Women and Epistolary Agency in Early Modern Culture, 1450–1690 9781472478269, 9781315546919

Women and Epistolary Agency in Early Modern Culture, 1450–1690 is the first collection to examine the gendered nature of

172 9 6MB

English Pages [275] Year 2016

Report DMCA / Copyright


Polecaj historie

Women and Epistolary Agency in Early Modern Culture, 1450–1690
 9781472478269, 9781315546919

Table of contents :
List of illustrations
Abbreviations and conventions
Notes on contributors
1 Living letters: Re-reading correspondence and women’s letters
Part I Objects of study: Constructing women’s letters
2 What they wrote: Early Tudor aristocratic women, 1450–1550
3 ‘By the queen’: Collaborative authorship in scribal correspondence of Queen Elizabeth I
4 The materiality of early modern women’s letters
Part II Voices of authority: Letters of counsel and advice
5 Women as counsellors in sixteenth-century England: The letters of Lady Anne Bacon and Lady Elizabeth Russell
6 The rhetoric of medical authority in Lady Katherine Ranelagh’s letters
7 John Evelyn, Elizabeth Carey, and the trials of pious friendship
8 ‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’: Lady Brilliana Harley’s advice letter to her son
Part III Networks and negotiations: The social relations of correspondence
9 Making friends with Elizabeth in the letters of Roger Ascham
10 Irish women’s letters, 1641–1653
11 Recovering agency in the epistolary traffic of Frances, Countess of Essex and Jane Daniell
12 Quaker correspondence: Religious identity and communication networks in the interregnum Atlantic World
13 New directions in early modern women’s letters: WEMLO’s challenges and possibilities
Select Bibliography

Citation preview

Women and Epistolary Agency in Early Modern Culture, 1450–1690

Women and Epistolary Agency in Early Modern Culture, 1450–1690 is the first collection to examine the gendered nature of women’s letter-writing in England and Ireland from the late-fifteenth century through to the Restoration. The essays collected here represent an important body of new work by a group of international scholars who together look to reorient the study of women’s letters in the contexts of early modern culture. The volume builds upon recent approaches to the letter, both rhetorical and material, that have the power to transform the ways in which we understand, study and situate early modern women’s letter-writing, challenging misconceptions of women’s letters as intrinsically private, domestic and apolitical. The essays in the volume embrace a range of interdisciplinary approaches: historical, literary, palaeographic, linguistic, material and genderbased. Contributors deal with a variety of issues related to early modern women’s correspondence in England and Ireland. These include women’s rhetorical and persuasive skills and the importance of gendered epistolary strategies; gender and the materiality of the letter as a physical form; female agency, education, knowledge and power; epistolary networks and communication technologies. In this volume, the study of women’s letters is not confined to writings by women; contributors here examine not only the collaborative nature of some letter-writing but also explore how men addressed women in their correspondence as well as some rich examples of how women were constructed in and through the letters of men. As a whole, the book stands as a valuable reassessment of the complex gendered nature of early modern women’s correspondence. James Daybell is Professor of early modern British history at Plymouth University, UK. Andrew Gordon is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Women and Gender in the Early Modern World Series Editors: Allyson Poska and Abby Zanger

The study of women and gender offers some of the most vital and innovative challenges to current scholarship on the early modern period. For more than a decade now, Women and Gender in the Early Modern World has served as a forum for presenting fresh ideas and original approaches to the field. Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in scope, this Routledge series strives to reach beyond geographical limitations to explore the experiences of early modern women and the nature of gender in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. We welcome proposals for both single-author volumes and edited collections which expand and develop this continually evolving field of study. Recent titles in the series: Gender and Song in Early Modern England Leslie C. Dunn and Katherine R. Larson Autobiographical Writing by Early Modern Hispanic Women Elizabeth Teresa Howe Menstruation and Procreation in Early Modern France Cathy McClive Baptist Women’s Writings in Revolutionary Culture, 1640–1680 Rachel Adcock Men and Women Making Friends in Early Modern France Lewis C. Seifert and Rebecca M. Wilkin Rethinking Gaspara Stampa in the Canon of Renaissance Poetry Unn Falkeid and Aileen A. Feng Maternity and Romance Narratives in Early Modern England Karen Bamford and Naomi J. Miller Devout Laywomen in the Early Modern World Alison Weber Anna Maria van Schurman, ‘The Star of Utrecht’ Anne R. Larsen

Women and Epistolary Agency in Early Modern Culture, 1450–1690 Edited by James Daybell and Andrew Gordon

First published 2016 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2016 selection and editorial matter, James Daybell and Andrew Gordon; individual chapters, the contributors The right of James Daybell and Andrew Gordon to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record has been requested for this book ISBN: 978-1-472-47826-9 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-54691-9 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Apex CoVantage, LLC

In memory of an absent friend Lisa Jardine (1944–2015)

This page intentionally left blank


List of illustrationsix Abbreviations and conventionsx Notes on contributorsxii Acknowledgements xvi   1 Living letters: Re-reading correspondence and women’s letters




Objects of study: Constructing women’s letters


  2 What they wrote: Early Tudor aristocratic women, 1450–1550



  3 ‘By the queen’: Collaborative authorship in scribal correspondence of Queen Elizabeth I



  4 The materiality of early modern women’s letters




Voices of authority: Letters of counsel and advice


  5 Women as counsellors in sixteenth-century England: The letters of Lady Anne Bacon and Lady Elizabeth Russell



viii  Contents   6 The rhetoric of medical authority in Lady Katherine Ranelagh’s letters



  7 John Evelyn, Elizabeth Carey, and the trials of pious friendship



  8 ‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’: Lady Brilliana Harley’s advice letter to her son




Networks and negotiations: The social relations of correspondence


  9 Making friends with Elizabeth in the letters of Roger Ascham



10 Irish women’s letters, 1641–1653



11 Recovering agency in the epistolary traffic of Frances, Countess of Essex and Jane Daniell



12 Quaker correspondence: Religious identity and communication networks in the interregnum Atlantic World





13 New directions in early modern women’s letters: WEMLO’s challenges and possibilities



Select Bibliography Index

239 249


Front cover

 rans van Mieris, Oil on panel, Woman Writing a F Letter (1680). Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

Figures 1.1 Letter of Lord Rich to Essex, 23 December 1596, with additions in the hand of Penelope Rich, Devereux Letter Book. 4.1 Elizabeth Cornwallis to the Countess of Bath, 25 October [1560]. 4.2 Letter from Susan Robinson to her husband, 22 October 1662, with a nativity and notes in cipher in the hand of John Booker. 11.1 Letter of Frances, Countess of Essex to Earl of Essex, 11 August 1599.  11.2 Letter of recommendation from Frances, Countess of Essex to Earl of Essex, [undated], Devereux Letter Book. 11.3 The Countess of Essex’s picture along with an eagle stone ring listed among Jane Daniell’s most valuable possessions. 11.4 Title page of Jane Daniell’s manuscript account of her life, A True Declaration of the Misfortunes of Jane Danyell.

5 57 64 185 187 193 197

Abbreviations and conventions

Original spelling and punctuation have been retained throughout in quotations from manuscripts. Insertions are indicated by upward arrows ^^, and deletions by a strikethrough line. Modern translations of eccentric spellings have been provided in square brackets. Dates are given in Old Style, but the year is taken to begin on 1 January. Roman numerals are retained in quotations, but otherwise supplied in Arabic form; monetary sums of pounds, shillings and pence are given as £ s d. Beinecke BL Add. MS BL, Cott. MS BL, Eg. MS BL, Harl. MS BL, Lansd. MS BLJ Bodl. CKS CP CSP CUL EHR ELH ELR EMS fol. Folger Hasler HJ HLQ HMC JBS LPL

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University British Library British Library, Additional MS British Library, Cottonian MS British Library, Egerton MS British Library, Harleian MS British Library, Lansdowne MS British Library Journal Bodleian Library, Oxford Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone Cecil Papers, Hatfield House, Hertfordshire Calendar of State Papers Cambridge University Library English Historical Review English Literary History English Literary Renaissance English Manuscript Studies folio Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. P.W. Hasler (ed.) The House of Commons 1558–1603, 3 vols, (London: History of Parliament Trust, 1981) Historical Journal Huntington Library Quarterly Historical Manuscripts Commission Journal of British Studies Lambeth Palace Library, London

Abbreviations and conventions xi TNA N&Q OED ODNB P&P PBSA PMLA SP 12 SP 14 Rawl. MS RES RO SCJ TRHS

The National Archives, Kew, UK Notes and Queries Oxford English Dictionary Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Past and Present Publications of the Bibliographical Society of America Publications of the Modern Language Association State Papers, Domestic, Elizabeth State Papers, Domestic, James I Rawlinson Manuscript Review of English Studies Record Office Sixteenth Century Journal Transactions of the Royal Historical Society


Gemma Allen is a lecturer in early modern history at The Open University and a retained lecturer at Pembroke College, Oxford. She is the author of The Cooke Sisters: Education, Piety and Politics in Early Modern England (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2013) and the editor of The Letters of Lady Anne Bacon, ­Camden Fifth Series, 44 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2014). Marjon Ames is executive director of the educational foundation, Achievement Through Liberal Arts and Sciences. Previously she was assistant professor of European History at North Carolina Wesleyan College. Ames received her PhD from the University of Mississippi in 2009, and her dissertation is titled: ‘ “Prisoners for the Truth’s Sake”: Early Quaker Sufferings and the Establishment of Orthodoxy, 1650–1660’. Her forthcoming book with the Routledge Material Readings in Early Modern Culture Series challenges traditional discussions of Margaret Fell’s role in shaping the inchoate Quaker community by focusing on her development of a letter network, which united members of the faith throughout England and the Atlantic World. Cedric C. Brown is professor emeritus of English at the University of Reading and former dean and director of research in the arts and humanities at Reading. Best known in his earlier career as a Miltonist and still active in that area, he has for many years been general editor, subsequently joint general editor, of the series Early Modern Literature in History. He has wide interests in ­seventeenth-century poetry, occasional writing, textual transmission, and letters. His current work, nearing completion, is a study of the discourses, practices and materialities of friendship in the seventeenth century, considering the whole spectrum of early modern friendship from the intimate to instrumental. The present essay is taken from that forthcoming book with Oxford UP. Marie-Louise Coolahan is professor in English at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She is the author of Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland (Oxford UP, 2010), as well as articles and essays on various subjects relating to Renaissance manuscript culture, early modern identity, and textual transmission. She worked with the Perdita Project on women’s manuscripts and was a contributing editor to Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry (Manchester UP, 2005). She is currently principal investigator of

Contributors xiii ‘RECIRC: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550–1700’, funded by the European Research Council and collaborating on the Leverhulme-funded project ‘Women’s Poetry 1400–1800 in Ireland, Scotland and Wales’. James Daybell is professor of early modern British history at Plymouth University and fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is author of The Material Letter in Early Modern England: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practices of Letter-Writing, 1512–1635 (2012), Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (2006); editor of Early Modern Women’s Letter-Writing, 1450–1700 (2001), Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450– 1700 (2004), (with Peter Hinds) Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580–1730 (2010) and (with Andrew Gordon) Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain (U Pennsylvania P, 2016); and has written more than thirty articles and essays on the subjects of early modern letter-writing, women, gender and politics. He is co-director (with Kim McLean-Fiander, University of Victoria, Canada) of the British-Academy/ Leverhulme-funded project ‘Women’s Early Modern Letters Online’) and co-director with Svante Norrhem (Lund University) of the AHRC-Research Network ‘Gender, Politics and Materiality in Early Modern Europe’, and with Adam Smyth (Balliol College, Oxford) he edits the Ashgate book series ‘Material Readings in Early Modern Culture’. Michelle DiMeo is curator of digital collections at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. She is co-editor (with Sara Pennell) of Reading and Writing Recipe Books 1550–1800 (Manchester UP, 2013) and has published essays in several edited collections and journals, including the Intellectual History Review and Huntington Library Quarterly. Her current project is an intellectual biography of Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh (1615–91). Previously, she taught at Lehigh University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Warwick, where she received her PhD. Melanie Evans is a lecturer in English language and linguistics at the University of Leicester. Her research interests are in the application of sociolinguistic and stylistic frameworks to the analysis of early modern women’s literary and nonliterary writing. Her past research includes an in-depth investigation of The Language of Queen Elizabeth I (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), encompassing the material properties of the original manuscripts through to aspects of the queen’s syntax and morphology in her letters and other extant writings. Her current projects include a forthcoming book, Royal Voices: Language and Power in Early Modern English, which explores the linguistic construction of monarchic authority across manuscript and print genres in the sixteenth century. She is also investigating Aphra Behn’s style and authorship, to inform a new scholarly edition of the Restoration author’s works. Andrew Gordon is senior lecturer in literature at the University of Aberdeen, where he is also co-director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies. He is

xiv  Contributors the author of Writing Early Modern London: Memory, Text and Community (Palgrave, 2013), and of numerous essays on aspects of urban culture as well as on early modern letter-writing, manuscript circulation and the culture of libels. He has edited several collections including Literature, Mapping and the Politics of Space in Early Modern Britain, with Bernhard Klein (Cambridge UP, 2001), The Arts of Remembrance in Early Modern England, with Thomas Rist (Ashgate, 2013) and Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain with James Daybell (U Pennsylvania Press, 2016). His current book project investigates early modern cultures of movement and transportation. Barbara J. Harris is emerita professor in history and women’s studies at UNCChapel Hill. Having trained in Tudor-Stuart English history, Barbara Harris’s research and writing over the last two decades has focused on English aristocratic women in the period 1450–1550. Following a series of articles on the subject, she published English Aristocratic Women, 1450–1550: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers with Oxford University Press in 2002. She was awarded a Mellon Emeritus Fellowship in 2008. Her current project, called ‘The Fabric of Piety: Aristocratic Women and Care of the Dead, 1450–1550’, is looking at the same group of women in another context: as patrons of building in churches. The first article appeared in the Journal of British Studies in April 2009. From 1990–1993, Harris was president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians and is a former president of the North American Conference of British Studies. Johanna Harris is senior lecturer in Renaissance literature at the University of Exeter, UK. She has published articles on Brilliana Harley, Andrew Marvell, epistolary culture, and English puritanism and nonconformity. She co-edited (with Elizabeth Scott-Baumann) The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, 1558–1680 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), and her monograph, in progress, addresses puritan epistolary communities in early modern England. She is editing the manuscript writings of Harley (for Ashgate), Thomas Traherne’s ‘Select Meditations’ and ‘The Ceremonial Law’ (for Oxford UP) and (with Alison Searle) is co-general editor of a nine-volume edition in progress, The Correspondence of Richard Baxter (for Oxford UP). Rachel McGregor is an honorary research fellow at the University of Aberdeen. She completed her PhD at Aberdeen in 2010. Her doctoral thesis, ‘Dumbe Maisters: Print, Pedagogy, and Authority in English Literature, 1530–1612’, investigated the pedagogical challenges presented by the printed text and the strategies early modern educators used to overcome them. Her research interest in early modern letters stems from her work on prefatory letters as part of this project, which argued that they served a crucial pedagogical function in establishing benevolent relations with the reader and governing their interaction with the text. In addition to early modern education and letter-writing, her research interests include sixteenth-century literature and drama and early modern friendship. She is currently working to turn her doctoral thesis into a monograph.

Contributors  xv Kim McLean-Fiander is co-investigator of the British Academy/Leverhulmefunded project ‘Women’s Early Modern Letters Online’ (WEMLO). WEMLO was conceived when she was editor of ‘Early Modern Letters Online’ (EMLO), a freely available open-source union catalogue and editorial interface for correspondence from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries produced by the Cultures of Knowledge project at the University of Oxford. McLean-Fiander is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Victoria, where she is also associate director of the ‘Map of Early Modern London’ (MoEML) digital project. Her research interests include pedagogy, digital scholarship, and early modern women writers, letters, maps, and paratext.


Women and Epistolary Agency in Early Modern Culture developed over a number of years out of a series of events and a conference hosted and partly funded by the Humanities and Performing Arts Research Centre at Plymouth University and The Centre for Early Modern Studies at the University of Aberdeen. Early Modern Studies in Scotland Seminar also supported the Aberdeen symposia. The resulting book that developed from these scholarly occasions (and alongside its sister volume, Cultures of Correspondence, and a special edition of Lives and Letters, http://journal.xmera.org/journalarchive/4_1autumn2012.htm) is a genuinely collaborative endeavour, and as editors we would like to especially thank our contributors for all their hard work and commitment to the volume in recent years. We are deeply grateful to the many people whose participation in these events helped shape the ‘Women and Epistolary Agency’ project. We would like to acknowledge here the following: Robyn Adams, Nadine Akkerman, Kenneth Austin, Diana Barnes, Mark Brayshay, James Brown, Alan Bryson, Christopher Burlinson, Ian Cooper, Rebecca Emmett, Dennis Flynn, Jonathan Gibson, Kerry Gilbert, Helen Graham-Matheson, Bruna Gushurst-Moore, Karen Hardman, Peter Hinds, Howard Hotson and with him EMLO and Oxford’s ‘Cultures of Knowledge’ projects, Arnold Hunt, Samuli Kaislaniemi, Lynne Magnusson, Katy Mair, Arthur Marotti, Margaret Maurer, Felicity Maxwell, Steve May, Harry Newman, Kara Northway, Michelle O’Callaghan, The Lord John Russell, Gary Schneider, Adam Smyth, Daniel Starza Smith, Edith Snook, Rachel Stapleton, Alan Stewart, Joel Swan, Alison Thorne, Suzanne Trill, Alison Wiggins, Graham Williams, Lizzy Williamson and Andrew Zurcher. We would also like to thank Erika Gaffney at Ashgate for her advice and support of the project over its development, and for her consummate friendly professionalism as an editor, as well as the anonymous reader of the volume, whose meticulous and critically generous comments were immensely useful in the final stages of editing. Lastly, the book is dedicated to the memory of Lisa Jardine, a trail-blazing scholar in the study of letter-writing (as in so many areas), and an inspirational figure, a mentor and a friend to many navigating the high seas of Renaissance studies. JRTD and AG

1 Living letters Re-reading correspondence and women’s letters James Daybell and Andrew Gordon

The letter is a uniquely compelling object of enquiry, exerting a powerful hold over the scholar who would investigate the cultures of the past. In this collection of essays, however, we do not ask simply what letters can tell us about the lives of early modern women. Rather we seek to understand what early modern women might tell us of the lives of their letters and so to examine the complex ways in which the female subject lived in and through the instrument of the letter. The correspondence of Margaret Clifford, Countess of Cumberland (1560–1616) serves as a useful entry point for this volume of essays on letter-writing, gender, agency and rhetoric since it highlights the enormous range of early modern letters that survive and their textual complexities.1 The countess’s letters are now widely dispersed in archives across the world, but in reimagining them as a whole, as a life in letters, this textual survival can reveal the breadth of letterwriting activities that women engaged in during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Margaret Clifford was involved in various patronage activities, acting as an intermediary and petitioner on behalf of her daughter, Anne Clifford, during her disputed inheritance, which necessitated writing to various privy councillors and the monarch. Original sent versions of the countess’s business letters survive among the State Papers and the papers of administrators and officials such as Julius Caesar, Lord Keeper Puckering, Robert Cecil and Thomas Sutton, founder of Charterhouse Hospital, as well as among the papers of the Earls of Rutland and Shrewsbury, revealing a varied network of correspondents and politicking by letter at the very highest levels.2 In addition, scribal copies and heavily revised drafts of some of these outgoing ‘sent’ letters were preserved as records among the countess’s papers now held at Kendal Record Office among the Hothfield manuscripts, which evidence the collaborative, multi-agent nature of the letterwriting process that produced, dispatched, arranged and archived her epistolary output.3 Among these family papers, which descended to Anne Clifford on her mother’s death, is a much broader range of Margaret Clifford’s correspondence, including letters between the countess and her husband, George Clifford, an extensive correspondence with Anne, and incoming letters from Lord Willoughby, the Countess of Shrewsbury and her sister the Countess of Warwick.4 For Margaret Clifford, the preservation of a series of letters to privy councillors was part of broader archival activities connected with assembling documentary

2  James Daybell and Andrew Gordon evidence as part of her daughter’s legal battle; she kept her papers in a ‘great Trunk’ ‘full of writings of Craven and Westmoreland and other affairs, with certain letters of her Friends and many papers of Philosophy’, which her daughter Anne Clifford recorded taking to Knole House in January  1619, and there is evidence that Anne Clifford read these letters during her inheritance dispute.5 Moreover, in the mid-1650s, Anne had a letter-book drawn up of her mother’s correspondence. The letter-book appears to survive only as a late-eighteenthcentury copy among the Portland manuscripts now held at Longleat House, but its existence can be inferred from a series of autograph annotations on her mother’s letters, often including the date when the letter was copied and the nature of the transcript made.6 The manuscript letter-book contains fifty-nine letters in total – only ten or so of which survive as original or early seventeenth-century copies or drafts among the Hothfield MSS – of which the most celebrated include the countess’s long autobiographical letter to her spiritual adviser, Dr Leyfield, a letter from the poet, Samuel Daniel, who tutored Anne Clifford, and a series of other letters to her husband and daughter. Other correspondents include her daughter’s first husband, Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset; her niece Anne Russell, Lady Herbert and her nephew Francis Lord Russell; Sir Anthony Shirley; Sir Thomas Erskine; Lord Henry Howard; King James and Queen Anne; Salisbury; and Edward Bruce, Lord Kinloss. The practice of producing a letter-book of the countess’s correspondence functioned for Anne Clifford as a form of family history, a textual memorial of her mother.7 Read alongside the broader correspondence, it attests the breadth of Margaret’s letter-writing activity, which spanned binary divisions between public and private, political and personal, encompassing familial, spiritual, autobiographical and literary letters and a wide range of epistolary styles and forms. It speaks also to the scribal intricacies of early modern letter texts, which survive not only as ‘original’ or ‘sent’ letters but also as scribal copies, secretarial drafts and as entries in letter-books. The Clifford case thus illustrates the epistolary complexities that must inform our understanding and provide an essential framework for studies of the gendered practices of early modern letter-writing. Gender and agency, the key concerns of this volume, are complex categories which are richly problematized by early modern epistolary practices, as exemplified by a pair of letters associated with Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex and his sisters, Dorothy, Countess of Northumberland and Lady Penelope Rich. In both textual encounters, the construction of gender is a layered process involving collaborative letter-writing practices that divorce the letter from personal writing technologies and challenge simplistic notions of subjectivity and agency. The first represents a letter ghosted by a man for a woman, ‘scripting’ a female voice, while the second letter illustrates a woman writing over a male voice, as a challenge to male (in this instance, husbandly) authority. The first example is a letter drafted at the behest of Essex for his sister, Dorothy, to send to her estranged husband, Henry Percy, ninth Earl of Northumberland, with whom she experienced a tempestuous marriage.8 It survives in draft form in the hand of one of Essex’s

Living letters  3 secretaries, Edward Reynolds, and is worth quoting verbatim to illustrate the style that Essex wished his sister to adopt: My lo: I haue expected yor resolucion, wch I am willing to hasten out of no ill respect to yor self. And therefore once again will desire that the cawses of these discontentments may not be revived nor disputed, for they are troublesom to me, to think of, & enemyes to a reconcilement wch I offre with a resolved mynd to deserve yor love, seconded by hope of better reward thoughe of late myne ears have receaued terrifyng tales. I will believe tyll your honors wisdom & discretion will hold you from wronging both yor self & me, & then I will promise my self a more happye life, & approve my love & desert both to you & the world, wch doth constantly bynd me to be yor faythful wife.9 There is no evidence that the Countess of Northumberland actually followed her brother’s advice and sent the letter according to instructions. As such the draft assumes a peculiar status in relation to Dorothy Percy, both in terms of how one defines a woman’s letter and also conceptualises early modern subjectivity in that we are dealing with a mediated, possibly unsent letter. When read alongside two other letters from Essex to his sister, her epistolary self-representation was bound up not only with female honour codes but also with issues of Devereux family honour. Commenting on a draft of an earlier letter to her husband that Dorothy sent to her brother for his advice, Essex counselled, The draught of a le[tt]re to yor husband wch you sent me, enclosed, is too short by 2 of the three materiall points wch I tendered to you; and too long by that vncerten charge in the end of the lre, which shows no ground, & can have no end. I do, therefore, wishe you should write to some likely effect, or els be silent till you can persuade yourself otherwise, And when you write, that you should give no occasion to new questions, or mencion any thinge that may kindle newe jealousies.10 Clearly, the countess sought advice from her brother on how to address a letter to her husband and found herself criticised for an inflammatory style. Indeed, in a letter that appears to have accompanied the ghosted draft (a copy on red lined paper, also incidentally in Reynold’s hand), Essex wrote, ‘you have writen to him [her husband] lres of contrary stiles, some that heale, & others agayne that rankle the wound that you have made in his hart, wch makes him think you vnconstant & commanded by your passions’.11 Essex counselled his sister to employ a more submissive tone in her letters, recommending, ‘I do infinitly wisshe that you wold write unto him one lre more to this effect’, yet although generally more acquiescent, a veiled resolve is still evident. These epistolary manoeuvrings betray the social complexities of the situation, since his sister’s separation had been interpreted and censored as a ‘passionate departure from her husband’. Essex’s advice

4  James Daybell and Andrew Gordon was circumspect; counselling rapprochement, but also recognising that if this preferred path failed, then ‘that it might appeare to the worlde, it was his fault [the Earl of Northumberland’s] & not yours that you live a sunder’.12 On the one hand, there was a need for the countess to be seen publicly to have been a dutiful wife; on the other hand, total submission and personal admission of sole responsibility for the separation were not compatible with the maintenance of Devereux family honour. The letter is therefore a gendered textual construction that represents a carefully calculated response to these two considerations. If Dorothy’s interaction with her brother shows us the collaborative development of letters sent in a woman’s name, where the terms for the construction of her gendered role appear to have been dictated by the earl, the second Essexrelated letter text works in a rather different way, showing how a female pen conversant with the materiality of early modern letter-writing might undercut the self-presentation of a male letter-writer. In this instance, Essex’s other sister, Lady Penelope Rich, appropriated and altered a letter written from her husband, Lord Rich, to her brother, the second earl (Figure 1.1). Her purpose in so doing appears to have been for the amusement of herself and her brother – suggestive of their close relationship – and at the expense of her husband. Lord Rich had been offered the services of a French secretary by Essex, and the letter was written to decline the offer. In Lord Rich’s version the letter read: ‘as yor lo: wel knoweth [I] am a pore man of no language only in the french havenge therin but a littell sight’. However, after Lady Rich’s alterations to the text Lord Rich seemed to be admitting that he had the pox. The altered version reads, ‘as yor lo: wel knoweth [I] am a pore man of no language only in the french ^desease^ havenge but a littell ^under^ sight ^with coming over^’. The humour of the letter also works materially through the subverting of manuscript conventions of the written page. In the letter, Penelope Rich hijacked her husband’s use of deferential space. Where Rich had left an honorific gap between the last line of his letter and his signature, Lady Rich inserted her own postscript appropriating the manuscript space for her own purpose: to playfully remark to her brother, ‘you may imagin my lo: Riche hath no imploiment for a Languist secretary exsept he hath gotten a mistris in France’.13 Lady Rich’s mockery of her husband is pronounced, distancing her from the ideal of wifely obedience; and the manner in which she achieved this suggests not only that she had access to her husband’s correspondence but also possessed a sophisticated understanding of the processes and material practices of letter-writing. In the letters of these two sisters, then, we find sharply contrasting practices in the construction of a gendered epistolary identity and radically different affirmations of women’s agency in the field of correspondence. Taken together with the diverse survivals of the Clifford correspondence, these examples illustrate both the richness of the material before us and the many questions raised by close investigation of the letter as instrument in the lives of women. Women and Epistolary Agency in Early Modern Culture, 1540–1690 is a collection designed to explore the potential of the letter as a tool for investigating the exercise of agency across a number of spheres. If our reading of female agency in the period has typically been structured through an understanding of women’s

Figure 1.1 Letter of Lord Rich to Essex, 23 December 1596, with additions in the hand of Penelope Rich, Devereux Letter Book. Reproduced by permission of Warwickshire Record Office.

6  James Daybell and Andrew Gordon negotiation of ancillary roles as wives, widows and mothers, the broad historical framework of this collection, ranging from 1450 to 1690, enables us to plot how different historical contexts produced specific opportunities or urgent occasions for women to deploy and instrumentalise letters in new or unexpected ways. Marjon Ames shows, for example, how the religious persecution of the early Quakers produced a space in which Margaret Fell could be the central agent in a wide correspondence network that was to support, structure and represent the religious experience of a growing sect. This is a pattern we find repeated throughout this volume in the Civil War experiences of Lady Brilliana Harvey and Lady Mordaunt, as in the response to adversity of the exile Jane Daniell. Managing the material networks of correspondence was a challenge matched by the need to negotiate access to the discursive field of letters as an instrument in public life. Many of the essays here explore the sophisticated strategies used by learned women who sought to counter the homosocial construction of humanist amicitia and the rhetorics of counsel. To uncover the agencies of women and the constructions of gender in letters, the essays collected here share an interest in methodological innovation. Bringing together scholars from disciplines including history, literature, linguistics, gender studies and religious history, the dialogue of methods contained in this volume presents new possibilities for research as well as diagnosing difficulties within some accepted concepts. In a research field that has been transformed by the advent of digital technology, the essays here demonstrate some of the potential released by these powerful research tools, but also the risks. So the kinds of linguistic analysis that draw on letter corpora must be sensitive, as Melanie Evans shows, to the variance in transcription practice that undermines certain kinds of meta-analysis. Equally, in the wake of the much-vaunted material turn within the humanities, we are reminded that the compelling simulacrum of the digital image can present an all too persuasive stand-in for the material object that emerged only recently into the critical light. In order to think through the significance of the early modern letter as material object enmeshed within a range of historically contingent cultural practices, each of the scholars who participate in this volume engages closely with recent developments in the study of correspondence and gender. The field of early modern letter-writing has been transformed over the past two decades by the publication of a series of studies across subject disciplines – including history, literary criticism, linguistics and gender analysis – that have collectively worked to transform the ways in which we study and read sixteenth- and seventeenth-century letters.14 Among the pioneering studies within this broader field, Lynne Magnusson’s Shakespeare and Social Dialogue: Dramatic Language and Elizabethan Letters (1999) adapts theories of linguistic analysis relating to politeness and Pierre Bourdieu’s social theory of language as means of examining how Shakespeare’s notion of conversation relates to letter-writing practices of the early modern period. Alan Stewart’s Shakespeare’s Letters (2008) analyses the representation of epistolary practices in Shakespeare’s dramatic works. Roger Chartier has studied the influence of model letters in the Ancien Régime in France, while Gary Schneider’s Culture of Epistolarity: Vernacular Letters and

Living letters 7 Letter Writing in Early Modern England, 1500–1700 (2005) focuses on the sociocultural function and meaning of epistolary writing, arguing that letters circulated within the ‘culture of epistolarity’ in early modern England.15 James Daybell’s The Material Letter (2012) offers a full-scale study of the social and cultural practices of early modern English manuscript letters, reconstructing the material conditions of the epistolary process from materials and tools to archives and afterlives. As a result of these diverse approaches, influenced as much by the ‘rhetorical’ as the ‘material’ or ‘archival’ turns, early modern letters emerge as highly complex texts associated with a sophisticated range of textual practices (personal as well as collaborative), the full meanings of which can only fully be unpacked by crossdisciplinary readings with attention paid to the rhetorical, historical, linguistic and materials aspects. Scholarship on women’s letters has perhaps been the most enduringly industrious area of research on Renaissance letter-writing, in part because the letter has seemed to promise an access to the voices and lives of women who were otherwise marginalised from textual agency and other principal instruments of authority. Early historical work on women’s letters dating back to the late 1990s by among others Caroline Bowden, Ann Crabb, Jane Couchman and James Daybell engaged in a crucial process of archival recovery and was influential in revealing and mapping the scope of early modern women’s letter-writing activities across Europe.16 This work has done much to expand the canon of women’s writing available for scholarly study and set the agenda for future inquiries. Historical approaches used the letter as an invaluable site for studying female literacy as well as women’s roles within the family and on the wider political stage.17 Alongside this trawl through the archives for letters, a series of printed editions by Alison Wall on the Thynnes and Sara Jayne Steen on Arbella Stuart made manuscript materials more widely available, albeit sometimes in modernised format.18 This emphasis on producing scholarly editions continues today, as evidenced by a spate of recent publications covering the correspondence of Anne Bacon; Elizabeth I; Elizabeth Stuart, Princess of Bohemia; and Bess of Hardwick.19 In this sense, then, the field has acquired its own line-up of canonical female letter-writers (which also includes Brilliana Harley, Elizabeth Cary, Dorothy Osborne, Margaret Cavendish and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu) to rival well-known male correspondents such as John Donne, Edmund Spenser and Philip Sidney.20 Studies that have striven for a more comprehensive coverage in order to delineate the boundaries of women’s letterwriting thus reside alongside and contextualise author-centric micro-studies.21 In addition to the focus on individual letter-writers, much scholarship has attended to epistolary form and genres, studying not only gendered epistolary models but also types of correspondence, and here the suitor’s letter or letter of petition has garnered most attention.22 While most women letter-writers operated through the medium of vernacular letters, Gemma Allen’s important recent work on the Cooke sisters has elucidated the degree to which a small group of classically educated women equipped with humanistic textual skills functioned within a Latinate world of letter-writing.23 It has been similarly shown that, during the seventeenth century, a number of women were involved in the scientific

8  James Daybell and Andrew Gordon correspondence networks associated with the Royal Society that have been habitually viewed as exclusively male.24 Most recently, the field of early modern women’s letter-writing has moved on in four main ways that can be neatly summarised as material, linguistic, regional and digital. First, attention to the materiality of letters (a feature of many of the essays in the present volume and the focus of James Daybell’s contribution) has led to a greater sensitivity to the scribal peculiarities of women’s letters, which have implications for defining or exploring the nature of a woman’s letter. Work by Frances Harris on the letter-books of Mary Evelyn and by other scholars, including the editors of this volume, on the scribal circulation of women’s letters (notably Lady Rich’s letter to Queen Elizabeth) distinguish different manifestations of letter texts and their archival afterlives as they were read in new contexts for new meanings.25 Second, a new generation of scholars interested in women’s letters, including notably Graham Williams and Melanie Evans in their studies of the Thynne women and Elizabeth I, have brought to the study of correspondence methodologies and insights from historical linguistics and pragmatics helping to refine our understanding of how epistolary agency might be mapped within collaborative processes.26 Third, while there has long been a breadth of work on early modern European women’s letter-writing, recent years have seen increased attention to the local practices of letter-writing across Ireland and the three kingdoms, with important new studies by literary scholars including Suzanne Trill, MarieLouise Coolahan and Naomi McAreavey uncovering a rich vein of Scottish and Irish early modern women’s letters.27 Finally, one of the most exciting new developments is the scholarly work being produced by engaging with current initiatives in digital humanities, exemplified perhaps by the ‘The Bess of Hardwick Correspondence Project’ directed by Alison Wiggins and the ‘Women’s Early Modern Letters Online’ project co-directed by James Daybell and Kim McLean-Fiander.28 While the first offers an impressive new model for digital editing (combining XML data, diplomatic and normalised transcripts and digital images of manuscripts with invaluable background essays on the material features and language of the letters), the latter serves as a finding aid and first-line index for early modern women’s letters, which promises to open up important new lines of inquiry and connections for this body of writing. In many ways, then, this volume, with its interests in the gendered dimensions of early modern letters and the twin themes of rhetoric and agency, is at the forefront of these recent developments, with many of the leading scholars contributing essays. The present collection combines the work of scholars from a range of disciplines, bringing together established figures in the field with newly emergent voices in the study of early modern letters. The first section is titled Objects of Study: Constructing Women’s Letters and focuses attention upon the methodologies through which we look to open up women’s letters for critical scrutiny. It comprises three essays; the first sees Barbara Harris, a pioneering scholar of women’s history, bring the fruit of her experience to bear on the categories of women’s letters that survive from the early Tudor period, providing an important series of reference points for the terrain that this collection seeks to navigate.

Living letters  9 Harris began her trailblazing work as a historian of Yorkist and early Tudor English aristocratic women at a time when digital finding aids and electronic databases such as State Papers Online or The Cecil Papers online – replete with digital images of manuscripts, partial transcripts, links to calendar entries and powerful search engine technology – were very much a thing of the future.29 Without the benefits of e-technology and the ‘digital-humanities turn’, scholars working not so very long ago had to work through catalogues and calendars housed at major research libraries, national and local record offices and the National Register of Archives and had to visit repositories around the world in order to consult manuscripts in person rather than being supplied with digital images. Her essay thus raises questions of what is lost as well as what is gained in the transition to new research techniques, where the expanding access to the digital archive can eclipse the slow immersion in a single collection within four walls. Having worked for several decades on vast collections of early sixteenth-century correspondence as an invaluable resource for social and political history of England’s elite women, in this essay, Harris puts in print for the first time her reflections on early Tudor women’s letters as viewed in their own right. As such her intervention historicises her own role and experience as a scholar and reflects upon the challenges that lie ahead. It offers an impressive and fresh survey of some 423 letters by 159 early Tudor aristocratic women, highlighting particular issues relating to the nature of surviving letters – most of which were penned by wives or widows – showing that while a third of women wrote holograph letters, the custom of employing scribes for composition may obscure higher levels of female writing literacy. Assessing the surviving corpus of correspondence, Harris’s essay identifies three broad categories of letters for attention: personal letters to relatives and friends; letters growing out of their responsibilities as wives, mothers and widows; and letters of petition to members of the government. In a period prior to more expansive committal of words in an expanding range of autobiographical forms, Harris shows how letters offer a unique window into women’s lives. Nevertheless the essay rightly cautions that letters are simply one of a wide range of sources available to historians (including wills and household accounts to name a couple) that facilitate the reconstruction of women’s experiences in the past. The essays of Melanie Evans and James Daybell each highlight new methodological approaches to women’s letters. Evans, a historical sociolinguist, presents a compelling investigation of how collaboration operated in the scribal letters of Elizabeth I, putting forwards a methodology with the potential to detect the presence of Elizabeth’s individually specific language, or idiolect, in specific letter texts. Evans’s objective is to develop a methodology that will help scholars interrogate the complex forms of collaboration involved in royal correspondence and reflect on the forms of Elizabeth’s involvement in a collaborative letter-writing process that might range from autograph drafts to dictation. Using two scribal texts as case studies, she examines these manuscripts against the control database of Elizabeth’s autograph letters, with the evidence it can provide of linguistic preferences and development across time. The examples she selects include both in-house correspondence and more official communication, and the linguistic

10  James Daybell and Andrew Gordon analysis points to identifications of different forms of collaboration. As Evans persuasively argues, a flexible comparative approach is necessary when interpreting the data that such analysis can yield, one that is sensitive to the differences of an intimate autograph letter from a more official text. In the process she identifies the need for further study into areas such as early modern spelling practice and calls for further investigation of the epistolary data of royal scribes. This exciting study thus offers a rich example of how new approaches are being developed that promise to open up the early modern letter to fuller understanding. In particular, its careful probing for the presence of Elizabeth’s idiolect within collaborative constructions helps us to better frame our questions over how Elizabeth’s agency was exercised in the medium of letters. While Evans’ essay exposes letters to insights from the field of sociolinguistics, James Daybell’s contribution to the volume analyses the material properties of women’s letters, arguing that meanings generated by the physical forms of correspondence complement other modes of reading informed by rhetoric, historical context and questions of gender. Daybell’s essay is informed by the recent developments in the humanities, sometimes described as the ‘material turn’, that ask us to consider the sociology of texts, encompassing the social and cultural practices of manuscript and print and the contexts in which these textual materials were produced, disseminated and consumed. Applying these insights to the study of correspondence, Daybell’s essay helps us to understand the meanings attached to such features as handwriting, ink, seals, paper, folding – and the social cues and codes embedded within them – and the particular ways in which these material rhetorics inform the letters of women. Methodologically, then, this essay situates itself within the broader context of material approaches to early modern letters, but it departs from previous studies by investigating the degree to which the physical features of women’s letters were gendered. Concentrating on five different material features (scribal status and the mechanics of composition, handwriting, paper, manuscript space and signatures), the essay highlights the importance of attending to the physical features of early modern women’s letters (as well as men’s and other kinds of texts) as a mode of reading in order that meaning generated materially as well as textually and historically can be fully unpacked. Secondly, it demonstrates female conversance with sophisticated material as well as rhetorical epistolary forms and highlights the range of ways in which women played creatively with the possibilities of material signification, manipulating them to their own ends as, for example, part of deferential petitioning strategies. Finally, the essay shows the ways in which material forms in letters from men as well as women – in particular (but not exclusively) handwriting, paper use, and layout of the manuscript page – were inflected by considerations of gender and social status, operating in the same way that other protocols of correspondence acted as social markers. Our second section, Voices of Authority, explores the correspondence of women through the lens of female education, agency and knowledge. Gemma Allen’s essay investigates the category of women’s letters of counsel, an under-studied form of women’s epistolary writing that complements studies of the rhetoric of

Living letters  11 female suitors’ letters by scholars such as Lynne Magnusson, James Daybell and Alison Thorne.30 Drawing on her recent edition of Anne Bacon’s letters and her study of the Cooke sisters, Allen’s essay focusses on epistolary counsel offered by Anne Bacon and her sister Elizabeth Russell in correspondence with family as well as wider social contacts.31 In particular, the essay demonstrates the way in which the exceptional classical humanist education that these women received influenced the manner of both their letter-writing and their counsel. At a very basic level, knowledge of Latin and Greek languages allowed both women to maintain a level of secrecy in their correspondence by the use of rudimentary ciphers based on the transliteration of Greek letters. Beyond this form of concealment, Anne and Elizabeth’s humanist education attained a political and religious utility. While Allen argues persuasively that one should not be over-concerned with the reception of these women’s letters – in other words, with the degree of effectiveness of female counsel – a humanist education provided these women with epistolary strategies when seeking to advise their male correspondents over matters of politics and religion. It helped them to emphasise and legitimate their counsel to men, and skilful use of learning lent them an unusual degree of authority in a patriarchal society. In her contribution to the volume, Michelle DiMeo explores the various ways in which letter-writing was central to the medical practice of Katherine, Viscountess Ranelagh, an aristocratic medical practitioner. As a mode of transmission, the early modern letter was suited to the dissemination of medical recipes, either in the form of manuscript separates which travelled as enclosures or as instructions for remedies contained in the main body of the letters. Such material practices were commonplace during the seventeenth century as a way of transmitting knowledge for both men and women. In the case of Lady Ranelagh, her correspondence with her brothers and friends for the period, circa 1660–1690, functioned as a way of representing medical authority and situating herself within contemporary medical debates. DiMeo carefully demonstrates that Lady Ranelagh was a skilful letter-writer who could manipulate epistolary conventions according to her audience, the larger social context and the specific physicians involved. Letters to her brothers, in particular, acted as a relatively secure forum for blatant critiques of medical theories and practices, safe from the kinds of censure that might be meted out upon women overstepping social and professional boundaries. In other letters, self-aggrandisement was much more measured, and personal critiques of professional practitioners and contradictory remedies were delivered under the guise of respect for their authority and standing. Above all what emerges is the way in which letters remain a source largely untapped by scholars interested in the history of medicine, and we are not able to ascertain quite how ‘exceptional’ Lady Ranelagh was in these areas. The study of her vast correspondences, however, permits an insight into her intellectual world, uncovering her preference for empiricism and her distrust of physicians’ Galenic methods, which first becomes evident in the 1650s, as well as the deep sense of Protestant belief – she endorsed providential and even millenarian thought – that underlay her practice of medicine. Moreover, the evidence of her letters suggests a much more nuanced model

12  James Daybell and Andrew Gordon of gentlewomen’s domestic medical practice, exposing a more fluid form of medical knowledge whereby professional and domestic medicine operated in a more symbiotic way. Cedric Brown’s essay sheds light on the place of letters within the transactions of a sustained friendship between John Evelyn and Elizabeth Carey, later Lady Mordaunt. Brown traces the course of this remarkable relationship that endured through the entirety of Evelyn’s adult life, and from Carey’s youth to her death. If Evelyn was always mindful of the paper record, Brown makes use of materials that illuminate acts of friendship and reflection from the perspective of both parties and that range from Evelyn’s fictionalised literary representations of Carey through the diaries maintained by each of them, alongside their letters, and even material monuments in the form of portraits and garden features. In this context, Brown argues that such texts should be understood ‘as one kind of gift, in a whole system of gift-exchange’ whose significance is ‘dependent on other objects, acts of service, and trust in reciprocal generosity’. For Evelyn, his efforts in the cultivation of this friendship with the teenage Carey was part of a pattern in his relations with several younger women where he sought to construct a form of virtuous holy friendship, fashioning a ‘gubernatorial’ role for himself to Carey as he counselled her towards marriage. Yet just as Evelyn’s significantly unfinished literary reflection on Carey as Penthea could not wholly extinguish the awkward suggestion of more ardent affection, so his long relations with Carey across the years of her married life show the interruptions in the actions of gift exchange through which he thought to manage their friendship. In these periods we witness Lady Mordaunt’s labours in seeking to manage a volatile husband, difficult in-laws and lack of advancement, winning honour, in particular, in exile through her actions running the correspondence networks of her family in a manner that recalls the work of Margaret Fell described by Ames in this volume. Ultimately what Brown’s essay brings out is the ever-present tension inherent in these transactions between the pious ideals developed by Evelyn and the social and political negotiations which the meanings of friendship can never altogether exclude. In her contribution to the volume, Johanna Harris focusses on an unpublished and largely neglected manuscript letter (BL, Add. MS, 70118) produced by the early-Stuart puritan gentlewoman Lady Brilliana Harley (c.1598–1643), who was famed for her redoubtable defence of Brampton Bryan when it was sieged during the Civil War. The manuscript was composed as a form of advice literature for her 14-year-old son, Edward, as he left home for Magdalen Hall, Oxford, late in 1638, and, as Harris shows, it represents something of a hybrid text, functioning as a letter, poem and transportable booklet. As such, it flexes the generic boundaries of what we might consider to be an early modern ‘letter’. Viewed as a form of advice writing, the essay argues that Harley’s text is markedly different from other early modern mothers’ advice writing and makes a deliberate foray into wider debates about early modern ideas of civic conduct. Moreover it does so by exploiting many of the imaginative, sensory resources of the material letter so that the paper conversation between mother and son is simultaneously constructed as a spiritual

Living letters  13 conversation in which ‘literal and metaphorical interpretations of Harley’s paper, perfume, and character imagery have literary and spiritual effects’. The final section, Networks and negotiations, comprises four essays that turn critical attention upon the social relations of correspondence. Rachel McGregor’s contribution, as with Cedric Brown’s, expands the compass of the volume. Where many of the essays here explore the role of women letter-writers, this study focuses instead on the constructions of gender within scholarly correspondence networks between men. Her reading of the letters of Roger Ascham, Elizabeth I’s celebrated tutor, examines the place of Elizabeth and other female figures in his correspondence. That the textual construction of humanist amicitia habitually excluded women has been shown in a number of studies – as Marie-Louise Coolahan explores in the following essay, even the acute intellect of Dorothy Moore might use her correspondence to expose the illogical nature of such constraints on the republic of letters without gaining admission – yet McGregor demonstrates in spite of this a persistent prominence of representations of Elizabeth in Ascham’s letters to leading humanists. If such representations typically foreground the learning of female subjects as testimony to Ascham’s pedagogic virtue, they guard against conflation of female and male learning in ways that might trouble the exclusivity of male amicitia by substituting male applications of humanist learning to public life with an image of female learning that focuses upon the sexual virtue of the modest and chaste female scholar. Through close analysis of the facesaving rhetorical strategies of Ascham and his correspondents, McGregor reveals how representations of Elizabeth and of Lady Jane Grey were exchanged in their letters as tokens of male friendship but at the same time functioned as a rhetorical topos where the risks of loss of face in the construction of textual amicitia could be attenuated. In correspondence designed to play to multiple audiences (including Elizabeth herself), both in print and in circulated copies, McGregor’s study reveals the complex ways in which male scholars instrumentalised the figures of female learning in their letters. Marie-Louise Coolahan’s essay moves the focus from England to Ireland to survey the letters of women during a period of great upheaval, from 1641 to 1653, illustrating the uses of letter-writing in Ireland as a ‘mode of action’ for women of diverse political and cultural backgrounds. In contrast to the tendency of much historical work, which has deployed women’s letters to reconstruct a social history of women’s experience, Coolahan’s study concentrates on the cultural agency of women’s letter-writing, highlighting the sophisticated epistolary strategies at play in the extant corpus of Irish women’s letters. Through a series of case studies, she shows the range of uses to which these skills were put. The letters of Mrs  Briver and Lettice Digby demonstrate how the members of two Old English families of contrasting social standing used letters as a form of intervention in the political debates of the period, each targeting a particular reading public through dissemination strategies. In the case of Baroness Offaly, her siege letters constitute ‘documents of female resistance’ – an Irish analogue to the letter-writing strategies of Lady Brilliana Harley, another aspect of which are discussed by Johanna Harris in this volume. Coolahan’s study embraces petitioning

14  James Daybell and Andrew Gordon letters, where a language of Catholic submission is detected, as well as letters of exile: a single extant letter from Rosa O’Dogherty – a frozen moment from an ongoing epistolary exchange – testifies to the balanced rhetorical construction of Irish Gaelic letters among exiled correspondents in continental Europe. The situation of exile, along with changing political fortunes in these fast-moving times, produced complex conditions for epistolary agency in which women played pivotal roles. The epistolary responses to conditions of war illustrated in Elizabeth Butler, Countess of Ormond’s re-negotiating battlefield allegiances on paper are complemented by the correspondence of Dorothy Moore, which focuses instead on the challenges of fashioning a space for female protestant intellectual activity within the republic of letters. Her exchange of letters with the cleric Rivet, along with her exploration of marriage in a series of letters with Lady Ranelagh (whose own letter-writing activities are discussed in this volume by DiMeo), present us with a dazzling series of epistolary engagements designed for dissemination and intended to help reshape the conditions and the terms of female agency in early modern culture. As a whole, Coolahan’s essay brilliantly demonstrates how women of different allegiances, languages and religions all used letters with great dexterity as a principal tool for ‘action, influence, and relief’. Andrew Gordon’s essay in this section recovers another archival treasure trove to examine the epistolary agency of two early modern women of different status: Frances Devereux, Countess of Essex and her sometime gentlewoman Jane Daniell. Studying the contrasting strategies of these two late sixteenth-century female letter-writers embroiled in a struggle for the survival of household and good name, this essay explores the ways in which these women offer mutually contradictory accounts of their service as affectionate wives and dutiful subjects and provides a richly nuanced picture of how contemporary women might traffic in letters. If wives have often been seen as working in a straightforwardly coordinated manner with their husbands, Gordon’s scrutinisation of epistolary rhetorics and strategies, opens up the nuanced spaces of agency within early modern married life.32 In the process the Countess of Essex emerges as a complex figure, capable of acting independently of her husband’s patronage activities (even on occasion subverting them) while at other times involved to a significant degree in his machinations, and after his death mobilising a sophisticated armoury of epistolary skills in self-defence. Jane Daniell’s epistolary activity, illuminated by an extraordinary autobiographical manuscript Life, challenges the simplistic model of a wife operating politically through her husband in a different way. In the aftermath of her own husband’s arrest and subsequent trial, Jane presents herself as a virtuous ‘civil matron’ protective of her children and household, but offers no dutiful defence of her spouse. The final essay of the section is by Marjon Ames, who presents us with another kind of correspondence operation. Her study of letters from the early Quaker movement draws attention to the functions of correspondence in the establishment of this faith and highlights the key role of Margaret Fell as the hub of this letter network. Where previous scholars have mined this letter corpus as part of a history of the early Quaker church, Ames focuses on how letter-writing played a role in structuring the inchoate movement. For the first followers, who drew

Living letters  15 inspiration from parallels with the early Christians, Margaret Fell was ‘the Paul to the Quaker movement’, in Ames’ memorable phrase, connecting together geographically isolated groups to feel part of one body of believers in an epistolary community of Quakerism. Receiving newsletters and accounts of their suffering from itinerant Quaker ministers, she managed the circulation of information and copies of letters through the correspondence network. The challenges that confronted a network of believers liable to imprisonment and persecution are illustrated in the extant letters, which use various epistolary strategies to ensure their security. The difficulties of simply maintaining a network that incorporated transatlantic letter-communication were considerable, and Ames shows how the early movement depended upon the recruitment of loyal and committed individuals to convey and conceal its correspondence operations. Yet these very difficulties may have played a part in strengthening the community of Quakers, in contrast to the experience of other contemporary sects who suffered persecution. Ames’ study thus highlights how the correspondence operation overseen by Margaret Fell helped establish both the identity of Quakerism and the social infrastructure on which its early survival depended. By way of a postscript to conclude the collection, we present an essay which looks to the future. Here James Daybell and Kim McLean-Fiander, the joint directors of Women’s Early Modern Letters Online, use the experience of WEMLO to explore the challenges and the possibilities of the way ahead as a new chapter opens in the study of early modern women’s letter-writing, powered by the resources of the digital humanities. Building on recent scholarship in the digital humanities and in approaches to correspondence, this essay reflects upon the powerful new tools that promise to enhance the possibilities of future research. This final essay thus provides an appropriate conclusion to a volume which seeks to harness the energies of diverse disciplines to trace the pathways of gender and agency in the field of correspondence. Read as a whole, the book highlights the complexities of gender and agency as categories when viewed through the lens of epistolarity. Letters sent in a woman’s name might be developed collaboratively, and female scripts were strategically deployed for rhetorical effect by male as well as female letter-writers in particular circumstances, while elsewhere letters were used in innovative ways that undermined traditional power structures, as with the opening example of Lady Rich, quite literally writing over male letter-writers. Above all the early modern letter represents a fundamental tool for the exercise of agency in a striking range of ways, whether through the manipulation of the spatial politics of the manuscript page, appropriating male models of amicitia and the rhetorics of counsel, mastering the material networks of epistolary exchange or utilising the form as a mode for self-exculpating autobiographical narratives. The essays gathered together here deploy innovative approaches from a range of disciplinary perspectives to help recover that agency. Beyond studying women’s negotiation of their roles as wives, widows, mothers and mistresses of households, our reading of female agency is located in the ways in which different historical contexts generated specific opportunities for women to instrumentalise letters in new or unexpected ways.

16  James Daybell and Andrew Gordon

Notes 1 On Margaret Clifford, see Richard T. Spence, ‘Clifford, Margaret, Countess of Cumberland (1560–1616)’, ODNB; Barbara Kiefer Lewalski, ‘Re-Writing Patriarchy and Patronage: Margaret Clifford, Anne Clifford, and Aemilia Lanyer’, in Anne Clifford and Lucy Hutchinson, ed. by Mihoko Suzuki (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 23–42; Jessica L. Malay, ‘Positioning Patronage: Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judæorum and the Countess of Cumberland in Time and Place’, Seventeenth Century, 28/3 (2013), 251–74. 2 BL, Add. MS, 12506, fol. 231; BL, Harl. MS, 6997, fol. 7; CP 25/91, CP 27/14, CP 91/87, CP 97/32, CP 122/16, CP 113/159, P.306 ; TNA, SP 14/32, fol. 152; HMC Report on the Manuscripts of His Grace the Duke of Rutland, Preserved at Belvoir Castle, 3 vols (HMSO, 1888), 1, pp. 161, 238; LPL, 708, fol. 135. 3 See, for example, CP 91/87 and Kendal Record Office, Hothfield MSS, WD/Hoth/ Box 44, unfoliated, letter beginning ‘I blush to deliever these things to your Honorable hands’. 4 Hothfield MSS, WD/Hoth/Box 44. 5 D.J.H. Clifford (ed.), The Diaries of Lady Anne Clifford (Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1990), p. 66. 6 Longleat House, Portland MS, 23. 7 For a more sustained analysis of Margaret Clifford’s letter-book see, James Daybell, ‘Gendered Archival Practices and the Future Lives of Letters’, in Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain, 1550–1642, ed. by James Daybell and Andrew Gordon (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), pp. 210–36. 8 Mark Nicholls, ‘Percy, Henry, ninth earl of Northumberland (1564–1632)’, ODNB. 9 CP 179/157 (1): [Countess of Northumberland to Earl of Northumberland], [c. March  1599/1600]. Both the surviving letters are themselves copies in the hand of Edward Reynolds, one of Essex’s secretaries. See HMC, Calendar of the MS. of the Most Hon. The Marquis of Salisbury K.G. Preserved at Hatfield House Hertfordshire, 18 vols (HMSO, 1883–1940), 14, pp. 127–8. 10 CP 178/134: [Earl of Essex] to Countess of Northumberland, 7 March 1599/1600. 11 CP 179/157 (2): Earl of Essex to Countess of Northumberland, [March 1599/1600]. 12 CP 179/157 (2). 13 Warwickshire Record Office, Warwick, ‘Devereux Letter Book’, MI 229, [fol. 52]: Lord Rich to Essex, 23 December 1596. On this letter-book, see Gordon’s essay in this volume. On the politics of significant space, see Jonathan Gibson, ‘Significant Space in Manuscript Letters’, The Seventeenth Century, 12/1 (1997), 1–9; James Daybell, The Material Letter in Early Modern England: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practices of Letter-Writing, 1512–1635 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), Chapter 4. 14 On recent approaches to Renaissance letters and letter-writing, see James Daybell, ‘Recent Studies in Renaissance Letters: The Seventeenth Century’, ELR, 36/1 (2006), 135–70; James Daybell, ‘Recent Studies in Renaissance Letters: The Sixteenth Century’, ELR, 35/2 (2005), 331–62; James Daybell and Andrew Gordon, ‘Select Bibliography: The Manuscript Letter in Early Modern England’, Lives and Letters, 4/1 (Autumn 2012), http://journal.xmera.org/journalarchive/bibliography.pdf [accessed 29 August 2015]. 15 See also Roger Chartier, ‘Secrétaires for the People? Model Letters of the Ancien Régime: Between Court Literature and Popular Chapbooks’, in Correspondence: Models of Letter-Writing From the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century, ed. by Roger Chartier (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1997), pp. 59–111; Diana Barnes, Epistolary Community in Print, 1580–1664 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013). 16 Daybell, Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Daybell, (ed.), Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing (Basingstoke: Palgrave,

Living letters  17





2001); Jane Couchman and Ann Crabb (eds), Women’s Letters Across Europe, 1400– 1700 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005); Caroline M.K. Bowden, ‘Female Education in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries in England and Wales: A  Study of Attitudes and Practice’ (Unpublished PhD thesis, London University, 1996). See also, James Daybell, ‘Women’s Letters’, in Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Women’s Writing, ed. by Laura Knoppers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 181–93; Lynne Magnusson, ‘Letters’, in The History of British Women’s Writing, 1500–1610, ed. by Caroline Bicks and Jennifer Summit (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 130–51; Joanna Moody (ed.), ‘Women’s Letter Writing’, Women’s Writing, Special Edition, 13/1 (2006); Julie D. Campbell and Anne R. Larsen (eds), Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009). James Daybell, ‘Interpreting Letters and Reading Script: Evidence for Female Education and Literacy in Tudor England’, History of Education, 34/6 (2005), 695–716; Caroline Bowden, ‘Women as Intermediaries: An Example of the Use of Literacy in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries’, History of Education, 22/3 (1993), 215–23; Carol L. Winkelman, ‘A Case Study of Women’s Literacy in the Early Seventeenth Century: The Oxinden Family Letters’, Women and Language, 19/2 (1996), 14–20; Jacqueline Eales, ‘Female Literacy and the Social Identity of the Clergy Family in the Seventeenth Century’, Archaeologia Cantiana, 133 (2013), 67–81; James Daybell, ‘Women, Politics and Domesticity: The Scribal Publication of Lady Rich’s Letter to Elizabeth I’, in Women and Writing, c.1340–c.1650: The Domestication of Print Culture, ed. by Anne Lawrence-Mathers and Phillipa Hardman (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2010), pp. 111–30; Daybell, ‘Women, News and Intelligence Networks in Elizabethan England’, in Diplomacy and Early Modern Culture, ed. by Robyn Adams and Rosanna Cox (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010), pp.  101–19; Vivienne Larminie, ‘Fighting for Family in a Patronage Society: The Epistolary Armoury of Anne Newdigate (1574–1618)’, in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450–1700, ed. by James Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 94–108; Helen Payne, ‘Aristocratic Women, Power, Patronage and Family Networks at the Jacobean Court, 1603–1625’, in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450–1700, ed. by James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 164–81; Jacqueline Eales, ‘Patriarchy, Puritanism and Politics: The Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley (1598–1643)’, in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, pp. 143–58. Alison, D. Wall (ed.), Two Elizabethan Women: Correspondence of Joan and Maria Thynne, 1575–1611, vol. 38 (London: Wiltshire Record Society, 1982); The Letters of Lady Arbella Stuart, ed. by Sara Jayne Steen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994). See also, Wall, ‘Deference and Defiance in Women’s Letters of the Thynne Family: The Rhetoric of Relationships’, in Early Modern Women’s Letter-Writing, pp. 77–93; Wall, ‘Elizabethan Precept and Feminine Practice: The Thynne Family of Longleat’, History, 75 (1990), 23–38; Steen, ‘Fashioning an Acceptable Self: Arbella Stuart’, ELR, 18 (1988), 78–95. The Letters of Lady Anne Bacon, ed. by Gemma Allen (London: Camden Society Publications/Cambridge University Press, 2014); Elizabeth I, Elizabeth I: Autograph Compositions and Foreign Language Originals, ed. by Leah S. Marcus and Janel Mueller (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2003); Carlo M. Bajetta, Guillaume Coatalen and Jonathan Gibson (eds), Elizabeth I’s Foreign Correspondence: Letters, Rhetoric and Politics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); The Letters of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, ed. by Nadine Akkerman, 3 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011–); A. Wiggins with A. Bryson, D. Smith, A. Timmermann and G. Williams (eds), Bess of Hardwick’s Letters: The Complete Correspondence, c.1550–1608 (2012). www.bessofhardwick.org [accessed 29 August 2015]. See, for example, The Letters of the Lady Brilliana Harley, Wife of Sir Robert Harley, ed. by T. T. Lewis (Camden Society, Old Series, 58, 1854). R. Hughey (ed.), The

18  James Daybell and Andrew Gordon



23 24


Correspondence of Lady Katherine Paston, 1603–1627 (Norfolk Record Society, 14 (1941)); Marjorie Hope Nicolson, The Conway Letters: The Correspondence of Anne, Viscountess Conway, Henry More and Their Friends, 1642–1648, rev. ed. Sarah Hutton (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992). Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland: Life and Letters, ed. by Heather Wolfe (Tempe, AZ and Cambridge: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Renaissance Texts from Manuscripts, 2001); Dorothy Osborne: Letters to William Temple 1652–54: Observations on Love, Literature, Politics and Religion, ed. by Kenneth Parker (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002); The Correspondence (c.1626–1659) of Dorothy Percy Sidney, Countess of Leicester, ed. by Margaret P. Hannay, Noel J. Kinnamon and Michael G. Brennan (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010); Cousins in Love: The Letters of Lydia DuGard, 1665–1672, ed. by Nancy Taylor (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2003); Lady Jane Cornwallis, The Private Correspondence of Jane Lady Cornwallis Bacon, 1613–1644, ed. by Joanna Moody (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003). See, for example, Alan Stewart, ‘The Voices of Anne Cooke, Lady Anne and Lady Bacon’, in This Double Voice: Gendered Writing in Early Modern England, ed. by Danielle Clarke and Elizabeth Clarke (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000), pp.  88–102; Raymond Anselment, ‘Katherine Paston and Brilliana Harley: Maternal Letters and the Genre of Mother’s Advice’, Studies in Philology, 101 (2004), 431–53; Margaret P. Hannay, ‘ “High Housewifery”: The Duties and Letters of Barbara Gamage Sidney, Countess of Leicester’, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 1 (2006), 7–35; Jennifer Summit, ‘Hannah Wolley, the Oxinden Letters, and Household Epistolary Practice’, in Women, Property, and the Letters of the Law in Early Modern England, ed. by Nancy E. Wright, Margaret W. Ferguson and A. R. Buck (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), pp.  201–18; Carolyn Sale, ‘ “Roman Hand”: Women, Writing and the Law in the Att.-Gen. v. Chatterton and the Letters of the Lady Arbella Stuart’, English Literary History, 70/4 (2003), 929–61. On instructions for female letter-writers see Sister Mary Humiliata, ‘Standards of Taste Advocated for Feminine Letter Writing, 1640–1797’, HLQ, 13 (1949–1950), 261–77; Linda C. Mitchell, ‘Entertainment and Instruction: Women’s Roles in the English Epistolary Tradition’, HLQ, 66/3&4 (2003), 331–47. On epistolary forms, see Fay Bound, ‘Writing the Self? Love and the Letter in England, c. 1660–c.1760’, Literature and History, 11/1 (2002), 1–19; Lynne Magnusson, ‘A Rhetoric of Requests: Genre and Linguistic Scripts in Elizabethan Women’s Suitors Letters’, in Women and Politics, pp. 51–66; James Daybell, ‘Scripting a Female Voice: Women’s Epistolary Rhetoric in Sixteenth-Century Letters of Petition’, Women’s Writing, 13/1 (2006), 3–20; James Daybell, ‘The Rhetoric of Friendship in Sixteenth-Century Women’s Letters of Intercession’, in Rhetoric, Gender, Politics: Representing Early Modern Women’s Speech, ed. by Jennifer Richards and Alison Thorne (London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 172–90; Alison Thorne, ‘Women’s Petitionary Letters and Early Seventeenth-Century Treason Trials’, Women’s Writing, 13/1 (2006), 21–37. Gemma Allen, The Cooke Sisters: Education, Piety and Politics in Early Modern England (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013). Lynette Hunter, ‘Sisters of the Royal Society: The Circle of Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh’, in Women, Science and Medicine, 1500–1700, ed. by Lynette Hunter and Sarah Hutton (Thrupp: Sutton, 1997), pp. 178–97. Lynette Hunter (ed.), The Letters of Dorothy Moore, 1612–64 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004). Frances Harris, ‘The Letterbooks of Mary Evelyn’, EMS, 7 (1998), 202–15; Andrew Gordon, ‘ “A Fortune of Paper Walls”: The Letters of Francis Bacon and the Earl of Essex’, ELR, 37/3 (2007), 319–36; Gordon, ‘Copycopia, or the Place of Copied Correspondence in Manuscript Culture: A  Case Study’, in Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580–1730: Texts and Social Practices, ed. by James Daybell and Peter Hinds (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010), pp. 65–82; Daybell, ‘Women, Politics and Domesticity’.

