Libels Part 5. Charles Arundel: miscellaneous correspondence

Charles Arundel seems to have kept up a correspondence while he was under arrest, first in Christopher Hatton's London residence (Ely Place?), and afterward in Sutton in West Sussex (see 5.11). In writing to Hatton, Arundel was, in effect, writing to his jailer. Evidently the bearers of letters both to and from Arundel routinely turned them over to Walsingham's amanuensis: all documents in this appendix are in the latter's hand.

5.1 Arundel to ?Hatton, from his place of house arrest, shortly after confessing his "knowledge in all pointtes", perhaps a reference to the interrogatories submitted by Norton on 10 January (see 2.1.3).

BL Add. 15891, f. 99 (undated) (Nicolas, p. 218)

Sir though hetherto I haue had smale meenes, to declare my good affectione towardes you, yet hath there not wanted goodwill to wishe well with the best, and so wisshinge as with effecte I might expresse yt, and leave you satisfied of my good meanynge. I speake not this to merytt the more, butt only for the dewe respectes I owe you, by whose ayde only I haue ben inhabled to lyve the better, prayinge you to esteeme of me as trewth shall trye me, and as here after, vppon better proofe you shall fynde me: The hope I had to see you here,(1) hath stayed me thus longe from writinge:(2) my case requireth your favor, and my self your comfort. I haue most playnly vnfolded before you, my knowledge in all pointtes, not concealinge any thinge to excuse my self, nor addinge more, then is treweth to harme others. I therefore humbly craue your favor in this my perplexed estate. My restraynt of libertie troubleth me nothing, but the disfavor of her maiestie greeveth me so muche, as I would rather chuse to dye then thus to contynew my lingering sorrowes in suspence, without assurance of any certen remydie. God I take to witnes, I never faulted against her maiestie persone, and as no man hath more cause to honor [her] & serve her then I, so hath no man held her vertues in more admiratione, nor defended them further when some other,(3) haue not ben so forward to performe that towards her highnes which in duytie they ought to haue done. As this is trewe, so God deale with me, and dispose your mynd to doo me good, who resteth more yours, then I am able to expresse /

Your honors humbly to dispose & commaunde

Charles Arundel

5.2 Arundel to ?Hatton; Arundel writes shortly after an examination, as to one who is to hear his cause: perhaps this was his examination on the accusations submitted by Norton 10 January 1581 (2.1.3). This letter apparently followed quickly upon the previous (5.1): note repeated reference to having confessed "my knowledge in all pointts".

BL Add. 15891, ff. 94-4v (undated) (Nicolas, pp. 218-19)

Sir, your desyre to doo me good, can doo no more then confirme my former intent, and readynes, to(4) deserve as well as I can, of you and your frendes: My case requiringe indifferencie, will a byde any tryall, and I accompt it not my least good hap, that you shall have the hearinge of my cause. As I haue alreadye most playnly & sincerely bewrayed my knowledge in all pointts of my examination;(5) So I beseech you, with all humylitie, to bee the meane to restore me, to my former libertie, and to her maiesties good favor: without the whiche I desire not lyfe: And if playne and open confessione, may purchase pardone for my former offences to the lawe, I will, as I haue || begonne, vnfolde vnto you, what I ment to ymparte to her maiestie, & because the [the] offence(6) was not commytted wilfully, I presume of pardone, through your mediatione, easely. And so recommendinge my self and cause to your honorable directione, I humbly take my leave with full and faithfull vowe to be yours in all service.

Yours more bounde, then I haue meane to acknowledge

Charles Arundell

5.3 Arundel to ?Hatton: from a "wilderness", evidently Sutton in West Sussex (see 5.11), after Easter eve, which fell on 25 March 1581.

