Queens Elizabeth I Writ Against Northumberland


Copy of Original I

Page 2

Copy of Original II


By The Queen.

The Queens Majesty was sundry wise about the latter end of this summer informed of some secret whysperings in certain places of Yorkshire, and the Bishopricke of Durham, that there was like to be mostly some assemblies of lewde people in those parts, tending to a rebellion: Whereof, because of at the first the informations contained no evident or direct cause or proof, therefor her Majesty had the less regard thereto, untill upon certain conventions and secret meetings of the Earles of Northumberland and Westmoreland, with certain persons of suspected behaviour, the former reports were renewed, and thereof also the said two Earles were in vulgar speeches from place to place expressely noted to be the authors. Whereupon the Earle of Sussex, Lord President of Her Majesties council in those North parts gave advertisement of the like brutes, adding never the less (to his knowledge ) there was no other matter in deed but lewde rumours suddenly raised and suddenly ended. And yet shortly after he sent for the two Earles, with whom he conferred of those rumours: Who as they could not deny but that they had heard of such, yet (as it now afterward appeareth) falsely than dissembling, they protested themselves to be free from all such occasions, offering to spend their lives against any that should break the peace, and so much trusted by the said Lord President upon their othes, they were licensed not only to depart, but had power given to them to examine the causes of the said brutes. Never the less, the fire of their treasons which they had caused was so great, as it did newly burst out more flames. Whereupon her Majesty being always loath to enter into any open miss trust of any of her nobility, and therefore in this case desirus rather to have both the said Earles cleared from such slanders, and her good people that lied in fear of spoil to be quieted: commanded the Lord President (as it seemed) having than discovered some what further of their evil purposes, did only at the first write to them, to come to him to consult upon matters appertaining to that counsell, where unto they made delatorie and frivilous answers: and so being once again more ernestly required, they more flatly denied. And last of all her Majesty sent her own private letters of commandment to them to repay to her preference, all which not withstanding, they refused to come: And harrying before the delivery of Her Majesties letters to them, assembled as great numbers as they could, (which were not many, for that the bonester dost did refuse them) they did enter into an open and actual rebellion, arming and fortifying them selves rebelliously in all warlike manner, and have invaded houses and churches, and published proclamations in their own names, to move her majesties subjects to take their parts, as persons that mean of their own private authority to break and subvert laws, threatening the people that if they cannnot achieve their purposes, then strangers will enter the realm to finalise the same: And with this they add, that they mean no hurt to her Majesties person: A pretence always first published by all traitors. And as for reformation of any great matter, it is evident they be as evil chosen two persons (if their qualities be well considered) to have credit, as can be in the whole realm.

And now her Majesty manifestly perceiving in what sort these two Earles being both in poverty, the one having but a very small portion of that which his ancestors had and lost, and the other having almost his whole patrimony wasted, do go about through the persuasion of a number of desperate persons, associated as parasites with them to satisfy their private lack and ambition which cannot be by them compared, without covering at the first certain high treasons against the Queens Majesties person and the realm, long hidden by such as have hereto provoked them, with the cover of some other pretended general enterprises: Hath thought good that all her good loving subjects specially understand, how in this sort the said Earles, contrary to the natural property of nobility, (which is instituted to defend the prince being the head, and to prefer peace) have thus openly and traitorously entered into the first rebellion and breach of the public blessed peace of this realm that hath happened (beyond all former examples) during her Majesties reign, which now hath continued above eleven years, an act horrible against God the only giver of so long a peace, and gratefull to their sovereign Lady, to whom they two particularly have heretofore made sundry proffessions of their faith: and lastly, mostly unnatural and pernitious to their native country that has so long enjoyed peace, and now by their only malice and ambition is to be troubled in that felicitie, and herewith also her Majesty chargeth all her good subjectes, to employ their whole powers to the preferation of a common peace, (which is the blessing of almightie God) and speedyly apprehend and suppresse all manner of persons that shal by any deede or word shew them selves favourable to this rebelious enterprise of the sayde two Earles, or any their associates: who as her Majestie hath already wylled and commanded to be by the foresayde Earle of suffer, her lietetenaunt generall in the north, published rebelles and traytors against her crown and dignitie: so both he Majestie by these presentes, for anoyding of al pretences of ignorance, reiterate and eftsoones notifie the same to her whole realme, with all their adherentes and favourers to be traytors and to be taken and bled to all purposes, not doubting but this admonition and knowledge given shall fulfile for all good subjects to retayne them selves in their duties, and to be boyde from all seducing by these foresayde rebelles and traytors, or their adherentes and favourers, whatsoever their pretences shal be made or published by them selves, or such as have not the grace of God to delight and liue in peace, but to move to make spoyle of the goodes and substances of all good people, the true proper fruites of all rebellions and treasons.

Given at the castle of Windsor the rriiii, day of November. 1569 in the twelfth yere of her Majesties raigne.

God Save the Queene.

Charles Percy 2014