Living letters  19 26 Graham Williams, Women’s Epistolary Utterance: A Study of the Letters of Joan and Maria Thynne, 1575–1611 (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2013); Melanie Evans, The Language of Queen Elizabeth I: A Sociolinguistic Perspective on Royal Style and Identity (Transactions of the Philological Society Monograph Series 45) (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). See also, Felicity Maxwell, ‘Household Worlds: Textualising Social Relations in the Correspondence of Bess of Hardwick’s Servants, c. 1550–1590’ (Unpublished PhD thesis, Glasgow University, 2014). 27 Suzanne Trill, ‘Early Modern Women’s Writing in the Edinburgh Archives, c. 1550– 1740: A Preliminary Checklist’, in Woman and the Feminine in Medieval and Early Modern Scottish Writing, ed. by Sarah M. Dunnigan, C. Marie Harker and Evelyn S. Newlyn (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004), pp. 201–25; Marie-Louise Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), Chapter 3; Recent scholarly editions include Naomi McAreavey, ‘An Epistolary Account of the Irish Rising of 1641 by the Wife of the Mayor of Waterford [with text]’, ELR, 42 (2012), 90–118; Naomi McAreavey, ‘ “This is that I may remember what passings that happened in Waterford”: Inscribing the 1641 Rising in the Letters of the Wife of the Mayor of Waterford’, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 5 (2010), 77–109; McAreavey, ‘ “Paper Bullets”: Gendering the 1641 Rebellion in the Writings of Lady Elizabeth Dowdall and Lettice Fitzgerald, Baroness of Offaly’, in Ireland in the Renaissance, c. 1540–1660, ed. by Thomas Herron and Michael Potterton (Dublin: Four Courts, 2007), pp. 311–24. 28 www.bessofhardwick.org; ‘Women’s Early Modern Letters Online’ (WEMLO), http:// blogs.plymouth.ac.uk/wemlo/ directed by James Daybell and Kim Mclean-Fiander. 29 See for example, Barbara J. Harris, English Aristocratic Women, 1450–1550: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002); Harris, ‘Women and Politics in Early Tudor England’, HJ, 33 (1990), 259–81. 30 Magnusson, ‘A Rhetoric of Requests’; Daybell, ‘Scripting a Female Voice’; Daybell, ‘The Rhetoric of Friendship’; Thorne, ‘Women’s Petitionary Letters’. 31 Letters of Lady Anne Bacon; Allen, The Cooke Sisters. 32 Ralph A. Houlbrooke, The English Family 1450–1700 (London: Longman, 1984), pp. 96–7; Wall, ‘Elizabethan Precept and Feminine Practice’; Jacqueline Eales, Puritans and Roundheads: the Harleys of Brampton Bryan and the Outbreak of the English Civil War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

This page intentionally left blank

Part I

Objects of study Constructing women’s letters

This page intentionally left blank

2 What they wrote Early Tudor aristocratic women,1450–15501 Barbara J. Harris

When I first began research on Yorkist and early Tudor aristocratic women, it was a challenge to find letters by, to, or about them. In 1985 or 1986, I began by going through Henry VIII’s State Papers, because I had found correspondence about the collapse of Elizabeth, Duchess of Norfolk’s marriage when I was working on my PhD. I guessed that if she wrote to Thomas Cromwell for assistance, other women must also have done so. I was working in the old Public Record Office on Chancery Lane when a leading scholar in the field asked what I was doing. When I told him, he responded that I wouldn’t find much. Contrary to his opinion, it took me the equivalent of a year or more paging through the 240 volumes of State Papers to take notes on or transcribe letters by, to, or about aristocratic women. Imagine how much easier my work would have been if a project such as ‘Women’s Early Modern Letters Online’ had already existed. This essay is based on 423 letters by 159 early Tudor aristocratic women, the daughters, wives, and widows of noblemen and knights. The majority of their letters are preserved in the National Archives at Kew (formerly the Public Record Office) and the British Library, particularly in the Cotton Manuscripts. However, they can also be found in the Shrewsbury Manuscripts at Lambeth Palace Library, the Hengrave Hall Papers at Cambridge University Library, the Thynne Papers at Longleat House, and many local record offices. My data includes five letters or more for twenty-two of the women, but only one letter for ninety-nine of them. Most of the single letters are requests for assistance from leading members of the king’s council. The largest number were addressed to Cromwell in the 1530s. Thus, Elizabeth Lawson, whose husband, Sir George, was an MP for York, asked him for a benefice for a poor kinsman.2 Margery Horsman, a member of Anne Boleyn’s household, made a similar request for a needy relative.3 The wives of important members of the government also received petitions of this kind, often in the hope they would intervene with their husbands on the writers’ behalf. For example, Dorothy Wingfield asked the Duchess of Somerset to intervene for her with the Lord Protector in connection with the sale of priory land in Suffolk.4 Within a few years, the duchess herself was writing to Sir William Paget on behalf of her imprisoned husband.5 The Lisle Letters are filled with such requests to Lady Lisle. Cumulatively, single letters demonstrate that aristocratic women exploited the ties of mutual support that connected the monarchy to the families that

24  Barbara J. Harris governed the country for it. While that is now common knowledge, it certainly wasn’t three or four decades ago. The letters also demonstrate that aristocratic women played crucial roles managing their families, households, and estates. Groups of five or more letters by one woman are even more useful, because they provide fuller pictures of the writer’s personality, relationships, and range of activities. Before I  turn to them, however, I  want to consider some general issues about the letters discussed in this essay. Of the 159 writers, almost all of them were wives or widows. Women wrote infrequently before their first marriages. They usually lived at home and had no reason to write to their families. Nor, until they were wives, did they engage in the household and estate management or activities as patrons that generated most of aristocratic women’s letters. Catherine Fitzalan, daughter of William, Earl of Arundel (d. 1544), was one of the exceptions. She wrote to Wolsey and Cromwell about the breach of her marriage contract with the heir of the second Earl of Dorset and her difficulty collecting the fine of 4,000 marks imposed on his widowed mother as a result.6 She concluded one of her letters asking Wolsey ‘to give perfect credence unto my loving friend this bearer in my behalf’, indicating that she had dictated the signed letter or had it read to her before it was dispatched.7 The other major exception are the letters the Bassett girls wrote to their stepmother, Honor, Lady Lisle, when they were living in other households or at court.8 Fifty-four of the women wrote holograph letters. In his book on Tudor women’s letters, James Daybell stated that over half the women he studied wrote in their own hands.9 However, his book covered the whole Tudor period and included the letters of 650 women, compared to my much smaller group. Nor did Daybell restrict himself to aristocratic women, those most likely to have access to scribes.10 The availability of scribes may well account for whether aristocratic women wrote themselves or not. In 1534, for example, Lady Whethill said very explicitly that she was writing to Lady Lisle herself ‘for lack of a good pen and of a good writer’ and apologized for her hand.11 Subsequently she signed but did not write a series of letters to Cromwell.12 In some cases, where a number of letters survive for an individual woman, only some of them are holograph. Thus, Elizabeth, Lady Burgh, wrote to Cromwell four times. Two of the letters were holograph, two were only signed.13 Of Anne de Vere, Countess of Oxford’s, fourteen letters to Wolsey and Cromwell in the 1520s and 1530s, six were holograph. Dorothy Josselin wrote eleven letters to her brother Sir John Gates in the 1540s. All but two were holograph. In addition, she copied and saved a letter that the Lord Chancellor, Thomas, Lord Audley, had sent to her husband.14 None of these women indicated why they were writing in their own hands in some cases and not others. Both historians and literary scholars have questioned whether women composed the letters in their hands or simply copied them from drafts written by others. No definite way of answering this question exists unless the letter itself contains that information. Only one of the holograph letters studied here – written by Anne Boleyn to her father when she was appointed one of the maids of honour to accompany Mary Tudor to France on her marriage to Louis XII – states

What they wrote  25 explicitly that someone had drafted it for her.15 A draft of a letter from Gertrude, Marchioness of Exeter, to Henry VIII thanking him for pardoning her for her relations with the Maid of Kent has corrections in Cromwell’s hand. Presumably this is the letter she subsequently sent to the king.16 In another fascinating case, the third Duke of Norfolk complained to Cromwell that his daughter, Mary, Duchess of Richmond, did not send him [i.e. Cromwell] ‘the letter according as the copy was’.17 Instead, she composed one on her own. In it, she complained that, although her father was supposed to be suing the king for her dower, ‘as yet there hath no good effect come to me nor I fear me by his means of long time shall not’.18 No wonder Norfolk wrote in exasperation, ‘In all my life I never commoned with her in any serious cause or now, and would not have thought she had be such as I find her, which as I think is too wise for a woman . . .’.19 Without explicit evidence of this kind, scholars’ judgments about the authorship of aristocratic women’s letters rest on intangible factors. When women wrote a number of holograph letters with similar styles and phrasing, they were probably responsible for composing as well as physically writing them. Similar criteria can be used to ascribe the wording of dictated letters to the women who signed them. The conclusion is even stronger when holograph and signed letters by the same woman survive, as they do for Henry VIII’s sister, Mary Tudor, Queen of France; Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk; Elizabeth, Lady Burgh; and Lady Elizabeth Lucy. In another variant, although scribes wrote the letters of Elizabeth, Duchess of Norfolk, the estranged wife of the third duke, she occasionally added holograph paragraphs or post-scripts to them.20 The voice in her letters is remarkably consistent and strongly suggests that she was responsible for their phraseology or had read and approved them before they were dispatched. Requests that the recipient of their letters give credence to those delivering them, such as the request by Catherine Fitzalan quoted above, demonstrate that the writers knew what the letters said whether they composed them or not. It also warns scholars that the most important or sensitive information may not be in the letters they are using at all. We don’t know how often bearers explained or amplified the letters they were delivering even if there is no indication of that fact in the missives themselves. Apologies for their scribbling or evil hands were a common feature of aristocratic women’s holograph letters, but they should not be taken as an indication the writers were poorly educated. In fact, some of the most literate and best-educated aristocratic women and men wrote poorly, spelled irregularly, and apologized for their hands. Among highly educated women, Mary Howard, Duchess of Richmond, referred to her ‘evil hand’ and ‘travail in writing’.21 Mary Boleyn, who probably received as fine an education as her sister Anne, described a long letter she wrote as ‘scribbled with her ill hand’.22 Katherine Parr, who had an exceptionally good handwriting, commented that one of her letters to Henry VIII was ‘scribbled’.23 Aristocratic men also exhibited – and asked to be excused for – these failings, which suggest they were not gender specific.24 The signature of Edward Stafford, third Duke of Buckingham, certainly looks like that of a man uncomfortable holding a pen. Yet, however scrawling his handwriting, he was not only able

26  Barbara J. Harris to read and write well enough to keep a personal eye on his financial affairs but also purchased books for himself and his children and paid for the publication of a chivalric tale.25 The signatures of Sir William Sidney and Sir Anthony Wingfield also appear to be those of men with little practice writing, but both men undoubtedly had far more than a minimal English education: Sir William was appointed Edward VI’s tutor in 1538; Sir Anthony was a member of the Privy Council, an executor of Henry VIII’s will, and comptroller of Edward VI’s household.26 While apologies for their handwriting were not gender-specific, exploiting negative stereotypes of their sex was. Women resorted to them to excuse themselves when they had incurred the anger of the king or a powerful member of the court or council. In a letter to Henry VIII apologizing for her involvement with the Maid of Kent, for example, Gertrude, Marchioness of Exeter, averred obsequiously, ‘I am a woman, whose fragility and brittleness is such as most facilely, easily, and lightly is seduced and brought into abuse and light belief . . .’. In a subsequent letter to Cromwell, she referred to her simplicity and lack of knowledge .  .  . trusting he will remember that it is much less marvel that I, being a woman, shall be thus deluded by such pestilent hypocrites, seeing so many wise persons have been equally abused.27 In a less dramatic situation, Lady Elizabeth Englefield referred to herself as ‘a poor silly woman’ in a plea for Cromwell’s assistance.28 In 1534, after Mary Boleyn eloped with Sir William Stafford and infuriated her sister, Queen Anne, she plaintively told Cromwell that she was ‘a poor banished creature’ and that ‘all the world did set so little by me . . .’.29 Widows, including the feisty Duchess of Richmond, regularly referred to themselves as poor and desolate, which was unlikely in most of their cases.30 What we don’t know from contemporary evidence is how early Tudor aristocratic women learned to write letters in the proper form. No vernacular English manuals on the subject existed before the Elizabethan period. They probably acquired the skill in the same way they learned to read and write – from their mothers, their brothers’ tutors, or household chaplains and from examples that they were shown. The form of their letters is very much like that of their male contemporaries. Within this pattern, what is most remarkable about aristocratic women’s missives is how varied they are both in their range of subjects and their tone. In the broadest sense, they fall into three categories: personal letters to relatives and friends; letters growing out of their responsibilities as wives, mothers, and widows; and letters of petition to members of the government. Many women wrote letters in more than one of these categories, and in many cases single letters covered more than one topic. In 1510, for example, Elizabeth Lucy wrote a crisp business letter to her second husband, Sir Thomas, about two legal issues concerning her estates. After opening with the single word ‘Sir’, she plunged into her concerns, displaying considerable knowledge of the law as she did so. In the first case, she directed her husband to seek a distraint against a prior who had taken possession of her manor at Stretton. In the second, she told him

What they wrote  27 to examine the recovery and lease of the manor, in connection with still another dispute about it.31 Two decades later, in 1533, Lady Lucy wrote to Cromwell, whom she addressed as ‘right worshipful sir’, asking for his assistance in finalizing the marriage of her daughter Radegund. She reminded him that they had talked about it ‘at my last waiting upon you’ and reported that her daughter wanted him to ‘be privy to the said bargain, trusting you will be good master and especial friend unto her . . .’. She sent him a draft of the marriage contract, requesting that he look at it and send her his opinion the next day.32 In a series of three letters written the same year, she sought Cromwell’s help in resolving her and her brother’s quarrel with Richard Fermour about a pasture.33 The conflict was evidently part of a larger dispute, since Lady Lucy and her third husband, Sir Richard Verney, filed a suit against Fermour and his brother in Star Chamber. They accused the Fermours of ‘riotously’ entering a manor Lady Lucy leased in Northamptonshire. She claimed that they expelled her from the house, broke the windows and doors, stole legal papers from her coffers, and destroyed or embezzled her valuables, furniture, and household goods.34 Lady Lucy’s contemporary, Anne de Vere, Countess of Oxford and daughter of the second Duke of Norfolk, wrote eleven letters to Wolsey and Cromwell about a wide variety of subjects in the 1520s and 1530s. She appealed to Wolsey six times in 1523 and 1524 because her husband, the fourteenth earl, was a wastrel with whom she quarrelled constantly. Five of the letters were holograph. According to the countess, whom the Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry described as ‘a woman of high wit’, their estates were mismanaged because they lacked competent household and estate officials. She also claimed that her husband was under the influence of his heir, Sir John Vere, and ‘others that he taketh for his friends . . . but they care little for his coming forward so the inheritance may be safe for Sir John’.35 At some point, Wolsey intervened with an ordinance that corroborated the countess’s accusations. He took the drastic step of ordering the earl to break up his household and live with his father-in-law. In addition, he ordered him to stop his extravagant, drunken, and riotous behaviour and appoint competent officers to administer his estates. He also ordered him to treat his wife ‘lovingly, familiarly, and kindly’ so that ‘perfect good concord and amity might exist between them . . . for the bringing forth [of] fruit and children . . .’.36 Although the earl thanked Wolsey for his ‘comfortable letters’, his behaviour remained unchanged. His wife continued to complain that he ignored her advice, while his friends accused her of meddling inappropriately in his affairs. To avoid further reproach and to ‘live in rest’, as she put it, she finally told Wolsey she would refrain from trying to influence her husband any further.37 The countess’s husband died in July 1526 and was succeeded as fifteenth earl by his second cousin, the Sir John with whom she had clashed earlier. Her husband had named him one of his executors. Not surprisingly, they dragged their heels about giving the countess the legacies due her. Some months after her husband’s death, she reported that they had delivered her moveables ‘with much ado’ to her, but still withheld one hundred marks owed her.38 Much more seriously, the

28  Barbara J. Harris new Earl of Oxford seized Campys Castle, Cambridge, which was part of Anne’s jointure, and hunted deer in the park, in defiance of one of the justices of the assize, who had bound them both to observe the peace. The countess also claimed that the earl’s followers broke into the castle, beat her servants and stole all of her goods.39 At the same time, she told her brother, the Duke of Norfolk, and the other local magnate, the Duke of Suffolk, that she had no way to recover her property without the king’s help. In August, the two dukes, the Marquess of Exeter, and Viscount Rochford wrote to Wolsey on her behalf, asking him to settle her grievances quickly.40 Although she received a writ from Wolsey ordering the earl to vacate the castle, he and his retinue defied the justices of the peace when they commanded them to do so.41 Two years later, with the earl still in possession of Campys, the desperate countess turned to the crown once again. In response, Wolsey told the earl he and another member of the council would adjudicate their quarrel at the beginning of the next law term. Until then, he directed him to vacate Campys because he had seized it by force.42 Whether Wolsey’s intervention succeeded in 1528 or not is unclear, but the countess certainly had regained possession by 1534, when she wrote to Cromwell from Campys.43 Freed from the long struggle for Campys, Lady Oxford’s letters to Cromwell dealt with other issues. Poaching in the park remained a problem. In the letter sent from Campys, she complained that a group of ill-disposed persons, including a clergyman, hunted her deer whenever she was in London. She mentioned in passing that years before the cleric had threatened to poison her. She said she was appealing to Cromwell because her lawyers had advised her that she had no remedy at the common law.44 In a subsequent letter, Lady Anne thanked Cromwell ‘for the great cheer’ she had received from him in London but expressed disappointment that the hunters were nowhere to be found when his servants tried to arrest them. Cromwell also became involved when Lady Anne expelled Robert Tyrrell, a servant of the Bishop of Winchester’s, from his copyhold in Campys and from the park and bailiwick. Tyrrell’s claim to the park and bailiwick is not specified, but he may have been keeper of both. Cromwell advised the countess to settle the matter informally, since it would dishonour her to try the case in open court and have it decided against her.45 Implicit in his advice was the conviction that she was guilty. Not surprisingly, Anne did not comply. Instead she responded that she did not know what Tyrrell was talking about and supposed that he was bringing up an old suit that had been settled long before by the king’s council and common law. She was so unabashed by her refusal that she closed her letter by asking Cromwell to direct the abbot of Thorney to let her have twenty oak trees as a gift from his woods, ‘which request’, she opined, ‘I suppose the abbot will not say you nay’.46 A few years later, when she heard that the crown was going to dissolve monasteries worth less than £200 per annum, she asked Cromwell for the lease of either the priory of Blackborough, of which she was a foundress, or the Gilbertine priory at Shouldham, which was near her other property, because she had only one house to resort to ‘for any chance of sickness’. She did not receive either.47

What they wrote  29 Lady Lucy and the Countess of Oxford’s correspondence with Wolsey and Cromwell are two examples of the endless petitions from aristocratic women to the king’s principal advisors. Of the women studied in this essay, 67 of the 159 wrote at least once to a member of his council. Lady Lucy’s and the countess of Oxford’s letters illustrate many aspects of early Tudor government and women’s lives. Perhaps most striking is the confidence with which they wrote to Wolsey and Cromwell. They clearly expected the most important men in the government to take their concerns seriously and to assist them no matter how involved they were in pressing matters of state. Both women saw Cromwell personally when they were in London in 1533 and 1534, the very years in which he was managing the king’s break with Rome.48 Their meetings with him show how incorrect the traditional image of aristocratic women confined to their manors and castles is. Instead they travelled to London and the court when their affairs required them to do so. Lady Lucy’s and the Countess of Oxford’s letters also demonstrate how dependent the early Tudor aristocracy was on the crown to protect their property and pursue their families’ interests. In addition, both women displayed considerable legal knowledge as they managed their estates and explained why they needed government assistance. The Countess of Oxford wrote confidently about the role of royal justices and writs in maintaining property rights and Lady Lucy about the complicated issues of recoveries, entails, feoffments, and the conveyance of titles in land.49 The other sixty-five early Tudor women who appealed to the crown for assistance were equally competent and knowledgeable. From a political point of view, the level of disorder that persisted in the counties during Henry VIII’s reign is startling. Despite the dominant narrative that contrasts the success of the early Tudors in controlling the counties with the ineffectiveness of the Yorkists, poaching, trespasses, and the violence that accompanied them continued. The crown even found it difficult to intervene in such an egregious case as the fifteenth Earl of Oxford’s seizure of Campys Castle, the jointure of his predecessor’s widow, but it was certainly not the only such case documented in women’s letters.50 Early Tudor aristocratic women sent the majority of the letters they wrote other than those addressed to the king and his closest advisors to their kin. They went to their husbands, fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, and in-laws. Of these, they sent the greatest number to their husbands. However, since James Daybell has written on marital correspondence in his book on Tudor women letter-writers, this essay focuses on the correspondence between aristocratic women and members of their natal families. I am also not going to use letters by Lady Lisle as illustrative material, because they are readily available in Muriel St. Claire Byrne’s edition and have been written about extensively. Nor are they counted in the 423 letters by 159 women. The letters of Eleanor, the Countess of Rutland, to Sir William Paston are an example of the ongoing relationship between a married woman and her father. Sir William was the only son of John Paston III and his first wife, Margery Brewes, whose courtship provides the most charming letters in the fifteenth-century Paston

30  Barbara J. Harris correspondence.51 The earliest of Lady Rutland’s letters to her father, written in June 1529, open abruptly, ‘Father’, but end affectionately, ‘Your loving daughter’. Her husband was a beneficiary of Sir Thomas Lovell’s will, and she asked Paston, one of Lovell’s executors, to ‘do my lord much good’ in implementing it ‘as ever you loved me’. If ‘no lack’ were found in him, the earl would enable her to ‘do for my sisters’ in return. She also wanted her father ‘to make much of my cousin George Paulett for my lord favoreth him much and I am much beholden to him, as I shall show you at my next meeting with you’.52 Four years later, when she was already attending Anne Boleyn, the countess wrote to ‘my very good father’ from Halliwell, her manor in London, to send him the latest news. Among others things, she described what she had heard about the Maid of Kent as ‘one of the most abominable matters that ever I heard of in my life’, and told him that it would be ‘published openly to all people’ in the next few days. This letter and the next one illustrate the key role women at court played in conveying news to their relatives in the counties. On a more personal note, Lady Rutland expressed relief that Paston’s health was better and asked him and her mother for their daily blessings. Her husband added a postscript and also promised to send news.53 The countess wrote the third of her four surviving letters to her father sometime before 1536. It was filled with news of the court, which she described as ‘merry’, and the ongoing negotiations to arrange marriages for her children.54 She expected the queen to visit Enfield, one of the Rutland manors in Middlesex, the following week and asked Sir William to send her fish if it were convenient, ‘for here is small store’. She also told him that her sister Elizabeth was still with her, indicating that she was keeping her undertaking to help him with her five sisters, as she had promised in the 1529 letter. Another sister, Margaret, and her brother John were living with her in 1539 and 1540.55 Placing their children in other households, preferably ones of higher status, was an important stage in the education of aristocratic children. By taking in two of her sisters and a brother, Lady Rutland provided a major service to her father. Sir William wrote his only surviving letter to his daughter in September 1543 shortly before her husband died. He assured her that he and her mother would come to her as fast as they could and explained that the delay was caused by the fact that his horse was ill and could not make the journey. But he assured her, ‘I shall make the best shift I can to come with all the haste possible’. In a postscript, he warned her against giving way to grief and anxiety in the crisis. ‘For God’s love, remember if you should fully cast away yourself, you should not only displease God, but also hinder my lord and your children and many other’. He clearly recognized that her family and household depended on her, just as they did in her husband’s frequent absences at court or serving the king in war.56 In fact, the Earl of Rutland died the day before Sir William wrote to his daughter. The countess was one of the co-executors of her husband’s will, along with the earl’s brother Richard, Henry Digby, a household servant, and three others.57 Acting as principal executor, she pushed for as speedy a probate as possible. Writing from Belvoir, the Manners’ castle in Leicestershire, she asked her father to

What they wrote  31 prompt Digby to act quickly. The countess committed everything to her father’s ‘good discretion’ and told him to keep her up to date on how things were going. She also wanted him to help one Bridget Huggard, probably one of her servants, whom she had sent to London to be cured of an unspecified disease, assuring him that she would repay him for any costs he incurred. Whether or not it was because she was asking Paston’s assistance in what could be two troublesome matters, this is the only letter which Eleanor opened ‘after my humble recommendations . . .’ and closed ‘your humble daughter’.58 In contrast to the Countess of Rutland, who signed but did not write any of her letters, Dorothy Josselin, wife of Sir Thomas, sent ten holograph letters to her brother, Sir John Gates, as well as one in someone else’s hand.59 She also copied and filed a letter that the Lord Chancellor, Thomas Audley, sent her husband.60 In 1541 and 1543, she wrote three long letters about an ongoing conflict between her husband and the Earl of Oxford over her husband’s position as keeper of Stansted Park.61 In addition to Sir John, Sir Anthony Denny, Gates’s brother-in-law and a member of Henry VIII’s privy chamber, was acting on Josselin’s behalf.62 She also sent a long report about it to another brother, Sir Geoffrey Gates.63 In the same period, the Earl of Oxford’s brother-in-law, Thomas Darcy, Lord Darcy of Chiche, a good friend of Josselin’s, tried unsuccessfully to mediate the dispute.64 Dorothy’s letters display her mastery of the details and progress – or rather lack of progress – of the ongoing quarrel, as well as her deep suspicion of her husband’s adversaries, the Earl of Oxford and Sir John Wiseman, a member of Oxford’s council and an official of the Court of Augmentations.65 At some point in 1542, Henry VIII intervened to restore Josselin, whom he referred to as his servant, as keeper of Stansted Park. He ordered Oxford to permit Thomas to enjoy the post without vexation or to send two representatives to the council to explain why he shouldn’t.66 As involved as she was in the struggle over Stansted, Dorothy did not let it absorb all her attention. In 1542, for example, she consulted her brother about purchasing the manor of Broomshaw Bury.67 The Josselins succeeded in buying the manor, which remained in the family until the early eighteenth century.68 Two years later, she was trying to buy the tithe of Hatfield and sent her brother £135 for the purpose, promising another £60 within the month.69 In these same years, the Josselins also wanted to purchase a wardship from Lord Darcy. While her brother negotiated the terms with him, the couple sold some land in order to pay for it. Dorothy expressed chagrin because ‘we had sold our land in such haste and then saw the bargain not to go forward’.70 Although the wardship was worth £20 per annum during the child’s minority, she worried because if he died within a year, the Josselins would have nothing. In the end, her husband agreed to pay Darcy 400 marks, which his wife thought was ‘much money’, and Darcy promised to assure lands worth £160 to the couple in case the child died before he was 14. Dorothy, who understood the risks of land transactions, cautioned her brother to make sure the land was actually worth the price and that the land wasn’t tied to a jointure or mortgage.71 In return for his assistance, Dorothy looked out for her brother’s interests. In 1542, she reported the death of a local copyholder and told him, ‘If his land can do

32  Barbara J. Harris you pleasure, being copyhold, let me have knowledge what you would have done therein and I shall be glad to accomplish your desire’.72 Two years later, the Josselins assisted him to recruit soldiers, ‘tall men’ as she called them, to accompany Gates on the upcoming expedition to France.73 Although business dominated Dorothy’s correspondence with her brother, their affection for each other occasionally appeared in her or her husband’s letters. In the midst of the crisis over Stansted Park, Thomas sent Gates a silk bracelet that his wife had made for him and expressed disappointment that he and Denny could not visit them because the king’s progress that summer did not pass through their neighborhood.74 Shortly before Gates embarked for France in 1544, he asked Dorothy to meet him at Syon to say their farewells. Probably because she was pregnant, she responded, ‘I am sorry that I cannot accomplish the same, for by that time I  am sure I  shall not endure to take so long a trip’. Instead, if Gates wanted, her husband, whom she affectionately called her bedfellow, would journey to Syon in her place.75 Surprisingly, perhaps, Gertrude Courtenay, Marchioness of Exeter, was the only aristocratic women of the 159 considered here who wrote five or more letters to her son. They date from 1554 and 1555 after Queen Mary exiled him to the Continent because he was implicated in Wyatt’s rebellion, although no evidence could be found that he actually participated in it. In addition, I have not found five or more letters between any aristocratic women and her close female kin – mothers, daughters, sisters, or sisters-in-law. No letters survive from Eleanor, Countess of Rutland, to any of her female relatives and only one from them to her, although she had five daughters and five sisters.76 Dorothy Gates never wrote to her two daughters or two sisters. Unlike their fathers and brothers, these kin were not in a position to assist them in carrying out the business that was the subject of most of their letters. The other possibility, of course, is that letters between women and their female kin were not saved because their subjects were considered ephemeral. Early Tudor aristocratic women’s letters open an invaluable window both into their lives and into their culture and society. In a period before they wrote journals or autobiographies, their correspondence was one of the few sources to record their emotions and recount the detail of their endeavours as wives, mothers, and widows, and, most unexpectedly, perhaps, their involvement in politics. Aristocratic women were active participants in the patronage networks that stretched from their households and neighbourhoods to the royal council and court. Their letters also show how difficult it was for the government, even one as strong as Henry VIII’s, to maintain order in the countryside. On the other hand, women’s letters are only one kind of contemporary evidence documenting early Tudor aristocratic women’s lives. A  whole range of other sources – most obviously men’s letters to or about them – but also including official documents such as close and patent rolls, inquisitions post mortem, and statutes; wills; household accounts; and cases in the courts of Requests, Chancery, and Star Chamber record their activities and experience. Of the women discussed in this essay, for example, wills exist for the Countess of Rutland’s husband and both the Josselins; the records of Chancery and Star Chamber include cases

What they wrote  33 involving Lady Elizabeth Lucy and Anne, Countess of Oxford; and household accounts survive for the countess of Rutland. Documents of all these types – and some I probably haven’t included in this list – provide the framework for writing the cultural, social, and political history of early Tudor women. Their letters are a crucial element of in that framework. Digital projects such as ‘Women’s Early Modern Letters Online’ will hopefully contribute to making the existence and location of their correspondence accessible to scholars everywhere.

Notes 1 This essay was delivered as a keynote for a colloquium and symposium, ‘New Directions in Early Modern Women’s Letters’, held at Oxford University, 14–15 August 2014 under the auspices of the ‘Women’s Early Modern Letters Online’ Project. I would like to thank James Daybell and other conference participants for helpful comments. 2 S. T. Bindoff, The House of Commons, 1509–1558 (Secker & Warburg for the History of Parliament Trust, 1982), II, 500–502; TNA, SP 1/79, fol. 45 (1533). 3 TNA, SP 1/87, fol. 5 (1534). 4 TNA, SP 10/2, fol. 93 (1547). 5 Barrett L. Beer and Sybil J. Jack (eds), The Letters of William Lord Paget of Beaudesert, 1547–63, Camden Miscellany, XXV, Camden Fourth Series, no. 13 (Royal Historical Society, 1974), Appendix A, October 1549, p. 135. 6 BL, Cotton MS, Vespasian, F. XIII, article 107, fols 82b, 158; TNA, SP1/152, fol. 145 (1537). 7 BL, Cotton MS, Vespasian F. XIII, article 107, fol. 158. All quotations from manuscript sources in this essay have been modernised. 8 Muriel St Clare Byrne (ed.) The Lisle Letters, 6 vols (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), passim. 9 James Daybell, Women Letter Writers in Tudor England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 7. 10 Personal communication from James Daybell, 22 April 2014. Daybell added that the first big surge in women letter-writers was during the 1530s, with letters addressed to Cromwell, and then from the 1580s onward. 11 Lisle Letters, II, No. 201, p. 163 (1534). 12 TNA, SP 1/118, fol.229 (1537); SP 1/126, fol. 86 (1538); SP 1/142, fol. 178 (1539). 13 The holograph letters are TNA, SP 1/92, fol. 76 (1535); SP 1/126, fol. 146 (1537); the signed letters SP 1/92, fol. 75 (1535); SP 1/126, fol. 144 (1537). These letters come in two pairs, one holograph and one signed in each. 14 TNA, SP 1/244, fol. 15, Addenda 1(2), 1552: 12 August 1542. 15 Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, CXIX, 9, 1514; printed in Henry Ellis, Original Letters Illustrative of English History, 2nd series, II (Harding and Lepard Co., 1827), pp. 11–2. 16 BL, Cotton MS, Cleopatra E IV, fol. 82 (1533). 17 TNA, SP 1/114, fols 56–57, 8 January 1537. 18 TNA, SP 1/128, fol. 14, 2 January 1538. 19 TNA, SP 1/114, fols 56–7, 8 January 1537. 20 BL, Cotton MS, Vespasian, F. XIII, fol. 151 (orig. No. 79; c. 1536); Cotton MS, Titus B1, fol. 162 (orig. No. 152), 30 December 1537. 21 TNA, SP 10/7, fol. 1 (1549). For other holograph letters, SP 1/128, fol. 14, SP 1/131, fol. 252 and SP 1/135, fol. 75 (1538). I have found no contemporary evidence about the duchess’s education, but her letters, her role in the circle that produced the Devonshire Manuscript in the 1530s and 1540s, and her supervision of the education of her brother, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey’s children after his execution establish her credentials as

34  Barbara J. Harris

22 23

24 25

26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

a cultivated and well-educated woman. John N. King, ‘Patronage and Piety: The Influence of Catherine Parr’, in Silent but for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators and Writers of Religious Works, ed. by Margaret P. Hannay (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1985), pp. 43–60 (p. 51); Raymond Southall, ‘The Devonshire Manuscript Collection of Early Tudor Poetry, 1532–1541’, RES, 15 (1964), 142–50 (pp. 144–7); Elizabeth Heale, ‘Women and the Courtly Love Lyric: The Devonshire Manuscript (BL Additional 17492)’, The Modern Language Review, 90/2 (1995), 296– 313. Retha Warnicke noted the tradition, probably accurate, that she was educated with her brother, Women of the English Renaissance and Reformation (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983), pp. 38–40. Leonard Howard, A Collection of Letters from the Original Manuscripts . . . (Privately Printed, 1753), p. 525; on her education, E. W. Ives, Anne Boleyn (Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell, 1986), pp. 11, 33–5. C. Feno Hoffman, Jr., ‘Catherine Parr as a Woman of Letters’, HLQ, 23 (1960), 349–67 (p. 352); John Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials, Relating Chiefly to Religion and the Reformation of It . . . (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1822), II, p. 332; Literary Remains of King Edward the Sixth, ed. by John Gough Nichols (1867; Reprint, New York: Burt Franklin, 1964) I, pp. 16–17. e.g. TNA, SP1/235, fol. 167 (1527), Sir Giles Grevill; TNA, SP 1/197, 146d (1535), Henry Lord Daubney; CUL, Hengrave MS, 88, vol.  1, No.  165 (1561), Thomas Packington. Chevalier au Cygne, The History of Helyas, Knight of the Swan, trans by Robert Copeland (Wynkyn de Worde 1512; reprint: W. Pickering, 1827); Barbara J. Harris, Edward Stafford, Third Duke of Buckingham, 1478–1521 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1986), p. 35. TNA, C24/29 (1553); each of them signed his deposition in this case; Wallace T. MacCaffrey, ‘Sidney, Sir Henry (1529–1586)’, and P.R.N. Carter, ‘Wingfield, Sir Anthony (b. before 1488, d. 1552), ODNB. BL, Cotton MS, Cleopatra E. IV, 94; TNA, SP 1/80, fols 124–5 (1533). TNA, SP 1/125, fol. 106 (1537). Howard, Letters from the Original Manuscripts, p. 525 (1534). Mary’s first husband, Sir William Carey, died in 1528. TNA, SP 1/128, fol. 14 (1538). TNA, SP 1/231, fol. 171 and 172; Victoria County History (henceforth VCH), The History of Warwickshire, ed. by L. F. Salzman, (A. Constable, 1949), pp. 5, 154. TNA, SP 1/78, fol. 61 (1533); Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII, ed. by J. S. Brewer, J. Gairdner, R. H Rodie, et al. (21 vols and Addenda; 1862–1932) (hereafter L&P), VI, 919 (4). TNA, SP 1/78, fols 59–60; SP 1/238, fol. 194 (1533); L&P, VI, 919 (1, 2). TNA, Stac2/32/22 (c. 1531). TNA, SP 1/27, fol. 151, April 5 1523; L&P, VI, 381 for Bishop Lee’s positive comment about her (1533). BL, Hargrave MS, 249, fol. 223 (originally 226); L&P, III (2), 2932 (1) (1523). TNA, SP 1/27, fols 148, 150, 152d (1523); L&P, III (2), 2932 (2, 3, 4, 6). BL, Cotton MS, Vespasian, F. XIII, fol. 87 (1524); L&P, IV (1), 106 (3). TNA, SP 1/30, fol. 128 (1524); L&P, IV (1), 106 (4). TNA, SP 1/30, fol. 130 (1524); L&P, IV (1), 106 (5); L&P, IV, 2427 (1526). TNA, SP 1/30, fol. 130. TNA, SP 1/49, fol. 177; L&P, IV, 4586 (1528). L&P, VII, 550. TNA, SP 1/74, fol. 72; L&P, VI, 68 (1533). TNA, SP 1/97, fol. 64; L&P, IX, 485 (1535). TNA, SP 1/239, fol. 212; L&P, Addendum, I, 1082 (1535).

What they wrote  35 47 SP 1/102, fol. 134–5; L&P, X, 385 (1536); VCH, A History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2, ed. by William Page (Victoria County History, 1906), pp. 350–1, 414. 48 TNA, SP 1/78, fol. 61 (Lady Lucy); SP 1/88, fol. 95 (Countess of Oxford). 49 TNA, SP 1/30, fols 128, 130 (Oxford, 1524); SP 1/231, fols 171 & 172 (Lady Lucy). 50 E.g. Property of Anne, dowager Lady Berkeley, in Gloucestershire; Leonard Howard, A Collection of Letters from the Original Manuscripts. . . . (Privately Printed, 1753), p. 311; John Smyth, The Berkeley Manuscripts: Lives of the Berkeleys, ed. by Sir John Maclean (Gloucester: J. Bellows, 1883), II, pp. 252, 266–70; TNA, Stac1/4/221; Ellis, Original Letters, Series 3, III, pp. 142–4. 51 David Loades, ‘Sir William Paston (1479?–1554)’, ODNB. The countess also wrote four letters to Lady Lisle. 52 BL, Add. MS, 27447, fol. 74 (1529). Lovell’s will was TNA, Sir Thomas Lovell, Prob11/23/27 (1524). He bequeathed the earl bequeathed £40 and plate worth £140 to the earl, BL, Add. MS, 12462, fol. 38. 53 BL, Add MS, 27447, fol. 75 (1533). 54 M.A.E. Wood, Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies, 3 vols (Henry Colburn, 1846), III, p. 168. The reference to her husband’s negotiations with the Earl of Westmorland for marriages between their children, which took place in 1536, provides the approximate date of this letter. 55 Ibid, 169–70. 56 Historical Manuscripts Commission (henceforth HMC), Report on the Manuscripts of his Grace the Duke of Rutland, Preserved at Belvoir Castle, 4 vols (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1888), I, p. 31. 57 TNA, Prob11/30/28 (probated 1545). 58 BL, Add. MS, 27447, fol. 76 (1543); HMC, Rutland, IV, p. 337 for identification of Digby. 59 TNA, SP 1/243, fol. 247 (1541), fols 293, 298 (1543); Thomas was created a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Edward VI. He was not a knight at the time the letters considered were written. 60 TNA, SP 1/244, fol. 232 (May 1544). 61 TNA, SP 1/243, fols 247, 299; SP1/244, fol. 12. 62 TNA, SP 1/243, fol. 299; Sir John Gates married Sir Anthony’s sister. 63 TNA, E314/79, No. 52. 64 Bindoff, House of Commons, II, pp. 14–5. 65 Ibid., III, p. 647. 66 TNA, SP 1/244, fol. 13 (1542). 67 TNA, SP 1/243, fol. 293 (1542). 68 VCH, Essex, VIII, p.  168; TNA, Prob11/47/10 Sir Thomas bequeathed the tithe of Broomshaw to Dorothy in his will. 69 TNA, SP 1/244, fol. 234 (1544). 70 TNA, SP 1/245, fol. 167. 71 TNA, SP 1/245, fol. 169. 72 TNA, SP 1/244, fol. 298 (1542). 73 TNA, SP 1/244, fol. 232 (1544). 74 TNA, SP 1/244, fol. 6d (1542). 75 TNA, SP 1/244, fol. 232 (1544). 76 HMC, Rutland, I, p. 56 (c. 1543–51). Frances, Lady Bergavenny to her mother, Eleanor, countess of Rutland. ‘I perceive by your gentle letters of the fifteenth of this month that you have received the “creppin” which you sent to me. I am very glad to hear my sister Talbot is with child, and I am thereby in good hope that my lot will be next. Pray send me as much green silk as will work my Lord a shirt. Make my commendations to my sister Catherine and to my good uncles’.

3 ‘By the queen’ Collaborative authorship in scribal correspondence of Queen Elizabeth I Melanie Evans Introduction G. B. Harrison suggests, as a rough estimate, that the letters of Queen Elizabeth I number between two to three thousand. As recent editions indicate, less than 100 of these are written in the queen’s own hand, with around eighty written in English, yet this minority includes some of the best-known epistles by the queen, such as the two-decade exchange with James VI of Scotland.1 The enduring popular and scholarly appeal of Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence is understandable. These manuscripts provide insight into Elizabeth’s opinions and involvement towards particular individuals, events and affairs of the realm and, moreover, allow us to appreciate the extent of her education, her mastery of the written word and her use of language as means of constructing and reflecting her royal identity.2 However, the majority of Queen Elizabeth’s letters are not autograph, but scribal manuscripts, often headed with her sign-manual or the statement ‘by the queen’. Collectively, these letters can be classified as official correspondence, in contrast to the more personal nature of her autograph letters. The topics and purposes of these scribal letters are diverse, incorporating domestic or international matters to do with finance, politics, religious affiliation and even marital affairs.3 As H. R. Woudhuysen has astutely noted, the personnel and operations of Elizabeth’s secretariat are woefully under-investigated. This oversight is only now beginning to be addressed, for example in the study of the extensive foreign correspondence produced on Elizabeth’s behalf.4 The vernacular epistolary manuscripts, however, despite their status in the historical record, offer considerable, untapped potential.5 A question that immediately arises when examining the range of Elizabeth’s scribal letters is to what extent the queen was involved in their composition. How accurate is the description ‘letters of Queen Elizabeth’ at a textual level? The present essay explores Elizabeth’s possible involvement in two types of scribal letter by implementing a flexible, comparative method of authorship analysis. If we can reliably assess and evaluate the queen’s participation in the creation and issue of her scribal correspondence, then we will greatly enrich our understanding of her relationship with her secretaries, her scribes, the mechanisms leading to the production of these letters and their position within the cultures of Early Modern English correspondence.

‘By the queen’  37

Composition methods for scribal letters In the sixteenth century, autograph and scribal letters had different epistolary roles. A scribe was typically used for letters concerned with business or administrative matters, formal or official in purpose. This convention perhaps reflects the physical demands of sixteenth-century letter-writing as well as the (related) perception of letter-writing as a menial activity by the social elite.6 Autograph letters were typically used for more personal and intimate topics, and a letter written in the author’s own hand had a greater social and interpersonal value. Thus, even Henry VIII, renowned for his dislike of letter-writing, took the time to pen a series of love letters to Anne Boleyn in the 1520s.7 However, recent work on early modern correspondence has increasingly emphasized the collaborative qualities of letter-writing in the period, which suggests that the scribal letter should not be immediately dismissed as unrepresentative of its named author’s language and intentions. The complexities have been especially noted within the field of women’s letters, where the limitations of the extant material necessitate the consideration of scribal material. In his work on female correspondence, Daybell posits that there is a spectrum along which the named author’s contribution to a letter can be placed, reflecting the different composition methods available to early modern writers.8 Of the composition processes posited for the period, a scribal copy based on a draft written by the author presents the best opportunity for an accurate and faithful replication of an author’s expression. Dictation could also ensure a good rendering of the author’s language, as the scribe documents the words as spoken. Significantly, the conduct books of the era stress the fidelity and faithfulness secretaries should show in the reproduction of their master’s language.9 Scribal letters could also be based on written notes provided by the author, which the scribe would formally work into a letter, although this method is less likely to replicate an author’s expression. At the more distant end of the spectrum, a scribe might produce a letter based on an epistolary model, modified according to the particular purpose; in such cases, the author’s contribution to the final text would be minimal, if not entirely absent.10 Looking at Elizabeth’s correspondence, it is clear that her letters (in the broadest sense) occupy different positions on the spectrum. On the one hand, we find autograph drafts and sent copies of the same letter that show Elizabeth’s complete autonomy over her correspondence, such as the 1594 letter to James VI of Scotland.11 Contrastingly, there are the warrants and patents that are endorsed by Elizabeth’s signature or embossed initials but offer little indication that she was involved in their production; for example, the exemplification of a fine documenting Shakespeare’s purchase of New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, issued in Elizabeth’s name.12 However, whilst the extremes of the spectrum can be identified with reasonable confidence, the letters positioned towards the middle of the spectrum are less clearly disambiguated; how can the relationship between a scribal text and Elizabeth’s possible contribution be established? Given the probable composition methods used for scribal letters in the period, theoretically, a scribal letter based on an autograph draft or dictation may contain textual evidence of the

38  Melanie Evans queen’s contribution. However, establishing what the evidence of these authorial traces might look like and separating them from formulaic conventions and the scribe’s own preferences is a complex task.

Authorship analysis Underpinning all authorship analysis is the principle that a writer uses language in a way that can be distinguished from other writers. The characteristic style may encompass their choices of grammar, vocabulary, phonology (in spoken contexts), graphology (e.g. spelling, in written contexts) and higher-level discourse practices. Within the field of forensic linguistics (and linguistics more generally) this concept is known as the idiolect: the language of the individual. The field of forensic linguistics has provided a number of high-profile authorship studies of modern texts, such as the landmark case of the Unabomber. Plagiarism software devised for contemporary texts has proved productive in investigations of historical pamphlets, although at present relatively few forensic studies consider non-contemporary works.13 For historical texts, computational stylistics is thus perhaps the more familiar methodology, with the on-going debate over the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays the most high-profile example.14 However, there are key differences between the aforementioned studies and the present enquiry, particularly concerning the length of texts and general availability of material. Hoover’s analysis of the nineteenth-century novel Blind Love considers a novel of several hundred thousand words, compared against texts of similar length.15 The volume of data at his disposal is a sharp contrast to the typical 100– 1,000 word documents that we find in the archives of Elizabeth’s correspondence, necessitating a different approach to Hoover’s computational, statistical techniques. Moreover, traditional authorship attribution typically looks to identify one writer from a pool of potential authors, in keeping with the modern conception of solitary authorship. By simple fact of the letter being written in the hand of another, the presence of a third party is inevitable. For Elizabeth’s scribal letters, a better conceptualisation of authorship attribution is to look for evidence that can signal a ‘degree’ of authorship within a collaborative text. The approach applied in the present paper builds on previous work on scribal composition methods and epistolary authorship. Daybell notes that ‘the evidence’ that might arise from dictation ‘is rather indirect and relies on examining the consistency of style achieved by a particular writer over a range of letters’. He proposes that different types of evidence may be taken as an indicator of the said author’s involvement. The repetition of particular ‘common words or phrases’, a characteristic ‘confidence and self-assurance’, and ‘a discernible personal intimacy’ with the recipient may all indicate the author’s involvement with the text.16 Studies of particular authors and letter collections support the value of each type of evidence. Muriel St. Clare Byrne notes that the scribal letters of Honor Lady Lisle show a consistency in style despite the use of three different secretaries, which she takes to be evidence that the letters were dictated, Lady Lisle being the sole constant factor in the correspondence.17 Graham Williams’ research

‘By the queen’  39 into the scribal and authorial letters of Joan Thynne offers evidence that linguistic features can be helpful in exploring authorship. He observes that compound adverbs such as thereof and hereby are more frequent in Joan Thynne’s scribal correspondence. As a stylistic feature associated with legal writing, the presence of the adverbs in the scribal letters suggests they were the independent contribution of ‘professionally trained scribes’ rather than the less formally educated Joan Thynne, who ‘very rarely, if ever, wrote like this’.18 His work suggests that the frequencies of certain linguistic features in a text, when considered against the profile of the author, can offer a measurement for his or her probable involvement. This approach is comparable to the techniques used in forensic linguistics, although the quantitative figures are smaller and interpretations perhaps more sensitive to the historical context. Finally, Daybell provides an example of the intimate and personal expression that is a strong indicator of an author’s involvement, from a letter by Katherine Duchess of Suffolk to William Cecil in which she declares: ‘What a weary beggar I am’.19 It would presumably be highly inappropriate for a scribe to independently include such remarks. These studies suggest that an assessment of Elizabeth’s contribution in a scribal letter should take into account a range of textual and material features. It should pay attention to the communicative context which drove the composition of the letter in question as well as the norms of that particular author and the overarching societal conventions of the period. Another consideration for the analysis of authorship is the availability of material that can represent the author’s norms. Fortunately, the extant autograph letters provide a relatively large body of data to represent Elizabeth’s letter-writing preferences, and these form the comparative baseline for the analysis. To most effectively explore the textual dimensions of Elizabeth’s letters, the current investigation uses an electronic corpus compiled by the author that collects the English autograph letters from before and during Elizabeth’s reign. As a further consideration, analysis needs to accommodate for the instability of the linguistic preferences of an individual over his or her lifetime. For manuscript scholars, the changes in Elizabeth’s handwriting from her youthful italic to senior mixed hand are the most immediate example.20 Spelling and linguistic features show similar developments. Elizabeth’s pre-accession letters differ from the post-accession letters, most obviously in the absence of royal we, but also in the use of particular spellings (e.g. extensive variants) and morpho-syntactic items (e.g. the which).21 Using the autograph corpus, orthographic, grammatical and lexical features can be assessed in a scribal text against Elizabeth’s preferences for the same period, and the findings set alongside an evaluation of the letter’s content and context. To facilitate analysis, the corpus is accessed and searched using the AntConc concordance programme, which allows automatic retrieval of a search term (e.g. a word or phrase).22 Overall, the approach should offer empirical grounds for an interpretation of Elizabeth’s involvement in the composition of a scribal letter. The following analysis considers two scribal letters written in 1586, compares their textual properties with contemporary autograph correspondence (1582– 1595) and considers to what extent the queen participated in their composition.

40  Melanie Evans

Letter one: Elizabeth to William Cecil, Lord Burghley and Sir Francis Walsingham, October 1586 In his edition of Elizabeth’s ‘selected works’, May argues persuasively that scribal letters classifiable as ‘in-house memoranda’ have a ‘strong claim to authenticity’.23 One such example, included in the edition, is addressed to William Cecil and Francis Walsingham, two of Elizabeth’s most influential and long-standing statesmen, and is a memorandum on Mary, Queen of Scots and the Babington plot.24 Although notation on the reverse gives the year as 1568, May suggests the more plausible date of October 1586. There are no indicators that this is a letter by Elizabeth. The scribal endorsement is vague: ‘Coppy of a lre from my a lady to:’. The copy is written in secretary hand, and the arrangement of text resembles a conventional epistle. The main body of the letter takes up the top half of the page, with the subscription positioned immediately below on the right-hand side. Epistolary conventions and content There are a number of epistolary features that suggest Elizabeth’s involvement with the letter. The letter begins ‘Sir Spirit, myne and you Master Moore’. ‘Spirit’ and ‘Moor’ are among the many nicknames used by Elizabeth for her councillors, and their inclusion here rather than a standard epistolary address (e.g. My Lord) offers immediate and quite persuasive evidence of Elizabeth’s contribution.25 It seems highly unlikely that a scribe working independently would address senior councillors in such a personal way, absconding from the formulaic constraints of official correspondence. Similarly, the closing salutation is more intimate than we might expect of an autonomously produced scribal text: ‘Such am I to you as your faiths have deserved’. The note terminates with the initials ‘E.R.’ in the same scribal hand. Whilst the signature deviates from Elizabeth’s normal practice of signing her name in full ‘Elizabeth R’, this technique occurs in other autograph notes with a comparable ‘in-house’ function; for example, the letter to Sir Robert Cecil, written in 1598.26 The scribal copy is notable for the obscure reference to Mary as ‘the prisoner k[ing]’, as well as the deletions that transform ‘she’ to ‘he’, further obfuscating the subject matter. This suggests that the text of the letter was carefully scrutinized, although it is difficult to establish if this was the choice of the scribe or Elizabeth. The letter’s main communicative purpose is to give instruction regarding the questioning of Mary, Queen of Scots. However, the directions are couched in statements of Elizabeth’s cognitive processes: ‘I consider’, ‘I remember’, ‘methinks’, which personalise the instruction. There is interest in the recipients’ well-being: ‘I have commanded this bearer to bring me word of both your healths’, which adds an interpersonal layer to the communication. The letter concludes with a self-debasing assertion: ‘and so, when a foole hath spoken, [s]he hath all donne’. This compares favourably to the intimate expression in the scribal letter by Katherine Duchess of Suffolk. There are also comparable statements in Elizabeth’s

‘By the queen’  41 autograph letters to Cecil, such as a brief note written in 1572: ‘me thinkes that I am more beholdinge to the hindar part of my hed than weL dare trust the forwards side of the same’.27 Linguistic evidence The first step in the linguistic analysis is to evaluate elements that were in a state of flux, i.e. undergoing change, during the sixteenth century. A linguistic variable is defined as two (or more) forms with the same denotative meaning; for example, a sixteenth-century speaker could form a negative using post-verbal not e.g. ‘I took not’ or by inserting auxiliary do e.g. ‘I did not take’. A speaker or writer typically shows a preference for one variant over another, and this provides a range of features with which to build a linguistic profile. Elizabeth’s preferences identified in her autograph letters can be compared to the distribution of forms in the scribal letter and the degree of ‘fit’ evaluated. The scribal letter offers a selection of features for comparison, and these support a case for Elizabeth’s involvement. Firstly, the letter uses the first-person singular pronoun I, rather than the conventional plural form royal we found in much of her official correspondence. The first-person singular is a consistent feature of Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence and accords with the more personal and intimate qualities of a hand-written letter. Because scribal letters very rarely use I, this may indicate that the copy is based on an autograph original. The scribal letter contains a negative formed with post-verbal not, as opposed to negative auxiliary do: ‘that she heard not’. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Elizabeth’s autograph letters show a clear preference for the non-do construction, as in this example from a letter to James VI of Scotland: ‘that you suffer not such vipers to inhabit your land’.28 Another congruent feature of the letter is the use of you as a grammatical subject, rather than the alternative form ye: ‘if you fynd the matter sufficiently considered alredy you wipe them out’. Elizabeth shows a consistent preference for you throughout her life, although many of her scribal letters contain the ye form, as do letters by Cecil and Walsingham.29 The letter also contains the verb form hath rather than the more innovative (and now standard) has; in her autograph correspondence between 1582–1595, hath accounts for 55 of 56 instances. The scribal letter contains no instances of the compound adverbs typical of letters produced by professional scribes in the sixteenth century, e.g. therefore, thereby, thereof. Instead, the propositions are linked together with the conjunction and + preposition: ‘And if’, ‘And so’. This accords with the trends found in Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence, where compound adverbs are considerably outnumbered by and + x combinations: e.g. ‘he hath no other scope than to keep us friends and increase that bond, and if he find any Opposite against so good a work he will obviate it’.30 The lack of the distinctive, legalistic adverb compounds in the scribal letter is congruent with the personal expression signified by the address-forms. Overall, the linguistic features show a good fit with Elizabeth’s preferences and lend weight to its attribution as a copy based on an autograph draft or verbatim dictation.

42  Melanie Evans Spelling A final feature that may offer potential authorship evidence is the spelling used in the scribal letter. The significance of spelling in early modern letters is highlighted by the frequent apologies for bad orthography.31 Whilst these admissions may be partly formulaic, they nevertheless indicate a social sensitivity to the representation of an individual’s language in written form and suggest spelling warrants as much scholarly attention as material and lexico-grammatical properties. A distinct property of sixteenth-century spelling is the absence of a national, standardized system. Instead, individuals were able to develop an individualized orthographic practice, drawing on conventions from local or international communities and modifying and developing their preferences in response to new experiences, pressures or fashions.32 The individuality of practice suggests that the orthography of a text may offer some indication of authorship. Hypothetically, the inclusion of spelling features characteristic of a named author in a scribal text would suggest that the scribe worked from a draft document and replicated the spellings. A dictated text or one composed from notes or instructions would show minimal, if any, connection between the author’s spelling practice and the scribal text. Thus the spelling may add some incisive evidence for the composition method used for the letter to Cecil and Walsingham. That said, one of the problems encountered when studying early modern spelling is the sensitivity to interference. Copied texts, whether contemporary or later, are generally not thought to faithfully reproduce the spelling of the original.33 The manuscript originals of Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence provide the most reliable source for an analysis of her spelling preferences. As these changed over time, the following comparison with the scribal letter uses only her correspondence written 1582–1595, analysed using VARD, a software package originally designed to automate the modernisation of original-spelling texts.34 In a spelling analysis, different aspects can be examined. First, patterns can be identified in the proportion of Present-Day English nonstandard and standard spellings. Whilst the ideological force – and textual reality – of a spelling standard were only at a nascent stage in the sixteenth century, the distinction provides a comparable measure of spelling practice in different texts. Secondly, a writer’s orthographic preferences for particular words or particular graph combinations (e.g. or ) can also be traced.35 The terminology commonly used in lexical analysis is helpful here: type refers to a particular word form, and token to the number of instances of a particular word form. The word form may be a nonstandard or standard rendering. Looking first at the proportion of nonstandard and standard spellings, the scribal letter contains a lower proportion of nonstandard spellings than is typical of Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence. Only 20% of the word types use a nonstandard form in the October 1586 text, in contrast to the 59% in letters from 1582–1595. Furthermore, when the nonstandard forms are compared in the scribal letter and

‘By the queen’  43 the baseline autograph corpus, only 5 of the 19 words present in both datasets use the same nonstandard spelling. This includes Elizabeth’s preferred rendering (9 of 10 tokens in the 1582–1595 autograph correspondence), , and (heard). However, the double consonant in and and the use of medial rather than in suggest some fundamental differences in spelling practice between the texts. The proportion of standard spellings in the scribal letter is consequently higher than expected. However, 62 of the 65 standard word forms in the scribal letter also occur in the reference corpus. Many of these words are high-frequency grammatical items, such as , and , all of which were stable in Elizabeth’s post-accession writing, despite contemporary alternatives such as , or and .36 For many standard spellings, however, the scribal letter uses forms that are the less frequent rendering in the autograph correspondence and thus can be considered less typical of Elizabeth’s spelling practice. The form in the October 1586 text accounts for only 7 of the 84 tokens in the autograph correspondence. Similarly, the rendering occurs only twice in the autograph letters, outweighed by the 84 tokens of . Overall, the spelling evidence offers minimal evidence to support Elizabeth’s involvement in the letter. If the scribe were working from an autograph draft of the letter, then there is little to suggest that he attempted to replicate Elizabeth’s spelling. Although more research is required into the significance of spelling and its transmission across texts, the sensitivity of spelling to interference suggests that the lack of evidence should not override the features identified in the preceding analysis. Collectively, the letter’s intimate features, such as nicknames and self-abasement, and the fit of the linguistic forms with Elizabeth’s contemporary preferences offer positive evidence for her involvement in the letter, most probably via dictation.

Letter two: Elizabeth to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, 1 April 1586 The scribal letter to Cecil and Walsingham offers a valuable insight into the epistolary exchanges between Elizabeth and her privy councillors. However, in-house memoranda make up a surprisingly small part of the extant scribal correspondence. Thus, for the second analysis, I wish to explore a text that is more representative of the scribal letters issued in Elizabeth’s name: a letter to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester dated 1 April 1586, part of an extensive set of documents and letters relating to the Low Countries campaign in 1585–6.37 The campaign was one in which Elizabeth was greatly invested, ostensibly because of the two nations’ shared Protestantism and their common foe in Spain but also because of the prominent role of the Earl of Leicester. Bruce highlights examples of what he terms ‘interference’ by Elizabeth during the campaign (perhaps a curious term for the actions of the monarch), such as her refusal of Leicester’s request for fresh funds before the existing monies had been accounted for and the ‘personal interviews’ she held with the messengers operating between the

44  Melanie Evans Court and Leicester.38 The Victorian editor also makes an interesting remark that foregrounds Elizabeth’s role in the campaign’s correspondence: With her own hand she wrote letters [sic] containing practical directions, and official letters and instruction were prepared in pursuance of her verbal directions, and probably often in her very language.39 The description of ‘pursuance of her verbal directions’ may imply scribes working from notes or instructions, and ‘probably often in her very language’ is a hedged description that nevertheless suggests drafts or verbatim dictation. Thus, the 1 April letter provides a significant test to reconcile a historian’s intuition with textual evidence. The scribal letter was issued after several tumultuous months in the campaign. Leicester, against Elizabeth’s explicit wishes, had accepted the position of absolute governor of the Low Countries, a post that granted him near-monarchic power within the states. As Cecil informed Leicester in a letter sent soon after the earl’s appointment in February, ‘hir Ma[jesty] will not endure to heare any speche in defense [of Leicester’s position]’. In the following month, Elizabeth’s anger was still palpable: ‘Hir Ma[jesty] wold neuer be content to haue any speche of ye state of thingz nedefull to be known for your chardg. I have not desisted to move hir to gyve eare’.40 The 1 April letter finally signalled a change of heart, as the queen acknowledged the value of Leicester’s position in the Low Countries and instructed him to find an appropriate resolution to the campaign. Epistolary conventions The extant copy of the letter bears no evidence (e.g. seals, folds, endorsements) that it was sent to the Low Countries. It is more probable that it was a fair copy made for administrative purposes. Nevertheless, it provides a striking contrast to the other English correspondence, contained within the volume Cotton Galba C IX, relating to the campaign. Unlike the scrawled advice and information sent by Burghley, Walsingham and others, the scribal copy is a pristine example of official royal correspondence, transcribed in a neat secretarial hand complete with small flourishes on the majuscule letters. The endorsement ‘by the quene’ is written at the top right corner, with the salutation and main body starting at the midpoint of the page. Visually, the letter could be said to exude authority, such is its contrast with the autograph correspondence that Leicester more frequently received in the Low Countries. In this sense, there is no doubt as to the letter’s sender. The main purpose of the letter is to give Leicester the authority ‘to iudg what is fitt to be don to bring such a qualificacion as we desire to passe’. The manuscript thus has material value as an endorsement of any consequent actions, with the status of the letter as ‘by the quene’ integral to its communicative function. In this sense, it is entirely logical that the letter was issued through formal, official channels rather than as an autograph note. This interpretation is supported by the absence of any apology for the scribal status of the letter, a trope that can be

‘By the queen’  45 found in more explicitly personal and private instances of correspondence during the sixteenth century. Also contributing to the authority of the letter are formulaic epistolary components. The letter opens with the conventional salutation from a superior to an inferior, ‘Right trusty and right welbelovid cousin and counseler, we grete you well’. In addition to the main instruction, the text is also concerned with interpersonal matters. The letter seemingly intends to flatter Leicester. The first two paragraphs of the letter are dedicated to retracting the previous months’ criticisms of the earl, acknowledging that he ‘hath more nede of comfort than reproof’. Only once this had been made clear does the letter proceed to grant the authority to Leicester and Heneage discussed above, and even this is presented in a manner that compliments the recipient, acknowledging Leicester’s intimate knowledge of the Low Countries and emphasising the queen’s personal investment in the political resolution. It is these intimate elements – the acknowledgment of Leicester’s ‘grieved mynd’, for example – that elevate the letter beyond the functionality that might be expected of an autonomous scribal composition, and make the queen’s involvement plausible. Steven W. May observes that Elizabeth ‘embellishes her [autograph] prose with figurative language in ways almost wholly lacking in the secretarial prose of her formal correspondence’.41 The aphoristic expression that follows the opening salutation would seem to fit this category and is perhaps further evidence in favour of Elizabeth’s involvement: ‘It is alwayes thought, in the opinion of the woorld, a hard bargayn when both parties ar leasers’. The metonymic the world is repeated a few lines later: ‘as to geve the woorld just cause to think’. Notably, such references to the world seem to be a recurring expression in the queen’s autograph correspondence both before and during her reign, such as the following example to James VI of Scotland written in 1596: ‘as shall make us no scorn to the world nor delight to our foes’.42 The perception of a monarch’s actions in society appears to have been a recurring concern for Elizabeth. The scribal letter may be seen to anticipate Elizabeth’s acknowledgement in November of the same year that ‘we princes, I tell you, are set on stages in the sight and view of all the world duly observed’.43 These features could be considered representative of Elizabeth’s letter-writing practices, and, contextually, better suited to a document with which she had direct involvement. Linguistic features The letter to Leicester contains several linguistic features that correlate with Elizabeth’s preferences in her contemporary autograph correspondence (1582– 1595). As with the letter to Cecil and Walsingham, the 1 April letter uses the second-person pronoun you consistently in both letters, with no instances of the accusative variant ye: e.g. ‘You, as we hear, are greatly grieved’. The postverbal not negative structure, ‘taketh not more comfort of your well doing’, also accords with Elizabeth’s preferences in the 1580s. Another feature that aligns with Elizabeth’s preferences is the example of single, rather than multiple

46  Melanie Evans negation: ‘could never have looked . . . any such measure’. Despite the multiple negation being relatively frequent in the sixteenth century (rendering the above example as ‘could never have looked . . . no such measure’), it is very rare in Elizabeth’s post-accession correspondence.44 Other features found in the scribal letter that can also be considered typical of Elizabeth’s linguistic preferences include the relative pronoun which, rather than the archaic and literary alternative form the which, and the use of whom with an animate antecedent (i.e. human referent) with which restrained to non-animate antecedents: ‘we ar had in contempt by him that ought moost to respect and reverence us, from whom we could never have looked to receve any such measure, which, we do asseure you, hath wrought’.45 However, the linguistic features of the scribal letter are not wholly congruous with Elizabeth’s preferences. One of the most obvious differences is the consistent use of the pronoun royal we: ‘that we are had in contempt by him that ought most to respect and reverence us’. As noted above, the pronoun is infrequent in Elizabeth’s autograph letters. However, this feature can be confidently explained, as royal we fits alongside the material and epistolary features (noted above) emblematic of official royal correspondence. It is intriguing to wonder, if this letter was drafted or dictated by Elizabeth, whether it would be queen or scribe who implemented the royal pronoun. A less satisfactorily explained feature is the frequency of positive declarative do. Unlike in Modern English, where the auxiliary do is used to add emphasis to the verb phrase (e.g. ‘I did feed the cat’), do was used in the early modern period without such local emphasis, as found in the scribal letter: ‘and so doth fall out in the case between us two’. Elizabeth’s preferences for do changed considerably over the course of her lifetime. In the 1580s and 1590s, she appears to disfavour the form, and it occurs only 2.2 times per 1,000 words in the autograph correspondence corpus. By contrast, do occurs 9.3 times per 1,000 words in the 1 April letter. Furthermore, the occurrences of do show contextual differences. In the autograph letters, do is typically used before a verb separated from its antecedent, as seen in the following example from a letter to James VI of Scotland in October 1586: I Was in mind to have sent you such accidents as this late month brought forth but the sufficiency of master Archebald made me retain him and do render you many loVing thanks for the Joy you toke of my narrow escape from the Jaws of Death.46 This differs from the close proximity between antecedent and verb phrase in the scribal letters: ‘it is a thing that we do greatly desire and affect’. However, it is unclear how much weight to place on do as counter-evidence for Elizabeth’s involvement. In the sixteenth century, the form was most typically used in formal text-types, such as church sermons, and the association with officious and authoritative texts could thus have led the scribe to insert the form independently.47 Alternatively, it is possible that Elizabeth augmented her usual

‘By the queen’  47 linguistic practice to reflect the official status of the text – in the same way, perhaps, that she might shift from I to royal we. Another troubling feature in the scribal letter is the third-person verb endingeth. In the previous case study, the presence of hath was found to be comparable with Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence. The 1 April letter also uses hath throughout, and the examples of doth are also typical of Elizabeth’s practice.48 However, there are also three instances of main verbs with the -eth ending: ‘professeth’, ‘taketh’ and ‘standeth’, which are less congruent with Elizabeth’s preferences. Whilst -eth was the dominant ending used for have and do, Elizabeth used both -eth and -s with main verbs, often switching between the two forms within the same letter: whather he knoweth not the prise of my bloude wiche shuld be spild by bloudy hande of a murtherar wiche some of your nere a kin did graunt, A sore question you may suppose but no other act than suche as I  am assured he knowes.49 In the 1582–1595 autograph correspondence, -eth accounts for 31% of potential forms, compared with the 100% frequency in the scribal letters. However, the difference may reflect the official nature of the letter, as the -eth ending was preserved in more literary and official texts. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that sixteenth-century speakers perceived -s to be a spoken, contracted form of -eth rather than a distinct alternative.50 Thus, if Elizabeth did dictate the letters, the scribe may have interpreted and transcribed the verb endings graphically as -eth. The final feature considered in this section is compound adverbs, such as therefore, thereunto, thereof, which reoccur throughout the scribal letter (unlike that to Cecil and Walsingham). Quantitatively, there-x adverbs are twice as frequent (6.3 times per 1000 words) as the average distribution in Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence (2.9 times per 1000 words). Conversely, the conjunction and + preposition occurs less frequently than would be expected for a letter by Elizabeth: only two occurrences of and so, and one example of and yet and and for (equating to 4.2 times per 1000 words). Thus the cohesive and anaphoric devices used in the 1 April scribal letter are those associated with legalistic language and professionally trained scribes. In his discussion of Joan Thynne’s scribal letters, Williams surmises that the compound adverbs could be the independent contribution of a scribe to structure the content dictated or drafted by the named author.51 Thus, although this feature of the scribal letter is certainly not congruent with Elizabeth’s autograph practice, it does not suggest that she made no contribution at all. Overall, many of the linguistic features accord with Elizabeth’s contemporary preferences, although they do not provide indisputable evidence of her involvement. In part, this is due to the difficulty of evaluating atypical features that may reflect the official style of the correspondence. Whilst Joan Thynne may have lacked the necessary education and expertise to write in this way, Elizabeth seems a likely candidate to have been familiar with the styles of official correspondence, creating uncertainty over the provenance of these features. More

48  Melanie Evans information is needed on the characteristics of royal scribal correspondence, and the practices of the scribes and secretaries, to enable a more confident assessment of their role in letters to which Elizabeth may have contributed. On balance, however, the scribal letter contains a number of linguistic and epistolary features that support an argument for Elizabeth’s involvement. In the next two sections, the spelling and lexical elements will be analysed to see if they can offer more conclusive support. Spelling In the first case study, the spelling results showed considerable differences between Elizabeth’s practice and the scribal note to Cecil and Walsingham. A similar contrast is found in the official 1 April letter to Leicester. As in the previous example, the scribal letter contains a lower proportion of nonstandard forms (37%) than the autograph letters (59%). When the nonstandard forms are compared, two-thirds (63 of 95) in the scribal letter occur in a different form in Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence; for example, the spelling (do) appears highly atypical when compared with 60 occurrences of in the autograph corpus and no occurrences of . As in the scribal note to Cecil and Walsingham, there are features that suggest fundamental differences in spelling practice. The double vowel in work, world and would contrasts with Elizabeth’s preference for single , and the use of medial , e.g. , , , , and , is atypical for Elizabeth, who prefers in comparable contexts , , . Looking at the standard forms, 155 of 170 types (91%) are shared across the two datasets – a proportion comparable to the first case study (95%). However, these forms often constitute the less-favoured spelling in Elizabeth’s practice: , rather than , or rather than , for example. Therefore the spelling evidence offers little evidence of Elizabeth’s involvement, and certainly no direct evidence that the scribe worked from a handwritten draft text. This suggests that dictation is the more likely composition method, although the approach cannot presently discount the possibility that the scribe disregarded a draft text to implement his own spelling system. The results again foreground the need for more information about spelling practices within the early modern court and society in general if the common traits and characteristics are to be established. Phrasal elements In Elizabeth’s autograph letters, there are certain expressions that she uses repeatedly to organize her ideas and structure the content of her letters. A number of these phrases can be found in the scribal letter and offer, in my opinion, quite emphatic and persuasive evidence for her involvement when placed alongside the other features already discussed. These findings highlight the importance of exploring the qualitative and contextual dimensions of the data.

‘By the queen’  49 The first example is the phrase ‘And now to’. This occurs in 13 letters in the autograph canon, six of which were written between 1582 and 1595. The expression is used to mark a transition from one part of the letter to the next, as seen in this example, dated February 1586/7, to James VI of Scotland: ‘And now to conclude’.52 In the scribal letter, the phrase is used for the same organizational purpose: ‘And now to cum to the breach itself’, acting as the hinge between the opening rehabilitation of Leicester’s reputation and the instructions specific to the Low Countries campaign. Another expression used to make a transition to a new topic in Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence is ‘and for that’, which occurs in four letters with this specific function (and five times as a more localized linking feature). Notably, all instances occur in letters written in the 1580s, which strengthens the case for the contextual likelihood, such as this example in June 1585: you oblige me for them for which I render you a million of most entire thanks as she that meaneth to deserve many a good thought in your breast throw good desert / And for that your request is so honourable retaining so much reason.53 In the 1 April scribal letter, the phrase is used with a comparable function: that they do now yeld unto you under the title of an absolut governor. And for that we are persuaded that you may be best able . . . to iudg what is fitt to be don. However, perhaps the most interesting phrasal and lexical qualities of the 1 April letter are the presence of intertextual ‘echoes’ that can be traced to a previous letter sent by the queen to the Earl of Leicester, written 10 February 1586. As the final type of evidence to be discussed, these examples highlight the importance of an analytic approach that is sensitive to the context and co-text of the epistle under investigation. The 10 February letter was written to condemn Leicester’s acceptance of the position as governor-general and generally convey Elizabeth’s disapproval of his actions. The letter famously begins with a direct statement of Elizabeth’s feelings towards Leicester: ‘How contemptuously we conceive ourself to have been used by you’.54 As the 1 April letter reconfigures Elizabeth’s position towards Leicester, the text refers to this opening line: ‘one that . . . shuld deale so carlesly, we will not saye contemtuosly’. Notably, the verb ‘say’ foregrounds the adverb as one specific to Elizabeth’s voice and expression. The repetition of the word has implications for the understanding of the compositional circumstances of the 1 April letter. The lexical specificity suggests that (at least) one individual involved in the 1 April letter was familiar with the preceding text. Given Elizabeth’s status, it is worth questioning if a scribe or even her secretary would so directly present her voice in this way without her permission. The specific retraction of the adverb relies on a shared knowledge between sender

50  Melanie Evans and recipient, and echoes the intimate expression and obtuse references seen in personal letters between Elizabeth and Leicester, such as her subscription to a letter written in July 1586: ‘As you know, ever the same’.55 There are further phrasal and lexical similarities between the two letters. The 1 April letter replicates certain structural and lexical expressions when reporting and justifying Elizabeth’s reaction to Leicester (highlighted in bold): We could never have imagined, had we not seen it fall owt in experience, that a man raysed uppe by ourselfe, and extraordinarily favored by us above anie other subiect of this land (10 February). by him that ought moost to respect and reverence us, from whom we could never have looked to receve any such measure (1 April). that ever we could have been drawn to have taken so hard a course herein, had we not been provoked by an extraordinary cause (1 April). A further similarity is seen in the repetition of the expression ‘fall out’: ‘had we not seen it fall out in experience’ (10 February) and ‘if it shall fall out to be such’ (1 April). The connection between the two letters suggests that the 1 April text was conceived and issued as part of an epistolary sequence. From a compositional perspective, it is plausible that a copy of the 10 February letter was consulted as the 1 April response was put together, which led to either the conscious or subconscious replication of these phrasal and lexical elements. Relating these texts to Elizabeth’s autograph letters is more difficult. Consultation of the autograph correspondence reveals that ‘contemptuously’, ‘conceive’ and the phrase ‘fall out’ do not occur in the letters, despite their repetition in the scribal texts discussed here. ‘Extraordinary’ occurs once. However, the sensitivity of vocabulary to subject matter offers one explanation for the recurrence of these items within the scribal sequence and not elsewhere. In the same way, the noun amity occurs eighteen times in the autograph correspondence from Elizabeth to James VI but does not occur in letters to any other recipient. The provenance of the 10 February text also complicates the assessment of Elizabeth’s authorship of the 1 April letter. Despite the 10 February letter generally being accepted by historians and biographers as being a letter by Queen Elizabeth, the manuscript is a copy, and attributed to Walsingham’s hand.56 Walsingham occupied a central role during the Low Countries campaign, writing letters to Leicester with strategic advice and instruction. It is thus unclear how the connection between the 1 April letter and the 10 February text should be interpreted; how does Walsingham factor into the composition of the queen’s official correspondence? Such findings again highlight the need for further research into Elizabeth’s scribal correspondence and the full correspondence networks of the court. On reflection, the evidence identified in the 1 April letter suggests that Elizabeth was involved in its composition. Cumulatively, the epistolary, linguistic and phrasal features lend support to Bruce’s assertion that the scribal letter was

‘By the queen’  51 composed ‘in pursuance of her verbal directions, and probably often in her very language’.57 Whilst not conclusive, the atypical spelling and the frequency of do and compound adverbs suggests that Elizabeth may have dictated the letter’s contents, enabling the scribe to modify and add the stylistic features necessary for an official royal letter. At present, there is no way to establish if Elizabeth altered the style of her dictated language to reflect the letter’s type. As the final point, I wish to reflect on what the findings from the 1 April letter can tell us about the production and reception of Elizabeth’s official letters. If the evidence is taken to indicate that Elizabeth was involved in the composition of this letter, then the next question is to ask why she was involved. Was it for her personal benefit, in the sense that, as ruler of England and upholder of the Faith, she could ensure control over what was being written officially in her name? Or did the severity of the situation and the individuals involved in this particular case necessitate a more personal touch, in the belief that this would be recognized by the recipient and provide more persuasive force? Would Leicester have recognized Elizabeth’s ‘voice’ in the 1 April letter? Would this have granted her instructions and retraction of former grievances more weight? When considered against the broader context of epistolary convention and the use of scribal and authorial letters for different purposes, the collaborative nature of the letter may be unavoidable. As noted above, the letter has material and symbolic value as one ‘by the queen’, providing official endorsement of Leicester’s activities in the campaign that is perhaps unsuited to or inappropriate for an autograph letter. However, by playing an active part in the letter’s composition, Elizabeth is able to add a degree of intimacy that can also exist ‘on record’. The resultant combination of an authoritative document and personal expression may have been the most appropriate method to convey to her courtier the restoration of both their personal and professional friendship.

Conclusion Over the course of this analysis, it has become clear that determining a ‘degree’ of authorship is a rather speculative endeavour. The historical distance, the limits of the data and the complex composition methods impede conclusive assessment. The uncertainty is also exacerbated by the fact that the current analysis is reliant on an incomplete picture of court and scribal letter-writing practice. Whilst the autograph corpus allows for a thorough investigation of Elizabeth’s preferences, the method would greatly benefit from the epistolary data of her secretaries and her scribes, so that the linguistic features of a text could be rigorously compared, contextualized and potentially attributed. It is hoped that the continued interest in sixteenth-century letter-writing will lead to this data becoming available. Nevertheless, the flexibility of the analytic approach, evaluating elements both quantitatively and qualitatively, holds promise for the investigation of collaborative authorship in royal correspondence, and perhaps early modern letters more generally.

52  Melanie Evans

Notes 1 Autograph is used to denote a letter written and signed by the named author. Scribal denotes a letter written in a different hand to the named author. G. B. Harrison (ed.), The Letters of Queen Elizabeth I (London: Cassell & Co., 1935), Introduction. J. Mueller and L. Marcus (eds), Elizabeth I: Autograph Compositions and Foreign Language Originals (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2003). Much of the autograph correspondence between Elizabeth and James VI is collected in British Library (hereafter BL) Add. MS, 23240. 2 See Mel Evans, The Language of Queen Elizabeth I: A Sociolinguistic Perspective on Royal Style and Identity (Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2013) for a detailed account of Elizabeth’s language in its social and stylistic context. Susan Frye suggests that Elizabeth believed ‘monarchs created themselves through language’. Susan Frye, Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 4. 3 A scribal letter, BL, Lansd. MS, 10, fol. 39, offers marital advice to the Earl of Derby. 4 See Carlo Bajetta, Guilliaume Coatalen and Jonathan Gibson (eds), Elizabeth I’s Foreign Correspondence: Letters, Rhetoric, and Politics (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). 5 H. R. Woudhuysen, ‘The Queen’s Own Hand: A  Preliminary Account’ in Elizabeth I and the Culture of Writing, ed. by Peter Beal and Grace Ioppolo (London: British Library, 2007), pp. 1–28. 6 James Daybell, ‘Female Literacy and the Social Conventions of Women’s LetterWriting in England, 1540–1603’ in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1540–1700, ed. by Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 59–76. 7 Henry VIII, The Love Letters of Henry VIII, ed. by Henry Savage (London: A. Wingate, 1949). 8 James Daybell, ‘Women’s Letters and Letter-Writing in England 1540–1603: An Introduction to the Issues of Authorship and Construction’, Shakespeare Studies, 27 (1999), 161–86 (p. 180). See also Graham Williams’s detailed study of holograph and scribal practices in the Thynne letters: Graham Williams, Women’s Epistolary Utterance: A Study of the Letters of Joan and Maria Thynne, 1575–1611 (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2014). 9 Angel Day suggests that the secretary’s pen ‘is not his own, but another’s, and for this cause the matter to him committed, are to depend upon the humor of his commander, and upon none others’, The English Secretorie, or Plaine and Direct Method, for the Enditing of All Manner of Epistles or Letters, Aswell Familiar as Others: Distinguished by Their Diuersities under Their Seuerall Titles (C. Burbie, 1595), Part II, p. 132. See Alan Stewart, ‘The Early Modern Closet Discovered’, Representations, 50 (1995), 76–100, for an illuminating exploration of the conflicted role of the secretary in the early modern period. 10 Daybell, ‘Women’s Letters and Letter-Writing in England 1540–1603’, p. 170. 11 The draft is preserved in Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, CP, 133/80, fol. 120. The sent copy is BL, Add. MS, 23240, fol. 132. Alison Wiggins discusses another draft and sent letter to Bess of Hardwick, ‘Draft and sent versions of a letter from Elizabeth I regarding the earl of Leicester’s visit in June 1577: Bess’s social networks’, in Bess of Hardwick’s Letters: The Complete Correspondence, c.1550–1608, ed. by Alison Wiggins, Alan Bryson, Daniel Starza Smith, Anke Timmermann and Graham Williams, University of Glasgow, web development by Katherine Rogers, University of Sheffield Humanities Research Institute (April 2013), http://www.bessofhardwick.org/ background.jsp?id=151 [accessed 2 July 2015]. 12 A reproduction of this manuscript can be found in Felix Pryor, Elizabeth I: Her Life in Letters (Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003), pp. 118–9.

‘By the queen’  53



15 16 17 18

19 20 21 22

23 24 25 26 27 28

29 30 31 32

The manuscript is located at Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, ER 27/4a. For a discussion of the Unabomber case, see M. Coulthard and A. Johnson, An Introduction to Forensic Linguistics: Language in Evidence (London: Routledge, 2007), pp. 162–3. For the forensic analysis of eighteenth-century pamphlets, see P. Clemit and D. Woolls, ‘Two New Pamphlets by William Godwin: A Case of Computer-Assisted Authorship Attribution’, Studies in Bibliography, 54 (2001), 266–85. For a critical overview, see B. Vickers, ‘Review Essay: Shakespeare and Authorship Studies in the Twenty-First Century’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 54/1 (2011), 106–42, and, for a didactic response, John Burrows, ‘A Second Opinion on Shakespeare and Authorship Studies in the Twenty-First Century’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 63/3 (2012), 355–92. For a valuable demonstration of non-Shakespearian attribution work, see D. Hoover, ‘Authorial Style’ in Language and Style, ed. by D. McIntyre and B. Busse (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 250–71. Hoover, ‘Authorial Style’. Daybell, ‘Women’s Letters and Letter Writing in England 1540–1603’, p. 171. Muriel St. Clare Byrne (ed.) The Lisle Letters, 6 vols (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), IV, 229–31. Graham Williams, ‘ “Yr scribe can proove no nessecarye consiquence for you”?: The Social and Linguistic Implications of Joan Thynne’s Using a Scribe in Letters to her Son, 1607–11’ in Women and Writing, c.1340–1650: The Domestication of Print Culture, ed. by Anne Lawrence-Mathers and Philippa Hardman (York: York Medieval Press, 2010), pp. 131–45. BL, Lansd. MS, 2, fol. 46, cited in Daybell, ‘Women’s Letters and Letter Writing in England 1540–1603’, p. 172. See Woudhuysen, ‘The Queen’s Own Hand’. Evans, The Language of Queen Elizabeth I. The corpus includes the monarch’s pre- and post-accession autograph correspondence, parliamentary speeches and translations, based primarily on the manuscript originals. For a list of contents see Evans, The Language of Queen Elizabeth I; L. Antony AntConc, 3.3.0, 2011. Steven W. May (ed.), Queen Elizabeth I: Selected Works (New York: Washington Square Press, 2004), pp. xxvi–xxvii. BL, Lansd. MS, 10, fol. 213. A modernized transcription can be found in May (ed.), Queen Elizabeth I, pp. 179–80. For a comparable autograph example, see the letter to Cecil: ‘Sir Spirit, I doubt I do nickname you for those of your kind (they say) have no sense’: BL, Harley MS, 787, fol. 66a. CP 133, fol. 187. Transcribed in May (ed.), Queen Elizabeth I, p. 228. Bodl., Ashmole MS, 1729, art. 7, fol. 13. BL, Add. MS, 23240, fol. 49. See Evans, The Language of Queen Elizabeth I, Chapter 4 for a discussion of do in Elizabeth’s writing. For a broader sociolinguistic discussion of do in the period, see Arja Nurmi, A Sociolinguistic History of Periphrastic do (Helsinki: Société Néophilologique, 1999). Evans, The Language of Queen Elizabeth I; T. Nevalainen and H. Raumolin-Brunberg, Historical Sociolinguistics:Language Change in Tudor and Stuart England (London: Longman Pearson, 2003). BL, Add. MS, 23240, fol. 34: Elizabeth to James VI of Scotland, February 1586. See Daybell, ‘Female Literacy and the Social Conventions’, pp. 60–1. Vivian Salmon, ‘Orthography and Punctuation’ in The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume III: 1476–1776, ed. by R. Lass (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Mel Evans ‘A Sociolinguistics of Early Modern Spelling? An Account of Queen Elizabeth I’s Correspondence’, VARIENG: Studies in Variation,

54  Melanie Evans


34 35 36 37

38 39 40 41

42 43 44 45

46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56


Contacts and Change in English, 10 (2012), http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/journal/ volumes/10/evans [accessed 7 November 2014]. Thus, the editors of the Corpus of Early English Correspondence advise against using the corpus for spelling analysis, as the corpus was compiled using a mixture of autograph and scribal texts, drawn from manuscript and print editions. Nevalainen and Raumolin-Brunberg, Historical Sociolinguistics, p. 44. A. Baron, VARD 2.4.2 (2011). It is conventional to represent graphological data in < > brackets. A letter by Mary Grey to William Cecil offers a good example of alternative spellings of grammatical items: ‘hyt ys no smaull comforte to me to oundarstand, as i doo by my sonne’: BL, Lansd. MS, 10, fol. 140. John Bruce (ed.), Correspondence of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leycester During His Government of the Low Countries, in the Years 1585 and 1586 (London: John Bowyer Nicols and Sons, 1844). The scribal letter is preserved as BL, Cotton MS, Galba IX, fol. 167. Bruce (ed.), Correspondence of Robert Dudley, pp. vi–vii. The plural would appear to be an error. The collection documents only one autograph letter by Elizabeth, the text to Heneage discussed above. Bruce (ed.), Correspondence of Robert Dudley, p. xxxv. BL, Cotton MS, Galba C IX, fol. 76 and fol. 115, respectively. May (ed.), Queen Elizabeth I, p. xix. Giuliana Iannaccaro and Alessandra Petrina observe, for example, the cross-linguistic distribution of a ‘metaphor of the scales’ in Elizabeth’s correspondence. See ‘To and From the Queen: Modalities of Epistolography in the Correspondence of Elizabeth I’, Journal of Early Modern Studies, 3 (2014), 69–89. BL, Add. MS, 23240, fol. 140. BL, Lansdowne MS, 94, fols 84–5. Evans, The Language of Queen Elizabeth I; Nevalainen and Raumolin-Brunberg, Historical Sociolinguistics. The which is a notable feature of Elizabeth’s earliest writing, but declines in frequency after 1550. The significance of animacy for the selection of who, whom and which is consistent throughout Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence. Evans, The Language of Queen Elizabeth I. BL, Add. MS, 23240, fol. 49. Matti Rissanen, ‘Spoken Language and the History of Do-Periphrasis’, in Historical English Syntax, ed. by D. Kastovsky (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1991), pp. 321–42. The form does does not occur in Elizabeth’s autograph correspondence. BL, Add. MS, 23240, fol. 7. See also Terttu Nevalainen, An Introduction to Early Modern English (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006), pp. 90–2. Even in Modern English, -eth has associations with poetry and biblical language. See Nevalainen, An Introduction to Early Modern English, pp. 90–2. Williams, ‘ “Yr scribe can proove no nessecarye consiquence for you”?’ p. 238. BL, Add. MS, 23240, fols 61–2. BL, Add. MS, 23240, fol. 15. The letter is preserved as a scribal copy as BL, Cotton MS, Galba C VIII, fol. 27. Another copy occurs in the same volume, fol. 108. A  transcript is included in May (ed.), Queen Elizabeth I, pp. 163–4. TNA, SP 84/9, fols. 85–6. Maria Perry suggests that the queen wrote the letter ‘in her own hand and the anger still leaps from the page’, also citing BL, Cotton MS, Galba VIII, fol. 27. In my opinion, the hand bears a greater resemblance to Walsingham’s autograph than Elizabeth’s. Maria Perry, The Word of a Prince: A Life of Queen Elizabeth I from Contemporary Documents (London: Folio Society, 1990), p. 296. Bruce (ed.), Correspondence of Robert Dudley, p. 110. Bruce (ed.), Correspondence of Robert Dudley, p. xxv.