PRO SP12/151[/51], f. 111 (bifolium, 310mm x 210mm; heavily repaired; undated)


Right honorable, to vse greate protestation of wordes weare a thing not incident vnto yowr manifold curtesies, nor the meane wherby to clere me of the depe arrerages(8) wherin I am indettid and sithe my estate is suche as hardlie I can performe, to satisfye any iote [=jot] of yowr daylie contynued goodnesse I must for this time most humblye desire you to accepte my inward thankefullnes and to assure yowr selfe that yf my daylie [-prayre] intercession¬ may [doe] worke¬ yowr good ^or cowntervaile the frute of yowr great bownetie¬ you shall not altogether goo vnrewardid, nor my myn<de> become idle in sollicitinge for you, I will not nowe troble you with [suit till] my cause. my hope is when¬ the greater geve leysure I will not be forgotten(9)¬ nether will I relat<e> what I have felt but rather determine to endure yet must I nedes confesse howe I have bin muche greveid with the causelesse charge that transporteid me [hether] into this wildernes¬ and kno no fawlte that I have made since ostereve [=Easter eve] when I shuld have bin deliverid vppon more favorable termes(10)


Thus(11) am I bold to laye before you my welwisheinge mind more to exercise the dewtie I owe you, then to enstructe yowr well stayed iudgement hopeinge you will accepte my simple meanynge thoughe you¬ proffitt not by the contentes and so do end wisheinge(12) you the supplie of yowr desires and my selfe abilitie to serve you.

5.4 Arundel to ?Hatton, from Sutton in West Sussex, 23 May 1581.

BL Add. 15891, f. 73 (23 May 1581) (Nicolas, p. 169)

Right honorable, as one, no lesse willinge to remember you, then myndefull of your greate goodnes, I haue stayed this bearer(13) by the sleaue, to increase his burthen, by the waight of this shorte lettre: and to release my self of a greater debte, then ynck and paper can acknowledge. My meanyng is not to be cumbersome, nor to trouble you with my cause till tyme may serve / only to exercise the dewtie I owe you / I haue sent you these fewe lynes, and that the bearer shoulde not returne emptie handed, without some shew where hee had ben.

Towching my affectione to your self, I craue no more, (till tyme maye yeald you better tryall,) butt that your vertew, may in this tyme of distresse, boeth pleade & promyse for your poore frende, that wanteth meanes, nott will, to make his faithe more Evident. And so with humble remembrance of my duytie, I ende, wishinge the happy supplye of your desires, and my self, abilite, to doo you service. from Sutton the xxiijth of May 1581.

Your honors more faithfull then fortunate

Charles Arundel

5.5 Arundel to ?Hatton, from Sutton in West Sussex, 20 July 1581 (the same date as Henry Howard's letter 3.4). Oxford had recently been released (see Appendix 7), but the news may not yet have reached Arundel.

BL Add. 15891, ff. 83v-84 (Nicolas, pp. 180-1)

Sir, it is a faulte in greif, that either it complayneth to muche, or ells sayeth nothinge: and yet for my ^owne¬ parte, I seeke as muche as I can, to shone [=shun] extreemyties. I haue largely vnfolded my whole estate to this bearer,(14) by cause I would nott be combersome vnto you, only cravinge of charite and iustice, that my tryall, which hath ben longe promised, maye not be any longer deferred, for then(15) shall my ennemyes, syncke with shame, & I departe, ^out of¬ the feilde with honor: and what soever, either malice hath vniustly buylt, or a foole devised, vppon a false ground, must playe castell cum downe, and dissolue to nothinge. And all that I haue saide or sett downe, shalbe confirmed, by the || formall depositions(16) / and [others] ^othes¬ of those, who weere present when hee talked idelly, and tould wounders. I will saye no more vntill either tryall, or libertie may be obteyned, whiche I wishe to enioye, by your mediatione: Whome I commytt to the grace of God. ffrom Sutton the xxth of Iuly 1581.

