Although I have troubled your Highness lately with sundry letters, yet that not-withstanding, seeing my lord Marquess (who hath taken the pains to come to me at this present) intends to see your grace shortly, I could not be satisfied without writing to the same, and especially because I purpose tomorrow (with the help of God) to begin my journey towards Norfolk, where I shall be further from your grace. Which journey I have intended since Whitsuntide, but the lack of health hath stayed me all the while. Which, although it be as yet unstable, nevertheless I am enforced to remove for a time, hoping with God’s grace to return again about Michaelmas. At which time, or shortly after, I trust to hear good success of your grace’s great belly;[see below for explanation of such a phrase] and, in the meantime, shall desire much to hear of your health, which I pray almighty God continue and increase to His pleasure, as much as your own heart can desire. And thus with my most humble commendations to your highness, I take my leave of the same, desiring your grace to take the pain to make my commendations to my Lord Admiral. From Beaulieu the ninth of August.
Your highness’s humble and assured loving daughter,
* “your great belly“: a variation of the typical close of a letter written by Mary to her father, assuring him that she prayed for his health and that, for example, God would shortly send his queen (whether her own mother or a successor) “a prince” or “issue,” “which shall be gladder tidings to me that I can express in writing.” (Bodleian, Smith MS 47, fols. 2a, 5a, 6a, 8a, 22, 28, 30, transcribed by Hearne, Sylloge Epistolarum, 124-5, 128, 129, 130, 142, 148, 149.)
- Katherine Parr. Complete Works and Correspondence, editor Janel Mueller, University of Chicago Press, Jun 30, 2011. pg 174-5.
- Thomas Hearne, Sylloge Epistolarum, a variis Angliae principilus scriptarum (A Collection of Letters Written by Various Royal Persons of England), appended to his Titi Livii Foro-Juliensis Vita Henrici Quinti, regis Angliae (Oxford, 1716), 151-2, referencing “small volume 47, fol. 33” in the collection of Thomas Smith of Magdalen College, Oxford. John Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials of the Reign of Edward VI (London, 1721), bk 1, chap. 5 also prints the letter with an erroneous source reference: “Cotton MS Otho, C.X”; this BI, manuscript compendium does not contain Mary’s letter. Janel Mueller transcribed from Hearne and note Strype’s two minor variants.
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