4 The materiality of early modern women’s letters James Daybell

In recent years, in response to the ‘material turn’ in literary and historical studies, attention has begun to focus on the material meanings of texts as a crucial way of reading and understanding manuscripts and printed books. Thus scholars have studied not only the physicality of texts – for example physical features such as handwriting, typography, blank space and layout – but also what has been termed the ‘sociology’ of texts, in other words the social and cultural practices of manuscript and print and the contexts in which they were produced, disseminated and consumed.1 While the majority of studies have tended to concentrate on ‘literary’ works (although not exclusively), such an approach has clearly extended to other kinds of texts, including, importantly here, early modern letters. Work on the ‘materiality’ of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century letter-writing has been on two main fronts. First, it has reconstructed the epistolary process in its entirety, from the materials, tools and technologies of writing associated with letters, methods of composition and dispatch through to reception, reading and archiving correspondence. Second, it has examined physical features and characteristics of manuscript letters – for example, paper, ink, handwriting, physical layout, signatures, seals and fastenings, and addresses and endorsements – analysing the significant meaning generated by such material forms; in other words, looking at the social signs inscribed materially within letters. A central argument of this research has been that far from being practices marginal to historical and literary inquiry, examination of material matters is crucial to understanding the complexities of early modern letters and letter-writing.2 Methodologically, then, this essay situates itself within the broader context of material approaches to early modern letters. It departs from previous work by focussing in particular on women’s letters (in comparison with men’s), investigating the degree to which physical features were inflected by a range of factors such as social status, cultural convention and social practice, as well as by gender. Elsewhere I have reconstructed the social and cultural practices of women’s letter-writing, challenging notions of women’s letters as ‘private’, domestic and apolitical and arguing that letter-writing ‘was a quotidian activity connected to the rhythms of women’s everyday lives’.3 The concern of this present essay, however, is less with this sort of ‘social materiality’ than with the meaning of physical forms and the social cues and codes embedded within them.

56  James Daybell As a way of illustrating the importance of materiality in early modern women’s letters, this essay begins by examining a single example of a letter (see Figure 4.1) which introduces several of the main themes with which it is concerned. It is a letter dating from around 1560, written from a young teenaged girl from a prominent Suffolk gentry family, Elizabeth Cornwallis (1546/7–1628) to her future motherin-law, Margaret Bourchier, Countess of Bath (1510–1561), a letter that not only displays a sophisticated range of rhetorical and material meanings but also itself functioned as a material gift or ‘token’.4 Written in an autograph hand (a personal touch) with almost calligraphic skill using faintly ruled pencil lines to guide the formation of letters, in a fashionable italic script, the letter is rendered in full here, retaining lineation and registering approximate manuscript spacing: My humble duty remembred vnto your ladiship most humly thankyng you for my fayer purse, and manny other wayes, which I am nor shalbe neuer able to recompenes. but euen as I am gretly bound (so shal) I daly pray vnto god for the preseruacyon of your good Ladiship, and serue you wiltes I liue, with as much humblenes of hart as to myn owne natural mother. Thus beseshyng your ladyshype to pardon my boldnes, in scryblyng of this rud letter, hauyng no other token worthy to send vnto your ladyshyp. but euen thes feue lynes which if it may plese you to accept. vn worthy thoue they be. I shal thinke my selfe euen as I haue ben much bound vnto you which I beseche god to geue me his grace. that I may in my callyng. by some mene recompense: and so most humbly take my leaue of your ladyship for this tyme from brome the xxvti of october: Your laddishipes to command at your plesuer Elizabeth Cornwalleys5 In line with the italic hand, the subscription and signature were rendered with flourishing loops placed deferentially in the lower right-hand corner of the page, as a sign of respect when writing to a social superior. The letter was also addressed ‘To the right honorable and my Singuler good Lady the Countesse of Bathe’ with similarly extravagant flourishes of the pen and was fastened with silk thread, a gesture of intimacy and attention (significant meaning also attached to methods of folding and sealing letters). The letter thus bears the hallmarks of a presentation manuscript or gift, and indeed Elizabeth Cornwallis styles it as such materially as well as rhetorically, referring to it as a ‘token’, having nothing else worthy to send. As the daughter of Sir Thomas Cornwallis of Brome and having been brought up and trained in the Duchess of Norfolk’s household, Elizabeth demonstrates a remarkable degree of rhetorical and material sophistication in this letter, as the protocols of the page communicate a degree of deference alongside the carefully formulated linguistic gestures of humility, which are exemplified by the

Figure 4.1 Elizabeth Cornwallis to the Countess of Bath, 25 October [1560]. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.

58  James Daybell phrase ‘pardon my boldnes in scryblyng of this rud letter’, a commonplace apology belied by the evident skill and penmanship of the writer.6 The material signs of the letter – the pencil guidelines, ornate signature, careful handwriting, careful attention to layout – and the age of Elizabeth at the point of writing all illustrate the degree to which letter-writing formed a key part of elite girls’ education, a necessary life-skill for the varied roles that they played in later life. Here the letter registers not only social differences, but also generational differences; Elizabeth was aged only 13 or 14, and was writing to a noblewoman more than 35 years her senior, a social differentiation that enforced rigid epistolary protocols. Furthermore, it suggests the ways in which the letter might function as an important pedagogical tool of socialisation, for inculcating hierarchical and gendered behavioural codes. This example of a letter functioning as a material gift itself embedded with material as well as rhetorical meanings emphasises the complex and varied nature of such artefacts and underlines the importance of attending to the materiality of early modern women’s letters as a key aspect of the way in which letter-writers communicated. In assessing the importance of physical features in understanding women’s letters, this essay concentrates on five key areas of material meaning in women’s letters: scribal status and the mechanics of composition, handwriting, paper, manuscript space and signatures. Cumulatively, analysis of these core features over a wide body of early modern correspondence across diverse archives (and comparing letters by men and women, including male correspondents writing to women) suggests three broad lines of argument. First, the essay highlights the importance of attending to the physical features of early modern women’s letters, which emerge most clearly through comparison with the range of material strategies deployed by men in letters and other texts as an enhanced mode of reading in order that meaning generated materially as well as textually and historically can be fully unpacked.7 Second, it demonstrates female conversance with sophisticated material as well as rhetorical epistolary forms and highlights the range of ways in which women played creatively with the possibilities of material signification, manipulating them to their own ends as, for example, part of deferential petitioning strategies. Finally, the essay shows the ways in which material forms in letters from men as well as women – in particular (but not exclusively) handwriting, paper use and layout of the manuscript page – were inflected by considerations of social status and gender, and, operating in accordance with other protocols of correspondence, they acted as social markers.

Scribal status, the mechanics of composition and women’s letters Any consideration of the physicality of women’s letters necessarily begins with palaeographical questions of a letter’s scribal status; in other words, what kind of letter was it in material terms: autograph, scribal, draft, rough or presentation copy, letter-book, scribally circulated or printed copy. At its most basic level, this means asking whether a letter is an ‘autograph’, penned by a woman herself, or scribal, the work of a secretary, scrivener or amanuensis. Attention to the

The materiality of women’s letters  59 mechanics of composition – who wrote letters, how and under what conditions – exposes various archetypal epistolary practices that in combination work to erode notions of early modern letter-writing as private, personal and singular. While many women wrote themselves, a significant proportion of letters were penned by amanuenses (distancing female signatories from personal writing technologies of penmanship, instead placing them in more of a managerial role) or exhibit signs of collaboration. Letters were dictated to scribes; written from notes by secretaries; constructed from templates or models by clerks; passed to family members and friends for comment; they were drafted and reworked by legal counsel and government officials.8 For some women, use of a scrivener or secretary was enforced by illiteracy, and lower levels of female writing literacy ability partly account for higher numbers of scribal letters that survive for women, but such gendered differentials are only a small part of the explanation here.9 For others (as with fully literate men), whether or not to write a letter oneself was a matter of choice influenced by circumstance and convention rather than gender. In the months after the death of her husband, Elizabeth of Bohemia’s hand disappears from her correspondence to be replaced by those of her secretaries, a sign of mourning, as well as the increasing stately role that she assumed.10 Ill-health and infirmity might also lead women (as well as men) to sit with a scribe; the messy mundanity of writing itself did not sit easily with early sixteenth-century ideas of nobility. Throughout the period, formal business correspondence and letters of petition were conventionally penned by secretaries; likewise, missives to monarchs were almost exclusively scribal, governed by the formality of occasion. By the start of James I’s reign, however, it was increasingly expected that women indite intimate and family letters with their own hands.11 Girls were enjoined to practice and hone letter-writing skills, and wives habitually corresponded with husbands personally, separated from the secretarial gaze. Outgoing correspondence might well be autograph, yet drafting and copying were often secretarial activities. The scribal and textual peculiarities of letters refigures them as potentially communal and collective rather than merely individual and exclusive, providing a more complex understanding of issues of authorship and early modern subjectivities. The epistolary process was also comprised of a series of distinct stages – writing the main body of the letter, signing, adding postscripts, encrypting, folding, sealing and fastening, addressing and endorsing – each of which could fall in a number of different orders and might be performed by an individual correspondent or by a series of different scribal hands, rendering the act of corresponding as one that was layered and interlocking. This has broad implications too in conceptualising what constitutes a woman’s letter, and definitions of ‘women’s letter-writing’ therefore must incorporate cultural writing practices that are collaborative as well as those that are personal.12 Furthermore, any new edition of an individual’s corpus of correspondence should include not only those letters that she penned (including letters penned by a secretary), those written jointly with a husband or those to which she appended a postscript, but also those received, read, endorsed, archived, carried or even went from or via a woman’s house, as in the case of Essex’s correspondence with Thomas Phelippes that went via the Countess of Essex at Barn Elms, discussed in Andrew Gordon’s essay in this volume.13

60  James Daybell In the last instance, a woman did not write or carry a letter but was an instrument in its conveyance, and in that sense was an agent in the correspondence. Such a flexible and pluralistic definition locates individual letter-writers more fully within wider cultures of correspondence, where oral and visual modes operate alongside personal and communal writing practices, and expands the range and numbers of recoverable letter texts with which women were associated. Analysis of the scribal features of early modern women’s letters highlights a complex range of surviving manuscripts of widely differing formats, some of which were never sent but preserved solely for record. This again has profound implications for how we conceptualise women’s letters and understand early modern epistolarity, challenging simplistic models of a two-way reciprocal exchange of letters actually dispatched and received. In this manner, it is thus important to be sensitive to the scribal status of women’s letter texts and the subcategories of letter that survive in archives: the original or sent letter, the rough draft, the personal copy, the ‘circular’ letter, the letter-book, the ‘scribally published’ letter.14 Where letters bear no signs of sending, they are likely to be ‘drafts’ or ‘copies’, although there is some fluidity between the two. Rough texts with crossings out and corrections were sometimes kept, labelled as copies. At other times, neat copies of outgoing correspondence were specially made for filing. Duplicate copies of original letters too assume varying forms. They were reproduced as separates (or single leaf manuscripts, usually in the form of a full sheet cut in half or folded into a bifolium) required for record-keeping. Letters were also copied as entries into Renaissance letter-books, and by the mid-seventeenth century we see the survival of women’s own letter-books, which betray gendered differences. Unlike men’s letter-books, which were connected to office and diplomacy, women’s preserved personal and family correspondence. Anne Clifford, for example, had a collection made of her mothers’ letters, and, by the eighteenth century, women such as Mary Evelyn’s great-granddaughter, Esther Masham and Lady Sarah Cowper compiled letter-books as an authorised form of family history.15 Copies of certain letters by women enjoyed rather wider circulation and were copied into early modern manuscript miscellanies. Bodleian, University MS 152 includes Elizabeth I’s letter to Lady Norris (fols 1–2) as well as ‘The Lady Alice Countesse of Derbie to Queene Anne, immediately after the death of Queen Elizabeth’ (fols 96–7). The seventeenth-century letter-book, Folger MS V.a.321, includes numerous epistolary exemplars from women, including Mary Cavendish, Mary Lady Wingfield, Marie Wither, Dorothy Moryson and possibly Elizabeth Brooke. Whether this indicates a distinct interest in women’s letters in particular is unclear; the letters appear to have been collected because of the social status of writers and recipients and the political or historical significance of the letter-writer. Letters of this nature attained a textual afterlife long after and disconnected from the moment of composition. Lady Rich’s letter to Queen Elizabeth has a rather more complex circulation history. Surviving in over 30 variant manuscript versions and published in printed form along with Essex’s Apology (1600), it was read within local reading communities, generating meaning within different contexts for political, even propagandist purposes. It was circulated contemporaneously among Essex

The materiality of women’s letters  61 supporters; copied for discussion by privy councillors; formed part of a nostalgia for Elizabethan militant Protestantism and Hispanophobia; was later consumed by those interested in salacious political intrigue; and stood as an exemplary model of female letter-writing to emulate and entertain.16 Recognition of the varying hierarchies and status of different letter texts illustrates the complexities of early modern letters and informs the ways in which individual correspondence should be read, situated and understood. Letters are not simply depositories of ‘historical fact’, windows into women’s souls or indeed vehicles capable of echoing unproblematised women’s voices down the centuries. Indeed, letters can survive in different versions, distinct from the ‘original’ (here taken to mean the text or document intended for dispatch), copied and kept or circulated for manifold purposes. The material sophistication of epistolary manuscripts complicates the ways in which we read and interpret letters as intrinsically ‘personal’, ‘private’ and ‘intimate’ and letter-writing as a straightforward one-dimensional epistolary relationship between sender and reader. It also further underlines the problems associated with reliance on modern printed editions of correspondence which fail to register manuscript conventions of the period.17

Handwriting Handwriting is one of the areas in which suppositions of material meaning around women’s letters have been so prominent, with misconceptions about what constituted a ‘woman’s’ hand (related as it often is with debates about female education and literacy, poor handwriting and false orthography). Similarly, wilder discussions of amateur graphology have led to claims of being able to detect mood and character in handwriting displayed in letters, something which Tom Davis has expertly shown are based on false premises, all of which foregrounds the importance of a material approach to letters.18 Apologies for poor handwriting – ‘scribbled lines’ – are extremely common among men as well as women, and in many cases such self-deprecatory remarks belong to a troped language of deference. Occasionally a more elaborate excuse was offered, blaming the quality of materials, ill-health, infirmity or old age. Thus, Lady Katherine Paston apologised to son William, complaining in one letter, ‘I write this as much in hast as may be: with a pen of my Cosine Cooks which I think haue writen many an indenture, it is but a bad one’ and in another added in a postscript ‘never wors pen never wors paper nor wors writer’.19 Handwriting itself clearly conveyed meaning, and by the end of the sixteenth century roman or italic script was the predominant form adopted by women (a script that also denoted social status and learning among men), although there are examples of those who learned other scripts. There is, however, no such thing as a forensically identifiable woman’s hand, and, further, it was standard practice for secretaries to be able to reproduce their mistress’s (or master’s) handwriting! Surviving letters display the enormous range of ‘hands’ written by women (by which I mean, the way in which an individual writer rendered the particular characteristics or forms of a given script), which are imbued with social signs. Differences in handwriting style reflect generational, regional and social distinctions,

62  James Daybell perhaps more than they do gendered ones. Elizabeth I had different italic hands for writing for distinct purposes, while Arbella Stuart used two separate hands for different sorts of letters. Her familiar letters and the rough drafts of her court letters were written in an informal or free italic hand, whilst in the presentation copies of her court letters she used an elegant, formal italic hand. Such examples illustrate female mastery of a range of hands and conversance with the protocols and politics of handwriting required for corresponding on different occasions. Conventional practice in letter-writing meant that although one might write to a ‘friend’ or equal in one’s own hand, it was more usual to employ a secretary for letters to social inferiors. Thus, Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke wrote herself to the Earls of Leicester and Essex (her uncle and uncle’s stepson, so perhaps not surprising); Lord Burghley and Robert Cecil; Barbara Sidney (née Gamage); and the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury (and also incidentally to Queen Elizabeth), while her letters to the Wiltshire gentleman, her neighbour John Thynne and Julius Caesar were scribal. Of five letters to Caesar, four are scribal and one is autograph, but social distance is maintained through the lack of salutation and layout of the manuscript page.20 The extent to which such handwriting practices were impacted by gender is unclear, though it may have been deemed inappropriate to write personally to a woman to whom one was unrelated or unknown. In the same way, it was considered improper to write using one’s own hand to the monarch, except in instances of great favour and intimacy, but even here the act of writing personally was a performance. The Countess of Pembroke’s missive to Elizabeth I dated 1601, for example, was transcribed in neat without the deletions and ink blots that feature in her other autograph letters, in effect operating as a presentation manuscript.21 The meaning attached to handwriting thus varied according to a range of factors, including social status, literacy and educational ability, time and circumstance. The act of writing oneself, although often practical, conveyed emotion, politeness and respect. An autograph hand, therefore, might be interpreted as a marker of affect, duty and obligation, or representing a desire for secrecy.

Paper Paper and the ways in which it was used – its size, type and quality, how it was folded and the manner of its future uses and archiving – risk being rendered invisible in a digital age where handwriting and manuscript are all more apparent in electronic images of manuscripts, although pioneering digital technology can be used to study chain lines and watermarks, which are important material features of early modern women’s letters, central to the ways in which they communicated. During the sixteenth and seventeenth century, letters were generally written on paper rather than parchment or velum, which was reserved for legal documents that needed to stand the test of time.22 Women’s requests for writing paper are occasionally glimpsed in letters: Dorothy Gamage, for example, wrote to her husband John Gamage of Kingsey, Buckinghamshire, an attorney in the Queen’s Remembrancer’s Office of the Exchequer, asking him to ‘send us some paper to write letters’.23 While her husband’s response does not survive, and we

The materiality of women’s letters  63 do not know precisely what variety of paper she meant, the request prompts a series of key questions – whether the paper stock was her husband’s choice or that he was simply purchasing her regular type – which although unanswerable are deeply connected to spousal balance of power and female agency and which in themselves suggest in a rich way the point of paper. In any case, the request itself for writing paper alongside other items of provisioning (which also included candle wax, hops, cloth and seeds) speaks of its centrality within the early modern household, intimately connected with the wife’s role in managing the household and estates during her husband’s absence. Indeed, turning to Dorothy Gamage’s surviving correspondence itself, it is clear that she regularly wrote to her husband from their home in Kingsey, Buckinghamshire, during his visits to London in 1579 and 1580.24 Written roughly on a weekly basis, the letters discuss the progress of business and estate matters, often doubling as shopping lists with detailed requests for household provisions, which is in itself suggestive of the existence of close bonds within this working partnership. That paper was a key household item for women (connected with female literacy and implicitly with conceptions of female agency) is evidenced by household accounts which reveal relatively regular purchases of paper.25 The household accounts of Margaret Spencer (d.1613), for example, record purchases of three quires of paper (12d), while those of the Roberts family of Boarzell in Sussex for the period 1568 to 1582, which were principally kept by Margaret Roberts, record payments for paper of 8d and 4s 8d, presumably for a much larger stock of paper; on a trip to London, Anne Clifford spent 3d for ‘a quier of ordynarie paper’.26 The sheets used, however, differ greatly in quality, as did the quality of paper available at the time: the best paper, according to Dard Hunter, was creamy coloured, while inferior grades were brown or grey.27 A large proportion of the letters examined also feature watermarks, which can help in dating letters, establishing type and quality of paper used and identifying where the paper was purchased.28 In exceptional circumstances – in urgency, haste, under pressure or imprisoned – letters were penned on other materials at hand. Elizabeth Wetherton wrote to her mother on a fragment of printed breviary with plainsong notation, presumably because paper was in short supply.29 The paper used was sometimes specially decorated for purposes of presentation: Anne Clifford, aged almost 9, sent a highly calligraphic missive to her father surrounded with an elaborate and colourful floral border design, and later household accounts for Anne record payment of 6d for ‘half a quier of guilt paper’, in other words, decorative gilt-edged paper.30 Likewise, Aletheia Talbot wrote a dutiful letter to Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury on paper which was also painted with coloured flowers, and tied with white silk.31 The material sites used for letter-writing are thus suggestive of the circumstances under which they were composed. Once received, women’s letters were sometimes put to other uses: the blank space or backsides of correspondence might be used to draft replies or jot notes and calculations. Several women’s letters survive among the papers of the Manchester-born astrologer John Booker (1602–1667), preserved as working papers, with nativities written on blank manuscript space of the bifolia (Figure 4.2).32 Paper was recycled and reused for

Figure 4.2 Letter from Susan Robinson to her husband, 22 October 1662, with a nativity and notes in cipher in the hand of John Booker. Reproduced by permission of The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

The materiality of women’s letters  65 different purposes. The letter, then, rather than representing a static textual space or document, acquired new accretions of meaning, significance and purpose. While quality and type of paper used might impart information about the material conditions of women’s letter-writing, the size of sheets employed is also embedded with social meaning. Size (and therefore price) of paper varied according to type, ranging from pot paper (measuring approximately 400mm by 310mm) to royal paper (c. 570 to c. 600mm by c. 440mm), with sheets sometimes cut down to form the required writing size.33 The actual size of letters, however, varied according to length of message and personal practice.34 Numerous women utilised a full sheet of paper for only half a page of writing, signifying due deference to their recipient or their own high social standing; others sought to fill the entire space, cramming the margins with information and turning over the page to continue on the backside. The letters the Earl of Essex received from his sister Dorothy and mother frequently continued horizontally into the margins, which stands as a sign of intimacy and familiarity.35 Certain women wrote on minute scraps of paper, trimming off any excess; others were impelled by urgency to write on what came easily to hand. In terms of paper, size was important: Mary, Countess of Pembroke’s brief correspondence with John Thynne extended to no more than a few lines, yet she asserted her superior status by utilising an entire sheet of paper.36 Conversely, Thomas Compton felt obliged to apologise to his mistress Lady Mary Powell for the ‘poore peece of paper’ on which his letter was written.37 Here, social status overrode gender as a category imparting material significance. Size of paper was also a matter of household economy; many of Elizabeth Bourne’s missives after her separation from her husband were penned on small pieces of paper.38 Likewise, Margaret Trew’s missives to her brother Walter Bagot were written on a cropped half sheet of paper,39 while Susannah Darnell filled entirely the pages of her letters, turning the paper on its side to append a cramped series of postscripts.40 Letters commonly ran to more than one side, which is in itself telling, indicating the prolixity of a given letter-writer and suggesting sentimental or emotional reasons for writing. Anne Hungerford wrote a letter of more than six sides in length to her female confidante, Dorothy Essex.41 Dorothy Gamage’s letters to her husband John frequently flowed over onto the other side of the paper, and Meryell Littleton’s letters to her aunt Lady Muriel Knyvett sometimes ran to more than one sheet of paper.42 Several of Lady Penelope Rich’s letters to Robert Cecil and the Earl of Southampton filled an entire page, continuing horizontally into the left-hand margin, before the paper was turned 180 degrees, with the salutation and signature in effect appearing upside down when the manuscript was the right-way up.43 The size of sheets of paper utilized for correspondence thus registered social status, format and occasion; full-sized bifolia indicate formality and wealth, while cropped sheets crammed with writing more likely represent informal epistolary moments and household economy. Up until about the mid-seventeenth century, the standard writing surface for a letter was formed from a folded folio sheet, which gave four sides on which to write. This bifolium format is the predominant sort of manuscript that survives

66  James Daybell in archives from this period, and it was generally utilised for formal business as well as more personal or family correspondence. From the middle of the century onwards, however, the size and use of paper significantly changed, whereby the folded folio sheet gave way to the folded half-sheet quarto (in other words, a full sheet of paper cut in half and folded to form four writing sides).44 While the folded folio sheet continued well into the second half of the seventeenth century for official correspondence, the newer smaller format was increasingly used for other kinds of letters and may well have been more readily utilised by female letterwriters. Certainly by the 1650s, Dorothy Osborne was employing this smaller format of paper for her letters to her future husband, William Temple: the paper for most of the letters measures approximately 200 millimetres by 300 millimetres and was folded in half to provide four writing sides, although several letters were written on substantially larger sheets of approximately 280 millimetres by 380 millimetres.45 The 1635 postal reforms which opened up the royal post to private letters charged for delivery according to distance, size of letters and numbers of sheets, which may have driven shifts in epistolary formatting. Smaller formats may also have been enabled by smaller, more angular forms of handwriting popular by the mid-seventeenth century. With the transition to the half-sheet quarto letter size, it was increasingly common for letter-writers to fill the entire page and utilise the margins for writing. Indeed, Dorothy Osborne’s letters to William Temple, written between 1652 and 1654, frequently filled every conceivable space of the page, and, on occasions where she had no room to append her signature, she would return to the first page and invert the paper in order to sign it, so that when reading the letter the signature would appear upside down above the first line.46 In sum, while paper as a household commodity was necessarily connected with women, paper size and format were related to a range of factors including social status, function and economy, as well as gender.

Layout of manuscripts and signatures Significant meaning is also attributed to the use of manuscript space in early modern letters, as shown by the work of scholars such as A.R. Braunmuller and Jonathan Gibson.47 Renaissance epistolographies outlined in some detail the conventions of material politeness to which letter-writers should adhere, and Sue Walker has shown that these prescriptions continued well into the eighteenth century.48 The layout of the manuscript page, the distance between opening modes of address and the opening line of a letter, and the placement of signatures all registered levels of deference and authority. Some scholars remain unclear though about exactly how widespread these spatial practices were among early modern correspondents, and Sara Jayne Steen has tentatively argued that ‘early modern letter-writers rarely follow Fulwood’s or Day’s or any of the letter-writing manuals, and it would be surprising if they did, so we must interpret space loosely, and again within the context of the writer’s usual practice if we can’.49 An examination of some 10,000 items of early modern correspondence by women, however, indicates that the degree to which letter-writers considered the social politics of

The materiality of women’s letters  67 manuscript space in the physical layout of their letters was in fact far more extensive than previously acknowledged. Adherence, though, is more pronounced in formal epistolary modes, such as letters of petition and condolence, or more formal occasions of writing, for example to the queen, where deviation from the social norms might cause offence. Female deference to male seniority could also register itself materially in family letters by the use of significant space: thus, Ann Hobart, writing to her uncle, Sir John Hobart, left a one centimetre gap between the mode of address (‘Good Syr’) and the start of her letter; at the end, she left space of four centimetres before signing herself ‘your assured louing nece’, yet such gestures equally applied to male members lower down the family pecking order.50 Convention deemed it appropriate, for example, to leave an honorific blank space after the closing salutation in letters to social superiors, with signatures placed in the lower right hand corner of the page as a mark of filial obedience.51 A dutiful letter penned by an 8-year-old Anne Clifford to her father, as an exercise in childhood socialization replete with the rhetoric of filial deference (a 35-word missive ‘humbly’ entreating her father for his ‘blessing’), conforms to all the stylistic and material codes of deference, with the signature placed at the bottom right hand of the page as a sign of respect.52 Writing in the early seventeenth century, Lady Elizabeth Savage wrote to her mother, the Countess Rivers, leaving customary blank space between the formal mode of address ‘Madam’ and the start of the letter, as well as blank space between her subscription ‘your La: most affectionate and obedient Daughter’ and her signature, in a letter informing her that she was to travel to Windsor with the queen and complaining of being troubled by her ‘owlde deseases cheifly the paine in my kidnies and the sharpnes of vrin wch trobles me very much’.53 Such deference is clearly registered materially in many of the letters Bess of Hardwick received from her adult daughters. A letter enclosing New Year’s gifts of cloth and ‘a drinckinge glasse’ from her daughter Frances Pierrepoint (née Cavendish) in her mid-twenties, once married, included significant space between the main body of the letter, the closing mode of address (‘your Ladyships humble and dutiful dautter’) and the signature, which was placed in the bottom right hand corner of the page, a mark of filial respect.54 She continued to deploy the material rhetoric of deferential spacing almost thirty years later in her mid-fifties when corresponding in 1603 to send her mother news of the King’s progress.55 The letters the countess received from her sons exhibit similar spatial traits: Henry Cavendish, for example, left a sizeable gap between the place and dating of his letter and the subscription, as did the countess’s son Charles; this is at least partly explained by the noble status of the parent, which may have demanded such visual signs of obedience.56 The letters of individual writers to different correspondents also reveal differing social and gender hierarchies as they are inscribed in ink. Elizabeth Knyvett’s letters to Roger Townshend and his wife, Anne, display significant spatial variations. In writing to her nephew, Elizabeth Knyvett started her letters ‘Honorable Sir’, then left an honorific space and marginal indentation before starting the main body of the letter and signing towards the right hand of the page.57 The letter to

68  James Daybell Lady Anne, however, began ‘My deare sister, I thank you most kindly’ without a line break after the opening mode of address and continued to fill the entire page, with the signature squashed in at the bottom of the page.58 Significant space was therefore used within the family and household as a marker of social status. On the whole, it was deployed in letters to senior members of the family, both male and female, but is completely lacking in correspondence between husbands and wives, which attests a degree of equality within spousal relationships.59 The letters of Margaret, Countess of Bath, for example, written during her marriage to her husband, William Bourchier, show no signs of spatial deference, and yet a surviving letter from her addressed to the Earl of Bath from the period before their match was signed leaving significant blank space after the main body of the correspondence.60 At this point she was writing to an earl of superior standing; her marriage brought her equal social standing, elevating her to a countess. The way in which letter-writers laid out the manuscript page therefore depended not only on the social status of the recipients, but also spatial practices might be modulated by their own changes in social status. While significant use of blank space to indicate deference was a marked feature of family correspondence, so too the absence of respectful gaps in women’s letters could be used to indicate social superiority or at least equality. The Countess of Pembroke wrote to John Thynne, a man well below her in social standing, leaving large areas of blank space after the signature to register her higher social standing.61 In a similar way, the incredibly social status-conscious Lady Elizabeth Russell used the layout in her letters as a way of reinforcing the social hierarchy, particularly in writing to her nephew Sir Robert Cecil. Where the prolixity of her letters permitted room and did not force her to cram initials ‘ER’ into the bottom corner or along the margin, Lady Russell squashed her signature as close as she could to the last line of the letter.62 Conversely, when writing to women of superior social standing, the deferential codes of spacing clearly applied, as can be viewed in a missive from Edward Symonds, a servant to Lady Mary Townshend, in which he referred to her reverentially as ‘Good Madam’ before leaving a vertical gap, and signing in the bottom right hand corner about six or seven lines below the closing, ‘your ladishippes allwayes reddy at command’.63 Male suitors followed similar protocols of placement in letters to female patrons: a letter from Laurence Cockson to Lady Burghley requesting her to intreat her husband in his behalf concerning his oil-making is signed in the bottom right-hand corner.64 In writing to the Countess of Bath on 18 December 1560, Sir Thomas Cornwallis utilised an entire sheet of writing paper for a fifteen-line missive returning a series of articles that she had sent him for his ‘perusal’, signing at the bottom of the page and leaving more than half a page of blank space, which he filled with diagonal hatchings. Likewise Richard Lyndall in a three-page missive to Elizabeth, Countess Rivers in 1628 left a large gap before signing his name, as did other male letter-writers corresponding with the countess, including Henry Becket.65 Women of high social status drew material courtesies too from other women of lower social standing to whom they were unrelated. Thus, the Elizabethan courtier Katherine Astley in a

The materiality of women’s letters  69 missive to Margaret, Countess of Bath offering the queen’s ‘most hartye commendacons and thanks’ for a New Year’s gift from the countess, placed the signature in the bottom right hand corner of the page. While Katherine Astley enjoyed high favour with Elizabeth, this level of intimacy and access did not preclude her from decorum in corresponding with a countess.66 Although far from universal, the use of spacing conventions and protocols of placement where they can be discerned were inflected by issues of social status, gender, intimacy, purpose and circumstance. Gender and social hierarchies were thus not only enacted through rhetorical gesture but also inflected materially through the spacing and signing of women’s letters. In this manner, the material rhetorics of the manuscript page were central to the ways in which letters communicated, as visible representations of social and gender hierarchies. Where these textual and material politics are most prominent is in women’s letters of petition, the rhetorical conventions and sophistications of which have been explored by scholars, among others, such as Lynne Magnusson, Alison Thorne and myself.67 Analysis of more than a thousand petitionary letters by women highlights the degree to which rhetorical strategies were even more elaborate when viewed in material terms, and the formal act of petitioning demanded that letter-writers master and obey certain rules of literary and material form. The use of significant space was by far the most pronounced in female petitioners’ correspondence to the monarch, where epistolary protocols were extremely rigid. In the months that followed the death at sea of her husband, the merchant and naval commander Sir John Hawkins, Margaret Hawkins petitioned the queen for clemency. The letter penned by a secretary – itself a gesture of respectful distance – employed an overtly deferential rhetoric of obeisance, pleading with the queen for mercy. In it, Lady Hawkins appealed to the monarch in all humility, claiming that when any ‘harde measure is offred mee to flye to yor Matie for relyef’ and that ‘insomuch as in this worlde I see there is nothinge but one affliction and myserye heaped vppon another, so as nexte vnder God I receave no worldlye comforte in eny thinge; but onlye in the continewaunce of yor Mats most gracious and mercyfull inclynation towardes mee’. The deferential closing mode ‘yor Mats most humble and obedient servant Margaret Hawkins’ was tucked into the bottom right-hand corner, an exaggerated spatial deference to the queen that was absent from Lady Hawkins’ surviving letters to Robert Cecil.68 In the same way, Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury’s letters to Queen Elizabeth, one of which was autograph, the other two penned by scribes, registered due deference in the signing of her letters.69 Lady Mary Wroth, in a letter to Anne of Denmark, begged the queen to intercede with King James on behalf of her husband, Sir Robert, for the grant of an estate (Loughton Manor, Essex), deploying all the niceties of manuscript arrangement befitting the recipient’s royal status. After the mode of address ‘Madam’, Lady Mary left a respectful vertical margin of blank space before starting the main body of her request and then closed her autograph letter, which ran to two sides, placing her signature in the lower right corner of the page.70

70  James Daybell This practice of deferential placement of signatures in correspondence with the monarch also extended to other royals in conditions of extremity. On the death of her husband, Francoise D’Orleans, the Princess of Condé wrote to Queen Elizabeth begging for protection of her and her six young sons and daughter, underlining her plaintiff state by placing her signature in the bottom right hand corner of the page.71 This material form of deference in extreme circumstances is also discernible in a letter from Mary, Queen of Scots dating 17 April 1586, during which period she was under close surveillance at Chartley Hall in Staffordshire under the scrutiny of Sir Amias Paulet. The autograph letter – a sign of equal standing between monarchs – was written in the month before the Babington Plot and pleaded with Elizabeth I for her ‘liberty’. In it the Scottish queen claimed that she had no desire but to unite with her son and conform in all things to the queen’s wishes, and her signature and closing address were respectfully placed in the bottom right hand corner. Arbella Stuart’s letters to Queen Elizabeth are likewise marked by these gestures of deference in signature placement.72 Such material gestures of deference are absent from exchanges between fellow monarchs James VI and Elizabeth, as well as between Philip II of Spain and Elizabeth.73 Yet writing as a princess to her half-sister Mary I, Elizabeth begged ‘with humbles of my hart’ to ‘speke’ with her, respectfully placing her signature and subscription in the bottom right hand corner of the page, carefully adding hatchings before her signature to prevent anyone filling the space with words other than her own.74 Such visual demonstrations of deference are likewise observable in Princess Elizabeth’s letters to her half-brother and king, Edward VI, and to Queen Katherine Parr.75 Moreover, manuscript spacing was also used by women for persuasive rhetorical effect in order to bolster their abject position. Thus, in 1627 the widow Barbara Godsalve approached her kinsman Roger Townshend, baronet, for assistance in the redemption of her land on which she currently dwelled. The letter was addressed ‘Worthy Sir’ in her own handwriting, with a vertical space and marginal indentation before the main body of the letter (in accordance to the prescriptions of Juan Luis Vives), with the signature placed in the bottom right hand corner of the page, perhaps a visible signal of her inferior social position and dependence upon his favour.76 In a petitionary letter to Charles I for financial assistance – a response to her husband’s wrathful behaviour after her conversion to Catholicism – Elizabeth Cary deferentially closed by placing her signature in the right-hand bottom corner of the page, ‘an appropriately humble “honorary margin” ’. In so doing, Lady Falkland respectfully registered her loyalty towards the monarch, buttressing the heartfelt claims that she was experiencing ‘extreame wants’: ‘I am heere, in an estate’, she informed Charles, ‘so miserable, as to sterue, is one of my least feares: because if I shoulde do so, and not bee guilty in it, of mine owne destruction, it were the end of my afflictions’.77 This consciousness of drawing attention to the visual marker of blank space is also found in a letter of 3 August 1602 from Mary Herbert (née Sidney), Countess of Pembroke to Robert Cecil, which appealed for his help with administrative problems relating to the Castle and borough of Cardiff. In it, Mary Herbert left a

The materiality of women’s letters  71 horizontal gap between the opening address and the first line, which she explicitly referred to as a ‘blanke’, the significance of which she expressed at the outset of the letter: Sir

Not that I can make any retorne vnto yow worthey of yow; but that this blanke may wittness what I woold had I powre to expres more then words can. A mynd more then thankefull, & a thankefullness answereable to that mynd wch thus in paper forme (since otherwise it can not present the willing desire to pay the debtt it owes) doth onely apeere before yow.78 The high blown rhetoric of gratitude and thanks expressed in this letter of friendship to Cecil is thus mirrored in the materially self-consciousness layout of the manuscript page, which she signed ‘By her whom yow have bownd ever more to acknowledg the bond’, as a gesture of service. Alongside these deferential rhetorics runs a language of friendship: the countess refers, for example, to Cecil’s ‘frendly favore’. That the letter was also autograph, signed without deferential spacing, and sealed with coloured floss works to insinuate a degree of familiarity and personal connection. The letter thus works on several levels, rhetorical as well as material. Moreover, just as strategies of abjection were a key aspect of petitioning, so too the mastery of overt materially self-conscious self-abasement – itself an indirect form of agency – could amplify the plight of a plaintiff. The fusion of this kind of visual and rhetorical obeisance is observable in another letter from the Countess of Pembroke, this time to Queen Elizabeth, written in 1601, where she beseeched her majesty to take her son, William, Lord Herbert, into her service at court. In it the countess apologised for her ‘boldness’ and styled herself as ‘the humblest of yr creturs’, a line of abject deference matched by the physical features of the letter. As when writing to Cecil, the countess again left roughly an inch and a half gap between the salutation ‘Most sacred Soueraigne’ and the body of the letter. A similar-sized gap was left in the concluding salutations between ‘yor hyghnes most bownd’, with the signature appearing in the bottom right-hand corner of the page, a sign of complete submission.79 Furthermore, material rhetorics were sometimes used in tandem with petitioning strategies that played on gender assumptions about female weakness, incapacity and frailty, arguing perhaps for a heightened and more nuanced use of deferential material forms in letters by women, though such strategies were not unknown in men, where a female-voiced rhetoric of lament might underline the desperation of a suit. In 1533, Gertrude, Marchioness of Exeter wrote to Cromwell, begging him to intercede with the king ‘most humbly’ for ‘his gratious pardon’, explaining that her association with the Nun of Kent was due to female irrationality and gullibility. She wrote ‘yt I beinge a woman hath been thus deluded by such pestilent hipocryts seinge so many well lernid & wyes persons hath been so abused’; the letter ran to a second sheet, and left an honorific gap between the last line and the subscription and signature.80 The fusion of material and rhetorical manoeuvrings is perhaps most clearly observable in a letter from Lady Mary Grey to William

72  James Daybell Cecil in which she complained of her imprisonment for marrying, in August 1565, Thomas Keys, the queen’s sergeant porter. The letter describes that she received ‘no lytell comfort’ but ‘greatte greffe’ that Cecil’s ‘earnest’ suit with the queen was unable to obtain her majesty’s ‘favour’. Lamenting the loss of the queen’s favour, Mary Grey confessed that although she deserved the ‘conterary’, having found her majesty ‘marcyfull’ she ‘trusted’ to have ‘obtayned’ her favour ‘befor thyes tyme’ and never to have lost it again. The letter continues describing herself as an ‘unhappy cretur’: but nowe I perceue that I am so unhappy a cretur as I must yett be witheout that greatte and longe desiered iuell. will it plesse god to put in her maiestes harte to forgeue and pardonn me my greatt and haynusse cryme allthoughe with as sorrowfull a hartte as euer any pour subiectte did.81 Lady Mary Grey’s letters to William Cecil after her dismissal from court indicate her use of space as a unified part of her petitioning strategy. A letter of 6 September  1566 lamenting that she had been ‘a greatte whill in the quenese maiestes desplessur’ left a large gap between the last line of the letter and the closing subscription and signature – ‘your pore frynde to comande duringe my lyffe Mary Graye’ – which was placed in the right-hand bottom corner of the letter, a visual representation of her penitent submission. Here too, her choice to sign herself with her maiden name, rather than her newly married name, Keys, was a conscious decision not to draw attention to her unpopular marriage.82 In this way, Mary Grey deployed a sophisticated and nuanced strategy of petitioning for pardon in a series of letters to William Cecil, which worked rhetorically and materially to present herself as an abject and loyal subject worthy of royal clemency.83

Conclusion What emerges from this examination of several key physical features of early modern women’s manuscript letters – scribal status, handwriting, paper, manuscript layout and significant space and signatures – is the importance of material meanings. Letters survive in various scribal formats, as dispatched correspondence, drafts and copies and as missives circulated scribally, all of which challenges our understanding of early modern women’s letters as intrinsically private, domestic and apolitical. Rules governing the material features of letters were commonplace in letter-writing manuals throughout the early modern period and well into the eighteenth century. In practice, too, conventions of spacing and layout were more widely followed than has perhaps previously been thought, although gender was often merely one factor inflected in physical forms in addition to social status and cultural and social practices. Female letter-writers demonstrated mastery of material forms, utilising different hands for distinct tasks; they utilised paper in ways that carried social meaning and deployed in innovative or particular ways the social and gender codes of spacing. Beyond this conformity to standard practices, women’s relationship with the manuscript page was sometimes more nuanced: protocols of spacing were subverted (as in Lady Rich’s appropriation of her

The materiality of women’s letters  73 husband’s letter to her brother discussed in this volume’s introduction), and even the performance of a signature could attain political resonance. Far from being practices marginal to literary and historical inquiry, these material practices are in fact crucial to understanding the complexities and agency of early modern women’s letters and letter-writing. Moreover, concentrating on the physical features of women’s letters not only demonstrates women’s use of material rhetorics in a range of ways but also suggests that certain material rhetorics, especially those connected to petitioning (and women’s self-presentation as abject and deserving suitors) are arguably inherently prone to greater and more nuanced use by women because of the more indirect forms of agency they deploy in correspondence. Thus, a study of female uses of material rhetorics shows us more than looking at them in isolation – in other words not only how good women are at wielding them – but also it helps us to understand the material rhetorics themselves.

Notes 1 D. F. McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986; 1999), pp. 13, 8; Roger Chartier, ‘Meaningful Forms’, TLS, Liber, 1 (October 1989). See also G. Thomas Tanselle, ‘Textual Criticism and Literary Sociology’, Studies in Bibliography, 44 (1991), 83–143; Jerome J. McGann, A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983); D. C. Greetham, Textual Scholarship: An Introduction (New York and London: Garland, 1994); Philip Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972); Roger Chartier (ed.), The Culture of Print: Power and Uses of Print in Early Modern Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989). See also Peter Beal, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and Their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998); Noel J. Kinnamon, ‘Recent Studies in Renaissance English Manuscripts (1996–2006)’, ELR, 38/2 (2008), 356–83, ‘Recent Studies in Renaissance English Manuscripts’, ELR, 27/2 (1997), 281–326. 2 On material approaches to letters, see James Daybell, The Material Letter in Early Modern England: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practices of Letter-Writing, 1512–1635 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); Alan Stewart, Shakespeare’s Letters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), Chapter  1; A.R. Braunmuller, ‘Accounting for Absence: The Transcription of Space’, in New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, ed. by W. Speed Hill (Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1993), pp. 47–56; Jonathan Gibson, ‘Significant Space in Manuscript Letters’, The Seventeenth Century, 12/1 (1997), 1–9; Sara Jayne Steen, ‘Reading Beyond the Words: Material Letters and the Process of Interpretation’, Quidditas, 22 (2001), 55–69; A. Brodie, ‘Correspondence: The Materiality and Practice of Letter-Writing in England, 1650–1750’ (V&A/ RCA MA History of Design, unpublished dissertation, 2002). For the Victorian period see, Nigel Hall, ‘The Materiality of Letter-Writing: A Nineteenth Century Perspective’ in Letter-Writing as Social Practice, ed. by David Barton and Nigel Hall (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1999), pp. 83–108. 3 James Daybell, Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Daybell, ‘Letters’ in Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Women’s Writing, ed. by Laura Knoppers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 181–93. 4 Elizabeth married the countess’s son from her first marriage, Sir Thomas Kitson (1540–1603) in December  1560: Joy Rowe, ‘Kitson Family (per. c.1520–c.1660)’, ODNB. 5 CUL, Hengrave MS, 88/3/81: Elizabeth Cornwallis to the Countess of Bath, 25 October [1560].

74  James Daybell 6 Rowe, ‘Kitson Family’; CUL, Hengrave MS, 88/3/81. 7 On the materiality of early modern women’s manuscript writings see, for example, Victoria E. Burke, ‘Let’s Get Physical: Bibliography, Codicology, and SeventeenthCentury Women’s Manuscripts’, Literature Compass, 4/6 (2007), 1667–82; Margaret J. M. Ezell, ‘Elizabeth Delaval’s Spiritual Heroine: Thoughts on Redefining Manuscript Texts by Early Women Writers’, EMS, 3 (1992), 216–37; Patricia Pender and Rosalind Smith (eds), Material Cultures of Early Modern Women’s Writing (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). 8 James Daybell, ‘Women’s Letters and Letter-Writing in England, 1540–1603: An Introduction to the Issues of Authorship and Construction’, Shakespeare Studies, 27 (1999), 161–86. 9 On female literacy see, David Cressy, Literacy and the Social Order: Reading and Writing in Tudor and Stuart England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), p. 128. Cressy estimates that only 1% of women could sign their names in 1500, compared with 10% of men. By the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign, some 5% of women and 20% of men are thought to have been able to sign, which rose to 8% of women and 27% of men by 1600. Figures increased to 10% female literacy by 1640, compared to 30% male literacy: Ibid., pp. 176–7. See also, James Daybell, ‘Interpreting Letters and Reading Script: Evidence for Female Education and Literacy in Tudor England’, History of Education, 34/6 (2005), 695–716; Carol L. Winkelmann, ‘A Case Study of Women’s Literacy in the Early Seventeenth Century: The Oxinden Family Letters’, Women and Language, 19/2 (1996), 14–20; Jacqueline Eales, ‘Female Literacy and the Social Identity of the Clergy Family in the Seventeenth Century’, Archaeologia Cantiana, 133 (2013), 67–81. 10 Nadine Akkerman (ed.), The Correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia: Volume II 1632–1642 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 3. 11 James Daybell, ‘The Social Conventions of Women’s Letter-Writing in England, 1540–1603’, in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450–1700, ed. by James Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 59–76. 12 For an innovative approach to studying women’s agency in collaborative letters, see the essay by Melanie Evans in the present volume. 13 Such an approach to letter corpora has been pioneered by Christopher Burlinson and Andrew Zurcher in their exemplary Edmund Spenser: Selected Letters and Other Papers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) and followed by the Bess of Hardwick Correspondence Project: Bess of Hardwick’s Letters: The Complete Correspondence, c.1550–1608, ed. by Alison Wiggins, Alan Bryson, Daniel Starza Smith, Anke Timmermann and Graham Williams, University of Glasgow, web development by Katherine Rogers, University of Sheffield Humanities Research Institute, http://www. bessofhardwick.org [accessed 15 September 2014]. 14 Guillén distinguishes at least seven kinds of writing associated with the letter: the neoLatin prose letter, the vernacular prose letter, the neo-Latin verse epistle, the vernacular verse epistle, the tradition of the theory of the letter, practical manuals for letterwriting, and letters inserted within other genres: Claudio Guillén, ‘Notes Toward the Study of the Renaissance Letter’, in Renaissance Genres: Essays on Theory, History and Interpretation, ed. by Barbara Kiefer Lewalski (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 70–101. 15 Kendal RO, Hothfield MSS, WD/Hoth/Box  44 (Anne Clifford); Newberry Library, Chicago, Case MS.  E5.M 3827 (Letters from Relations to Esther Masham Book 1, 1722); Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, Panshanger MSS, D/EP F228–235: Lady Sarah Cowper’s ‘Family books’, 1692–1737, which included political and personal documents relating to her father and mother. 16 James Daybell, ‘Women, Politics and Domesticity: The Scribal Publication of Lady Rich’s Letter to Elizabeth I’, in Women and Writing, c.1340–c.1650: The Domestication

The materiality of women’s letters  75


18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25


27 28

29 30 31 32


of Print Culture, ed. by Anne Lawrence-Mathers and Phillipa Hardman (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2010), pp. 111–30. Several recent editions have sought to represent in print the material aspects of early modern letters: The Collected Works of Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, ed. by Margaret P. Hannay, Noel J. Kinnamon and Michael G. Brennan, 2 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), vol. 1 and Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland: Life and Letters, ed. by Heather Wolfe (Tempe, AZ and Cambridge: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Renaissance Texts from Manuscripts, 2001). Tom Davis, ‘The Analysis of Handwriting: An Introductory Survey’, in The Book Encompassed: Studies in Twentieth-Century Bibliography, ed. by Peter Davison (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 57–68 (p. 68). The Correspondence of Lady Katherine Paston, 1603–1627, ed. R. Hughey (Norfolk Record Society, 14, 1941), p. 92 [Early April 1626?], p. 83 [Late April 1625?]. Collected Works of Mary Sidney, 1, pp. 285–98; Steven W. May, ‘Two Unpublished Letters by Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke’, EMS, 9 (2000), 88–97; BL, Add. MS, 12503, fols.39r-40v. Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, CP 90/147; Collected Works of Mary Sidney, 1, p. 291. Daybell, The Material Letter, pp. 32–7. TNA, SP 46/60/31: 11 May 1580. The remaining letters from Dorothy to her husband include: TNA, SP 46/60/1, 8–8d, 10, 12, 13–14, 15, 17, 19–19d, 21–21d, 23–23d, 25, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42–42d. A letter also survives from John Gamage to his wife: TNA, SP 46/60/2. See also, Allan Stevenson, ‘Paper as Bibliographical Evidence’, Library, 17 (1962), 197–212; Thomas Tanselle, ‘Paper as Bibliographical Evidence’ in his Selected Studies in Bibliography (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1979), pp. 203–43. On the relative affordability of paper see: Heather R. Wolfe, ‘ “Item: for a paper book bought at London for the steward”: Paper Circulation in Early Modern England’, (Unpublished Paper, Renaissance Society of America Conference, Washington, DC, 2012). BL, Add. MS, 62092, fol.1r: account book for personal expenses of Margaret Spencer (d. 1613), 1610–1613. Robert Tittler (ed.), ‘Accounts of the Roberts Family of Boarzell, Sussex, c. 1568–1582’, Sussex Record Society, 71 (1977–79), pp. xvi, 71, 73, 78; Beinecke, MS b.27: Anne Clifford’s Account Book, 1600–1602. Dard Hunter, Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1947), p. 224. Charles Moïse Briquet, Les Filigranes. Dictionnaire Historique des Marques du Papier dès Leur Apparition vers 1282 Jusqu’en 1600. Avec 39 figures dans le texte et 16,112 fac-similés de filigranes, 4 vols. (Paris: A. Picard & Fils, 1907). See also, A.H. Stevenson, Observations on Paper as Evidence (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 1961); Stevenson., ‘Paper as Bibliographical Evidence’. TNA, SP 46/24/91: [temp. Mary I/Eliz I]. Proud Northern Lady: Lady Anne Clifford 1590–1676 (Kendal Record Office, 1990; Exhibition catalogue), p.  43; Beinecke, MS  b.27: Anne Clifford’s Account Book, 1600–02, unfoliated, 8/11/1602. David N. Durant, Bess of Hardwick: Portrait of a Dynast (London: Peter Owen, 1977; rev. ed. 1999), pp. 217, 245 n.2. Bodl., Ashmole 180, fol. 101r (Susan Robinson to her husband, 22 October 1662, with a nativity and notes in cipher in the hand of John Booker). See also, Bodl., Ashmole MS, 240, fols. 223r-24v (Katherine Greene to John Booker, 7 September 1648); fol. 231r-v: Dorothy Dunkin to John Booker, n.d. Bernard Capp, ‘Booker, John (1602– 1667)’, ODNB. John Bidwell, ‘French Paper in English Books’, in The Cambridge History of the Book, IV, 1557–1695, ed. by John Barnard and D. F McKenzie (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp.  583–601 (p.  590); Mark Bland, A Guide to Early Printed

76  James Daybell


35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63

Books and Manuscripts (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010), pp. 26–7; Hunter, Papermaking, p. 229. Muriel St Clare Byrne argues that uniform sheets of paper were usually 12 1/2 x 16 1/2 or 17 inches, which folded in half made a four-page letter, or cut in half provided a single sheet of 12 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches: The Lisle Letters, 6 vols (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1981), pp. ii, 103. Warwickshire RO, Warwick, MI 229, Devereux Letter Book. Longleat House, Wiltshire, Thynne Papers, VI, fols 280r, 311r: 27 September 1603, 1 October 1595. Folger MS, X.c.51 (39): 14 March 1633. Compton’s letter was approximately ‘onequarter of a standard-size letter’: Alan Stewart and Heather Wolfe, Letterwriting in Renaissance England (Washington, DC: Folger Shakespeare Library, 2004), p. 51. BL, Add. MS, 23212, passim. Folger, Bagot MS, L.a.900: 30 April [1614?]. TNA, SP 46/24/224: [temp. James I]. TNA, SP 15/18/19: 25 March 1570. TNA, SP 46/60/8–8d, 10–11, 13–14, 19–19d, 21–21d, 23–23d, 42–42d (Dorothy Gamage to John Gamage); BL, Egerton MS, 2715, fols., 93, 96, 101, 114, 129, 194, 300–301 (Meryell Littleton to Lady Muriel Knyvett). CP 103/50: Lady Rich to Robert Cecil: [before 13 May] 1603; CP 101/25: Lady Rich to the Earl of Southampton, 9 July 1603. H. R. Woudhuysen, ‘The Early Modern Letter: Shapes and Forms’ (Paper at the ‘Material Readings in Early Modern Culture, 1550–1700’, Conference, University of Plymouth, 11 April 2008). Dorothy Osborne, Letters to Sir William Temple, ed. by Kenneth Parker (London: Penguin, 1987), p. 19; Robbie Glen, ‘Lines of Affection: Dorothy Osborne and Women’s Letterwriting in the Seventeenth Century’ (Unpublished PhD. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2007), pp. 86–7. BL, Add. MS, 33975, passim; Letters to William Temple, p. 19. Braunmuller, ‘Accounting for Absence’; Gibson, ‘Significant Space’. Sue Walker, ‘The Manners on the Page: Prescription and Practice in the Visual Organisation of Correspondence’, HLQ, 66/3&4 (2003), 307–29. Steen, ‘Reading Beyond’, p. 63 BL, Egerton MS, 2715, fol. 94: 10 June [1608]. William Fulwood, Enimie of Idlenesse (1568), sig. B2v. Proud Northern Lady, p. 43: 31 January 1598. CUL, Hengrave MS, 88/2/133. Folger, Cavendish-Talbot MSS, X.d.428 (67): Frances Pierrepoint to Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury, [c.1575]. Folger, X.d.428 (68): Frances Pierrepoint to Elizabeth Talbot, Dowager Countess of Shrewsbury, [1603]. Folger, X.d.428 (11): 31/12/1605 (Henry Cavendish); X.d.428 (4, 5, 6), 6 November [c.1585], 18 June [c.1600], [c.1600] (Charles Cavendish); X.d.428 (8): 27 June [1589] (Grace Cavendish). Folger, Bacon/Townshend MSS, L.d.384, L.d.387 (to Roger Townshend, n.y., 29 December 1626). Folger, L.d.395, 14 September [1626]. In fact, I  have not encountered a single example of letters from wives to husbands employing this form of deferential signing. CUL, Hengrave MS 88/1/9: Margaret Long to Earl of Bath, 27 August n.y. Cf. Hengrave MS 88/1/19, 22, 35, 40, 48, 54, 63, 65. May, ‘Two Unpublished Letters’. CP 43 fol. 34; Lady Elizabeth Russell to Sir Robert Cecil, 1 August 1596. Folger, L.d.581: Edward Symonds to Lady Mary Townshend, 9 June 1621.

The materiality of women’s letters 77 64 BL, Lansdowne MS, 28, fol. 52: 23 July 1579. 65 CUL, Hengrave MSS, 88/1/160, 88/2/124: Richard Lyndall to Elizabeth Savage, Countess Rivers, 1 September 1628. See also, 88/2/129. John Walter, ‘Savage, Elizabeth, suo jure Countess Rivers (1581–1651)’, ODNB. Hengrave 88/2/151. 66 CUL, Hengrave MS, 88/1/143; Charlotte Merton, ‘Astley, Katherine (d. 1565)’, ODNB. 67 Lynne Magnusson, ‘A Rhetoric of Requests: Genre and Linguistic Scripts in Elizabethan Women’s Suitors Letters’ in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450– 1700, ed. by James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 51–66; James Daybell, ‘Scripting a Female Voice: Women’s Epistolary Rhetoric in Sixteenth-Century Letters of Petition’, Women’s Writing, 13/1 (2006), 3–20; James Daybell, ‘The Rhetoric of Friendship in Sixteenth-Century Women’s Letters of Intercession’, in Rhetoric, Gender, Politics: Representing Early Modern Women’s Speech, ed. by Jennifer Richards and Alison Thorne (London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 172–90; Alison Thorne, ‘Women’s Petitionary Letters and Early Seventeenth-Century Treason Trials’, Women’s Writing, 13/1 (2006), 21–37. 68 CP 42/48: Margaret Hawkins to [the Queen], 16 July 1596; Basil Morgan, ‘Hawkins, Sir John (1532–1595)’, ODNB. CP 36/76, CP 42/81: Margaret Hawkins to Sir Robert Cecil, 12 December 1595, 24 July 1596, 69 CP 9/62, fols 101–2 (17 March 1577/8), CP 135/112, fol. 146r-v (9 January 1602/3), CP 135/127, fols 165–6 (29 January 1602/3). 70 CP 130/174: Lady Mary Wroth to Queen Anne [before 30 June 1612]. 71 TNA, SP 70/106, fol. 109: Princess of Condé to Queen Elizabeth, 12 April 1569. See also, SP 70/106, fol. 109 (The Princess of Orange to the Queen, 2 June  1577); SP 83/21, fol. 101 (The Princess of Chimay to the Queen, 31 May/10 June  1584);  SP 78/18, fol. 313 (The Princess of Bouillon to the Queen, 10/20 August 1588). 72 CP 135/146 (19 February/March 1602/3). 73 See for example CP 134/3, CP 133/185, CP 133/188. 74 TNA, SP 11/4, no. 2 (2): Princess Elizabeth to Queen Mary Tudor, 17 March 1554. 75 See, for example BL, Cotton Vespasian F/III, fol.48 (Princess Elizabeth to Edward VI, n.d.); SP 10/2, fol.84c (Princess Elizabeth to Queen Catherine, 1547). Cf. SP 10/5, fol.8a (Princess Elizabeth to Somerset, 1548). 76 Folger, L.d.305: 12/4/1627. Vives noted in his De conscribendis epistolis (1534), ‘nowadays it is customary to leave a blank space between the salutation and the letter itself, wider or narrower according to the rank of the person to whom it is written. One may call it, if you wish, the honorary margin’: De conscribendis epistolis (1534), ed. by Charles Fantazzi (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1989), p. 91 77 SP 16/63/89: 18/5/1627. Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland: Life and Letters, p. 40. 78 Ibid., 94, fol. 106. See also Ibid., 55, fol. 81, 29 September 1597. 79 CP 90/147: Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke to Queen Elizabeth, endorsed 1601. 80 TNA, SP 1/80 fol. 116: Gertrude, Marchioness of Exeter to Cromwell, 1533. 81 TNA, SP 12/38/15: Lady Mary Grey to Sir William Cecil, 16 December 1565. 82 TNA, SP 12/40/61: 6 September 1566. Cf. SP12/41/37, 2 December 1566. Interestingly, in none of her letters to Cecil does Lady Mary sign her surname as ‘Keys’, an act of defiance unlikely to have done her any favours. 83 See also, SP 12/37, fol. 179; SP 12/38, fol. 100; SP 12/39, fol. 174; SP 12/40, fol. 136; SP 12/40, fol. 146; SP 12/42, fol. 113; SP 12/81, fol. 103; BL, Lansd. MS, 8 fols, 179, 181; Lansd. MS, 10, fol. 140.

This page intentionally left blank

Part II

Voices of authority Letters of counsel and advice

This page intentionally left blank

5 Women as counsellors in sixteenth-century England The letters of Lady Anne Bacon and Lady Elizabeth Russell Gemma Allen When Lady Anne Bacon’s 34-year-old son returned to England in 1592, after a twelve-year absence, she wrote him a long letter full of guidance. ‘This one cheffest cownsell your christian  & naturall mother doth geve yow even before the lorde,’ she stated to Anthony, ‘that Above all worldely respects yow carie yourself ever at your first coming as one that doth unfeinedly profess the tru Religion of Christ’.1 She was clear not only that Anthony should demonstrate his godly credentials on his return but also about the need for her to offer him spiritual advice. ‘Remember yow have no father’, she told him, referring to the death of Sir Nicholas Bacon, thirteen years earlier, ‘and yow have litle inowgh, yf not too litle Regarded your kinde & no symple mother’s holsome advyse from time to time’. Anne’s counsel was offered as a maternal responsibility, but she feared it would be mocked, or worse, ignored. The correspondence of her sister, Lady Elizabeth Russell, reveals similar concerns; she questioned whether her nephew, Sir Robert Cecil, had received one of her letters of advice, for she failed to receive a response.2 How the sisters attempted to counteract such dismissal of their epistolary counsel is the central concern of this essay. Recent scholarship has focused on the strategies women used in another type of persuasive letter, the suitor’s letter. Lynne Magnusson has explored women’s use of ‘social scripts’ in petitionary correspondence, ranging from ‘humility and entreaty’ to ‘supposal and assurance’, whilst James Daybell has revealed women’s utilisation of specifically gendered rhetorical tropes in their letters of request, such as the emphasis of feminine weakness.3 There has, however, been little consideration of the construction of women’s letters of counsel. Female advice-giving in sixteenth-century England was widely discouraged, in the form of letters, print or even speech. As mothers, women were allowed to adopt circumscribed teaching roles, both in life and in the form of written maternal counsel; published mother’s advice books became popular from the early seventeenth century.4 Nevertheless, the prescriptive literature was unequivocal about the limits to women adopting the position of advisor over their male contemporaries. Thomas Elyot denounced female teaching of men after the age of 7 in The Boke Named Governour (1531), and, eight years earlier, Juan Luis Vives had been more explicit, drawing on St  Paul’s injunctions concerning female silence, writing ‘a woman should not teach, lest she hath taken a false opinion and belief of any thing’.5 Women seeking

82  Gemma Allen to advise through their letters thus needed to use persuasive strategies in their correspondence if they were to be accepted as counsellors to men, in doing so adopting the role of teacher. The extant correspondence of Lady Anne Bacon and Lady Elizabeth Russell allows a detailed exploration of how one group of sixteenthcentury women crafted their letters of counsel for maximum effect. Anne and Elizabeth had an advantage over the majority of their female contemporaries when it came to composing their letters: they were part of the select group of Tudor women allowed access to formal, humanist learning. Two of the five daughters of Sir Anthony Cooke, they were educated in classical and modern languages by their father.6 Perhaps facilitated by their unusual education, the sisters married influential members of the Elizabethan elite. In 1545, the eldest Cooke sister, Mildred, wed William Cecil, who would become Elizabeth I’s Principal Secretary and later Lord Treasurer, whilst Anne in 1553 married Nicholas Bacon, who would become Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. Elizabeth married first the diplomat and translator Thomas Hoby in 1558 and later John, Lord Russell, heir to the earldom of Bedford, in 1574. The two other Cooke sisters, Margaret and Katherine, also made influential matches, marrying, respectively, Hertfordshire landowner Ralph Rowlett in 1558 and diplomat Henry Killigrew in 1565. Compared to their sisters, Anne and Elizabeth’s letters survive in remarkable numbers, particularly from the 1590s when both women were widowed.7 In their extant letters, the sisters are often found advising male family members. Elizabeth frequently counselled her nephew, Robert Cecil, by letter, particularly after he became Principal Secretary in 1596. The greatest number of surviving letters of advice are those written by Anne to her son, Anthony. Presumably she wrote guidance for her other son, Francis Bacon, as he acknowledged receiving her words of counsel, but those letters to Francis that are extant contain little advice.8 Yet the sisters did advise men outside of the family; there is an extant letter of advice written by Elizabeth to Peregrine Bertie, Lord Willoughby, whilst Anne counselled members of the Essex circle by letter, including the Earl of Essex himself. Anne and Elizabeth were able to turn to their humanist education for strategies to bolster their advice, particularly on issues of politics and religion, the most contentious areas for female counsel. Humanist thinkers taught that the provision of counsel was a primary duty for early modern men, with Sir Thomas Elyot concluding that the ‘end of all doctrine and study is good counsel’.9 Study of classical and scriptural texts would provide male students with the moral, political and rhetorical skills necessary to become authoritative public servants. In its most ambitious formulation, this education thus aimed to equip men to advise their monarch to ‘govern with the better advice’, although educated men had a duty to counsel more widely, advising in their capacities as local magistrates and judges, as preachers and even in the context of the household.10 Letters were perceived as one of the spaces in which men could and should offer counsel to other men; Erasmus argued that letters of advice had a ‘twofold purpose’, to point out the fault that needed correction and also to provide a course of action ‘to one that does not know what should be done, as if he did know’.11 Despite some reappraisal of the political implications of Elizabeth Tudor’s humanist education in recent years,

Women as counsellors  83 modern scholarship has largely dismissed the political utility of a humanist education for early modern women beyond the throne.12 Whilst previous analyses of Anne’s letters have sensitively considered the social and material contexts of her epistolary exchanges, her skilled use of classical learning in order to influence the reception of her advice has received little attention; Elizabeth’s use of her humanist education in her letters of advice has likewise not received close analysis.13 The contention of this essay is that the demonstration of various types of learning was used to strategic effect by the sisters in their letters in order to bolster their political and religious counsel.

I One of the most practical effects of a humanist education for the sisters was that it provided a measure of epistolary privacy. Contentious information was often excluded from early modern letters, as correspondence could be read by prying eyes.14 The sisters were aware of the insecure nature of their letters. Anne repeatedly included injunctions to burn her letters after reading.15 Elizabeth even refused to replicate on paper the libels she had heard circulating regarding their nephew, Robert Cecil, in 1599, instead stating that she would inform him of them at their next meeting.16 To hide such information, particularly from the bearer of the letter, it was necessary to adopt some form of code. Knowledge of Greek was still rare even among the elite at the end of the sixteenth century.17 The Edwardian diplomat Richard Morison therefore turned to transliteration, using Greek letters in place of Roman characters, to encode names in his official correspondence, in case of interception.18 There was thus precedent for Anne’s decision similarly to turn to her knowledge of the Greek alphabet to conceal political counsel in her correspondence, as exemplified in a letter to Anthony from April 1595: Beware in eny wyse of the lord H. O(ouarde [Howarde], he is a dangerous intelligencyng man. no dowt a subtile papist inwardly & lieth in wayte. Peradventure he hath some close working with Standon [Standon]  & the Spaniarde [Spaniarde]  .  .  .  he wyll bewray yow to diverse and to your Aounte Roussel [Awnte Roussel] among. The duke had ben alyve but by his practising & styll soliciting hym to the Dukes undoing and the Earle of Aroundel=e [Earle of Aroundele].19 This was not a foolproof system, but it did give some level of protection from prying eyes. Her classical education not only provided Anne with the opportunity of transliteration but also allowed her to conceal whole sentences of her own political counsel within her correspondence. On his return from the Continent in 1592, Anne warned Anthony of the danger from the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Whitgift; however, she chose to conceal what was a damning indictment. Thus she wrote in Greek, stating in that language that since Whitgift had been made councillor, ‘e)sti\ a)polei&a th~s ekklhsias meq h(mw~n, filei= gar thn e9autou~ docan pleon ths dochs tou~ xri/stou’ (he is destruction of the Church among

84  Gemma Allen us, for he loves his own glory more than the glory of Christ).20 Similarly, she turned to Greek in July of that year when warning Anthony not to lose the friendship of his uncle, Lord Burghley, by then Lord Treasurer.21 Anne’s letters provide an insight first into the sort of political and religious material which sixteenth-century women were uncomfortable committing to paper and, second, reveal that a humanist education offered one method of seeking epistolary privacy. Without such learning, other early modern women offering counsel needed alternative codes to hide their advice. Anne Percy, the Countess of Northumberland, for example, used ciphers in her correspondence from exile in 1576.22 The comparable advantage of Anne’s method was that it did not need to be prearranged, relying only on the shared educational background between her and her male recipient.

