Libels Part 3. Henry Howard contra Oxford: letters and libels



The charges submitted by Thomas Norton (2.1.1, 2.1.3) were aimed directly at Henry Howard, while the charges submitted by Oxford (some items of 2.1.4, all of 2.2.1-2), whom Howard calls "mine accuser" (3.3, at note 113), were aimed at both Howard and Arundel. The three interrogatories put to Arundel may have been put to Howard also, but no formal, enumerated answers survive in Howard's case. Instead, we have two detailed letters addressed to Elizabeth but probably received by the Privy Council (3.1-2). In these, Howard attempts to exonerate himself from charges specified in 3.1/5, but spends most of his energy cooperating with Arundel in an attempt to turn the tables on Oxford. Another document (3.5.1) contains articulated charges against Oxford, again similar to Arundel's (4.2, 4.4). Over the months Howard also dispatched epistolary pleas to Burghley (3.4), Walsingham (3.3, 3.6, 3.8), Leicester (3.7), and Hatton (3.9), first while under restraint, and then after his release, which evidently occurred in late July or early August. With two exceptions (3.4, 3.9), all these documents survive in Howard's own hand.

3.1 Howard to Elizabeth, circa 29 December 1580 (see note 82), probably from his place of incarceration at York House. This letter covers a large number of topics, first by way of undermining Oxford's credibility; then in Howard's own self-defense, particularly against Oxford's charge (cited in paragraph 2.1, at note 8) that he had been in league with Mary Queen of Scots; and finally in defense of the Howard family at large. This letter and Charles Arundel's full-scale libel (4.2) were clearly composed from a more or less identical set of notes (see Oxford's charges of "combination" 2.1.4/1 and 2.2.1/1). Howard apparently refers back to this letter in 3.3, at note 112. At the top left corner of the first page appears a post-1603 annotation: "To the lat [=late] Queen contra oxford". Numbering has been supplied to the major paragraphs for ease of reference.

BL Cotton Titus C.6, ff. 7-8 (bifolium, 305mm x 210mm; undated; writing covers all four sides)

Althoughe this [cause] course of casting open other mennes deformities most graciouse and most redouted souerayne repugne so much against my nature as I rather wold endure the smarte of trouble then be noted for ane instrumente of other mennes calamity yet since thinges are not at suche libertie that men may choose their pathe since my trew frendshipe hathe bene quited [=requited] with vntrewe reportes since growndes of nature warrant guiltlesse mindes in percinge those vnshamfast forheades withe the pointe of truthe which will not blushe to see the falshod of their owne attemp<t> and since your maiesty comaundith me to publishe truthe without regard of persones ore of circumstance I vowe to speake without all spight and poysone of the splene and so sincerely to discharge my parte as neyther mallice ouerrule my witte nor practise ouerweighe my knowledge [The pa<..>] Wherfor to be shorte the pointes wherwith I meane to charge my lord are wante of awe to god of duty toward youe of honor to the world of gratitud to those that best deseruid.

[1] Touching the first I tremble to remember howe blasphemouslye not in merry moodes alone and cuppes of iollity althoughe that be not good as Cotta said in Cicero vel ioco contra deos disputare(1) but in earnest and with choller he hath stretchid out his horrible and most blasphemouse voice against the sacred and most gloriouse Trinity affirminge that the wise philosophers derid our ignorance in that great mistery with more to that effecte which shall be iustified 2 That the blessed virgine (horresco referens)(2) made a faulte and that Ioseph was a wittall then which wordes what can be more abhominable considering the deynty frute that sprange of that vnspotted roote ore howe can any truthe ore wholesome licor be conteyned in so filthy and vnsound a vessell To the first of Mathewe when I vouchid it against this beastly paradox wherin she is affirmed to conceyue by the [w] holy ghost he sayd the Iewes [=Jews] of Italy wold tell another tale and put both Mathewe Marke and Ihon to sylenc 3 Sondrie tymes and that in diuerse companies not for disputation sake but with aduisement he hath sworne that more plaine reasons and examples may be vouchid out of scripture for defence of bawdry then [for] out of all the bookes of Aretinus(3) The turk himselfe speakes better both of Christ of the virgine and the canon of the scriptures

[2.1] Concerninge wante of duty to your Maiesty which I detested most in him and so did all that kept him company I am to witnesse and avowe ane vtter condemnatione of thos princelye vertewes and good giftes whiche the worst disposed can not but admire and wonder at And least I may be thought to speak of splene I craue that Charles Arundell Francis Sowthwell William Cornwallys may be chargid one [=on] their othe to tell whither he could euer broke [=brook] the prayses of your witte or of your persone I will not speak in this respecte so fullie as I may but I can proue by witnessis inowe [=enough] that when I scaped best I was reproued to my face of seruile flattery and so weare diu¬erse ot<h>er as I can declare by setting downe bothe tymes and places of this bitter dealinge Howe often hathe he sworne to me perswadinge him with all the reasons I could possibly deuise to be directed by your Maiestis aduise alone and prosequte your fauor, that he [nn<.>] neuer was non plus(4) but when he delte with youe and the reason was bycause he was enforcid still to speake against his harte and lyking This is but a taste your Maiesty shall here of better stuffe if euer I be called face to face for proufe of thease particulers Neither will I runne forth with a single voice(5) as my Lord is faine to doo but vouch more honest then himselfe for warrantise I speak not of his strange digesting of [his sl<i>g<h>.] your slight disgracis when they came vppon his owne defaulte and made both me and others pensiue for his sake bicause I wold not gladlie wound him furder then the tearinge of this painted maske an<d> visard of hipocrisy It was a faulte I graunt to couer this but still me thought it was but frothe and wantonesse of youthe which eyther tyme wold alter ore correction wold amende the scourge wherof althoughe I held to be the fittest instrumente of calling home this wandering and wastfull child yet could I neuer yeld to be the meane ore author of his trouble At the last I found this mallice was engraffed in his nature wheruppon I laborid wit<h> all my frendes to kepe aloofe from him that had no playefellowes but kinges and quenes to sporte withall(6) But as I promised befor wherin I may forbeare his persone I had rather be to [=too] sylent then to liberall And wheras it should seme by one speciall poynt wherof I was examined by my Lord chauncelor(7) that he hath glaunced at me some waies for the queen of Scottes(8) I protest befor almighty god that sauinge for a bookbynder that brought me commendacions(9) more then sixe yeares agoe I neuer hard [=heard] of hir but by common brute [=bruit, rumour](10) But in dede it is the practise of a fencer to directe his blowes to that parte chefly which hauinge once bene hurte before is weaker and lesse able to beare out a venewe The course which I haue ronne hath bene to look vppon your maiesty with <a> single eye and to deserue the mending and repayring of my fortune by the comforte of your fauor But if I weare so childishe as to build vppon the figure of suche future hopes it lies not in the talente of so meane a man as I to winne hir lyking ore to bynde hir fauor by a merite of more weyght then the losse of my brothers head for dealing in hir causis If that weare not inoughe to make her wishe me well if I had any || foolishe look that way onlesse I put my selfe in perrill to no purpose I am resolute not to buye repenta<nce> at so dere a bargain Thus much witte my Lord of oxford might afforrd me to the world thoughe mallice will not suffer him to graunte me suche regard of duty to my souerayne

[2.2] But by the way he puttith me in mynd of a very strainge discourse which his Lordship had with me in lente(11) the scope wherof I wold be gladde your highnesse vnderstood bycause for my parte I conceyue it not