Your honors fast and vnfayned frende

Charles Arundel

5.6 Arundel to ?Hatton, doubtless from Sutton in West Sussex, written at a time when Arundel's cause was "long asleep".

BL Add. 15891, ff. 77v-8 (undated) (Nicolas, p. 217)

Right honorable, I maye not forgett my humble duytie, but lett it alwaise occupie the [ch<...>ste] ^chiefest¬ place in my lettres, as a thinge most fitt for me, and most dewe to your honor. I was glad to vnderstande by this bearer,(17) of your good acceptatione of my last, butt so muche comforted by your honorable message, as this paper sufficethe not to lett you vnderstande att full. And my hope is, that my innocent cause, that hathe long layne a sleepe, shalbe shortely [.] waakened and remembred by your honor, as convenyent oportunytie shall serue you. Because I would not be combersome vnto you, I haue requested this gentilman, to vnfolde vnto you, my poore state, and howe I liue: which is much [more] harder, I assure you, then I complayne of. Butt God, and trewth, beinge on my side, ys | all my comforte, and I nowe knowe well, that what soever the devell, or his mynisters could devise against me, was not wantinge: and if there had ben any probabilite in my ennemyes accusations, I had ben, er this tyme, past laudatem:(18) What I knowe, and of whome, I will saye more vnto you when tyme shall serue, then to any parson [=person] lyvinge. In the meane while, I humbly take my leave and commytte you to God /

Your honors most assured

Charles Arundel

5.7 Arundel to ?Hatton, evidently from Sutton in West Sussex, written when Arundel had been imprisoned 7 months (?late July). (See also 2.3.3 and next, both of which bear many similarities to this letter.)

PRO SP12/151[/53], f. 114 (single sheet, 320mm xm 205mm, repaired)

Right honorable, suche comfort I conceaveid of yowr last message by my man as I am moveid therbye to require yowr ayde and favoure in my cause: and ether to procure my triall, that will acquite me (I humblie desire yow), or to release me of my bonde with free enlargement that wold muche ease me. I trust her Maiestie will not denye you as muche favoure in the behalfe of me lightlie suspected of nothinge, and never offendinge in thought I take God to wittnesse, as she hathe latelie grawntyd vnto some others¬,(19) in the behalfe of my monsterous adversarye Oxford, a parson [=person] convicted(20) of great bestlynesse, as you knowe. yf her Maiestie vppon yowr motion pretend a pawse [=postponement], or promis to take a time as she hathe done all this while, withowte any frute, yow may wekeen that excuse by alleg<ing> my 7 monthes imprisonment, withowte ether <...> of my defence or regarde of my credit or callinge me to answere yf she limite(21) my restraint by oxfords punishement first remember that owre causees are not one then that I was kep<t> close in a [yowr] howse fowre monthes togither when oxford went vp and downe the towne¬ graseinge in the pastures yf this [my reqw]¬ maye not satisfye or that my hard estate can move no pittye I will not presse it further but attend the tyme that her Maiestye shall appoint for my happye deliveraunce and in the meane [+time] rest contentyd with that she layes on me.

Endorsed: Charles Arundell; 1581 Concerning the quarrell with my Lord of Oxford

5.8 Arundel to ?Hatton, probably from Sutton in West Sussex, written when Arundel had been imprisoned 8 months (?August). (See preceding letter, headnote.)

BL Add. 15891, f. 61 (undated) (Nicolas, pp. 216-17)

Sir, I haue conceaved such comforte of your last message, sent me, by this bearer, as I am embouldned thereby, most humbly to craue your honorable ayde, and good fauor in my cause, and of your goodnes, ether to procure me tryall, that I am suer, will acquite me, or to release me of my bandes with free enlargement, that would greatly ease and releaue me. Yf her maiestie, shall pretende to take a pawse [=postponement] vppon your motione, or requyre tyme to be advised, as she hath doone all this while withoute fruitte / yt maye please you to doo me the fauour, (if in your wisdome you shall thinck it meete) to aunswere that excuse, by alleaging vnto her my eight montthes ymprisonment, a more greevous punishement to hym, that either regardeth the comforte of her maiesties fauor, or his owne poore reputatione, then an honest mynde is able to beare, without many teares, and contynuall afflictione. I hope her maiestie will not deny you the sweetnes of her princelye goodnes, in the behalf of me her poore distressed servant, lightely suspected, nothinge fau<l>tie, and never offendinge her so muche as in thoughte. I take God to witnes, seeinge shee hath lately vouchsaved the same to some others in the favor of my most hatefull and wretched aduersarie, a persone, convicted, as you knowe, of greate abhominatione, and notably detested of all men for his wickednes. Well, I must, and will ever rest obedient, in all lowlynes of dewtie, as becometh me / to her maiesties commaundement: and what in her wisdome, she shall thinck most reasonable, I will alwaies repute most iuste, and full of princely goodnes. And so expectinge still, as I haue done longe, the happie hower of my deliuerance through your honorable medi[t]atione; I humbly take my leaue and commytte you to God /

Your honors wholly to commaunde and dispose at your pleasure

Charles Arundell

5.9 ?Arundel to unknown, requesting money.