II The sisters’ education was of greater import to their epistolary counsel than simply providing a method of concealment. They had access to the works of the classical rhetoricians as well as contemporary epistolary manuals.23 Following classical principles, Renaissance rhetoricians taught that it was not enough to possess wisdom and to offer valuable advice; the epistolary counsellor instead needed to master the rhetorical strategies necessary to put their message across effectively and persuasively. In his letter-writing manual, De conscribendis epistolis (1522), Erasmus echoed classical guidance, suggesting that the writer of epistolary advice should establish some form of ‘authority’ over his correspondent, drawing on the ‘advantage in years, in which we far outstrip him, or breadth of experience, in which he cannot yet be our equal by reason of age, or long study, in which we have been engaged over many years, while he is only entering upon it’.24 Such advice was directed at male counsellors, but the lessons were also learnt by Anne and Elizabeth, for they highlighted their experience for strategic effect in their epistolary counsel. Elizabeth emphasised her experience, having long been, in her words, ‘a Coortier and a parlament woman’.25 For example, when petitioning Robert Cecil to support William Day in his refusal of the bishopric of Worcester, she counsels him to be ‘no doer for feare of afterclapps by her majesties indignation’.26 In advising Lord Peregrine Willoughby to put aside his marital disagreements with his wife and to return with her to court, she again highlights her political experience as legitimising her advice; in particular, she notes her knowledge of the queen’s long-standing regard for his wife, Lady Mary Willoughby, with whom the queen would often speak privately.27 Anne, however, makes the greatest reference to her long-term experience of the court in her letters to her son, Anthony. In August 1595, she turned to past knowledge when warning Anthony against involvement with the Countess of Warwick: ‘upon advise & some Experience, I wolde earnestly cownsell yow to be ware & circumspect & not be to open nor wylling to prolong speche with the cowntess of Warwick. She after her Fathers fashion wyll search & sownd & lay upp with diligent marking’.28 Not only is Anne’s counsel based on her long acquaintance with Anne Dudley, the

Women as counsellors  85 Countess of Warwick, but also on her knowledge of her father, Francis Russell, the Earl of Bedford. As the widow of a privy councillor and the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Anne was explicit that she had valuable experience of the political arena: ‘I think for my long attending in coorte & A cheeff cownsellours wyffe few preclarae feminae meae sortis [distinguished women of my sort] are able or be Alyve to speak & judg of such proceadings & worldly doings of men’.29 Her reference to ‘preclarae feminae meae sortis’ is telling. Instead of viewing their educational potential as marginalised and silenced, Anne unequivocally depicts herself and the small circle of classically educated women as successful participants in the humanist tradition of learning, enabled thus to ‘speak & judg of such proceadings & worldly doings of men’. Thus, when she defends the value of her epistolary advice against what she perceives as indifference from her sons, she turns to her Latin, stating angrily ‘matris monita nihil estimantur’ (your mother’s warnings are estimated as nothing) and ‘Haud inane est quod dico’ (what I say is not foolish).30 Underpinning her usage of classical languages to emphasise key points in her advice is the perception that her humanist education qualifies her, unusually for a woman, to extend counsel, particularly regarding political matters. Such considerations lie behind Anne and Elizabeth’s use of sententiae in their epistolary counsel. Humanist training in this period encouraged the collection of pithy moral axioms or sententiae from classical and biblical works, which could then be recorded in commonplace books. The sisters’ humanist education under their father would have equipped them for the collection of sententiae, and although no commonplace books belonging to the sisters are still extant, we know that their learned female contemporaries did collect sententiae. Lady Mary Fitzalan presented her father, the earl of Arundel, with three small volumes of sententiae as successive New Year gifts, both before and after her marriage in 1554.31 Their male contemporaries were taught the political utility of such sententiae. These moral axioms were intended to provide the basis for future debates. Erasmus noted such phrases provided ‘extremely useful ammunition for the future speaker’.32 His suggestion in De conscribendis epistolis was reflective of the prevailing wisdom regarding the use of sententiae in epistolary counsel, for Erasmus argued for the use of ‘many sayings and examples from the approved authors, particularly those who hold the most authority for the person we are advising’.33 The advantage sententiae offered the sisters can be seen in Anne’s letters of counsel to her son from August  1595. Anthony had decided to move into the Earl of Essex’s house on London’s Strand, after a short residence in Chelsea. His mother was opposed to the move from its inception. She wrote to Anthony on 15 August, saying that, from experience, it would only lead to ‘some encrease of suspition & disagreement which may hurt yow privetly yf not publikly or both by all lykeliods [likelihoods]’; her vehemence is highlighted by her recourse to Latin, for she laments ‘crede mihi fili’ (believe me son).34 Yet the letter had little effect. She wrote again on 20 August 1595, saying that she could not ‘put the trouble some feare owt of my mynde yet’. However, this time she presented her counsel to Anthony in the form of sententiae: ‘verses have come to my remembrance thinking of your purpose. long forgotten but now fresh. the one rather A proverbiall

86  Gemma Allen cownsel then A verse. which is as I have sene it by fyrst syllable onely sett down thus. Ni= Fa= pa= con=’.35 The proverb to which Anne is here alluding is Nimia familiaritas parit contemptum (Too much familiarity breeds contempt), supposedly from the writings of Publilius Syrus, and so from the outset, she is highlighting that her counsel corresponds with that of classical, male writers.36 Her letter then goes on to reinforce the truth of this maxim by reference to a line from Horace’s Epistles, ‘Dulcis inexperto cultura potentis amici’ (Those who have never tried think it pleasant to court a friend in power).37 Significantly, however, Anne does not finish the sententia, trusting in her son’s learning to supply the crux of the maxim, ‘expertus metuit’ (The one who has tried it, fears it). In both cases, it is left to Anthony to ‘fill in the blanks’ from his own classical education, to recognise the actual proverb cited and complete the sententia in order to understand his mother’s message. Anne’s use of classical citations therefore works to highlight the congruence of her counsel with classical, male wisdom and to stress the shared humanist education of female counsellor and male reader, legitimating her right to offer her son the fruits of her learning. Once that context has been established, Anne then offers Anthony more explicit advice in the vernacular, telling him ‘Every thing yow do shalbe spoken & noted abroad & yourself browght as it were into A  kinde of Bondag where now yet free. many many wylbe the unqwiet & Hurtfull molestations’.38 Elizabeth relied even more heavily on classical citation in her letters. A  letter written in October 1599 to her nephew, Robert Cecil, warns him that vicious libels were circulating regarding his role in the Earl of Essex’s recent arrest. She presents her counsel, however, through quotations from Horace’s Epistles and Virgil’s Aeneid. Cecil must ‘take heede’ of his aunt’s counsel to protect his reputation, ‘lest as the poet sayeth. Ille Dies primus, Lethi, primusque malorum: Causa fuit’ (That day the first of death, that first of calamity was cause).39 Elizabeth then goes on to advise Cecil of the threat from Essex’s popularity, citing from Virgil’s Aeneid: I do but put yow in mynde of what may follow by former example. Ac veluti magno in populo cum saepe coorta est seditio, saevitque animis ignobile vulgus iamque Faces et Saxa Volant Furor arma ministrat.40 (And as, when often in a great nation tumult has risen, the base rabble rage angrily, and now brands and stones fly, madness lending arms.)41 In both instances, Elizabeth makes it explicit that her advice is drawn from classical authorities. She thus emphasises that her counsel is based on established wisdom rather than purely personal opinion; although Elizabeth is offering political insight, it is Virgil who speaks for her. Like her sister, Elizabeth does not, however, use sententiae merely to appropriate the wisdom of classical authors. Her utilisation of moral axioms is likewise calculated to persuade her correspondents of the legitimacy of her claim as an educated woman to offer counsel to men. Mary Ellen Lamb has argued that the significance of Elizabeth’s quotation from Virgil, above, is that it describes the

Women as counsellors  87 ocean before it is calmed by Neptune in the Aeneid, signalling the possibility of Robert Cecil’s future success in regaining his reputation.42 However, there is a greater significance to Elizabeth’s use of this quotation. The success of the sententia relies upon her confidence in Cecil’s knowledge of the exact context of the original extract. The lines are drawn from a simile which compares Neptune’s calming of the sea with the effect of a great orator upon the people, ‘ille regit dictis animos et pectora mulcet’ (with speech he sways their passion and soothes their breasts).43 Thus by using the extract to put Cecil ‘in mynde’ of Virgil’s narrative, Elizabeth is not only explicitly warning of the power of the rabble but also implicitly offering Cecil the solution: to turn to his powers as an orator.44 Elizabeth had already used this technique when she wrote to Robert Cecil after the death of his wife in January 1597. Robert Cecil grieved deeply for his loss, so Elizabeth sent her nephew a letter in June which counselled him to be strong and return to his political vocation. This was precisely the same advice Walter Ralegh had given Cecil earlier that year, with Ralegh writing yow should not overshado your wisedome with passion, butt looke aright into things as the[y] are . . . Sir, beleve it, that sorrows ar dangerus companions, converting badd into evill and evill in worss & do no other service then multeply harms.45 Ralegh’s advice is without rhetorical embellishment, written simply and plainly. In contrast, Elizabeth again uses the persuasive strategies provided by her education. She turns to Scripture, quoting Solomon’s words from Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. She tells Cecil that ‘according to Salomon yow may study nothing more then Letari et bene facere’ (to rejoyce, and to do good).46 This is another example where Elizabeth’s advice is amplified by recognition of the original context of the sententia. It comes from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, which begins ‘To all things there is an appointed time, and a time to everie purpose under the heaven. A time to be borne, & a time to dye’.47 Elizabeth’s quotation comes from the point in the chapter which underlines that, in spite of life’s tribulations, every man should ‘seeth the commoditie of all his labour, this is the gift of God’; by the wider context of her citation, Elizabeth is suggesting Cecil’s extended grief is an insult to God.48 She then includes an unacknowledged quotation from Cicero’s De officiis: yow may . . . think no thinge better then to walk in yowr vocation, in yowr place a wise eloquent Orator; thogh parum vehemens Dulcis tamen ut patris discipulum possis agnosci.49 (not impetuous enough yet charming, so that you are able to be recognised as your father’s disciple) The power of her counsel again comes from the wider context of the sententia. Cicero’s quotation describes Demetrius of Phalerum, whom he suggests may be the only Greek to combine the skills of oratory with calm philosophy. This is precisely

88  Gemma Allen the same advice Elizabeth is presenting to Cecil throughout her letter: to leave his grief, and once more become the composed, philosophical orator. Again, it is left to Cecil to recognise the context of the sententia and to understand its value. Elizabeth ended this letter by dismissing her own counsel, yet here again her use of citation complicated the significance of her words. She writes of her advice, ‘It may do good, if not Burne it for telling yow so foolish a tale, as ex abundantia Cordis os Loquitur’ (For of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh).50 By quoting Christ’s words from both the gospels of Matthew and Luke in Latin, Elizabeth creates a paradox within the sentence.51 Ostensibly, she is allowing Cecil to dismiss her words as ‘foolish’, yet she is also negating such a course of action through the biblical resonance of her language. As the gospels go on to state that ‘A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forthe good things: & an evil man out of an evil treasure, bringeth forthe evil things’, the context again undercuts Elizabeth’s overt dismissal of her words by highlighting the scriptural wisdom of her counsel.52

III In comparison to her sister, Anne relied even more heavily on biblical citation to bolster her epistolary counsel. In her letters of spiritual advice to the Earl of Essex, she turned to scriptural citation in English, rather than Latin.53 In one letter of religious exhortation to the earl, Anne writes that after hearing a sermon in London, she encountered a friend who informed her that Essex was ‘A terrible swearer’. Anne then provides Essex with five biblical injunctions against swearing, from both the Old and the New Testaments.54 The greatest proportion of biblical quotations in her correspondence was, however, drawn from the New Testament epistles. The scriptural epistles were an obvious source for Anne, as they are concerned with offering epistolary religious counsel. She therefore turned to this source when again writing to the Earl of Essex with spiritual advice, this time exhorting him to forsake his extramarital affairs. Anne had heard a rumour about Essex’s involvement with her great-niece, Elizabeth Stanley, Countess of Derby, and thus she wrote to counsel him to relinquish his affair in December 1596: But yow my good Lord have not so learned Christe and hearde his holie worde in the 3d.4.5. verses of the 1 chapter to the first Thessulonians. Yt is written this is the will of god that yea should be holie & abstaine from fornication and everie one knowe how to keepe his owne vessell, in hollines and honor, and not in the luste of concupiscence, as doe the gentiles which knowe not god: and more yf it please yow to reade and marke well, yt is a heavie thret that fornicators and Adulterors god will judge and that they shalbe shut out, for such things saith the Apostle commonlie commeth the wrathe of god uppon us.55 Anne not only explicitly cites verses from St Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, but also she quotes from his letter to the Colossians.56 Anne then goes on to

Women as counsellors  89 embed unacknowledged citations from the New Testament epistles throughout the letter. She ends, for example, by urging Essex against his reputed adulterous liaisons: ‘be stronge in the Lord57 your and our good patient god, feare him and walke upritelie in his truth58 and for his promise in Christe59 he will assist yow and looke favorablie uppon yow and yours’.60 Anne includes two unacknowledged references from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and one from his letter to the Galatians. This technique of embedded scriptural citation was also employed by Anne’s male contemporaries. The evangelical preacher Edward Dering repeatedly used such citation in his letters of religious counsel to Anne’s younger sister, Katherine.61 However, this is a strategy which has particular utility for a female counsellor. The origins of the citations work to emphasise the congruence of Anne’s advice with accepted scriptural wisdom, working to persuade Essex of the truth of her counsel. Moreover, the quotations allow Anne to write in the imperative, apparently offering bold counsel to the earl, whilst her own words in the letters maintain a deferential stance. Anne’s utilisation of vernacular scriptural citation in her epistolary counsel, both acknowledged and unacknowledged, was a strategy used by other women letter-writers.62 Katherine Paston turned to biblical quotation in English when providing her son, William, with spiritual guidance during his time at Cambridge University between 1624 and 1627. In her letters, she made explicit reference to the Old Testament books, specifically Kings and Psalms, but also made unacknowledged citations from the New Testament, referencing Corinthians and Revelation.63 Frances Widdrington and Dorothy Hutton utilised scriptural allusion even more extensively to bolster their letters of religious counsel to their sister, Mary Arthington, in the 1630s and 1640s.64 Without a classical education, these seventeenth-century women letter-writers were aware of the power of scriptural citation. There is a greater significance to Anne’s use of scriptural citation, however, beyond that of simply advising her correspondents of godly standards and bolstering her right to offer spiritual counsel. This is revealed in a letter written to her son, Anthony, where she provides advice to be passed onto his brother, Francis Bacon. Here, Anne explicitly criticises Francis’s worldly focus in his practice of law: his profession is not or owght not to be of vayn devises & unprofitable.65 Be ye holy as I am holy sayth god by his prophett.66 let him reade the 5 to the Ephesians towching unclean speachs & thowghts.67 Trust in the lord with all this hart sayth the wysedom of god. & not in thin own. read the 3rd of the proverbes.68 The Apostle sayth or rather the holy gost. yf eny man think him selff. let him be A Foole in this world that he may be wyse.69 . . . the sownde preaching wheroff consisteth not all in the wordes [of] mens wysdom but in the power & evidence of the spirit.70 which god graunt.71 In this passage, Anne cites widely from various books in the Bible, with all her quotations centred on the necessity of rejecting profane knowledge for spiritual wisdom. Her final citation from St  Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians

90  Gemma Allen is particularly significant. Anne paraphrases that the ‘sownde preaching  .  .  .  consisteth not all in the wordes [of] mens wysdom but in the power & evidence of the spirit’. On one level, this can be read to advise her son that the power of his words, his legal oratory, should be inspired by piety rather than his rhetorical skill. Yet following Anne’s wider employment of scriptural citations, her use of this verse also reflects her understanding of reformed doctrines of Scripture and their significance to Elizabethan preaching. Scripture was perceived as more than a record of Christ’s sayings and actions; rather, it was a revelation of what Edward Dering termed ‘God’s Spirit speaking through his Prophets’.72 That Anne shares this assumption is made explicit in another of her biblical citations in this letter, where she writes that it is ‘the holy gost’ who spoke through Paul when he said ‘yf eny man think him selff. let him be A Foole in this world that he may be wyse’.73 Anne believed the Holy Spirit was operative in Scripture and, thus, when she cites Paul on the ‘power and evidence of the spirit’, she also reveals the belief that her correspondents will receive the grace to be edified by her scriptural citation through the power of the Holy Spirit. Anne makes explicit her confidence in the value of her scriptural advice in her letter to Essex, counselling him against swearing. She tells the earl that ‘by expownding well the law & commandments of god, sinn is layde open & disclosed to the hearers & worketh in them by god his spirit, more hatred of evell & checketh our pron[e]ness naturall, to all synn’.74 For Anne, therefore, scriptural exhortation must be valued for its edifying exposure to the Holy Spirit, regardless of the gender of its progenitor. As she tells Essex, when mitigating her boldness as a woman offering spiritual exhortation to a man, ‘it may be the lorde god wolde have yow know the mater thowgh by such A  poore weake meanes as this’.75 She is here referencing the biblical prescription, again in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, that God through the Holy Spirit may use the weak to chastise the strong.76 This verse was often cited in their defence by women circumventing their lowly role in the ecclesiastical hierarchy.77 By paraphrasing the verse, Anne is not only emphasising the fruits of her scriptural learning, but also the power of the Holy Spirit to legitimate her own act of religious counsel.

IV The question remains, however, as to whether the sisters’ strategies were effective. Extant letters of response are most fulsome regarding Anne’s epistolary counsel, but the evidence is often seemingly contradictory; Anthony’s response to his mother’s advice ranges from anger to patient acceptance.78 Whilst existing scholarship has acknowledged that the reception of Anne’s advice by her male correspondents was affected by diverse issues, the language they used in response to her epistolary counsel suggests they recognised and responded to the learned construction of her advice.79 Anthony thanks his mother for a letter warning him of the danger from Robert Cecil and praying to the Lord that he would harken to her counsel in terms which acknowledge the construction of her epistolary

Women as counsellors  91 counsel. Recognising her prayer of guidance, Anthony adds that his own scriptural study has strengthened his patience in these matters: For mine owne part the reding and Christian meditation of the 36  & 37 psalmes shall with gods grace serve me for trew preservatives to keep me from emulating any worldly prosperetie or greattnes or fearing the effects of human power & malice.80 Beyond her sons, there was again recognition of the construction of Anne’s epistolary counsel. Only one letter survives from the Earl of Essex in response to Anne’s religious admonitions, in reply to her counsel for him to forsake his extramarital affairs. Essex is gracious in accepting Anne’s advice, stating ‘I take it as great argument of gods favour in sendinge so good an angell to admonishe me’. He protests his innocence of the charges laid against him, the result, he argues, of rumour and conspiracy, and cites his response to such claims, writing ‘Plutarch taught me longe since to make profit of my enemies, but god teachethe it me muche better nowe’.81 Essex’s reply is significant because he has not only noted the learned construction of Anne’s religious counsel but has also felt it necessary to reply in kind, citing the example of both his classical and scriptural reading. In many ways, however, too close a focus on the reception of the sisters’ counsel is unhelpful. In order to overcome the inequalities created by gender, the sisters turned to precisely the same strategies as did their male contemporaries when seeking to persuade either those of a higher social status or those who would simply not welcome their counsel. Nicholas Bacon, Anne’s husband, for example, turned to a quotation from Seneca when trying to persuade Francis Walsingham of the value of his advice against military intervention in the Netherlands in 1578. Understanding such counsel would be unpopular with Walsingham, Bacon cited Seneca, saying ‘And I had rather you should see myne error in Judgemente then in friendshippe. Seneca saythe Mallem in amico consilium quam fidem deesse’ (In warning a friend, I would rather lack success than faith).82 Over sixteen years later, his wife turned to exactly the same quotation when trying to persuade their son, Anthony, of the value of some unwanted advice, in this case to forsake his ungodly companions.83 The techniques discussed in this essay did not guarantee a positive reception of advice for sixteenth-century men or women; rather, they helped to improve the odds. The epistolary counsel of Anne and Elizabeth therefore demonstrates that a humanist education did have a political and religious utility for women, although the outlets were admittedly restricted in scope compared to those offered to their male contemporaries. It provided them with epistolary strategies when seeking to advise their male correspondents, allowing them to counsel men both inside and outside of the family over matters of politics and religion. Lady Anne Bacon and Lady Elizabeth Russell used their humanist learning in their letters to conceal, emphasise and legitimate their counsel to men. Skilful use of learning allowed these early modern women a means of offering advice, letting them speak as unusually authoritative women in a patriarchal society.

92  Gemma Allen

Notes 1 LPL, MS 653, fol. 343r: 3 February 1592. For Anne Bacon’s letters, see Gemma Allen (ed.), The Letters of Lady Anne Bacon, Camden fifth series, 44 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014). 2 CP 52, fol. 52r: 24 June 1597. 3 Lynne Magnusson, ‘A Rhetoric of Requests: Genre and Linguistic Scripts in Elizabethan Women’s Suitors’ Letters’ in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450–1700, ed. by James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 51–66; James Daybell, ‘Scripting a Female Voice: Women’s Epistolary Rhetoric in Sixteenth-Century Letters of Petition’, Women’s Writing, 13 (2006), 3–20; Daybell, Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 250–8. 4 See, for example, Betty S. Travitsky (ed.), Mother’s Advice Books, The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Facsimile Library of Essential Works, Printed Writings 1500–1640, 8 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001). For further consideration of the maternal context of the Cooke sisters’ counsel, see Gemma Allen, The Cooke Sisters: Education, Piety and Politics in Early Modern England (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), p. 99. 5 Thomas Elyot, The Book Named The Governor, ed. by Stanford Lehmberg (London: Dent, 1962), p. 19; Juan Luis Vives, Vives and the Renascence Education of Women, ed. by Foster Watson (London: Edward Arnold, 1912), p. 56. See I Timothy 2:12: ‘But I permit not a woman to teache, nether to usurpe authoritie over the man, but to be in silence’. See also I Corinthians 14.34–5 and Ephesians 5:22–33. 6 For Sir Anthony Cooke, see Marjorie K. McIntosh, ‘Sir Anthony Cooke: Tudor Humanist, Educator, and Religious Reformer’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 119 (1975), 233–50. 7 More than a hundred letters written by Anne are still extant, whilst over sixty of the letters penned by Elizabeth also still exist. For a survey of the survival of other Tudor women’s letters, see Daybell, Women Letter-Writers, pp. 32–47. 8 For Francis’s acknowledgement of Anne’s counsel, see LPL, MS 649, fol. 60r: 14 February 1594. For Anne’s letters to Francis, see LPL, MS 650, fol. 255r; MS 653, fol. 246r. 9 Elyot, Book Named The Governor, p. 238. 10 Ibid., p. 13. 11 Desiderius Erasmus, De conscribendis epistolis, Collected Works of Erasmus, 25, ed. by J. Kelley Sowards (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985), p. 189. 12 For Elizabeth I, see, for example, Linda Shenk, ‘Turning Learned Authority into Royal Supremacy: Elizabeth I’s Learned Persona and her University Orations’ in Elizabeth I: Always Her Own Free Woman, ed. by Carole Levin, Jo Eldridge Carney and Debra Barrett-Graves (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), pp.  78–96; Natalie Mears, Queenship and Political Discourse in the Elizabethan Realms (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp.  74–8; Linda Shenk, Learned Queen: The Image of Elizabeth I in Politics and Poetry (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). For the import of female humanist education more generally, see, for example, Lisa Jardine and Anthony Grafton, From Humanism to the Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth and Sixteenth-Century Europe (London: Duckworth, 1986), pp. 29–57; Maria Dowling, Humanism in the Age of Henry VIII (London: Croom Helm, 1986), pp. 219– 47. For an alternative view on the political implications of early modern women’s education, see Allen, Cooke Sisters. Jane Stevenson has also recently highlighted the teaching and medical roles a humanist education allowed some early modern European women to adopt, primarily from the seventeenth century onwards: Women Latin Poets: Language, Gender and Authority, from Antiquity to the Eighteenth-Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 423–4. 13 For the context of Anne’s epistolary exchanges, see Alan Stewart, ‘The Voices of Anne Cooke, Lady Anne and Lady Bacon’, in This Double Voice: Gendered Writing in Early

Women as counsellors  93

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22


24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41

Modern England, ed. by Danielle Clarke and Elizabeth Clarke (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000), pp.  88–102; Lynne Magnusson, ‘Widowhood and Linguistic Capital: The Rhetoric and Reception of Anne Bacon’s Epistolary Advice’, ELR, 31 (2001), 3–33; Katy Mair, ‘Anne, Lady Bacon, A  Life in Letters’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Queen Mary, University of London, 2009). For a brief engagement with the sisters’ use of learning in their letters, see Mary Ellen Lamb, ‘The Cooke Sisters: Attitudes toward Learned Women in the Renaissance’ in Silent But for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators and Writers of Religious Works, ed. by Margaret P. Hannay (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1985), pp. 121–2. Daybell, Women Letter-Writers, pp.  128–33; James Daybell, The Material Letter in Early Modern England: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practices of LetterWriting, 1512–1635 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 148–74. See, for example, LPL, MS 650, fol. 127r: March 1595; fol. 333r: 5 December 1594; MS 651, fol. 89r: 08 April 1595. CP 179, fol. 92r: October 1599. James W. Binns, Intellectual Culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England: The Latin Writings of the Age (Leeds: Francis Cairns, 1990), p. 218. See, for example, TNA, SP 68/6, fol. 213r: 28 April 1551. LPL, MS 651, fol. 108r: 1 April 1595. LPL, MS 653, fol. 343r: 3 February 1592. LPL, MS 648, fol. 196r: 24 July 1592. Daybell, Women Letter-Writers, p.  140. See also James Daybell, ‘Secret Letters in Elizabethan England’, in Material Readings of Early Modern Culture: Texts and Social Practices, 1580–1730, ed. by James Daybell and Peter Hinds (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 47–64. For example, their eldest sister, Mildred, owned copies of the three handbooks central to the grammar school curriculum for rhetoric: Aphthonius’s Progymnasmata and Erasmus’s De duplici copia verborum et rerum and De conscribendis epistolis. See her ownership marks in the following texts at Hatfield House: D. Erasmus, De duplici copia verborum ac rerum (1573); D. Erasmus, Opus de conscribendis epistolis (Antwerp, 1564). For Aphthonius, see Burghley House Muniments, 49/5/2. For a reconstruction of the sisters’ libraries, see Allen, Cooke Sisters, pp. 18–55. Erasmus, De conscribendis epistolis, p. 190. CP 90, fol. 151r: c. December 1601. CP 25, fol. 51r: 24 February 1596. Lincolnshire Archives, Lincoln, 10 ANC/333: after 1584. LPL, MS 651, fol. 328r: 5 August 1595. LPL, MS 651, fol. 156r: 12 May 1595. Ibid.; LPL, MS 651, fol. 225r: 31 May 1595. BL, Royal MS, 12 A.I-III. Desiderius Erasmus, The Right Way of Speaking Latin and Greek in Collected Works of Erasmus, 26, ed. by and trans. Maurice Pope (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985), p. 402. Erasmus, De conscribendis epistolis, p. 190. LPL, MS 651, fol. 330r: 15 August 1595. LPL, MS 651, fol. 326r: 20 August 1595. For discussion of the origin of the proverb, see Marvin Colker, Petronius Redivivus et Helias Tripolanensis (Leiden: Brill, 2007), p. 178. Horace, Epistles, I.xviii.86. LPL, MS 651, fol. 326r. CP 179, fol. 92r: October 1599; Virgil, Aeneid, trans. Henry Rushton Fairclough and George P. Goold (Cambridge, MA: Loeb Classics, 1999), pp. 432–3 [IV.169–70]. CP 179, fol. 92r. Virgil, Aeneid, pp. 272–3 [I.148–50].

94  Gemma Allen 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49

50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62



65 66

Lamb, ‘The Cooke Sisters’, p. 121. Virgil, Aeneid, pp. 272–3 [I.153]. CP 179, fol. 92r. CP 37/92, fol. 2r: 24 January1597. CP 175, fol. 92r: June 1597. Quotations from Scripture are from the Geneva Bible: The Bible and Holy Scriptures conteyned in the Olde and Newe Testament (Geneva, 1560). Ecclesiastes 3:1–2. Ecclesiastes 3:12–13. CP 175, fol. 92r. Cicero describes Demetrius of Phalerum as ‘a rather spiritless orator, yet he is charming, so that you can recognize in him the disciple of Theophrastus’ (‘orator parum vehemens, dulcis tamen ut Theophrasti discipulum possis agnosci’). Marcus Tullius Cicero, De officiis, trans. Walter Miller (London: Heinemann, 1968), pp. 4–5 [I.i.3]. CP 175, fol. 92r. Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45. Matthew 12.35; Luke 6.45. Anne sent her son, Anthony, a copy of one of the letters, which testifies to her care in its composition. See LPL, MS 660, fol. 151r: 4 December 1596. CP 128, fol. 68r: 23 December n.y. For further exploration of Anne’s advice in this letter, see Allen, Cooke Sisters, p. 109. LPL, MS 660, fols 149r–v: 1 December 1596. Anne mistakenly attributes the Thessalonians quotation to chapter one, rather than 1 Thessalonians 4:3–5. The line ‘saith the Apostle commonlie commeth the wrathe of god uppon us’ draws on Colossians 3:6. My italics. Ephesians 6:10. My italics. Galatians 2:14. My italics. Ephesians 3:6. LPL, MS 660, fol. 149v. See, for example, embedded citations from Psalms 33.11, 2 Timothy 2.19 and Matthew 16.18 in Dering’s letter to Katherine on the 14 August 1575: Edward Dering, Certaine Godly and Comfortable Letters (London: 1614), sig. C5r. For the use of scriptural citation in later sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century women’s prayers and meditations, see Susan Felch, ‘Halff a Scrypture Woman: Heteroglossia and Female Authorial Agency in Prayers by Lady Elizabeth Tyrwhit, Anne Lock, and Anne Wheathill’, in English Women, Religion, and Textual Production 1500–1625, ed. by Micheline White (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), pp. 147–66; K. Narveson, ‘Authority, Scripture, and Typography in Lady Grace Mildmay’s Manuscript Meditations’, in Ibid., pp. 167–84. For reference to 2 Kings 6:39–40, see R. Hughey, (ed.), The Correspondence of Lady Katherine Paston 1603–27 (Norfolk Record Society, 14, Norwich, 1941), p. 83. For Psalms 96:12, see Ibid., p. 79. For 1 Corinthians 1:30, see Ibid., p. 82. For Revelation 2:23, see Ibid., p. 80. Katherine also cites her reading of Abraham Fleming’s religious tract, The Conduit of Comfort (1579). See Ibid., p. 65 and Abraham Fleming, The Conduit of Comfort Containing Sundrie Comfortable Prayers, to the Strengthening of the Faith of a Weak Christian (London: 1579), sig. V8r. In one letter from 30 May 1636, for example, Frances Widdrington cites Matthew 5:6 and 11:28, Luke 15:10, 1 Corinthians 2:14 and Revelation 3:17, as well as including unacknowledged citations from Hebrews 4:16 and Psalms 37:34; see Bodl., Additional MS, A. 119, fols 4r–5v. Dorothy Hutton includes an acknowledged citation from Ephesians 6:16, as well as embedded quotations from Hebrews 4:16, Matthew 16:18 and 1 Peter 2:8 in an undated letter; see Ibid., fols. 44v–47v. Titus 3:9. Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:16.

Women as counsellors  95 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83

Ephesians 5:1–20. Proverbs 3:5. 1 Corinthians 3:18. 1 Corinthians 2:4. LPL, MS 653, fol. 330r: n.d. Mary Morrissey, ‘Scripture, Style and Persuasion in Seventeenth-Century English Theories of Preaching’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 53 (2002), 689–90. LPL, MS 653, fol. 330r. CP 128, fol. 68r. Ibid. 1 Corinthians 1:27. Mary Morissey and Gillian Wright ‘Piety and Sociability in Early Modern Women’s Letters’, Women’s Writing, 13 (2006), 52. See, for example, LPL, MS 649, fol. 89r: 25 March 1593; LPL, MS 650, fol. 228r: 12 July 1594. See also Allen, Letters of Lady Anne Bacon, p. 23. For other issues affecting the reception of Anne Bacon’s advice, including the financial status of her son, Anthony, see Magnusson, ‘Widowhood and Linguistic Capital’; Mair, ‘Anne, Lady Bacon’. LPL, MS 658, fol. 6r: 13 July 1596. LPL, MS 660, fol. 281r: 1 December 1596. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, HM 1340, fol. 94r: 24 July 1578. LPL, MS 650, fol. 331r: 7 September 1594.

6 The rhetoric of medical authority in Lady Katherine Ranelagh’s letters Michelle DiMeo1

Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh (1615–91) was one of the most eminent, politically influential, and intellectually respected women in seventeenth-century England. Often remembered today as the sister of the chemist Robert Boyle, she herself was an active medical practitioner and natural philosopher with her own scholarly circle and international reputation.2 Throughout the course of her life she maintained relationships with the most respected doctors, including Dr Thomas Willis, Dr Daniel Coxe, Dr William Quartermain, Dr Thomas Sydenham and Sir Edmund King.3 She was an active member of the Hartlib circle across the civil wars and interregnum and treated some of Restoration England’s most exclusive patients. Though mostly based in London, she consulted a range of international correspondents of varying credentials, enabling her to secure the most authoritative diagnoses and comprehensive treatment plans for her patients. Like many contemporaries, her practice conflated herbal and chemical ingredients, but her ability to articulate the causes of illnesses and her interest in anatomy suggest she probably had a greater understanding of medicine than most aristocratic women.4 Over the past decade, as demonstrated by this essay collection and several others, scholars have actively pursued letters as sources for recreating early modern women’s networks, knowledge, patronage, and literacy, revealing how the genre was used for everything from political leverage to intellectual debates. However, letters still remain an under-used source for learning about how women interacted with both patients and physicians and how they self-constructed their own reputations as medical authorities. Scholars have recently turned to recipe books, but letters could answer many of the same medical questions.5 Alisha Rankin’s book is one exception that carefully integrates recipes, inventories and letters with a thoughtful consideration of genre and form. She shows how Anna of Saxony incorporated popular (negative) assumptions about female healing with selfdeprecating remarks in her letters before authorising her own empirical remedies through ‘knowledge and experience’.6 The rhetorical devices Rankin exposes in sixteenth-century German noblewomen’s letters are similar to those employed by Lady Ranelagh, suggesting some possible genre continuities across early modern Europe based on gender and social status. As James Daybell has addressed, it is difficult to determine how epistolary conventions were disseminated among women, and we have little evidence of women reading epistolary manuals.7

Lady Ranelagh’s medical authority  97 Likewise, though recent studies on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Latinate medical letters have identified some common genre and rhetorical characteristics, no letters by female practitioners are included in the print anthologies, nor do we have any evidence that women owned or read them.8 In this essay, I will use Lady Ranelagh’s letters to show how one early modern woman manipulated various epistolary conventions to establish a reputation as a trustworthy medical authority for the period circa 1650–1690. To do so, I will begin by articulating conventional ways in which early modern women used letters to convey medical authority before demonstrating Ranelagh’s rhetorical prowess in subtly pushing these boundaries, depending on her audience. Recent work by Ruth Connolly, Carol Pal and Betsey Taylor Fitzsimon have shown that Ranelagh’s rhetorical strategies include a sophisticated manner of developing an argument and a nuanced display of persuasion developed through thoroughly informed references to contemporary politics, religious debates and intellectual traditions.9 Her contemporaries recognised her skill, which is why some of her letters exist in multiple manuscript copies and why others were translated or were copied as lengthy extracts in letters written by those associated with her.10 They are the best source for examining how Ranelagh established a reputation for intellectual authority among those working both inside and outside the formal medical establishment, and they provide a rich case-study of how early modern women used letters for both conventional and controversial purposes. While we have no evidence of Ranelagh having received any formal training in rhetoric or writing, this essay argues that she was aware of strategies for epistolary form and genre found in some other early modern women’s letters. Understanding how to negotiate such conventions allowed Ranelagh to present controversial critiques of medical professionals while still preserving her reputation as a gentlewoman. Conscientiously, her most controversial attacks on the medical hierarchy are placed only in familiar letters to her brothers and are often ensconced in the rhetoric of Protestant ethics.

Gender and genre: Conventions for constructing medical authority in early modern letters Jane Couchman and Ann Crabb have shown that while form and language are essential to an early modern woman’s ability to persuade in letters, so too is the larger social context. In order to be taken seriously, women’s self-presentation in letters had to acknowledge societal attitudes towards women.11 As such, it is necessary to begin with an overview of English medicine and society over the second half of the seventeenth century and the role of women within this. Lady Ranelagh’s letters are clearly in dialogue with the significant changes taking place in the wider theory and practice of medicine, and they show she was careful to craft herself in public as an experienced female practitioner who still defers to professional physicians when necessary. Indeed, Ranelagh remained concerned for her reputation and was critical of women who overstepped boundaries, clearly displayed in her harsh critique of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle.

98  Michelle DiMeo Two weeks after Cavendish’s visit to the Royal Society, Ranelagh said of her, in a letter to her brother Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington, by al the Caracters I heare giuen her I am resolued she scapes Bedlam onely by being too rich to be sent theather but she is madd enough to convay the title to the place of her Residence, whose boldnes & profannes is allowed to pass for wit.12 For Ranelagh herself to escape criticism for being considered too bold or profane in her medical and scientific endeavours, she carefully crafted a commanding intellectual public persona that incorporated the modesty and piety expected of a gentlewoman. In the early modern professional medical hierarchy, accredited physicians with university qualifications maintained the top tier, with surgeons below them and apothecaries on the bottom. Physicians were trained to diagnosis illnesses based on reason and education: using classical texts and Galenic medicine as their authority, they created prescriptions and health care regimens personalised to the patient’s humoral balance and constitution. But this tripartite hierarchy must be situated within a more diverse medical marketplace, where midwives, barbers, ‘quacks’, bonesetters, and a variety of unaccredited lay practitioners – some of whom were women – competed for patients. Outside the commercial sphere, medicine was also an essential part of elite women’s domestic responsibilities – they were expected to preserve the health of their families, and some also distributed medicines to poorer members in the community. Extant recipe books show that domestic practitioners combined new chemical ingredients and techniques with established herbal remedies, but the majority of ingredients they used were herbs, spices, and household materials commonly found in the kitchen or garden.13 Medical promiscuity was the norm for early modern patients, who consulted a wide range of practitioners throughout their lifetimes, sometimes seeing several for a single illness.14 During the interregnum, the larger social culture of dissenting ideas gave rise to a new medical movement in England inspired by iatrochemistry (chemical medicine), largely based on the ideas of Paracelsus and Van Helmont, which were already popular on the continent. Those who endorsed the new medicine were often called ‘empirics’, as treatments were determined not by reason or education but from witnessing or experiencing relief from sickness. They devised various ‘cure-all’ and ‘specific’ remedies that could be made through a combination of ingredients found either in the household or at an apothecary’s shop. Empirics challenged the physicians’ control, arguing that these learned men often did more harm than good, and they promoted their own practice based on personal testimonies of success.15 The empirics’ process of determining efficacy through experimentation and witnessing was similar to the practice of trying and perfecting medical remedies already used by elite gentlewomen, leading Alisha Rankin to dub the German court princesses in her study as ‘Noble Emprics’.16 While gentlewomen and physicians often shared the same network and exchanged

Lady Ranelagh’s medical authority  99 information, women’s letters still show a respect for professional boundaries and cautious assertion of authority. The complex, fluid medical landscape allowed women many opportunities but also created many potentially precarious situations. As such, one of the most commonly accepted ways for an early modern woman to exercise medical authority was to enclose a recipe in her letter and state the effectiveness of the cure as she or someone she trusted had personally witnessed it. This convention shows obvious overlap with the recipe format, demonstrating that these genres did not develop in isolation. One Boyle family example may be found in an undated letter from Ranelagh’s sister Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick to their brother Burlington, when the latter was suffering from the gout. The letter begins with an immediate acknowledgement of Burlington’s ailment, saying she was disappointed to hear his gout had returned. The following sentence immediately offers a solution: if it should continue and pain you much wich I  heare it does not yet doe, then I wolde advise you to use resones [raisins] of the Sunn stoned and then beatun in a morter tell thay be like a conserue and then spread and put one to the pained place for 12, or, 24 howres. I neauer yet saw any thinge giue my Lord ease but that.17 This tradition of circulating recipes within letters was used by seventeenthcentury people of diverse educational and social backgrounds, and by both men and women. For example, many members of the Hartlib circle exchanged medical remedies across the 1640s and ’50s, including Samuel Hartlib himself and Sir Cheney Culpeper (later a Fellow of the Royal Society).18 That said, because household remedies were a socially accepted platform for female medical authority, there was no need for rhetorical modesty or initial deferment to professional opinion in Lady Warwick’s letter, particularly when writing to her brother. The Hartlib Papers archive shows that, as a key correspondent of the circle, Lady Ranelagh participated in this conventional transmission of knowledge. She often circulated to family and friends remedies that either originated with her or that she had found effective through practice. Hartlib’s diary, ‘The Ephemerides’, contains over twenty remedies that name Lady Ranelagh as the source, witness, or tester.19 A  later example not connected to the Hartlib circle may be found in Ranelagh’s letter to her brother Robert Boyle, dated 29 July  1665, in which she notes ‘I send you here the receipt I promised you in my last . . . Our palsey Balsumm, does wonders here’.20 Like the example in Lady Warwick’s letter, Ranelagh promptly delivers the medical recipe, as rhetorical flourishes are unnecessary here. In addition to circulating recipes, women could use letters to represent themselves as medical authorities by describing their treatment of a seriously ill patient, either alone or alongside a physician. Because these patients could have been viewed as too sick for domestic medical treatment, it was important for the female practitioner to recognise this distinction and be careful not to overstep boundaries. As such, more rhetorical devices needed to be employed to establish sound

100  Michelle DiMeo reasoning and to acknowledge personal limitations. When Lady Ranelagh’s sister, Mary Rich (later Countess of Warwick), was seriously ill in September 1652, Rich’s husband, Charles, wrote to Ranelagh and asked her to help. Ranelagh wrote about the occasion in a letter to Robert Boyle, saying she was very busy and considered not going; however, she left London for Leez (in Essex) and found ‘the Carcass of a friend there’. Ranelagh identified the symptoms she witnessed, which included Rich’s shaking head and an inability to talk, and then explained that ‘by the Drs & al Consents [I] brought her away with me’. She also offered the doctor’s diagnosis: he thought it might be the Palsy, but the cause of the illness was not fully apparent. ‘[T]herefore’, Ranelagh explained, ‘I doubt must goe blindfolld towards her cure’. Seeing her sister’s sickness also made Ranelagh reflect on ‘the vanity of the thoughts I  had taken up of staying quietly at home because this Condition of hers made mee Judg my attendance upon her very necessary’.21 She carefully weaves together her own practice with validation from the doctors and other witnesses. Her course of treatment is based on the doctor’s recommendation, but saying she must work blindly towards finding a cure also demonstrates autonomous practice. Further, her thoughtful reflection on her ‘vanity’ weaves the necessity of her medical practice in with her obligations to her family and implies a Protestant selflessness that surfaces in many of her letters describing her medical practice. With these careful rhetorical choices, Lady Ranelagh presents herself as an informed medical authority who can perform independent treatment without disrupting the larger medical hierarchy. As such, her authority is dependent upon knowing the limits of an elite woman’s boundaries and is intimately united with her devotion to God. When a patient was beyond the help of household medicine and treatment, letters could be used to relay the advice of a medical professional or to deliver a physician’s prescription personalised to the patient. Spanning April and May 1667, Lady Burlington (Ranelagh’s sister-in-law) experienced a long-lasting, complicated illness that involved fits. During this period, Lady Ranelagh’s letters to her brother Burlington consistently began by communicating in the first sentence professional medical advice that originated with Dr Quartermain and Dr Coxe.22 While the remedy is clearly associated with the doctor, Ranelagh subtly reinstates her own authority through association with a leading medical professional and by validating his advice through careful dissemination. A similar situation may be found when Robert Boyle was suffering from ‘a stone in the bladder’. Boyle wrote several letters to his sister describing his pain. He had long been convinced that he had urinary calculus, but professionals who treated him in Ireland reassured him he did not.23 As this was a long-term ailment, Lady Ranelagh turned to the advice of a medical professional: Johann Brün, a medical advisor whom she also recommended should serve in the household of her other brother, Burlington. Brün then wrote to Boyle, explaining that he heard from Lady Ranelagh about Boyle’s suffering. He included a prescription in Latin intended to treat the kidney stone, to which he made some ‘small additions’. Even Brün’s letter integrates rhetorical modesty into his presentation of medical authority, commenting on his ‘present state of ignorance’ at the same time as he gives a detailed prescription

Lady Ranelagh’s medical authority  101 that promises to ‘greatly benefit your constitution’. As these examples suggest, socially elevated practitioners appear to have integrated their own medical advice only so long as they were not subverting the dominant medical hierarchy. Further, form and rhetorical self-deprecation actually promoted personal practice and enhanced its persuasiveness through subtlety, even in the case of some male practitioners, as the Brün letter shows. The fear of overstepping appropriate social and professional boundaries was just as much a class issue as it was a gendered issue – Michael Hunter, for example, has shown how Robert Boyle suppressed his own bold critique of physicians even though he strongly believed the methodus medendi needed revision.24 As an elite woman, Ranelagh had carefully to navigate the medical world so she could promote her practice without attracting negative criticism. When viewed through these letters, Ranelagh appears a confident, yet respectful, medical practitioner with a wide professional network and detailed knowledge of diverse ailments and conditions. However, while these letters demonstrate her understanding of epistolary and social conventions, the following section argues that she knew when she could disrupt these.

Controversial displays of medical authority in Lady Ranelagh’s letters The examples given thus far demonstrate how conventions in letter-writing mimicked larger social norms: health care began at home, and patients and lay practitioners turned to professional physicians only when domestic remedies could not suffice. However, other extant letters written by Lady Ranelagh suggest that while she knew her status as an elite woman meant she should defer to professional opinion, she did not always do so willingly. In fact, some of the more controversial letters written to her brothers, a trustworthy private audience, show outright disdain for the medical establishment and a clear involvement in the conflict between chemical practitioners and Galenists. In this section, I will demonstrate how Ranelagh adopted various rhetorical strategies for critiquing medical professionals, ranging from subtle contradictions to bold declarations, depending on her relationship with the intended audience. Her involvement in the contemporary medical debate is carefully woven throughout these letters, and Ranelagh knew exactly when and how she needed to adapt her language, depending on audience, purpose, and context. Ranelagh’s preference for empiricism and her distrust of physicians’ Galenic methods first becomes evident in the 1650s, at the height of her involvement in the Hartlib circle and just when the chemical attempt for medical revolution was galvanising.25 In a letter to her brother Richard Boyle, second Earl of Cork (later Burlington) dated 5 April 1659, she firmly positions herself with empiricists by beginning her letter with the following metaphor: ‘I tooke Mr Pope as I would take Physick rather upon Experience than upon a fine resoning discourse’.26 Her stance may also be judged in a sarcastic remark included in a letter to Robert Boyle, where she comments that ‘Poor Fenton Parsons is dead .  .  . [he] being

102  Michelle DiMeo let bloud unseasonably by one that is called a Dr. but sure their trade is rather to Cure men of their bodys Then to cure mens bodyes of diseases’.27 These critiques of physicians mimic the rhetorical attacks found in contemporary publications promoting empirical medicine. For example, the encyclopaedic household guide attributed to Aletheia Howard, Countess of Arundel, begins with an anonymous letter by a Philatros asserting, ‘They who do (though empirically) are to be preferred before those who dispute and talk’.28 Aside from her rhetoric, we can confirm Ranelagh’s empiricism through her biography: meetings for William Rand’s new Society for Chemical Practitioners, meant to counter the Galenical College of Physicians, were held at her house in 1656.29 Ranelagh’s confidence in her own empirical medical practice may be found in a letter she wrote to her sister-in-law Margaret Boyle, Countess of Orrery, sometime prior to 1660. As the extant Boyle family recipe book in the Wellcome Library demonstrates, Lady Orrery also had an extensive knowledge of medicine and treated many Boyle family members and friends.30 The letters exchanged between these two talented women often remarked on medical topics, and with one letter Ranelagh appears to have included a recipe book from Gerard Boate, a fellow member of the Hartlib circle. After Boate died in 1650, Hartlib acquired his medical papers, which included his ‘choicest secrets’.31 Lady Ranelagh may have received these papers from either Hartlib or Boate himself, and she wrote to her sister-in-law: I send you Dr Botes Booke to write out for your owne use but must beg you that noe Dr nor Apothecary may have any thing out of it because he has a sonn of his owne that is studying towards being of his fathers profession, & therefore for him I would reserve the assistance of his fathers Experiments from al other Drs but our selves. Yet to further your practise I hasten it to you.32 In saying ‘al other Drs but our selves’, Lady Ranelagh refers to herself and her sister-in-law as physicians – a term usually reserved for those with medical qualifications. While Margaret Pelling has shown that some ‘irregular practitioners’ self-identified as doctors, these were male practitioners in a commercial market. I  know of no other reference to a gentlewoman using the term to describe her humble charitable practice, but through analysis of more private female correspondence we may locate more unconventional displays of agency.33 By mid-1667, when the chemical medicine revolution was just beginning to falter due to perceived setbacks and failures related to the recent plague outbreak, Ranelagh continued to build her personal medical practice upon theories of ethics and empirical evidence. A series of letters she wrote to her brother Richard, then Earl of Burlington, offer several more unconventional examples of authority, ranging from subtle to bold. When Lady Clarendon (the wife of Edward Hyde, Lord Clarendon) was near death in August 1667, Lady Ranelagh was called in to help treat her alongside ‘the best Drs in towne’.34 At the beginning of the narrative, she explains that when she arrived ‘there being noe Dr present I ventured to

Lady Ranelagh’s medical authority  103 give her something that did a litle waken her’. Thus, Ranelagh begins by explaining that she took an active role in treating the patient only because there were no professional authorities present. Once the doctors arrived, she explains, ‘they apoynted her several remedys but nothing has wrought which has left her case very hopless in the opinnion of the Drs’. However, instead of deferring to their opinion, Lady Ranelagh took the situation into her own hands. She explains that ‘a large bottle of sperit of hartshorne that I procured has for some time by being held under her nose waked her’. While this letter began with a modesty topos that first suggests she was upholding the traditional hierarchy, Ranelagh then disagreed with the doctors and offered her patient a medical treatment not prescribed by the professionals. Lady Ranelagh’s treatment of Lady Clarendon continued, and two days later on 10 August 1667 she wrote again to her brother Burlington to tell him that her friend and patient had finally died. She explains: her soule & her body together nature being soe farr weakened as to be unable to worke together with the remedys that Drs had upon consulte agreed to give her, none of al which had soe visible an operation as to wakening & rouseing her as a large bottle of very quick sperit of harts horne that I procured for her, held under her nose which the Drs confesed was as proper as any thing that could be used to her . . .35 As in her previous letter, Lady Ranelagh begins by describing the doctors as overseeing the whole treatment, but this conventional beginning allows her a quick digression into self-promotion, where she explains that her spirit of hartshorn remedy was more effective than those prescribed by the doctors. She concludes by saying the doctors ‘confesed’ it was just as effective as their remedies, possibly hinting at their unwillingness to compromise their position of authority. In many of the familial letters where she critiques physicians, Ranelagh does so on the grounds of medical ethics, with her moral superiority granting her permission to exert her own opinion. She repeatedly critiques physicians who prematurely stop treating their patients – those who determine that their patients are beyond help and leave them alone in their dying hour. One example may be found in a previously discussed letter concerning Ranelagh’s treatment of Lady Clarendon during the latter’s fatal illness in August 1667. She explains to her brother Burlington the different ways in which she and the doctors viewed their responsibility to their patient. She says the doctors tried several remedies, but none of them worked, which led them to determine that ‘her case [was] very hopeless’. However, Ranelagh once again defies the professional opinion: ‘yet I act by the Proverbe that says as long as there is life there is hope, & a large bottle of sperit of Hartshorne that I  procured has for some time by being held under her nose waked her’.36 Drawing on a popular proverb, Ranelagh asserts that her obligation as a medical practitioner is to treat her patients until their last breath, as giving up prematurely is likened to leaving someone to die. In this case, this ethical responsibility instilled in her the courage to disagree with the doctors and offer her own

104  Michelle DiMeo treatment for Lady Clarendon, which helped alleviate some of the pain and suffering felt by the sick woman until she finally died. One very dramatic and insightful medical letter in this 1667 series to her brother Burlington includes a detailed account of the Duke of Kendal’s death. Ranelagh reports that the 10-month-old boy, son of the future King James II, was screaming in pain during his final convulsions and that ‘his Majesty & his Highnes’ asked the doctors if they could help, but the doctors replied that ‘they had donn al they could’.37 This angered Ranelagh, who wrote to her brother, ‘such Phisitians of noe valew & miserable comforters are the greatest & most skilful of creatures in a dyeing houer’. Characteristic of her bold sarcasm, by beginning this sentence with the phrases ‘noe valew’ and ‘miserable comforters’, she assures the reader that her following comments about being great and skilful are ironic. This forceful critique of the traditional medical hierarchy asserts that medical practitioners have a moral responsibility to alleviate a patient’s suffering until the very end, using ethics to support a damning critique of a system that is failing those who need help the most. Recurring religious references in Ranelagh’s letters suggest that religion thoroughly informed her medical practice and ethics, and her belief in God’s will instilled in her the confidence to venture beyond what was considered socially acceptable for a gentlewoman. Many of Ranelagh’s most critical letters also invoke strong Protestant inclinations, and this is surely more than a rhetorical strategy when one considers her wider view that natural philosophy should be used to enhance society.38 Some of Ranelagh’s political letters demonstrate that she endorsed providential and even millenarian thought.39 Many of her letters refer to God as ‘the Great Physician’ or credit Him with the effectiveness of a cure, a popular trope that was becoming less common by the end of the seventeenth century when she was using it.40 This religious endorsement aligns with one branch of chemical medicine she embraced: Helmontian medicine incorporated, which incorporated a radical and spiritual element not commonly associated with Galenic medicine.41 In one of her earliest medical letters, Ranelagh relates an experience when she was empowered to act by trusting the providential belief that one will only recover if God permits it. In 1652, when her daughter Frances was ill and was being treated by an ‘an old woman’, Lady Ranelagh was devastated that ‘my poore Franke’ was not recovering. She explained the situation in a letter to her brother Robert Boyle, saying ‘but god was pleased to give me soe much Courage upon that information, as to resolve not to trust the old womans fumbleing feeling, but to try my Selfe which I did & found cleerly that she was mistaken’.42 Her confidence that God would not have allowed her to disagree with this woman if she was not correct inspired her with the strength and courage to believe in herself and act according to her instinct. Ranelagh’s bold critiques of physicians casually woven into her letters to her brothers are in stark contrast to the polite professional disagreement she presented in a correspondence written toward the end of her life in 1690. When Margaret Maule, Countess of Panmure, fell ill, Sir Edmund King (previously physician to Charles II) prescribed some waters for her to drink. However, when she did not

Lady Ranelagh’s medical authority  105 find much improvement in her health, Lady Panmure wrote to Ranelagh to get her advice and to ask her to speak with King. Ranelagh replied with shock that Lady Panmure was not recovering: ‘Sr Edmond King assured me [your Ladyship’s health] was much increased by the waters’.43 She then begins her advice with a disclaimer, saying ‘I dare not send your Ladyship any oppinion contrary to Sr Edmuds’ [sic], thereby properly deferring to traditional medical authority. However, she then adds If there be no more against your takeing them a few days longer but a litle wearynes that you may have of the place I doubt not but you wil under go that pennanes for an increase of health & I wil discourse that matter god wiling with Sr Edmund the 1st time I see him. Here, Ranelagh makes it clear that she believes Panmure should continue taking the medication, and she assures the reader that she will communicate this to King. The relationship between Lady Ranelagh’s and Sir Edmund King’s advice becomes even more confused in the next letter in this sequence. One week later, Ranelagh wrote to Lady Panmure about her promised discussion with King. She explains that he is more for your drinking the waters to the end of your eight weekes as pirgeing that best for your Ladyships health but I have obtained from him his consent that you should bate 4 or 5 days of this time if you wil makes use of that libertie which he hopes you wil not, I am sure I wish & hope you wil resolve upon that which wil doe you most good.44 Following her typical format, Ranelagh presents the physician’s opinion first, then incorporates her own opinion before concluding that Lady Panmure should follow her own judgement regarding what may be best for her own health. As such, Ranelagh grants the Countess subtle permission to disagree with the doctor’s orders. When Ranelagh says she wishes and hopes that Panmure will ‘resolve upon that which wil doe you most good’, she also relocates authority from the physician to the patient, recognising that a patient’s personal experience can be more valid than a professional medical opinion.45 The letters exchanged between these two women demonstrate that Ranelagh knew she must present her alternative viewpoint within a larger context of respect for King’s professional authority. By officially respecting and endorsing him, she authorises her own treatment plan by association. The disagreement presented here is quite subtle, especially when compared with Ranelagh’s larger corpus of extant letters, which probably reflects the status of Ranelagh’s relationship with the letter’s intended audience. These letters exchanged with Lady Panmure present the only evidence of their relationship, and their biographies and geographies do not suggest the two women were intimate. As such, Ranelagh knew she must be careful not to sound too assertive or confrontational, as stepping outside of socially acceptable female boundaries could also damage her reputation as a

106  Michelle DiMeo medical authority. By 1690, she also may have lost much of the revolutionary impulse that drove her writings several decades earlier, but this sequence shows her continued belief in empirical medicine and ongoing confidence in her own abilities.

Conclusion Interestingly, Lady Ranelagh’s letters build on the conventional model used to describe gentlewomen’s domestic medical practice and expose a more complicated, circular system. Historians have argued that household remedies were the first port of call for minor illnesses, but a licensed physician or surgeon was called for more serious treatments.46 What we see continuously emerging in the Ranelagh correspondence is that the search for a cure often did not end there: patients might start with their local network, then try a professional physician, and then return to a domestic remedy or gentlewoman practitioner. Further, Ranelagh’s practice was not limited to her family, but also reached elite friends and associates and even members of the royal family. Another example may be found in a letter from 30 July 1667, when she wrote to her brother Burlington to say she ‘was yesterday morning summoned to take care of my poore litle Lord Digbye at Chelsey by having word sent me that he was there sick of the meassels. Whether I went & carried Dr Cox with me’.47 Significantly, when Lord Digby was ill, his parents George Digby, second Earl of Bristol, and his wife Anne, sent for Lady Ranelagh and she brought Dr Daniel Coxe as her assistant – not the other way around. Ranelagh’s letters provide evidence of a fluid movement of medical knowledge, where she learned from doctors, but they also learned from her. They also demonstrate that the doctor’s orders were not always the final word, but instead the intermediary or even the patient could authorise changes or discredit the prescription. Because of Lady Ranelagh’s elevated social rank, and because many of her harshest criticisms stemmed from her religious beliefs, she had the rare ability to maintain the respect of the most distinguished members of society as she simultaneously criticised them. Unlike some female medical practitioners who were openly critical of doctors, and unlike the women who faced examination by the Royal College of Physicians, Lady Ranelagh appears to have escaped criticism.48 Instead, she enjoyed an esteemed medical reputation that was grounded in both piety and authority throughout her life, with medical practitioners respectfully calling her ‘the most noble Lady R’.49 The discreet manner she used when criticising social and intellectual hierarchies – where she was careful to work within societal mandates for a gentlewoman – is partly responsible for her ability to escape criticism. Her harshest evaluations of the medical establishment are only found in letters to her brother Lord Burlington. When writing to this exclusive audience, as one might expect, Lady Ranelagh was freer to disagree with the medical establishment and to make bold declarations which she appears to have otherwise restrained herself from expressing. The harsh criticisms found in letters to her brother are in stark contrast to the subtle disagreements with physicians that she presented in her letters to the Countess of

Lady Ranelagh’s medical authority  107 Panmure, where she always began with proper deference to the doctor’s opinion before adding her own humble suggestion. While it may not be surprising that a woman would be freer in private correspondence than in more public exchanges, or that an elevated social status offered a practitioner more liberty, this chapter confirms these assumptions with a detailed case study that incorporates one author’s precise rhetorical choices to navigate these cultural norms and boundaries. Lady Ranelagh was a skilful letter-writer who knew how to manipulate epistolary conventions according to her audience, the larger social context, and the specific physicians involved. She carefully self-fashioned an image of medical authority and knew when to adopt rhetorical modesty to allow herself a personal and subtle way to disrupt the socio-medical hierarchy. While Lady Ranelagh’s biography confirms that she was exceptional, a more wide-ranging study of how early modern women used the letter as an appropriate space for assertions of medical authority may offer more unconventional examples and will help us gauge how unique Lady Ranelagh was in these assertions of epistolary agency.

Notes 1 Thanks to Christine Hoffman and Amanda Madden for comments on an earlier draft of this essay. 2 On the sibling relationship, see Michelle DiMeo, ‘ “Such a Sister became such a Brother”: Lady Ranelagh’s Influence on Robert Boyle’, Intellectual History Review, 25 (2015), 21–36. 3 For Willis, Coxe and Quartermain, see BL, Add. MS, 75354; for Sydenham, see G.C. Meynell, Materials for a Biography of Dr Thomas Sydenham (1624–1689) (Folkstone, Kent: Winterdown Books, 1988), p. 79; for King, see National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, GD 45/14/237/1–5. 4 Michelle DiMeo, ‘Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh (1615–91): Science and Medicine in a Seventeenth-Century Englishwoman’s Writing’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Warwick, 2009). 5 Elaine Leong and Sara Pennell, ‘Recipe Collections and the Currency of Medical Knowledge in the Early Modern “Medical Marketplace” ’, in Medicine and the Market in England and Its Colonies, c. 1450–c.1850, ed. by Mark S. R. Jenner and Patrick Wallis (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007), pp.  133–53; Elaine Leong, ‘Making Medicines in the Early Modern Household’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 82 (2008), 145–68; Jennifer Stine, ‘Opening Closets: The Discovery of Household Medicine in Early Modern England’ (unpublished PhD dissertation, Stanford University, 1996). 6 Alisha Rankin, Panaceia’s Daughters: Noblewomen as Healers in Early Modern Germany (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), pp. 25–7, 58–60. 7 James Daybell, ‘Introduction’, in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450–1700, ed. by Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 1–15 (p. 7). 8 Ian Maclean, ‘The Medical Republic of Letters Before the Thirty Years War’, Intellectual History Review, 18/1 (2008), 15–30; Nancy G. Siraisi, Communities of Learned Experience: Epistolary Medicine in the Renaissance (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). 9 Carol Pal, Republic of Women: Rethinking the Republic of Letters in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), Chapter 5; Ruth Connolly, ‘ “A Wise and Godly Sybilla”: Viscountess Ranelagh and the Politics of International Protestantism’, in Women, Gender and Radical Religion in Early Modern Europe, ed.

108  Michelle DiMeo


11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

by Sylvia Brown (Leiden: Brill, 2007), pp. 285–306; Betsey Taylor Fitzsimon, ‘Conversion, the Bible and the Irish Language: the Correspondence of Lady Ranelagh and Bishop Dopping’, in Converts and Conversion in Ireland, 1650–185, ed. by Michael Brown, Charles I. McGrath and Thomas P. Power (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005), pp. 157–82. For an example of multiple manuscript copies, see the two copies of her letter to the Queen of Bohemia: Victoria and Albert Museum, National Art Library, Forster MS, 454, Letter 74, 40/1 and TNA, TS 23/1/43. For an example of a lengthy extract, see Letter, Samuel Hartlib to Dr John Worthington, 30 January 1659, in The Diary and Correspondence of Dr. John Worthington, ed. by James Crossley, 3 vols (Manchester, 1847–86), I (1847), pp. 162–77, esp. pp. 165–6. Jane Couchman and Ann Crabb, ‘Form and Persuasion in Women’s Letters, 1400– 1700’, in Women’s Letters Across Europe, 1400–1700: Form and Persuasion, ed. by Jane Couchman and Ann Crabb (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), pp. 3–18. BL, Add. MS, 75354, fols 57–8: Lady Ranelagh to Lord Burlington, 13 April [1667]. Leong and Pennell, ‘Recipe Collections’; Elaine Leong, ‘Making Medicines’. Mary Lindemann, Medicine and Society in Early Modern Europe, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). Andrew Wear, Knowledge and Practice in English Medicine, 1550–1680 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). Rankin, Panaceia’s Daughters, Chapter 1. BL, Add. MS, 75354, fol. 126. M. J. Braddick and Mark Greengrass (eds), ‘The Letters of Sir Cheney Culpeper (1641–1657)’, in Seventeenth-Century Political and Financial Papers, Camden Miscellany XXXIII, 5th Series, Vol.  7 (Royal Historical Society, 1996), pp.  105–402 (pp. 369–71). For example, Hartlib Papers, 3/2/88A-89B: John Dury to Hartlib, 23 January 1645; Hartlib Papers, 66/8/1A-2B, Extract & Recipes in Unidentified Scribal Hands, Lady Ranelagh and Kenelm Digby, 11 September 1658. For more, see DiMeo, ‘Katherine Jones’, Chapter 5. The Correspondence of Robert Boyle, ed. by Michael Hunter, Antonio Clericuzio and Lawrence M. Principe, 6 vols (Pickering & Chatto, 2001), II, p. 500. Hunter, Clericuzio and Principe (eds), Correspondence of Boyle, I, pp. 136–137: Lady Ranelagh to Boyle, 14 September [1652]. BL, Add. MS, 55354, fols. 61–5. Hunter, Clericuzio and Principe (eds), Correspondence of Boyle, I, p.  163: Johann Brün [Unmussig] to Robert Boyle, 1 March 1654. Michael Hunter, ‘Boyle vs. the Galenists: A  Suppressed Critique of SeventeenthCentury Medical Practice and Its Significance’, Medical History, 41(1997), 322–61. Wear, Knowledge and Practice, Chapter 8. Chatsworth House, Cork MSS, Box  31, Letter 2. Mr  Pope is Walter Pope, tutor to Ranelagh’s son Richard Jones. Hunter, Clericuzio and Principe (eds), Correspondence of Boyle, Vol. 1, p. 137: Lady Ranelagh to Boyle, 14 September [1652]. Natura Exenterata, Or Nature Unbowelled by the Most Exquisite Anatomizers of Her (1655), in the unpaginated preface to the reader by ‘Philiatros’. Hartlib Papers, 42/10/1A-4B, William Rand to Hartlib, 15 August 1656. Michelle DiMeo, ‘Lady Ranelagh’s Book of Kitchen-Physick?: Reattributing Authorship for Wellcome MS 1340’, HLQ, 77 (2014), 331–46. Elizabeth Baigent, ‘Gerard Boate [formerly Gerrit Boot] (1604–1650)’, ODNB; Hartlib Papers, 28/2/57A, ‘Ephemerides’ 1653, Part 2.

Lady Ranelagh’s medical authority  109 32 West Sussex Record Office, Chichester, Petworth House, Orrery MS, 13219: Lady Ranelagh to Lady Broghill. This undated letter must have been written prior to 1660, when Lady Broghill became Countess of Orrery. 33 Margaret Pelling, Medical Conflicts in Early Modern London: Patronage, Physicians, and Irregular Practitioners 1550–1640 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003), Chapter 5. 34 BL, Add. MS, 75354, fols 99–100: Lady Ranelagh to Lord Burlington, 8 August [1667]. 35 BL, Add. MS, 75354, fols 101–5: Lady Ranelagh to Lord Burlington, 10 August [1667]. 36 BL, Add. MS, 75354, fols 99–100: Lady Ranelagh to Lord Burlington, 8 August [1667]. 37 BL, Add. MS, 75354, fols 70–3: Lady Ranelagh to Lord Burlington, 25 May [1667]. 38 DiMeo, ‘Katherine Jones’, Chapter 3. 39 Ruth Connolly, ‘A Proselytising Protestant Commonwealth: The Religious and Political Ideals of Katherine Jones, Viscountess Ranelagh’, The Seventeenth Century, 23 (2008), 244–64. 40 For examples, see BL, Add. MS, 75354, fols 83–4: Lady Ranelagh to Lord Burlington, 22 June [1667]; Royal Society Library, Boyle Letters, Vol. 1, fol. 17–18: Lady Ranelagh to John Eliot, 13 August 1676. Francisco Alonso-Almeida, ‘Genre Conventions in English Recipes, 1600–1800’, in Reading and Writing Recipe Books 1550– 1800, ed. by Michelle DiMeo and Sara Pennell (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), pp. 68–90 (pp. 78–9). 41 Antonio Clericuzio, ‘From van Helmont to Boyle: A  Study of the Transmission of Helmontian Chemical and Medical Theories in Seventeenth-Century England’, British Journal for the History of Science, 26 (1993), 303–34. 42 Hunter, Clericuzio and Principe (eds), Correspondence of Boyle, I, pp. 135–38: Lady Ranelagh to Robert Boyle, 14 September [1652]. 43 National Archives of Scotland, GD 45/14/237/1: Lady Ranelagh to the Countess of Panmure, 31 Jul. 1690. Lady Panmure’s letter to Lady Ranelagh is no longer extant, but the contextual information offered above is quoted in this reply from Lady Ranelagh. 44 National Archives of Scotland, GD 45/14/237/1–5: Lady Ranelagh to the Countess of Panmure, 9 August 1690. 45 On the authority of female sufferers, see Holly Faith Nelson and Sharon Alker, ‘Conway: Dis/ability, Medicine and Metaphysics’ in The New Science and Women’s Literary Discourse: Prefiguring Frankenstein, ed. by Judy A. Hayden (New York: Palgrave, 2011), pp. 65–83. 46 Leong and Pennell, ‘Recipe Collections’. 47 BL, Add. MS, 75354, fols 97–8. 48 As many as 110 London women were pursued by the College of Physicians for ‘irregular practice’ between 1550 and 1640. See Pelling, Medical Conflicts, Chapter 5; Doreen Evenden Nagy, Popular Medicine in Seventeenth-Century England (London: Popular Press, 1988), pp. 70–1. 49 Hunter, Clericuzio and Principe (eds), Correspondence of Boyle, I, pp. 163–5 (p. 165). Johann Brün [Unmussig] to Robert Boyle, 1 March. 1654.

7 John Evelyn, Elizabeth Carey, and the trials of pious friendship Cedric C. Brown

This essay analyses a special friendship between John Evelyn and a considerably younger woman, Elizabeth Carey/Mordaunt. In this relationship letters play a definitive role at certain times. This is not the female friendship Evelyn is best known for, the intense spiritual partnership, sympathetically analysed by Frances Harris, that he formed in late middle age with the young Margaret Blagge/ Godolphin, consuming his emotional life in the 1670s. After Margaret’s early death in childbirth, he wrote the exemplary Life of Mrs Godolphin, designed as a memorial and devotional aid amongst friends and first presented in 1684 to Lady Sylvius.1 I will refer to that friendship because of issues and friends in common but choose instead a second friendship, less intense and spread out interruptedly over many years. Elizabeth Carey was a striking woman, originally a girlhood friend of Evelyn’s young wife, Mary.2 This friendship offers evidence about social style, the influence of France, markedly discrepant, gendered modes of writing, marital strain, conspiracy, rebellion, justice, and exile but also reveals a great deal about the range of friendship values and Evelyn’s obsessive preoccupation with female piety. The negotiations are often amusing, sometimes painful, but always part of other gift exchanges conducted in various material ways. In Lady Mordaunt’s married life, especially in exile in France in the late 1650s, royalist groups were dependent on her for directing secret correspondence. She was a safe pair of hands. In younger life, however, she treated letters lightly, as we shall see in her exchanges with Evelyn, until she begins to entrust him with more serious confidences. This is not a woman who learned serious models of sustained letter writing: rather, in France, as a girl, she had cultivated arts of social presence and quick wittedness which impressed many back in England (and offended others), and her letters, like her actions, often reflect her outgoing character. Many of the letters between Evelyn and Elizabeth also perform the classic function of preluding face-to-face engagements or sustaining contact during absence, whilst the exceptional amount of contextual information available in this case, thanks to the richness of the Evelyn archive and significant survivals of Lady Mordaunt’s documents, allows letters and other transactions to be quite fully understood. Evelyn was a reserved, pious man, very traditional in mind-set. He had a wide range of practical and scientific interests, but he was socially retiring. Scholarly,

The trials of pious friendship  111 punctilious, prim, he was uncomfortable when he disliked the moral ambience or was cowed by the extravagant performances of others. He often expressed his personality in indirect ways, through gardens, buildings, and other material things, and through writing – ‘I minded my Books and my Planting’, he wrote in his Life of Mrs Godolphin.3 Yet his studiousness is part of the point: the values of friendship were all the more important to him because of his reserve. There is also a wonderful depth of documentation for this relationship, with 30 relevant letters written by the two of them, some verses, about 50 diary entries from Evelyn, more than 60 from Elizabeth’s own spiritual diary, interlocking letters from other parties, and references in the State Papers, the Mordaunt Letterbook, and other textual sources, together with a portrait and a garden feature. Many material details of friendship exchange can be traced. The friendship also functioned, inevitably, within networks and thus gives a good sense of social parameters and constraints. Evelyn’s wife is a constant, and so is the family of Elizabeth’s husband, part of Evelyn’s Surrey connection, whilst patronage favours and obligations connect with Edward Hyde, later Earl of Clarendon, and thus also engage with royalist, oppositional activities, and the politics of court.

Electra, Penthea’s objects, and ‘the mutual love of God’ Evelyn’s friendship with Elizabeth lasted much of his adult life, though with significant gaps. She was one of the women with whom Evelyn attempted to create a spiritual partnership. Some gender patterns in Evelyn’s friendships are immediately worth noting. Whereas he sought spiritual advice from Jeremy Taylor, treating him in the 1650s as his mentor, to these women he usually began by putting himself in the instructor role. They were all much younger than him, as was his wife, often little more than girls when he made his overtures. By often fixing on much younger women, Evelyn began in a position of authority, as if he feared losing control or was frightened, especially since he insisted that sexual feelings were not relevant. His wife Mary was only 13 when the 28-yearold Evelyn contracted marriage with her in Paris in 1647. Margaret Blagge, the special friend of his fifties, whose death in childbirth so devastated him, was 17 when Evelyn first met her, of the same generation as his own children. When Evelyn formed the special bond with Margaret, she herself said that though what she was looking for was ‘A Faithfull Friend, whom I might trust with all I have’, he was to ‘looke upon me hence-forth, as your Child . . . and calle me so’.4 Elizabeth Carey was 12 or 13 years younger than Evelyn. The pattern repeats itself in relationships with some other women.5 Yet for him women were also a special resource of spiritual partnership. He may even have felt that he could only find such pious companionship with a woman, and he craved it, though his manner with them could also be intrusive. In response, the lively and sometimes provocative Elizabeth teased him with the titles ‘master’ or ‘governor’. In these ‘virtuous friendships with the sex’, Evelyn sought to develop a mutually supportive, practical, and religious partnership – ‘a holy friendship’ or ‘Tyes of Sacred Friendship’.6 He wished to share devotions and to produce acts of

112  Cedric C. Brown charity.7 That is what he eventually achieved with Margaret Blagge, a very pious, sensitive young woman. It is as if an attempt is being made to redeem society through womankind; or it might even seem mystical, as if the young woman had some talismanic power.8 Evelyn’s special friendship with Elizabeth Carey would end with close acts of friendship, like mourning together the death of Margaret Godolphin, but it began in a different key. Evelyn met her first in Paris, when he was a young man on his European travels and she was a lively girl in her midteens. Daughter of Sir Thomas Carey, gentleman of the bedchamber to the exiled future king, she was, though perhaps a year or two older, a close friend (‘sister’) of Mary Browne, Evelyn’s future wife. Mary was the only daughter of Sir Richard Browne, another gentleman of the bedchamber. Amongst the youthful exiles in Paris at that time, Elizabeth Carey stood out for style: she was tall, with luxurious dark hair, a confident manner, and a ready wit, a challenge for the reserved Evelyn despite his greater age. Evelyn’s fullest account of her as a girl comes in a much later semi-fictionalised narrative called ‘The Legend of Philaretes and the Pearle’, probably dating from about 1673, where she features as Penthea. Lodged among his religious papers, ‘The Legend’ is about three key women in his life, Mary, Elizabeth, and Margaret. It was addressed to Margaret (headed ‘To his Orientall’)9 but seems to get into difficulty, is unfinished, and cannot therefore have been shown to her. He struggles to explain how his partnership with Margaret was the pinnacle. This is how Evelyn recalls Elizabeth in ‘The Legend’: Penthea, was a fine built creature, and was (though not by me) esteem’d so killing a Beauty, as I have seene the Whole Towne lye at her feete, upon those Evenings when she would sit out in ye drawing-roome, and realy she was of a pleasant humor, if not a little affected; For there was something in her mine which spoke as if she were a little glad of her selfe, and that did not dislike the World should thinke she possess’d something of Extraordinary: It were not possible to describe the Languishing I have observ’d in some of the Young Gallants, who for being persons of un-spotted honor, & well known, were usd to be admitted: To behold the servile posture they would sometimes approach her in, the silence of One, & the fine things which were said by another! One would bring his Luite, another his Guiturr, a third his Composures. Elizabeth seems to have presided over a youthful salon – ‘a kind of Academy of innocent Passetime’. ‘Penthea would entertaine them all, & was . . . full of a thousand pretty impertinences’. She could turn heads. As for her striking appearance, when some years later she was staying in The Hague with her mother in the circle of the exiled Elizabeth of Bohemia, one of the queen’s daughter’s, the Princess Louise Hollandia, painted her picture. In the ‘Legend’, however, Evelyn protested that he did not join the flirting, having an eye only to Elizabeth’s private piety, knowing some interiour perfections in her, to which onely I  had devoted my service, I was never desirous to make other impressions on her, and I do assur

The trials of pious friendship  113 you . . . that which most deepely engag’d my peculiar esteeme, was a piece of solemn . . . [she] had, composd for the Regulation of her owne Life, that I found by chance upon her table, & wch, un-heeded by her, I had perusd. Her devotional papers helped him to rationalise his attraction to her. The ‘Legend’ slides between memories of Paris in the 1640s and England in the 1650s, when he approached Elizabeth with his offer of special friendship. It warmly celebrates the exchanges of the advisor-friend and the unmarried young woman: ‘. . . when I spake anything to her of improving her Mind: she would frequently aske my Advice . . . and I was infinitely betterd by hers; which grew to a confidence so innocent . . . that if she had ben my sister, & that sister an Angel, I could not have loved her more’. But that crucial passage is much emended in the manuscript – words are being picked carefully. Evelyn uses a bookish pastoralromanticism, its artifice amusing in ways he would not have realised, and he sometimes deflects to a safer ‘discourse of the prospect’: I did use to accompany Penthea in the Groves, & whisper to her by the Fountaines, I would reade to her upon the bank of Mosse, and discourse of the prospect, & gather something from all that was faire to describe my Penthea by: for though I was an ill Poet; Yet she had sometimes influenc’d me, and I found greate Assistance from her, when I would do any thing Extraordinary; for she had wit, & was sententious, & had read Books, & was of an excellent discernment. He reconstructs one occasion in Paris as they passed the royal aviary in the Tuilleries gardens. When they saw an eagle he says he gallantly proclaimed: Fair Penthea do you wonder why This royal bird presumes so nigh He finds in this imprisond place No other sun to prove his race Though you have heard how once he sped When he trust up fair Ganymede, Think you he has commission now or like desire to seize on you Should the bad bird the Wyre escape Or thinke to purposat this rape Though he bear lightning free from harme Your bright Eyes will prove too warme. To which, he says, she replied ‘upon the instant’: Wert Thou the Off-spring of that bed That once did seize young Ganymed Thou couldst not so mistake mine Eyes For that which glistens in the skies

114  Cedric C. Brown Or say thou hadst that vile intent For which that towring bird was sent Whilst Penthea Philaretes loves She would not change him for thy Joves. Though Elizabeth was known for repartee, this response cannot have been ‘upon the instant’, since there are more textual changes. His narrative was also in other difficulties. He says he was ‘astonishd’ at her quickness and that she ‘blushd as red as fire . . . because she was sensible, that there were some expressions in them which might be perverted: But she knew she was safe with me’. If the sensitive Margaret was to be the reader, the text may not have taken a wise direction. In the tensions evident here, the use of gallant language in general is not an issue – many such contemporary expressions are not about sexual approaches. Nevertheless, a romantic excitement is revealed in a narrative supposedly of religious purpose. The same issue arises even in the devotional, exemplary Life of Mrs Godolphin, where Evelyn senses that his emotional idealising of Margaret might seem like ‘Romance’.10 Early modern romance and literature were full of high-flown formulae of attraction and dedication, but Evelyn pragmatically separated such language from application to his wife. It was outside marriage that he looked for exciting emotional attachments, though tied to the strictest of religious disciplines. Prudently, he tried to share Margaret with Mary and Elizabeth, so as to leave no one in a false position. Yet it was with Elizabeth, not with his wife, that he went to share his great grief at Margaret’s death in 1678. The new beginning of the relationship with Elizabeth back in England also dealt in diplomatic niceties. In mid-July 1655, with Mary’s consent, he proposed a practical service to his wife’s best and as yet unmarried friend, by letter: Madame, I come not to discompose yr sweete retirement, but to beg a favour of you . . . and the favour that I shall beg, is, that I may serve you in the most considerable affaire of your whole life, which then I shall certainely begin to doe, as soon as I may understand when your returne will be to London, where the scene of this negociation lyes.11 Denying self-interest, he wishes to ‘interpret the Enigma’ face-to-face when she is back in London ‘and let yr Lap realy see, that amongst all those who court you for advantages of their owne, I alone desire to serve you without designe’. Or he could go down to Surrey too ‘for I would accompanie yu in the groves, & whisper to yu by the fountains, and discourse to yu of the prospect, gathering somthing from all that were faire & perfect to describe yr excellent selfe’. He must have consulted this pedantic letter when later writing ‘The Legend’. The ‘most considerable affaire of your whole life’ refers to marriage, and the intended man was Sir Edward Hales. Her brief reply12 tells him when she is likely to be in London and agrees to meet, though she ‘canot gese’ what it is about or how important, ‘but shall beleve it so’. His next in early August thanks her, says that her agreement ‘is a reward

The trials of pious friendship  115 hugely beyond my merite’, announces that he and Mary are coming down to Leith Hill, and sustains the sense of mystery: ‘onely Madame you have the key, and I may open that Cabinet when you please’.13 (Projected friendships offered secrets.) Accordingly, the diary reports for 21 August that they met at Lady Peterborough’s (‘in an ancient monastery well in repair’ – another deflection to place),14 and Elizabeth encouraged him. There was a visit to Sayes Court on 5 September: ‘came Mrs. E. Cary to my house & staied the 7th’.15 Stage One had been negotiated. A  classic function of letter-contact is to contrive face-to-face meeting. Elizabeth and Mary had been renewing old friendship. Mary accompanied Elizabeth into town, from where Elizabeth writes a typically light apology for keeping Mary overnight, because it was so late: ‘that I deprive you this night of your bedfelo, is realy no premedetat desire’.16 Evelyn’s serious reply acknowledges her apology, then further expounds his proposed service: ‘you shall eternaly find in me the fidelity, silenc, affection and Industry of a servant, whose recompence shall be onely the contemplation of yr Vertues’.17 With flowery amplification – ‘Presuming on that glorious favour . . . I come to cast this accknowledgment at yr feete’ – the next letter reaffirms his ‘Title’ of servant (she is ‘Mistress’), sends an emetic from his wife for Elizabeth’s little sister, and starts to negotiate how to contact her once she has shifted to her grandmother’s in Winchester.18 There is a wonderful disparity in style between her light-hearted, phonetically spelled letters and his old-world stilted rhetoric. Her letter from Winchester plays with title – she, the Mistress, has now dubbed him ‘Master’ – and reveals she has presumed to ask him for weekly epistles.19 Then there is an epistolary pause until the following February. Evelyn’s next letter shows that he has spent much time trying to help in difficult marriage negotiations, as asked, and it has gone wrong. ‘[I] do therefore beg . . . that you will looke on this affaire as the greatest disaster of my life’.20 A Plan B is, however, emerging from amongst his Surrey connections. The new candidate is unmistakably John Mordaunt, Lady Peterborough’s second son, whom Evelyn first knew as a young man travelling in Italy. He puts in his ‘Symbol’ for that choice, but also says he is oppressed with the news that she is soon to go abroad – ‘yr suddaine departure is like to frustrate his hopes of kissing yr hands’. His letter of 20 February requests that when she leaves to give support to her ill, depressed mother in Holland she does not forget the Evelyns. With absurd gallantry, he feels he should have volunteered his help on the journey; instead, he will ‘serve you in my prayers’. Then he reveals more of the religious values at the heart of his service: Madam, I  confesse you may sometyme wonder what should draw expressions of this nature from me . . . it is a very great love of your Virtues, which realy, with the hazard of my fortunes I would cherish in an age so depraved as is this, and a person so conspicuous as yr Lap: It is fit I should know more of yr Religion, and real piety, then you thinke I do: You are very deare to me upon that account, a virtue so rare, & so necessary in yr sex, to redeeme the

116  Cedric C. Brown Scandal which this age casts upon it; and I am confident, God (whom you seeke even in this doubtfull affaire which you now embark on) will direct you for the best.21 For all the communication difficulties between England and Holland, this next phase, together with the visits Elizabeth made to the Evelyns on her return, represent a highpoint. Her letter of 11 April 1656, longer than usual, reveals how much she valued his support: Dear Master / Had you seene my hart when I resevd your last later, you wold have found that it made a strang imprestion ther .  .  . and the kindnes you exprest in that leter shall never be forgoten.22 What is more, although she has been ill, her support of her much improved mother has produced a more relaxed attitude to marriage: she will not be forced to take a Dutch husband, as she feared. She says she is giving Evelyn rare confidences about this – a big moment – confidences seal best friendships. Evelyn’s excited response of 16 May first uses a pet-name, Electra, which in later editing he replaced with Penthea, when Electra was adopted for Margaret Blagge. After receiving her confidences, he immediately claims her friendship in a declaration of friendship values: ‘Dearest Electra I admire you for yr many perfections, but the most illustrious Amity and generosity, your good humour, and piety, do in my opinion gild all the rest, and render you infinitely deare’.23 He has been ‘summing up’ her virtues, And realy I thought I could not better preserve yr memory, then in contemplating upon those attributes which make you  .  .  .  honoured (with reason) above all others of yr sex, whose Altars are frequented for the gaynesse of the shrine onely. He assures her that Mordaunt, like others, awaits her return, and gives social news encoded in romance names. Her replies are affectionate, and she plans to stay ‘sume while’ with them on her return: ‘becas realy I beleve you love me’. She visits Sayes Court several times in early 1657.24 In these exchanges, each Evelyn letter had been an offering, laboured in that spirit. His letters portentously offer, hers speak openly – it is a dance between partners of different style. Only when she candidly reports the productive generosity between her and her mother in Holland and offers special confidences do we see something like a gift from her, which excites him into the adoption of a symbolic name. A  desire for permanence is expressed in her request for weekly epistles, in memory itself – ‘that residence . . . promised me amongst your incomparable thoughts’ – and in titles and special names. Contemplation of her virtues becomes a meditational exercise. Meanwhile, he keeps their exchanges, making monuments of them, and the desire for permanence is represented in nontextual ways as well. After her stay at Sayes Court in 1657, the

The trials of pious friendship  117 Evelyns constructed Carey’s Cabinet in the garden, an arbour, a place to remember her by and to think of her in, containing objects specially associated with her. The model was Pierre Morin’s garden in Paris. What is more, Mary Evelyn, who painted, asks for and is given the picture of Elizabeth painted by Princess Louisa Hollandia: ‘I can’t forbear putting you in mind of a former promise’.25 The portrait is hung in the closet, which then becomes a second site of friendship recall. Meanwhile, epistolary exchange mixes with other kinds of gift: a recipe, a book (she asks for and receives his Lucretius translation),26 some gallant New Year’s Day gift-verses, and so on. Texts are one kind of gift in a system of gift exchange, their meanings dependent on other objects, acts of service, and trust in reciprocal generosity. The courtship involved Sayes Court in mid-February: ‘To Lond: return’d: where I found Mrs Cary; next day came Mr Mordaunt . . . to see his mistresse; bringing with him two of my Lord of Dovers daughters’.27 The marriage itself produced a gratulation from Evelyn on 11 May.28 He repeats Mary’s thanks for the picture, a greater keepsake now: ‘Madame, My Wife . . . returned you a thousand acknowledgments for the Royal favour, and her Highnesse the Princesse’s mindfulnesse of her; because it represents so much of a Saint, and so much of your faire selfe’. At the end of June, Evelyn tells the news to father-in-law Browne, saying that ‘she is like to be our Country woman in Surrey’, recalling ‘an extreame intimacy twixt my wife & [Mordaunt’s] Lady’ and reporting excitedly the gift of ‘her owne pictur drawn in oyle by the Princesse Loüise, which is very rarely done, & hangs in our Closet’.29 Evelyn received permission from Mordaunt to continue a special friendship with his wife30 and seems to have managed to talk to her about devotional discipline by the time of the marriage. The spiritual exercises which Elizabeth had set herself as a girl in Paris, under the influence of her father, have not survived, but the spiritual diary which has survived, of which a printed edition was issued in 1856, begins in 1656/7, perhaps soon before the marriage in May.31 The opening sets out the method she will follow ‘thrue the hole corse of my Life’ in daily selfexaminations, so ‘that I Lete no day pas, without taking such a reuew of my Life, as that I may render God the Glory’, and early entries are for the first period of her married life. If Evelyn persuaded her to begin her marriage with the cultivation of regular spiritual self-examinations, he had managed the second stage of his gubernatorial relationship.