Walkinge one the tarris [=terrace] at Howard howse(12) I beganne to deale with him abowt the trymminge vppe of Fishers folly(13) and no great portion of his Lordships wisdome considering the price he told me that he was in hand with it but some other should enioy the pleasur(14) I demaunded whie but he wold not awnser in a good while till at the last he said he wolde deale plainly with me Thear is a cause said he not telling what it was(15) that dryues me to depart from hence youe are my Cousine germaine(16) and most lyke of all men to be douted and suspected for my goinge hence considering your good deuotion toward me and therfor wear youe better to departe for company(17) then afterward to come in trouble for worse then youe liue here can youe liue no whear whither will youe goe my lord said I(18) to spayne quoth he whear I haue promise to be well entertaynid I told him that in my conceyte this was the very worst course he could take considering the ielousies betwene our states if euer he meant to retourne againe but if eyther dette or any suche lyke cause should driue him hence his best way weare to bide in fraunce that if the mariage(19) should after take effecte mounsieur might be witnesse of his good demeanure and be a meane for his recouery But my lord said I what cause should make youe lose this opportunity of benefeting both your selfe and others since youe seme the lykest man to waxe great in Mounsieurs fauor if he come ore ells perhapes the quene will geue youe leaue to travaile [=travel] which is the surest waie because youe may retourne at pleasur and liberty is alwaies acceptable Gods bloud said he presse me not about the cause for it standes not nowe vppon quid est Dialectica(20) nor I will not tarrye And as for Mounsieur neyther shall he come bycause the quene is only bente to dally ore if he should come all wear one for thoughe theas frenchemen haue ane owtward florishe yet is thear not a more variable heade in Christendome then Mounsieurs I haue enquyrid of his humor at the spring head and before he made theas rouinge iourneyes wherfor I will not lose myne opportunity for any man for tyme lost is not recouerid This is shorte and long if youe will goe with me no man shall be more welcome if not kepe my counsayle lyke a kinsman and a ientilman and god be with youe My lord said I my case is not to flytte I knowe not whither from a place whear I am settleid Beside hir Maiesty remaynes my graciouse Lady and hath promisid to doo me good Againe I might by this meane bringe the manne whom in this world I loue most derely into suspecte my lord of Surrey(21) which weare a slender token of that dere good will which I haue alwaies borne him but befor I wold forsake him for all the world I wold lese my life Morouer I see not but that my howse is lykely eury daie to mende and myne old lord of Arundell not lykely to contynewe(22) It may be also that I may doo your Lordship greater good with recomendinge of your sutes and causes to your frendes then I could doo pleasure thear(23) I will not speake of your entente to any man but good lord take great hede youe ruine not your howse with ill demeanure to the quene which is already crasid [=crazed, distracted] with your owne great waste and vaine expencis and lette your resolution alwaies be to retourne to England good lord are youe so simple (said he) to thinke that the quene fauores eyther my lord of Surreye or youe I knowe hir opinion of youe both and the more he sekes to please hir with his entertaynmentes(24) and to loue and followe hir in euery thinge the more she skornes him and the world doth laughe at him I wold youe had hard [=heard] hir speches of him to me after the marriage of his sister(25) that youe might see the wisdome of your nephewe(26) in honoring and louing one so much that longes for nothinge but to lyfte at(27) him and when I am gone youe shall see whither they will hoiste [=hang] youe both ore no For thear is not in the world a person more ingratefull then the quene It semes not so my lord said I by those [+who] followe hir Assure your selfe said he it shall be soe with him(28) and all the noble men of England, and as for youe notwithstanding all your labour to contente hir and your waytinge here in courte without proffitinge yourselfe any waye she tourneth all your witte to conccyte of practise [=suspicion of intrigue] and wold be gladde of the smallest opportunity to trippe you My lord said I thoughe myne enemies be great yet haue I alwaies found hir Maiesty most graciouse wherfor god willing I haue cast myne anchore in this place and will rather proue my fortune furder one [=on] then lese my seuen yeares seruice[..] [By] Besides it is not possible to drawe me from my Lord of Surrey whom I do professe to loue and serue befor all other as the persone which deseruithe best and whome I hope to see the fayrest flower of our garland Here he wold haue terrified me with vnkindnesse of [=toward] my lord but I told him howsoeuer some had gone abowte to wreste the goodnesse of his nature(29) I had found a sweter disposition to my selfe and the world should tast the like in all his dealinges In conclusion I demaunded when he wold awaye he said within one month at the furdest and that he had a banck of fiften thousand pownd which he had so bestowed as it should be safer much then if he carried it about him(30) I askid howe he wold doe when this stock was spent he said befor that tyme he wold find a better trade then the bearinge of a white waster(31) I besought | him once again to regard his honor and his duty and then I doutid not but we should mete again more cherefully the<n> we departed vppon this spech I presently withdrewe my selfe from his ordinary trayne and withall aduised my Lord Thomas(32) not to be to much with him for causis which I might not vttere After two monthes ouerblowen at Otlandes(33) I bade him welcome out o<f> Spayne(34) he said the lyke occasion might renewe the lyke aduenture This was the full discourse of all as nere as I can tell it word for word I neuer durst imparte so much to my Lord of Arundell(35) bycause I knewe his faith and zeale to be so firmely groundid one the fauor of the quene as thoughe he wold not hastily beleue my Lord of oxfordes wordes yet poysing [=balancing] between hope and doute wold very nere haue killed him If I may be bold to speake my iudgement without partiality thear neuer liuid one [=on] this erthe a more deuote and zelouse seruant to the quene nor a more vpright and honest gentilman to all the world whose steppes if my Lord of oxford wold [hau] as well haue tracid as he pyned at [=pined at, was jealous of] his fauor it had bene better with him then it is But difference in qualities makes difference in fortune and I feare this one is not a more assurid piller of his howse then that other is a plage to all that frend ore furder him(36) I neuer lookt for better proofe since I hard him awnser my Lord of Arundell so skornfully vppon his harth at Howard howse perswading him both kindly and discretely to behold the quene and followe hir aduise for this said my lord experienc hath taught me to be the surest course and by goddes grace I meane to hold it More thinges thear are to this effecte which I shall haue better opportunity to stinge vppon his Lordships furder accusation

[3] Nowe touchinge his defaulte in honor if I wear as sharpely bente to blase [=blaze, proclaim] my Lords vnshamfast follies as [my] his Lordship is addicted to the wrongfull charginge of his frendes I could painte him for a man of more rapace [=rapacious] and spottid life then becomes me to declare befor your maiesty but wherin I may spare him without daunger to my selfe I will not be spightfull Neyther will I stande vppon the falsenesse of his word his slight regard of othes his straunge excesse some waies which daily rockes him[selfe] fast aslepe in the cradele of contempte and ignorance I wold to god that eury page and corner [=coroner] of the courte(37) weare not acquainted with theas follies so that I weare rather bound to bring a screne then to withdrawe the vaile that coueres them onlie by the waie it standes me much vppon not to lett slippe his horrible vntruthes which he hathe vtterid so many times and with such confidence that he takes and sweares them for approued verities of this sorte is that constante and continuall affirmatiue [=affirmation] of his [that he] that the meanest shoemakers wife in Millayne be it spoken with reuerence and pardon is more gallant and more delicately suted eurye common working day then the quen our mistresse is at whitsontid(38) that he hath abused and pollutid almost all the noble weomen of account in England(39) that he tooke a principall towne in flaunders by the Duke of Alues [=Alvas] direction and had taken another but for the comming of Mr Bedingfeld(40) that his iudgement was demaunded touching the fortification of Anwarpe [=Antwerp] and the courtine [=curtain, defensive wall] alterid(41) that he should haue had the gouerment of Mellayne(42) that Don Iohn(43) sente him fiftene thousand men to surprise the state of Geane [=Genoa] during the ciuile warre that he might haue had I knowe not howe many thousand poundes a yeare at Naples(44) that the Countesse of Mirandala(45) came fifty myle to lie with him as [A] the quene of Amazones did to lye with Alexander that a greater lady farre by some degrees then she made courte to him in fraunce(46) that St Markes church at venice was only paued with Diamondes and Rubies(47) that a merchant in Geane hath a mantell of a chymney that cost more then all the treasure in the tower doth amounte vnto that he redde the Rhetorick lecture at Strasbourg that he and Malim the scholemaster of Powles(48) preached eyther of them a sermon at Brigstock in Norhampton shire that he had often tymes copulation with a female spirite in Sir George Howardes house at Grenwiche(49) that Charles Tyrrell apperid to him with a whippe after he was dead and his mother in a shete fortelling thinges to come(50) that he sawe Christ crucified betwene the prestes handes at sacringe(51) that he could coniur<e> and had often conference with Sathan(52) which I doo most easily beleue the man is so much guided and directtid by the spirite of his counsayle Theas matters with a number more are so confidently sworne as therby men may deme what trust is to be geuen eyther to his word ore to his iudgement I could bringe in a thousand maymes [=maims, wounds] of honor touchinge diuerse other frindes but as I vouche not thease sauinge by comandement so meane I to reserue the rest for more necessity

