MONMOUTH, James Scott, Duke of (1649-1685). Natural son of Charles I. Led rebellion of 1685; executed.
Autograph Letter Signed to 'My lord Cochrane', possibly Sir John Cochrane (fl. 1662-1695), 1 page 4to with address-leaf (hand delivered) and remains of black seal, no place, no date. Apologising for his neglect, and informing him that he had asked the king for permission to travel overseas.
The absence of a date and of a precise identification of the recipient make it difficult to place this letter in Monmouth's complex chronology, although it would appear that he was at this time in favour with his father, Charles II. It would not have been unusual to use the designation 'my lord' to someone who was not a peer but a respected patron or superior (unlikely in Monmouth's case, however). The grovelling, almost sycophantic tone of the letter also brings into question the identity of the recipient.
Letters by Monmouth entirely in his hand are of great rarity.
This is a literal transcription, preserving Monmouth's eccentric spelling:
'Mr lord / I must make the seame excuse to your lor'pp: for not writting to you no soner; I will ashur my lord it taws [sic: - for 'was'] not out of forgitfull nes that I did not writte to you soner but taws the cause of my seeknes but if is the first falt if you will but forgive it I will never fealle to writte to you as often as I cane for I am shure if I shood not bee kind to you that I am somuch oblige to I shood not deserve the name of a nonest man. My lord for my going a brad I sopos if ther bee pease I shall go for I have axced the King leave to go and I am in great hopes that the King will give mee leave for thats the thing that I desier most but my lord as sone as the King has told mee whether I shall go or no I wont feall to lette you know and pray my lord will you believ in the men tim that there is nobody that is mor your servant then I am and I will ashur you when you have ainy thing to try mee in you will find mee so and so I rest your lor'pp: most faithfull and humbel servant / Monmouth.'