The loyal and celebrated Mrs Mordaunt Elizabeth’s life as Mordaunt’s wife quickly became stormy. Her free-spirited behaviour met hostility from her difficult mother-in-law, the Presbyterian Lady Peterborough, who accused her of making eyes at other men. The Private Diarie soon has entries about moderating her confident manner: ‘being thought better than I am’; and ‘obstenate not yelding in my openion to thos wiser then my selfe’.32 She also considers her habit of playfully manipulating admiring men, and castigates herself for ‘the uane desirs of being thought handsum’ and ‘for looking

118  Cedric C. Brown uppon a mane when my harte tould me, it might reue his pashon for me which being marryed was unlafull’. A crisis is marked in 15 June, 1657: O Gode send helpe unto me, for my enymys ar many that so counsel to gether aganst me, how they may take away, that which is derer to me than my Life, my Honer . . . in this pertecoler of my Justis to my Husband, for I haue not a thought I would not haue him know.33 She asks for ‘grace to forgeue’ and often blames herself for getting back at Lady Peterborough by complaining to others.34 She draws comfort that her loving relationship with John had survived, ‘notwithstanding the desins that ar to breke it’. Pregnant and not feeling well, she confesses to losing her temper, but anxieties are also evident about John himself, who was proving moody, over-bearing, and short-tempered: I bles my God for geuing me patienc to ber with my Husband when he is in his pashionat Humers, O Lorde breke him of them, or if thou desined them for a scurdg for me, geue me grace to reseue them as may best ples thee. . . . O my God cure my Husband of this sadnes, and make him thine with mor of mekenes.35 On top of this, Elizabeth was soon swept into dangerous activities of royalist conspiracy. Mordaunt was a very active agent for the exiled court. Elizabeth’s actions in support of her husband’s conspiracies in the late 1650s made her famous for resourcefulness and loyalty. They also led to exile, and took her out of Evelyn’s reach, even by letter. Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, was a great admirer. In his History of the Rebellion he wrote: There was a young gentleman, John Mordaunt, the younger son, and brother, of the earl of Peterborough, who  .  .  .  was now of age, of parts, and great vigour of mind, and newly married to a young beautiful lady, of a very loyal spirit, and notable vivacity of wit and humour, who concurred with him in all honourable dedication of himself. He resolved to embrace all opportunities to serve the King.36 Energetic but rash, Mordaunt was involved in ill-judged conspiracies in 1658 and arrested with other leaders. Showcase trials designed to lead to executions were set up with a panel of 20 judges. Elizabeth’s support during his treason trial was remarkable. She worked on some of the judges to gain information about the prosecution and managed to get important advice, by note, to Mordaunt on the second day, leading him to change his tactics. On the first night she also contrived – ‘so dexterous and so fortunate’, wrote Clarendon – that the key witness, a Mordaunt friend, escaped custody when he was needed to testify.37 Then, by a slice of luck, one inimical judge had to withdraw through illness. The judgement

The trials of pious friendship  119 came down to the casting vote of the president of the court, who happened to owe old favours to Lady Peterborough. So Mordaunt was acquitted, the only conspirator not condemned. Evelyn’s diary entry for 31 May 1658 reports the bare fact: ‘I wente to visite my Lady Peterborowe, whose sonn, Mr Mordaunt, prisoner in the Tower, was now on his trial, and acquitted by one voice’.38 Most saw the outcome as miraculous. ‘There was not in Cromwell’s time the like instance’, wrote Clarendon.39 Mordaunt suffered further imprisonment in the Tower, which Elizabeth loyally chose to share with him, but in the end Cromwell had to release him, whereupon he quickly returned to conspiracy. Elizabeth herself thought the outcome divinely aided. Her Private Diarie (21) has an entry for 2 June 1658, the judgement day, of a long thanksgiving followed by a prayer: ‘. . . and as thou hast giuen to my deare husband a seconde life, so giue him a new on, in all uertu and holynes.’ Much later, after Mordaunt’s death, she entered a resolution to offer special prayers for the rest of her life on the anniversary of the acquittal, and on every Wednesday. There were new waves of royalist conspiracy in 1659. Mordaunt tried to fashion an alliance with the Presbyterians, impatient with the caution of the Sealed Knot. Encouraged by Hyde, he was involved in a projected Royalist-Presbyterian uprising after the death of Oliver Cromwell, but the insurrection planned for August 1659 was disorganised, and he had to flee to Calais in September of that year. He was now a marked man, and Elizabeth was also ‘much sought for’.40 She made her escape to France within a month of her husband, leaving two little children behind and taking much-needed funds. Thereafter, as her husband moved about, including a secret return to England and visits to royalists in France and the Low Countries, Elizabeth became a trusted intermediary and postbox, thus a friend to many in exile. She also received numerous letters of support, including from Elizabeth of Bohemia and Hyde, and often provided information and advice to Mordaunt. The admiration of Clarendon appears in an affectionate letter of November  1659, where he talks of ‘the killing feares, apprehentions and separations’ the Mordaunts have experienced, ‘even mastered by an unexampled courage, in which your ladyships particular part have been verie noble’.41 Though younger by nine years than her husband, she gave him advice – ‘Be wise in your letters’, she writes in the autumn of 1659. ‘My true joye’, he writes on 29 November/9 December 1659, ‘I think I have behaved my self as I should, for all the world, men women and children are civill to me’, and to similar effect later in December.42 Mordaunt was distrusted by some and had difficulty with personal relationships, sometimes being abrasive. However, when the final moves were being made to end the Commonwealth, he was created Lord Mordaunt of Avalon, on the insistence of Hyde,43 returned to England and began to lobby for a position in the new administration. Still in France, Elizabeth was also active on his behalf. He had a huge amount to thank her for, and she had won further admiration in royalist circles. This was a wife to whom all secrets could be entrusted. Elizabeth’s difficulties had augmented her devotional activity. When another son was born on 22 April 1659/60, she added something about the desired restoration of the church in England: ‘O Lord shoe now thy poure and cume amungst us,

120  Cedric C. Brown and in due time restore us . . . by giuing us the blessing of a florishing Church’.44 Back in England, after her husband had been given only the modest posts of Constable of Windsor Castle and Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, she entered a list of charities she wished to fund, adding to it in later years.45 After Mordaunt’s death, Evelyn spent much effort in administering the charities of his much-admired friend, but only in the late summer of 1660, exile over, was he able to resume regular contact and to begin a new phase of services.

The friendship with Elizabeth in the Restoration years After all these dangers and absences, Evelyn’s friendship with Elizabeth had almost to begin again. Although there was still the old familiarity between Elizabeth and Mary, its significance seems to fall away by the 1670s. Loyally, Evelyn continued to consider the temperamental Lord Mordaunt as a ‘special friend’ of long standing;46 and he kept in touch with others in Mordaunt’s family, like the aged Lady Peterborough, and sometimes Mordaunt’s brother, the new Lord Peterborough. Maintaining these friendships together was sometimes difficult, and there is a strange gap in contact between Evelyn and the Mordaunts between 1664 and the early 1670s. The best flowering of Evelyn’s friendship with Elizabeth was only to come after Mordaunt’s death in 1675, by which time Evelyn had become obsessed with Margaret Godolphin. In particular, the best religious dimensions of his friendship with Elizabeth are most apparent towards the end of her life. To begin with, friendship services picked up along conventional lines. The Mordaunts’ house was in Fulham at Parsons Green, though they also had a residence at Windsor between 1660 and 1668 whilst Mordaunt was Constable there. Evelyn’s diary records 12 visits to Parsons Green between November 1660 and June  1664.47 One or both Mordaunts visited Sayes Court four times between August 1662 and August 1664.48 In late 1660, Evelyn was consulted about finding a secretary for Mordaunt, about which there is correspondence. When Elizabeth acknowledges this help, she affectionately recalls their old tutorial partnership: ‘Deare Governer’, she writes, ‘I am from my Lord and my selfe to give you Humbell thanks’, and adds a postscript to Mary, inviting her to their new home in Windsor: ‘My deare sistur if you will come, I will love you strangely for it’.49 On 18 December, Evelyn took the recommended secretary to Parsons Green, and at the coronation walked in the procession in Mordaunt’s retinue (diary entry for 23 April).50 On 1 August 1661 he writes to congratulate on the birth of a new baby, and for New Year 1661 he sends gallant verses to Elizabeth.51 Then, in a conventional move, Evelyn asks Mordaunt in January 1664 to be a godparent at the christening of his son Richard.52 Yet after Evelyn’s visit to Parsons Green on 30 June 1664, he does not visit again until 19 August 1673. Also, after John’s visit to Sayes Court with his brother on 16 August  1664, no Mordaunt visits the Evelyns again until 23 June  1671, when John comes, and 23 April  1674, when Elizabeth also comes.53 Although Elizabeth continues to bear children – a further six, the last, 10th born after

The trials of pious friendship  121 Mordaunt’s death – there are no congratulations from Evelyn. That was so different from what had happened even on 1 August 1661, when Evelyn had diplomatically addressed the letter to Mordaunt, asking him to convey it to his wife, ‘that through your hand, and a soft voice, it may be convey’d to my Lady’, treading on eggshells, perhaps.54 These years include a 15-month period of absence of Elizabeth in France for reasons of health, at Montpellier, from December 1667 to April 1669, but much of this is likely to be due to the difficulties the Mordaunts had got into. Mordaunt resented not being more richly rewarded for his services. He was protected by Clarendon but had enemies and was impulsive and liable to foment trouble. Elizabeth betrays anxiety in her spiritual diary about his quarrels. In 1662, she resolves to give thanks every Sunday ‘for preseruing my deare hosband from all unLafull quarels disputs or deuels’.55 More seriously, the next year, she prays that Mordaunt be kept ‘from all blode gilltynes, preserve him for iniring or horting an person . . . and preserve and kepe him from being horte’.56 He also slid into debt and a serious financial dispute within his own family. He and his brother, the new Lord Peterborough, were in long contention about their mother’s estate at Reigate after she died. The case came into the courts from 1672 onwards, and reconciliation was only achieved in November 1674, not long before Mordaunt’s death. Evelyn counted all the parties as old friends, to whom the greatest loyalty was due. Did Mordaunt suspect divided loyalties? Friendship often lapses because of a failure in trust. Elizabeth found her house and goods seized in July 1674, before delayed payments from the Exchequer came to her rescue after Mordaunt’s death. She duly gives thanks for the ‘posibelety of paing my hosbands debts’.57 There had been other disasters, too. Earlier, Mordaunt’s ill-controlled behaviour as Constable of Windsor Castle had come under public scrutiny, following allegations of tyrannical treatment of a Captain Taylor employed there, with allegations of imprisoning Taylor and raping his daughter. Eventually there was a long hearing before a committee of the House of Commons, which Evelyn reports in tight-lipped fashion in his diary for 23 November 1666, loyally sticking to an old ‘special friend’: such foule  & dishonourable things were producd against his Lordship of Tyrannie . . . that I was exceedingly concernd for his Lordship, who was my special friend, and husband of the most virtuous Lady in the world: We sate ‘till neere ten at night.58 Mordaunt escaped further questioning because the king dissolved parliament and pardoned him, presumably thanks to Clarendon, but after Clarendon’s fall, Mordaunt resigned his posts, in 1668. He was erratic, and Elizabeth, who had loyally suffered in a marriage Evelyn himself had encouraged, had to live with all the consequences. Evelyn might have warmed to Elizabeth’s spiritual diaries during this period. As each crisis was overcome, she expressed thanks and resolved to make new charitable donations, often on anniversaries. There are also some unusual characteristics.

122  Cedric C. Brown From the end of 1665, she starts to make entries in verse, recuperating the facility that Evelyn celebrated in ‘The Legend’. For example, her thankful submission to the divine will is shown by the verse she wrote after the trial settling the disputes about the family estate in February 1674/5, finishing ‘For what so ere my Judg for me thinks fitt, / I, humble to his will, aught to submitt.’59 Earlier, in August 1673, even her worries about maintaining her charities are expressed in verse form.60 Piety seems to increase from early 1673, when the preparations for Lent are much more obvious. With age, illness, and a host of troubles, she was becoming more religious. It is in this final phase that Evelyn reconnects with her. There was a new intensity. Just what kick-started it is not clear, but Mordaunt visited Evelyn at Sayes Court on 23 June 1671,61 and one wonders about a rapprochment. Normal social relations resume. Evelyn’s letter to Mordaunt of 24 July 1672 shows that he has been consulted about the choice of a tutor for one of Mordaunt’s sons.62 His letter also tries to recuperate old friendship, reminding Mordaunt of when they met in Italy as young travellers. By 1674, Evelyn was at Parsons Green on 7 May for a feast of friends celebrating the Mordaunts’ wedding anniversary – appropriately, since he had been instrumental in the match.63 Generosities of friendship again come into view. Even more significant is Evelyn’s marking of a resumption of his visits to Elizabeth. The first in the new series was on 6 January 1673. The diary entry suggests another new beginning for an old special friendship: ‘I went to Parsons Greene to visite the Vicountesse Mordaunt, that virtuous Creature, & our long & intimate acquaintance abroad’.64 He visits Parsons Green 18 times before Elizabeth’s death, sometimes staying the night, and Elizabeth reappears at Sayes Court on 23 April 1673. The visits to Elizabeth are particularly frequent after Mordaunt’s death in 1675. This frequency is partly explained by Evelyn’s performing practical services. He was asked to advise her about her charitable giving, just as he had acted as ‘almoner’ for Margaret.65 These activities are recorded in his diary under 16 August  1678, where he records a donation of £100 and comments ‘a blessed Creature she was, one that feared  & loved God exemplarily’. There had been a similar entry on 2 December 1675: ‘After dinner this pious woman delivered me 100 pounds to bestow as I thought fit for the release of poore Prisoners, & other Charitable Uses’.66 This deeply impressed him, as appears in his letter of 16 June 1677: Madame, Besides the solicitude I have for yr L:ps health, & that of my Lord yr sonn, and to know in wt condition he is: The condission you gave me for the distribution of yr Charity, requires some account from me: I am now enquiring how, & when I may place yr piety & bounty. . . . But because you seem’d to intimate that it might be emploid for ye reliefe of poore prisoners, & to alleviate their debts, I would onely aske whether I might not cloth or relive a miserable widow, or any other destitute & religious Christian in some small proportion. . . . It is long, Madame, I do assure you that I have constantly praied for you, and remember’d you among some holy & devout Friends of

The trials of pious friendship  123 mine, who for their love to God, & fruits of Good works deserve to be celebrated, & are deare to me; so as I cannot say, that I have now a far greater Obligation to serve & honour you, & I will sincerely do it who am Madame Yr &c:67 He helped her in other ways to settle her finances. She had to take up a loan in July 1676, and Evelyn was drawn into arranging the sale of a coal farm. He also assisted with Mordaunt’s funeral monument in Fulham parish church and provided further advice to Elizabeth’s sons. There are also efforts to bring Margaret, Elizabeth, and sometimes Mary together, traceable in the pattern of recorded visiting. He took Margaret and Mary with him to see Elizabeth at Parsons Green on 29 September 1675, a few months after Mordaunt’s death.68 On 29 July 1676, Margaret was already at Parsons Green when Evelyn arrived. Mary was with him for his visit of 6 December 1676. As we know from Evelyn’s Life of Mrs Godolphin, on 4 August 1678, Elizabeth and Mary visited the heavily pregnant Margaret in Scotland Yard, and in early September, Elizabeth visited Margaret alone, a few days before her death.69 These things also make his visit to Elizabeth to mourn Margaret’s death in 1678 more understandable. The death of Margaret Godolphin produced one of Evelyn’s most remarkable letters.70 Writing on 9 October at night, in unmitigated grief, at court, where Margaret had died, Evelyn turns to Elizabeth as the only living friend who can help him in the devastating loss of his most special friend: Madame, With an house full of sorrow, Eyes full of Teares, and an heart oppress’d with griefe, I  sinke under the unspeakeable losse of my most deare, deare Friend. I know the part you will beare in this affliction; but what is that whilst I still am miserable, & see no end of it: It was a Friendship establish’d in the mutual love of God, & assistance of his Servants in all holy Offices, solemnly made now neere seaven Yeares since, and promoted with a devotion, & charity not to be describ’d: Her soule was precious to God, and he will have her ours no longer, because the happinesse was too greate; too greate for me indeede, unworthy sinner: ô how much do I owe to her piety, & Example! We have shed many teares, & sayd many prayers, & visited the poore, & gon to the house of the Lord like friends together, & now of all this am I stript in a moment: None on Earth knew her value more than my selfe, & therefore none so much oblig’d to deplore her losse: God Almighty onely, & yr Laps: prayers can restore Comforts to me: The Circumstances of this cruel accident are too large for a letter, & their repetition death to me: I humbly beg yr Lps: Assistance, that thro your interest at the Throne of Grace, I may be able to support this grievous mortification, and resigne my selfe: poore Mr: Godolphin is an object of real pitty, & when the torrent will abate, I do not see; for this has broaken all our measures in pieces: We sorrow not yet without hope,

124  Cedric C. Brown assured of her blisse and Glory; but it will be hard to follow her steps with equal pace who was so early, & consummate a Christian: She is at rest, and to that let us aspire, the hopes of meeting her with the Lord, as it is the greatest incitement to the emulation of her perfections, so is it the onely Consolation which remaines to Madame, Yr Lps: most humble Sad & afflicted Servant Whitehall: Moneday at night JEvelyn The letter preluded a visit. For 2 October the diary records, ‘I went to Parsons Greene to visite my Lady Mordaunt, & condole with her for my Deare Mrs. G’. He would have wanted to meditate and pray with ‘one that feared & loved God exemplarily’.71 By this time Elizabeth herself was seriously ill. The next year she went to France to try to recover and died there. Evelyn was named one of the executors, her constantly supportive good man. It is clear that the final flowering of his friendship with Elizabeth, the phase that allowed the earlier mentorship to turn into shared acts of piety, only really happened in the last stage. The development of the discourse of the letters manifests this change. It is also clear that though he was conscious of being laden with requests for help, the burden was balanced against old affection and continuing admiration for her spirit. Thus when he went to check things at Parsons Green on 14 July 1679, after Elizabeth had gone to France, he recorded this friendly office in his diary and recorded that she had made him trustee for her children, ‘an office I could not refuse’.72 On 26 November he recorded his duties as executor, meeting with Elizabeth’s constant champion: ‘I met the Earle of clarendon with the rest of my fellow Executors of the Wull of my late Lady Vicountesse Mordaunt . . . this excellent Lady’.73 Evelyn had other women friends, like Lady Sylvius, and developed new admiration for exemplary young women, but the two most special religious friendships were over. He would now conscientiously manage the retrospective record, but his missionary concern for women’s religious training and practical devotion would continue in other forms, as is evident in his tribute to his own daughter Mary, who died of small pox, aged 18, in 1685. The parents were surprised by the devotional documents she left behind and by her ‘early piety . . . spending a considerable part of every day in private devotion, Reading and other vertuous exercises, she had . . . written out aboundance of the most usefull and judicious periods of the Books she read’.74 He had always sought to build on such piety in his best friendships with women. In one sense he had gone full circle: what he applauded in Mary was like the piety of his mother and the step-grandmother who had brought him up. What the letters and other material records of his friendship with Elizabeth Carey/Mordaunt show, on the other hand, is with what difficulty this kind of piety co-existed with all the transactions of the real world of social and political negotiation, and, inevitably, how impossible it is to put boundaries

The trials of pious friendship  125 round one kind of affection and friendship, when friendship itself, as broadly conceived at the time, covered such a multitude of emotional and material needs. Elizabeth herself, whilst not quite fulfilling the liberating patterns of behaviour described in Penelope Anderson’s Friendship’s Shadows,75 or thinking deeply about friendship ideals, was an accomplished negotiator through networks and contacts encompassed in the broader conceptions of friendship.

Notes 1 Frances Harris, Transformations of Love: The Friendship of John Evelyn and Margaret Godolphin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). The issues of the two manuscript versions of the Life, and subsequent printed editions, are summarised at Harris, pp. 304–5, and in the standard edition, John Evelyn, The Life of Mrs Godolphin, ed. by Harriet Sampson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1939), pp. 116–23. 2 This essay extracts materials from my forthcoming book on the discourses of friendship in the seventeenth century, Friendship and its Discourses in the Seventeenth Century (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016), where wider references to early modern friendship will be found. 3 Evelyn, Life of Mrs Godolphin, p. 19. A fairly recent source of biographical information on Evelyn is John Evelyn and His Milieu, ed. by Frances Harris and Michael Hunter (British Library, 2003). 4 Evelyn, Life of Mrs Godolphin, pp. 22–3. 5 Most notably with Anne Howard/Sylvius. Evelyn first knew her as a lively girl when she lived next door to Sayes Court. They called each other ‘playfellow’, and Evelyn was teased as ‘Morose’. There are 10 copies of letters to Lady Sylvius in the two letterbooks (BL, Add. MSS, 78298 & 78299) up to April 1693. 6 The phrases are from ‘The Legend of Philaretes and the Pearl’, BL, Add. MS, 78392, discussed throughout this section. Evelyn, Life of Mrs Godolphin, pp. 7, 18. 7 A largely unexplored field lies in the numerous spiritual mentorships between religious men and women in the period. One new study in the field is Cornelia Wilde, Friendship, Love, and Letters: Ideals and Practices of Seraphic Friendship in SeventeenthCentury England (Heidelberg: Universitåtsverlag Winter GmbH, 2012). On chaplains see Chaplains in Early Modern England: Patronage, Literature and Religion, ed. Hugh Adlington, Tom Lockwood and Gillian Wright (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013). 8 There is an analogy in the life of Sir Robert Moray (Evelyn’s ‘most religious friend’), the eccentric Scotsman and fellow member of the Royal Society (and correspondent with Elizabeth Mordaunt in France), who was celebrated for expounding high ideals of friendship. See Frances Harris, ‘Lady Sophia’s Visions: Sir Robert Moray, the Earl of Lauderdale and the Restoration Government of Scotland’, The Seventeenth Century, 24/1 (Spring 2009), 129–55. 9 Playing on ‘margarite’ as the pearl of price (Matt. 13.46), meaning most virtuous among women. 10 Evelyn, Life of Mrs Godolphin, p. 91. 11 BL, Add. MS, 78298, fol. 62r. For reasons of accuracy, quotations from Evelyn’s letters are direct from copies in his letterbook, BL. Add. MS 78298. A printed edition with contextual information can be found in The Letterbooks of John Evelyn, ed. by Douglas D.C. Chambers and David Galbraith, 2 vols (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014). 12 This letter, BL, Add. MS, 78309, fol. 2, is probably misdated. 13 BL, Add. MS, 78298, fol. 62v. 14 The Diary of John Evelyn, ed. by E. S. de Beer (Oxford: Clarendon, 1955), III: 156. 15 Evelyn Diary, III: 158.

126  Cedric C. Brown 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60

BL, Add. MS, 78309, fol. 9. BL, Add. MS, 78298, fols 62v–63r. BL, Add. MS, 78298, fol. 63r. BL, Add. MS, 78309, fol. 11. BL, Add. MS, 78298, fols 63v–64v. BL, Add. MS, 78298, fols 64v–65r. BL, Add. MS, 78309, fol. 7. BL, Add. MS, 78298, fols 69v–70r. BL, Add. MS, 78309, fols 4, 5. Evelyn’s diary records visits (at either house) on 14 February, 17 May and 1 June (Evelyn Diary III: 189, 193 & 194). BL, Add. MS, 78439, fol. 17. See BL, Add. MS, 78298, fols 73v–74r. Evelyn Diary, III: 189. BL, Add. MS, 78298, fol. 79r–79v. BL, Add. MS, 78221, fol. 20. ‘by whose permission I presume to continue’: BL, Add. MS, 78298, fol. 79v. The Private Diarie of Elizabeth, Viscountess Mordaunt, ed. by [Earl of Roden] (Duncairn: privately printed, 1856). Ibid., pp. 232, 233. Ibid., pp. 226, 225. Ibid., pp. 14, 228, 231, 234, 236. Ibid., pp. 226–7, 236, 237. Edward Hyde, Works, ed. by W. Dunn Macray (Oxford: Clarendon, 1888), 6, pp, 58–9. Ibid., 6, p. 62. Evelyn Diary, III: 214. Hyde, Works, 6, p. 63. CSP Dom, 105: Secretary Nicholas to Lord Ormonde, 1/11 October 1659, from Brussels. Valuable resources for the Mordaunts’ activities are provided by the many letters involving both John and Elizabeth in Mary Coate (ed.), The Letter-book of John Viscount Mordaunt, 1658–1660 (London: RHS, Camden 3rd Series 69, 1945). Referred to hereafter as Mordaunt Letter-book. Mordaunt Letter-book, pp. 100–1. Ibid., pp. 92–3, 132–3, 140–1. There is an affectionate, if laconic, note to Elizabeth from the king accompanying the blank warrant in the Mordaunt Letter-book, p. 2. Private Diarie, p. 29. This entry is misdated 1649 in the 19th-century edition. Ibid., pp. 31–2, 43–5. Evelyn Diary, 23 November, 1666, III: 469. In his Discourse of the Nature, Offices and Measures of Friendship (1657) Jeremy Taylor, Evelyn’s erstwhile spiritual mentor, had, like others, emphasized the need to privilege friendships of long standing. Evelyn Diary, III: 262, 271, 275, 276, 290, 293, 305, 315, 341, 355, 367, 375. Ibid., III: 329, 354, 363, 377. BL, Add. MS, 78309, fol. 15. Evelyn Diary, III: 263, 278. BL, Add, MSS, 78298, fols. 111r, 116r. BL, Add. MS, 78298, fol. 123v. Evelyn Diary: III: 582, IV: 34. BL, Add. MS, 78298, fol. 111r. Private Diarie, p. 45. Ibid., pp. 51–2. Ibid., p. 180. Evelyn Diary, III: 468–9. Private Diarie, pp. 173–4. Ibid., p. 150.

The trials of pious friendship  127 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69

70 71 72 73 74 75

Evelyn Diary, III: 582. BL, Add. MS, 78298, fol. 189r. Evelyn Diary, IV: 34. Ibid., IV: 9. Evelyn, Life of Mrs Godolphin, p. 28. Evelyn Diary, IV: 140, 80–1. BL, Add. MS, 78298, fol.199r–v. Evelyn Diary, IV: 75. Evelyn, Life of Mrs Godolphin, p. 73. Elizabeth had also visited her before the birth, as Margaret was writing her instructions to her husband in the event of her death (Evelyn, Life of Mrs Godolphin, p. 71) and visited and supplied a cordial during her last illness (p. 78). The autograph copy of the letter sent to Lady Mordaunt is BL, Add. MS, 78309, fol. 21. Evelyn Diary, IV, pp. 173, 140. Ibid., p. 173. Ibid., pp. 188–9. Ibid., pp. 420–32. Penelope Anderson, Friendship’s Shadows: Women’s Friendship and the Politics of Betrayal in England, 1640–1705 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012).

8 ‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’ Lady Brilliana Harley’s advice letter to her son Johanna Harris Deare sonne Let theas Linnes some times present to your Eyees, thos things which I would speake to your Eares And I beceach the Lord to speake to your harte that it may Be plyeabell to all good Counsell Lady Brilliana Harley to her son, Edward, c.1638 BL, Add. MS, 70118

Introduction Edward ‘Ned’ Harley (1624–1700) set out for Magdalen Hall, Oxford, around October  1638. He was 14, and the eldest son of Lady Brilliana (c.1598–1643) and Sir Robert Harley (c.1579–1656) of Brampton Bryan, Herefordshire. This transition to the life of the young undergraduate prompted three lengthy letters to be sent to him, offering formal advice for him in his new environment. One came from Stanley Gower, the puritan incumbent at Brampton Bryan since 1634 and former chaplain to James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh. Another came from Ned’s father, a lawyer and M.P. Finally, a letter of advice came from his mother, Brilliana, daughter of the former Secretary of State, Sir Edward Conway, and, by then, mother to seven children. By this stage, the Harleys were well established in their moderate puritanism, had strong links with the international Protestant cause, were highly critical of the growing influence of Arminianism on the English church and Laudian innovations and the pressure this was placing upon the puritan ministers and lecturers among their acquaintance, many of whom they practically supported.1 Despite a deep regard for the universities, puritans expressed concern about an established church consensus that appeared to be diminishing the evangelical priorities of the universities, not only to educate in divinity (and to provide the basic qualification for ministry) but also to nurture reformed Protestant fervour in graduates for the benefit of the Commonwealth, for clerical and civic godly character.

‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’  129 There was concern about growing moral disorder (particularly amongst wealthy undergraduates) and alleged royal and ecclesiastical overreaching, institutionalised through Laudian statutes.2 These concerns, upheld by the Harleys, had been articulated by earlier puritans. The religious immigrant to Geneva and later provost of Trinity College, Dublin, Walter Travers, argued in 1574 that the universities ‘ought to be the seede and the frye [fire] off the holie ministerie thorowght the realme’ and warned against the expulsion of ‘good/lerned and worthy men’.3 Travers was the chaplain to Lord Burghley and tutor to his son, Robert Cecil, so his influence upon the early growth of radical Protestant thought was not insignificant. He wrote prolifically, particularly in transposing Calvin’s Genevan utopia of the Protestant state into an English setting.4 Affirming such concerns, Gower’s letter to Ned warned that at Oxford he would find both ‘examples  & temptations’, but Gower believed that ‘the L[ord] [would] fyre out ye corruptions of that Academy’; Sir Robert wrote to Ned, ‘I feare the Universities do too much abound wth [such] pigs’.5 Nevertheless, there were colleges and halls in both Oxford and Cambridge that were noted strongholds of nonconformity, and Magdalen Hall was one of them.6 Under the headship of the staunchly Calvinist John Wilkinson and the tutelage of Edward Perkins, carefully selected by his parents, Ned was sent to Oxford with worthy examples.7 Even so, all three correspondents saw this as an appropriate moment to summarize for Ned, on paper, truths pertaining to a life of godly integrity. Their letters synthesize classical humanist and biblical principles of civic duty and behaviour, and all three identify Ned’s new context of the university as a site of moral and spiritual challenge. The most exceptional letter Ned received was from his mother. It is a wide-ranging, intellectually rich, and textually creative legacy which acts as a written delegation to communicate a clear set of values and, most likely, to be preserved for posterity for the benefit of future generations.8 While fathers’ letters of advice to sons were a familiar and popular form, rooted in classical epistolarity, Brilliana Harley did not leave Gower or Robert Harley to perform this role.9 She could have acknowledged the eminence of the Trinity College, Dublin-educated clergyman, or Ned’s Oriel College, Oxford-educated father to comment upon contemporary university life, but such credentials are not mentioned, nor is there a self-declaring maternal voice typical of mother’s advice writing.10 Scholarship that considers Harley’s letters as instances of maternal advice tends to emphasize their ‘naturalness’, ‘spontaneity’, and ‘unstudied quality’.11 This particular text, however, has passed unobserved by most critics and shows Harley to have been a more skilful, versatile writer than surveys that do not discuss its distinct features can reveal. The few noticings variously describe it as ‘a memorandum of advice in which [Harley] counselled him to live a holy life’, ‘mothers’ advice in an epistolary form’, and ‘a small booklet summarizing [Harley’s] most treasured teachings’ and composed for her ‘own sense of mission and identity’.12 Each observation is accurate in part but none gives an account of Harley’s deliberate layout and lineation. Such aspects are crucial to appreciate her broader literary achievement. Harley’s manuscript is strategic in material, textual, and intellectual terms, and no description has yet stressed the complex but purposeful combination

130  Johanna Harris of literary form and material design that make it such a striking text – a literary gift that Ned, and his descendants, treasured and preserved. Letter-writing occupies a pivotal place within early modern discourses of communication and exchange and studies of global ‘cultures of knowledge’.13 Materiality is increasingly important to these studies; letters not only frequently conveyed ‘things’ inside or accompanying their packets but were material ‘things’ in their own right – commonly received as gifts and with notions of gift-exchange firmly embedded in epistolary vocabularies.14 This recognition highlights the essential relationship between the intellectual concerns of a community forged by letters and their material character, which assists in their intellectual expression. This essay therefore concentrates on the intriguing material characteristics of Harley’s letter of advice to Ned and the ‘social and cultural meaning’ she inscribes therein, alongside a broader consideration of the way her composition functions within English puritan literary culture of the late 1630s.15 Letter-writing helped to create and sustain a shared identity, and for the puritan network around the Harley family in these years preceding the outbreak of civil war, letters were the central means of articulating and strengthening their community culture and mind-set. Key to this, of course, was the training up of younger generations to ensure they, too, would continue to subscribe to the same social, cultural, Christian humanist values. BL, Add. MS, 70118: Lady Brilliana Harley to Edward Harley, c. 1638. Harley’s manuscript letter of advice (BL, Add. MS, 70118) takes the form of a small booklet, crafted as six sheets folded to make a quire of twelve leaves, sewn in the centre with basic thread stitches. The title page of the booklet features the letter’s superscription, neatly scripted, centre-justified and underlined: ‘For my Deare sonne, Edward Harley’. Overall, the intention appears to be to replicate a printed booklet of advice. The inside flyleaf is blank, and the main text on the recto of the second sheet opens with a similar mode of salutation but intensified with repetition: ‘My Dear, / and Most Dearely beloued sonne’. The text closes with her typical signature, ‘your most affectinat mother, Brilliana Harley’. It is clear that this is a carefully planned and presented fair copy, with Harley’s distinctive, large italic script but without the deletions and amendments common in her other letters. It is fluidly scripted throughout with the same pen and ink, without noticeable interruptions. The quality of paper is consistent with her wider correspondence, causing seepage of ink through the paper; however, she is less economical with space than usual, generously spacing this work, with consistency in the arrangement of horizontal and vertical space.16 Her opening salutation is aligned to the top left of the first page and her signature to the right at the end of the last page. In terms of spatial practices, the content of each leaf has been carefully arranged so that there is no excess ‘white’ space; she includes a wide left-margin on each page and provides her own marginal scriptural references at three points (John 5:4 (fol. 5r); Isaiah 30:33 (fol. 7v); 1 Corinthians 6:10 (fol. 8v))

‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’  131 and, visually, her lineation suggests a work of verse, with many lines not reaching the right edge of the page and new lines frequently commencing with majuscules. Harley’s hand is familiar and authenticating for Ned and other family readers, but the lack of specific or localizing references anywhere in the letter, the absence of personal names or other factors of shared knowledge, suggests a design for this text beyond that of mother-to-son legacy, or of a letter set in a specific historical moment. Harley creates a document with the potential for wider circulation that can be preserved, read by, and applicable to a future audience. It is likely that she intended her text to be read by future generations of the Harley family. Other aspects suggest this universalizing intention: it lacks a date or location of writing (her usual epistolary practice); no defined names or places are used that would limit the text’s applicability for later readers – instead of ‘Oxford’, ‘Magdalen Hall’, or ‘Brampton’ (which appear liberally throughout her other letters) she refers obliquely to ‘distance of place’; she does not refer to any recent or ongoing correspondence; and instead of her usual opening, ‘My dear Ned’, refers only to ‘my deare sonne’. Edward’s name is never given, counteracting the idea that this is a testament of her personal relationship with Ned. Textual identifiers of relationship, time, or place are therefore rejected in place of an intellectual approach to parental counsel with the potential for lifelong application, regardless of the identity of the young reader, whilst material signifiers work to enact the personal touch. The booklet-style format, layout, and size of BL, Add. MS, 70118 suggest Harley designed it for Ned’s ‘ready use’, for multiple instances of reading and reference, and to be easily transported. It was also designed with a history of epistolary advice in mind. Many published advice works in this period were designed and printed for easy transportation, often pocket-sized, including ‘Tully’s Offices’ (Cicero’s De officiis), as famously made known by Henry Peacham’s description of William Cecil, ‘who, to his dying day, would always carry it about with him, either in his bosome or pocket, being sufficient . . . to make both a Scholler and an honest man’.17 Erasmus’ Enchiridion (1533) was similarly transportable, as he celebrated in a letter to Thomas More, ‘My Enchiridion is universally welcome; the bishop of Basel carries it round with him everywhere’. His title exploited the dual connotations of enchiridion as both ‘handbook’ and ‘hand-dagger’ – a link he extended in the preface to his annotated edition of De officiis (Paris, 1501), addressed to Jacob Voogd, that his text, ‘this tiny dagger’ (pugiunculus) be carried around always because, to quote Menander, ‘virtue is mortal man’s mightiest weapon’. Erasmus’s prefatory letter explained his purpose: Since Pliny the Elder says these books should never be out of one’s hands, I have reduced the bulk of the volume as far as possible to permit its being carried about always as a pocket handbook and, as Pliny also recommended, learnt by heart.18 For Ned’s life as an undergraduate at Oxford, the textual layout and content of his mother’s letter of advice made it an equally pocketable handbook, bound

132  Johanna Harris and structured in a way that would aid memorization and designed to be opened for regular reminders, in the manner that Erasmus instructed Voogd to open his abridgement of De officiis ‘from time to time’ and ‘dip the limbs of your mind in its waters’.19

Christian humanism, parental advice, and Harley’s literary style While the most famous literary example of fathers’ humanist advice for sons, Polonius’ sententiae for Laertes, may have been mocked in Hamlet (1.3.55–80) for their ineffectual and empty connotations, it is clear he was drawing on a familiar and trusted history of advice-giving; his contemporary audience would have received the precepts themselves as conventional and wise. The precepts Harley communicates display a detailed cultural knowledge of stoic aphorisms of the very kind Polonius offers in his parting speech to his son. This cultural knowledge extends beyond shared principles to shared modes of expression. Several comparisons can be drawn: Harley discusses the importance of guarding one’s tongue, testing acquaintances and protecting true friendship with faithfulness, avoiding quarrels, reserving one’s judgement but giving an equal hearing to all, avoiding debt, and being an equally authentic character before all men. She uses similar literary tropes; for instance, Polonius metaphorically contextualises Laertes’ venture into the world (he is, literally, setting sail for university in Paris) with the expression, ‘The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail’ (I.3.56), depicting the pregnant potential of youth. Harley translates Ned’s life into an extended metaphor that begins with this conventional trope of a ship setting sail,20 but develops it with stronger theological resonance: I may resembell your life heatherto To A Shipe that has Line at Ancor in a quiet hauen, and Nowe I looke vpon you as On Lanceing forth into the seas Of this world, whear I can not Saye to you theare are only two Rockes, but many against which You may suffer such shiprake As to Loose the Comfort of your Owne soule . . . (fol. 6r) Harley’s reference to the ‘two Rockes’ is a proverbial rendering of Scylla and Charybdis, the Homeric sea monsters between which Odysseus is forced to navigate his ship.21 Its idiomatic use in English eventually became akin to being ‘between a rock and a hard place’, but it was also proverbialised in Erasmus’ Adagia, by which he warned against inadvertently falling into one danger whilst

‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’  133 being focused on avoiding another.22 By the late-sixteenth century, being ‘between Scylla and Charybdis’ had taken on the signification of navigating religious and political controversy.23 Harley was updating, then, the classical reference to suit the complex theological troubles of her age, demonstrating an awareness of this classical rhetorical narrative and its uses in early modern religious and political thought, and, appropriately, configuring her written warning as a verbal injunction (‘I can not / Saye to you theare are only two / Rockes’), just as Circe had verbally warned Odysseus. The unpredictable, tempestuous sea of the world, in which Ned’s ‘Shipe’ sails, is also a common feature of Christian symbolism. In particular, from a worldview that associates human action with God’s providence, to navigate the sea like Noah during the Flood is to be divinely navigated towards a pre-ordained salvation and, ultimately, to a heavenly safe-haven. Augustine cast Noah’s ark as the Christian church, ‘a figure of God’s Citty here upon earth’,24 and it was an allegory built upon by Calvin in his explanation of providence as God ‘guiding the sterne’ of the world.25 The Geneva Bible’s marginal notes to Psalm 107:23–30 illustrate it as a crucial trope within reformed Protestant thought of God’s providence and the sea as a site of danger and deliverance.26 Harley’s text therefore co-opts the ‘nautical piety’ that was conventional in Christian humanist discussions of God’s providence and the literature that draws on the same trope to communicate advice.27 Just as Polonius’ aural and textual patterning aids remembrance for his listener through verse,28 Harley’s text employs aural and textual triggers that co-operate with memory to perpetuate a sense of unity with Ned and ensure his subsequent dutiful action. She frames her impetus for writing upon memory: it was my constant practice offten to put you in minde of thos things which tende to your Cheefest good, but now distance of place will not giue leaue to performe that duty so offten as I desire, thearefore Deare sonne Let theas Linnes some times present to your Eyees, thos things which I would speake to your Eares (fol. 2r) The assertion that this is a repeatable ‘practice’ and ‘perform[ance]’ of parental duty on Harley’s part is expressed through the use of ‘my constant practice’ and the double iteration of ‘offten’ and ‘so offten’. She suggests her care can be maintained despite their physical separation and her ‘duty’ fulfilled through the medium of the letter. The desired response is that Ned will read her advice not once but repeatedly: ‘Let theas Linnes some times present to your Eyees’. Harley evokes the memory of Ned’s home and family but without relinquishing the text’s

134  Johanna Harris intended design to have broader applicability. Her stylisation of the work as a letter with verse layout within a manuscript booklet neatly bound signals the rich, hybrid potentialities of the genre. The remainder of this essay considers the textual and literary features of Harley’s manuscript letter in order to evaluate the ideological impetus underlying her work, the ‘network’ within which she expected it to function, and the long-lasting implications she anticipated it would have. There is no consistent poetic form to the composition, but Harley’s lineation is conscious and strenuously achieved: many lines do not fill the width of the page, and she uses majuscules for the first letter of most of the leading words in each line. However, there is an internal rhythm or texture which aids the memorization of lines. For instance: theare-fore / Deare-sonne / Let theas Linnes / some times pres-ent to Your Eyes, thos things which I Would speake / to your Eares The italics (mine) in the words above highlights the syllabic emphases but also helps to signal the ideological stress of the work; the rhythm of the passage is iambic, with occasional anapests, but the modes of communication that impact upon eyes and ears – writing and speaking – are also those which host the emphasized syllables (‘sonne’, ‘Linnes’, ‘times’, ‘Eyes’, ‘speake’, ‘Ears’), calling upon a traditional understanding of letters enacting conversation in written form, overcoming absence. Internal rhymes, like ‘lines’ and ‘(some)times’, and assonance (as in ‘lines – times – eyes – I’) also work to overcome this physical absence as she moves from Ned’s reception of the ‘lines’ on the physical page to an evocation of herself – ‘I’ – as though she is physically present with him. The parallel patterning of ‘to Your Eyes’ and ‘to your Eares’ reinforces the sense that what Ned is reading (with his eyes) is what he could be hearing (with his ears) from her physical presence.29 Repetition in Harley’s lexis also synchronises with the internal patterning, aiding its inscription in the memory, and the sense that it reaches the wisdom of a maxim: . . . obey your God in The whoule Cours of your Life And that you may doo so take Heede of sinne, and labore to Live A holy Life, and that you may Doo so Looke to your Hart that it Be holy . . . (fol. 4r) The later insertion of a superscripted ‘that’ shows this is a deliberate repetition of the phrase ‘and that you may doo so’. Her terminology reinforces the purpose for the work: as with advice literature at large, this is about knowing and doing.

‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’  135 The use of ‘And that’ confirms not only that this is about matters of implication (of one consequence building on another); the repetition of the anaphoric ‘and’ raises the dramatic effect of her argument, building a list of instructions implicitly related to one another. With ‘and’ twice preceding ‘doo’, she also suggests that future action is bound up with prior knowledge and that this natural conjunction between knowing and doing is embedded in history: in this case, in Ned’s prior spiritual formation. In order to ‘obey your God’ and ‘to / Live A holy Life’ Ned must previously (if perpetually) ‘take / Heede of sinne’ and ‘Looke to [his] Hart’. The way the passage readily slips, again, into rhythmic patterns strengthens the dramatic compilation of knowledge and action, aiding its memorization. At the same time as this internal working, Harley’s rhetorical construction amplifies the purpose of advice literature at large: to teach but also to blend this knowledge permanently with responsive action. This can be further demonstrated in the way Harley’s phrase ‘whole cours of your Life’ is eventually contracted acoustically, a few lines later, into ‘holy life’. Her construction here provides on the page or to the ear the model of consistent virtue she advocates: ‘whole cours of your Life’ is a lengthening of ‘holy life’, enacting textually the virtuous life’s reward and the hard work that ‘whole cours of your Life’ undertakes (with ‘sinne’ and ‘labore’ to endure in the following lines) before the ultimate ‘holy’ is reached. The internal patterning of language and rhythm in Harley’s manuscript also works alongside the choices she makes for the text’s material appearance: for instance, Thos whoo sinn with a Mulltitude Must be punisched with a multitude Visually, the repetition, ‘with a multitude’, reinforces Harley’s designed lineation. It invites the eye to fall upon the phrase and lends emphasis to the contention of her puritan worldview that by cultural imperative they were a community called to be distinct from the ‘mulltitude’. Stylistically, the repeated line ending inevitably couples ‘sinn’ with ‘punisched’, their ordering reflecting action followed by ethical reaction. This is dramatically developed in the triple repetition of ‘must be punisched’: twice with the significance of line beginnings and ‘Must’ made emphatic with capitalisation, enacting the moral determinism and inexorable judgement in her repetitions on the page: Must be punisched with a multitude Wee see it in the old world The Lord is no Respecter of persons If Nobell Men sinn Nobell Men Must be punisched. Kings shall Not be Exemted if they sinn They must be punisched in this Life and in that to Come [Isa:30:33:]  Tophet was prepared for them. (fol. 7v)

136  Johanna Harris The third of these repetitions (‘must be punisched’) begins with ‘They’. With startling directness, Harley writes forcefully that the focus of God’s just wrath is not abstract, but men – ‘Nobell Men’ and ‘Kings’ – specifically. Harley’s lack of restraint about the impending punishment awaiting the ungodly among the ranks of the social and political elite is shocking but captures her repugnance of those undermining God’s sovereignty in England through their rejection of biblical morality. The way Harley turns her earlier instruction to resist the undergraduate temptation to swear (‘Let not the Jenerallity because / Most swere moue you to doo so’) into a discussion of eternal corporate damnation follows a similar pattern. The ‘multitude’ is clarified as a classless entity, united on the basis of having offended God regardless of their social position or inherited privilege. She turns what is a cultural observation, a ‘Jenerallity’, in the sense of a general phrase or a verbal commonplace, into a synonym for the ‘multitude’, where Ned is influenced by a mob, even be they ‘Nobell Men’. Her historical theology (‘Wee see it in the old world’) draws on several Old Testament examples of divine wrath extended to a multitude but articulates most precisely the destruction of Egypt prophesied by Ezekiel. Both the Authorized Version and the Geneva Bible repeatedly refer to Pharaoh ‘and all his multitude’ (Ezekiel 32), with the Geneva italicizing ‘even Pharaoh’. The equalization of all kings, noblemen, and ‘persons’ is evident in Ezekiel’s depiction of the multitude suffering in hell: Thei [‘the multitude of Egypt’] shal fall in the middes of them that are slayne by ye sworde: she is deliuered to the sworde: drawe her downe, & all her multitude. The moste mighty & strong shal speake to her out of the middes of hel with them yt helpe her: they are gone down and slepe with the uncircumcised that be slaine by ye sworde. (Ezekiel 32: 20–21) Despite her argument that all sin (regardless of status) will be justly punished, Harley’s emphasis on kings in this moral contract is peculiar. In a booklet of advice for a 14-year-old boy, heir to a modest gentry estate, the shift from warning against swearing and other adolescent temptations to a graphic illustration of the special portion allotted to disobedient kings is disarming. Her development of ‘They must be punisched’ to include the concept of eternal punishment (‘in this / Life and in that to Come’) is superseded for dramatic effect by ‘Tophet was prepared for them’. This is accompanied by the marginal biblical reference (Isaiah 30:33) to explain the theological doctrine of Tophet, ‘prepared of olde: it is even prepared for the King’ (30:33, Geneva). Tophet, in the valley of Hinnom, was also known as ‘the valley of slaughter’ (Jeremiah 7:32; 19:6) and is a textual fulfilment of Harley’s earlier reference to the truths in biblical prophecy. Tophet had been transformed into this slaughter hell because it had been the site built for Judah’s worshippers to ‘burne their sonnes & their daughters’ as sacrifices to Moloch and Baal (Jeremiah 7:32). The Geneva Bible glosses Tophet with the explanation that it is prepared ‘even’ for Kings; it is a figure of speech to represent eternal punishment of ‘ye wicked after this life’ and the inherent equality of all people before

‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’  137 God: ‘their estate or degre[e] can not exe[m]pt the wicked’.30 Harley’s reference to Tophet thus carries deeply serious – and haunting – inferences to the fate of Israel’s children if moral reform is ignored. Her advice booklet is a fierce effort against the degenerative influence of the wider world, including its rulers, upon her son. Harley’s warning against swearing is allowed in her text to escalate into an enflamed attack upon royal disobedience, suggesting a radical, biblical republicanism. Identical typology emerged in the parliamentary hearings of Charles I in 1648, when Sir Thomas Wroth declared ‘That Bedlam was appointed for mad-men, Tophet for Kings’.31 1638 is too early to claim an unambiguous republicanism for Harley, but her conception of the natural, monogamous relationship between godly and civic virtue is clear and is possibly an early explication of what later puritan republican discourse develops as the inherent civility of the elect. This is a belief to which Harley adhered, and her adoption of a proto-biblical prophetic strain indicates her adamancy.32 The broader textual context of her statement exacerbates the realisation of how easily she slips into such vituperative tones. Immediately after indicting sinning kings to Tophet, she draws to completion her argument against swearing: ‘make your word of / More value then theair othes’ (fol. 7v). With the damning image of Tophet lingering, the sudden jolted return to Ned’s undergraduate peers and the seemingly minor offense of swearing is unnerving, and yet this is a seamless development from Harley’s perspective, without any sense of rhetorical incompatibility. She earlier explains that to swear is a direct contravention of the Third Commandment (fol. 7r), but to pick up her argument again from here indicates that by swearing she intends particularly to indict oath-taking: calling upon God’s name to intensify the commitment to a statement or promise rather than simply heightened expression or rash utterances.33 For Harley to situate her warning against sinful kingship within a broader discussion of oath-taking and swearing begins increasingly to make intellectual and structural sense. The challenge to puritan moral values was seen in the most ordinary of situations, especially in one’s patterns of speech and behaviour. Distinctness in these matters testified to a distinctness of community and belief that was under threat at the highest legal, constitutional, and ecclesiastical levels. Collinson articulates the symbiosis of puritan doctrine and practice succinctly: ‘The meaning of puritanism is not only doctrine, applied and internalized, but a social situation: the partly self-inflicted isolation of the godly, which contributed to a significant change in the pattern of cultural and social relations’.34 It is for this reason that Harley’s letter of advice is a crucial intellectual and cultural intervention. As a material letter, it acts through both social and intellectual means to uphold not just puritan views on elect, distinct living but also the practice of living out this distinction – isolated, yet in community. Harley’s understanding of the sin of swearing relates to actions that are borne out of knowledge and belief. Ned is advised that the most effective method to assure others of his elect difference is to follow through on his internalized understanding with appropriate action in the wider social sphere: ‘make your word of / More value then theair othes’. A puritan perspective on oath-taking that was

138  Johanna Harris distinct from the position of the established Church had been emerging at least since the early 1590s when, under Whitgift and Bancroft, the ex officio oath pressured radical Protestants to declare their allegiance to the Church and Elizabeth as its head. Allegedly, this was in the interests of state security against popery but was ostensibly part of a strategy to root out puritan separatism as much as it was to unite the Church of England against the threat of Catholicism. The issue reignited under James I with the Oath of Allegiance (1606), An Act for the Better Discovering and Repressing of Popish Recusants, when concerns arose about how seriously the monarch and his ecclesiastical advisors considered the biblical injunction against oath-taking.35 Caution is one way to monitor one’s patterns of behaviour, and so too is the repetition of familiar aphorisms. With another occurrence of linear patterning, Harley emphasizes her message (to ‘take heede’ of sin) and demonstrates it practically through a careful structure: I Can not say take heede of on[e] sinn but take heede Of all sinnes (fols 7v-8r) The repetition of the directive to ‘take heede’ at each line’s end helps to enunciate the centrality of wise caution to the godly life. To repeat the ending enacts this advice through linguistic demonstration. The directive also segues neatly towards the next ‘sin’ for her attention – drunkenness – in the same way that the biblical injunction to ‘take heed’ builds towards warning against this sin in particular: ‘Take hede to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be oppressed with surfeiting and drunkenness’ (Luke 21:34). Harley describes drunkenness as ‘Pernicious’ and ‘the sinn of this Agge’ and, again, as a mode of entrapment for Ned by his peers, who will reason that age (adulthood) and independence (from home) ought to give him ‘Liberty’ to be like the other young men of his social class: It may be they will tell you f.8v you are not nowe to be Gouerned, by your Father and Mother, you are not nowe at Home, and you are nowe at your Liberty, and you must doo as Other Jentellmen doo (fol.8r-v) Harley does not justify her argument for Ned’s principled stance against drunkenness on the basis of an ongoing obedience to his ‘Father and Mother’. This was often the injunction provided in mothers’ legacies with strong biblical precedent: both Elizabeth Jocelin and Dorothy Leigh cited disobedience against parents as a violation of God’s commandments, and incorporated Proverbs 1:8 into their

‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’  139 justification for writing (‘My sonne, heare thy fathers instruction, and forsake not thy mothers teaching’).36 Instead, Harley glosses her margin with 1 Corinthians 6:10, explaining: But doo You remember that though your Father on Earth see you not Yet your heauenly Father dous And him learne to feare, Whoo haith forbiden drunckennes Vnder so waighty a charge As the Loos of a kingdom [1 Cor:6:10:]  No Druckard shall enter into The kingdome of heauen (fol. 8v) Echoing her original justification for writing, that ‘theas Linnes’ intend to be present with Ned in place of her physical self, to ‘speake to [his] Eares’ (fol. 2r), Harley reminds Ned that his new ‘Liberty’, though beyond the sight of his earthly father, does not exceed the sight of God, his heavenly ‘Father’. It is a linguistic turn forming part of a broader reflection on godly parenthood throughout the text that challenges stereotypical accounts of puritan attitudes to childhood sin (to emphasise Calvinist doctrine of original sin and encourage harsh discipline and punishment).37 While the reminder of parental concern is evident, Harley relieves the moral pressure upon Ned to be good on account of his parents by placing ultimate authority, judgment, and punishment with God through ensuring her rhetorical register dwells on the pleasure brought to parents through worthy children, rather than the shame brought about by recalcitrance. Early in the advice letter, she states, ‘It is not the Comfort of parents / To have Chillderen but to haue good / Chillderen’ (fol. 2v). The rhetorical amplification is embellished with a metaphor of ripe fruit, patterned in structure upon her primary argument: you knowe in fruts it is not theair excelency to be an Apell, or a plume, but to be of such a kinde of Apell or plume Which is excelent, that gaines the Esteme (fol. 3r) Peacham’s Compleat Gentleman also used the metaphor of the ‘best’ of apples – ‘the Pomroy and Queene-apple’ – to define inherently noble character.38 Harley’s pattern of thought emphasises, however, the maturation required to produce this lineage of greater perfection. It roots her act of writing amongst Herefordshire’s

140  Johanna Harris famous apple orchards, and quite likely during the harvesting season of autumn and Ned’s first Michaelmas Term at Oxford, calling upon the knowledge Ned would almost certainly have shared with her in this area. Esteemed fruit prompts notions of strong roots, sweet flavours, pollination by admirable stock, and richly fertile and enduring and shifts easily into a discourse of godly fruitfulness. Throughout her letters to Ned, she often refers to him as the ‘apple of her eye’, echoing the psalmist’s account of God’s view of his children (Ps.17:8); her continued use of the trope in BL, Add. MS, 70118 gives further clarity, therefore, to her understanding that the encouragement and maturation of virtue developed in conjunction with the covenant theology of family, with parents modelling God’s love for his children. For this reason, it is unsurprising to find that her incorporation of the parallel images of Ned and esteemed apples or plums bear close resemblance to biblical patterning and imagery, such as when Paul’s epistle to the Colossians esteems ‘being fruitful in all good workes, and increasing in the knowledge of God’ (Colossians 1:10, Geneva). This section of Harley’s advice is immediately followed with this earnest invocation: ‘Nowe the desire / of my soule is that you may be / filled with knowledg, and strength / of Gras allways to doo the / good you knowe’ (fol. 3v), resembling the appeals made by the apostle Paul in his letter, just quoted. Harley’s paralleling of her son’s cultivation of godly character with a vivid depiction of fruit that attains the highest praise instigates parallels between her delivery of advice, in textual form as Ned’s mother, and her biological role in his reproduction. Mothers’ advice manuals have been used to articulate the metaphorical links between procreation and authorship, in the sense that they performed doubly reflexive acts of production: they were a metaphorical maternal production whilst also a literal textual production for the biological offspring.39 Parental advice literature at large prescribed the responsibility for nurturing required behaviour in the ‘child’ both as reader and as offspring, and, as such, the ‘bringing forth’ (of text and child) becomes also a ‘sending out’ of both.40 Harley’s advice depicts Ned himself as ‘On[e] Lanceing forth into the seas / Of this world’ (fol. 6r), confirming her conception of him as her ‘issue’, ready to encounter a wider reception and, much like her text styled as a letter, to be sent forth. Advice letters were apposite demonstrations of the manuscript as a ‘production’ of character and as a window to the semantic parallelism of biological and textual reproduction. Even as material artefact, the letter acted as a medium for knowledge transactions (its didactic function) and retention (an instigator of memory). The material didactic function could be achieved through its emissary qualities of pseudo-parental presence and could prompt this perception of presence through mimetic instigators, such as recognizable handwriting, signatures, ink and paper (even its scent), familiar messengers, and family seals. An association between letters, the metaphor of imprinting, and literary texts of parental advice for the next generation is therefore plausible in the context of Harley’s self-conscious literary and material epistolary styling of her text. Central, of course, to the epistolary genre is the implicit act of engagement with a recipient, with the expectation

‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’  141 of response in some form; with Ned, there is the reality of a wider ongoing correspondence with his mother, and it is his response to her letter that is Harley’s main concern: Let your Toung, Eyes, hands and feete Be the Instruemnts by which you May Expres the good Affections Of your Hart (fol. 5r) His delivery of the ‘good Affections’ of his ‘Hart’ will reflect the fact that he is ‘borne of God’ (fol.6r). Harley’s language calls strongly upon the terminology and theology present in William Perkins’ commentary on Galatians. Harley had been immersed in Perkins since her early youth, and the family owned most works by Perkins.41 Predominantly, usage of the ‘affections’ in contemporary theological works tended towards a negative interpretation of feelings that were controlled by passion and violated reason, borne of carnal nature, but contemporary puritan discourse was coopting a more positive rendering in the doctrine of the affections.42 Harley appropriates these positive workings of the ‘affections’ of the heart in BL, Add. MS, 70118. The phrase is present, near-exact, in Perkins’ discussion of the means of justification by faith: ‘It is a common rule in scripture, that words signifying knowledge, signifie also the motions and good affections of the heart . . . If this be true in wordes of knowledge, then much more wordes of beleeuing signifie the good motions, and the affiance of the heart’.43 Harley’s discussion suits Perkins’ context impeccably. She mentions the ‘tongue’ amongst other anatomical tools, but like Perkins, ‘words’ are more than speech and signify the ‘motions’ and heart’s ‘affections’, revealing the prevailing influence upon a man’s life – God, or men. For Harley, the application she chooses for the injunction is also to be found in this broader sense of social engagement: in Ned’s ‘Conversation’. To illustrate, she crafts one of the most distinctive and alluring images of all, and one which has subtle ideological and material resonance across her entire epistolary corpus: be wacthefull What Company you most Conuers With, It is A true obsaruation That men are as apte to take Vp the Jestures and fraises Of thos with whom they dayly Conuers with, As paper is to Partake of the perfume with Which it lyes (fol. 5v) Harley’s sensory imagery to evoke the devastating consequences of Ned’s choice of ‘Company’ is powerful and is generated from common knowledge (‘it is A true

142  Johanna Harris obsaruation’), but the rhetorical construction ultimately avoids relying upon the metaphor itself for her meaning. This is for the very reason that assessments of scent can only be qualitative: the image of paper evincing the perfume with which it lies refrains from describing the scent as positive or negative in itself. Rather, the image works figuratively to signal that what is sensed on the ‘outside’ (seen, heard) will truthfully translate what is on the inside, good and bad. Paper has the potential to carry further material markers of authenticity by scent – the aroma of the correspondent or the familiar location in which it is written – and indeed paper was, in this period, sometimes deliberately perfumed.44 The nature of Ned’s heart, therefore, will be clearly communicated through his ‘Jestures and fraises’, just as these mannerisms will reveal the moral character of those with whom he spends his time. The literal materiality of Harley’s choice metaphor of the paper has a more subtle significance still. Repeatedly throughout her other letters, Harley conceptualizes their correspondence as a ‘paper conversing’, rendering the actual paper she writes upon and that Ned holds in receipt as a symbolically and materially significant conversation. Her image conveys a crucial aspect of participating in epistolary correspondence: Ned’s ‘dayly’ participation in this conversation – keeping ‘Company’ with his mother and others of like mind – will ensure that his words and actions truly transmit the sweet aroma of Christ in his heart.45 Spiritually, Harley’s imagery evokes deeper meaning. This sensory imagery that discerns true character evokes an important biblical equivalent, as the apostle Paul uses the same evocative imagery of fragrance to equate the perception of scent with faithful adherence to advice: Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. (2 Corinthians 2:14–15) The suggestion that Ned’s ‘paper’ can be read for the true essence of his character accords a highly sensory capability to epistolarity. Through the dialogic nature of their ‘paper discours’, attempts to disguise the truth through letters were pointless. In biblical translations from Tyndale (1526) onwards, ‘savour’ occurred frequently as a rendering of the Greek and Hebrew ‘smell’ and gives the sense of perfume diffusing through the atmosphere.46 Paul’s structure also gives the sense of either an intensification of action or a change of state.47 This was a linguistic stance aptly suited to a text articulating the precepts for achieving a virtuous or godly life. Ned Harley’s new and challenging university context called for an intensified performance of godly precepts for living. Harley believed him now to be in a godless environment, where her use of the imagery of savouring and distaste was pertinent: the ‘ripeness of judgment and holynes’ of godly men who left the universities at this time for other positions were symbolically the ‘ripe grapes’ who were ‘gleaned’, while ‘the spoyleing of the universitys and corrupting of the jentry theare breed’ she described as the ‘sower on[e]s’ left behind in ‘the garden’.48

‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’  143 The literal and metaphorical interpretations of Harley’s paper, perfume, and character imagery have literary and spiritual effects. On a literary level, it could suggest that she anticipated her written advice being shared amongst others; she certainly carefully styled the letter as her own handwritten version of a printed manual, and the content of her advice was authoritatively presented and widely applicable. On a spiritual level, it explained her interest in terms of the wider implications for Ned’s conduct. His actions and character reflected upon his family as well as on the religious outlook to which they adhered. Thus it was also those to whom he was spiritually tied, ‘Thos whoo are borne of God / . . . the smalest number’ (fol.6r–6v), to whom he owed a positive enactment of her advice. Ned’s ‘perfume’ could be detected by known and unknown recipients, and so too by association could that of the Harleys and their puritan community.

Conclusion There has not been space here to engage fully with the vast range of classical, Christian and other humanist sources infusing Harley’s language and ideas in BL, Add. MS, 70118. A final idiosyncratic feature of this composition, however, inscribes it even more richly with the patterned approach to epistolary advice that has been suggested here, gearing it as a work of Christian advice in textual and material terms. Harley’s biblical marginal glosses situate her text within a broader network of letter-writing – those constituting the apostolic letters of the New Testament. These were the most influential documents of epistolary Christian advice with which Harley would have engaged and were fundamental exemplars for her own composition of weighty spiritual direction. Pertinently, they were written to instruct the early church community in counter-cultural living, much as Harley’s letter to Ned pivots on the idea that her advice will run against the cultural grain of Oxford. She imitates this apostolic epistolary advice with her own marginal annotations and cross-references and by adopting similar tones of exhortation. Remarkably, she also replicates their closing expressions of prayer and benediction, completing her letter of advice with a familiar yet also formal, biblical tenor: Now the Lord of heauen and Earth Blles you with the Saueing Grasess of his Spirit. and presarue and keepe you in his feare for Euer A Men. your Affecinat Mother Brilliana Harley. (fol. 11r) Apostolic letters frequently closed with similar benedictions and direct uses of ‘Amen’.49 Yet this is the only occasion that Harley blends a benediction and ‘A Men’ with her conventional mode of signing off a letter (‘your Affectinat Mother’). The manuscript presents a striking, perhaps unique, instance of highly

144  Johanna Harris creative generic intermixing, blending her familiar style with a biblical epistolary closure by way of benediction and the ultimate seal of a prayerful ‘Amen’, enacting the fundamental notion of participation that comes also through communion in Christian prayer. In appropriating the authorial stance of a writer of advice literature, following frameworks of biblical and classical epistolarity, Harley offers Ned an authoritative stance on right living in accordance with the principles in which he has been raised. She delivers her precepts without the gendered terminology that has come to be expected in the stereotype of mothers’ advice.50 Instead, she uses ‘our’ and ‘we’ to convey that despite displacement, the task of labouring for reparation is a shared experience. Just as letters suggest a shared space despite physical absence, Harley’s adoption of the form to convey her civic and spiritual advice is astute: it allows her to confirm for Ned in both literary and spiritual ways that he does not ‘labore’ (fol. 2v) in isolation, a crucial part of the puritan sense of dispersed community.51 BL, Add. MS, 70118, then, is a document designed for a broader canvas of reception. Harley’s ‘letter’ is designed for repeated and referential use, styled so as to be perpetually relevant rather than contextually specific. It positions itself against many of the influences likely to affect Ned in a formative educational setting and provides her definitive synthesis of Christian humanist advice. It omits to direct Ned to other sources of godly advice and stakes its own independent and authoritative claim, as a letter, to the literature of moral and religious conduct.

Notes 1 The term ‘puritan’ is used throughout this essay to denote the ‘hotter sort’ of Protestants, who identified with the Church of England but nevertheless pushed for stronger reforms after the Elizabethan religious settlement. My definitions follow closely the work of Patrick Collinson, Nicholas Tyacke, and Peter Lake. 2 J.T. Cliffe, The Puritan Gentry: The Great Puritan Families of Early Stuart England (London: Routledge, 1984), pp. 83–92, 98–103; John Morgan, Godly Learning: Puritan Attitudes Towards Reason, Learning and Education (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 230–3. 3 Walter Travers, A Full and Plaine Declaration of Ecclesiasticall Discipline Owt Off the Word Off God (Heidelberg, 1574), pp. 144–5. 4 Alan Ford, ‘Travers, Walter (?1548–1635)’, ODNB; Polly Ha, English Presbyterianism, 1590–1640 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011). 5 BL, Add. MS, 70002, fols 202–3; BL, Add. MS, 61989, fols 7–8. On Gower, see Jacqueline Eales, ‘Gower, Stanley (bap. ?1600, d.1660)’, ODNB. The letters from Stanley Gower and Sir Robert Harley to Ned bear fuller examination in my forthcoming monograph, Puritan Epistolary Communities. 6 Mark H. Curtis, Oxford and Cambridge in Transition, 1558–1642 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1959), pp. 191–2; Morgan, Godly Learning, pp. 245–71; Blair Worden, God’s Instruments: Political Conduct in the England of Oliver Cromwell (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 177. 7 ‘Wilkinson, John’, General Biographical Dictionary, vol. 32 (rev. ed.), ed. by Alexander Chalmers (London: 1817), pp. 35–6. 8 OED, ‘legacy’, 3 and 5a, b.

‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’  145 9 Among the most cited are: William Cecil, Lord Burghley’s’s letter of advice to his son, Robert, in c.1585; Sir Walter Ralegh’s Instructions to His Sonne, and to Posterity (1632); and James I’s Basilikon Doron, or His Majesties Instructions to His Dearest Sonne, Henry the Prince (Edinburgh, 1599; London, 1603). See also Louis B. Wright (ed.), Advice to a Son: Precepts of Lord Burghley, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Francis Osborne (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1962); W. Lee Ustick, ‘Advice to a Son: A Type of Seventeenth-Century Conduct Book’, Studies in Philology, 29 (1932), 409–41. 10 For an overview of this burgeoning scholarly field to date, see Jennifer Heller, The Mother’s Legacy in Early Modern England (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011). 11 Raymond Anselment, ‘Katherine Paston and Brilliana Harley: Maternal Letters and the Genre of Mother’s Advice’, Studies in Philology, 101/4 (2004), 431–54 (p. 435). 12 Cliffe, Puritan Gentry, p. 89; Kenneth Charlton, Women, Religion and Education in Early Modern England (London: Routledge, 1999), pp. 234–5; Diane Willen, ‘ “Communion of the Saints”: Spiritual Reciprocity and the Godly Community in Early Modern England’, Albion, 27/1 (1995), 19–41 (p. 32). 13 See, for instance, ‘Cultures of Knowledge: Networking the Republic of Letters, 1550–1750’, based at Oxford University [www.culturesofknowledge.org] [accessed 30 August 2015]. 14 In a burgeoning field, landmark works on letters as gift texts include: James Daybell, The Material Letter in Early Modern England (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 16–7, and Women Letter Writers in Tudor England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 265; Cedric Brown, ‘Presence, Obligation and Memory in John Donne’s Texts for the Countess of Bedford’, Renaissance Studies, 22/1 (2008), 63–85; Lynne Magnusson, Shakespeare and Social Dialogue (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). On letters and gift exchange within families, see Ilana Krausman Ben-Amos, The Culture of Giving: Informal Support and Gift-Exchange in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), Chapter 1. On classical negotiations of this lexis of gift exchange, see Amanda Wilcox, The Gift of Correspondence in Classical Rome (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), and, of course, Marcel Mauss, The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies, trans. W.D. Halls (London: Routledge, 1990). 15 The quotation comes from Daybell’s assessment of early modern correspondence as ‘a highly complex genre that requires layers of careful unpacking, and sensitivity to social and cultural meaning inscribed textually and materially . . . in order for letters fully to be decoded’: The Material Letter, p. 13. 16 Daybell, Tudor Women Letter-Writers, pp. 49–51; Material Letter, pp. 32–7. 17 Henry Peacham, The Compleat Gentleman (London: 1634), p. 44. 18 Desiderius Erasmus, Enchiridion Militis Christiani (Antwerp, 1503); De officiis (Paris, 1501). These citations by Charles Fantazzi in his translation of Enchiridion in Collected Works of Erasmus, V.66: Spiritualia, ed. by John W. O’Malley (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988), pp. 2–3; OED, ‘enchiridion’, n. : ‘a handbook or manual’; Anne M. O’Donnell, ‘Rhetoric and Style in Erasmus’ Enchiridion Militis Christiani’, Studies in Philology, 77/1 (1980), 26–49 (p.  26); Erasmus, The Correspondence of Erasmus: Letters 142–297 (1501–1514), ed. by R.A.B. Mynors and D.F.S. Thomson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1975), 152: 41–4, 20–3. 19 Erasmus, Correspondence, 152: 57–8 (pp. 31–2). 20 BL, Add. MS, 61989, fols 24–5. 21 Homer, Odyssey XII.106–10. 22 Erasmus, Adages, in Collected Works of Erasmus V.31: Adages Ii1 to Iv100, trans. Margaret Mann Phillips (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982), IV.4.6. 23 See, for instance, the essays in Jeanine de Landtsheer and Henk M. Nellen (eds), Between Scylla and Charybdis: Learned Letter Writers Navigating the Reefs of

146  Johanna Harris

24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

32 33 34 35

36 37 38 39

40 41 42


Religious and Political Controversy in Early Modern Europe (Leiden: Brill, 2011), p. 443, n.1. St Augustine, Of the City of God (1610), 15.26, p. 566. John Calvin, The Institution of Christian Religion (1561), 1.16.4., fol. 58. Psalm 107:23–30 (Geneva Bible, 1560), and gloss ‘l’. The phrase, ‘nautical piety’, is used by James Conlan in ‘Marvellous Passages: English Nautical Piety in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of California, Riverside, 1999). Patrick Geary, ‘The Historical Material of Memory’, in Art, Memory, and Family in Renaissance Florence, ed. by Giovanni Ciapelli and Patricia Lee Rugin (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press, 2000), pp. 17–25. I am grateful to the anonymous reader of this essay for his/her nuanced critique and suggestions with regard to this passage. Isaiah 30:33 (Geneva), note ‘h’. Clement Walker, Relations and Observations, Historical and Politick, Upon the Parliament Begun AD 1640: the History of Independency 1647–1648 (1648), p. 70; David Underdown, ‘The Parliamentary Diary of John Boys, 1647–8’, Historical Research, 39/100 (1966), 141–64 (p. 155). E.g., David Norbrook, ‘ “Words more than civil”: Republican Civility in Lucy Hutchinson’s “The Life of John Hutchinson” ’, in Early Modern Civil Discourses, ed. by Jennifer Richards (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003), pp. 68–84. OED online, ‘oath’, 2. Patrick Collinson, The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society 1559– 1625 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), p. 230. Richard Greaves, Society and Religion in Elizabethan England (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1981), pp. 684–6; Conal Condren, Argument and Authority in Early Modern England: The Presupposition of Oaths and Offices (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 269–89; John Spurr, ‘A Profane History of Early Modern Oaths’, TRHS, 6th series, 11 (2001), 37–63; Edward Vallance, Revolutionary England and the National Covenant (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2009). Heller, The Mother’s Legacy, pp. 47–8. Jocelin, The Mothers Legacie (1624) 12, p. 92; Leigh, Mothers Blessing (1616), title-page. For example, Robert Schuckner, ‘Puritan Attitudes Towards Childhood Discipline, 1560–1634’, in Women as Mothers in Pre-Industrial England: Essays in Memory of Dorothy McLaren, ed.by Valerie Fildes (London: Routledge, 1990), pp. 108–21. Peacham, Compleat Gentleman, p. 2. For instance, Wendy Wall, The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993); Margreta De Grazia, ‘Imprints: Shakespeare, Gutenberg, and Descartes’, in Printing and Parenting in Early Modern England, ed. by Douglas A. Brooks (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), pp. 29–58. Brooks, ‘Introduction’, Printing and Parenting, pp.  7–8; David Lee Miller, ‘All Father: Ben Jonson and the Psychodynamics of Authorship’, in Printing and Parenting, pp. 131–47. Nottingham University Library, Manuscripts and Special Collections, Portland MS, Pl F1/4/1: Commonplace Book of Brilliana Conway, 1622. BL, Add. MS, 70001: ‘Perkins Workes 3 vol’, fol. 328r, ‘Problemata’, fol. 335v. OED, ‘affection’, n1.a,b. Richard Sibbes was particularly influential in this area; see especially The Bruised Reed (1630), pp. 103, 232, 237, 272. See also, for example, William Fenner, A Treatise of the Affections, or, the soul’s pulse (1641). Fenner argues, ‘The affections are the forcible and sensible motions of the heart or will, to a thing or from a thing, according as it is apprehended to bee good or to bee evill.’ p. 3. William Perkins, A Commentarie or Exposition, Upon the First Five Chapters of the Epistle to the Galatians (1604), p. 124.

‘Be plyeabell to all good counsell’  147 44 Sir Hugh Plat’s Delights for Ladies to Adorne Their Persons, Tables, Closets, and Distillatories (1609), opens with an epistle that demonstrates this: ‘But now my pen and paper are perfum’d / I scorne to write with coppresse or with gall’. It is not beyond possibility that Harley perfumed her paper given the widespread popularity amongst women to perfume many of their consumables. See Holly Dugan, The Ephemeral History of Perfume: Scent and Sense in Early Modern England (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), p.  151. Scent, in particular, would cooperate with other material markers of letters to further evoke remembrance of the correspondents, as well as their absent presence. 45 2 Corinthians 2:14–16. 46 OED, ‘savour’, 2a, c; ‘perfume’, 1c.fig. 47 Margaret Thrall, Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Vol.1 (London: Bloomsbury, 1994), p. 201. 48 T.T. Lewis (ed.), Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley (Camden Society, 4th series, 1854), Letter XLI (20 May 1639). 49 See especially the closing remarks of Jude, Philippians, 2 Peter; for the use of ‘Amen’, see Romans, Galatians, 2 Peter, and Jude. 50 Cf. Micheline White, ‘Power Couples and Women Writers in Elizabethan England: The Public Voices of Dorcas and Richard Martin and Anne and Hugh Dowriche’, in Framing the Family: Narrative and Representation in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, ed. by Rosalynn Voaden and Diane Wolfthal (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005), pp. 119–138; Ian M. Green, The Christian’s ABC: Catechisms and Catechizing in England, c.1530–1740 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), passim. 51 See especially Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (Jonathan Cape, 1967); Francis J. Bremer, Congregational Communion: Clerical Friendship in the AngloAmerican Puritan Community, 1610–1692 (Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press, 1994), Chapter 2.

This page intentionally left blank

Part III

Networks and negotiations The social relations of correspondence

This page intentionally left blank

9 Making friends with Elizabeth in the letters of Roger Ascham Rachel McGregor

Roger Ascham had friends in high places. Or so it appears from his extant correspondence. When he was not teaching in the royal nursery, writing humanist treatises such as Toxophilus (1545) or The Schoolmaster (1570), or drafting official letters as Latin secretary to the queen, Ascham corresponded regularly with members of Europe’s political and intellectual elite. One striking thing about these letters is how often Ascham, a man from relatively humble beginnings, addresses their important recipients as friends.1 On 10 October 1567, for example, Ascham wrote to his most eminent correspondent and celebrated former pupil, Elizabeth I, calling her his ‘greatest friend’.2 In this playful letter, Ascham divides Elizabeth into two people, first, his ‘sovereign over many other’ and, second, his ‘dearest mistress above all other’. He then asks Elizabeth to imagine that her ‘highness were absent in some withdrawing chamber’ so that her ‘goodness [is] only present’ for him to ask her advice. The way Ascham separates Elizabeth his friend from Elizabeth his monarch suggests that they share a private, affective bond distinct from their public relationship as sovereign and subject. Ascham’s writing in English adds to the sense of familiarity, separating the letter from the Latin correspondence he wrote as Elizabeth’s secretary and the classical texts they studied together as master and pupil. Thus, the letter seems to illustrate the power of friendship to overcome inequalities of status and the conditions of public life and potentially explain how Ascham could have such powerful and influential friends. Yet, recent scholarship has warned against taking such professions of friendship at face value. While early modern writers idealize friendship as an emotional bond that exists between equals, untainted by worldly concerns, scholars such as Lorna Hutson, Laurie Shannon and Alan Stewart have exposed the constructed nature of friendship in the period and the variety of personal, political, and cultural interests it could be made to serve.3 Ascham’s expressions of friendship to Elizabeth are no exception. The writer, who had been chronically ill for some time, constructs Elizabeth as a friend for a specific purpose: to ask her ‘goodness’ whether he should petition ‘her highness’ to offer financial assistance to his family after his death.4 Calling the queen his ‘friend’ predisposes her to agree to this request and allows Ascham to deploy other rhetorical strategies to obtain her consent. Under the pretence of discussing the suit he intends to make to ‘her highness’ with ‘her goodness’, Ascham is able to put his case to Elizabeth obliquely,

152  Rachel McGregor thereby lessoning the imposition and risk of offence. His strategy licenses him to repeat rumours that Elizabeth will grant his suit, framing his disclosure as an act of intimacy rather than solicitation. Ascham even provides a short script for how ‘her goodness’ might petition ‘her highness’ on his behalf. By addressing Elizabeth as a friend, then, Ascham is able to make an indirect plea to her as a patron, which is much more likely to succeed precisely because it is indirect. This is not to argue that Ascham had no genuine affection for Elizabeth, rather that epistolary discourses of friendship might also be used tactically. Evidencing both his enormous skill in managing the risks involved in epistolary communication and his use of ‘friends’ to negotiate obliquely with Elizabeth, Ascham’s letter of 10 October illustrates the two main concerns of this essay. Focusing primarily on Ascham’s correspondence with Strasbourg’s internationally renowned humanist Johann Sturm, the following discussion explores the rhetorical strategies that go into the epistolary construction of amity and the interests that friendship could be exploited to serve. The letters that Ascham exchanged with Sturm have been seen as the jewel of his correspondence since it was first published in the sixteenth century.5 The first letter that Ascham sent to Sturm on 4 April 1550 presents an earlier attempt to petition Elizabeth while ostensibly talking to a friend. Having left the princess’s service in disgrace in 1549, Ascham hoped to regain her favour when she learned of the elaborate encomium of her virtues and talents his letter contained.6 The way Ascham uses his letter to negotiate with someone other than the recipient in this instance is a reminder that early modern letters were not necessarily private documents and an illustration of how this fact might be exploited. But while the letters of 1550 and 1567 are similar insofar as they both illustrate how letters to ‘friends’ might be used strategically, they are also different in one crucial respect. Whereas Ascham identifies Elizabeth as a friend in 1567, she is denied this status in his correspondence with Sturm. The reason for this, I argue, is that the two men construct their epistolary relationship according to the highly gendered contemporary ideal of humanist amicitia, or friendship based on intellectual parity. Consequently, the image of herself that Ascham offered to Elizabeth in 1550 differs considerably from the one in the letter of 1567. But Ascham’s early letters to Sturm are not only interesting for the way they negotiate with Elizabeth as a third party: they are also significant for how Elizabeth becomes entangled in negotiations between the men. As a woman, Elizabeth was excluded from what Stewart aptly calls the ‘male-only cerebral space’ of amicitia.7 Nonetheless, she and other women play a vital role in the construction of friendship between Ascham and Sturm. Establishing a social relationship is a risky business, with potential for insult or humiliation on both sides. As the next section of this essay argues, this is especially true of epistolary relationships, since a faux pas committed in a letter cannot easily be set right. In this hazardous terrain, descriptions of learned women function for Ascham and Sturm as a rhetorical topos where their epistolary relationship can be negotiated safely. Thus, the Ascham-Sturm correspondence reveals one of the unexpected ways women became caught up in the formation of amicitia, despite their exclusion

Making friends with Elizabeth  153 from male friendships. To better understand the role played by women in Ascham and Sturm’s letters, it is instructive first to examine another letter from the corpus that not only perfectly embodies the contemporary ideal of amicitia, but also highlights the risks involved in initiating such friendships and the rhetorical strategies that might be used to manage them.

Risk management in the epistolary construction of amicitia Comprising over three hundred letters, both personal and professional, Ascham’s correspondence offers an exceptionally large and varied corpus.8 Many of the letters owe their survival to Edward Grant, Ascham’s eldest son’s schoolmaster, who published them in 1576, eight years after Ascham’s death. Grant’s edition was ‘a publication aberration’ in England at this time, as only a handful of letters by contemporary Englishmen had been published prior to his volume.9 From one perspective, the anomalous publication of Ascham’s letters further testifies to the instrumentality of friendship in the period, as Grant dedicated his volume to Elizabeth in memory of her affection for her former tutor to secure her support for Ascham’s sons.10 However, the fact that these letters only survive in print means that our access to the amicable negotiations they contain is mediated. Grant intended Elizabeth to be moved by the memories of her deceased friend and the models of amity provided by the letters; thus, he may have altered them. Nevertheless, even if Grant has manipulated the letters to represent an idealised version of amity, they still reveal a lot about the contemporary construction of friendship. There is also evidence that Ascham’s letters were important models for other would-be friends in the period, as Grant’s volume went through three further editions before 1600 and certain letters were replicated in contemporary publications and manuscript copybooks.11 The following discussion focuses on one letter identified by a contemporary as an exemplary expression of amity: Ascham’s undated Latin epistle to an obscure acquaintance, Francis Alan, which was singled out as a model of epistolary style and translated into English in Abraham Fleming’s Panoplie of Epistles (1576).12 Fleming advertises his text to the reader as a set of templates for ‘what so ever thou are disposed to do by letter, eyther to thy friend, or to thine enimie’.13 The editor clearly sees Ascham’s letter to Alan as a model for writing to the former, as he identifies ‘Freendeshippe’ as one of its ‘specialties’ and praises its ‘fine invention, proper disposition, and sweete eloquence’.14 When Fleming pinpoints ‘Learning’ as another major theme in the letter, he signals that the friendship it exemplifies is of a kind unique to the early modern period. During the Renaissance, a new conception of amity was engendered by the humanist recovery of classical culture.15 Humanists were deeply influenced by the model they encountered in ancient treatises such as Cicero’s De amicitia, which emphasized a common thirst for knowledge as one of the bases of true friendship. From these classical texts, the humanists derived an ideal of friendship based on shared studies which presented an alternative to older notions of friendship as a code of faithfulness between families and their allies, assured by

154  Rachel McGregor the exchange of gifts.16 Adding a scholarly dimension to the age-old adage that friends were ‘one soul in bodies twain’, the new conception predicated the parity that underpins friendship on common intellectual ground.17 One of the key mechanisms for the formation and expression of these friendships was the familiar letter, an epistolary genre that, like the ideal of amicitia, had classical origins. Following the discovery of Cicero’s familiar letters by Petrarch in the mid-fourteenth century, the classical familiar letter came to play a central role in the humanists’ revival of ancient rhetoric and culture due to their obsession with emulating its flexible and personal style.18 Given this centrality, it is not surprising that the familiar letter became ‘the quintessential expression of friendship amongst educated men’,19 even if, as Stewart points out, there are questions over how influential the genre was outside this male Latinate elite.20 Certainly among humanists, there was a fashion not only for writing and exchanging familiar letters as tokens of friendship but also publishing them as edifying models for imitation. As well as fulfilling humanists’ educational ambitions, these volumes also served more worldly purposes, such as self-promotion, by showcasing their rhetorical skills and influential connections.21 Despite being published posthumously, Grant’s edition of Ascham’s letters is a pioneering English example of this trend, published with a view not only to disseminating humanist models of eloquence and conduct but also securing patronage for his sons. As Alan Bray argues, if the ‘appearance of friendship’ was a type of ‘currency’ in the Renaissance, then the familiar letter ‘was part of the coin of that currency’.22 With its dual focus on learning and friendship, Ascham’s letter to Alan perfectly exemplifies both the humanists’ new ideal of friendship and the epistolary genre that was its prototypical mode of expression. As in the letter to Elizabeth, however, Ascham is not simply writing to a friend in this instance; rather, he is exploiting the opportunities afforded by letter-writing to inscribe himself as a friend.23 The writer stages a careful demonstration of his friendship with Alan, claiming: I haue by so many and so sundrie ways, seene [it] put in proofe and trial: I haue therof had so often assuraunces, that there is none, of whom I make more account, in whom I  haue faster affiaunce, or upon whom I  dare further presume and persuade my minde with promises, then you onely and alone, bothe for mine owne availe, and also in the behalfe of my freendes and alleies.24 Ascham’s claim that the friendship has already been ‘put in proofe and trial’ verifies its existence to Alan, and his references to Alan’s past kindnesses encourage him to reciprocate his amicable gesture. The writer’s skilful corroboration of friendship in this passage does not go unnoticed by his sixteenth-century editor, who draws attention to the way Ascham validates his relationship with Alan in the marginal glosses he supplies for the epistle. Often, the annotations in Fleming’s volume simply signpost certain pieces of material or supply contextual information; however, occasionally the editor draws attention to the rhetorical and social work being performed by the letter-writers’ words. Next to the passage in

Making friends with Elizabeth  155 question, Fleming supplies a gloss that highlights its argumentative and social functions: ‘Wordes of confidence, wherin whiles he maketh declaration of his owne affection, he confirmeth to himself his freends kindenesse’. As this annotation suggests, Ascham’s ‘proof’ of friendship not only affirms its existence in his mind but also helps to ‘confirm’ the relationship in reality. As Fleming recognised, then, Ascham’s letter to Alan is a model for the epistolary construction of friendship, showing how rhetorical skill might be used to establish an amicable bond. The epistolary formation of friendship was not without hazard, however. In their work on early modern letter-writing, Lynne Magnusson and Susan Fitzmaurice have highlighted the risks involved in epistolary communication by applying the theories of conversational analysts Penelope Brown and Stephen Levinson.25 Brown and Levinson argue that conversational interaction poses certain social and psychological risks to participants, since it places the self-image that each one projects under threat. The theorists refer to this self-image as ‘face’ and suggest that interlocutors deploy a range of tactics to avoid damaging the self-image of other speakers and safeguard their own.26 While Magnusson and Fitzmaurice find similar reparative strategies at work in early modern letters, other scholars have questioned how appropriate it is to apply the tools of conversational analysis to epistolary communication, since exchanges are not face-to-face and involve temporal delays between one epistolary ‘utterance’ and the next.27 Yet it is precisely for these reasons that the notion of ‘risk’ applies to letter-writing, perhaps even more so than face-to-face conversation. Because letter-writers cannot carry out the repair work often required during a conversation, they must anticipate offence and deal with it before it arises.28 That early modern Englishmen appreciated the risks involved in epistolary communication is apparent both in the reparative strategies that Ascham applies in his letter and the attention that Fleming pays to these strategies in his annotation. Although we do not know very much about Ascham’s relationship with Alan, it is still evident that his letter involves a certain level of risk. Ascham stands to lose face if Alan does not reciprocate his amicable gesture, as this would indicate a rejection of his self-image and suggest his actions have been misguided. For Alan, Ascham’s letter and attempt to institute a reciprocal relationship threaten what Brown and Levinson would call his ‘negative face’, that is, his right to nondistraction and freedom from imposition. In a gloss beside the following passage, Fleming identifies the rhetorical technique employed by Ascham to mitigate these risks: Touching the freendeshippe, wherein we be joyned together, I wil speake so sparingly, that my meaning in a fewe woordes may be deliuered: leaste, whiles I giuing an euident proofe of the towardnes of my will, in setting out your deserued praise and commendation, might seeme by the way, through want of aduisement, to committe some offence, worthie of blame and reprehension.29 The rhetorical strategy Ascham applies here is, as Fleming notes, ‘a signification of his warynesse and circumspection’. By anticipating offence, Ascham not

156  Rachel McGregor only saves face by appearing sensitive to the consequences of his actions but also reduces the possibility of it occurring. His claim that he has consciously restricted himself to a ‘fewe woordes’ acknowledges he is encroaching on Alan’s time and suggests he has taken steps to minimise this intrusion. Through this claim, Ascham also affirms his recipient’s positive self-image, since he indicates that his amicable feelings and praise for Alan go far beyond what he expresses in the letter. The writer continues to flatter Alan’s self-image when he styles his potential wrongdoing as the result of a ‘want of aduisement’, since this frames his recipient as someone better versed in the etiquette of social interaction than his naïve correspondent. Here, Ascham takes a calculated risk to ensure that Alan remains receptive to his gesture, suffering a minor loss of face through selfdeprecation to avoid a greater one stemming from rejection. Ascham’s circumspection is, then, a key strategy for decreasing the face-threatening potential of the letter. As a consummate expression of humanist amicitia, Ascham’s letter to Alan perfectly illustrates the ideals of mutual study and intellectual similitude underpinning the writer’s friendship with Sturm. But more than this, the letter also exemplifies the textual construction of such relationships. Through letter-writing, Ascham is able to fashion a particular kind of association with Alan. Yet the writer also has to apply his rhetorical resources to managing the risks associated with the epistolary formation of friendship. The strategies of self-deprecation and flattery that Ascham applies in his letter to Alan are certainly not unique. However, pinpointing how these fairly conventional topoi operate in the letter lays the groundwork for understanding the more unusual techniques that Ascham and Sturm use to negotiate their relationship. While the stakes for Ascham and Alan’s friendship are uncertain, the benefits that he and Sturm derived from their relationship are much more apparent. Sturm was an internationally respected humanist author and pedagogue whose acclaimed academy, the Gymnasium, supplied a model for Latin schools throughout Europe.30 Thus, Ascham drew authority for his own literary and educational endeavours via association with Sturm, as his frequent references to their friendship in The Schoolmaster suggest. Although Ascham did not share Sturm’s international reputation, he provided a link to prominent English intellectuals and members of the Elizabethan court, such as John Cheke, William Cecil, and, of course, Elizabeth. Both men exploited each other’s connections throughout their relationship and offered assistance to one another in times of financial need.31 While Ascham and Sturm’s friendship was instrumental to both men in various ways, however, this does not mean it was inevitable. Indeed, the benefits each man stood to gain from the friendship made its negotiation even more perilous, since acknowledging them too overtly would have undermined the fiction of the relationship as one of pure intellectual amity and risked resentment and loss of face on both sides. It would, then, have been particularly pressing for Ascham and Sturm to find a way to negotiate their friendship involving the minimum amount of risk, and they found this in one of the most conspicuous features of their correspondence: representations of learned women.

Making friends with Elizabeth  157

Exchanging learned women in the Ascham-Sturm correspondence Ascham’s celebratory accounts of Elizabeth’s learning in his letters to Sturm will be highly familiar to anyone who has read a biography of the queen.32 Ascham’s letters have often been mined for information about Elizabeth’s early life; however, the almost obsessive frequency with which he mentions her and other learned females, most notably Lady Jane Grey, has not been remarked upon. This frequency is even more surprising given the character of Ascham and Sturm’s friendship. The classical allusions and lengthy discussions of rhetoric and education in their letters indicate that the men are constructing their relationship according to the humanist ideal of amicitia. However, this was an ideal of friendship that inevitably excluded women. Women very rarely received the same humanist education as their male counterparts, which precluded them from sharing a relationship based on mutual study. In his study of James I’s ‘homoerotic letters’ to his male favourites, David Bergeron highlights how anxious Angel Day, author of the first comprehensive letter-writing manual in English The English Secretary (1586), is for male-male relationships to be defined as ‘friendship’ and female-male as ‘love’, which is as revealing about conventional attitudes to malefemale friendships as same-sex desire.33 This barring of women from scholarly friendships stood in stark contrast to their role in older types of alliance formation, where the exchange of women between families functioned as the supreme declaration of amity.34 Why, then, should Elizabeth and other women crop up so frequently during the early stages of Ascham and Sturm’s epistolary relationship? By Ascham’s own admission, the women he fixates upon possess exceptional learning; thus, it is conceivable that these females have special access to the maleonly space of scholarly amicitia. Ascham suggests as much when he writes that if Sturm is ‘considering cultivating English friends’, he should not ‘skip over’ Jane, who ‘speaks and writes in Greek so well that one can hardly give her the credit she deserves’.35 As the following discussion demonstrates, however, the women are denied intellectual parity and, therefore, friendship with the men in the letters, despite their classical education. Another possible explanation for Ascham’s constant references to these women is that he is advertising his connections to potential patrons. Certainly, this is part of what is going on. Nevertheless, Elizabeth and the other females also occupy another position in relation to the men, which resembles the one held by women in older models of alliance formation. Lorna Hutson proposes that the new, cerebral ideal of amicitia did not displace women from the construction of male friendships altogether; rather, having been ‘symbolically indispensible to the conception of friendship as gift-exchange’, women became ‘caught up in friendship’s new economy of representation in ways that actually narrow[ed] the scope for positive representations of their agency’.36 This argument is well supported by the Ascham-Sturm correspondence. Despite Ascham’s praise for their learning and implicit recognition of their power as patrons, the way women are represented in the letters does not grant them agency – not even the agency to become friends in their own right. Rather, representations

158  Rachel McGregor of learned women are exchanged as tokens of the men’s friendship and provide a rhetorical topos where the delicate negotiations belonging to the construction of amicitia can be carried out at a less face-threatening distance. The function learned women perform in the Ascham-Sturm correspondence is apparent from the men’s earliest letters. Encouraged by Strasbourg’s eminent theologian Martin Bucer, who had been appointed Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge in 1549, Ascham wrote his first letter to Sturm on 4 April 1550.37 Ascham’s polished Ciceronian Latin and focus on ‘the splendid learning of the present age’ in this letter indicate that the friendship he seeks to institute with Sturm conforms to the humanist model.38 Nonetheless, roughly a fifth of the epistle is dedicated to discussing the 16-year-old Elizabeth, a female who, according to the highly gendered and cerebral nature of amiticia, should have no place in the formation of the men’s friendship. The reason Elizabeth is afforded so much space in the letter becomes evident, however, when Ascham’s presentation of the princess is compared to the way he makes another offering to Sturm: the gift of a Roman coin, enclosed with the letter. That Ascham should choose to send Sturm news of Elizabeth and a coin to inaugurate their friendship is significant given the comparable status that women and material pledges held in the more traditional system of male alliance formation, where both were exchanged as signs of friendship between men.39 Even though the friendship that Ascham seeks to establish with Sturm ascribes to the newer, humanist model, there are strong parallels between how his representation of Elizabeth and the material gift function in the letter, as both are offered using the same rhetorical strategies. Ascham presents the silver coin to his recipient saying: Enclosed in this letter is a gift of a silver coin of Caligula [. . .]. Because I am myself so fascinated by these relics of antiquity, I wanted to send this coin to you, and shall send you more later if I learn that you are delighted by this memento of ancient times and of my old friendship.40 Here, Ascham makes explicit the meaning of the coin as a token of amity. At the same time, however, his words carefully minimise the risk associated with his gift. By suggesting that Sturm has a choice as to how he will receive the gift, Ascham safeguards his recipient’s negative face. Even while acknowledging Sturm’s freedom to reject his gesture, however, Ascham also invites him to reciprocate. Ascham’s knowledge of whether Sturm has been pleased by the coin depends on a response, and his promise to send more assures Sturm that he is sufficiently rich in such material signs of friendship to furnish a lasting relationship. The rhetorical techniques that Ascham uses here belong to a language that Gary Schneider identifies as the ‘master theme’ of early modern letter-writing, which aims to promote ‘epistolary continuity’, that is, to maintain epistolary relationships.41 However, the way Ascham presents his gift also serves another purpose. More than symbolising his goodwill, the coin becomes an emblem of Ascham’s scholarly credentials, as a ‘memento’ not just of ancient times but of Ascham’s

Making friends with Elizabeth  159 classical expertise. In offering the coin, Ascham offers Sturm an image of himself; and, because this self-image is displaced onto another object, his act of selfpresentation involves lesser risk than an overt declaration of intellectual parity. Given the shared status of women and material gifts in older models of alliance formation, it is striking how similar Ascham’s rhetorical strategies for offering his news of Elizabeth are to the ones with which he presents the coin. Again, Ascham presents his offering in a way that seeks to perpetuate his epistolary relationship with Sturm. He brings his account of Elizabeth to an abrupt conclusion, saying: I fear that either in my delight in recording these things about her or in my enjoyment of writing to you, I have gone beyond my limit in the prolixity of this epistle. I will say more some other time about our approach to literary studies.42 As before, Ascham’s strategy for minimising the risk involved in offering Sturm his protracted portrait of Elizabeth is to acknowledge the possibility for negative reception. His suggestion that he has purposefully curtailed his account indicates that he has Sturm’s interests at heart and allows him to signal the prospect of future offerings. Thus, Ascham’s delightful observations about Elizabeth function in the same way as the coin, as mechanisms for facilitating and perpetuating the men’s friendship. Like the coin, Elizabeth is made to bear Ascham’s image in the letter. Even though the writer is ostensibly talking about the princess, from the outset, it is apparent that he is actually saying more about himself: Amongst [Englishwomen] the shining star, not so much for her brightness as for the splendour of her virtue and her learning, is my lady Elizabeth, sister of our King. Her light is so radiant that to commend her great versatility properly I have difficulty not in finding something to praise, but in setting limits for it. But I shall write nothing which I have not seen for myself. She employed me as her tutor in Latin and Greek for two years.43 On the surface, Ascham’s claim to having witnessed Elizabeth’s astonishing virtue and learning firsthand as her tutor authenticates his report. More importantly, however, it also shows him to be responsible for her achievements. Ascham employs the same rhetorical sleight-of-hand throughout his description, placing himself alongside Elizabeth in every scene that illustrates her learning. For example, he tells Sturm: ‘She has read almost all of Cicero with me and most of Titus Livy’.44 As in the case of the coin, the usefulness of this strategy is it enables Ascham to advertise his erudition and candidacy as a friend to Sturm indirectly, and thus with lesser risk. If Ascham’s description appears to suggest that he and Elizabeth have been pursuing the sort of shared reading that is the basis of amicitia, the writer is quick to circumscribe the effects of Elizabeth’s study within the limits set by conventional

160  Rachel McGregor discourses of femininity. Talking of the rhetorical sensibility that Elizabeth has cultivated through her reading, Ascham reports: She freely approves of a natural style appropriate to its subject, chaste in its propriety, and clear in its perspicuity. She especially admires modest metaphors and apt antitheses contrasting felicitously with one another. By careful attention to these matters her ears have grown so sharp and discriminating, and her judgment so intelligent, that nothing in Greek, Latin, or English composition is so loose and slack on the one hand, or abrupt and choppy on the other, either so well-tempered or diffuse in rhythm, but what [sic] she scrupulously attends to it as she reads, rejecting it at once with great disgust or receiving it with the greatest pleasure.45 Ascham’s praise for Elizabeth’s astute rhetorical judgment and sensitivity to language appears to suggest that she has attained one of the central goals of humanist education, which sought to furnish students with a highly developed awareness of and facility with rhetorical style. But while humanists saw the rhetorical education of boys as preparation for a life of public service, Ascham’s language indicates the effects of Elizabeth’s education are quite different. Throughout the passage, Ascham describes rhetorical decorum and indecorum using terms associated with sexual purity and impurity (‘chaste’, ‘modest’, ‘loose’ and ‘slack’ [castam; verecundas; solutum; pervagatum]), with the effect that Elizabeth’s rhetorical training becomes an education in sexual propriety.46 In this way, the princess’s intellectual prowess is safely contained as evidence of her modesty and chastity – two acceptable virtues for a female – and her humanistic learning is shown to be of a different character to that of Ascham and Sturm. Consequently, Elizabeth fails to qualify as a potential friend. The response that Sturm sent to Ascham on 9 September strongly suggests that he appreciated the role assigned to Elizabeth in the negotiation of their friendship. Significantly, the princess is the first subject mentioned in this letter, which begins: Look, my Ascham, what your letter has brought about: in my little book about oratorical periods, I addressed your Elizabeth.47 Sturm’s decision to praise Elizabeth in the preface to his De periodis unus libellus (1550) is part of a strategy of clientage and shows the writer taking advantage of the connections provided by his new association with Ascham. But in the context of the amicable negotiation taking place between the two men, his address to Elizabeth signifies unequivocally his acceptance of Ascham’s gesture of friendship and proffered self-image, while keeping this transaction at a safe distance, mediated by the princess. Following Ascham’s lead, Sturm once again contains Elizabeth’s learning as evidence of a distinctly female virtue, comparing the process of rhetorical analysis that she will learn from De periodis to Penelope’s nightly unpicking of Laertes’ burial shroud in Homer’s Odyssey, a conventional symbol

Making friends with Elizabeth  161 of connubial faithfulness. Sturm’s framing of Elizabeth’s humanistic learning in terms of marital virtue recalls the traditional role of women in social transactions between men, further illustrating the princess’s role in the formation of his friendship with Ascham. Emboldened by Sturm’s implicit acknowledgment of Elizabeth’s status as a token of their friendship, Ascham attempted to exchange several other learned women over the course of their correspondence. Other than Elizabeth, none does he mention so often or push so hard as Jane Grey. The initial description of Jane that Ascham offers to Sturm in his letter of 14 December 1550 is a version of the well-known story that later appeared in The Schoolmaster, in which he recounts discovering Jane reading Plato’s Phaedo in Greek alone in her chamber at Bradgate. Although he does not take credit for Jane’s achievements to the same degree as Elizabeth’s, Ascham does circumscribe the effects of her learning in a similar way, by reducing it to an object of exchange. Ascham tells Sturm: ‘[Jane] pledged that she would write to me in Greek . . . I expect her Greek letter any day; when it comes, I shall send it to you immediately’.48 Again, this promise of a future gift promotes epistolary continuity. Rather than celebrating Jane’s intellectual accomplishments, however, Ascham’s gift commodifies them and empties her letter of any value other than that which it holds as a token of the men’s friendship. Despite waiting seven months for Sturm to acknowledge Elizabeth’s role in the negotiation of their friendship,49 Ascham appears to have become anxious when six weeks after having sent his description of Jane, no similar acknowledgement was forthcoming. In a letter of 24 January, Ascham tries again to draw Sturm’s attention to the image of female learning and virtue he has offered him: In my last letter I mentioned that most noble girl Jane Grey [. . .]. Pardon me, my Sturm, if I want these luminaries of my native land to be illumined by the light of your talent, so that although they are illustrious in themselves, they may yet be elevated into an eminent and conspicuous place by your testimony.50 Whereas in previous letters Ascham subtly encourages Sturm to reciprocate by deploying his rhetorical resources, here he explicitly invites his recipient to confirm his news of Jane and thus their continuing friendship through an acknowledgement in one of his texts. Ascham even seems to have gone as far as to stipulate to Christopher Mont, the English agent at Strasbourg who served as a carrier between the two men, that this text ought to be Sturm’s eagerly anticipated edition of the orations of Aeschines and Demosthenes.51 When Ascham later learned that Sturm had already dedicated the orations to Bishop Julius Pflug, however, he immediately became fearful that he had overstepped the mark by insisting so heavily on Jane. Ascham’s anxiety is clearly discernible in the hasty apology that begins his letter of 21 August: I was giving more thought to our friendship and to your kindness than to my own modesty, my dear Sturm, when I revealed in my last letter-written to our

162  Rachel McGregor Mont how eager I was to see your Demosthenes and Aeschines appear in the name of that most noble maiden Jane Grey [. . .]. If, then, there is some fault (I hope that there has been none), assign it to our Mont, who had written to me a short time previously about the publication of those orations.52 Discovering too late that Sturm had already chosen another dedicatee, Ascham’s predicament exemplifies the kind of socially awkward situation a letter-writer might find themselves in thanks to the delays involved in epistolary communication. Nevertheless, these delays also provide Ascham with an excuse for his apparent presumption, and he blames the time lapse between letters for his suggestion coming after the fact. The writer’s attempts to shift blame onto Mont belie his recognition that he has endeavoured to transact Jane altogether too forcefully in his previous letters, threatening both his recipient’s face and his own.

Making friends with Elizabeth Of the images of learned noblewomen Ascham offered to Sturm, his description of Elizabeth was, then, far more successful as a mechanism for negotiating amity than his account of Jane. Yet it must be remembered that Ascham’s description of his former pupil was not only designed to negotiate with Sturm, but with Elizabeth as well. A  few months before writing the letter, Ascham had left or been dismissed from the princess’s service in apparent disgrace. There is no conclusive evidence as to exactly when and why Ascham left Elizabeth’s retinue: no letters from this period survive, and the closest he comes to divulging what went on is to write that he has been the victim of ‘very serious injustices’ and ‘slanders from malevolent people’ in a letter to John Cheke the following January.53 Stewart proposes his departure was most likely connected to the fallout from the scandal surrounding Elizabeth’s relationship with her stepfather, Thomas Seymour, who was executed for high treason in March 1549. Whatever the circumstances, Ascham clearly hoped his praise for Elizabeth in his letter to Sturm would find its way back to the princess in England and restore him to favour. If this did happen, the conduit was most likely Bucer’s wife, who travelled from Strasbourg to England later that year, carrying Sturm’s reply with her.54 In its image of a precocious princess wholly dependent on Ascham for her intellectual accomplishments, whose unthreatening feminine virtues provide a source of delight and friendship for the two scholars, the writer’s description of Elizabeth is perfectly suited to the negotiation of amicitia. As a tool for negotiating with Elizabeth, however, the account is more problematic. As we have seen, Ascham’s discussion of Elizabeth’s learning appropriates much of the praise for himself; and, while he does eulogize the princess in accordance with contemporary ideals of femininity, this only serves to restrict her agency and deny her parity with the men. It is possible that Ascham expected Elizabeth to hear only the gist of his encomium. It seems significant, however, that when Ascham learned of Sturm’s intention to publish their inaugural exchange, he did not seek to revise his description of Elizabeth. On 24 January 1551, Ascham wrote to Sturm enclosing

Making friends with Elizabeth  163 a passage that he wished to be inserted into his letter for publication. Rather than altering the representation of Elizabeth, however, this insertion extends Ascham’s influence over her education by stressing that he had been the teacher of her former tutor, William Grindal.55 A fortnight earlier, Ascham had indicated to Bucer that his reconciliation with Elizabeth was already underway; thus the need to appeal to Elizabeth through the published version of the letter may not have been so great.56 More likely, Ascham did not see anything wrong with asking the 16-year-old princess to recognize herself in his description, expecting her to be grateful for his teaching and admire the intellectual bond shared by the male scholars. When Ascham calls Elizabeth his ‘greatest friend’ in his letter of 10 October 1567, it seems as though their relationship has shifted substantially since his letters of the 1550s.57 In the earlier correspondence, her status had been as a token of friendship exchanged between men; however, in this letter Ascham goes as far as to prioritize his bond with Elizabeth over those he shares with certain male friends, namely his ‘two greatest and best friends’ William Cecil and Robert Dudley.58 Nevertheless, Ascham’s reference to these particular friends, his two most important patrons, belies the essential difference between the discourse of friendship operating within this letter and that underpinning his correspondence with Sturm. Whereas Ascham and Sturm work hard in their letters to construct and maintain the fiction of disinterested, cerebral relationship, Ascham’s letter to Elizabeth foregrounds the instrumentality both of friendship and the learning that underpins humanist amicitia. The letter is full of allusions and imagery conveying the notion of friendship as an economic relationship expressed and confirmed through material gifts. For example, Ascham cites St  Paul as saying that those ‘that do nothing of their dearest friends’ are ‘of worse natures’ than those ‘that be careless providers for their family’, which enforces Elizabeth’s obligation to provide for him so that he can do the same for his children.59 As well as highlighting the economic nature of friendship, Ascham’s arguments simultaneously expose the material dimension of his cerebral pursuits, since his learning and rhetorical resources are deployed in the hope of financial reward. Rather than trying to disguise this, Ascham actively draws attention to how his learning is being used, quoting one of his ‘best and wisest friends’ as saying: ‘if neither by your learning nor by your service you can be able to procure such two poor livings for two such pretty children, wise men shall judge you another day to have been neither wise by your learning nor happy by your service’.60 Ascham’s learning is commodified again later in the letter-when he refers to the time he spent with Elizabeth as her tutor. This time putting the words in the mouth of ‘her goodness’, he recounts how Elizabeth ‘did use him to do you much good for your learning’, framing this as a self-interested act that must be repaid.61 Thus, their pedagogical relationship is represented in terms of an economic exchange and distanced from the pure intellectual bond of amicitia. Even when petitioning the adult queen to support his soon-to-be-fatherless children, then, Ascham denies her access to the male-only, cerebral space of amicitia. However, the difference between this model of friendship and the more overtly instrumental one represented in his letter to Elizabeth is not as great

164  Rachel McGregor as the humanist rhetoric surrounding it might suggest. As Ascham’s letters to Sturm demonstrate, the discourse of amicitia could be manipulated to serve selfinterested goals, such as the acquisition of cultural status, in much the same way as the more explicitly economic model in his letter to Elizabeth is used to solicit material gains. Constructing, maintaining, and exploiting both kinds of friendship also involved potential social and psychological dangers, especially when trying to do so via letter. In both cases, Ascham deals with these threats by enlisting other ‘friends’, whether by using Elizabeth and Jane Grey as tokens of exchange and rhetorical topoi in his letters to Sturm or assuming the voices of multiple friends in his later letter to the queen. Ascham’s choice of rhetorical strategy only further serves to underline how valuable the appearance of friendship was in the early modern period and why letter-writers continued to pursue it, in spite of the risks.

Notes 1 The most authoritative biography of Ascham’s life remains Lawrence V. Ryan’s Roger Ascham (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963). 2 J. A. Giles, The Whole Works of Roger Ascham, 3 vols (London: John Russell Smith, 1864–65), II (1864), 152–61 (p. 152): Ascham to Elizabeth I, 10 October 1567. 3 Lorna Hutson, The Usurer’s Daughter: Male Friendship and Fictions of Women in Early Modern England (London: Routledge, 1994); Laurie Shannon, Sovereign Amity: Figures of Male Friendship in Shakespearean Contexts (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002); Alan Stewart, Close Readers: Humanism and Sodomy in Early Modern England (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997). 4 On Ascham’s illness and financial difficulties towards the end of his life, see Ryan, pp. 220–49. 5 Alvin Vos (ed.), Letters of Roger Ascham, trans. by Maurice Hatch and Vos (New York: Peter Lang, 1989), p. 155. 6 Ibid., p. 157. 7 Stewart, Close Readers, p. 124. 8 Giles reproduces 295 letters in The Whole Works, which Vos suggests represent the majority of Ascham’s extant personal correspondence but only part of his official correspondence (p. 21). 9 Gary Schneider, The Culture of Epistolarity: Vernacular Letters and Letter-writing in Early Modern England (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 2005), p. 249. 10 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, p. 13. 11 Ibid., p. 22. 12 Abraham Fleming, Panoplie of Epistles, or, a Looking Glasse for the Unlearned Conteyning a Perfecte Plattforme of Inditing Letters of All Sorts, to Persons of Al Estates and Degrees (1576), sigs Gg4v–6v. For the Latin version, see Giles, The Whole Works, I, 290–92. 13 Fleming, Panoplie of Epistles, sig. ¶6r. 14 Ibid., sig. Gg4v. 15 See Stewart, Close Readers, pp. 122–4. 16 Hutson, The Usurer’s Daughter, p. 2. 17 On the longevity of the ‘two bodies’ trope and its early modern implications, see Shannon, pp. 1–14. 18 Gideon Burton, ‘From Ars dictaminis to Ars conscribendi epistolis: Renaissance Letter-Writing Manuals in the Context of Humanism’, in Letter-Writing Manuals and Instruction from Antiquity to the Present, ed. by Carol Poster and Linda C. Mitchell

Making friends with Elizabeth  165

19 20 21

22 23 24 25

26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

36 37 38 39 40

41 42


(Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2007), pp. 88–101; Stewart, Shakespeare’s Letters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 12–14, 76–7. Alan Bray, The Friend (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), p. 47. Stewart, Shakespeare’s Letters, p. 14. Judith Rice Henderson, ‘Humanist Letter-writing: Private Conversation or Public Forum?’, in Self-Presentation and Social Identification: The Rhetoric and Pragmatics of Letter-writing in Early Modern Times ed. by Toon Van Houdt et al. (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2002), pp. 17–39 (p. 25). Bray, The Friend, p. 54. I borrow this idea from Stewart, who suggests that ‘skill in letters’ provided humanists with ‘a potential route for inscribing oneself as a friend’ (Close Readers, p. 125). Fleming, Panoplie of Epistles, sig. Gg6v. Lynne Magnusson, Shakespeare and Social Dialogue: Dramatic Language and Elizabethan Letters (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); Susan Fitzmaurice, The Familiar Letter in Early Modern English: A Pragmatic Approach (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2002). Fitzmaurice, The Familiar Letter, p. 132. Schneider, The Culture of Epistolarity, p. 14. Fitzmaurice, The Familiar Letter, pp. 65, 234. Fleming, Panoplie of Epistles, sig. Gg6r. Lewis W. Spitz and Barbara Sher Tinsley, Johann Sturm on Education (St Louis, MO: Concordia, 1995), p. 12. See, for example, Giles, The Whole Works, I, pp. 378–81; II, pp. 116–120; 167–170. See, for example: Wallace MacCaffery, Elizabeth I (London: Edward Arnold, 1993), p. 6; J. E. Neale, Queen Elizabeth I (London: Jonathan Cape, 1934; repr. 1979), p. 22. David Bergeron, King James and the Letters of Homoerotic Desire (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1999), p. 7. Stewart, Close Readers, p. 124. Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp.  179–185 (pp.  182–3): Ascham to Johann Sturm, 14 December  1550. Quotations are taken from Vos’s translation; however, where a specific point has been made about Ascham’s rhetorical strategies, the original Latin is supplied in a footnote. Hutson, The Usurer’s Daughter, p. 11. Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, p. 157. Ibid., pp. 157–68 (p. 158): Ascham to Johann Sturm, 4 April 1550. Hutson, The Usurer’s Daughter, pp. 5–7. Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp.  157–68 (p.  168): Ascham to Johann Sturm, 4 April 1550. The Latin reads: His literis inclusum dono tibi mitto argenteum nummum Caii Cæsaris [. . .] His priscæ antiquitatis reliquiis quia plurimum ipse capior, hunc nummum tibi mittere volui, plures deinceps missurus, si te hoc antiquæ et benevolentiæ meæ et temporum vetustatis monumento delectatum esse cognovero (Giles, The Whole Works, I, p. 193). Schneider, The Culture of Epistolarity, p. 55. Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp.  157–68 (p.  168): Ascham to Johann Sturm, 4 April  1550. The Latin reads: Sed vereor ne ipse, jucunda vel recordandi illius vel scribendi ad te suavitate delectatus, extra modum epistolæ prolixitate prodierim. Et de literarum apud nos ratione plura alio tempore (Giles, The Whole Works, I, pp. 192–3). Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp.  157–68 (p.  166): Ascham to Johann Sturm, 4 April 1550. The Latin reads: Inter quas tamen universas veluti sidus quoddam, non tam claritate generis quam splendore virtutis et literarum, sic eminet illustrissima domina mea, D. Elizabetha regis nostril soror, ut in tanta ejus juste commendandæ varietate, labor mihi non quærendæ laudis, sed statuendi modi propositus esse videatur. Nihil tamen scribam, cujus ipse præsens testis non fuerim. Me enim præceptore Græcæ Latinæque linguæduos annos usa est (Giles, The Whole Works, I, p. 191).

166  Rachel McGregor 44 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp.  157–68 (p.  167): Ascham to Johann Sturm, 4 April 1550. The Latin reads: Perlegit mecum integrum fere, Ciceronem, magnam partem Titi Livii (Giles, The Whole Works, I, p. 191). 45 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp.  157–68 (p.  167): Ascham to Johann Sturm, 4 April 1550. The Latin reads: Orationem ex re natam, proprietate castam, perspicuitate illustrem, libenter probat. Verecundas translationes, et contrariorum collationes apte commissas, et feliciter confligentes, unice admiratur. Quarum rerum diligenti animadversione aures ejus tritæ, adeo teretes factæ sunt, et judicium tam intelligens, ut nihil in Græca, Latina, et Anglica oratione, vel solutum et pervagatum, vel clausum et terminatum, vel numeris aut nimis effusum aut rite temperatum occurrat, quod non illa inter legendum ita religiose attendit, ut id statim vel magno rejiciat cum fastidio vel summa excipiat cum voluptate (Giles, The Whole Works, I, p. 192). 46 By redefining Elizabeth’s accomplishments in terms of these social ideals, Ascham applies a strategy that Anthony Grafton and Lisa Jardine suggest was commonly used by male humanists to deny the learned authority of females. See From Humanism to the Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Europe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), p. 55. 47 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp. 168–79 (p. 169): Johann Sturm to Ascham, 9 September 1550. 48 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, p. 183: Ascham to Sturm, 14 December 1550. 49 Sturm’s letter of 9 September failed to reach Ascham, leading him to send a second copy on 18 November (Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, p. 179). 50 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp. 185–8 (p. 187): Ascham to Johann Sturm, 24 January  1551. The Latin reads: In proximis etiam superioribus meis ad te literis, nobilissimæ virginis Janæ Graiæ mentionem feci. [. . .] Condona mihi hoc, mi Sturmi, si cupiam hæc lumina patriæ meæ luce ingenii tui sic accendi, ut quum per se illustria sint, tuo tamen testimonio in eminentem et conspicuum locum excitentur (Giles, The Whole Works, I, p. 273). 51 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp.  192–7 (p.  192): Ascham to Johann Sturm, 21 August 1551. 52 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, p. 192: Ascham to Johann Sturm, 21 August 1551. The Latin reads: Plus et nostræ amicitiæ et tuæ humanitati quam meæ verecundiæ tribui, ornatissime Sturmi, quum literis meis superioribus ad Montium nostrum scriptis declararem, quam essem ego cupidus, ut Æschines et Demosthenes in nobilissimæ virginis Janæ Graiæ nomine apparerent. [.  .  .] Si quod peccatum ergo fuerit, ( fuisse nullum spero,) assignabis Montio nostro, qui de divulgatione illarum orationum paulo ante ad me scripsisset (Giles, The Whole Works, I, p. 297). 53 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp.  120–3 (p.  121): Ascham to John Cheke, 28 January 1550. 54 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp. 157, 168. 55 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp. 185–7: Ascham to Sturm, 24 January 1551. 56 Vos, Letters of Roger Ascham, pp. 138–41 (p. 140): Ascham to Martin Bucer, 7 January [1551]. 57 Giles, The Whole Works, II, pp. 152–61 (p. 152); Ascham to Elizabeth I, 10 October 1567. 58 Ibid. 59 Giles, The Whole Works, II, pp. 152–61 (p. 156); Ascham to Elizabeth I, 10 October 1567. 60 Giles, The Whole Works, II, pp. 152–61 (p. 158); Ascham to Elizabeth I, 10 October 1567. 61 Giles, The Whole Works, II, pp. 152–61 (p. 160); Ascham to Elizabeth I, 10 October 1567.

10 Irish women’s letters, 1641–1653 Marie-Louise Coolahan

The study of women’s letters in early modern England and Europe has witnessed a great flowering over the past decade.1 The picture regarding Irish women’s letters has also advanced. Primary texts have been discovered and edited.2 Detailed studies of individual women and genres have expanded our understanding of women’s use of epistolary culture to represent themselves and their communities.3 This essay focuses on the years of the Confederate and Cromwellian wars in Ireland in order to provide a historically cohesive account of women’s letter-writing that embraces the diversity of the authors’ political and cultural backgrounds as well as their proactive adoption of letter-writing as a mode of action. These historical parameters contain three key military shifts: the outbreak of the Catholic rising in Ulster in October 1641; its unfolding into the Confederate wars from summer 1642; and the Cromwellian campaign from 1649. During this mercurial period, women composed letters which assumed diverse publics and sought to exercise and document their agency. Mrs Briver and Baroness Offaly composed letters for circulation as testaments to their loyalty and innocence. Petition-letters were of particular value amid warfare, as networks of support could suddenly disintegrate. Noblewomen on opposing political sides, like Rosa O’Dogherty and Elizabeth Butler, operated at the centre of exiled epistolary communities, exerting pressure and directing events through their letters. The correspondence of Dorothy Moore offers an important counterweight to preoccupations with the Irish wars. Her letters are directed at an internationally minded Protestant audience. They chart the evolution of her thinking on the gendered situation of the woman intellectual in the republic of letters. Where historians have taken women’s letters into account, they have tended to mine them as evidence for women’s experiences rather than attend to their uses of epistolary rhetoric.4 This essay examines the range of letter-writing and female letter-writers in order to demonstrate their sophisticated awareness of epistolarity and epistolary audiences: their use of letters to act and to represent themselves. Letter-writing was a means of public self-vindication for women caught up in the insurrection that had begun in October 1641.5 Mrs Briver (whose first name is unknown), wife of the mayor of Waterford, and Lettice Digby, Baroness Offaly, composed letters in order to forge individuated political positions and justify their actions during the wars. They envisaged letter-writing as a public act, deliberately

168  Marie-Louise Coolahan circulating their letters to address a broader, public audience. For such women, epistolary writing was not private nor familiar but a means of intervening in public debate on their own terms. Briver’s letters demonstrate a keen awareness of the potency of epistolary writing as a means of public intervention. She composed two versions of events occurring in Waterford from December  1641 to February  1642, when the city surrendered to the Confederates: a continuous narrative and a series of four letters, both addressed to one Captain Evelings, an officer at the nearby English garrison at Duncannon. Her recent editor argues that the continuous narrative was composed first, dictated to an amanuensis; this was then rearranged as four letters. Given the absence of signatures and textual seals, McAreavey further posits that a third, final version may have been sent.6 The Brivers’ precarious position derived from the competing religio-political ties that drove the Irish wars. Her letters’ distinction between the English interests in the city and Irish pressures on its leaders points to the couple’s ethnic background as Old English (descendants of the Normans, who integrated and remained Catholic). Her Catholicism is suggested by the rubric, ‘Iesus: marya’, heading six leaves. The cut-and-thrust of epistolary warfare pervades Briver’s account. Her husband was publicly accused of siding with the Irish rebels in a print Newes published in April 1642 by Captain Thomas Aston. This appended a letter allegedly written to Aston by Francis Briver and the city’s recorder, John Leonard, along with Aston’s riposte, dated 7 and 8 March.7 As McAreavey argues, it is likely that Mrs Briver – whose letters are dated 14, 15 and 27 March – was aware of this publication.8 Certainly, she was conscious of the captain’s denunciation of her husband; she explicitly counters an accusation made by Aston in a letter to the Countess of Ormond. Furthermore, she countered allegations of her husband’s pro-Irish stance by citing a different letter, written by John Leonard’s brother, Alexander, in which he complained of Briver’s opposition to the Irish: ‘[Leonard] did write thus that the maire [mayor] was an enemy to the comon cause [. . .] and the irish weare not shure of this toune while the maire had the commaund of the forth [fort]’.9 Thus, the controversy over Waterford’s surrender was played out in letters that were circulated both in print and manuscript. Briver’s letters were written to exonerate the couple, insisting on their efforts to preserve English goods in the city and to resist attempts to capitulate. This agenda informs her version of the story. Briver narrates the split allegiances of the city council, presenting the Leonard brothers as agitators and conspirators. She casts her husband in an isolated role, his party reduced to a rump of three who (in a rare figurative moment) ‘striue against the streame [. . .] to opose the whole citty’.10 As well as detailing the violence of council debates, Briver’s own agency in defence of her husband and the English interest is emphasized. She narrates her intercession to remove her husband from danger as he was assaulted in the street, her physical restraint of Alexander Leonard during a confrontation, and her maintenance of spies across the city. Moreover, she imagines defiance in articulating how she would behave, were she mayor.

Irish women’s letters, 1641–1653  169 Briver exploited the immediacy of the epistolary genre in order to convey the speed of events. Her first letter, for example, dramatically opens with an expression of spontaneity: Good kaptaine eeuelings: I proteste to god I had rather then a hundrith pounde of the best mony that euer I handlid in my daies: that you had beene heere this day to witnes what an afronte and a horyble abuse was done to the maire in his one [own] howse.11 Later, Evelings is directed to read the fourth letter (also dated 14 March) first. The author plays around with temporal identifiers, shaping her account according to the persuasive advantages conferred by epistolary writing. The invocation of spontaneity implies sincerity, and this supports her claims to honest dealing with regard to the English in the city. The directness of the epistolary form allows her to appeal to the first-person testimony of former neighbours who had fled to the safety of Duncannon fort. She urges Evelings to obtain their corroboration: ‘let mister ling: and mister benedict tell you’; ‘lickely mister ling is wife saw them out of hir windoe’; ‘I pray kaptaine euelings caull to mistris liscom: and lit it bee uppon hir conscience to witnes’.12 Briver uses her letters as a means of intervening into, and provoking, a wider public debate. Most significantly, Briver decided that the epistolary genre was more effective than continuous narrative as a means of achieving her polemical aim. Schneider’s study of letters intended for print argues that such documents appropriated the rhetoric of epistolarity associated with manuscript in order to enhance their persuasive functions.13 This impulse can be seen in Briver’s authorial decisions. Her letters were not printed, but they were designed for an audience beyond their addressee. The decision to structure her narrative of events in epistolary form is calculated to make most impact. Via Captain Evelings, she orders their wider circulation, at least within Duncannon fort. She claims that this is in order to reassure her neighbours that she and her husband did everything in their power to protect their goods: ‘I pray good captaine show this leter to my lorde esmon[de]: mistres gisop: to mister ling: and mister benedict’. But the primary goal is public absolution, as is most evident from her third letter, which concludes: ‘I pray show this paper to yowr frinds and let them Iudge of all this cariadge’.14 Her letters are defensive, fighting a rear-guard action. But ultimately such a hybrid position would prove untenable; by 1647, Francis Briver had joined the Confederates. By contrast, the siege-letters of Lettice Digby, Baroness Offaly – also intended for a public audience – evince no such divided loyalties. Like Briver, Offaly was a member of the Old English community but of the elite rather than mercantile class. She was daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald, heir to the eleventh Earl of Kildare. In 1598, she married the New English administrator, Sir Robert Digby, and by the outbreak of the wars, she was living as a widow with her grandchildren at her estate of Geashill, King’s County.15 Here she was besieged in late 1641 by her kinsfolk, the insurgent Dempsey clan. Offaly’s letters are documents of female

170  Marie-Louise Coolahan resistance. Composed as tools of dissuasion, they combat her besiegers in their insistence on her loyalty to the king and neighbourly track record, and her innocence from any military aggression (other than in self-defence). They appeal to religious conscience and draw on the trope of the vulnerable widow, functioning as an Irish counterpart to the letters of Brilliana Harley.16 Offaly’s immediate audience was hostile. But she ensured maximum support and publicity by circulating her letters in the public domain. She wrote to the lords justices in Dublin seeking help and enclosed a copy of the first summons letter with her defiant reply. This impressed the administrators sufficiently that they forwarded copies to the lord lieutenant in December 1641. Offaly also wrote to James Butler, Earl of Ormond and commander of the king’s royalist forces, on 19 January 1642, again enclosing a copy of the first summons, ‘wherby you may see ther Insolency and blody resolution’.17 Furthermore, this pair of letters reached a print audience in London. The Dublin alderman and printer William Bladen, whose son was among those defending Geashill Castle, answered the contemporary demand for news from Ireland, writing a short account of the rebellion to which he suffixed both letters. They and Offaly were to achieve fame for a generation, reprinted again in 1680 by Edmund Borlase.18 The full set of summonses with Offaly’s three responses came into the possession of the local curate, Thomas Pickering. They are transcribed in full in his deposition on the rising, dated 15 August  1642.19 Their value as epistolary documents in the broader propaganda battle is clear from Pickering’s insistence on recording them faithfully at the centre of his account. Baroness Offaly’s circulation of her letters might be seen as a petitionary campaign in which her siege-letters function as documents of royalist resistance that persuade her interlocutors to help. Petition-letters compiled by women from all political sides survive. Daybell has argued that Tudor women’s petition-letters are distinguished from men’s by ‘their strategic deployment of the powerful and emotive imagery of motherhood, wifehood, widowhood, and female frailty’.20 This rhetoric of female weakness and destitution was especially useful to female petitioners in 1640s Ireland, whose networks of influence could collapse at short notice. The diversity of female petitioners’ backgrounds, and of their addressees, points to the genre’s effectiveness as an option of last resort. Alice Moore wrote to Ormond on the death of her husband, Charles, second Viscount of Drogheda and a prominent royalist commander who was killed at Portlester in September 1643. Moore’s letter opens in emotive terms: ‘The soorde which is gon through my hart, I am perswaded hath by this time wounded your Lordship’s ears alsoe’. Her suit – that Ormond would intercede with the king in support of her son’s succession – is framed in terms of gendered vulnerability: she is ‘a wretched woman, desolate and distressed [.  .  .] not capable of receiving comfort myselfe in this dreadful extremitye’ in need of ‘some soporte unto the miserable and distracted familie’.21 Ormond was not the only military commander to attract such letters. Sister Magdalen Clare of the Waterford Poor Clares wrote to the Leinster Confederate commander, Thomas Preston, in May 1645. She wrote on behalf of her community of nuns, drawing on the moral authority inherent in her position as she declared: ‘The

Irish women’s letters, 1641–1653  171 Allmighty powerfully assiste your happy desinges with all fortunatt success’. The appeal to obligation towards the community of women religious hangs heavy over her petition: ‘craueing your Lordshipp’s mindfullness of this poore community in supplying their wants which are more pressing than I will express by lines’. The narrative of their privation is located at the centre of the letter, cleverly framed by prayers for Preston’s success.22 From the late sixteenth century, Irish refugees left for Spanish territories in search of military employment and succour. The Spanish policy of awarding a pension (entretenimiento) to Irish Catholics who could prove their Gaelic nobility and service to the Counter-Reformation cause afforded particular incentives to petitioners. Hence, many women addressed petition-letters to the Spanish crown, focusing their persuasive tropes on narratives of female destitution and the military services of their menfolk.23 Exiled women, however, were not devoid of power or influence. The letters of Rosa O’Dogherty (Róis Ní Dhochartaigh) and Elizabeth (née Preston) Butler, Countess of Ormond, attest to their high levels of agency in political affairs. The sole surviving letter of O’Dogherty is rare on two counts: as an example of a woman’s letter in Irish Gaelic and as a glimpse into the epistolary culture of the exiled and politically active Gaelic community on the Continent. She was an eminent member of the Ulster Gaelic nobility: sister to Sir Cahir O’Doherty and wife of Cathbar O’Donnell, brother to the Earl of Tyrconnell. She, her husband, and their son were members of the expedition commonly known to history as the ‘flight of the earls’. The men and women who left to find employment and support in Spanish Flanders coalesced around this exiled leadership. O’Dogherty’s second husband, Owen Roe O’Neill, was leader of the Irish regiment based in Spanish Flanders. He returned to Ireland in July 1642 to lead the Ulster Confederate forces. Contemporary English surveillance monitored his wife as a spy and political activist.24 The autograph letter that survives was written from Louvain, where the Irish college had acted as a magnet for disaffected exiles, on 16 September 1642. It was addressed to an unnamed priest in Ireland and reveals Rosa as an informed go-between, managing military arrangements. The letter is suggestive of an ongoing correspondence; it acknowledges receipt of the priest’s letter to her, in which he reported her husband’s safe arrival in Ulster. Immediately following this salutation, she complains of his brevity and the lack of information provided. She demands detailed political news from home, structuring her request with a list of leading, specific questions: I beseech you (if you can) to procure every small particular that concerns the province of Ulster, and to communicate it to me; and [to let me know] which of its nobles are alive or dead, and how Tyrconnell stands, and where Owen left the munitions he had with him [.  .  .]. But, in whatever way you may understand this, send us an account. Her husband had returned to Ireland in July (he is reputed to have loaded the cannon that killed Charles Moore), and O’Dogherty was eager to follow: ‘I

172  Marie-Louise Coolahan should like him [their son, Henry] and myself to be in Erin, if proper means could be provided for us; and we should require about a month or six weeks to make all our arrangements’. She signs off with news of the recent death of Hugh, Earl of Tyrconnell.25 This is a courteously balanced letter: her correspondent is thanked for providing news, then berated for its paucity; she prays for more detailed news and then provides her own. It is calculated according to the politics of epistolary exchange, a solitary surviving moment in an ongoing correspondence. The letters of Elizabeth Butler from France, on the other hand, provide ample material for tracking the dynamics of exiled correspondence. Butler was married to the Earl of Ormond. At the war’s outbreak, she relocated from the family’s Carrick-on-Suir estate to their seat at Kilkenny (soon to become the Confederate capital). She was known for her assistance of English refugees who escaped via nearby ports, as was observed approvingly in Briver’s narratives. By the end of March 1642 she was in Dublin, and she left for exile in Caen in July 1647. There, Lady Ormond was the centre of her husband’s correspondence network. She was instrumental in receiving, forwarding, and directing correspondence. Letters to and from her husband (fighting in Ireland at the time) proceeded through her; she employed a number of trusted emissaries and documented the speed of their travels. Letters kept by Sir Edward Nicholas reveal her as the conduit between her husband in Ireland and the exiled court. Her husband’s letters to King Charles II and Prince Rupert, seeking repayment of monies he had advanced in Ireland, were sent via Lady Ormond in early 1650. He wrote to Nicholas explaining his preferred mode of transmission: I haue directed my wife to put my letters to his Ma:tie and Prince Rupert into your hands, if any thing be vppon these conditions to be hadd yo:w will be pleased to contriue the sending of it to my wife. He confided that this was his only hope of maintaining his family.26 Lady Ormond sent these letters to Nicholas with one of her own dated 22 March 1650. This indicated both her familiarity with the suit and command of epistolary dissemination: ‘I Cannot doupt yor Frindshipe soe farr as to make anye questione of yor Care to deliuer That vnto the kinge and gett the outhar Sent’. Nevertheless, she took preemptive steps: ‘I haue sent you a Nothar letar derectede to my lords Agent fearinge least the outhar should miscarye’. These concerns were well-founded; her letter of 26 May tots up their correspondence: ‘though I find but the halfe of them are Come to yor hands, at which I much wondar; hauinge takene the same waye to gett them Convayde as you derectede mee’.27 Lady Ormond was immersed in exiled royalist networks whose communications were politically sensitive and clandestinely conducted. As early as 1648, she was writing abstracts of letters she had received in cypher and using it to consult Nicholas on her sons’ education.28 She shared this cypher with her husband, who left Ireland in defeat in December 1650. He wrote from Caen to Nicholas on 2 March  1651 with second-hand news of events in Limerick (which held out against Cromwellian forces until October that

Irish women’s letters, 1641–1653  173 year): ‘I haue the Cypher you left with my wife wherin you may please to fauour mee wth what you thinke fit’.29 Her husband’s arrival in January 1651 was a critical moment for the couple, who were at a low ebb financially as well as politically. Elizabeth Butler wrote on 19 January in a carefully calibrated letter that asserted her husband’s absolute loyalty as it prepared the ground for her overtures to the new authorities in England. She had good grounds for composition of estates in her own right. Her mother was the only surviving child of the tenth Earl of Ormond; Elizabeth’s marriage to the Ormond heir had reunited both branches of the family and their estates. This letter was a pre-emptive justification that focused on economic exigency. Her husband had arrived at Caen with £500, which with the Nombar of Persons to bee mentaynede out of it; willbee Soune at ane Ende; Soe as I begine to See that my Nesesities will Ere longe Forse mee to what of all things in the world is the most Contrarye to My inclinatione. Couched in terms of utmost reluctance, Butler appeals to a discourse of right and legitimacy, characterizing the sequestrators as ‘iniust posessors’ of their land.30 Where her other letters to Nicholas consistently sign off, ‘yor very ashurede Frind and Saruant’, this letter betrays its trickier goal by amplifying the subscription: ‘I am with much Sinseritye Sir yor very ashurede Frind and Saruant’.31 Her campaign was evidently successful. She wrote again to Nicholas in March, offering ‘thanks for the Cautione and good aduise you haue bine pleasede to giue mee Consarninge my Iournye into England; which I am not as yet perfectlye resouluede vpon’.32 The level of reassurance is conveyed through reversion to her usual signature. The Cromwellian settlement had to solve a number of problems: to compensate the English soldiers and ‘adventurers’ who had fought and invested in Irish campaigns on the promise of receiving land and to ensure a more thoroughgoing plantation of the country by transplanting those associated with rebellion to the west or banishing them altogether.33 Hence, many women and men petitioned for retention of lands in desperate circumstances. As wife to the king’s commander in Ireland, Lady Ormond was one of the more celebrated such petitioners. She wrote to Cromwell from Caen on 1 May 1652.34 Butler began by establishing her premise in flattering terms: Cromwell’s ‘generall fame’ as one inclined to help those ‘in niede of protectione and assistanse’. Her approach was suggested by her intelligence networks, although phrased circuitously: ‘havinge heard that some expretions have fallene from you, that maye give mee hope that I, in my perticular, maye bee thought by you not uncapabill of beinge made one of the instansess of that dispositione in you’. The sense of uncharted territory is clear from her choice of verb: ‘I have adventured to make this address’. Ormond narrated the absorption of her inheritance into her husband’s fortune. She downgraded its current agricultural quality: ‘now by warr and pestelanse very much depopulatede, and not like to bee, without much troubill, profitabill for a longe time’. She adopted a malleable female persona, restricting her suit to ‘subsistance for my selfe and

174  Marie-Louise Coolahan chilldren’ and disingenuously claiming to be ‘as ignorant how to goe about it, as I  am unabell to compass it by tedious applications’. Her supplication was performed in entirely passive terms: ‘My desier is to owe my acknowlegments in this perticular unto your Lordship, and to reseve your pleasure with such passess for my selfe, and necesary attendants as you shall judge fitt’.35 The positive response encouraged her to travel to England to plead in person, with her family, in August 1652. Her success to some degree rested on collective Protestant identity; her aid of Protestant refugees fleeing the 1641–2 insurrection was well known. Moreover, she had friends in high places; Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill (later Earl of Orrery), spoke in her behalf to Cromwell on more than one occasion.36 In 1653, parliament issued an order allowing her to live at Dunmore, county Kilkenny, and receive £2,000 per annum from her estate – on condition that she would neither support nor write to her husband, still at the exiled king’s court. (In fact, they did correspond, and Nicholas was one of their intermediaries.37) But she did not finally come into these estates until 1657, when she moved to Dunmore Castle with her children.38 The letters written by Dorothy (née King) Moore during the 1640s offer an important corrective to the overwhelming contexts of warfare outlined here. She cultivated an epistolary network removed from the daily realities of the Irish wars and concentrated instead on the promulgation of an internationalist Protestant identity. For Moore, these were years of intellectual stimulation and exhilaration, as her epistolary sphere of acquaintance expanded rapidly to include those at the forefront of the international republic of letters. She was born Dorothy King in Dublin (her brother Edward’s death prompted Milton’s ‘Lycidas’). Her first husband was Arthur Moore (d. 1635), younger son of Garret Moore, first Viscount of Drogheda, and brother-in-law to Alice, mentioned earlier. Through the marriage of Arthur’s sister to Roger Jones, first Viscount Ranelagh, Dorothy became aunt to Katherine (née Boyle) Jones, Lady Ranelagh, and her sister-in-law, Margaret (née Jones) Clotworthy, both also of New English descent.39 All three women were prominent thinkers in Samuel Hartlib’s scholarly and scientific network. Dorothy had moved with her two sons to London between Moore’s death in 1635 and July 1641, when a letter is addressed to her at the house of the Dutch physician Gerard Boate and his wife, Katherine.40 Reflecting the cultural affinities of her class, and now living away from Ireland, Moore’s identity was perceived to be English. Indeed, a letter in Hebrew addressed to her in Dublin on 8 August 1640 from the Dutch scholar Anna Maria van Schurman places her in a specifically English female tradition: ‘I thought that no clever woman had remained in England after the death of Jane Grey and Queen Elizabeth’.41 Her correspondence network focused on Dutch and English Protestant circles. By July 1641, she had made the acquaintance of the English theologian John Dury, who placed her sons with the Dutch scholar, Voetius, at Utrecht. Moore and her sons moved to the Netherlands in August 1642, where she joined the entourage of the exiled Queen of Bohemia and wrote letters to London promoting her cause. Moore’s letters chart the evolution of her thought about the gendered situation of the Protestant intellectual; they focus on the question of how to be a female

Irish women’s letters, 1641–1653  175 public intellectual. This interest was personal: as a single, widowed woman committed to the best of Protestant educations for her sons and residing in the Netherlands, she sought to forge her own path in dedicating her life to God. In a letter from Utrecht (8 July 1643) to Lady Ranelagh – circulated by Hartlib – she set out her ideas. Driven by the conviction (which she expressed often) that every one whose conscience doth evidence in any Measure a Vnion with Christ ought to make it their principall aime & consequently their Worke to render themselves servicable Members to the rest of that body to which they are conjoyned with & by Christ the Head, Moore sought to discover the best way for her to deliver on this aim. She conceived of the problem in gendered terms, writing of her concern about our Sex, who (because God hath not apointed them, administrators of his word and ordinances in the Church, nor of Iustice and Commanding Politick Government of a republicke) many are apt to thinke us alltogeather incapable of that honour of being Members of that body.42 In this letter, she analysed how women in married and unmarried states might contribute to this goal. She firmly placed herself in the latter camp, contemplating how she might act and serve as an unmarried woman and toying with the idea of female pedagogy as an option. Moore pursued this question of the female spiritual calling to public service in an epistolary exchange conducted through French during September and October 1643 with the theologian André Rivet, then at the University of Leiden. Rivet was not inclined to assent to the radical implications of Moore’s ideas. Her first letter set out two questions: whether or not the Christian women who are united in Christ and consequently members of his body should propose as their principle goal [. . .] the service of the remains of the body in the communion of the saints [. . .]. And if the answer to this be yes then [. . .] by which path the female sex can or should pursue this goal, without going against the modesty required of their sex.43 The restrictions imposed by contemporary gender conventions were the sticking point. She engaged her correspondent in hopes of obtaining sanction for her aims. Rivet’s response was extensive but resolute that women should not play any public role in the church. Moore’s reply (8 October 1643) is a masterclass in deferential assertiveness, or passive aggression, and informed by gendered conventions of authorship. It opens with submissive thanks, taking upon herself the fault for his misinterpretation: I must tell you how much I am obliged to you for your courteous and detailed reply which would have been more useful to me had I not given you occasion to misunderstand my meaning as a result of my obscure explanation.

176  Marie-Louise Coolahan But having established that apparently compliant position, she proceeded to forthright disputation: ‘I insist on demanding by which path the female sex can or should pursue this goal’. Her letter clarifies the discussion by defining her terms semantically and grammatically. She acknowledged the series of (unsatisfactory) female roles offered by Rivet but rejected them. She concluded with four specific questions for his consideration. Rivet’s second (and final) response admits her correction: ‘as for the second point I admit that I did not fully understand you’.44 What Hunter has termed his ‘stumbling inability to deal with her arguments’ is manifest in the retreat of his final sentences: ‘You will concede to all this but will say to me that you require something more distinct and essential which has no concern with the men. But I must admit I cannot think of anything’.45 Disarmed by her methods, he retreated and closed off the correspondence. Moore was not to be put off so easily. Her third letter narrates an ongoing progression in her thinking, strategically deploying three times the phrase, ‘I suddenly realised’.46 This demands a corresponding evolution of ideas on Rivet’s part. Her argument for an essentialist view of gender allowed her to accept the variety of public roles in church and government occupied by men (never at issue in any case) but also to highlight the absence of corresponding public roles for women. Rivet’s solution was silence, exhibiting what David Norbrook has termed (with regard to Rivet’s exchanges with van Schurman) ‘the edginess often found in letters between male and female humanists, in which the male is driven by his normal professions of universality to invent strained principles of exclusion while reflecting an uneasy awareness of affinity’.47 Rivet may have called a halt to his engagement with the issue, but Moore’s thinking continued to evolve. She agreed to marry Dury in February 1645, writing to Lady Ranelagh with a very public sense of her own audience as well as the wider impact of the problem of how to be a female public intellectual: ‘I haue had thoughts of declaring my reasons for it [marrying] partly, because I beleeued all would not be satisfyed with it, & partly that all might see’. She set out three reasons that induced her to change her mind and marry. Her deliberations and consultations with others (such as Rivet) led her to conclude that ‘ordinarily a Woman, cannot serue the aduance of Christs kingdome in a single estate, so well as being vnited to a godly man for the aboue mencioned Aimes’. More particularly, she bluntly admits: ‘I saw euidently I could not’. Finally, she identified the hand of providence leading her toward marriage as other avenues closed: ‘I found God denying me all the other wayes that I proposed or sought out, for the fulfilling of that which I Iudged must be the end, & labour of my whole Life’. Having outlined the intellectual trajectory of her decision, she then answered two more worldly objections to her marriage: that she married beneath her and without matching to a good fortune. Her defence – that Dury, as one of God’s ‘owne Ambassadors’, transcends social hierarchy and true wealth is spiritual not material – would be easily accepted by modern readers.48 It occupied a newly emergent moral high ground for her contemporaries. The original of this letter was addressed to Ranelagh and intended for wider circulation. It survives in the papers of Samuel Hartlib, whose modus operandi was

Irish women’s letters, 1641–1653  177 to copy letters and circulate them among his vast network of contacts in England and across Europe. Many of Moore’s letters were intended for circulation. Her second and third letters to Rivet, for example, are denoted as copies. Letters of hers in the Hartlib papers bear the signs of his revisions prior to circulation. Nevertheless, dissemination within the arena of Hartlib’s scriptorium was one thing; print publication – even if anonymous – quite another. Moore’s letter to Ranelagh explaining the reasons for her marriage was printed alongside another pamphlet that contained three of Dury’s letters with another of Moore’s on the same subject. Her name is not supplied; ‘Master N’ substitutes for Dury; and all are addressed to ‘Madam’ (Lady Ranelagh).49 Moore presented herself – rather disingenuously – as drawing a fine line between the manuscript and print circulation of her letters. She wrote to Hartlib in July 1645 asking: ‘how doe you thincke I am able to beare your printing of that rude indigested paper written to the Lady Ranalaugh?’ Claiming to lament the lack of authorial finesse, in fact her concerns rest with the consequences for her wider cause (the female public intellectual) rather than her own reputation. She claims that premature publication might set back the cause ‘concerning the intention of Christans in maryage’, underlining her ever-present sense of the wider ramifications of social debate. But she overcame her outrage relatively quickly: I haue noe pardonne for you, that is the worst Languag I will giue you, but I am in zeal of publick hurt hartily angry with you which I should more full express, but that time calles vpon mee to tell you, that we heare nothing of the [Solemn League and] Covenant.50 Bigger issues of the day superseded her objections to print publication. Moore’s sense of addressing a public audience is obvious throughout her letters and she eagerly participated in Hartlib’s network. It is difficult not to read her protestations against print publication as sophistry, the expected and formulaic expression of convention by a female writer, knowingly adopted. Thus, we come full circle to the functions of epistolary writing for women such as Briver and Offaly. Both women, and Moore, wrote letters in order to address a public audience, to publicize their actions or ideas, to vindicate or explain themselves, and to win allies. Letters for these women were a means of action and influence. Petitionary writing by women of all ethno-political backgrounds was similarly aimed at persuasion – in those cases, to ameliorate their economic vulnerability. For exiled women as politically divergent as Rosa O’Dogherty and Elizabeth Butler, letter-writing was a vehicle for the direction and execution of operations. Where caches of letters – like those of Ormond, Moore, and even Offaly – survive, the narratives and teleologies of thinking they record offer salutary lessons not to dismiss the efficacy and agency of women letter-writers simply on the basis of fragmentary survival. Extrapolating from her own marital situation to its wider implications, Moore unproblematically assumed common ground with Ranelagh, her fellow intellectual: ‘this lesson God calls Loudly our Nation to learne at this very instant’.51

178  Marie-Louise Coolahan The nation she refers to here is Protestant and implicitly English. It is opposed to the Catholic sense of nation articulated by exiled women like O’Dogherty. Both Moore and Ranelagh were born and raised in Ireland, but the bulk of their lives was spent outside the country. With familial backgrounds derived from the New English class of Protestant settler, against whom much of the 1641 insurgency was directed, it is no surprise that their sense of ‘nation’ is English. But that Englishness was also unavoidably rooted in Ireland. The antagonisms that beset the island reflected and resonated with those of Britain while manifesting and generating specific tones and shapes. ‘Irishness’ is a capacious yet distinctive contextual category. Plurality lay at the heart of the conflicts that drove women to wield the pen in this period, choosing the epistolary genre as their instrument for action, influence, and relief. The apparently greater petitionary focus of Irish women’s letters is driven by exigencies of warfare. At the same time, allegiances and identities were multiple and highly varied. The irresolvability of these conflicts encouraged many women (and men) to look beyond the island’s shores for succour, support, and sanctuary – whether financial, military, or intellectual. It is in this sense that Moore (or Ranelagh) had most in common with their contemporaries.