[4] Concerning his ingratitud to let your selfe escape who notwithstand[+ing you] haue the chefest interest in this complainte your Maiesty may boldelie take and ground this principle that since he was but seuentene yeares of age the man had neuer constant and approuid frend whom eyther he rewarded not with the stinge of spight ore the sword of slaughter I will not deale with the bloudshed of his youth(53) bycause it is longe past althoughe most terrible who euer delte more frendlie with him then my Lord of worcester and yet nowe since his laste comminge ouer(54) without offence or any quarrell in the world [.] he rushed into the said Lordes howse in Warwick lane and all his cutters with him hauinge their swordes drawen and theare had murdered my lord and all his people if the doores had not bene spedily shutte vppe against [+them] and my lord constraynid as if he had bene in a forte in tyme of warre to parley out of his owne windowes This owtrage could not be forgotten when he falles to Mr Secretary Walsingham his constante and approuid frend aduertising my Lord of Lester of a certayne practise which himselfe forsoth had founde out against him by Roland York(55) whearin the said Mr secretary my Lords of Huntingdon and Essex [but] wear consorted but when uppon the deniall of Roland Yorke my Lord of oxford was put to bed for wante of proufe he wold haue wrestid me by flattery ore an<y> meane to iustifie the knowledge of suche practisis from Rowland York of whom I neuer hard an<y> suche word nor syllable Duringe all that tyme whearin both I and diuers honest gentilmen did chus<e to> frend and followe him no [+year?] passid clere wherin he [+did not] sette one of them vppon another by devisinge tales till <at> | the last we found a remedy by geuinge warninge amonge our selues befor our liues should paye the price of his desire to mischefe Thus was Charles Arundel set one me(56) Southwell vppon Arundell(57) Rowland Yorke vppon us all Thus I and Francis Southwell wear brought into Saint Georgis feldes to skirmish for our liues and when the matters came to ripping vppe they wear nothing but tales invented by my Lords treachery(58) Thus Robinson was animated to braue and chalenge Harry Borough at Hampton courte vppon suspecte of vttering some wordes in the maides chamber(59) Thus wekes was comaundid to kill Sankie my Lords man and so he did after he was turned away because he wold not geue the stabbe to york(60) when he mette him in Holborne Wekes confessed with what violence he had bene sette one [=on] by my lord after he had woundid him to the death without eyther cause ore courage and Sankie(61) took [=told?] it one [=on] his death both to the minester his wife and diuerse others Thus laid he suche straight wayte for Rowland York that George Whitney had lyke to be slayne for him one night at the horse heade in Cheape(62) Thus should Mr vicechamberlayne(63) haue bene sette [+on] one night goinge to his chamber at westminster if¬ I had not threatnid to discouer it onlesse he wold desiste only because sixe yeare befor he sayd that my Lord of Lester and he kept him at Douer from being sworne of the pryuy counsayle(64) and that he sought againe to crosse his credit thus did he sette Iack Wotten vppon Broncar(65) and could neuer brook him after because he killed him not Thus did he proffer all his cutters to Thom Drury to hewe my lord Howard(66) in pecis when he gotte more enemies for frendinge him then the tother [=the other] had frendes in England Thus was he sondrie tymes in practise for the murdering of my Lord of Lester(67) but demonstratiues of perrill and ineuitable danger to his owne person draue him euer from the mischiefe Thus but for me as I will proue by witnesse Mr Philip Sidney proffering his person to the combat like a gallant gentilman had notwithstandinge beine most beastly murderid by twelue caliuers in his bedd at grenwich and a barge with 12 caliuers more [youe] should haue carried them away to graues ende [=Grave's End, on the Thames] whear a littell higher [=further upriver] [-should] a barke of [Bank] Baker brother to his sourgion(68) should have wayted for them Thus hathe he at this present a practise in Ireland for the murdering of Denny and Raw<ley>(69) Thus for a recompence of Rawleys seruice his life should haue bene latched betwene both the walles before his goinge ouer(70) and sutes of apparrell geuen to those that should haue killed him for seking my Lord of Lesters fauor Thus at her Maiestys last being at Richemond should Gerard and Wingfeld haue slayne Arthur Gorge as he crossed ouer the grene to get to his lodginge(71) Thus was Gifford sette vppon me with a(72) coulor [=pretense] that I disgracid him to your Maiesty at otlandes(73) and I vppon Gifford vppon assurance that he should saye I smylid at my Lord of oxfordes drunkenesse Thus Hobby(74) was encouraged first to sette my Lord of Arundell and me togither and when that wold not be to challenge me him selfe, and nowe againe attemptid since [hir M] your Maiesty comminge [to] hither(75) to renewe the quarrell vppon spechis fathered one [=on] steward(76) my Lord of Arundells man which he disavowed and my Lord lette fall the matter Thus should Charles Arundell haue deliuered a message that since I frended the boye his nephewe(77) for so it pleasid him to call a noble and ane honest gentilman he wo<ld> be reuengid of me by right ore wronge by hooke or crooke directely or indirectely and to [my lord and] Francis Southwell he threatnid to blowe vppe my Lord Windsore and all his company both men and weomen(78) Thus laborid he Charles Arundel one [=on] Christmasse euen(79) for a thousand pownde to warrant and confirme but that which he wold saye and when he cold not make him ane accuser he wold haue wrought him for a fugiti<ve> And thus his Lordship hath made vppe that graciouse principle of his boltid out at Mr Philippes(80) his boord vnawares that this was chick and he detested all his kinne which made chicken(81) thus hathe he pretily begonne his [...] solemne vowe to be reuengid of all the Howardes in England one after another thoughe he could not paye them all at once for it was the most villanouse and treacherouse race vnder heauen and my Lord Howard of all other the most arrant villaine that liued, witnesse Charles Arundell one [=on] friday night was a fortnight(82) in the presence chamber and thus hathe he made good his promise to Mr Packinton(83) that since he could not haue his will yet no man should forbidde him with blinde Sampson to pulle doune the post and crushe the Philistines

[5] Thus haue I ronne ouer this vnpleasant subiecte by your Maiestys commaundment My desire was rather to haue sufferid a dubbel smarte then to burden any man youe see houe daungerouse a man is clothid in the purple of your courte and peysing(84) his light humores god I take to witnesse I haue bene often tymes afrayde to see him shrowde(85) himselfe so nere vnto your person My request and humble sute vnto your highnesse is that as I neuer was acquainted with any practise that concerned eyther your most princely persone ore your state so that your Maiesty will rather sende me present death ore bannishement then hold me longe exiled from your presence it is the deawe [=dew] wheron I fede and the life wherin I labor I haue made a faul<te> against your Lawes in hering masse but as it is almost sixe yeares agoe(86) sisince [=since] that tyme if eyther I haue bene with prest ore hard a masse lette my life be taken for the forfayt God preserue your Maiesty for euer and make vs as worthy to enioye the vertewes of so rare a quene as your Maiesty is to rule a farre more large and mighty regiment

Your Maiestys most humble most affectionat and loyall subiecte and seruant till the death

(signed) Henry Howard

NB: No address, seal, or endorsement.



3.2 Howard to Elizabeth, in response to a demand that he clarify hints that Oxford had boasted that she herself was one of his sexual conquests (see 3.1/2.2: "that he hath abused and pollutid almost all the noble woemen of account in England"; and see 4.2/2.15; 4.3/2, at note 114). The letter bears no date, but must have followed 3.1 within a day or two at most (see note 108). At the top left corner of the first page appears the post-1603 annotation: "To the lat [=late] Queen contra oxford".

BL Cotton Titus C.6, ff. 5-6 (bifolium, 305mm x 210mm, undated)

A great misfortune I may recken and repute it to an honest mind most graciouse and my most redoutid soueraine that sekinge onlie iust and lawfull meanes to clere it selfe, th<e> same should notwithstandinge still be straynid to the charging and accusinge of another

But since your Maiestis prescripte must be my lawe what dutie claimeth I resigne by chois<e> and rather seke to saue my credit with your Maiestie by speakinge truth then to re<d>eme ore salue the credit of a thanklesse frend to speake the leaste by clokinge sha<m>efull slaunder wherfor I conclude with Aeolus to Iuno as it is sette downe by Virgile

Tuus o Regina quod optes

Explorare labor mihi iussa capessere fas est(87)