PRO SP12/151[/55], f. 116 (single sheet, 320mm x 205mm; undated)

I have chosen this oportunitie to call vppon you in a matter of some importance not to make triall of yowr frindshipp as it wold seme to those yat loke onlie to thexteriore shewe of thinges. but to shewe you profe of myne (as I trust you will take) beinge to vse yowr helpe in the behalfe of suche a parte [=party, person] as you have cawse to love and honor, and maye by this meanes make assurid of yowr zealous affection to his(22) benefite which yowr one [=own] creditt and comoditie it is so then yat for the dispatche of [sundry] mie¬ causes [of which] whiche¬ require spede I had of late order(23) addresid vnto me for the receyte here of a round some [=sum] of monye wherof the greatest part was to be [carryd] payde¬ to yowr selfe be it spokeen [to Mr rockmond(24) for a late purchase my brother(25) made] the rest to some other vse for my selfe, and to have bin takeen vpp here at the handes of some persons who by vnexpectid accidentes are gon into the cuntrye to expecte ther returne, were to lett skipp the present oportunitie [very fitt for] to do my selfe good bye and to disapoint my brother who presumes of my creditt with you. to deale with other frindes here in that behalfe wold perhappes dislike him whose case it is beinge not willinge that many shuld be acquayantid therwith. It restithe it be done by some frindes there, wherof you are not ignorant that my brothers creditt may commaunde manye not onelie for the some [=sum] of five hundrid powndes but to engage the [l<...>res and] credittes yf cause so requirid. But amongest all I have picked yow owte to serve this turne knowinge yowr inclination towardes him nothinge inferior to the greatist and yowr meanes to doe it thoughe not equall to some other (whome I myght have bin bold withall) yet sufficient and able for a greater matter and for yowr satisfaction albeit yt be no competent suretie, yet by the knowledge you have of me and maye have by the testemonye of [the] yowr best frindes [of this] the engageinge of my life and creditt to you shall I trust suffice, the some [=sum] is but [sixe thous] five¬ hundrid powndes to be deliverid to this bearer, but in suche sorte that no other man leveinge be acqwaynted withall wherof I praye you be verye carefull whether you performe my demawnd or not and yf you be not in case to doe it (for good will I am perswadid shall not want(26) lett me with all spede by some meanes vnderstand it that I maye ether take some order here yf the parties be returnid or move some other frind there in the matter whome I am sure halfe a worde will perswad albeit I confesse to you yat for the sownd disposition I beare you it wold be a singuler grefe vnto me yat you sholde [+miss] so good an oportunitie to shewe yowr zeale and affection in that place wher I knowe it wolde be so well acceptid and requited wherfore I will hope and wishe the best and end with this yat yf you performe it and doo not hereafter find comfort of it, I shalbe contentyd to lose that good opinion which you and yowr like have reteyned of me, and so in hast I take my leave and comitt yow to God whoo <p>reserve you alwayes

5.10 ?Arundel to Mr Dorseye. D. C. Peck (ed.), Leicester's Commonwealth, p. 236, suggests that this may be the George Darcy whose sad story is told in the continuation of Leicester's Commonwealth.

