventure your Lordeship and the rest of the Counsel wil thinke that I favor her ivel doinge for whome I shal speake for, wiche is for Kateryn Aschiley, that it wolde please your grace and the rest of the Counsel to be good unto her. Wiche thinge I do not to favor her in any ivel, (for that I wolde be sorye to do,) but for thes consideracions wiche folowe, the wiche hope dothe teache me in sainge that I ougth not to doute but that your Grace and the rest of the Counsel wil thinke that I do it for thre other consideracions. First, bicause that she hathe bene with me a longe time, and manye years, and hathe taken great labor, and paine in brinkinge of me up in lerninge and honestie, and therfore I ougth of very dewtye speke for her, for Saint Gregorie sayeth that we ar more bounde to them that bringeth us up wel than to our parents, for our parents do that wiche is natural for them, that is bringeth us into this Worlde; but our brinkers up ar a cause to make us live wel in it. The seconde is bicause I think that whatsoever she hathe done in my Lord Admirals matter as concerninge the marijnge of me, she dide it bicause knowinge him to be one of the Counsel, she thogth he wolde not go about any suche thinge without he had the Counsels consent therunto; for I have ahrde her manye times say that she wolde never have me mary in any place without your Graces and the Counsels consente. The thirde cause is bicause that it shal and doth make men thinke that I am not clere of the dide myselfe, but that it is pardoned in me bicause of my youthe, bicause that she I loved so wel is in suche a place. Thus hope prevailinge more with me than feare, hath wone the battel; and I have at this time gone furth with it. Wiche I pray God be taken no other wais that it is mente. Writen in hast. From Hatfilde this 7 day of Marche. Also if I may be so bolde not offendinge I beseche your Grace and the rest of the Counsel to be good to master Aschiley her husbonde, wiche bicause he is my kindesman I wold be glad he shulde do well.
Your assured frende to my litel
To my verey good Lorde my
Letter written by Princess Elizabeth to the Lord Protector after the death of the Queen Dowager, Catherine Parr. Kateryn Aschiley is Kat Ashley, Elizabeth’s governess.
(Source: “Original Letters Illustrative of English History. Vol II.” Edited by Henry Ellis 1824)