In my laste description of this gentilman with greater fauor then his qualities require I mentioned a [gentil] generall mislike of all those well disposid gentilmen that frend him bicause they wear to [=too] liberall in recomending those most rare and princely giftes and qualities wherwith it pleasid god for our inestimable comforte to enfeofe your Maiesty<e> but nowe in this particuler and priuate letter I am dutifully to geue your Maiestye aduertisement and vnderstandinge of a matter which I wold haue signified a good while since if I had not bene in feare that the greatnesse of your grace and fauor toward him wold haue ouerweyghed the weaknesse of my simple credit For when I sawe what faire escape he made from those that weare of best accounte I thought my selfe to [=too] meane a persone to dis<i>pher his ill dealinge Beside I thought your Maiesty whos iudgement is [pe] precise in termes and pointes of honor wolde soner haue condemnid me of great vnkindnesse to so nere a kinesman then haue credited the crime consideringe howe farre the same is partid and deuid<ed> from all truth ore probability But since his lauishe and vntamed tounge hath made more then one or two witnessis of this excesse in slaunderinge it wear as good that I as others le<t> your highnesse vnderstande that most vndutifully vainlie and vntrulie he hath vauntid of some fauores(88) from your Maiesty which I dare take myne othe vppon the sacrid testament wear neuer yet imparted vnto any man that liued one this earth and so muche the rather bycause my selfe could witnesse that [of these] at suche times as himselfe avouchith he reported m<e> vntrulie The particulers till this day neuer passid from my lippes nor neuer shall I doo prot<est> befor I maye deliuer them vnto that sacrid eare which vsith and directith eury thinge acor<d>inge to the fittest opportunity I meruaile what this fellowe wold haue said if he had bene ca<ll>id to that priuate conference which diuerse are and must be for the weyghty causis of your state that durst presume to braue and flourishe in this sorte pressinge neuer furder the<n> the threshold of your priuie chamber This is the chefest poynt which thoughe it shall be prouid to your selfe more fullie then the rest yet findinge it a matter fitter for your priuat<e> vnderstandinge then for recorde I thought good in this secrete sorte to recomend it to your Maiesty referringe the particulers herof vntill I may be once againe so fortunate as to speake with yo<ur> selfe for neyther will I signifie them by mouth of anie man aliue nor leaue them to sibillas(89) leaues of flittinge papers I speak not of his slaunderouse and hatefull spech against your Maiesty at Grenwich whear he was restrayned to his chamber(90) insomuch as where I willid him befor w<ith> Rawley to forbeare such spech as no bodie could endure with dutie to your Maiesty he said it skilled not since he was resolued ere it weare longe to be beyond the sea and send your Maiesty fiften tymes so much by writinge Beside at suche time as he gaue himselfe at Grenwich | to attende your maiesty with greater diligence ^then he was wonte thoughe not so great as he was bounde¬ a frend of his reioysinge at the change demaundid what might be the cause to whom his awnser was that your Maiesty must be caretsid [=caressed] for the pownde and another for his pleasure(91) wheruppon it was a course sette downe by common counsaile at that howse and euer since pursewed accordingely This beastly blindnesse which possessid him so farre as [his] it dispossessid him both of witte and reason was the cause whie they forsook him(92) that made more account of your good look then of his life and fearid still least your Maiesty discouering this fraude with time wold theruppon discountenance all those that by dependinge on his trayne might seme to be partakers of his folly [Be] Againe at suche tyme as I made him pryvy to the treatise of your life(93) which I had begonne and waited but vntill suche tyme as your Maiesty wold deale with Mr Hennage(94) for some notes and versis which I wold haue insertid accordinge to the circomstancis of the tymes wherin youe made them he disswadid me from publishinge this work at grenwich in his gallery not sufferinge me to read out the first leafe and adioynid this one reason that if the book wear turned into Latine as it was most like it wold be, all the world wold horribly condemne me for a flatterer, consideringe he knewe the iudgement of the states abroad, to be farre from any suche opinion or belefe of your Maiestis perfections / Furdermore his Lordships prouinge at his table one day by sondrie slight pretendid argumentes, but with great chollor, that armes might be iustlie taken against princis, that began to swarue [=swerve] from right, I sette my selfe against him, and withall declared that I was in redinesse, and had made my collection, wantinge but leysure onlie to write against that cause(95) He said I could not iustifie the contrary, I told him yes, both by the scriptures, by the stories [=histories], by the lawes, and by the wisest, and best learned deuines, eyther protestant ore Catholick, that liued at this daye in Europe: wherunto his Lordship sodeinly replied again, that touching Protestantes he sawe them practise other coursis daily, whear they maynteyned armes, marie in dede the Catholickes, lyke good Aue mary cockescombes, wear content to laye downe theyr heades till they wear taken of, and therfore for his owne parte he wished that for eury one they loste, theye might lose a thousand, till they learned to be wiser, and took out another lesson(96) / A thousand of theas argumentes I could sett downe and can avowe by witnesse for allowance of this loyall gentilman, who stingeth none so mortally, as those that [ei] haue oppugnid him in suche vnditufull discoursis / For myne owne parte I was this daye pressid and examind vppon a poynt,(97) whether I [wa] weare euer pryvy to ^a¬ note(98) of certaine persons, that wear bente against [him] your Maiesty, the matter semid strange to me ^that I¬ who haue attemptid all the meanes I can deuise, to publishe and to spreade the princeley vertewes of your maiesty, and I protest before the liuinge god knowe no man in this lande, that semes not prest [=eager] to spend his bloud at your deuocion, should be questionid with in suche a [matter] case but this I sweare vnto your Maiesty, that if the man himselfe, who semes to haue inuentid this, for exeqution of the mallice which he hath declarid many waies, had discouerid any such [byell] byll to me, eyther I wold haue presentid him with meate in mouth,(99) or bestowed my dagger for a token of my lykinge / Of such a bille, some one or other must appeare, whearby your Maiesty may sone finde out the mournifull(100) But of suche badde fuelle riseth more smoke then flame My lord of oxford telles me that your Maiesty desirith nothinge more then to take me in a trippe that youe may trice(101) me, and to Charles Arundell he said your Maiestye desired no mannes head in England halfe so much as myne, but I knowe the swetnesse of your Maiestys¬ | most princelie nature ouer well to be terrified by scarrecrowes of ane addell heade and a railing tounge For if your Maiesty had hatid me thus much, it had not bene hard for youe this seuen yeares day(102) to trice a man that fallith prostrate at your fete, and thoughe your Maiesty can neuer haue my head for any faulte that I will make against your person and your state, yet so light accounte I make of it, as rather then I wold continewe in your indignation and disgrace I wold more gladlie yelde it to the block, then kepe it one my shoulders / If I wear as others are I wold not wishe to liue, but as I am I hope to serue your Maiesty much better then [some other] they¬ whom neyther their owne duty, nor your Maiestis perfections, could induce to follow youe till verie shame with wrack of honor countenance and credite ^and desire to make youe partie for their owne revenge¬ draue them euen perforce to diligence The men with whom I haue familiarly conuersid euer since my comming to the courte, haue bene, My Lord Howard,(103) my <Lord> chamberlayne(104) I should first haue said, Sir Henry Knyuette, my cosine Thomas Knyvette, my Lord of Dunsany,(105) Mr Cornwallis,(106) Sir William Drury and my Ladye,(107) with diuerse other whose othes your Maiesty may take whither euer they could find offensiue thought in me toward your Maiesty, naye rather whither thease and euerye one of theas haue not alwaies found a zeale and care to please, aboue the compasse of ane ordinarie subiecte And therfor it weare hard if one man plongid in so many greuouse faultes to god and man, and who for some respectes of cuppes, and open [trustid] talke, was not to be trustid but by fooles, should beare downe with a slawnderouse and wicked tounge, the witnesse of so many faithfull gentilmen, especially considering howe many waies directe and indirecte, he hath attemptid to bereaue [of] me of my life and credit I graunt that in frequentinge seruice [=Catholic mass] not permitted by your lawes I haue offendid, but if it please your Maiesty to weyghe [=weigh, consider] that zeale vnto my god, not wante of dutye to my prince, enforcid and prouokid me to take this waie, vntill I might be better satisfied in sacramentarie poyntes, I hope you will the rather pardon my transgression As for knowledge of any persone [ore pe] vnder heauen that beares ane vnsownd harte vnto your maiesty (if [.] it be not he that mouith [=moveth, entereth] the complaynte) ore of anie practise that maie perrill your estate, I renownce the deathe of Christe if eyther any corner of my harte can burden me, ore if I wold not haue discouerid [=disclosed] suche dealinges if they had bene brought to my vnderstandinge / If it please your Maiesty to call to my<n>de my continuall dependence [of] one¬ your fauor and hewe for the comforte of the same a line without demaunding anie kinde of recompense I was contente so many yeares togither to be baited in the courte that might haue liued other wheare with greater ease, and more commodity, I trust youe will discharge me from conceyte of any faithlesse dealinge / I can saie no more but humbly castinge my selfe pro<s>trate at your Maiesties most graciouse fete beseche the same not to withdrawe your good opinion from me [m] for this faulte, but rather to exile me from my countrie and my frendes foreuer / If my life wil<l> satisfie your indignations I resigne it willingelye, as one I vowe before almighty god that wold more gladlie shorten and abbridge my wretchid daies without offence to god, then liue beneath the compas of my birth and euer pine in wante as I haue bene constrayned to doo, rather then I wold estrange my selfe from the presence ore the seruice of your Maiesty / God preserue your Maiesty and graunt you to liue [and] longest of your people more helthfully then anie of your sexe and more happilie then anie of your callinge that England and the quene of England if it maye be may decline and make ane ende togither To my selfe I eyther wishe a spedie restitution to your fauor ore a shorte ende of my life

Your Maiestis most humble most affectionate and loyall seruante and subiect till the deathe

(signed) Henry Howard (omega o)

Addressed: To the Quenes most excellent Maiesty [seal]



3.3 Howard to Walsingham, from his place of confinement (Sir Thomas Bromley's residence, probably York House), 12 January 1581. This letter was written two days after Thomas Norton submitted his proposed interrogatories (2.1.2-3), and constitutes a general rather than a systematic self-defense; the letter contains a brief counterattack against Oxford.

PRO SP12/147[/6], ff. 6-7 (bifolium, 308mm x 208mm)