PRO SP12/151[/56], f. 117 (single sheet, 300mm x 205mm; undated)

My hope is Good Mr Dorseye that you will excuse my want of writinge all this while consideringe the forwardnesse of my good will yf the suertie of the convaye had ben sutable(27)

Towcheinge yowr late request thoughe I weare not able to performe it in suche ample sorte as I desirid in reason of my devotion to the partie to whose benefitt it tendes, yet as farr as it wold stretche I have [vsed] imployed mye stocke and further then eyther I knewe whiche waye to compas, before I toke the course in hand [manye other the<.> that must] and made a profe, or any other save[in]inge they that maye most command cold have vrged me to retterive [?retrieve]

I dowte not but many in these dayes can geve fayre wordes whiche coste them onelie the labor of ther lippes but bycause I wold not have you trust to [=too] farr to false supporters and rotten staves against a time of nede I cold wishe that you made some profe of ther good willes in acte before you weare enforsid by necessitie perhappes it will appere that the highest mowntaynes beare not ever the [highest] ranckest carppe(28) and that as faythefull myndes are coverid with taffetie as withe Tissue, thus wisheinge to you and yowres as to my none [=my own] self and better yf it maye be I recommend [+you] to owre Lord

5.11 Thomas Radcliffe (Earl of Sussex) to Arundel, from court, 19 October 1581. Arundel had broken house arrest to hunt at Petworth, a seat of the traditionally Catholic Northumberland family (then represented by Henry Percy the elder), located five miles north of Sutton in West Sussex.(29) Elizabeth was clearly furious on hearing this, so Arundel appealed to the earl for advice and support. Since the earl writes in a virtually illegible hand, orthographic details cannot be vouched for.

PRO SP12/150[/43], ff. 84-5 (bifolium, 310mm x 225mm)

Cosyn charles I can nether gyve you advyse to yeld to eny thing for huntyng matteres that is not trewe nether to denye in eny thing that is trewthe for that I know the trewth wyll be known & in fyne it is but a hunting matter The queen is Informed of your goyng to petworth(30) as your self knoweth but surely I never herd her name eny person to whom you went / whether you went or went not your self best knowith Whither[?] I can[?] leade[?] you I have sought to excuse you to her maiesty in corte but as a person that hath bene absent and never hard of either vntill her self told me of them / What I am to do further your self is to instructe me And truly I wyll not fayle you in any thing that with honor I may stande in for Sir Henry Radclyff(31) for he shall fynd [..] love and rather shall it fayle in me / and yf matter[?] fayle me I shall be sory and yet I wyll do what I can to temper all thinges And so I wyshe to you as to myself ffrom the cort xix october 1581

your assured frend and your

(signed) Thomas Sussex

Addressed: To my very loving[?] Cosyn Mr Charles Arundell [seal]

Endorsed: October 1581 The Earl of Sussex his lettre to charles Arundel

Modern endorsement: Accusations of Mr Charles Arundell against the Earl of Oxford.

5.12 Arundel to ?Hatton, written when Oxford was "out of trouble", presumably long after the middle of July. Arundel is responding to a charge that he has written a libel against Hatton, and this letter therefore recalls Henry Howard's letter on a similar topic also transcribed into the same letter book. For reasons given in the headnote to Howard's letter (3.8), this new incident may be cautiously dated around the beginning of December 1581.

PRO SP12/151[/52], f. 113 (single sheet, 308mm x 208mm, heavily repaired; undated)

Right honorable, as mye well meanynge hathe allwayes willed me so dothe necessitie nowe enforse me to write you these