Notes 1 For example, Julie D. Campbell and Anne R. Larsen (eds), Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009); James Daybell, Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) and (ed.), Early Modern Women’s Letter-Writing, 1450–1700 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001); Jane Couchman and Ann Crabb (eds), Women’s Letters Across Europe, 1400– 1700: Form and Persuasion (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005). 2 Selected letters by Irish women are printed in Helen Ostovich and Elizabeth Sauer (eds), Reading Early Modern Women: An Anthology of Texts in Manuscript and Print, 1550–1700 (London: Routledge, 2004) and Angela Bourke, et al. (eds), The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Irish Women’s Writing and Traditions (Cork: Cork University Press, 2002); Melosina Lenox-Conyngham (ed.), Diaries of Ireland: An Anthology, 1590–1978 (Dublin: Lilliput, 1998). Recent scholarly editions include Naomi McAreavey, ‘An Epistolary Account of the Irish Rising of 1641 by the Wife of the Mayor of Waterford [with text]’, ELR, 42 (2012), 90–118; Lynette Hunter (ed.), The Letters of Dorothy Moore, 1612–64 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004). 3 Vincent Carey, ‘ “What’s love got to do with it?”: Gender and Geraldine Power on the Pale Border’, in Dublin and the Pale in the Renaissance c.1540–1660, ed. by Michael Potterton and Thomas Herron (Dublin: Four Courts, 2011), pp.  93–103; Ruth Connolly, ‘Viscountess Ranelagh and the Authorisation of Women’s Knowledge in the Hartlib Circle’, in The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, 1558–1680, ed. by Johanna Harris and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 150–61; Naomi McAreavey, ‘ “This is that I may remember what passings that happened in Waterford”: Inscribing the 1641 Rising in the Letters of the Wife of the Mayor of Waterford’, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 5 (2010), 77–109; Marie-Louise Coolahan, ‘Ideal Communities and Planter Women’s Writing in Seventeenth-Century Ireland’, Parergon, 29 (2012), 69–91. 4 Andrea Knox, ‘Testimonies to History: Reassessing Women’s Involvement in the 1641 Rising’, in Irish Women and Nationalism: Soldiers, New Women and Wicked Hags, ed. by Louise Ryan and Margaret Ward (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2004), pp. 14–29; Mary O’Dowd, ‘Women and War in Ireland in the 1640s’, in Women in

Irish women’s letters, 1641–1653  179

5 6

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

22 23

24 25

Early Modern Ireland, ed. by Margaret MacCurtain and Mary O’Dowd (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991), pp. 91–111; Bernadette Whelan, ‘Women and Warfare, 1641–1691’, in Conquest and Resistance: War in Seventeenth-Century Ireland, ed. by Pádraig Lenihan (Leiden: Brill, 2001), pp. 317–43. For this rebellion, see Michael Perceval-Maxwell, The Outbreak of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1994); Nicholas Canny, Making Ireland British, 1580–1650 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). McAreavey, ‘Epistolary Account’, p. 95. These accounts ultimately found their way to James Butler, commander of the king’s Irish forces; they are now held in the Carte Collection at the Bodleian Library (IV, fols 249–58, 478–89). It is likely that their transmission occurred via Lord Esmond, commander of Duncannon fort, whose letters of increasing desperation during 1644 regarding the poor provisions for his men and their likely mutiny survive in the same collection; John Gilbert (ed.), History of the Irish Confederation and the War in Ireland, 1641–1649, 7 vols (Dublin, 1882–91), IV, pp. xxxi–xxxviii. Thomas Aston, Newes from the West of Ireland (1642). McAreavey, ‘Epistolary Account’, p. 98. Ibid., p. 108, ll. 246–9; p. 114, ll. 441–5. Ibid., p. 113, ll. pp. 420–1. Ibid., p. 101, ll. 4–8. Ibid., p. 102, ll. 43–4, 51–2; p. 108, ll. 264–6. Gary Schneider, The Culture of Epistolarity: Vernacular Letters and Letter Writing in Early Modern England, 1500–1700 (Newark: University Delaware Press, 2005), p. 186. McAreavey, ‘Epistolary Account’, p. 103, ll. 87–9; pp. 115–16, ll. 509–11. The New English were Protestants of the colonial class. For a full discussion of Offaly’s letters, see Marie-Louise Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 166–72; for a modern edition, see Field Day Anthology, V, pp. 25–7. Bodl., Carte MS II, fol. 305. William Bladen, A True and Exact Relation of the Chiefe Passages in Ireland, Since the First Rising of the Rebels (1642); Edmund Borlase, A History of the Execrable Irish Rebellion (1680), pp. 77–8. Trinity College Dublin, MS 814, fols 71r–74r. For the 1641 Depositions, see http://1641. tcd.ie/ [accessed 31 August 2015]. Daybell, Women Letter-Writers, p. 264. Bodl., Carte MS VI, fol. 318; Gilbert, History of the Confederation, III, pp. cxi–cxii. The death of local allies, combined with rumours of an imminent treaty between Confederate and royalist forces, led Moore to conspire with others to surrender Drogheda to parliament. She was arrested and taken to Dublin Castle; her deposition of 16 January 1645 highlights the swirl of conflicting reports. See Bodl., Carte MS XIII, fol. 443; Gilbert, History of the Confederation, IV, pp. 131–33. TNA, SP 63/260/135; Gilbert, History of the Confederation, IV, p. 242. For petitions from the Poor Clares of Wexford and Athlone addressed to the Confederation at Kilkenny in 1647, see Calendar of State Papers, Ireland 1633–1647, pp. 659, 662. See Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language, pp. 128–39; Micheline Walsh, ‘Some Notes Towards a History of the Womenfolk of the Wild Geese’, The Irish Sword, 5/19 (1961), 98–106 and ‘Further Notes Towards a History of the Womenfolk of the Wild Geese’, The Irish Sword, 5/20 (1962), 133–45. See Jerrold Casway, ‘Rosa O’Dogherty: A Gaelic Woman’, Seanchas Ard Mhacha, 10 (1980–81), 42–62 and ‘Heroines or Victims? The Women of the Flight of the Earls’, New Hibernia Review, 7 (2003), 57–74. ‘Guidhim sibh (más éider libh) gach minsgéla dá mbenann le cóigeadh Uladh d’fághail, agus a ccur chugainn, agus cia as béo, nó as marbh dá núaislibh, agus cionnus atá Tir Chonaill, agus cahionadh inar fháguibh Eoghan gach muinision dá raibhe

180  Marie-Louise Coolahan

26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34


36 37 38


leis [. . .] acht gibe modh ara thuigfe sibh sin cuirih sgéla chughainn. [. . .] do badh maith lemsa mé féin agus eision do bheith in Eirinn da bfagh táoi glés iomchubaidh duinn. Agus ni badh furáil dúinn tuairim miosa, no sé seachtmuine do bheith daimsir aguinn lé gach ni da mbedfadh rinn do réidhiughadh’; John Gilbert (ed.), A Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland, from 1641 to 1652, 3 vols (Dublin: Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society, 1879), I, pp. 523–4. The English translation is in Field Day Anthology, V, p. 30. BL, Eg. MS, 2534, fol. 8r. BL, Eg. MS, 2534, fols 17r, 26r. BL, Eg. MS, 2533, fols 466r, 496r; see also her letter of 19 January 1651, BL, Eg. MS, 2534, fol. 44v. For a discussion of letter surveillance, see Schneider, Culture of Epistolarity, pp. 174–8. BL, Eg. MS, 2354, fol. 54r. BL, Eg. MS, 2534, fol. 44v; Field Day Anthology, V, p. 31. BL, Eg. MS, 2534, fols 31r, 26v, 57v, 17r, 45r. BL, Eg. MS, 2534, fol. 57r. See John Cunningham, Conquest and Land in Ireland: The Transplantation to Connacht, 1649–1680 (London: Royal Historical Society, 2011). Although 1653 is the year provided in the Field Day Anthology edition (V, p. 31), following Lady Burghclere, The Life of James, First Duke of Ormonde, 1610–1688 2 vols. (J. Murray, 1912), I, pp. 434–45, this contradicts the earliest print copy: John Nickolls (ed.), Original Letters and Papers of State, Addressed to Oliver Cromwell (1743), p. 86, which dates it 1652. Ormond wrote two letters from England to Antwerp on 23 September 1652 (BL, Eg. MS, 2534, fols 129–31), placing her there at that time. Nickolls’ edition, which differs in some important respects, is preferred here. Nickolls, Original Letters, p.  86. For another contemporary woman’s petitioning of Cromwell and Philip, fourth Baron Wharton (1613–96), see Anne, Lady Claneboy’s petitions of 1653; The Carte Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, ed. by C. W. Russell and J. P. Prendergast (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1871), pp. 137–9. Burghclere, Life of Ormonde, I, pp. 438–9. See BL, Eg. MS, 2536, fols 74, 82; also Burghclere, Life of Ormonde, I, pp. 500–13. For examples of her letters from Restoration London regarding estate management in Ireland, see Field Day Anthology, V, pp. 501–3. Naomi McAreavey’s edition, The Letters of the First Duchess of Ormonde, is forthcoming with the Renaissance English Text Society. For Ranelagh, see Betsey Taylor-FitzSimon, ‘Conversion, the Bible, and the Irish Language: The Correspondence of Lady Ranelagh and Bishop Dopping’, in Converts and Conversion in Ireland, 1650–1850, ed. by Michael Brown, Charles McGrath and Thomas Power (Dublin: Four Courts, 2005), pp. 157–82; Elizabeth Anne Taylor, ‘Writing Women, Honour, and Ireland: 1640–1715’, 3 vols (unpublished PhD diss., University College Dublin, 1999); Ruth Connolly, ‘ “A Wise and Godly Sybilla”: Viscountess Ranelagh and the Politics of International Protestantism’, in Women, Gender and Radical Religion in Early Modern Europe, ed. by Sylvia Brown (Leiden: Brill, 2007), pp. 285–306 and ‘A Proselytising Protestant Commonwealth: the Religious and Political Ideals of Katherine Jones, Viscountess Ranelagh’, The Seventeenth Century, 23 (2008), 244–64; Lynette Hunter, ‘Sisters of the Royal Society: The Circle of Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh’, in Women, Science and Medicine 1500–1700: Mothers and Sisters of the Royal Society, ed. by Lynette Hunter and Sarah Hutton (Stroud: Sutton, 1997), pp.  178–97; Carol Pal, Republic of Women: Rethinking the Republic of Letters in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 142–76; Michelle DiMeo, ‘ “Such a sister became such a brother”: Lady Ranelagh’s ­influence on Robert Boyle’, Intellectual History Review, 25 (2015), 21–36, and her essay in this volume. Evan Bourke, ‘Female Involvement, Membership, and Centrality: A Social Network Analysis of the Hartlib Circle’, Literature ­Compass, forthcoming. For Moore, see also Pal, Republic of Women, pp. 110–41.

Irish women’s letters, 1641–1653  181 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51

Hunter, Moore, p. 3. Ibid., p. 1. Van Schurman wrote again in Latin on 1 April. 1641 (pp. 2–3). Ibid., pp. 18–19. Ibid., p. 21. Ibid., pp. 26, 27, 30. Ibid., pp. xli, 32. Ibid., pp. 33–4. David Norbrook, ‘Women, the Republic of Letters, and the Public Sphere in the MidSeventeenth Century’, Criticism, 46 (2004), 223–40 (p. 227). Hunter, Moore, pp. 69–72. Madam, ever since I had a resolution . . . (1645) and Madam, although my former freedom . . . (1645). For these letters, see Hunter, Moore, pp. 63–4, 69–73, 114–17, 118–20. Hunter, Moore, p. 80. Ibid., p. 72.

11 Recovering agency in the epistolary traffic of Frances, Countess of Essex and Jane Daniell Andrew Gordon

Writing to Henry Maynard in 1598, Ursula, the widow of Sir Francis Walsingham, expressed her concern for Mrs Bayning, a former neighbour whose difficult marriage was the subject of a High Commission review. Claiming a willingness to have written in her support directly to the commissioners, she lamented to Lord Burghley’s secretary, ‘but what is a private Letter of a womans in a womans behalf without better meanes to countenance ye same?’1 Lady Walsingham’s rhetorical question can stand as emblematic of the challenges pertaining to the study of women’s correspondence in the early modern period as scholars look to recover the power of a female voice, the concern with the interests of a female subject, and the connections or contexts which might lend authority to either. If women participated in politics through their roles ‘as wives, mothers, and widows’, as Barbara Harris has shown, they exercised influence in particular through networks of patronage and kinship where letters constituted the most valuable of instruments.2 The strategies used to access agency from such positions were often indirect and sometimes highly sophisticated. The letter of Lady Walsingham itself constitutes a careful intervention on behalf of Susanna Bayning, whose husband, Paul, the wealthy London merchant, had cast her out several years before.3 In response to Ciceronian injunctions that might prohibit the involvement of women in public life, Lady Walsingham seems implicitly to define all epistolary actions as self-evidently private if they come in a woman’s name.4 Where she despairs of addressing the commissioners directly, the reciprocal terms of her letter construct Maynard as her agent, one for whom she ‘durst ingage my creditt’ to provide a careful character reference for Mrs Bayning if he in turn will continue his course in ‘usinge yor creditt wth ye Bp of London’ to pressure the husband into reconciliation despite evidence of Susanna’s adultery. While articulating powerlessness, Lady Walsingham’s letter thus provides evidence of the complex epistolary strategies – rhetorical, material, and performative – through which female agency might be exerted. In the current essay, I pursue the considerations of women’s epistolary agency raised by Lady Walsingham’s letter via a case study that focuses on an extraordinary episode in the court culture of the late Elizabethan period, an episode that generated a wealth of materials that collectively offer an insight into the workings of women’s correspondence. At the centre of this investigation are

Recovering agency in epistolary traffic  183 two seldom-studied women who were faced with the disgrace of their husbands and the ruin of their families and who take various forms of epistolary action in response. The first is the well-known but rarely investigated figure of Frances Devereux (née Walsingham), Countess of Essex from 1590 and daughter to the above noted Ursula, Lady Walsingham and her husband, Sir Francis.5 The second is her sometime gentlewoman, Jane Daniell, who had married a man on the fringes of the Earl of Essex’s retinue, John Daniell of Deresbury. The events that produced this rich documentary trail centre on the attempt by Jane’s husband to exploit his chance discovery of a bundle of letters belonging to the countess that had been entrusted to Jane for safekeeping. Engaging the writing master Peter Bales as an apparently unwitting accomplice, John Daniell explored the potential uses of these letters before deciding to extort money from the countess for their return.6 These machinations would subsequently result in his trial, imprisonment and hefty fine, but the concern of the present study is less with her husband’s actions than with the roles of Jane Daniell and Frances Devereux. By mapping the discursive constructions of their behaviour and exploring the correspondence strategies they deployed in defence of their competing interests, the Daniell affair offers an insight into the place of letters in the lives of women of differing status. By studying their epistolary traffic – that is, not only the letters they wrote, but their role within letter-writing networks and practices, and even their commentary upon letters – a more nuanced picture emerges of how these women operated, or how they situated themselves in relation to their husbands’ projects in patronage and politics, and of the spaces for epistolary agency available to a countess and an exiled gentlewoman.

Frances, Countess of Essex: ‘Your fathfull wife’ At the time of the Daniell affair, the Countess of Essex was in her early thirties but already a veteran in the politics of kinship and dynastic relations. At the age of 15, her first marriage, to Sir Philip Sidney, had attracted the monarch’s displeasure. The strategic union with Sir Francis Walsingham’s sole remaining heir had cemented Sidney’s alliance with the influential Protestant faction of the Earl of Leicester, as well as availing the Sidneys of both Walsingham House in the city and the estate of Barn Elms.7 Widowed at the age of 19 in 1586, and with one surviving daughter (she suffered a miscarriage the month after her husband’s death), Frances was married next to the Earl of Essex in a clandestine ceremony that likely took place close to the time of her father’s death in April  1590.8 Frances’s pregnancy eventually made the union with Essex public, and again her marriage displeased Elizabeth, this time for the lack of dynastic propriety in the match of a leading nobleman to the family of her Principal Secretary. According to Paul Hammer, the marriage brought Essex little tangible political benefit beyond the broad symbolism of allegiance to the Protestant cause and the renewed sense of Essex as Sidney’s heir following the well-­chronicled bequest of his sword to the young earl.9 Out of favour at the outset, the new countess never became a daily courtier and instead resided principally either

184  Andrew Gordon at Barn Elms, where her widowed mother lived on until 1602, or in London. Although the court was a key locus of power, separation from it did not preclude all forms of political agency. The responsibilities of an aristocratic family household were one alternative vehicle through which networks of kinship, local suitors, and regional influence might operate – even a gentlewoman such as Joan Thynne might exercise forms of authority in this kind from a rural estate while her husband sought preferment at court. In this endeavour, letter-writing proved a vital instrument.10 The vicissitudes that have shaped the survival of women’s letters and our ability to interpret them are only beginning to be fully appreciated.11 In the Essex circle, one remarkable collection is extant: the Devereux Letter Book groups together a large number of original sent-copies of letters to the earl from close female relations alongside some letters of near kinsmen. Containing numerous letters from his mother, Lettice, sisters Dorothy, Countess of Northumberland, and Penelope, Lady Rich, the collection was a deliberate selection presented as a gift to Dorothy’s son Algernon Percy, tenth Earl of Northumberland, by John Castle, a clerk of the Privy Seal who had access to a variety of Essex papers.12 Only a single letter from Frances, Countess of Essex appears in the Devereux Letter Book, suggesting further examples of the countess’s letters were either not grouped with the other correspondence to which Castle had access or had not survived – a possibility the attentions of the Daniell affair itself make more likely. While collections of marital correspondence from the period are reasonably common, in the case of the Devereuxs, only a handful of letters between the countess and her husband are known to survive.13 These extant letters shed light on the cultural experience and discourses of motherhood, in particular. A  letter among the Cecil Papers from early in their marriage sees the countess referring to herself in ‘entolerabell pain’ and ‘almost blind’ but able to offer reassuring words on their young son, the future third earl, reporting that ‘my lettel Iuell begins to mend’.14 Another of August 1599 (see Figure 11.1) has her similarly bed-ridden with a fever a month before she gave birth to a daughter, Frances. Reporting the good health of ‘your sone Robin’ the heir, she adds, ‘I fer I shall neuar reseue so grett comfort of my other lettel one’.15 Informing her husband on her troubled health and providing a commentary on that of her children, these letters written in her rough roman hand with distinctive orthography conform to two common patterns of interest that have been identified in marital correspondence.16 The preoccupation is not without reason. In the decade of their marriage before the earl’s execution in March 1601, Frances gave birth to eight children, of whom only three survived their father: Robert (b. Jan. 1591), and the daughters Frances (b. Sept. 1599) and Dorothy (b. Dec. 1600).17 The loss of five successive children between 1592 and 1599, three as infants and two stillborn, is difficult to comprehend for modern sensibilities and unusual even for the period, but nevertheless a stark reminder of the tribulations of early modern motherhood and hence of the powerfully affective charge such details could command.18 If her epistolary identity in these letters to her husband revolves around the cares of her children and the course of her pregnancies, this speaks to a persistent condition of her life experience as well as to a

Figure 11.1  Letter of Frances, Countess of Essex to Earl of Essex, 11 August 1599. Reproduced by courtesy of the Marquis of Salisbury, Hatfield House.

186  Andrew Gordon central preoccupation within the shared business of their marriage. Motherhood was a social role which afforded a woman progressive authority within marriage, household, and social class, so drawing on this established social script was also a pragmatic means to exercise agency, as evidenced in her broader correspondence activities.19 Study of the earl’s intelligence gathering networks in the 1590s has highlighted the correspondence operations of his secretariat based in the former Leicester House, a property acquired from his mother Lettice (the Dowager Countess of Leicester) and renamed Essex House in 1593.20 None of Lady Essex’s extant correspondence is addressed from this powerbase, and reports of her presence there are relatively few aside from the public occasions and shows of support in the period of his final house arrest. Her husband’s country retreat at Wanstead, convenient for attendance at court, was yet more exclusively identified with the earl. The countess ran a largely separate household focused on the upbringing of her children and based principally at Barn Elms, with Walsingham House her London residence.21 Just as she had during her previous marriage, the countess resided at Walsingham House during the periods of her childbirth confinement and lying-in, when she was attended by a grouping of women amongst whom Penelope Rich appears to have been a prominent organising figure.22 The countess managed her distinct correspondence operations as an extension of her household, employing her own secretary, George Lisle. One undated letter from Frances to her husband (Figure  11.2) concerns the redeployment of a figure who had formerly served ‘attending on me’, whom she now recommends to ‘some nere plase about you’.23 The letter sees the countess using the strategies of a suitor to promote her former servant and well illustrates the distinction between serving the earl and the countess even while its suit is predicated upon the countess’s ability to influence her husband. The desire to place someone with loyalties to herself among the earl’s retinue may be part of an attempt to curb the earl’s tendency to marital indiscretions. While Anne Bacon had challenged the earl’s adulterous activities in 1596, in early 1598, Rowland Whyte reported the countess ‘greatly disquieted’ by rumours of a new extramarital affair that threatened the undoing of Essex ‘and all who depend upon his favour’.24 We might see the surviving letter of recommendation as part of a strategy to prevent such scandals, protect her investment, and preserve their honour. In her exercise of patronage and management of suitor relations, the countess was an able exponent of key protocols such as gift giving. A letter of 1594 sees her flexing regional patronage networks to procure for a gentleman in her service a buck ‘wherwth he would gladlie pleasure a freinde of his’, thereby supporting her client’s self-presentation through the medium of venison, the culturally prescribed gift of the nobility and aspirational gentry.25 In her targeting of patronage, she carefully supported suitors associated with both her father and first husband. A letter to Sir Robert Cecil shows her seeking employment for ‘one Mr Harry Sidney of Norfolke’, described as ‘my very friend & neere kinsman (both to my father and by my first husband)’.26 The maintenance of a household and correspondence network apart from the earl and his court activities could be useful, enabling her to keep open channels of communication independent of her husband’s actions.

Recovering agency in epistolary traffic  187

Figure 11.2 Letter of recommendation from Frances, Countess of Essex to Earl of Essex, [undated], Devereux Letter Book. Reproduced by permission of Warwickshire Record Office.

Hence her assiduous cultivation of Sir Robert Cecil’s favour in repeated letters throughout the 1590s in spite of the fraught tensions that marred her husband’s relations with Cecil during much of this period. Rowland Whyte’s letters to Sir Robert Sidney in the Low Countries demonstrate Lady Essex’s persistent support for ‘my Brother’, and her efforts to intervene on his behalf.27 The countess also managed to sustain good relations with the women of the Sidney-Herbert circle despite the falling out between her second husband and the Earl of Pembroke in the mid-1590s.28 However, on occasion, complications arose from the countess’s independent exercise of patronage, as the Daniell case reveals. Explaining his grievances against the earl and countess, Jane’s husband would point to failures of patronage, citing letters written on both sides of his suit over the parsonage of Runcorn. Although the earl had written in Daniell’s behalf to the Lord Keeper, Sir John Puckering: There was manyfested unto mee bie one ^George Lyllie gentleman^ neare abowte her honor a whole yeare after I maryed her ladyshyps gentlewoman, that the Contesse had wrytten seurall lres to the late lord keep Sr Iohn Puckering

188  Andrew Gordon agaynst mee, and for prouffe therof delyured mee thys Copie under hys owne hand in these words followinge, My verie good Lord I dyd the last yeare wryte unto yor Lo: in the behalfe of one Brooke. . . .29 While it was the countess who prevailed in these parallel suits, with judgement in the matter deferred as she had requested (to the detriment of Daniell), it was also the countess who sought to resolve the situation. In further letters to Puckering, her explanation centred precisely upon the independence of their households and patronage networks since ‘I assure yor Honor I did not knowe at this tyme of my writinge that the said Daniell was my Lo: servant, nor that his Lo: had formerlie written unto you in his fauor’.30 While such writing on both sides of a suit may simply reflect the pragmatics of a patronage system driven by the social energy of the suitor, her sense of obligation to Daniell and fear of having compromised the workings of Devereux patronage is shown by a follow-up letter in which she sought to mobilise directly the Lord Keeper’s intervention, asking ‘that yow will helpe mee to make Daniell some part of recompence for the wronge I haue unwillinglie done to him & his cause, by beeinge pleased for my sake to signe theise inclosed Lres’.31 If the lack of co-ordination between the patronage operations of the countess and her husband was understandable in pragmatic terms, the incident suggests the independence of their correspondence operations might sometimes produce confusion and hence cause for complaint. Nor was this an isolated example. A year earlier, rumours circulated of the countess having written to the Lord Keeper against the suit of another of her husband’s servants, Thomas Parker, and she needed to seek clarification from Puckering, ‘for that I  cannot call to minde anie such Leter, or at whose sute I shoud bee drawne to write ye same’.32 These incidents suggest a less systematic approach to the management of correspondence on the part of the countess than that of her husband’s highly professional secretariat. Equally significant in this respect is the manner in which Daniell found out about the double-dealing of Devereux patronage. According to Daniell, it was her secretary, George Lisle, who had shown him a copy of one of the countess’s letters. At the local level, the detail demonstrates the striking porousness of the household secretariats that enabled copies of correspondence to be taken by intermediate figures. Access to such materials permitted a figure such as Daniell to play the patronage acts of a noble husband and wife against each other, challenging their rhetorical commitments in order to pressurize the countess into more direct interventions on his behalf. On the part of the countess, we see the seriousness with which she committed herself to satisfying the demands of a discontented Devereux suitor, suggesting a real unwillingness to cross the purposes of her husband in his favouring of suits. If this indicates a desire to accommodate herself to her husband’s designs, it is worth noting that it was not the earl who was successful. His ability to reward his followers began to lose credibility from the mid-1590s and it was rather the countess who was able to intercede effectively in this suit with the Lord Keeper, doing did so twice and in favour of opposing outcomes.33

Recovering agency in epistolary traffic  189 While the countess’s separate household and general absence from court ensure that she is barely mentioned in the political biographies of her husband, she possessed a number of powerful instruments of agency that were effective within the politics of patronage. The Walsingham familial powerbases in Barn Elms to the west of London and Seething Lane, in the heart of the city, provided a place-based continuity for her household from childhood through her marriages to both Sidney and Essex. She accessed significant kinship and client networks in her own name, reinforced through the influence and advice of her mother (whose deft epistolary touch was noted at the outset, and these networks proved effective in situations where her husband’s were unstable. The countess’s persistent pregnancies throughout the decade, while demanding of her health, also bolstered her authority within and as a representative for the House of Devereux, providing the best dynastic security against the toll of infant mortality. They also created a particular kind of temporary female-centred household, a sort of court-of-accouchement, through which favour might be distributed and allegiances created.34 As well as the visits of Barbara Gamage, Sir Robert Sidney’s wife, during the advanced stages of another pregnancy, Rowland Whyte reports the mark of favour to his employer in the reception Whyte was accorded by the countess, who ‘most honourably gives me access unto her when she is private’.35 If the countess enjoyed relative autonomy, inhabiting a largely separate social sphere from the courtly circles of her husband, the distinct identity she fashioned for herself was closely invested in her husband. She actively performed her devotion to the earl, particularly during moments of crisis, showing herself to be the ‘fathfull wife’ of her marital letter valedictions. When Essex was confined to York House after his unauthorised return from Ireland in 1599, Frances was a persistent public suitor for access to her husband and for his enlargement, making a rare visit to court dressed in mourning black to make her case. After her suit was denied, she lobbied the Lord Treasurer and Sir John Puckering, visiting them ‘almost every day by daylight’ until granted access, and thereafter Whtye reported, ‘My Lady of Essex is with him every day from morning to night, and then returns to Walsingham House’.36 These very public signs of her commitment to his cause were well noted by contemporaries, and the close identification of interests is also observable at points in more politically sensitive correspondence that extends beyond the remit of familial welfare and household employment. A letter to the Earl of Southampton during the Irish campaign sees the countess entreating news like a devoted wife: ‘I do Intently long to hear of my lo happi proseding against the proud reballs, wch to acquant me wth your lo shall do me a grett fauar’.37 Yet equally the request of her husband’s close ally, along with the mocking reprimand of Sir Henry Danvers for his lack of letters (‘I thinke he mens not to writt to ani of his frends tell he maye wright in Iryes, wch is more elloquent then the inglesh’) can be seen as cultivating an alternative avenue of communication between the earl’s closest confederates and London at a time when the security of intelligencebearing networks was under suspicion.38 Such networks encompassed the bearers and dispatch routes of letters as well as correspondents. Hence, in August 1599, we find the Lutenist Daniel Bacheler, who served Frances’s households from

190  Andrew Gordon the days before her first marriage until after her third marriage to the Earl of Clanricarde, employed to take letters to Essex in Ireland.39 Back in 1593, when Essex had been working with the shadowy figure of Thomas Phelippes to develop his intelligence networks and cultivate contacts with clandestine groups, the earl directed him to ‘send yor lres to my wyfe to Barne Elms and she shall send them unto me’.40 Phelippes had worked closely with the countess’s father in intelligence operations throughout the 1580s, and the earl’s instruction shows the confidence he invested in his wife to play a role in the conveyance of highly sensitive correspondence. We encounter here some of the more indirect ways in which women might exercise agency in epistolary actions: the countess may not have written, read, or carried all these letters herself, but she is the nominated agent through which that correspondence takes place. Such details suggest that while the countess might pursue her own courses in letter-writing, where their interests coincided, her epistolary operations could support the earl’s actions. In contrast to his sister Lady Rich, the countess was never an overt figure in the political machinations of her husband’s circle, but her separation from the court and her public role as innocently doting wife may themselves have been useful. The fragmentary references offer only glimpses into the potential implication of the countess in her husband’s affairs, but they invite consideration because the Daniell affair turned ultimately on interpreting the nature of their correspondence and what might have been entrusted to the countess in letters from her husband. Sometime around 20 October 1599 (according to his later accounts), John Daniell found ‘under my bed in my house at Charing Cross a very ffayre Caskett, Covered wth purple velvett and laced wth gould lace’. The contents comprised an extraordinary stash: aboue 200 lres and other wrytings &c as betweene the Earle & the countesse from the death of Sr Phyllyp Sydney tyll the Earles returne owt of Ireland being wrytten some owt of ffraunce, some owt of portyugale others from Caeles the Ilands and lastlie many owt of Ireland.41 None of this tantalising trove of marital correspondence survives. Given the trouble these letters caused, it would not be surprising if they subsequently met the same fate as those papers destroyed by the earl at the conclusion of his failed uprising ‘that they should tell no tales to hurt his friends’.42 There are in fact no known letters at all from Essex himself to the countess: all that remains of his correspondence with his wife are the handful of quotes from letters out of Ireland preserved in the investigations. Hence Peter Bales, who copied out several of the letters, deposed that one questionable phrase in particular had aroused his anxiety: ‘The Queenes commandemt may breke my necke, but my enemies at home shall neuer breake my hearte’.43 John Daniell noted another from a letter of August 1599 – ‘I trust or longe to reduce Ireland to a peacesible governmt yf the traytors of England be not Confederate wt the Traytours of Ireland’ – inferring a rebellious intent in words that ‘sheweth

Recovering agency in epistolary traffic  191 great dyscontentmt in hys Lo’.44 These phrases are not out of keeping with elements of the earl’s correspondence used in the investigations of his actions following the return from Ireland.45 For our purposes, however, perhaps the most telling phrases are those noted in a postscript where Bales recalled that the most troubling letter began: ‘Franck, – I  send unto you Cuffe, my man, whom you many believe in what he saith’, and concluded with the note that ‘When yor bellye shalbe layd, I will provide for yor beinge here’.46 The remembered final phrase sees Essex participating in the concern with child-bearing evidenced in the countess’s letters, but mapping the domestic onto the logistics of his military and political actions. The mention of Henry Cuffe, one of the earl’s key secretaries and strategists (and the man ultimately branded with responsibility for stirring the earl towards treason), as the bearer of both letter and intelligence not committed to paper is particularly noteworthy. Cuffe had returned from Ireland in August 1599 to plead his master’s case with the queen, and, beyond the earl’s desire for secure channels of communication with his wife, the reference comes close to implicating the countess in early knowledge of the earl’s disobedient position. While we have no reply to this text, one of the three extant letters from the countess to her husband is dateable to 11 August  1599 (Figure  11.1), a few days after Cuffe’s arrival. As noted above, it is a letter that focuses upon the countess’s ill-health during her pregnancy, with no overt political content. She mentions the arrival of his letter ‘when I wase so seke that I could not speke wth mr davei wch broft it. bot the Ioye wch I toke in reseuing nuse from you ded deleuar me out of a feuar’.47 Commentary on letter reception was a conventional letter feature, fulfilling an important phatic function in regulating early modern correspondence, but it may contain more nuanced resonances: in the account of the countess’s recovery at his letter, we might read a coded approbation of some communication from the earl. It is also worth noting that the countess’s reply included an enclosure that does not survive, the use of separable enclosures being a method used for communicating sensitive information.48 Such speculation provides one way of sketching out the potential political agency within otherwise oblique instruments. At the very least we can recognise that the cross-referencing of each letter to the delivery – or failed delivery – of spoken supplements shows the shared concern of the countess and her husband with a secure line of communication capable of carrying sensitive information at this decisive moment in their lives. Despite the dangerous resonances of the earl’s phrases, it would be John Daniell who came to trial in connection with these letters rather than Essex, who was executed as a traitor before Daniell’s prosecution, or his wife. In the prosecution of Daniell for forgery and extortion from the countess, Attorney General Edward Coke, who had served so recently in the trial of the earl, built a powerfully affective case to explain Lady Essex’s payment of a vast sum (£1700) for the letters’ return.49 In a strategy that avoided any examination of the letters themselves, Coke presented the countess as a modest wife ‘moste vnwyllinge that the Erle showlde in any kinde haue any manner of knowledge that theise priuate

192  Andrew Gordon letters of Complementes of loue & affectyon betwene them were discouered to the worlde’.50 Here, then, it is the intimacy of the missing marital, and pre-marital, correspondence that necessitates absolute privacy. Fear of discovery is displaced into fear of her husband’s displeasure in a way that serves to underline uxorial innocence. This was the version of events upheld by the conviction of John Daniell in Star Chamber. Imprisoned in the Fleet, with a fine of £3,000 imposed upon him, £2,000 of it allocated to the countess by way of reparation, it fell to Daniell’s wife to be the principal agent in the management of events.

Jane Daniell, ‘civill matron’ Only a few years older than the Countess of Essex, Jane Daniell was 36 at the time of the Star Chamber proceedings and mother to four young children. She had arrived in England as a religious exile from Flanders in about 1588, a few years after the death of her father, the Lord of Ryhove, a leading figure in establishing the Calvinist Republic of Ghent (1577–84), who had died destitute and semideranged in Utrecht in 1585 while the young Jane, then Jehenne de la Kethulle, was living in Leiden.51 She entered Frances’s service ‘in very meane estate’ according to the countess’s later report, ‘havinge noe other maintenance . . . other than such as she received’ from her mistress, and, at this time, she appears to have lived at Walsingham House, probably finding a place there through the Low Countries connections of Secretary Walsingham, with whom her father had dealings via his agents.52 She was soon in a position of trust, later recalling that she ‘had in my Custody a long tyme her La: Iewells’, given to her for safekeeping sometime before 1590, possibly in the context of her mistress’s marriage and confinement that year.53 It was some years later, in 1595, that Jane, who was without a dowry, married the 50-year-old John Daniell – the husband’s claim that the earl and countess had promised to supply this want would be contested by the countess.54 The Daniells were nevertheless well situated by 1599, with a family estate in Deresbury, a parsonage at Mynshall, near Chester, and another in Hackney, as well as a house in Charing Cross. Control over these holdings and the assets that went with them would be almost entirely lost with the measures taken to recoup the fine, yet the inventory made when the commissioners placed their property in Hackney under lock and key enables us to reconstruct something of Jane’s milieu. The parlour of the Hackney Parsonage gatehouse gives a glimpse of Jane’s environment, with books in Dutch, French, and English, including psalters and devotional works, as well as two Bibles recorded in her chamber.55 She was highly skilled in needle and lacework, evidenced in the extensive materials, pattern books, and utensils over whose disappearance from the supposedly sealed-off property she would complain.56 These skills would be the family’s principal source of income in the years of her husband’s imprisonment, when she was able to earn more than £100 a year making tyres and headdresses for women of the court.57 As a trusted servant since before her second marriage, there is good reason to think Jane may have been amongst the gentlewomen who attended the countess during her numerous childbirth periods at Walsingham House. Some of the

Recovering agency in epistolary traffic  193

Figure 11.3 The Countess of Essex’s picture along with an eagle stone ring, listed among Jane Daniell’s most valuable possessions. Examination of Jane Daniell, 7 September 1601. TNA, SP 12/181 fol.137.

paraphernalia of childbirth rites figure in Jane’s detailed list of missing items (Figure 11.3). These included ‘one Cambricke sheete for a Wooman in childbedd’ as well as ‘one Chresteninge shete of Holland wrought on both side wth leade work and needle worke edging for a bearing stoole’, textile items that may have been for her own use or made to furnish the childbeds of others, part of the material culture of childbirth through which social relations and prestige were constructed.58 Amongst her most valuable possessions she listed an ‘eagle stone’, a kind of charm commonly worn during childbirth that was often a gift to the expectant mother, along with ‘the countesse of Essex picture’, presumably a gift from her mistress in recognition of service.59 As noted earlier, the rituals surrounding childbirth might be used to signify association or favour and indeed, for Jane, the fact that ‘her La: gentlewoman came to visit mee in Childbed’ convinced her that no enmity existed between the countess and the Daniells following the return of the missing letters.60 Of the opportunities for affiliation surrounding childbirth, the most lasting and profitable was godparentage.61 Obtaining the consent of a patron to stand as godparent at a child’s christening was thus a key objective of clientage relations, and the letters of Rowland Whyte reveal the hazards of securing the right choice. The day before the christening of Bridget Sidney, he had to inform his employer that ‘my Lady Bedford now sends word she cannot come, neither will she nominate a deputy, which somewhat troubles my Lady, who hath sent to my Lady Essex, to give Mistress Bess Sidney leave to be the other Godmother’, adding ‘it was my fortune to name my Lady of Bedford at the first, and therefore my Lady blames my choice’.62 Even for a fortunate mother depicted with six of her children in a famous portrait the year before, we see in the anxiety of Barbara Gamage Sidney the complex negotiations of christening patronage, and find the Countess of Essex playing a

194  Andrew Gordon matriarchal role in sanctioning the participation of her daughter. The Daniells too sought patronage in this kind and alliance with the House of Devereux. At the birth of their first child in September 1596, it appears the countess herself may have stood as godmother, Whyte reporting ‘my Lady of Essex, Sir Ed Stafford and [Sir Edward] Dyer christened Mistress Rihova’s son’.63 That had been before Jane’s husband grew disillusioned with Devereux patronage, however, and over two years later, according to John’s account, the earl’s Household Steward, Sir Gelly Merrick, proposed new ties as a way of remedying Daniell’s dissatisfaction. Learning of Jane’s pregnancy, Merrick told him ‘yf she be brought to bedd before my lords goyng for Ireland, I wil take that set occasyon to worke a reconsylyacon bie procuring hys Lordshyp to Chrysten yor Chyld’.64 In Daniell’s version of events, Merrick’s ‘dealing wth the countesse’ produced agreement from the earl to act as godfather, and the baptism of Devereux Daniell was duly registered at St Martin in the Fields on 16 March 1599.65 Yet Daniell was discontent, complaining that the departure for Ireland just over a week later took place ‘before the Chrystenyng was fynyshed’, protesting in particular that thereafter ‘[neither] prefermt in Ireland, nor any other benefytt Could I bie any meanes obtayne’.66 Evidently, the father’s ambition for a profitable affiliation was not satisfied by the supply of some plate, and the unfortunate child would not live to adulthood.67 The evidence thus suggests that the parallel maternal careers of Jane and her mistress had been marked by intimate service and affiliation through the social rituals of childbirth, an association consolidated through the giving of material tokens. Linda Pollock has argued persuasively that ‘we should question the strength of the bonds among the women present in the birth chamber’, and how far the affiliation extended beyond the duties of an attendant servant for the countess is debatable.68 Clearly, the hopes of translating tokens into more tangible forms of social advancement for the father went unfulfilled. In this it is noticeable, however, that it was the male route of patronage that failed. John Daniell was always a persistent petitioner, but Jane’s interventions often turned out to be more effective. Hence, when her husband was imprisoned, it was Jane who showed herself a shrewd negotiator. It was to Jane that the secretary to Lord Treasurer Buckhurst, Robert Bowyer, wrote to arrange her husband’s submission to the countess – a key stipulation of the settlement. Beneath Bowyer’s text is a subsequent note from John Daniell that is clearly his report to Jane, in which he notes ‘I haue sent yow my submyssyon agayne to do what you think fytt’ – a revealing concession to her authority and judgement in the situation.69 While acknowledging her husband’s guidance, it was also Jane who brokered an agreement with the Lord Treasurer for the otherwise crippling fine to be recouped by a lump sum of £1,200 and annual payments of £200 over succeeding years until the whole £3,000 was paid off. ‘By my unusuall and in manner unindurable travaile in my husbands busynes’, as she would later term it, Jane achieved a settlement that would have left the Daniells in possession of their various holdings, including the Deresbury estate and the lucrative parsonage at Hackney.70 Her active role in negotiations is in stark contrast to the typical strategies of self-presentation adopted by the countess, which stress incapacity and dependence. The agreement itself brought the two women and

Recovering agency in epistolary traffic  195 their representational strategies into sharp conflict in a series of petitionary letters that see them contesting the available roles of female supplication. Where the countess had once cited disorganisation in the management of her letters for suitors, pleading for clemency on behalf of her husband, she would show herself a studied supplicant. Building on model female petitioning strategies that typically concentrated on a combination of ethos (the moral authority of character) and pathos (affective persuasion) at the expense of logos (logical argumentation), the countess fashioned for herself a particular brand of ‘abject dependency’.71 After Daniell’s conviction, she used her skills in a lengthy petition to the leading privy councillors in her own hand that demanded sudden repayment in place of the brokered deal. Jane, however, proved a difficult foil in discursive terms. After briefly discrediting her former services, the countess focuses instead on the scheming husband, who presents a more striking contrast for Lady Essex’s self-image as importunate widow seeking funds for the education and maintenance of her children. While offering ‘to kisse the rodd and beare my burden wth humility and patience as becommeth mee’, the countess’s submission is accompanied by a critique of the agreement drawn out through repeated antitheses: for first I am the partie cousened hee the Cousener: I craue much lesse then should secure my self, (and the time of longe forbearinge, and my sellinge at an underualew by enforcement of his cruell Falsehood considered) hee to gaine by dishonestie: I was content to redeeme my lords reproofe wth anie charge, hee sought only wth a minde unchristian and inhumayne to make his pray of my afflicition: I was confident hee cautelouse72 The countess’s carefully fashioned rhetorical guise belies the punitive impact of her demands, which aimed at ruining the Daniells rather than recouping some of her losses and would result in a decade of legal dispute. Lady Essex also had strong support from figures such as Cecil, whom she had cultivated throughout the 1590s and consulted with over petitionary strategies during her husband’s final years and who proved instrumental in Daniell’s prosecution.73 With the backing of such key figures at Court, the brokered deal, although signed and sealed by the Lord Treasurer, was duly set aside. The response of the Daniells to this setback was an extensive epistolary campaign, including a series of petitions from Jane to the queen and members of the Privy Council. Jane’s letter to the queen of December 1601 is typical of the strategies she adopted. Complaining that the signed agreement had been forestalled, the parsonage in London seized, and their estate in Cheshire occupied, Jane appealed to the queen: Wherefore, and for that I am daughter of one Ryhova, Governor of the Cittie of Gaunt, who most resisted the Spanish tyrannie in Flanders my native Contrey, from whence I am exiled, for that Faith which your Highnes defends: and nowe am under the wings of your highnes blessed harbor, where I cannot live nor contynue without your Ma:ts Protection. And forasmuch as I am dailie

196  Andrew Gordon afflicted by the Countesse of Essex, whome I have served most faithfullie (as my Saviour is my Witnesse) and yet because we are not able to paie her Lap 2000li of your Ma:ts said fine, so speedelie as she would, therefore by her frends she hath not onely overthrowne the said agrement, to your Ma:ts great hynderance, and my utter undoing; but also found meanes to cause my poore Children to be turned out of the Personage of Hackney, and procured others to take the same over their heads, and so to leave them in danger of beggerie; Unlesse your Matie of your accustomed goodnes wilbe pleased in some sorte to raise us upp againe, by graunting me and my fowre smale Children (before a stranger) the said Personage and lands, with the rest of my goods; as they are valued and extended, together with my husbands free pardon.74 Where the Countess of Essex had directed her petitions to the key privy councillors rather than the queen, who had proved notably resistant to her approaches in the past, Jane Daniell throws herself directly upon the mercy of the monarch. In the position of the unfortunate wife, she appropriated devices associated with the Christian role of importunate widowhood as she sued for the protection of four homeless children and their mother. Jane evoked the queen’s symbolic renown as a Protestant protectoress, using the specific mention of her father’s service to recall the moment of direct English intervention in the Low Countries and position herself as its outcome. To religious virtue and maternal duty, Jane added a sound economic reasoning that spelled out the loss in real terms to both the sovereign and the countess by the overthrow of her brokered agreement. In doing so, Jane was able to paint her opponent in the guise of a rapacious creditor, rejecting socially constructive terms of credit in favour of punitive exaction of repayment. Jane’s repeated letters would produce no sudden success, but she maintained their flow, addressing Elizabeth’s successor with fresh appeals for action and redress. The strategy that she adopted in these petitionary letters would culminate in an extraordinary petitionary account of her life titled A True Declaration of the Misfortunes of Jane Danyell (Figure 11.4.).75 Paired in a presentation manuscript with her husband’s defence of his actions, Jane’s narrative is an independent work not preoccupied with justifying her spouse but instead with representing her own identity. If Jane does not display the depth of humanist learning that characterises Anne Bacon’s epistolary counsel, we nevertheless find in her narrative the use and reinterpretation of exemplary stories, both classical and biblical, that disclose, as Susan Wiseman has argued, ‘part of a debate on the nature of women’s political action’.76 The opening of her text is concerned with establishing her ethos, ‘an authoritative and trustworthy rhetorical persona from which [she] could persuasively intervene in public debate’, and, to this end, Jane Daniell reaches first for the scriptural account of female virtue in Proverbs 31.77 I haue bene carefull to saue & to gett by the labor of my handes hauing a good example in the prouerbes shewing the endevor of a Civill Matron in these words

Figure 11.4 Title page of Jane Daniell’s manuscript account of her life, A True Declaration of the Misfortunes of Jane Danyell. Reproduced by permission of The National Archive, Kew.

198  Andrew Gordon She seekedth wooll and flax and laboreth wth her hands and in the 128 psal. When thowe shalte eate the labour of thy handes, o well is thee, and happy shalt thowe bee. And thus contented I would gladly haue contynewed, But the wolf causelesly displeased raged at the silly lambe for troubling the water when he dranck farre belowe him.78 Daniell’s identification with the virtues of work, and specifically with earning a living, is combined with an insistence upon her gentility despite the loss of her patrimony first in Flanders and now in England. The move affords her rhetorical fluidity; she is able to access the proverbial weapons of the weak in a critique of the powerful that nods towards the countess and her supporters while also renegotiating the terms of the virtue to which she lays claim. Distinct from aristocratic idleness, Daniell’s self-identification as ‘civill matron’ combines the authority of a maternal female virtue with a civility that encodes her learned Calvinist principles, speaking both to study and sociability. Women’s religious activity has often been seen in terms of private devotion, but Daniell’s text emphasises the virtuous negotium that sustained her in her misfortunes: ‘had I  not in the Somer of my passed prosperity bestowed my tyme in reading, Conference, & good exercyse’, she argues, ‘I had perished in the sharpe winter of my true & present adversity’.79 Jane’s ‘civill matron’ is also informed by the political history of the Low Countries, where the revolts against Spanish rule were characterised by debates over civic virtue that were particularly marked in her native Ghent and the textual treatments of its republican moment.80 Both in print and manuscript, the local context of Ghent sustained a thriving textual culture which critiqued and contested the actions of its civic leaders in the short-lived republic in a variety of formats that continued to be copied and adapted long after the Catholic re-conquest.81 As one of the key actors in the violent events of the republic’s proclamation, Jane’s father was the object of much opprobrium against which the manuscript Apologie that circulated in his name sought to respond and so restore his reputation.82 In this context, Jane’s history, while avoiding explicit discussion of her father’s actions in Ghent, does evoke this textual culture of commemoration to lament that ‘tyme & enuy haue almost blotted out the memory of his worthiness yet no doubt but virtue being not included in the funeral, some unpartiall wryters will make his service parte of the subiect of their exercise, by memorysing his remayning honor’.83 By exhorting others to chronicle his worthy achievements, Jane performs her own pious act of textual remembrance as a prelude to vindicating her own honour. Crucial to that proof of virtue is the epistolary traffic of both Jane and the Countess of Essex. At the heart of Jane Daniell’s narrative is the matter of the countess’s casket of letters, which she terms ‘the originall Cause of all my woes’.84 Jane offers no direct explanation for the actions of her husband on finding the letters, leaving his agency a blank for him to supply in his own defence. Instead, she puts the emphasis on the object itself, indicating that to deposit the casket with her was to attract

Recovering agency in epistolary traffic  199 danger to the Daniell household. For Jane, asking her to house the letters was also a kind of abuse of her service since ‘her La: caused this Caskett to be deliuered to mee so publickly and in such Carelesse manner at Walsingham House; as shee neuer gaue me any ^secret^ Charge thereof’.85 In this narrative construction of events, the countess oversteps the bounds of service by knowingly introducing the duplicities of courtly intrigue into her gentlewoman’s domestic world. Using Jane to remove the threat posed by these letters from Walsingham House (where she had given birth to a daughter the month before) and contain it in her own home emphasises the countess’s disregard for her dependent. By contrast, Jane’s careful service and concern for her mistress is pointedly analogised to the anxious charge of childbearing, ‘ffor I was no more desirous to be deliuered of the Childe that I went wthall, then I was to haue her Ladishipp satisfied, touching those (as they prooued afterward) fatall lres’.86 The representation of the countess in Jane’s narrative thus runs directly counter to the image of Lady Essex as innocent wife and selfless mother constructed in the Star Chamber proceedings and the petitionary letters. If the countess is presented as a demanding mistress in her direction of Jane’s service, it is her calculating exploitation of correspondence that Jane’s narrative exposes in particular. This is shown above all through the act of epistolary duplicity in which the countess engages when she discovers there are letters missing from the casket. Then the next day after the countesse sent me a lre by her honors ffooteman, all of her owne handwryting. In which lre there was conteyned these words in effect as I am ready to depose viz: I understand by the Earle of Worcester, that yor husband hath my lres lett him bring them: My Lorde & I wilbe more kinde & better to him, then ever wee were before & with other p[er]swading wordes.87 This letter was ‘the bayte that caught the fishe’, as Jane put it, figuring the countess as a cunning epistolary angler luring her husband with the promise of future preferment to reveal his hand. The breach of trust here is performed by the countess, whose self-penned letter is a material token of good faith and favour. Lady Essex abuses that faith by placing Jane’s duty to her husband in conflict with her duty to the countess, her mistress, and urging Jane to send her any letters from John Daniell she had received over this offer. Trusting in her word, Jane forwarded to the countess the response of her husband commenting on Lady Essex’s offer, with the result that the countess’s people used it to incriminate him. The abuse of that trust by the countess may appear no more than basic epistolary strategy – the kind of device recommended by Francis Bacon ‘when a Man would draw an answer by Letter backe againe’ to serve his ends.88 But in exposing the countess’s use of such courtly techniques to deceive her gentlewoman, the self-image of the countess is compromised, and she appears as a double-dealing hypocrite, prepared to exploit the confidences of the Daniells’ marital correspondence to defend the security of her own.

200  Andrew Gordon One might expect Jane’s narrative to conceal something of her husband’s actions here, but rather than hiding his wrongs, Jane copies his letter text into her narrative: Jane I p[er]ceiue by yor lre that the countesse of Essex hath discouered to you where her lres are. Therefore I will lett you know that my estate is more decayed by the meanes of the Earle of Essex, and his Lady then I was willing you should be partaker of. And although I ment to contynew here till I found fitt opportunytie to deliuer their lres to the Queene, yet yf I canne recover my self by them that haue wrought my decay, I will for yor sake forbeare my purpose and determynacon trusting by the countesse meanes I shalbe recompensed both for yor portion in Maryage, our Seruices, and losses susteyned by their unconstant dealing. So resting till I hear their further resolucon in this behalf: do bid you hartely Farewell From the Court at Richmond the last of February 1599. Signed:  yors as his owne John Danyell89 The husband’s letter lays open to view his speculative interests in exploiting the countess’s correspondence. Her openness here is in keeping with her strategy throughout the text, where she refuses to engage directly in defending his actions. What the letter does show, however, is Jane’s intercession with her husband in the countess’s favour. The trusting actions of Jane Daniell in working for the return of the ‘fatall lres’ to the distressed countess are offered as testimony to her dutiful service. For Jane, as she reports, reaching for another classical parallel: ‘It would playnly appeare that I receyved such like successe as Volumnya had in p[er]swading her sonne Corylyanus to rayse the Seige of Roma. ffor he whome I pswaded to shunne Sylla, fell upon Carybidis’.90 Dressing herself in the garb of a classical civil matron, Jane Daniell represents her actions through a topos of female political agency, channelling the affective power of maternal supplication in the service of the common good and the city republic. While the analogy offers a powerful image for female rhetorical agency, then, it is one that sets out the limitations of its scope and occasionality; an agency that cannot prevent the hapless husband-son from casually wreaking destruction. Jane Daniell’s textual self-fashioning as civil matron in The True Misfortunes is an extension of the petitionary strategies displayed in her letters. It is an identification developed out of her engagement with epistolary strategies and the traffic in letters. Her virtuous actions and faithful service are pitted against the duplicitous dealings of courtly correspondence which threaten the integrity of the maternal household with an episode ‘no lesse hurtful to mee, and myne, then the horse that the Troians receyued into their Citty’.91 Uncovering the methods used by the countess and her supporters to recover her losses, Jane contrasts the rhetorical persona of the innocent wife with the pragmatic strategies of epistolary deception. In so doing, Jane’s indictment of her former mistress reveals some of the constraints

Recovering agency in epistolary traffic  201 of female epistolary roles and the challenges of managing epistolary strategies across diverse correspondence contexts. In conclusion, then, the Daniell affair affords us an unusual degree of insight into the competing uses of correspondence between two women of different status and situation. While the Countess of Essex has been a rarely glimpsed presence in accounts of Essex and the 1590s, the extant letters reveal her cultivation of contacts along lines of kinship and clientage, operating both independently of her husband and in ways that may have complemented his uses of correspondence. If she used the disorganisation of her own letter-writing to excuse her actions on behalf of discontented suitors, the careful drafting of her petitionary letters point to the importance she attached to epistolary transactions at key moments and to the rhetorical resources she could call upon. The privatisation of intimacy that is the explanation of the countess and Attorney General Coke for her giving in to blackmail is so deliberately confected as to arouse some suspicion – but if the paucity of extant correspondence prevents us from determining fully the countess’s role as an epistolary agent in her husband’s proceedings, we can see in their shared interest in the bearers, routes, and networks of correspondence an awareness of the potential to engage in epistolary politics. The countess’s exercise of agency through the politics of patronage and the scripts of petitioning show her competence in these crucial spheres and, as Jane Daniell makes clear, her ability to deploy the duplicitous tactics of courtly correspondence demonstrate how far she differs from the innocent figure represented in the Star Chamber proceedings. In contrast to the countess, the epistolary strategies of Jane Daniell in these circumstances cannot access kinship networks either through her own family or that of her disgraced husband, but she is able to translate her religious exile, the memory of her father, and her maternal vulnerability into highly effective rhetorical tools, and, in the form of the ‘civill matron’, she constructs a figure for her self-representation that harnesses political agency through the virtues of sociable religion and maternal authority. Common to both women is the deployment of the household as a feature of their epistolary armoury, serving as an elastic symbol, figuring familial stability in the case of the countess, and for the Daniells a domestic order threatened with imminent destruction. As such, this episode reveals some of the rhetorical resources authorised and made available by female experience, bringing to light the convoluted pathways of female agency within early modern correspondence.

Notes 1 CP 63/69: Ursula Lady Walsingham to Henry Maynard, 23 August 1598. 2 Barbara J. Harris, ‘Women and Politics in Early Tudor England’, HJ, 33/2 (1990), 259–91 (p. 260). 3 Ian W. Archer, ‘Bayning, Paul (c.1539–1616)’, ODNB. H.G. Gillespie, ‘The Rediscovery of an Elizabethan Merchant Adventurer’, Genealogists’ Magazine, 9 (1940), 429–33. 4 On Ciceronian letter-writing and the exclusion of women from public life, see the essays by Marie-Louise Coolahan and Rachel McGregor in this volume.

202  Andrew Gordon 5 There is no biography of Frances Walsingham, nor any entry in the ODNB, and although mentioned in some accounts of Sir Philip Sidney’s life, she barely figures in political biographies of the Earl of Essex. 6 John Daniell’s designs and the involvement of Peter Bales are dealt with more fully in Andrew Gordon, ‘Material Fictions: Counterfeit Correspondence and the Culture of Copying in Early Modern England’, in Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain, ed. by James Daybell and Andrew Gordon (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), pp. 85–109. 7 On Frances’s first marriage, see in particular Alan Stewart, Sir Philip Sidney: A Double Life (London: Chatto and Windus, 2000), pp. 248–52. 8 Frances’s daughter from her first marriage, Elizabeth Sidney, became Countess of Rutland in 1599 when she married Roger Manners, a follower of Essex. 9 Paul Hammer, The Polarisation of Elizabethan Politics: The Political Career of Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 54. 10 Barbara J. Harris, ‘The View From My Lady’s Chamber: New Perspectives on the Early Tudor Monarchy’, HLQ, 60/3 (1999), 215–47; Alison Wall, ‘Elizabethan Precept and Feminine Practice: The Thynne Family of Longleat’, History, 75 (1990), 23–38; Vivienne Larminie, ‘Fighting for Family in a Patronage Society: The Epistolary Armoury of Anne Newdigate (1574–1618)’, in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450–1700, ed. by James Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 94–108. 11 See Marie-Louise Coolahan, ‘Reception, Reputation, and Early Modern Women’s Missing Texts’, Critical Quarterly, 55 (2013), 3–14; James Daybell, ‘Gendered Archival Practice and the Future Lives of Letters’, in Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain, ed. by James Daybell and Andrew Gordon (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), pp. 210–36. 12 W[arwickshire] R[ecord] O[ffice], Warwick, MI 229, Devereux Letter Book. The flyleaf contains the following inscription: ‘Presented to the right Hon:ble the Earle of Northumberland, By: John Castle Clarke of his Majityes Privy Seale’. Castle (c.1586– 1664) was Clerk of the Privy Seal from 1638 (restored 1660) and compiled at least two more collections of Essex papers for other patrons. Castle presented to the earl of Lindsey a collection of original letters to Essex from Peregrine Bertie, Baron Willoughby and now deposited as Lincolnshire Archives, Lincoln, 8-ANC/7/39–64. Thomas Birch cites a collection of ‘Original Letters to Robert, earl of Essex, collected by John Castle, in the possession of the Right Hon. Charles, earl of Egremont’. Thomas Birch, Memoirs of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth (London: A. Millar, 1754), vol. II, p. 20 nd. 13 On the survival of marital correspondence see James Daybell, Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 200–4. 14 CP 21/1: Frances, Countess of Essex to the Earl of Essex, [1591]. Many Essex papers found their way into Cecil’s hands after the failed uprising of 1601. 15 CP 63/84: Frances, Countess of Essex to the Earl of Essex, 11 August [1599], Barn Elms. 16 Daybell, Women Letter-Writers, pp. 220–8. 17 Her third marriage to Richard Burke, Earl of Clanricarde would produce three more children who survived to adulthood, so that in total she lived through at least thirteen pregnancies across her three marriages. 18 See Hannah Newton, The Sick Child in Early Modern England, 1580–1720 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); R. S. Schofield and E. A. Wrigley, ‘Infant and Child Mortality in England in the Late Tudor and Early Stuart Period’, in Health, Medicine and Mortality in the Sixteenth Century, ed. by Charles Webster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), pp. 61–95. 19 Daybell, Women Letter-Writers, p. 202, Barbara J. Harris, ‘Space, Time, and the Power of Aristocratic Wives in Yorkist and Early Tudor England’, in Time. Space, and Women’s Lives in Early Modern Europe, ed. by Anne Jacobson Schutte, Thomas Kuehn and Silvana Seidel Menchi (Kirksville: Truman State University Press, 2001), pp. 245–64.

Recovering agency in epistolary traffic  203 20 See in particular Paul E. J. Hammer, ‘The Uses of Scholarship: The Secretariat of Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex’, EHR, 109 (1994), 26–51; Hammer, Polarisation of Elizabethan Politics, passim. 21 Compare the case of Joan Thynne, whose long-term residence was Caus Castle, Shropshire (which had been her dowry), rather than her husband’s estate at Longleat, or with him at court. Wall, ‘Elizabethan Precept and Feminine Practice’. 22 It is difficult to fully reconstruct a picture of those attending the countess during any of her pregnancies, but a letter of 1591 describes preparations for the birth of her first Devereux child, with Lady Rich taking a leading role and several ladies of the Bagot network featuring – the Bagots were a client family with longstanding links to the Devereuxs. Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., Bagot MS, L.a.258, fol. 1r: Richard Broughton to Walter Bagot, 1 January  1590/1. The baptisms of Robert (1590/1), Walter (1591/2), and Henry (1595), all took place at Walsingham House, and the successive female witnesses recorded are the earl’s mother, the Countess of Leicester; the mother of Lady Essex, Ursula, Lady Walsingham; and for the baptism of Henry, Lady Rich. Their prominent presence at the christenings may reflect a parallel role in Frances’s birthing rites. The Registers of St Olave, Hart St, London. 1563–1700, ed. by W. Bruce Bannerman (London: Harleian Society, 1916), pp. 14, 15, 17. 23 WRO, MI229, fol. 73: Frances, Countess of Essex to Earl of Essex, [undated]. 24 The Letters (1595–1608) of Rowland Whyte, ed. by Michael G. Brennan, Noel J. Kinnamon and Margaret P. Hannay (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2013), p. 291: Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney, 12 February 1597/8. LPL, MS 660, fol. 149: 1 December 1596: Anne Bacon to Robert, Earl of Essex. Anne Bacon’s 1596 letter to Essex is discussed in Gemma Allen’s essay in this volume. 25 Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., Bagot MS, L.a.455, fol. 1r. Frances, Countess of Essex to Richard Bagot, 1 July 1594. On the meanings of venison as a gift, see Felicity Heal, The Power of Gifts: Gift Exchange in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 40–2. 26 CP 56/46: Frances, Countess of Essex to Sir Robert Cecil, 24 October 1597, Walsingham House. 27 Letters of Rowland Whyte, p. 214: Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney, 30 April 1597; see also the letter of 3 April 1597, p. 187. 28 Richard Wood, ‘ “Cleverly playing the stoic”: The Earl of Essex, Sir Philip Sidney and Surviving Elizabeth’s Court’ in Essex: The Cultural Impact of an Elizabethan Courtier, ed. by Annaliese Connolly and Lisa Hopkins (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), pp. 25–46 (p. 41). 29 The Unexpected Acedentes of My Casuall Destyny. Discovrd By Affliccyons Hapnynge in the Lyffe of Mee John Danyell Esquyer [Hereafter Life of John Daniell], CP 264/1, fol.3v. On the various manuscript accounts produced by John Daniell, see Gordon, ‘Material Fictions’, pp. 105–6 n93. 30 BL, Harl. MS, 6997, fol. 121r: Frances, Countess of Essex to Puckering, 20 October 1595, Barn Elms. 31 BL, Harl. MS, 6997, fol. 172r: Frances, Countess of Essex to Puckering, 15 January 1595/6, Walsingham House. On suitors’ letters see Frank Whigham, ‘The Rhetoric of Elizabethan Suitors’ Letters’, PMLA 96:5 (1981), 864–82; Lynne Magnusson, Shakespeare and Social Dialogue (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). 32 BL, Harl. MS, 6996, fol. 164r: Frances, Countess of Essex to Puckering, 5 June 1594, Barn Elms. 33 On the failing credibility of the earl as patron in the 1590s, see Natalie Mears, ‘Regnum Cecilianum? A Perspective of the Court’, in The Reign of Elizabeth, ed. by John Guy, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 46–63; Mervyn James, ‘At a Crossroads of the Political Culture: The Essex Revolt, 1601’, in Society, Politics and Culture: Studies in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 416–63.

204  Andrew Gordon 34 On the politics of the female birthing chamber see Linda Pollock, ‘Childrearing and Female Bonding in Early Modern England’, Social History, 22/3 (1997), 286–306. 35 Letters of Rowland Whyte, p.  287: Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney, 4 February 1597/8. 36 Letters of Rowland Whyte, p. 389: Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney, 8 December 1599; p. 395: Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney, 22 December 1599. 37 CP 178/72: Frances, Countess of Essex to Earl of Southampton: 13 May 1599, Barn Elms. 38 For a study of women’s involvement in epistolary news and intelligence networks, see James Daybell, ‘ “Suche newes as on the Quenes hy ways we have mett”: The News and Intelligence Networks of Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (c.1527– 1608)’, in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450–1700 ed. by James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 114–31. 39 See Andrew Gordon, ‘Essex’s Last Campaign: The Fall of the Earl of Essex and Manuscript Circulation’, in Essex: The Cultural Impact, pp. 153–68 (pp. 160–1). 40 TNA, SP 12/246, fol. 115: Earl of Essex to Thomas Phelippes, [1593]. 41 Life of John Daniell, CP 264/1, fol. 7r. 42 TNA SP 12/278, fol. 126r: Examination of William Lord Sandys, 16 February 1601. 43 TNA, SP 12/281, fol. 73: Deposition of Peter Bales, 13 July 1601. 44 Life of John Daniell, CP 264/1, fol. 6r. 45 See Gordon, ‘ “A Fortune of Paper Walls”: The Letters of Francis Bacon and the Earl of Essex’, ELR, 37/3 (2007), 319–36. 46 TNA, SP 12/281, fol. 73. 47 CP 63/84: Frances, Countess of Essex to the Earl of Essex, 11 August [1599], Barn Elms. 48 See Arnold Hunt, ‘Burn This Letter: Preservation and Destruction in the Early Modern Archive’, in Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain, ed. by James Daybell and Andrew Gordon (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), pp. 189–209. 49 For a fuller account of the trial of John Daniell, see Gordon, ‘Material Fictions’. 50 John Hawarde, Les reportes del cases in Camera Stellata, 1593 to 1609: From The Original MS. of John Hawarde, ed. by W.P. Baildon and W. Paley (London Spottiswoode, 1894), p. 121. 51 A pitiful letter to Jane from her father written just before his death testifies to the confusion and destitution of his final days: TNA, SP 84/1, fol. 13: François de la Kethulle, Sieur de Ryhove to Jehenne de la Kethulle, 14 January 1584/5. In c. 1606, Jane referred to eighteen years spent in England. On the Ghent republic and her father’s role, see Johan J. Decavele, ‘ “Geneve” van Vlaanderen’, in Het eind van een rebelse droom, ed. by Decavele et al. (Ghent: Stadsbestuur, 1984), pp. 32–61, and Anne-Laure Van Bruaene, ‘A Breakdown of Civic Community? Civic Traditions, Voluntary Associations and the Ghent Calvinist Regime (1577–84)’, in Sociability and Its Discontents: Civil Society, Social Capital, and their Alternatives in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. by Nicholas A. Eckstein and Nicholas Terpstra (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009), pp. 273–91. 52 TNA, SP 46/54, fols 289, 290: Answers of Earl of Clanricarde and Lady Frances to John Daniell’s Bill of Complaint, [1610]. 53 TNA, SP 46/50/1, pp. 51, 53. This manuscript is discussed in more detail, pp. 197–201. 54 In the marriage licence of 1 December 1595, she is described as ‘spinster, a foreigner, of St.  Olave, Hart Street,’ and in service to the countess, indicating she was likely living at Walsingham House at this time, where the wedding took place. London Marriage Licences, 1521–1869, ed. by Joseph Foster (London: Bernard Quaritch, 1887), p. 374. Letters of Rowland Whyte, p. 100: Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney, 29 November 1595. 55 TNA, SP 12/285, fols 5–13: Inventory of John Daniell’s goods, 5 October  1601. Amongst the books listed the only identifiable item is the ‘little french booke called

Recovering agency in epistolary traffic  205

56 57 58

59 60 61

62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71

72 73 74 75 76

77 78 79 80

the contentmt of the spirit’ (fol. 5), likely to be the Excellens discours touchant le repose et contentement de l’esprit (first pub. 1588) by the popular Calvinist writer Jean de L’Espine. TNA, SP 12/281: Examination of Jane Daniell, 7 September 1601. Hawarde, Les Reportes, p. 409. TNA, SP 12/281, fol. 138: Examination of Jane Daniell, 7 September 1601. See Janelle Jenstad, ‘Lying in Like a Countess: The Lisle Letters, the Cecils and A Chaste Maid in Cheapside’, Journal of Medeival and Early Modern Studies, 34:2 (2004), 373–403 (pp. 375–83). TNA, SP 12/281, fol. 137: Examination of Jane Daniell, 7 September 1601. On eagle rings see David Cressy, Birth, Marriage and Death: Ritual, Religion and the Life Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 24. TNA, SP 46/50/1, p. 55. Will Coster, ‘ “From fire and water”: The Responsibilities of Godparents in Early Modern England’, Studies in Church History, 31 (1994), 301–12; Ralph A. Houlbrooke, The English Family, 1450–1700 (Harlow: Longman, 1984), pp. 54–5, 130–2; Felicity Heal and Clive Holmes, The Gentry in England and Wales 1500–1700 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994), pp. 94–6. Letters of Rowland Whyte, p. 160: Rowland White to Sir Robert Sidney, 28 February 1596/7. Letters of Rowland Whyte, p. 137: Rowland White to Sir Robert Sidney, 24 September 1596. Life of John Daniell, CP 264/1, fol. 5v. A Register of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials in the Parish of St Martin in the Fields, from 1550 to 1619, ed. by Thomas Mason (London: Harleian Society, 1898), p. 29. Life of John Daniell, CP 264/1, fol. 6r. Pedigrees made at the Visitation of Cheshire, 1613, ed. by Sir George J. Armytage and J. Paul Rylands (Record Society, 1909), pp. 72–3. Pollock, ‘Child Bearing and Female Bonding’, p. 297. TNA. SP 46/55, fol. 182: Memorandum of Robert Bowyer to Jane Daniell. TNA, SP 45/50/1, p. 57. Alison Thorne, ‘Women’s Petitionary Letters and Early Seventeenth-Century Treason Trials’, Women’s Writing, 13/1 (2006), 23–43 (p. 35); Lynne Magnusson, ‘A Rhetoric of Requests: Genre and Linguistic Scripts in Elizabethan Women’s Suitors’, in Women and Politics, pp. 51–66. CP 90/82: Frances, Countess of Essex to the Lord Keeper, Lord Treasurer, the Lord Admiral, and Mr Secretary Cecil, 1601. See CP 90/81: Frances, Countess of Essex to Sir Robert Cecil, undated [1601]. TNA, SP 12/283, fol. 41: Petition of Jane Daniell to the Queen, [December] 1601. TNA, SP 46/50/1. Dated 1606, Jane Daniell’s narrative is bound together with one by her husband entitled Danyell’s Disasters, and a dedicatory letter to James I seeking permission to print. A draft of Jane’s account is contained in TNA, SP 14/11, fols 103–33. Susan Wiseman, ‘Exemplarity, Women and Political Rhetoric’, in Rhetoric, Gender, Politics: Representing Early Modern Women’s Speech, ed. by Jennifer Richards and Alison Thorne (London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 129–48 (p. 133). For Anne Bacon’s use of humanist learning, see Gemma Allen’s essay in this volume. Jennifer Richards and Alison Thorne, ‘Introduction’ in Rhetoric, Gender, Politics, p. 13. A True Declaration, TNA, SP 46/50/1, p. 51. A True Declaration, TNA, SP 46/50/1, pp. 51–2. Mary Morrissey and Gillian Wright, ‘Piety and Sociability in Early Modern Women’s Letters’, Women’s Writing, 13 (2006), 44–59. See Martin van Gelderen, The Political Thought of the Dutch Revolt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp.  187–212; Van Bruaene, ‘A Breakdown of Civic Community?’ 273–91.

206  Andrew Gordon 81 Anne-Laure Van Bruaene, ‘The Adieu and Willecome for Jan van Hembyze, or: The Battle between Script and Print in Calvinist Ghent’, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, 105 (2014), 206–29. 82 At least two copies survive of the ‘Apologie de fransoys vander Cethulle, sgr de Ryhove’: TNA, SP 83/23, fols. 245–281; BL, Cotton MS, Galba C X, fols 282–310. Although claiming to be a copy from his hand, it is an extended third-person narrative. 83 A True Declaration, TNA, SP 46/50/1, p. 49. 84 Ibid., p. 53. 85 Ibid., p. 53. 86 Ibid., p. 54. 87 Ibid., p. 54. 88 Francis Bacon, ‘Of Negotiating’, The Essayes or counsels, Civill and Morall, ed. by Michael Kiernan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), pp. 145–6. 89 A True Declaration, TNA, SP 46/50/1, p. 55. 90 Ibid., p. 55. 91 Ibid., p. 55.