Thoughe neither it lie in the [.] valewe of my well deseruing toward youe good Mr Secretarie to claime your frendshippe as a dette nor in the compasse of my fortune to requite the same as a pece of luck vnlooked for yet since it hath alreadie pleasid you of your vpright and honorable minde to frende me greatlie in the trewe reportinge of my dealinges and mine awnseres to the quene my mistresse(108) I besech youe giue me leaue togither with most humble thankes for that which is alreadie [past] donne to craue your(109) fauor in the rest that is to doo and thear to pitche one piller of my trust from whome I haue receiued the beginninge of my comfort Time and travaile [=travail, effort] in the cifting [=sifting, analyzing] of theas brokne causis maie perswade youe that in whatsoeuer manner priuat zeale might swaie me from the currant of the Quenes procedinges in respect of order(110) yet the same was donne without contempte and beside no cause nor person vnder heauen could make me swerue one iote [=jot] from my professid dutie faith and seruice to hir maiestie ore to the state of gouerment I wold to god thear wear a windowe(111) to the depest secretes of my minde that youe might more easilie discipher and discerne my dealinge But it is enoughe that mine awnser which remaineth in your hand(112) concerninge matters of estate [=state] is perfect iust and resolute Touching mine accuser(113) if the botchis and deformites of his mishapen life suffice not to discredit and disgrace the warrant of his wreckfull worde yet let [it] his practise with some gentilmen to seke my lif his message by Charles Arundell one fridaie next shall be a monthe(114) that either indirectelie or directelie by right or wronge he wold be reuengid and his seking once againe since that [+time] to corrupte Charles Arundell with a thowsand pownde(115) declare what truthe or plainesse restith in his dealinges. To the point of hearing masse against the course of common lawes establishid for vniforme agrement in the Sacramentes(116) I can saie no more but penitentlie grauat Praeterita magis reprehendi posse quam corrigi(117) protesting notwithstandinge that if by your fauorable meanes I maie recouer pardon for my faultes alreadie past and gone, never to decline into the like offence nor by suche meanes to put in hasard the desirid grace and fauor of the quene which is the strongest shelter and the surest groundgarde(118) of my crased [=crazed, confused] fortune Trewe it is that restinge not well satisfied in pointes abowt the Sacrament I rather chose in some sorte to communicat [=attend mass] with daunger of the Lawe then alt<og>ither to neclect that pipe wherby so great a strenth might be deriued to my faith and so quiet a discharge of a lodene conscience That manie penalties belonge to this attempte the world can witnesse and my self do fele but since thear is not anie temporall advauntage ore commodite annexed here || vnto youe maie the better deme of my sincere proceding in the matter Good Mr Secretarie let me require youe first for goddes cause who hath geuen you credit [=responsibility] for relef of suche [+as] are in harder plight and then for your owne honor as by birth you are and not by fauor onlie made a gentilman but cheflie in respect of my profession [=promise] never to committe the like offence that you will moue hir higheness for my Libertie Experience hath taught me howe enclinable hir eares are to this kinde of sute and howe prone hir disposition is vppon assurance of amendment to remitte such like offencis Touching my deuotion to your self I rather wishe you wold beleue what I professe and giue my faith to be herafter then what youe haue bene ledde to thinke I was by other mens vniust surmises To continewe my disgrace can availe you littell, to redeme the seruice of a gratefull minde by release of trouble is an honorable conquest I knowe not howe farre mallice ^of some persons¬ hath prevailid in the shakinge of your good opinion toward me more waies then one but if youe dare giue credit to my faith ore worde while I haue breath I will not be forgetfull of this fauor. Here I liue the lothest in the world to put my good Lord Chaunceler(119) to a greater charge then euer I am able to requite and yet more lothe to be remouid anie other whear [saue with full libertie] without full libertie I knowe my state dependith much vppon your dealing with the quene in my behalf and therfor I can saie no more but humblie desire the best and remaine as readie to deserue the vttermost youe can not promise more vnto hir maiestie concerninge my devotion to hir self, then shall be made good by the course and order of my dealinges to them of my frendes I doute not [+they] will concurre with youe in this most reasonable sute and he(120) shall haue lesse cause to vaunte who floting [=floating] in all kinde of vice and shamfulle treacheries without care of god of honor ore of nature smileth and triumpheth at our durance. I craued leaue of my Lord Chaunceler to write this letter bicause I had a stronge impression in my minde that you wold doo me good And therfor resting readie to acknowledge as much with my seruic<e> during life as youe can laie vppon me with your fauor at this present I humblie take my leaue

Yours most assured at commandment

(signed) Henry Howard

Addressed: To the Right honorable Sir ffrauncis Walsingham principall Secretarie to hir maiestie and one of hir Maieties most honorable priuie Counsaile [trace of seal]

Endorsed: 12 Ianuary 1580; From ye lord Henry Howard



3.4 Howard to ?Burghley, 20 July 1581 (the same date as Charles Arundel's letter 5.5), probably from Howard's prison in York House. Not in Howard's hand.

Cecil Papers 98/129 [ii, 193] (single sheet, 292mm x 205mm)

I would not willingly withdrawe your lordship from matters of greater waight with my vnluckye sute, were I not so greevusly opresse<d> by the dayly practise of myne ennemies, in reuenge of priuate mallice; that with out your lordships fauorable helpe I can nether hope nor looke for remedy, so long as my frendes will suffer me to pyne in this solitary seate, secluded from all ioys that may refreshe my wery mynde. Her maiestie sayse littell, and some others who cannot deuise to plage me woorse for want of growndes are content with this. but when my libertye is spoken of, her maiestie begins to speake of triall face to face, as if yat should haue been to doe if I were in faulte, or as if yat prisoner nead to tremble at the naminge of the syse [?assize], who is out of doubt before hande to be quytte by proclamation. Wherfore my humble sute to your lordship is yat I may not be suspended, with pretence of yat which is not meant to be doon for prolonginge my disgrace: but yat after seaven monthes imprisonment, ethir I may be tried before equall iugges; or enlarged, with an ende of misery, which beinge doon your lordship may doe me the greatest fauor to procure my banishment out of the Realme for as I had not any thinge wherin to reioyse before, savinge your Lordships fauor, and my libertye, so wanting those I cannot leaue much(121) to the spoyle of myne ennemyes. My hap is harde, and harder then euer was any second brothers of this howse. But when all is doon so long as truth and honestye may guarde my lyfe, myne enemyes shall want thear will, and when those will not serve, ther is an other worlde(122) wherin to rest, wher nether Anthonius great creditt shall defende the faultye, nor the spite of Lepidus shall opresse the innocent. Your lordship is my chiefest piller in my honest cause, to whose good fauor recommendinge my vnhappy plyghte, with humble sute yat you will neuer giue me ouer till ether you see me tried or sett at libertye, I take my leaue. this 20 of Iuly.

Endorsed: 20 Iuly Lord Henry Howard in Prison. Max. Comod.

NB: No signature or seal; fold-lines.



3.6.1 Howard's itemized list of complaints against Oxford, in his own hand; annotated by another hand, evidently Francis Southwell's, represented here in boldface type. Reference in 3.5.2 to a "book of pictures" suggests a date of July or August 1581 (see 2.3.1/3 and 3.6). Numbers in square brackets have been added to Howard's centered headings for ease of reference.

PRO SP12/151[/57], ff. 118-19 (bifolium, 230mm x 150mm; undated)

[1] Atheisme

The trinity a fable 1

Iosephe a wittollde 2

Nothinge so defensible by scripture as bawdry 3 Audivi [=So I have heard]

Scriptures for pollicye 4 (123)The turke only wise who made his owne alchoran Audivi

what a blessing salamon hadd for his 3C [=300] cuncubinnes

[and] the bible only to be to hold men in obedience, and mans devis [=device, devising]

[2] Daungerouse practisis

A practise with Rowland york for the destruction of Mr Walsingham and to set diuision betwen him and Lester &c(124)

A deuise one night vppon a brawle to haue killed Mr vichamberlaine(125) as he was goinge to his chamber

His protestation [?practice] to make Lester be killed at the garden stayre as he landid from my Lord of Essex &c and to write vppon the garden wall vndir his windowes Palazzo de Castiti(126)

His deuise with certaine cutters to set vppon Lester in his way to wansted and to murder him

His practise to murder Sidney in his bedde and to scape by barge with caliueres ready for the purpose.(127)

His deuice to cary away Nan Vaviser at easther was a 12 monthe when he thought hir first to haue bene with child and one the tother sid [=and on the other side, i.e. in Spain] to haue married hir disposinge his banch [=bank, store] of monny to the purpose(128)

His daily railinge of the quene and fallinge out with Charles Arundel Francis Southwell and my selfe for defence of hir Audivi in poculis(129)

His knowledge of a booke against the quene at Vennice(130)

His sainge(131) that the Catholices wear good aue mary Cockescombes for yeldinge their heades which might be sauid by rebellion Audivi

His detectinge Shelley(132) at Rome to the englishe fugitiues for geuinge intelligence to my Lord Thresorer

(sideways in left margin)

he promised to sack London, and geve me Day Aldermans house that(133) |

Continuall raylinge one [=on] the Duke for comminge vppe when he was sent for(134) Audivi

His often wishinge that Dr Saunders(135) wear pope for he wente into the quick(136) the reste wear but hedgprestes that he [wold] wold giue a thousand pound for suche a chaplaine

That the viscount of Baltinglasse wrote the brauest Letter to the quenes Deputy that euer was puttinge great difference betwene the quene and Christes mother whom notwithstanding he wold neuer make supreme head(137)

[3] Buggery(138)

Touchinge buggery Auratio the Italian boye(139) complayned howe horribly my Lord had abusid him, and yet wold not giue him any thinge(140)

Hopton(141) with teares lamented my Lordes ill life that way with so many boyes that it must nedes come out at suche time as he was commaundid to kepe younge Henry Mackwilliams(142) till my Lord came doune from the priuy chamber [LM:] Audivi sed nil de mack Williams

Power hurte at Hampton Courte and wold haue reuealed the matter to Baker(143) as with wepinge teares he told some if my lord had not forbidden him geuinge the boye salue which serued his owne leggs at the same present(144)

He standes chargid with more particuleres touching this matter as his speche to William Cornwallis(145) that he wold haue a preste to whom he must confesse buggery |

Adde to this what particulers soeuer youe haue declared of hime and they shall be iustified

Here is nothing in this paper but may be avowed without daunger as hath ben determined



3.6.2 Appended note to Howard, apparently by Francis Southwell, suggesting that Oxford had by now found royal favor: presumably this was about the time of Oxford's release from house arrest following quickly on 7.4.

