ELIZABETH I, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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ELIZABETH I (1533-1603). Queen of England.
Royal Warrant Signed ('Elizabeth R'), 1 page oblong folio on vellum, (slight stains, but in good condition), Westminster, 30 November 8 Elizabeth [1565]. Ordering the Master of the Great Wardrobe to deliver the necessary materials to her embroiderer, for the purpose of constructing a doubled-sided banner to be used at the installation of Charles IX as a Knight of the Garter.
'... We will and command you that immediately upon the sight hereof, ye deliver or cause to be delivered unto our well-beloved servant David Smyth our embroiderer as much of blue velvet cloth of gold yellow with works and purple cloth of gold tissued with silver, as shall suffice for the making and furnishing of one great double banner to be righly embroidered on both side[s] with the Arms of France, together with the mantellette, helmet, crest and sword scabbard suitable to the same banner for the use of the installing of our right well beloved brother Charles the IX French King. ...'
Charles IX (1550-1574) became King of France on the death of his brother Francis II (1544-1560). Francis's widow, Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to Scotland in 1561. Until Mary finally married Darnley in 1565, both women were, in a sense, competitors for the same suitors and embroiled in dynastic politics. From Elizabeth's point of view, it was imperative that the Queen of Scots not marry a foreign prince. However, Elizabeth was not about to rush into a political marriage herself; it was equally imperative that the Queen of England keep her options open.
 She pursued her strategy in three ways: by threats, cajoling, and entertaining suitors herself. Elizabeth made it clear that Mary would risk her wrath should she marry a man not agreeable to the English Queen. Secondly, Elizabeth proposed friendship should Mary marry to her liking, that is, marry an English nobleman. She went so far as to propose her favourite, Lord Robert Dudley, as a possible match. Lastly, Elizabeth played the marriage game herself, sending her agents to negotiate with the Holy Roman Emperor about the suitability of Charles, Archduke of Austria.
 Catherine de Medici, acting as Regent for Charles IX, deplored the possibility of a Hapsburg alliance and, in 1564, proposed her fourteen-year-old son as a suitor. While Elizabeth had no intention of marrying Charles IX, she kept the negotiations going for as long as possible. In this case, Elizabeth's typical delaying tactics strengthened her bargaining position with the Holy Roman Emperor and furthered her plan to edge prospective partners away from Mary.
 Charles IX was elected a Knight of the Garter in April 1564 and invested by proxy on 22 January 1565/6.
[No: 0082]


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