Sir Philip Sidney

Roger Kuin (ed.), The Correspondence of Sir Philip Sidney, Vol. 2

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pg 1074Sidney to Edward Manners, third Earl of Rutland, Walsingham House, 20 December 1583

Text: Belvoir Castle, MS Letters VI, fols. 258–9. Bifolium, cut down at edges, 196 × 297 mm, horizontal slits, trace of wax seal, normal folding; w/m left-handled pot with outline initials 'B E' on top and what looks like small trilobium standing on a stalk between, to the height of the letters: 35 mm H × 16 mm W, between third and fourth chainlines on a/l. Hand rapid, ink much faded, in places barely legible.

(For many years, Belvoir was inaccessible; even Feuillerat printed the letter 'From a facsimile in The Autograph Portfolio, London, Richard Glynn, MDCCCXXXVII'.)

  • [259v]
  • <To t>he right honorable
  • <my si>ngular good lord
  • <the> Earl of Rutland

  • [endorsed:]
  • Sr phillip Sidney
  • to my Lord the xx
  • of December 1583


  • 1Right honorable my singular good Lord. your
  • 2Lordship was gone owt of town ere I was aware, or
  • 3els I had done the duty w<hich> I haue profest
  • 4and will obserue to yowr Lordship while I liue.
  • 5Her Maiesti is well. but trobled with these suspicions1
  • 6which aryse of som illmynded subiectes towards
  • 7her.  My Lord of Northumberland21 hope will
  • 8discharge him self well of those sudoutes conceaued
  • 9of him.  He is yet kept in his hows.
  • 10but for ought I can learn no matter
  • 11of moment laid vnto him.  The consideration
  • 12of removing the scottish queen3 doth still
  • pg 107513continew.  and I think my Lord of Shrewsbury4
  • 14doth shortli com up.  The Embassadowrs of
  • 15spain and fraunce5 be noted for great practisers
  • 16and truli my Lord This is the som of the
  • 17most important news that I can send
  • 18yow. And This shall be the end, that
  • 19I honowr yow to do yow what seruice
  • 20I can. At walsingam hows6: This 20th of
  • 21December. 1583.

  • 22Your Lordeships humble and
  • 23louing poor kinsman
  • 24      Ph. Sidnej

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 In November Walsingham had uncovered the Throckmorton Plot.
Editor’s Note
2 Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland (c.1532–85), had succeeded to the earldom when his brother Thomas was executed for his part in the Northern Rising, and was Burghley's brother-in-law. Henry had served Elizabeth loyally, but had also dabbled in plots in favour of Mary, Queen of Scots, and in December 1583 had been placed under house arrest at his manor of Petworth in Sussex for having helped Thomas Paget and Charles Arundell to escape to the Continent and for having been in contact with Charles Paget, Francis Throckmorton's co-conspirator, who had visited Petworth in September.
Editor’s Note
3 She was eventually moved the following year: in August Shrewsbury was relieved of his role as keeper, and Mary was relocated to Sir Ralph Sadler's house at Sheffield, and thence to his castle of Wingfield.
Editor’s Note
4 George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury (c.1522–90), one of England's richest aristocrats, had been the keeper of Mary, Queen of Scots since 1569, and was to be so until 1584. He was suited for the post because of his enormous wealth and his many houses.
Editor’s Note
5 Bernardino de Mendoza (1540–1604) had been Spanish ambassador to England since 1578; Michel de Castelnau de Mauvissière (1520–92) had been French ambassador since 1574. It was Mendoza who was more involved in the Throckmorton Plot: he was expelled in 1584. Mauvissière, more discreet, left in 1585.
Editor’s Note
6 Sidney appears to have been spending Christmas with his new wife's family.
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