(continuation of preceding item)

my most honorable good Lord¬ and deareste ^frende¬ (if yow will voutcsaf) I may so trouble your Lordship I never said yow saw the book of pictures, nor that¬ ever yow¬ gave eny comente of thos figures./ this I only saide / of the said book / my, lord, oxford¬ only shewed me yt in his gret chamber, and maed me the onli exposition of yt / Mr Charles Arundel was than in the bottome of the chamber very ernestli writing a letter and never to my knowleg saw the said Boke(146)

I never hard yow spek the profesy of England et cetera / onli this, to fray my lord of oxford emong other his vices, to tell him¬ of a devis of his own / which was / Ante consumtum, Matrimonium(147) / this I have confessed came owt of my lord of Oxfords own forge, and yow very frendli bidd me putt him in fear withall, and repetting the suspition of some other fautes of his generalli, I have confessed and to the death will mantayn yt both of yowr Lordship and mr charles / that yow ar¬ honorable, loyall, and most Iust [=just] gentlmen / the mass only in my chamber exsepted¬(148) whiche was only the sacrament ministrid vnto vs, to mak vs frends being at jarr before throwh his wickid practis. / I can not particularli | charge my lord with pedication(149) but with the open lewdnes of his own spechis nether with Tom Cooke, nor powers [=Powers] nor eny els, I pray my good lord in eny mattir of treson he may justly be charged withall lett vs have care of misprision / by my Intelligenc I hear, the quens Maiesti hath clerli forgeven him / and therfo [=therfore] lett vs wisely and safeli disabell [=discredit] him /

I heer by yow Mr Charles is my dear frende(150) in faith my lord yt is not best, for if the erle could gett on [=one] man to averr eny thinge we wer vtterli overthrowen. / [my] I can not so Ampli write, but in short¬ Assewr [=assure] your Lordship I¬ will do lik one that¬ is your poor kinsman, and Allied as yow know(151) / Ther is gret wrong done me about the said ladi(152) / I never spake such a wourd, I deale not about her¬, nor eny thinge else so private a liffe I leed, and good my lord lett them knowe so mouch. / I would goe a thowsand miles on my bare feet it wer to be don, for I love the howse(153) well, thowh my fortune(154) hath caused them to hate me / When we come face to face stande to yt lustely, for this is the day of honer [=honour?] for ever, and I am redi vsque ad Aras(155)

(sideways in left margin)

my good¬ lord, the lye of the Biche I told yow and Mr Charles to see what a best [=beast] my lord was, and how I¬ kept him from de<struction>¬ being with so Infinite faultes loden



3.7 Howard to Walsingham, evidently 14 September 1581, concerning the book of prophecy ostensibly written in Oxford's hand. Howard requests "triall by extremitie" - that is, single combat with his accuser - or "restitution by fauour". The letter is endorsed 12 September 1582, possibly in error: Arundel was being quizzed about the book of prophesies in the period from late July into August 1581 (2.3.1/3); see also 3.5.2, in which ?Southwell discusses the book of prophesies.

PRO SP12/155[/44], ff. 84-4bis (bifolium, 275mm x 205mm)

Vppon your honorable and kinde aduise good Mr Secretarie I haue presumid to make sacrafice of my contrite and humble hearte vnto hir maiestie desiringe nothinge more then opportunitie to seale by prouf what I haue alreadie bound by promise

To present the same I tooke none to be so fitte as you not only in respect of your great fauor to my self but as much for your vnderstandinge in the matter

The thing which hir maiestie was wonte to vrge against me cheflie was the sight concealement & construction of a prophecie [I] which I will take mie othe vppon the bible that I neuer sawe Beside theie that wear acquaintid with that book of babies in my Lord of oxford his hande will clere me both from sight and knowledge by ther othe and yet this wold not serue when it pleasid some that had the guidinge of my false accusers tounge(156) to bestowe this fauour one me for a token of olde courtesy least by [stand] standinge [<.>] clere in a matter of most moment I might haue bene to [=too] much at libertie But my hope is that since so much enquirie hath bene made after faultes that neuer wear either theie that wear in d<.>ed<..> [?indeed] and stincke befor the face of god shall sustene dewe punishement as I that haue bene falsely chargid shall enioye the comfort of a subiect in the presenc of his Souerane which was neuer yet refusid to the well deseruinge We liue vnder a graciouse princesse and a iust lawe which makes me hope that innocensie shall be more regardid in a case of [iustice] iustice then the mallice of the mighty

My sute is only for triall by extremitie or restitution by fauour I come not as giltie person for pardon in respect of any other fault then hath bene punished by duranc & disgrace but that the vaile which shaddowes trouthe and geueth cause of ielousie to those that vnderstand no more then the sencis grope [=senses grasp] maie be spedily remouid / wherfor recomending not this sute alone but my life & seruice also wholie and only to your self who shall euer dispose of them I humbly take my leaue this 14 of September

Your honors humbly & assuredly

at comaundement

(signed) Henry Howard (omega o)

Addressed: To the Right honorable Sir ffrauncis Walsingham Secretary to hir maiesty & one of hir Maiesties moste honorable priuy counsayle [trace of seal]

Endorsed: 1<2> September 1582; The lord Henry Heyward



3.8 Howard to Leicester, from Highgate, 27 October 1581, proposing to patch up differences.

PRO SP12/150[/51], ff. 97-8 (bifolium, 308mm x 208mm; repaired)

The cause of my forbearinge to require your Lordships fauour duringe all theas stormy times of trouble and disgrace procedith chefelie from 2 reasones The first despaire of alteringe ore endinge your vnkind conceite wherof I felte the smarte for so manie yeares and hard [=heard] the sound so brimlie out of eurie quarter as recouerie semid more then desperate The seconde was a diligente regarde and care to cutte mine enemies from the least aduauntage of suggestinge to your Lordship that rather respecte to mine owne necessity then desire of your Lordshipes good will enforcid this peticion But nowe that doutes and ielousies are(157) happilie prouidid for and that it pleasith god vppon compassion of my wronges to softene and encline the princelie minde of my most graciouse soueraygne, to pitie my restrainte,(158) mine humble sute vnto your Lordship is to banishe all the reliques of your former misconceyte and accordinge to the discipline of Athenes to begin a freshe accounte of my well deseruinge My meaninge is not [+to] acquite ore cleare my selfe from all misdeminge of your Lordships dealinge towarde me but rather to excuse it by the faulte and falle of Adam who by nature hathe conueied [=conveyed, implanted] a sparke of grudge into the mindes of all his ofspringe that conceiue themselues to be depelie woundid which is called in the scriptures Granum mali seminis(159) Notwithstandinge this I truste your Lordship takith in good parte that what in harte I thought my wordes and dealinges openlie professid to the world, and let me die if anie man can proue that either toward youe ore anie man aliue I couerid the grefe of inwarde grudge with the visarde of hipocrisie ore dissimulation ore that I gaue my worde to loue when my minde was not bente to fauoure All that remainethe to be don by me is first to forgette the bitter cause and then to repente the stubborne and vndutifull effectes [which] of displeasures ore misconceiuinges paste I haue lefte my gifte vnofferid befor the altare of almighty god vntill eyther I be reconcilid as I wishe ore dischargid in the sight of god from iudgement [which is necessarie] by the proffer which is necessarie My parte is charitablie first with St Hierome to Damasus(160) [Hie] to put your Lordship in minde ne necligas animam pro qua christus est mortuus not to disdeine the sowle for which christe hath sufferid If heruppon it please youe to remitte displeasure I will euer showe my selfe as forwarde to acknowledge it by seruice as your L<o>rdship shall be fauorable in geuinge cause if not yet will I pray for youe and leauinge the defence of my integrite to god who stinteth floudes of strife howe farre [+soever] theie shall extende and gardithe thos that solye [=solely] put their trust in him geue your Lordship euident and certaine tokens of my hurtelesse meaninge by deserte and sufferance In the meane time I can not vtterlie dispaire of your Lordships honorable dealinge [in] with me in this matter when I call to minde howe great accounte your Lordship made of late of one(161) [who] that wolde haue often striken to his shame if I had not staide his hande by reason both for conscience sake and for mine owne security(162) The practises weare neither one nor two as not my voice alone but nine ore ten both [in] can and will depose if theie may be callid [God can witnesse with me that I lie not] God can witnesse with me that I lie not thoughe perhapes it maie be taken for ane ouersight in me to repeate with splene what your Lordship with ane ouerrunninge measure of sufferance and charitie hath so longe since pardonid. But if our custome be in praiers to almightie god to craue remission so muche the more assuredlie because he pardonid the thefe vppon the crosse I finde no reason to [b] forbid me by the presidente [=precedent] of your Lordships former kindnesse in the worste degrees of dealinge to prepare a passage to your Lordships good opinion for the purginge of lesse mallice Thus hauinge plainlie and in humble manner crauid fauor at your Lordships hande I recomende euentes to god desiringe him to guide your Lordships minde aswell in this as matters of more weight to the preseruation of trewe honor the comfort of your owne sowle and the spreadinge of his glorye From Highegate this 27 of october

Your Lordships if it please youe at commaundment

(signed) Henry Howard (omega o)

Addressed: To the Right honorabele the erle of Leycester one of the Lords of hir Maiesties most honorable priuye counsaill [seal]

Endorsed (B): 27o october 1581; ye Lord Henry Howard



3.9 Howard to Walsingham, from Ivy Bridge (Howard's London residence), 3 December 1581

PRO SP12/150[/81], ff. 150-1 (bifolium, 308mm x 208mm)

