Border Papers volume 1: March 1581

Pages 66-67

Calendar of Border Papers: Volume 1, 1560-95. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

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96. [Thomas Randolph] to Hunsdon. [1581 after March.]

"I arrived here the same day beinge Thursdaye, that the Commissioners came to this towne. I had no presens of her Majestie untyll the Saterdaye at nyght, and then onlye a gracious token of her hyghnes favour therein in the syght of maynye, as her grace passed to the chapell. Upon [ ] last yt pleased her Majestie to have farther tawlk with me of the state of that King and countrye, of your Lordship and procedinges ther. I spake of all matters as I founde, but nothynge so myche as I was wyllinge to have sayde yf tyme wolde have served, her Majestie commandinge me to attende her Majesties farther leasure,—which hytherto by reason of great affayres hathe not served. Her Majestie wyshed that I sholde be privie to your lordships lettre sent to Mr Secretarie, touchynge the retorne of Mr Seton, and also of the lettre wrytten by the King to her Majestie. As your lordship is judged to have used the matter with greate discretion and wysdome, so hathe Mr Seton dyscovered hym self to be as your lordship dothe ryghtlye tayke hym. The king in his lettre showethe his stomacke and smale understondinge howe to deale with so wyrthye a princesse, thoughe her Majestie with a most gracious mynde, attribute yt unto thinadvisednes of his Counsell and dyspyte of some that are abought hym, and hathe more myldlye and graciouslye answerd, thoughe verie effectuouslye and sufficientlye, to mayke hym knowe his error, then suerlye maynye other princes in suche case wolde have done. This lettre commethe to your lordship at this tyme, my advise beinge demanded by Mr Secretary who were fittest to carrie yt? I named Mr Erington, referringe yt to your lordships wytt. I fynde that her Majestie conceaveth hardly of that Kinge, and not withowte cawse, her Majesties Counsell bent tadvise her hyghnes not to beare farther with hym then ther shall appere good lykelyhoode that he maye be brought to her divotion. She is nowe contented to receave from hym any embassador beinge wyse, grave and well affected to the Riligion and amytie. Your lordship maye perchance heare that the Kinge maye have good wyll to sende Robert Melvin. I thynke hym in my opinion as unfeete as Seton. Some counsellor were fytter, more honorable, and wolde beste serve the torne. Your lordship by advise to some ther, maye order this matter as you thynke good.

Not thynkinge to have sufficient dyscharged my dewtie towardes your lordship in so few lynes as are above wrytten, be theye ether of that which I wryte of my self or by commission, I thought good to lette the L. L. somwhat of our triumphant isew in the Courte and els whear to these noble men here. At St James House no open shewe was made to anye man more than ordenari, thoughe great numbers were present at the solemnyte. The nexte daye the cheif of the whole compaynye had presens of her Majestie in the Banketing house, with their great contentement to them all, the honour was so greate as more coulde not be wysshed. The nexte daye they dynid in the same place, hir Majestie keping the state. I cane saye to lyttle of anye thynge that was done to honour them that daye. Upon Wensdaye the Lord Treasorer, Lord Chancellor, Lord of Leicester, (fn. 1) Mr Vice chamberlayne, and Mr Secretary Walsingham, wente to theim to have some intelligens of the cawse of their commynge. (fn. 2) A longe oration was made by Presydent Brisat settinge forthe the commodities of uniting of these two reaulmes by some strayte of alliance and marriage, beinge her Majestie most assured ther coulde none be founde sure that rusian (?) beinge nowe offered and longe tyme in securetye. (fn. 3) Yt is moste ernestlye desyered of the Kinges parte to have yt consummated. In this kynde of treatie he consumed a whole hower. Answer was geven by the Lorde Treasorer, that their commynge at this tyme was onlye to heare, not to answer or to replye, but desyered to see their commission, and to note some speatiall heades to be presented to her Majestie—which beinge granted, theye tooke their waies. In thys tyme the Marshall was not well at ease, and cawsed hym self to be lett bluid xij unces, which is sayde to be an ordinarie thynge with hym. Upon Thursdaye theye dyned all with my Lord of Leicester. What shewe ther was, and in what order, I neade not wryte. Your lordship may thynke ther wanted nothynge that myght be had. Her Majestie to honour the feaste, tooke parte of their dynner in the banketinge howse in the gardayne, wher she saw the Treasurer in conference with these noblemen. This daye Saturdaye, the younger sorte of the noble men ar huntinge in Waltam forreste with my Lorde of Leicester—tomorrowe theye dyne with my Lorde Treasurer—upon Mondaye and Twesdaye," Ends abruptly here at foot of page.

4 pp. Draft or rough copy by Randolph of his own letter. On margin of first page: "To the L. Honsdon after my retorne owte of Scotland 1581." Part has been lost.


  • 1. "L. Admirall," written above.
  • 2. This was the embassy for the marriage proposed to Elizabeth by the Duke of Anjou.
  • 3. The sense is obscure, some words being doubtful.