On This Day in Tudor History: 28 January 1549

On the 28th of January 1549, Sir Robert Tyrhwitt wrote to the Lord Protector letting him know that he has tried everything suggested to get the Lady Elizabeth to confess, however, she claims she has told everything she already knows. In the letter, Tyrwhitt also states that he believes that there was a secret promise between my Lady, Mistress Ashley, and the Cofferer, never to confess to death. That same day the Lady Elizabeth wrote to Edward Seymour, Lord Protector and Duke of Somerset.


Here is the Lady Elizabeth’s letter:

My Lord, your great gentleness, and good will towards me, as well in this thing as in other things, I do understand, for the which, even as I ought, so I do give you most humble thanks. And whereas your Lordship wills and councils me, as an ernest friend, to declare what I know in this matter, and also to write what I have declared to Master Tyrwhitt, I shall most willingly do it.

I declared unto him first, that, after that the Cofferer had declared unto me, what my Lord Admiral answered for “Alin’s Matter”, and for Durham Place, (that it was appointed to be a Mint,) he told me that my Lord Admiral did offer me his house for my time being with the King’s Majesty; and further said, and asked me, whether if the Council did consent that I should have my Lord Admiral, whether I would consent to it or no: I answered that I would not tell him what my mind was. And I inquired further of him, what he meant to ask me that question, or who bade him say so: He answered me and said, nobody bade him say so, but that he perceived¬†(as he thought) by my Lord Admirals inquiring whether my patent were sealed or no, and debating what sh spent in his house, and inquiring what was spent in my house, that he was given that way rather than otherwise.

And as concerning Kat Ashley, she never advised me unto it, but said always (when any talked of my marriage) that she would never have me marry, neither in England nor out of England, without the consent of the King’s Majesty, your Grace’s, and the Council’s. And after the Queen departed, when I asked of her what news she heard from London, she answered merrily, “They say there that your Grace shall have my Lord Admiral, and that he will come shortly to woo you.” And more over I said unto him, that the Cofferer sent a letter hither, that my Lord said, that he would come this way, as he went down to the country. Then I bade her write as she thought best, and bade her show it to me when she had done; for she write that she thought it not best, for fear of suspicion, and so it went forth. And my Lord Admiral, after he had heart that, asked of the Cofferer why he might not come as well to me, as to my sister: And then I desired Kat Ashley to write again (left my Lord might think that she knew more in it than he) that she knew nothing in it, but suspicion. And also I told Master Tyrwhitt, that to the effect of the matter, I never consented unto any such thing, without the Council’s consent thereunto.

And as for Kat Ashley or the Cofferer, they never told me that they would practice it. These be the things which I both declared to Master Tyrwhitt, and also whereof my conscience beareth me witness, which I would not for all earthly things offend in any thing, for I know I have a soul to save, as well as other folks have, wherefore I will above all things have respect unto this same.

If there be anymore things which I can remember, I will either write it myself or cause Master Tyrwhitt to write it. Master Tyrwhitt and others have told me that there are rumors abroad, which be greatly both against my honor, and honesty, (which above all other thinks I esteem) which be these; that I am in the Tower; and with child by my Lord Admiral. My Lord these are shameful slanders, for the which, besides the great desire I have to see the King’s Majesty, I shall most heartily desire your Lordship that I may come to the court after your first determination; that I may show myself there as I am.

Written in haste, from Hatfield this 28th of January.

Your assured friend to my little power,


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