As your honorable fauor toward me good mr Secretarye is the surest anchore of my truste and the strongest fence of my security so am I humbly to request you by that vertewe which your frendes embrace with comforte, and that pitie which my selfe haue tastid in my trouble, to protecte my loyaltie from continuall practise of my bitter enemies God shall be my witnesse that I am not guiltie of the leaste offence, as theie that haue most strictely ciftid [=sifted, examined] me can tell, and yet I here [=hear] by common voice of a freshe attempte to shake and vndermine my libertie Since my laste waytinge on youe, I haue bene [e..] often menacid, that roddes wear in preparinge for me, notwithstanding all the labor of my frendes and nowe I find by proufe that those wordes wear not idle(163) Faine wold I haue waited one youe [saui] sauing that youe come not from the courte(164) and therfor haue I requested this bearer myne assured frende(165) to make youe priuy to the matter as that only persone in whom nexte to god I repose my greatest confidence / Time shall declare my dealinges to be suche as your honor shall not haue cause to repent your fauor and my care to loue and honor youe to be so great as youe shall not condemne my disposition In the meane time I will pray for your good estate as the surest piller of my strength and rest as carefull to doo youe seruice as youe haue bene fauorable in the defence of myne innocency from my lodginge at Iuie bridge this sonday night

Your honors most humbly and assuredlie at commaundment

(signed) Henry Howard (omega o)

Addressed: To the Right honorable syr Fraunces walsingam secretary to hir maiesty and one of hir Maiestis most honorable pryuy counsail [seal]

Endorsed: 3 December 1581; From ye Lord Henry Howard.



3.10 Howard to Christopher Hatton, from Ivy Bridge (Howard's London residence).(166) I have placed this undated letter next after 3.8, written from the same address. Howard reveals that he had recently been accused (like Arundel as revealed in 5.12) of having mounted a libel against Hatton. I have not bothered to transcribe four marginal annotations which are clearly the work of the letter-book scribe.

BL Add. 15891, ff. 43v-4 (undated) (Nicholas, pp. 137-9)

Sir, may it please you to vnderstande, that, as it greeved me nott a litell; to perceave by your most curtuous and honorable lynes, that any man could deale so hardly, and vniustely with me, as to reporte vnto a persone of your qualitie, how forward I hadd been, in proferringe discourtesie, so neere vnto a place, the very sighte wherof [of] alone, were able to stirr vp, a reuerent and duytiefull [=dutifull] respecte, in any well disposed mynde. So can I not esteeme, this, ^as¬ the leest of many your most frindlye favours towardes me, that you (whome I desire to satisfie in any doubt) vouche safe to call me to myne answere, before you yelde to their(167) vniust reportes, which seeke to cover with the greatnes of their Countenaunce, in comparisone of me, what can not be defended in the presence of a better,(168) then vs boath: Wherefore at this tyme I will only complayne vnto your self, as myne assured frende, that all respectes of dewtie, which I vsed in that place, perhapps against my nature (which some tyme is no lesse reddy to reiect a wrong then other men to proffer it) can not so far sheilde me from reprooffe, butt that my greatest meryte is peruerted, to my most disgrace: and to suffer wronge is not supposed to be punishement ynowgh, for me, vnles, I be accused of a double guylte in sufferinge. This six yeares space, I haue remayned in this Court, withoute so muche as proffer of disgrace to any man / I looke for nothinge, butt the grace & favour of the Quene. (whiche till the last droppe of my bloode I will deserue by dewtie): to my frende, I seeke to be reputed constant / and as open to my Ennemye. No daye passeth over, without some wrong conceytes, which neede no other answere, but their ^owne¬ vncertentie: myne able frendes ar fewe, my mightie foes ar many. the plighte wherein I came first to Courte,(169) I keepe in every mans beleef, that disdayneth not so poore a frende: And notwithstanding false reportes, and wrong surmyses, of diuers sortes, the tyme is yet to comme, that either I was towched with default, in dewtie to my Prince, or in desert to my approved ffrende. Wherefore good Mr Vicechamberlayne, lett these examples move you to beleave, that after so longe harbour, in a calme, I finde butt small delightte in stormes of quarrell, further then I am inforced, by discurtesie: which I loue as ill to beare, as to proffer, assuringe youe, that if their lyves, which sowght to leade you from well wysshinge towardes me by this reporte, weere so precysilye looked into, their courses canvased, their steps | [observed] observed¬, and their deallinges dyscyphered, as myne haue been these manye yeeres, either they would not be thought so cleere, or I should not be accompted, and reputed faltie. Butt because ^I meane¬ so quickelye to attend on you, my self, and my defence requyreth some discourse, I craue no more, but that you will suspende your iudgement, either waye till, you heare what maye be answered. God I take to witnes, and as manye as were present, that in this matter, I gaue no more cause of iust offence to any man, then hee that was as farr from Grenewich at that instant, as my self was from London:(170) And towchinge my well meanynge, to your self, I beseeche you humbly to persiste in this conceyte, that as I never faulted towardes you in any thoughte, so can you not ymploye me further, then my service shalbe(171) ready to discharge your pleasure. There were no cause for me to wade in this Apologie, weer it not that proofe [=experience] hath taughte me, in what bitter sorte, some persones haue dealt with me, whome you hould in greate accompte, to far meaner then your self, in callinge, and weaker in aucthoritie. Notwitstandinge, as [any] ^an¬ honest, playne, and constant course, feares no encounter, so doubte I not, by good deserte, to lett you vnderstand, the difference between my fryndly meanynge, and the malice of myne ennemyes. Thus humbly cravinge pardone for my posting lynes, and repoosing that assured trust, in your vprighte and honorable frendshippe, that you will not otherwise aduise me, then maye stande with honor, which I am resolute to keepe vnstayned, till the last sparke of my lief / I recommende both my self, and all I haue, to your devotione. In haast from my Lodginge at Ive bridge./

Your honors faithfull and assured frend at commaundment

Henry howarde/

1. "Nor to challenge the gods in jest".

2. "I tremble to refer to it". See Charles Arundel's similar charges of atheism, 4.2/1.1-7.

3. Pietro Aretine, Italian author and reputed pornographer (see 4.4/3).

4. "at a loss for words" (see 4.2/9.6).

5. I.e., without corroborating witnesses.

6. Evidently a sarcastic reference to Oxford's boasts about keeping company with the great (see, for example, paragraph 3 of this letter; and 4.2/2.2-6).

7. Sir Thomas Bromley, Howard's jailer: see 3.3@119.

8. I.e., for being in league with Mary queen of Scots.

9. I.e., personal expressions of goodwill.

10. In fact, Howard was widely reported to have been in communication with Mary Queen of Scots.

11. This conversation, from Lent 1580, must be dated between 16 February (Ash Wednesday) and the death of "myne old lord of Arundell" on 24 February.

12. Near Smithfield.

13. Oxford's recently acquired residence in Bishopsgate.

14. This phrase is meant as a direct quotation.

15. The unnamed cause was Anne Vavasor's pregnancy (see 3.5.1@128).

16. Oxford's paternal aunt, Lady Frances Vere, was Howard's mother.

17. I.e., depart (with me) for the sake of companionship.

18. Here Howard wrote he, clearly in error.

19. I.e., between Elizabeth and Anjou (Monsieur).

20. "What is the logic?"

21. Written over an erasure. This was Philip Howard's title prior to being named earl of Arundel.

22. The "old" lord, Henry Fitzalan, still alive at the time of this reputed conversation, died 24 February 1580, to be succeeded by Philip Howard.

23. I.e., abroad.

24. Most surviving information about Philip Howard and tournaments does not antedate 1581: see Young (1987), esp. pp. 147-9.

25. Philip Howard's youngest brother William married his step-sister Elizabeth Dacre 28 October 1577.

26. Philip Howard: Oxford is being sarcastic, really thinking him unwise.

27. "Rise in opposition" against (OED lift, v. 4.b).

28. Philip Howard.

29. Philip Howard had gained (but later overcame) a reputation for dissolute behavior.

30. This bank of money is mentioned again in 3.5.1@128.

31. As hereditary lord great chamberlain, an office which brought prestige but no significant income, power, or responsibility, Oxford bore a staff or "rodd" as a sign of office: Hartley (1981), i, 267.

32. Younger brother of Philip Howard. For other references to deserting Oxford, see 2.3.1/116; 3.2@92.

33. Oatlands, Elizabeth's royal manor near Weybridge in Surrey, where the court resided from at least 15 July to 11 September 1580.

34. Howard is evidently being ironic, since Oxford, despite his announced intention to go to Spain, almost certainly had not done so.

35. Philip Howard.

36. this one is Philip Howard; that other is Oxford. See 4.2/9.1.

37. Evidently Howard names pages in relation to accusations of pederasty (see also 4.2/6.2 and 4.4/11), and coroners in relation to accusations of murder.

38. See 4.2/2.1.

39. Including Elizabeth? See 4.2/2.15, and next document.

40. Thomas Bedingfield, gentleman pensioner (see 4.2/2.1).

41. The siege of Antwerp occurred 15 April to 30 May 1574, before Oxford's unauthorized journey in July of that year. For a doubtful reference to a curtain wall, see 4.3/1.1@99.