my Monsterus adversarye oxford (who wold drinke my blud rather then wine as well as he loves it) as I am credablie enformyd hathe saide in open speche and¬ in maner of avant [=boast] since his comynge owte of troble that wheras I builte my onelie trust on the frindshipp of yowr honor he had spedd me to the purpose in bringeinge me in [question] condemmnation¬ of a libel that shuld be writen agains<t> you, whervnto a frind of myne(32) beinge present d<oubting> whether I had writen this indede oxford answerid w<ith an> othe that he cold not tell but he was verye sure that it had geven Charles his full payment. of this discoverye I am to take knoledge thoughe restrayned for the present to conceale the author for divers respectes whiche when time sha<ll> serve I shall willingelie imparte for yowr better satysfaction and my most desire. In the meane [+time] I humblie crave this favoure that as it the matter¬ is a mere supposall suggestid by envie vtterid(33) by mallice and devisid by others not vnlike him self¬ amonge knaves as hereafter shal<l> appere so you will suspend iudgement¬ till truthe¬ shall deliver me from this improbable slawnder, and laye it on him that best deserve<s> it, as I may gesse. But for the more assurance of yowr selfe, and to shewe my cleaenesse(34) from the obiected crime I saye that yf he can but prove this one reproche to be trewe, I will confesse all that he hathe sayde of me whiche maye pleasure bothe¬ him and his cownesalers, but yf [he] they¬ can not lett him be sorye that reported it, and they ashameid [that] yf they be not past all [+shame], that sett him a worke for god I take to wittnesse as I never wrate it so did I never condiscent or device any suche villonye against anye¬ and this I hope shall s<erve> for a sufficient answere to so insufficient an accus<ation> and that he hathe lied in his throte I will make it good vppo<n> his bodie. yowr knolege of the man [..] and of his¬ maners as I have¬ trewlie desipherid him [hathe left] can leave¬ no impression as I trust of this mat<ter> and my longe knowne zeale and affection to yowr selfe which is not vnknowne to those that you accownte of shall easili<e> [remove] put bye¬ all his lies powreid [=poured] oute withoute certaynetie or grownd of truthe |

And yf I thought yow were otherwise perswadid then I have deserveid I cold not seme so happye as I am nor¬ rest so well contentyd in my present condicion. Whiche expectid all helpe and succowre from yowr selfe and other frindes I have not sought for my deleverye nether will I. triall is all that I require and triall shall acquite me, and hange the villayne for sodomye that hathe no profe of anythinge but the slawneder of his one blasphemowse tonge &c of this last¬ practice against my selfe, and others more monsterous¬, whiche speke the fownedacion wheron I bwilte all hope, I shall one daye tell you more and make you to wonder, at that is come to light, In the meane time I [comitt this muche] recommend my selfe¬ my cause and all to yowr selfe who can best Iudge of all and here I praye for the Qwene and my good frindes of whiche number you are chefe and so wisheinge for that oportunytye wherein I [+may] doe you service I comitt you to that God that hytherto protectid me

1. Perhaps Ely Place, Hatton's residence in Holborn.

2. Apparently this was Arundel's first letter since Christmas week (4.1.1), and therefore preceded the next.

3. Arundel is doubtless referring to Oxford.

4. t changed from b.

5. See headnote.

6. I.e., hearing mass (see 2.1.5/3).

7. See 2.1.5@39.

8. ges written over dittographed gege.

9. Written over something else.

10. Instead of being set free as he had hoped, Arundel was removed to a new place of house arrest in Sutton.

11. This closing does not necessarily belong to the same letter as the text above.

12. wis written over something else.

13. Not identified.

14. Not identified.

15. I.e., if a trial is forthcoming.

16. Perhaps Arundel is referring to Howard's statement (3.5.1), among others.

17. Not identified; presumably the "gentilman" mentioned a few lines later.

18. past laudatem seems to be a macaronic construction meaning "past praise", that is, "dead". Better Latin would be post laudationem.

19. Evidently Henry Howard and Francis Southwell had been released by this time, along with Oxford.

20. In fact, Oxford had only been accused (by Howard, Arundel, and Southwell).

21. I.e., determine (by comparison: see OED v. 1.a).

22. Possibly Sir Matthew Arundel (see note 26).

23. I.e., a demand for payment.

24. I.e., Richmond?

25. Presumably Charles's brother Sir Matthew Arundel.

26. Missing closing parenthesis evidently belongs here.

27. I.e., if the sending of letters were truly confidential.

28. Apparent proverb (unidentified).

29. Peck (D. C.), p. 22, not recognizing the proximity of Sutton to Petworth, and apparently relying on the paraphrase given in CSPD(2), p. 28, interprets the letter as a simple response to a request for assistance.

30. See headnote.

31. Thomas Radcliffe's younger brother and (since he himself had no issue) his heir. Was this Arundel's hunting partner? In any case, Thomas was not willing to do anything to Henry's disadvantage.

32. Henry Howard?

33. v changed from a.

34. Possibly clerenesse or clenenesse.