42. Milan (see 4.2/2.2).

43. Don John of Austria (see 4.2/2.3).

44. See 4.2/2.4.

45. Mirandola (see 4.2/2.5).

46. Marguerite de Valois, queen of Navarre (see 4.2/2.6).

47. For this item and the two which follow, see 4.2/2.7-9.

48. William Malim (see 4.2/2.14).

49. This was Charles Arundel's uncle (see 4.2/2.10).

50. Oxford's mother Margery née Golding married Charles Tyrrell shortly after the death of Oxford's father, John, sixteenth earl of Oxford: both by now had been dead for a decade. By "shete" is doubtless meant "winding-sheet".

51. "consecration of the eucharistic elements in the service of the mass" (OED sb. 1) (see 4.2/2.13).

52. See 4.2/2.12.

53. On Oxford's killing of Thomas Bryncknell in July 1567, at the age of seventeen, see 4.2/4.13 and accompanying note.

54. William Somerset, earl of Worcester: see 4.2/4.1 and accompanying note.

55. See 4.2/5.1.

56. See 4.2/4.7.

57. See 4.2/4.6. The following item, Roland York against all, is not found elsewhere.

58. St George's Fields was open space south of the Thames between Southwark and Lambeth (LE).

59. This event must have occurred before January 1578 (see 4.2/4.1 and accompanying note). Compare Sir Henry Knyvett's words at the maid's chamber (4.2/5.4). Further on Hampton Court, see Libels Part 3, note 68.

60. Rowland York (see next note).

61. Error for Weekes. On the Weekes-Sankie murder, see 4.2/4.4.

62. See 4.2/4.3. The Horse's Head is also mentioned 4.4/6. Was the Horse's Head the same as the Nag's Head in Cheap? (mentioned by Eccles, 1934, p. 7).

63. Christopher Hatton (see 4.2/5.2).

64. This seems to refer to Oxford's return after his unauthorized journey in July 1574.

65. Evidently a garbled version of Baker (see 4.2/4.5).

66. Philip Howard (see 4.2/4.10).

67. See 4.2/5.3.

68. Oxford's surgeon was George Baker; his brother was evidently Christopher Baker. See also 4.2/5.5.

69. See 4.2/5.7.

70. latched = "taken with force" (OED latch v. 2.a). betwene both the walles = in "The Street" through Whitehall Palace. This incident occurred 17 March 1580, before Ralegh's departure for Ireland in June 1580: see 4.2/5.8.

71. See 4.2/5.6.

72. Cancelled or blotched.

73. See 4.2/8.5.

74. See 4.2/8.2.

75. Presumably London, since Howard was being held prisoner at Bromley's residence.

76. Evidently Stuart, first name unknown.

77. From the context, this nephew is almost certainly Philip Howard (see also 2.3.2/5).

78. See 4.2/5.9.

79. This seems to have been the first of two meetings between Oxford and Arundel: see 4.1.1 (headnote).

80. "Master Philip" is evidently Philip Howard, called Lord Howard at note 66.

81. A set of bad puns; chick is here evidently a term of endearment for Philip Howard (OED chick sb. 3).

82. Ward, p. 118, identified Lord Howard as Henry, but by comparison with other references to the same event (see also 3.2@114), Philip is clearly meant, despite the inaccuracy of the title. The incident occurred Friday 16 December 1580. Presumably the upcoming Friday from which Henry Howard is dating back is 30 December 1580.

83. John Pakington, courtier, evidently cited here as a witness.

84. I.e., giving weight (or substance) to (OED peise).

85. I.e., house, shelter; or conceal (OED shroud v. 1, 2, or 4).

86. Actually 1576-77?; compare 2.2.1@67.

87. "Your part is to command; mine is to obey that command" (Virgil, Aeneid, Bk. 1, lines 177-8).

88. I.e., sexual favours.

89. Pertaining to the Sibyls, perhaps oracular (and capable of being published abroad?): see OED, Sibylline.

90. For Oxford confined to his chamber at Greenwich, see 4.3/2.

91. I.e., one mistress for profit, another for pleasure (see also 4.2/9.2).

92. On the forsaking of Oxford, see also 3.1/2.2@32.

93. Encomia Elizabethii, not completed (see 4.2/9.3).

94. Sir Thomas Heneage.

95. Howard's collected notes on this subject survive in BL Cotton Titus C.6 (DNB).

96. See 4.2/9.4.

97. Evidently Howard was directly following up a face-to-face interrogation.

98. This "note" or list is called a "byll" or "bille" several lines below.

99. Evidently, "a fist in his teeth", though the expression "meat in mouth" traditionally refers to money: see Tilley (1950), M816.

100. Evidently mournful, brooding; hence, disaffected.

101. I.e., pluck, snatch (OED trice v. 1).

102. I.e., any time this past seven years; evidently 1573, Howard's date for his readmission to court.

103. Philip Howard (see above at note 66).

104. Thomas Radcliffe earl of Sussex.

105. Patrick Plunkett.

106. Probably William Cornwallis.

107. Drury's father, Sir William Drury, president of Munster from 1576, had died 13 October 1579; his widowed mother, Margaret, daughter of Thomas Lord Wentworth, was still living and could presumably be called as a witness.

108. Evidently Howard had already answered the interrogatories submitted by Norton on 10 January (2.1.3).

109. y changed from h

110. This order was probably for regulation of the mass (see note 116).

111. Compare to Elizabeth's famous sentiment, attributed to her by Francis Bacon (Black, 1959, p. 23, note 1), that she did not like "to make windows into men's hearts and secret thoughts".

112. This seems a clear reference to 3.1.

113. Clearly, Oxford.

114. Friday 16 December 1580 (see also 3.1/4@82; and 2.3.2/6).

115. I.e., on Christmas Day night (see 4.1.1).

116. Promulgated 20 October 1573 (see 2.3.1/1@104).

117. "Blame weighs more heavily (on me) than punishment."

118. Evidently, "foundation"; not in OED, but see Goldberg (1994), p. 44.

119. Sir Thomas Bromley, Howard's jailer: see also 3.1/2.1@7.

120. Clearly, Oxford.

121. much changed from wyth.

122. o changed from l.

123.

Sideways in left margin: Confessed. See Arundel's charges of atheism at 4.2/1.

124. I.e., between Walsingham and Leicester (see 4.2/5.1).

125. Christopher Hatton (see 4.2/5.2).

126. "House of Chastity" (presumably an Italian-style ironic insult): for this and the next article, see 4.2/5.3.

127. See 4.2/5.5.

128. The preceding Easter Sunday was 3 April 1580. Oxford was already married (to Burghley's daughter, Anne); marriage to Ann Vavasor would have been bigamous. See also 3.1/2.2@30.

129. "So I have heard - but in his cups": see 4.2/9.1. Ward, p. 213, prints, ungrammatically, Audibi in poculis.

130. Allusion uncertain. Oxford was in Padua or Venice approximately May 1575 to December 1575.

131. Long s is crossed as if it were an f (see 4.2/9.4).

132. Probably Richard Shelley (see 4.2/9.7). The Lord Treasurer was Burghley.

133. The concluding words of this annotation are obscure.

134. Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk, executed 1572 (4.2/9.5).

135. Dr Nicholas Saunders (see 4.2/9.12).

136. I.e., he got right to the heart of things.

137. The vicount of Baltinglas was James Eustace (see 4.2/9.15).

138. For Charles Arundel's similar comments, see 4.2/6.

139. Horatio Cogno (see also "Orache" 4.4/11).

140. Either a reward, or a salve (see second paragraph below).

141. Ralph Hopton (see 4.2/6.2).

142. Henry MacWilliams (see 4.2/6.2).

143. Power was Oxford's page; George Baker was his surgeon (see 4.2/6.1).

144. Evidently Oxford suffered from an ailment of the legs for which salve had been prescribed.

145. See 4.2/6@67.

146. Compare 2.3.1/3, where Arundel claims that he alone of the trio perused the manuscript; see also 5.6.

147. "Before consummation, marriage".

148. See 2.1.5/3@45.

149. I.e., pederasty (see 4.2/6).

150. I.e., professes to be sympathetic to me. The writer argues that too close a friendship with Arundel would be dangerous both to himself and to Howard.

151. Francis Southwell had numerous relatives, especially in Essex.

152. Mary Cornwallis?.

153. Does Southwell mean the house or family of Arundel? of Kitson?.

154. Either "good luck" or "inheritance"..

155. "up to the stars" - to any lengths.

156. Clearly, Leicester.

157. Written over and.

158. Evidently Elizabeth had recently authorized Howard's release.

159. "grain of an evil seed": Howard asserts that it is only human nature to be enraged against an accuser.

160. CHECK.

161. Clearly, Oxford is meant.

162. See 4.2/5.1.

163. Evidently some incident had occurred recently: see next letter.

164. I.e., you are always at court and never leave it.

165. Not identified - could this be Francis Southwell?

166. Nicolas, p. 137, incorrectly identifies this Ivy Bridge as the town of that name in Devonshire.

167. Doubtless Oxford is meant.

168. Doubtless Elizabeth is meant.

169. Howard's "plighte" had to do with the execution in 1572 of his elder brother, Thomas.

170. The implication seems to be that while Howard was in Greenwich surrounded by witnesses, Oxford was in London far removed from site of the putative incident. Elizabeth lay at Greenwich 22 June to 21 September 1581 (APC, xiii). At this time, Oxford was banished from the court.

171. sh written over be.