12 Quaker correspondence Religious identity and communication networks in the interregnum Atlantic World Marjon Ames On 2 October 1654, itinerant ministers Edward Burrough and Thomas Howgill wrote to Margaret Fell at her home, Swarthmoor Hall. Their message from the road included insights into why they and others like them wrote of their travels: Dear hart wee have received thy lines which was noe little refreshment to us; we are well kept, and preserved in the liveing powerfull truth of god, yea truly the powerful eternall living word of the lord hath sounded through us to this Citie, and many thousands hath hard it, and many tall cedars hath fallen, and many Gyant hath been brought downe in the sight of all . . . in fear and trenbling, and many a tear, and bearing the Iniquity of the people, the same Christ as ever was, doth bear the Iniquity of the people, but being kept still and could suffer as fooles, the pure powerfull eternall word of life hath uttered forth itselfe yea the mouthes of Lyons have bene stopped and all chained by it . . . our burthen hath bene great.1 This passage highlights many of the key components of early, itinerant Quakerism. First, the faithful met much opposition in their efforts to proselytize to the unconverted. Second, they suffered greatly as a result of that opposition. And third, they wrote about their travels and suffering to like-minded brethren. These were the essential characteristics of the early faith. Fundamentally, the early group of people who would come to be known as Quakers was not a fully formed church in the 1650s. The initial Quaker movement was essentially a letter network, organized first in England and then throughout the Atlantic World. While many wrote that they felt physically separated from fellow Quakers, the sharing of ideas and news from far away enabled them to remain informed and therefore to participate in their religious community. This essay explores how and why the burgeoning Quaker faith began as a network of correspondence. It will examine how this network operated and the role of prison and suffering in the early Quaker faith through examples of letters written by key itinerants. While many scholars have utilized these letters to describe the creation of the Quaker church, they have not been used as a tool to describe a moment before Quakerism; that is to say, a time of sect formation.2 The goal here, in part, is to delineate the difference between the inchoate period from subsequent

208  Marjon Ames years when a clear church structure was established in order to gain insights into both Quakerism and perhaps early modern religious formation more generally. These letters, collected from the Friends House in London, come from several collections, the largest of which is the Swarthmore Collection, comprised of over 1,400 manuscripts. They were internal communications rather than publications which were intended for wider, or public, reception, one notable exception being Margaret Fell’s 1657 letter to Cromwell concerning Quaker persecution.3 The letters say more about this early group than published pamphlets or other print culture because, in order to appreciate the earliest phase of Quakerism, we must examine how they thought of and communicated amongst themselves and not rely so much on the image that they attempted to project to the wider world. Kate Peters’ work on early Quaker print culture provides keen insights into the role of printing in the young faith; however, while pamphlets and other publications say much about Quaker ideas and conflicts with neighbours and authority, they do not provide any insight into the inner workings of the early Quaker movement. Thus, the Quakers are best understood as part of a movement or process, and their success in large part is owed to their ability to create and maintain a strong infrastructure based on these letters. Beginning in 1652, a letter network developed first in the north and then throughout the rest of England and beyond. At this point, there was no infrastructure in place – the letters were all that connected Friends in a vaguely coherent movement. Those letters, therefore, were what united members of the burgeoning faith. This is because what it meant to be a Quaker was still undefined during the Interregnum. Problems of communication were coupled with the lack of coherent theology or ideas of devotional practice. At this early stage, members of the community were not merely competing with other sectarian communities, but also with the various early versions of ‘Quakerism’. A dominant thread of Quakerism emerged with the letter network. In order to ensure that their correspondence arrived to their intended recipient in a timely fashion, the network depended on reliable, likeminded, or sympathetic people to cooperate in moving information, so participants wrote to one another via Margaret Fell at Swarthmoor Hall. When itinerant ministers reported on their travels, they sent their news to Fell, who selected certain letters for copying and circulation, and, in so doing, she created a web of communication that sustained members in the first few years of the movement. Ministers wrote to one another to report about their travels, people they converted, persecution they endured, and the development of theological ideas. This resulted in the network providing an opportunity for those engaged in the shaping and spreading of the faith to participate in others’ experiences virtually, in a manner akin to Benedict Anderson’s idea of an ‘imagined community’.4 Inchoate Quakers, like many other religious radicals, envisioned themselves as harkening back to Apostolic Christianity, both in terms of the persecution they suffered and the communication methods they deployed. Just as their theology attempted to echo the apostolic purity of the early Christian church, Fell’s epistolary connections made her the Paul of the Quaker movement, connecting

Quaker correspondence  209 together geographically isolated groups to feel part of one body of believers in an epistolary community of Quakerism. As an underground movement, Quaker correspondents had to become creative with ways to send and receive letters. Quakers developed an elaborate system in the embryonic phase of this movement that, while never described in full, is apparent in the manuscript record. Without this system in place, the Quakers may have fallen by the wayside like so many of their contemporary sectarians did. Many Interregnum religious groups were isolated by location (such as the Grindletonians) or entirely wrapped up in the cult of personality of their leader (like Ranters and Muggletonians), so that they never developed the infrastructure required for a long-lived religious community. The Quakers ability to do this sets them apart and goes some way to explain their longevity. The extant letters reflect different ways of being a Quaker. One could be at the centre, making decisions and running the show, such as when Will Caton wrote to Fell of his travels with George Fox: ‘I have bene certaine dayes with our wellbeloved G: (or rather F) who is adorned with glory power and wisdome and keeps his authoryty, and triumphes in his fredome, and the glory which no man can take from him’.5 But there were also members of the flock who were less involved, and therefore less revered, such as Thomas Holme, who stated ‘tho wee dayly in his worke doe laboure, yet see our selves unprofitable sarvants up and downd by the seen sid wee dayly labour wher the lord hath a peoplell to writ down the passages hear a way’.6 Quaker prison letters illustrate how imprisoned individuals rose in influence within the young group and how news of sufferings travelled throughout the national (and international) network of first generation Quakers. Early Friends debated important issues concerning their sect and the environment in which they lived. Through their writing, Quakers in distant parts of the kingdom were able to participate in discussions taking place at the epicentre and elsewhere. While many individuals conveyed that they felt physically separated from fellow Quakers, the sharing of ideas and news from far away enabled them to remain informed and therefore to participate actively in the development of their religious community. One letter of Will Caton notes: Assuredly thy prayers are available, I find the help of them dayly; yea and thou reaches mee in the living (when I am weary and heavy laden) I feele thee takeing part with mee whether it be in suffering or rejoceing, and having they assistances and the inioyment of thee I am an strengthened, thou never soe weary, eased though never soe heavy laden; comforted thou never soe afflicted and burdened, by life is raised and quickened when I see thee, who remaines nigh unto mee.7 Caton’s feelings of isolation and anxiety cannot be missed here; however, he also articulates how important correspondence is to his spiritual (and physical) well-being. Over time, the letters became more like newsletters with information concerning fellow travellers and highlighting the suffering that they all invariably

210  Marjon Ames experienced. Numerous examples illustrate this form of letter, one such being from George Tayler to Margaret Fell in 1654: I can heare we have this day received letter from Lancaster but heares nothinge of anie money thou mentioned to my wife: prisoners at Chester though they bee six of them yet they want nothinge in the outward, Christo: Atkinson and Ja: Lancaster are both in prison in Noridge, but of that wee more in thy owne, and E:B: and F:H: is likely comes this day towards F:G: we have 3 in gaole in this towne James Harrison to the other two: we received for Bradley wife showes from thee: 2lys her; my wife and Tho: Willan hath their deare love to thee.8 Various aspects of the movement’s business are handled here, along with greetings and news of other itinerants’ imprisonments and whereabouts. In a few newsletters, itinerants described the meanness of their guards, such as when William Caton wrote to Fell that the room that he and other Friends were kept in was cold, without blankets ‘And the men were so cruelle and hard-harted towards us’.9 In a much worse circumstance in 1653, a group of female itinerants experienced harsh treatment at the hands of a jailer’s wife: And presently after the goalers wife came in and shut us down the stayrs, and gott a rocke in her hand, and beat us with it till she was weary; and then she got a staffe, and beat us with, and ran violently against the body of her that was naked, as she would have run it into her body; but the lord did preserve her that it did not enter; but it hath pierced upon her body, and hath made many sore places, which is weared standing red as blood to be seene, The prints of the staffe, which she beat us with stands wearing with blood; but eternall praise and glory be to his name for ever, who hath preserved us, and glorifyed his own name in us and ours, and our glorying and rejoycing is in his crosse that he hath counted us worthy to suffer. However, even in these conditions, Quakers were quick to articulate their spiritual freedom as bearers of the truth despite physical constraints. In the same letter, Caton states ‘And upon the hardship which the outward man did endure was not small, but the Lord was exceedingly good to us and dealt gently with us, and we are pretty well praises be our god’.10 Likewise, when Richard Hubberthorne wrote to Margaret Fell in 1655 that ‘I am set free from outward bondes’, he both meant that he had been freed from jail and also distinguished his body or ‘outward’ condition from his soul or ‘inward’ state.11 His peace of mind remained intact while imprisoned because he was doing God’s work by losing his personal freedom. Therefore, loss of outward freedom was a means of demonstrating the inward liberty that came with acceptance of the truth. While the early Quakers were certainly aware of the practical benefits of suffering, it is also true that they possessed a genuinely pious compulsion to suffer for the faith. True freedom was spiritual, not physical, an idea that is demonstrated in their correspondence time and again.

Quaker correspondence  211 Newsletters were not accounts of suffering that discussed the problems and actions of early Quakers at large. Rather, Fell maintained a contemporary record of itinerant ministers commenting on their travels, suffering, and growth of the faith when she recorded and repeated news. Those who travelled to spread the word and risked their lives for the faith were also those most likely to encounter local authorities and to agitate parishioners and townsmen. Thus, the inner circle contained the preachers who were also often the sufferers. In a culture that placed a premium on suffering, these elite Quakers were valued more than those who passively accepted their faith with no risk to themselves or their own well-being. Those who actively suffered generated the most letters, which provide essential information about the early years of Quakerism. Margaret Fell responded to newsletters with news of others’ sufferings and exploits of the road, thereby continuing the thread of communication from minister to Fell to minister. During the early years, they did not have formal meetinghouses, so they met wherever they could – homes, alehouses, and fields. But because the leaders travelled constantly, the only way to produce any sort of consistency of faith or practice was to write to one another about news from abroad. Again, newsletters became the best way to communicate about changes in theology and ideas about behaviour. They were also efficient means of reporting the ever-expanding lists of Quaker sufferings. In 1655, John Audland reported that many Quakers were in prison and that liberty is pretious . . . two Johns are in Wiltshire Myles Halhead and Tho: Salthouse is yet in Exetor prison, Tho: Robertson and Amb: Rigg are in prison at Bayzingstook in Hampshire, one friend hard by (a pretty young man) is committed to Ilchester prison: Jan Waugh at Banbery other Friends and some at Oxford committed.12 These reports not only kept far-flung friends aware of the news but also created a sense of community. While Margaret Fell and others who were unable to travel did not suffer imprisonment or physical torture, they could pray for those who did. Newsletters allowed co-religionists to feel connected to those who put themselves in harm’s way by preaching in markets, challenging priests, or running naked through the streets. Itinerant ministers suffered physical punishments and imprisonment to spread the faith. However, suffering could also be experienced by those who were removed from physical danger but suffered in abstaining from an active role as an iterant in order to promote a sort of camaraderie through communication with those in dire situations. Margaret Fell may best exemplify this type of ephemeral suffering. She lived a very comfortable life by seventeenth-century standards and was far removed from the legal and physical troubles of itinerant ministers of the period, yet she was considered to have suffered greatly. Few early Quakers were treated with as much respect as Margaret Fell, and both letters to and from her reflect how difficult her situation was understood to be as architect of the early movement. This is not to confuse her later imprisonment with that of the

212  Marjon Ames early years – from the beginning she was understood to be among those who suffered the most due to her devotion to God and the movement (not to mention her devotion to George Fox). In subsequent decades, after she and Fox married, she endured punishments in a manner similar to the early itinerants, but from the very earliest years, she suffered despite not traveling or experiencing physical discomfort. Alexander Parker, writing to Margaret Fell, states that he knew that her pain was with those who suffer and rejoicing with those who rejoice. Her suffering was stationary and physically comfortable but spiritually difficult. Alexander Parker wrote to her, ‘Deare sister knowing thy tender care ower the flock of God and joy, to hear of the flourishing of Truth that thou dost suffer with them that suffer, and reioice with them yt doe rejoice & in the Lord’.13 This is compelling evidence that those in prison wrote to her and gave her their sympathies that what she experienced was akin to other forms of suffering like imprisonment. As a leader of the movement, Fell’s experiences were perceived as significant as those who suffered in an outward fashion.14 People wrote to friends and strangers in distant parts of the kingdom and beyond because they had heard tales of their heroic duty for the faith or because they were revered leaders of the movement. There is a handful of trans-Atlantic correspondence among early Quakers. The most prolific writer in the New World was Henry Fell, who often wrote lengthy letters to Margaret Fell (no relation), mainly concerning his personal suffering.15 However, he also describes communication from England to the colonies. Henry Fell describes the process of receiving news from England, providing insights into the time it took to send and receive letters across the Atlantic: Dear friend since the writing of my letter (which I  have kept by mee unsealed the shipps not being fully ready to goe away) I received a letter from thee dated the 10 of the 12 m: by a London ship: and truly it was exceedingly welcome to me and much refreshment it was to my life of thy owne hand thy voyce and did rejoice in it, for it was sweet and pleasant even as the voice of my beloved by which my hart was made glad and my joy fulfilled.16 Henry Fell’s response to Margaret Fell was dated 8 May 1659, nearly two months later. Given the isolation that Henry Fell felt, he surely replied in a timely fashion. Problems with trans-Atlantic correspondence were prevalent in the seventeenth century, so one may determine that it took several months for letters to reach their trans-Atlantic recipients. This is understandable given that this letter indicates that Margaret Fell, living in a remote part of Lancashire, sent her letters through an uncertain number of hands before they reached London and then continued on to Barbados. In addition to demonstrating why this method of communication was important, the letters provide insights into the mechanics of the network as well. As a useful basis of comparison, work on trans-Atlantic networks identifies the difficult circumstances religious dissenters faced when writing to one another.17 The standard format of the letter that David Cressy describes in Coming Over

Quaker correspondence  213 is essentially the same for Quaker correspondence. It began with a greeting and religious sentiment, which was followed by the purpose of the letter, including any news or comments about the state of the movement. This was often followed by concluding remarks that included greetings and respects to the recipient’s family or neighbours.18 The following is from the Swarthmore Manuscript Collection and typifies the format Cressy describes: D:M: Everlastingly beloved and longed for, thy letter I have received the last 7th day after much expectation, like unto the husbandman that waiteth for the former and the latter raine I did admire the cause of thy silence, but I find (as before I iudged) that thou art clear and that I am not in any measure blotted out of thy remembrance, but that thou art as ready to nourish the tender plant after it be removed out of the noctery, as well as in it therefore refraine not thy selfe from imparting some spirituall gift unto mee, neither let the bowels of thy compassion be refrained for is not thy strength my strength thy life, my life, hast not thou eased when I was burdene and heavy laden, fed mee when I was hungry, cloathed mee when I was naked and strengthened mee when I was weake, and feeble, and even until this very day I know thou art sensible of my suffering and of my weightes and burdens, which I partake of with the rest of the bretheren, which hath come more upon us then ordinary, but by the same word which cleansed us are wee upheld and by it are brought thorrow our sufferings and with it supported and comforted in the midst of our tribulations praises be to the living god for evermore. And conscerning my health, I am pritty well in body only a cough doth strike fast I have bene in Hampshire Surry and Sussex and hath had very good service, a dore was opened mee in a corner of Sussex where there was severall Seekers (soe called) the most part of two meetings were convinced. I have thoughts of passing into Kent where G:F: and T:R: is Amsterdam is sometime set before mee for what I know as yet, there may be another opportunity for mee to passé thither: but I perceive the truth hath noe comelynes in it in there eye, but appears odious unto them The woman that did interprite for Margret Wood is gone distracted and strong reports conscerning J:N: is gone over: that soe many stumbleing blockes is laid in the way: Friends hereawayes is pritty well, and shakes of the mire and the dirt, which hath come and bene cast upon them; I can say very little to thee conscerning passages, I came but to this city the last day of the last weeke, and yesterday being the first day Tho: Goodayre and I was at the Bull and Mouth : E:B: and F:H: is in towne, Friends keepes their meettinges and are reasonable peaceable. If thy husband and Geo: be at home remember me to them, if thou be free and to all that abide faithfull in the famelly, I desire to hear from thee as often as thou art free, for thereby am I refreshed yea abundantly. Thine Will Caton19

214  Marjon Ames The above includes the requisite complimentary language directed to Margaret Fell, followed by a desire to remain strong in the face of suffering. The author, William Caton, then describes the travels and work of itinerant ministers throughout the countryside, detailing suffering and imprisonment, in particular. The letter concludes by asking Fell to give Caton’s greetings to his loved ones near Swarthmoor Hall. The main difference between Cressy’s missives and those discussed here is the issue of what he calls the ‘heart of the matter’.20 While the colonists’ letters to their English friends and families generally dealt with the practical matters of their lives, most Quakers’ correspondence focused on accounts of sufferings. This single dissimilarity demonstrates that both types of letter reflected the customs of the day but that authors emphasized the most pressing matters for each of their contexts. For colonists separated from loved ones, seeking financial success and reports on their fiscal needs were the main focus; for the people who were called Quakers, the experiences that made them feel closer to God were what they reported. Despite the differences of circumstance between colonists writing to loved ones in England and itinerant ministers reporting on their travels throughout Britain, the authors’ situations presented them with similar difficulties. Cressy notes that the poor quality of mail delivery made it difficult to share news not only across the Atlantic but within England, as well.21 Writing to Fell at her home in Ulverston (modern day Cumbria) required sending correspondence to the remote corner of northeastern England. Letters would be sent to her or other Friends visiting the area; in turn, they would be copied and sent on to others throughout the country. This region included people from wide-ranging dissident religious backgrounds. In order to ensure that letters arrived to their intended recipient in a timely fashion, the network had to find reliable, likeminded or sympathetic people to cooperate in moving information. Some Quakers of the 1650s moved to the Caribbean and New England, and their missives are quite similar to those written within England.22 The experience of communicating to unknown persons even within England consisted of transporting letters across large regions, often under duress. For Quakers in England, that duress was often the threat of prison. At times, news could be delayed, and letters would not be able to be sent because jailers prohibited correspondence from coming in or going out of the prison. Consequently, Quakers often gave directions in their letters for how to manage the conveyance of their correspondence in order to assist in the spreading of information to fellow believers. Will Caton wrote to Thomas Willian, ‘I would have this or a coppy of it go to Swarthmore’, giving us insight into the process of letters making their way to Fell.23 Letters often indicated understanding of the difficulty of spreading news, such as interception by local authorities. An important missive from Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill to Margaret Fell from London in 1654 describes the problem of interception of letters. They wrote: From Chester all our letters and theirs are intercepted, this five weekes wee have not received any: wee have received a few lines from our dear father

Quaker correspondence  215 G.F. which was as living bread to us: that which thou sent us wee received; it supplied all our wants J.C. J.A. R.H. E.B. and myslefe, the lord shall reward thee.24 Sometimes writers asked the recipient to try to send their news to specific people, since the author was incapable of doing so himself. Henry Fell writing to Margaret Fell from Barbados in 1657 wanted to make sure that certain members of the inner circle were aware of his work. ‘I would desire thee to remember my deare love to Tho: S: and Will: C: if they be in the North or when thou writes to them, let them know of our safe arrivall how I  could not now write to them’.25 Henry Fell wanted his friends and fellow itinerant ministers to know about his work but could not write to them either due to ignorance as to their whereabouts or because of other limitations on communication. However, he knew that he could rely on Margaret Fell’s network to spread his news to relevant persons. As seen earlier, Quakers often mentioned the utility and necessity of copying letters in their correspondence. Sometimes authors would ask the recipient to make copies to be sent to specific people or to be circulated throughout the community. In 1653, Richard Hubberthorne requested that Margaret Fell send a copy of his letter to other Friends: ‘lett us heare from you all as shortly as you are moved: send a copie of these to [name unreadable]’.26 Letters like this mainly concerned the business of the group and relayed information concerning suffering and convincements. Requests for copies were also made by those hoping that their loved ones might know of their well-being, as in the case of Richard Clayton who wrote to Margaret Fell in 1655, stating: & as for the noote yt thou writs of I know not whether I have receued it or not, for I have but receued 3 from thee sence I came into this contry but as for out ward things there is noe want, soe deare one if thou be free A copye of this then may send to my deare mother and sister at Lancaster.27 This example demonstrates that the network was a useful tool to convey personal messages or to keep distant relatives in touch with itinerant ministers. Copies were circulated so that more people would be able to read them. In 1655, Anne Clayton wrote to Margaret Fell on behalf of her meeting in Lancaster, asking for a copy of news from London: ‘wee would have thee to send us a copie of that letter which thou received the last from London as shortly as thou canst conveniently’.28 This missive is a mere four lines long, and the request is the only issue discussed. Presumably Fell or someone else had mentioned receiving news from London in a previous letter, thus prompting the request from the Lancaster Friends. Various precautions were used to prevent interception or detection of sensitive information within the network. One such example is that correspondents may have relied on couriers to provide news of events occurring after the writing of a letter. This was especially true in the case of secretive or controversial issues that

216  Marjon Ames one might not want to write down in case of interception. Fear of capture was so strong that in the case of trans-Atlantic correspondence, mailbags would be held down with weights so letters ‘could be thrown overboard to sink to avoid capture by enemies’.29 Such elaborate schemes may not have applied to Quaker correspondence within England, but the contemporary mind-set does provide insights into how this network may have operated. Letters could be confiscated or censored at any point in the trans-Atlantic voyage. Cressy notes a specific example of religious dissenters’ correspondence being confiscated in New England when a courier died in transit with them and they were turned over to the Bay Colony’s authorities.30 Stories of like occurrences circulated throughout the Atlantic World. Those letters that actually reached their destinations often required measures to protect the author, recipient, or people discussed in the text. At times, correspondents hid the meaning of incendiary information with the use of cipher. Although there are few instances of this, occasionally Quakers utilized cipher to prevent outsiders from understanding the meaning of their words. On the back of a letter from Mary Fisher to the Northern Circuit Judge, there are 12 lines of cipher. There is no key to determine the meaning of this writing, and the Barclay Manuscript collection calendar does not illuminate the meaning of this cipher.31 Yet, simply because cipher was used does not mean that it always contained incendiary material. Douglas Lister’s study of Quakers’ deployment of cipher in the seventeenth century finds that it was simply used as shorthand and that it did not have any sort of specific secret meaning.32 Lister’s explanation makes sense given that Quakers were generally quite open with other aspects of their beliefs and the practices that got them into trouble with local authorities. Rather than using cipher to conceal secretive material, Lister states that the shorthand used by Quakers would have been understood by non-Quakers as well, thus eliminating the possibility of concealing information. Yet one must account for the possibility that outsiders who observed that Quaker correspondence contained cipher may have believed that letter had a hidden meaning. Quakers may have roused suspicions through the use of initials rather than spelling out someone’s whole name. Initials afforded some anonymity in case unwanted eyes saw a letter. In 1656, Thomas Willan wrote to Margaret Fell to follow up on previous correspondence concerning funds for itinerants James Nayler, Edward Burrough, and Henry Fell and uproars over Burrough’s publications: ‘wee shall send thee the money thou sends for J:N: and E:B: is still in great service in the citie and H:F: in Kent the bussell aboute E:B: booke is now over’.33 In this instance, several of the most high-profile members’ initials were listed in a letter written at the end of the decade. Margaret Fell, the recipient of this correspondence, was personally familiar with all of these people; thus, their identity would have been quite apparent to her. However, initials were also used in place of full names of lesser-known Quakers in letters from the early, formative years. In 1653, prisoners in York signed a letter: ‘Prisoners of the Lord at Yorke on Owse Bridge A:W: B:P: and A:N:’.34 One may argue that in the early phase of the movement there were so few members that initials could easily identify specific individuals;

Quaker correspondence  217 however, the identity of those people would only have been known to those participating in the movement. It is reasonable to assume that inchoate Quakers in 1653 would not have been widely known as such, and therefore the use of initials in lieu of full names may have provided some anonymity. Quakers utilized another common safeguard used in early modern correspondence, which was the use of multiple mail carriers. George Taylor wrote to Margaret Fell in 1657 with rare detailed instructions for sending news: If that Eliz: Stubbe wold have anie stuffe that may now send for what shee needs by this carrier to Tho: Symmonds whose here now, and inteds for Noridge shortly, we had nothing by this poaste, neither anie to thee, here was som for F:H: but we did not open them because both F:H: and John Audland was at Crostande this last night.35 This letter discusses sending money and ‘papers’ as well, which may be why the directions for sending materials are more explicit than most correspondence. This document originated in Kendal, Lancashire, and was sent a short distance to Margaret Fell at Swarthmoor. However, George Taylor discusses sending materials to people as far away as London and Norfolk, thus demonstrating the geographic distances between members of the faith as well as indicating that the network included reliable people throughout all of England. As the letter network grew, Quakers became increasingly aware of itinerant ministers’ financial needs. They required funds for food, shelter, and transportation, but also for maintenance in prison and occasionally for bond or assurances. To that end, in 1654, Margaret Fell, George Taylor, and Thomas Willan established the Kendal Fund, a charitable organization to aid traveling ministers and prisoners throughout England. The fund was yet another example of how the young sect developed a relationship between those at home and abroad. It is no wonder that Margaret Fell was key to its creation, given that she was the prime example of a nontraveling leader of the faith. Several letters address the needs and thanks of recipients of the fund to enable them to continue their mission. Quakers often gave directions in their letters for the spreading of information to fellow believers. The missives provide very few explicit insights into the organization of this network and thus require one to infer much about how the process worked. The letters that are the most illuminating either mentioned the ways that information is disseminated (i.e. someone sends word of someone else’s activities) or, more commonly, report difficulties in transmitting correspondence because the network was being watched or its missives were being intercepted by authorities. John Audland wrote to Margaret Fell in 1656 that: G.F. sent word to mee to send to Friendes that they send noe letter to them [the prisoners of Launceston], for watches being set in the country they are taken: goe doe thee give notice to Friendes carefully that awayes.36

218  Marjon Ames In 1655, Thomas Salthouse and Miles Halhead wrote to Margaret Fell from Exeter. They provide some insights into the process by which people attained letters and passed them along to others: If the Judge bee at home Salute us dearly to him wee wrote to him by Tho. Aldam to London for he had sent to enquire of J.T.S. wanted anything for the outward by a man that was to supply mee with anything I needed, so I wrote to him satisfie him I had noe want for the outward, but to see his love which I received as from the lord I was refreshed.37 In addition to demonstrating the stoic face Quakers put on their suffering, this letter describes the layers of communication required to pass information from one person to another. Salthouse and Halhead wrote to Fell to ask her to pass their salutations to her husband (rather than writing directly to him, since he was not a convinced Quaker). Furthermore, they ask her to pass information along concerning the activities of other itinerants. They tell Margaret Fell that they wrote to another Quaker to have him relay information to her husband, Judge Fell, because the justice had inquired about Salthouse and Halhead’s prison conditions via the network, but once again, not to one another directly. This letter demonstrates the web of communication that was required to send news effectively. While Quakers would continue to write to one another throughout the Interregnum and beyond the Restoration, the character of the movement changed as the years wore on. Schisms within the inchoate period, most notably focused around the Nayler Affair, which divided the Quaker community following James Nayler’s 1656 likening of himself to Jesus and the national scandal that followed, shifted the group’s attention away from dynamic, wild expressions of faith towards inward regulation and preservation. As other radical religious groups struggled to survive beyond 1660, the Quakers developed a hierarchical church structure centred on monthly and yearly meetings, as well as a clear sense of leadership within the sect. George Fox’s pre-eminence as leader of the faith became an unquestioned truth in the founding Quaker narrative. Fox and Fell came to regulate early missionary endeavours and maintained the letters and other records that promoted their version of the past. While other letters may tell a different story, they do not exist, so we are left with what the winning faction preserved. Thus, there is a break in the early Quakers’ story between the period in which the letter network was their most defining quality and a subsequent period in which meetings and publications may be seen as more essential to their identity. Before there was a church hierarchy or regular meetings, there were letters, and, as we have seen, these letters played a crucial role in establishing and maintaining the identity of the faith. Perhaps seeing the Quakers through the workings of their correspondence will provide greater insights into early modern religion more generally, as well as the dynamic nature of interpersonal relationships in England throughout this period.

Quaker correspondence  219

Notes 1 Friends House Library [hereafter FHL], MS  Vol S 81/68: Edward Burrough and Thomas Howgill to Margaret Fell, London, 2 October 1654. 2 Numerous scholars have utilized these letters, including, but not limited to, John Miller, ‘ “A Suffering People”: English Quakers and Their Neighbours, c.1650–c.1700’, P&P, 188/1 (2005), 71–103; H. Larry Ingle, First Among Friends: George Fox and the Creation of Quakerism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996); Bonnelyn Young Kunze, Margaret Fell and the Rise of Quakerism (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994). 3 FHL, MS Vol S 81/68: Fell to Cromwell, 1657. 4 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (New York: Verso, 1983). Just as Anderson describes how colonists could develop a sense of national identity while living far from one another, the early Quakers similarly created spiritual closeness, even among members of the faith whom they did not know personally. 5 FHL, MS Vol 352/313: William Caton to Margaret Fell, Launceston, 23 July 1656. 6 FHL, MS Vol 352/201: Thomas Holme to Margaret Fell, Newport, Monmouthshire, 3 March 1656. 7 FHL, MS Vol 352/313: William Caton to Margaret Fell, Launceston, 23 July 1656. 8 FHL, MS Vol 352/211: George Taylor to Margaret Fell, Kendal, 25 December 1654. Other examples include FHL, MS Vol 352/218: George Taylor to Margaret Fell, January 1655. FHL, Vol 352/219: George Taylor to Margaret Fell, Kendal, 14 April 1655. FHL, MS Vol 352/220: George Taylor to Margaret Fell, Kendal, 30 April 1655. This is a small sample – there are numerous additional examples. 9 FHL, MS Vol 81/3: William Caton to Margaret Fell, Holland, November 1656. 10 FHL, MS Box P2/15/1: Agnes Wilkinson to Unknown, York Castle, 1653. 11 FHL, MS Vol 81/110: Richard Hubberthorne to Margaret Fell, 1655. 12 FHL, MS Vol 81/147: John Audland to Margaret Fell, July 1655. 13 FHL, MS 351/166: Alexander Parker to Margaret Fell, Tregangeeves (St. Austell), 19 August 1656. 14 Fell’s suffering was akin to ‘white martyrdom’, or nonphysical suffering, as described in Carole D. Spencer’s ‘Holiness: The Quaker Way of Perfection’, Quaker History, 92–93 (2003), 125. 15 FHL, MS Vol S 81/81: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, December 1658; FHL, MS Vol S 81/82: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Barbados, 8 May 1659; FHL, MS Vol S 81/86: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, London, 7 February  1659/60; FHL, MS  Vol 351/36: Henry Fell to George Taylor and Others, Barbados, 25 August, 1655; FHL, MS Vol 351/42: Henry Fell to Thomas Rawlinson, Bristol, 19 August, 1656; FHL, MS  Vol 351/66: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Barbados, 3 November 1656; FHL, MS Vol 351/67: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Barbados, 19 December  1656; FHL, MS  Vol 351/68: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Barbados, 19 February 1656/7; FHL, MS Vol 351/69: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Barbados, 14 April 1657; FHL, MS Vol 351/70: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Barbados, 17 September  1657;FHL, MS  Vol 351/71: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, London, 3 November 1657; FHL, MS Vol 351/72: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Barbados, 7 October 1658; FHL, MS Vol 351/74: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Thetford, 14 July 1660; FHL, MS Vol 351/79: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Barbados, 24 May 1657; FHL, MS Vol 351/81: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Bristol, 11 August. 1656; FHL, MS Vol 356/260: Henry Fell to Will Caton, 11 May 1656; FHL, MS Vol 356/265: Henry Fell to Will Caton, 27 May 1656. 16 FHL, MS Vol 81/82: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Barbados, 8 May 1659. 17 David Cressy, Coming Over: Migration and Communication Between England and New England in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), p. 222.

220  Marjon Ames 18 19 20 21 22

23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37

Ibid. FHL, MS Vol 352/314: William Caton to Margaret Fell, London, 19 January 1656. Cressy, Coming Over, p. 222. Ibid., p. 233. The only exception to this is that letters from the New World often included a lengthy description of their surroundings and the customs of Native Americans. This, however, did not detract from the overall purpose of the letters to send and receive news along with reports of persecution at the hands of ‘heathens’, whether they were indigenous peoples or autocratic ministers. FHL, MS Vol 352/318: William Caton to Thomas Willan, Near Warrington, 8 February 1659/60. FHL, MS Vol 81/68: Edward Burrough and Francis Howgill to Margaret Fell, London, 2 October 1654. FHL, MS Vol 351/70: Henry Fell to Margaret Fell, Barbados, 17 September 1657. FHL, MS  Vol 352/339: Richard Hubberthorn to Margaret Fell, Chester, 4 December 1653. FHL, MS Vol 351/30: Richard Cleaton (and Richard Hubberthorne but not this portion) to Margaret Fell, Wramplingham, 12 July 1655. FHL, MS Vol 352/398: Anne Cleaton to Margaret Fell, Lancaster, 1655. Cressy, Coming Over, p. 225. Ibid. FHL, MS Vol 323/173: Mary Fisher to Northern Circuit Judge, York Castle, July 1652. Douglas G. Lister, ‘Shorthand as a Seventeenth Century Quaker Tool: Some Early Shorthand Systems and Their Use by Friends’, Journal of the Friends Historical Society, 51/3 (1967), 154–8. FHL, MS Vol 352/274: Thomas Willan to Margaret Fell, Kendal, 3 May 1656. FHL, MS Box P2/15/1: Agnes Wilkinson to Unknown, York Castle, 1653. FHL, MS Vol 352/297: George Taylor to Margaret Fell, Kendal, 9 May 1657. FHL, MS Vol 81/149: John Audland to Margaret Fell, Bristol, 20 June 1656. FHL, MS Vol 81/44: Thomas Salthouse and Miles Halhead to Margaret Fell, Exeter, 9 February 1655.


This page intentionally left blank

13 New directions in early modern women’s letters WEMLO’s challenges and possibilities Kim McLean-Fiander and James Daybell

The wide-ranging essays in this volume demonstrate that scholarship on early modern women’s letters is very much alive and flourishing. The authors of these essays have evidently scoured repositories to track down women’s correspondence and have carefully analysed it in order to offer fresh insights about early modern women’s contributions to intellectual, cultural and gender history. In so doing, they have participated in a recent wider efflorescence of scholarship on early modern correspondence, both in print and digital forms. To be sure, over the past decade or so, literary, historical, and other researchers have come to recognize the immense value of letters not only as purveyors of vital biographical information about individuals but also as rich sources of prosopographical data on wider familial, social, and learned networks. Letters are sometimes the only historical records conveying information about certain figures from the past, including scribes, letter carriers, household or court servants, and, of course, women. That is not to say that other documents, such as records of sociability (including wills, household inventories, and diaries), should be neglected by researchers in favour of letters but rather that a particularly strong case can be made for the innate historical value of letters. Because they are sent from one person and location to another, letters can reveal much about the circulation of ideas and different cultures of knowledge. They also function as important cultural and communicative conduits, with other textual forms (books and manuscripts) regularly travelling with them as enclosures. Moreover, letters represent the most ubiquitous form of writing by women from the early modern period, a fact which the essays in this volume judiciously exploit in order to deepen and broaden our understanding of the multifarious roles women played in politics, religion, science, education, the arts, and other public (not to mention private) spheres in this period. This recent ‘epistolary turn’, which has without a doubt invigorated early modern scholarship, has been complemented by a concomitant ‘digital turn’, which has profoundly changed the way humanities scholars conduct their research. This essay explores how these disciplinary shifts have both exposed some old problems and opened up new possibilities for scholarship on early modern women. In particular, it focuses on the development and emergence of a new digital editorial interface and a union catalogue called Women’s Early Modern Letters Online (WEMLO).

224  Kim McLean-Fiander and James Daybell In his recent Digital Humanities Quarterly article speculating on the future of humanities research, Tom Lynch asserts that ‘digital humanists, who can both identify the needs of mainstream humanities scholars and suggest acceptable computational solutions to those needs, are essential participants in the development of a new digital cyberinfrastructure for humanities research’.1 At the same time, he recognizes that ‘the process of building a new tool also benefits from an awareness of older infrastructure that has come before it’.2 To that end, in 2012, we (James Daybell, an historian of early modern women’s letters who has conducted much research within traditional archival infrastructures, and Kim McLean-Fiander, a literary scholar of early modern women who has helped to develop new digital archival infrastructures) jointly applied for a British Academy/Leverhulme grant to create WEMLO. Since receiving the grant in May 2013, we have built a project website,3 established an active presence on social media (Facebook and Twitter), and have held two productive workshops for scholars interested in early modern women’s correspondence. Our main scholarly output, the digital resource called WEMLO, will be released soon as a result of our own efforts and fruitful collaborations with software developers and designers, librarians, archivists, editors, scholars, research assistants, and others within the field working on cognate projects. WEMLO is not simply an online replacement for a print finding aid or a digital surrogate of an archive of correspondence. Rather, it aims to build and improve upon older archival infrastructures in order to provide greater access to primary source materials and to offer analytical tools that will allow its community of users to identify new patterns in and ask new questions of the building blocks of their research – early modern women’s letters.

Problems in the archives The essayists in the current volume are precisely the community of users for which WEMLO is being produced. As such, throughout our design process, we have sought feedback from them so that we might meet their needs and desires as much as possible. Their work here reveals the rich fruits of their archival research. What it does not necessarily reveal, however, are the challenges of the archive nor what Anne Gilliland has called the ‘archival apparatus and its relationship to knowledge, power, and belief systems in a given context’.4 In other words, tracking down women’s letters in repositories is typically neither an easy nor inexpensive task, partly due to practical issues of document management and partly due to more ideological judgments about what constitutes knowledge and, particularly, what constitutes preservation-worthy knowledge. Practically speaking, letters are by their nature dispersed objects; they are scattered around the world in libraries, archives, and private collections. Outgoing correspondence tended to be archived in connection with letter recipients rather than senders. Furthermore, as a result of various archival practices, such as acquisitions, sales, or changing classification methods, collections of correspondence and papers have been broken up and dispersed even more over time. Private owners do not always wish to share the

New directions in women’s letters  225 content of their libraries with the public; fees to consult manuscripts at private estates such as Longleat House are very expensive, and, historically, it has been virtually impossible to gain access to some muniment rooms, such as those housing the Cecil Papers at Hatfield House. All too often, a scholar discovers the letters from private collections when they go up for sale at auction, as sales catalogues from auction houses are an invaluable source for tracking down the whereabouts  of manuscript letters. For instance, an autograph manuscript letter, dated 30 April 1586 and signed by Mary, Queen of Scots months before her execution, surfaced in September 2014 and was sold at the Remarkable Rarities Auction in Boston for £17,472 ($28,750).5 Unlike private owners, memory institutions (such as libraries, archives, record offices, and museums) typically manage their manuscripts by creating catalogues or finding aids, but many of these aids are not yet digitized or available online, and some of them are much less comprehensive and less useful than others. Furthermore, due to historical (and indeed sometimes contemporary) ideological biases of record keepers, women’s writing has not always been documented and catalogued as methodically or even-handedly as men’s writing. The editor of the Historical Manuscripts Commission volume of the papers of the Earls of Rutland, for example, provided less than helpful accounts of the letters of several women of the Manners family, describing them merely as ‘on business’; this private collection has only recently been accessed by select scholars fortunate enough to pass through the family custodian.6 A large part of this gender bias on the part of previous generations of archivists and cataloguers is explained by the fact that mainstream historical inquiry generally excluded women, as it did  ordinary people; potential source materials were either overlooked or considered irrelevant.7 Thus, in the 1860s, a British Museum archivist cataloguing a volume of ‘letters and papers concerning the disputes between Anthony Bourne and his wife’ described the collection as being ‘of no importance’, although it included numerous letters by Elizabeth Bourne depicting the experiences of an Elizabethan gentlewoman separated from her husband.8 As Markus Krajewski has shown, since the time of Konrad Gessner (1516–65), the Swiss creator of one of the first card catalogues in the western world, a key role of an archivist has been to undertake ‘an appraisal of the content of the holdings’. Thus, the individual predilections of that archivist profoundly affect what knowledge gets preserved.9 Building on Foucault and Derrida’s theorizing about knowledge systems and their underlying archives, historian Randolph Head has recently asserted that the history and development of archives speaks to ‘the exercise of power through knowledge’.10 Without doubt, archives and those who curate them play a crucial role in not only the maintenance of knowledge but also in its production. The recent work by Chris Bourg and Bess Sadler at two important US institutions (MIT Libraries and Stanford Libraries, respectively) acknowledges this: ‘libraries . . . have always reflected the inequalities, biases, ethnocentrism, and power imbalances that exist throughout the academic enterprise through collection policies and hiring practices that reflect the biases of those in power at a given institution. In addition, theoretically neutral library activities like cataloging have often re-created societal patterns of exclusion and inequality’.11

226  Kim McLean-Fiander and James Daybell To understand this, one need only look at the ‘Index of Literary Correspondence’, a remarkable card catalogue compiled in three phases between 1927–63 of the Bodleian Library’s extensive holdings of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century correspondence. Although the metadata standards are not wholly consistent across the three phases of this finding aid, most of the index cards capture data about the letter sender and recipient, origin and destination, date, shelfmark and, quite often, include extremely detailed and rich abstracts. Until the Cultures of Knowledge project at the University of Oxford set about scanning and digitizing the 48,691 individual cards in 2009, this finding aid was available only to those who were able to visit the Selden End of the Duke Humfrey’s Reading Room in Oxford. Thus, despite the richness of the metadata on these cards, it was undiscoverable by nearly all researchers of early modern letters. Even if scholars of women’s letters had been able to visit the card catalogue in person, it would have taken them a long time indeed to trawl through drawer after drawer in order to find the roughly 2% of cards that included letters sent by women. If and when they did happen to stumble across such a card, they were often met by a cataloguer’s comment in the abstract that dismissed the letter as unimportant, illegible, or illiterate. The cataloguer of the index card abstract for a 1641 letter from Bridget Porter (fl. 1641) to William Lenthall (1591–1662) offers the following comments: An illiterate appeal on her husband’s and her own behalf. ‘Noble Sir, I beseech you consider the changeableness of this world and whilst you have command and power I may say of the whole Kingdom in your own hands forget not to please my husband, whose heart, zeal and might will be faithfully at your service to the death, whose modesty I fear much wrongs his preferment’. This is a moderate sample of her ranting.12 Those familiar with early modern letters will immediately recognize that this is fairly standard petitionary prose for any early modern writer, regardless of gender. Yet this twentieth-century cataloguer felt compelled to refer to this woman’s writing as ‘illiterate’ and ‘ranting’. The cataloguer for a letter from Lady Elizabeth Hatton (1578–1646) to John Hobart (fl. 1592–1619) similarly says ‘the letter is illiterate and argument incoherent’.13 Another abstract describes a letter from a woman to a man as ‘So illiterate as to be in part unintelligible’ and essentially dismisses its importance by indicating that it is comprised mostly of ‘Homely requests’.14 Not unlike the early modern archivist Gessner (1516–65) in his Bibliotheca Universalis, these card compilers both manage and pass judgment on the content of their holdings, intervening in a manner that itself affects historical understanding.15 The makers of the archives also become to some extent the makers of knowledge. If one of our aims is to rehabilitate our understanding of women’s roles in history, it is vital that we recognize the idiosyncrasies and predilections of the knowledge makers. In his fascinating history of the card catalogue, Krajewski claims that ‘the slips of paper in the catalogs become a derivative of the registered writings’ and a ‘representation of the text’.16 If that is the case, then many researchers examining the cards for women writers in the

New directions in women’s letters  227 Bodleian’s ‘Index of Literary Correspondence’ would have little impetus to ask to see the original letters themselves, as they would already be pre-disposed to viewing them as illiterate trifles. Even when later archivists and curators hold more enlightened views and would be more than happy to help researchers track down women in the archives, they, too, are subject to the gender biases of their predecessors, since their own work often rests on the archival and indeed mental infrastructure of previous generations. Fortunately, with the digital turn in information studies and humanities scholarship, more and more institutions are digitizing their finding aids, and some of these are excellent insofar as they allow scholars to do much of their research legwork remotely or at least to establish with some confidence that a trip to the archive will be worth the effort. The digitisation of archives and library holdings has been an enormous boon for researchers of the early modern period. Stemming from the work of the UK’s National Register of Archives (NRA) (founded in 1945 under the auspices of the Historical Manuscripts Commission and since 2003 part of the National Archives at Kew), which acted as a central location for finding manuscripts relating to Britain held in the British Isles or overseas, the past decade or two has witnessed attempts to co-ordinate digital cataloguing initiatives at a national level. This joined-up thinking about connecting holdings across diverse archives and repositories was further advanced by the Access to Archives (A2A) database of records held locally in England and Wales. The A2A and NRA have now been merged into the National Archives ‘Discovery’ catalogue, which searches for records from the National Archives and over 2,500 repositories across the UK.17 Despite these efforts at digital amalgamation, a great inequality of provision across repositories still exists. Local conditions are uneven, with some local record offices requiring scholars to consult a series of partially overlapping catalogue systems in order fully to excavate their archival holdings. For instance, those working in the Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (formally Devon Record Office) find it necessary to consult the National Archives digital catalogue, local online catalogues, printed listings in the search room, the old card index, since that still holds collections not yet transferred elsewhere (funding being a perennial problem), and of course the archivists themselves, who know better than anyone how to navigate the uncatalogued collections in their care. It is this kind of ‘institutional’ memory that is perhaps most pressing for digital projects to capture. Advances in digital technology have indisputably made archives more accessible. Nevertheless, online catalogues all too often do not make their content searchable by gender. The print volumes of the National Register of Archives permitted users to search by personal, family and corporate names, since these were considered the most important points of access for manuscript collections. When these volumes were digitally remediated, the opportunity to make them searchable by gender was not seized. This is not always due to willful gender bias on the part of database developers. Even if a developer has the foresight to include gender as a searchable field within a database (though certainly not all of them do), a human being still needs to identify, at the individual record level, which

228  Kim McLean-Fiander and James Daybell documents were penned by women. Because such identification work is time consuming and costly, it rarely gets done, even though it would be transformative by making women’s contributions to the historical record much more visible. This is another instance of how decisions about knowledge management in the archives can impinge on the entire scholarly understanding of a field. If researchers do not easily come across women in online finding aids and databases, they will perpetuate past prejudices and continue to exclude women from history. As a matter of urgency, scholars need to campaign with project leaders, archivists, librarians, and software developers (a field in which women are a stark minority), first to employ someone to identify which historical documents were produced by women and then to build in the capacity to search databases by gender. It is vital that we make it possible to search just for materials by women within a collection. Until databases uniformly alter their design to include gender as a searchable field, researchers will still, in effect, have to trawl through drawer after drawer of data in order to locate women in the archives. That this is still an important issue today is evident from the fact that, as recently as January 2015, an entire Modern Language Association Convention panel was dedicated to the topic of ‘Gender and the Archives’ and to discussing the reality ‘that the archive is always a problematic foundation of historical record’.18

Print and digital epistolary resources Despite the vagaries of the archives and the idiosyncrasies of their keepers, over the past few years, a number of print and digital editions and finding aids for letters have emerged as a corrective to the archival gender gap. At present, some digital finding aids have found ways to accommodate the lack of a ‘search by gender’ function. The Folger Shakespeare Library’s freely available online finding aid for the Papers of the Ferrers Family of Tamworth Castle, for instance, offers a clear and comprehensive ‘Contents’ list from which the scholar can easily zero in on the ‘Correspondence’ section (Series 7) of the collection and navigate right down to the level of individual letter senders or recipients, such as Lady Anne Ferrers (Series 7.6).19 In addition, researchers have been busy producing scholarly print editions of early modern women’s letters. In 2004, for instance, Lynette Hunter published The Letters of Dorothy Moore, 1612–64, and letters by other Irish women appeared in Reading Early Modern Women: An Anthology of Texts in Manuscript and Print, 1550–1700.20 More recently, in 2011, volume two of Nadine Akkerman’s The Correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia was published, and 2015 saw the next of the three-volume set appear.21 In 2014, Gemma Allen’s The Letters of Lady Anne Bacon, containing nearly two hundred letters, was published, as was Carlo Bajetta, Guillaume Coatalen, and Jonathan Gibson’s Elizabeth I’s Foreign Correspondence: Letters, Rhetoric, and Politics, which includes editions and analyses of nine holograph letters by the queen.22 The digital editing of manuscript letters was in many ways pioneered by the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL), co-directed by Lisa Jardine and Alan Stewart – two key scholars in the field of Renaissance letters – which

New directions in women’s letters  229 hosts projects including the correspondence of Francis Bacon, William Herle and Thomas Bodley.23 Influenced by initiatives at CELL, the Bess of Hardwick Letters: The Complete Correspondence project headed by Alison Wiggins not only provides basic metadata (including sender, recipient, date, origin, destination, repository, shelfmark, and summary) on all known letters to and from Bess but also includes colour images of 185 of the 234 letters.24 The Bess project – a model fusion of digital and traditional scholarship – offers diplomatic, normalised printer-friendly or xml transcripts of all the letters but also allows users to create their own transcripts. Furthermore, the site includes a range of helpful contextualising materials, including a tutorial on reading early modern handwriting, an article on the material and visual features of letters, information on the process of editing Bess’s letters, and podcasts from an exhibition on Bess’s life and letters. Some digital scholars might refer to this sort of resource as a ‘small boutique project’, which is potentially both a compliment and an admonition.25 Because the Bess project has a relatively small and finite number of letter records, it was possible for the creators to pay a great deal of editorial attention to completeness and accuracy whilst enriching each individual record – something that is much more difficult to achieve at a macro level where, for example, one is dealing with the 350,000 or so letters in the Tudor State Papers. This is why the Bess of Hardwick resource is so very rich. At the same time, a project like this could have potentially ended up in a digital gender silo had it not been open to integrating with projects that include both male and female letter-writers. Scholars who are not particularly interested in women’s writing might simply bypass a project that is dedicated to a single female figure and thus not register the full extent of women’s involvement in epistolary culture. However, one of the reasons this resource is such a fine model of a digital project is that it has always proceeded with an eye to the future and has thus built into its design the capacity to link its data to other resources, such as WEMLO and its partner project, EMLO, as will be discussed shortly. Another project that will offer transcriptions of letters amongst other manuscript materials is the Folger Shakespeare Library’s new Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO), which (when released) will be ‘an online searchable database of encoded semi-diplomatic transcriptions of all Folger manuscripts from the period 1500–1700’.26 While EMMO will be a free, open-access resource, a couple of excellent subscription resources have transformed how early modernists conduct their research, too. The State Papers Online (SPO) provides facsimile images of almost 3 million documents and offers researchers access to materials covering Britain’s trade and diplomacy with other countries and correspondence from monarchs, diplomats, and religious leaders from around Europe.27 Similarly, the online Cecil Papers (CP) includes nearly 30,000 early modern documents scanned in full colour and digitized from the original manuscripts at Hatfield House Archives.28 The main downsides to SPO and CP are that those without a paid subscription cannot access the data they contain, nor do these rich databases allow searches exclusively by the category of gender. In other areas, considerations of gender have been much to the fore, as with Peter Beal’s paradigm-shifting Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450–1700 (CELM). In this updated

230  Kim McLean-Fiander and James Daybell and significantly enhanced online extension of his Index of English Literary Manuscripts, we are offered for the first time entries detailing the manuscripts (including the correspondence) of female writers previously overlooked such as Elizabeth Cary, Viscountess Falkland.29 In the case of a number of women, however, their correspondence is not detailed or is only covered partially. For example, only three of Anne Clifford’s many letters are listed, and none of the diarist Lady Margaret Hoby’s correspondence is mentioned.30 In this case, WEMLO has the potential to contribute significantly to this major resource that underpins, quite fundamentally, much research in early modern literary manuscripts. Other digital projects such as the Circulation of Knowledge and Learning Practices in the 17th-century Dutch Republic (CKCC) examine how letters were the medium by which the new knowledge in the seventeenth century circulated across Europe.31 The CKCC’s web application, ePistolarium, allows researchers to explore and analyse around 20,000 letters written by or sent to scholars in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic.32 While it does include a number of letters sent to and from women, the catalogue was not designed with a ‘search by gender’ field. Thus, those interested in women’s letters must painstakingly scroll through very long lists of names (not all of which are easy to identify as female) in order to locate the appropriate records. The CKCC does, however, look to the future by offering visualizations of inquiries based on place, time, and, most significantly, social networks. More visualizations, particularly of letter networks, have been made possible by Stanford University’s Mapping the Republic of Letters (MRoL) and more recent Palladio projects.33 Palladio, a ‘web-based platform for the visualization of complex, multi-dimensional data’, is of particular interest to WEMLO, because researchers are not constrained to use its network visualization tools with pre-existing data sets, which typically contain few if any women. Palladio, MRoL, and CKCC have all collaborated with the Cultures of Knowledge project at the University of Oxford, which first launched EMLO (Early Modern Letters Online), a digital editorial interface and finding aid for correspondence from the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, in 2011 with some 60,000 letter records. The term ‘infrastructure stack’ has been used to describe how new technology rests upon a foundation of past technology.34 The EMLO finding aid rests upon the card catalogue technology of the Bodleian’s ‘Index of Literary Correspondence’ mentioned earlier, and WEMLO, in turn, rests upon the technology of EMLO. According to Lynch, the best digital projects examine the ‘infrastructure of the past and present, identif[y] what has served users well and which aspects need improvement, and th[ink] creatively about how to augment existing services and solve current problems’.35 The next section of this essay briefly outlines how EMLO has done this as it has built upon and improved the Bodleian card catalogue and, in turn, how WEMLO is currently doing this as it adapts and uses the features of EMLO to build a new resource for its particular community of users. Despite its shortcomings, the Bodleian card catalogue has much to recommend it; its metadata fields (sender, recipient, origin, destination, date, repository, shelfmark, and abstract) are the same ones that form the basis of each letter record in

New directions in women’s letters  231 EMLO. Indeed, metadata from its 48,000+ index cards provided the foundational dataset (the base of the ‘infrastructure stack’) for EMLO. By scanning and digitizing these cards, EMLO improved upon this earlier infrastructure by making it available for the first time to anyone who was not in a position personally to visit Duke Humfrey’s Library in Oxford. WEMLO will include the roughly 3% of the Bodleian card index that is comprised of letters to or from women and will add to this a foundational dataset of over 2,300 letter records for the period 1540 to 1603 collected over the past fifteen years or so from libraries around the world by James Daybell. In time, this carefully curated dataset will be joined by data on Bess of Hardwick, Anne Bacon, Elizabeth of Bohemia, Quaker women, Yorkist and early Tudor aristocratic women, and the women who corresponded with Constantijn Huygens and William of Orange (1549–84). By so doing, WEMLO has the potential to become a sort of clearing house – a central site that collects and distributes information on early modern women’s letters. WEMLO will provide users another way into existing digital resources, such as the Bess of Hardwick Letters project. In turn, by being ingested into WEMLO, Bess’s letters will also be available in EMLO, where users can search for them alongside letters by men. Thus, the Bess project overcomes the potential problem of the digital gender silo. WEMLO will also capture metadata from print editions of correspondence, such as The Letters of Lady Anne Bacon, and point users to specific page numbers of the print edition. WEMLO will be able to include metadata from the letters in subscription resources such as the State Papers Online and Cecil Papers, too, and thus make it more widely and freely available. Those who do have access to these paid resources will be able to link directly to them from WEMLO as well. The affordance of a digital resource like WEMLO is that it will make accessing primary sources much easier, faster, and cheaper for researchers. Another way EMLO and WEMLO build upon the base infrastructure of the Bodleian card catalogue is by expanding on and enhancing its basic metadata fields. For each person in the catalogue, for instance, EMLO provides a gender (‘male,’ ‘female,’ or ‘unknown’), epistolary role (‘sender,’ ‘recipient,’ or ‘mentioned in’), and an authority name. As has already been discussed, being able to search by gender is vital for researchers of early modern women’s letters. Also, since a woman has the complication of being known by different maiden and married names, titles and roles, having one authority name with all of her aliases attached to it is highly desirable. Thus, when users of EMLO (or WEMLO) search for ‘Bess of Hardwick’ or the ‘Countess of Shrewsbury,’ they will be directed to the person record with the authority name ‘Talbot, Elizabeth, 1527–1608’. Easy cross-referencing like this is another boon of digital resources. Beyond basic metadata fields for people, places, and dates, EMLO has built in the capacity to search for a range of features of the letters themselves, including letter types (scribal, printed, extract, draft, other), language, images, abstracts, transcriptions, material descriptions (postage marks, endorsements, enclosures, seals, paper types and sizes), and, of course, repository and shelfmark. WEMLO will include all of these features, too. As James Daybell’s essay in the present volume demonstrates, material features of letters conveyed significant social

232  Kim McLean-Fiander and James Daybell meaning. By having the capacity to capture material features of letters and the capacity to offer digital surrogates (a digital image of the actual letter), WEMLO makes possible a greater appreciation of the material elements of letters and, in many cases, can offer users enough information for them to create a working transcription or interpret a letter-writer’s use of ‘significant space’.36 Researchers interested in a woman’s education will be able easily to search for the language(s) she is known to have used in her correspondence. The essayists in this volume discuss letters from at least thirteen different repositories, including the Huntington Library in California and The National Archives at Kew. With WEMLO, they will now be able to plan their research trips ahead of time by seeing what letters are housed at a particular institution. Improving researchers’ efficiency in this way is one of WEMLO’s goals. Another enormous benefit of digital technology is its capacity to present data in myriad formats. At present, EMLO includes a few simple analytical tools that allow users to view data in ways that might prompt new sorts of research questions. For instance, when users search for a letter by a particular person, they will see on the results page some quick statistics about that person’s top correspondents. Also included are statistics about the places that the person wrote from or to, as well as a list of their epistolary output in particular years. In the individual person record, EMLO includes simple, though effective, visualizations (bar charts) of a writer’s epistolary output over his or her lifetime. Researchers can thus, at a glance, detect patterns of activity at a particular point in time, which might prompt further questions and analysis. If they notice that a person had a flurry of correspondence in a certain year, they might be led to delve deeper into those letters to see if they were focused on a specific topic, such as war or religious debate. Alternatively, if researchers notice that a person had a period of inactivity, they might be encouraged to look further for the reason(s), such as illness. WEMLO will have the same capacity as EMLO to depict its data in these different ways. Furthermore, a resource such as Palladio is of interest, because WEMLO would be able to feed in its own dataset and produce visualizations of women’s letter networks, which is one of the focuses of our next phase of development.

From EMLO to WEMLO In January  2015, EMLO was re-launched with an updated design and an additional 20,000 letter records from the CKCC’s holdings. This new linking of data has benefitted both projects. EMLO acts as another access portal for the CKCC’s letter records and allows those records to, at last, be searched by gender; in return, EMLO acquires a substantial new dataset, considerably expanding its holdings. Until this ingest of new data, about 3% of EMLO’s holdings were letters by or to a woman. Now, with the CKCC data, that figure has risen to about 6.6%. Calculating these figures is only possible because EMLO includes a ‘search by gender’ field, a feature which, as has already been discussed, is uncommon in most databases. In the very early stages of EMLO’s development, however, gender had not been included as a searchable field. This was not for any deliberate ideological

New directions in women’s letters  233 reason; it simply had not been noticed until Kim McLean-Fiander became the digital editor of EMLO. Because of her research interests in women’s writing, she immediately identified this lack and suggested that gender be included as a search field. It was not difficult at all for the developers to add this feature into the catalogue’s design. At that early stage of development, so few records by women were included in the original dataset that the programmers simply set the default gender for a letter sender or recipient to be ‘male’, and then the editorial team manually changed the gender to ‘female’ for each woman correspondent they came across. We mention this anecdote as a cautionary tale to future project leaders and developers: if women are to be discoverable in the archives, then it is vital that we create infrastructures that make women searchable. So, if EMLO now has a search capacity for gender, is there really any need for a separate sister project like WEMLO? Put another way, what will WEMLO be able to do that EMLO cannot? WEMLO recognizes the strengths of EMLO and its other digital and print predecessors, and we see ways to improve on them to suit better the needs of our particular research community, as communicated to us during our two WEMLO workshops. For instance, from the outset, the desire for WEMLO has been to avoid the problem of creating a gender-specific online resource that might end up in a digital gender silo. We wanted to allow the role played by women in the early modern epistolary sphere to be properly assessed and appreciated within a wider network of both male and female correspondents. We were aware of some past digital resources that focused specifically on women that were completely unknown to scholars in the mainstream. As a result, many researchers in the wider arena failed to recognize the extent of women’s contribution to intellectual life because they simply did not look at the resources that highlighted this. So, if a WEMLO user would like to search for women alongside men, they can do so, because WEMLO and EMLO will be fully integrated. Both resources draw on the same database; they simply present the data in different (though similar) interfaces. The reason we planned to create a distinct digital identity or skin for WEMLO is that we wanted to recognize and engage with the unique interests and challenges of scholars in our field. WEMLO will function almost identically to EMLO, but it will have its own distinctive look. More importantly, users will no longer have to browse through hundreds of male names in the hope of finding one female name. Scholars interested in women’s writing will be able to go directly to WEMLO to browse through long lists of names that include only women. Deciding which women would be included in this list was one of the pricklier theoretical challenges that surfaced during WEMLO’s development. What actually constitutes a woman’s letter? One from her? To her? About her? Signed by her? Carried by her? Post-scripted by her? Annotated by her? Archived by her? Penned by a female secretary or amanuensis? Collaboratively written with a man? Letters addressed on the outside packet to her husband but to both him and ‘his lady’ on the inside? How does a digital resource contend with these sorts of ‘fuzzy’ categories? Our solution was to create a resource that includes any woman who had a meaningful interaction with a letter. She might have written a letter, received a letter, or simply been mentioned in a letter. Whatever her involvement

234  Kim McLean-Fiander and James Daybell with a letter, she can appear in the WEMLO catalogue. Rather than impose an artificial and arbitrary set of criteria decided by ourselves, we have instead left it up to our users to determine what, for them, constitutes a woman’s letter. Questions about early modern women’s letters can now be debated in a blogpost on our WEMLO project website (as opposed to the WEMLO catalogue interface), something our community of scholars encouraged us to create. In this dedicated online space, we advertise events and calls for papers specifically targeted at scholars of early modern women. We provide useful resources, including a bibliography, links to other resources, and an image gallery of women letterwriters. So, WEMLO can do everything EMLO does but with a unique and specialised focus on women’s letters and the community of scholars who engage with them. WEMLO is both integrated within the broader, more general resource and distinct from it. WEMLO aims to offer its users the best of both worlds. A separate WEMLO interface appeals to our particular community of scholars, while the integration of all WEMLO metadata into EMLO means that all scholars who use EMLO will be able to see the contributions women made to early modern intellectual and cultural life, and those working on women’s letters will be able to view female letter-writers within the broader epistolary culture.

Conclusions: Future challenges and possibilities Building upon the development of earlier print and digital infrastructures, WEMLO will offer its users new search and discovery tools and a centralized place to locate distributed historical documents (i.e. letters) by early modern women. WEMLO will make their research easier, faster, and more efficient. Besides providing improved access to data, WEMLO will give scholars new tools for analysis that will allow for patterns to emerge that would be difficult and/or time-consuming for the lone scholar to trace on his or her own. Thus, WEMLO has the potential to provoke new kinds of research questions about women’s participation in intellectual, social, political, religious, and cultural history. WEMLO could not exist without the older technology (e.g. the Bodleian card catalogue), but it has an opportunity to improve upon past technology by inserting women back into the archival record in both practical and ideological ways. In a volume of vibrant and engaging essays that were clearly produced without the help of a digital union catalogue and editorial interface for early modern women’s correspondence, it might seem odd to make a case for a new electronic resource such as WEMLO. The essays here encompass a diverse spectrum of women letter-writers and offer a wide range of approaches. While none of them directly calls for the creation of a resource like WEMLO, each obliquely speaks to such a need. For instance, Michelle DiMeo’s essay laments the fact that Lady Ranelagh’s involvement in early modern medicine has gone largely unnoticed because the letters in which her medical work is mentioned are not often used by scholars working in the field. At present, EMLO includes nine letters sent from, thirty letters received by, and thirteen letters mentioning Lady Ranelagh and indicates that these letters are scattered across at least six different repositories. As

New directions in women’s letters  235 was discussed at the beginning of this essay, the makers of the archives are also often the makers of knowledge. If scholars wish to make women’s contributions to history more visible, then we need to find practical ways to do this. As it happens, via the EMLO or WEMLO editorial interface, a researcher such as DiMeo has the potential to enrich Lady Ranelagh’s letter records with abstracts or keywords that would allow her name to appear in a results list whenever a user types in the search term ‘medicine,’ for instance. In such a way, Ranelagh’s involvement in early modern medicine could become much more discoverable. Barbara Harris’s essay in this volume is based on 423 letters housed in at least six named libraries and countless record offices across Britain. Harris identifies 159 Tudor aristocratic women letter-writers and notes that twenty-two of these women wrote five or more letters but that thirty-nine of them wrote only one letter. Her essay boasts an impressive array of statistics like these, all of which were compiled manually by Harris over a lifetime of research. If the records for these letters were included in WEMLO, much of this statistical work could have been calculated automatically. Although Harris probably enjoyed her many trips to the archives to collect this data, with WEMLO, she doubtless would have saved time and money if she had been able to conduct much of her research online ahead of time. Looking to the future, Harris encourages scholars, as they reconceive women’s history, to access not only letters but also other under-used sources such as wills and household accounts. These are digital projects just waiting to happen. That said, we can also learn from a scholar like Harris that, for all our digital technology, we must not stop our visits to the archive simply because we can look something up online. The rigours of reading through entire collections or runs of documents is vital to providing context and meaning and to allow for serendipitous finds and the forming of connections. Serendipity can happen whilst searching digital catalogues, but certain discoveries – such as making connections between a particular letter or letters and the other documents in the guardbook with which it is bound – are much more likely to occur when consulting the physical artefacts themselves. As WEMLO looks to the future, we realize that any infrastructure we build must go beyond what already exists and allow humanists to ask new and different questions. After a period of expanding and enriching WEMLO’s initial dataset of nearly 3,000 letter records, we would next like to turn our attention to analyses of women’s epistolary networks and visualizations that will make this work more feasible. As sociologist Charles Kadushin has recently shown, the next big thing may well be ‘systematic ways of talking about social networks, depicting them, analysing them, and showing how they are related to more formal social arrangements such as organizations and governments’.37 Thus, WEMLO is considering the kinds of network analysis work happening with projects such as Kindred Britain, Six Degrees of Francis Bacon, and Stanford’s Palladio visualisation tool. Reflecting on our social media-obsessed world in his article on the Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) project, which has coincidentally been called ‘facebook for the dead’, Lynch has observed that ‘social networks are a hot topic’.38 Certainly, we at WEMLO can imagine fruitful ways that traditional social network theory and digital visualization tools might come together to open up new paths

236  Kim McLean-Fiander and James Daybell for humanistic inquiry. Social network theory and data visualizations have the potential, for instance, to prompt scholars to ask further questions about the nature of women’s letter-writing activities and the scope of their networks, to uncover the extent to which women operated outside of their family or were involved in court, political, religious, or intellectual networks, and how such patterns altered across the lifecycle of individuals, or more globally as we move across periods. In some respects, WEMLO would like to create a ‘facebook for dead women letter-writers’ that encourages scholars to probe, inspect, and dissect the many links and relationships that emerge. Such endeavours inevitably require further funding and involve time-consuming work in tagging letter records with rich prosopographical information (similar to the kinds of labour intensive techniques employed by the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure) in order to allow meaningful analysis. While individual scholars might answer such questions by piecing together well-trodden microstudies in a rather patchwork and necessarily unsatisfactory manner, given the power of recent digital innovations, WEMLO has the potential, as it moves into its next phase, to assist scholars in addressing such questions on a much wider scale. With the development of new digital infrastructures like WEMLO, old obstacles to research are gradually disintegrating, and, as new methods evolve, they will undoubtedly create new challenges and, we hope, new possibilities for the next generation of humanities researchers.

Notes 1 Tom K. Lynch, ‘Social Networks and Archival Context Project: A  Case Study of Emerging Cyberinfrastructure,’ Digital Humanities Quarterly, 8/3 (2014) [accessed 14 January 2015]. 2 Ibid. 3 http://blogs.plymouth.ac.uk/WEMLO/ [accessed 30 August 2015]. 4 Anne Gilliland, ‘Afterword: In and Out of the Archives’, Archival Science, 10/3 (2010), 333–43 (p. 333) [accessed 6 January 2015]. 5 ‘Mary, Queen of Scots letter auction sells for £17,472’, BBC website, http://www.bbc. co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-29274107 [accessed 28 January 2015]. 6 HMC, Report on the Manuscripts of his Grace the Duke of Rutland, Preserved at Belvoir Castle, 3 vols (Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1888), vol. 1, pp. 89, 99, 246. 7 Brian Harrison and James McMillan, ‘Some Feminist Betrayals of Women’s History’, HJ, 26/2 (1983), 375–89 (p. 376). 8 BL, Add. MS, 23212, fol. 2. 9 Markus Krajewski, Paper Machines: About Cards & Catalogues, 1548–1929 (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2011), pp. 9–10. 10 Randolph C. Head, ‘Preface: Historical Research on Archives and Knowledge Cultures: An Interdisciplinary Wave’, Archival Science, 10/3 (2010), 191–4. (p.  191) [accessed 6 January 2015]. 11 Chris Bourg and Bess Sadler, ‘Feminism and the Future of Library Discovery’, Code4Lib Journal, 28 (15 April  2015), http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/10425 [accessed 18 April 2015]. 12 Porter, Bridget (fl. 1641) to Lenthall, William, 1591–1662, 20 August 1641, in Early Modern Letters Online, Cultures of Knowledge, http://tinyurl.com/7tjo7jy, ID 38788 [accessed 27 December 2014].

New directions in women’s letters  237 13 Hatton, Elizabeth (Lady), 1578–1646 to Hobart, John (fl. 1592–c.1619), Unknown date, in Early Modern Letters Online, Cultures of Knowledge, http://tinyurl.com/7s3dgpx, ID 23196 [accessed 27 December 2014]. Full abstract: ‘Concerned with raising money. She entreats him to find out some chapman who has ready money – do not think I will be a “bankrout” though I  have borrowed £100. The letter is illiterate and argument incoherent. She talks about an offer by Sir Robert Rich of reversion of his wife’s land ‘whereon I make no doubt but to do him good in it” ’. 14 Crane, Susan (Lady), 1605–1681 to Crane, Robert (Sir), 1604–1643, Unknown date, in Early Modern Letters Online, Cultures of Knowledge, http://tinyurl.com/74x99fw, ID 13050 [accessed 27 December 2014]. Full transcript: ‘So illiterate as to be in part unintelligible. Homely requests. I have bought two keys for the garden store; you had best buy a lock for the larder door at Holbrook for I hear you have left it open where all the brass and pewter is. I have done all the tobacco you left me: pray send me (?) this week and some angelica and some carrot seed to sow at Bucknam. I pray enquire for a wachman for John grows so bad that he is not to be endured’. 15 Krajewski, Paper Machines, pp. 9–10. 16 Ibid., pp. 23–4. 17 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ [accessed 28 January 2015]. 18 Session 458: Gender and the Archives. MLA Annual Convention 2015. Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, BC. 10 January 2015. Web. 25 January 2015. http:// mla15.org/458 19 ‘Papers of the Ferrers Family of Tamworth Castle’, Folger Shakespeare Library. Folger MS L.e.1–1200; X.d.685 (1–25), http://findingaids.folger.edu/dfoferrers.xml [accessed 28 December 2014]. 20 Lynette Hunter (ed.), The Letters of Dorothy Moore, 1612–64 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004); Helen Ostovich and Elizabeth Sauer (eds), Reading Early Modern Women: An Anthology of Texts in Manuscript and Print, 1550–1700 (London: Routledge, 2004). For other editions of women’s letters, see James Daybell, ‘Select Bibliography: Women’s Medieval and Early Modern Letters’, http://blogs.plymouth.ac.uk/wemlo/ resources/wemlo-bibliography/ [accessed 28 January 2105]. 21 Nadine Akkerman (ed.), The Correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, 3 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). 22 Gemma Allen (ed.), The Letters of Lady Anne Bacon, Camden fifth series, 44 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014); Carlo Bajetta, Guillaume Coatalen and Jonathan Gibson (eds), Elizabeth I’s Foreign Correspondence: Letters, Rhetoric, and Politics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). 23 www.livesandletters.ac.uk. 24 Bess of Hardwick’s Letters: The Complete Correspondence, c.1550–1608, ed. by Alison Wiggins, Alan Bryson, Daniel Starza Smith, Anke Timmermann and Graham Williams, University of Glasgow, web development by Katherine Rogers, University of Sheffield Humanities Research Institute (April 2013), 5 December 2014, http://www. bessofhardwick.org [last accessed 30 August 2015]. 25 Lynch, ‘Social Networks’. 26 Heather Wolfe, ‘EMMO: Early Modern Manuscripts Online’, The Collation: A Gathering of Scholarship from the Folger Shakespeare Library. 26 November 2013, http:// collation.folger.edu/2013/11/emmo-early-modern-manuscripts-online/ [accessed 30 August 2015]. 27 http://gale.cengage.co.uk/state-papers-online-15091714.aspx 28 http://cecilpapers.chadwyck.com/home.do 29 http://www.celm-ms.org.uk/about.html; Peter Beal, Index of English Literary Manuscripts, 4 vols in 9 parts (Mansell, 1980–93). 30 http://www.celm-ms.org.uk/authors/cliffordladyanne.html; http://www.celm-ms.org. uk/authors/hobymargaretlady.html

238  Kim McLean-Fiander and James Daybell 31 Circulation of Knowledge and Learned Practices in the 17th-century Dutch Republic, http://ckcc.huygens.knaw.nl/ [accessed 2 December 2014]. 32 ePistolarium, http://ckcc.huygens.knaw.nl/epistolarium/ [accessed 2 December 2014]. 33 Mapping the Republic of Letters, http://republicofletters.stanford.edu/ [accessed 2 December  2014]; Palladio, http://palladio.designhumanities.org/#/. [accessed 2 December 2014]. 34 Lynch, ‘Social Networks’. 35 Ibid. 36 Jonathan Gibson, ‘Significant Space in Manuscript Letters’, The Seventeenth Century, 12 (1997), 1–9; James Daybell, The Material Letter in Early Modern England: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practices of Letter-Writing, 1512–1635 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), chapters 2 and 4. 37 Charles Kadushin, Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). 38 Lynch, ‘Social Networks’.

Select Bibliography

Allen, Gemma, The Cooke Sisters: Education, Piety and Politics in Early Modern England (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013). Alonso-Almeida, Francisco, ‘Genre Conventions in English Recipes, 1600–1800’, in Reading and Writing Recipe Books 1550–1800, ed. by Michelle DiMeo and Sara Pennell (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), pp. 68–90. Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities (New York: Verso, 1983). Anderson, Penelope, Friendship’s Shadows: Women’s Friendship and the Politics of Betrayal in England, 1640–1705 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012). Anselment, Raymond, ‘Katherine Paston and Brilliana Harley: Maternal Letters and the Genre of Mother’s Advice’, Studies in Philology, 101 (2004), 431–53. Barnes, Diana, Epistolary Community in Print, 1580–1664 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013). Beal, Peter, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and Their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). Ben-Amos, Ilana Krausman, The Culture of Giving: Informal Support and Gift-Exchange in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008). Bergeron, David, King James and the Letters of Homoerotic Desire (Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 1999). Bland, Mark, A Guide to Early Printed Books and Manuscripts (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010). Bound, Fay, ‘Writing the Self? Love and the Letter in England, c. 1660–c.1760’, Literature and History, 11/1 (2002), 1–19. Bowden, Caroline, ‘Women as Intermediaries: An Example of the Use of Literacy in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries’, History of Education, 22/3 (1993), 215–23. Braunmuller, A. R., ‘Accounting for Absence: The Transcription of Space’, in New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, ed. by W. Speed Hill (Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1993), pp. 47–56. Bray, Alan, The Friend (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003). Brown, Cedric, ‘Presence, Obligation and Memory in John Donne’s Texts for the Countess of Bedford’, Renaissance Studies, 22/1 (2008), 63–85. Burke, Victoria E., ‘Let’s Get Physical: Bibliography, Codicology, and SeventeenthCentury Women’s Manuscripts’, Literature Compass, 4/6 (2007), 1667–82. Burton, Gideon, ‘From Ars dictaminis to Ars conscribendi epistolis: Renaissance LetterWriting Manuals in the Context of Humanism’, in Letter-Writing Manuals and Instruction from Antiquity to the Present, ed. by Carol Poster and Linda C. Mitchell (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2007), pp. 88–101.

240  Select Bibliography Campbell, Julie D., and Anne R. Larsen (eds), Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009). Carey, Vincent, ‘ “What’s love got to do with it?”: Gender and Geraldine Power on the Pale Border’, in Dublin and the Pale in the Renaissance c.1540–1660, ed. by Michael Potterton and Thomas Herron (Dublin: Four Courts, 2011), pp. 93–103. Charlton, Kenneth, Women, Religion and Education in Early Modern England (London: Routledge, 1999). Chartier, Roger (ed.), The Culture of Print: Power and Uses of Print in Early Modern Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989). Chartier, Roger, ‘Secrétaires for the People? Model Letters of the Ancien Régime: Between Court Literature and Popular Chapbooks’, in Correspondence: Models of Letter-Writing From the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century, ed. by Roger Chartier (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1997), pp. 59–111. Collinson, Patrick, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (London: Jonathan Cape, 1967). Collinson, Patrick, The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society 1559–1625 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982). Connolly, Ruth, ‘A Proselytising Protestant Commonwealth: The Religious and Political Ideals of Katherine Jones, Viscountess Ranelagh’, The Seventeenth Century, 23 (2008), 244–64. Connolly, Ruth, ‘Viscountess Ranelagh and the Authorisation of Women’s Knowledge in the Hartlib Circle’, in The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, 1558–1680, ed. by Johanna Harris and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 150–61. Connolly, Ruth, ‘ “A Wise and Godly Sybilla”: Viscountess Ranelagh and the Politics of International Protestantism’, in Women, Gender and Radical Religion in Early Modern Europe, ed. by Sylvia Brown (Leiden: Brill, 2007), pp. 285–306. Coolahan, Marie-Louise, ‘Ideal Communities and Planter Women’s Writing in SeventeenthCentury Ireland’, Parergon, 29 (2012), 69–91. Coolahan, Marie-Louise, ‘Reception, Reputation, and Early Modern Women’s Missing Texts’, Critical Quarterly, 55 (2013), 3–14. Coolahan, Marie-Louise, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). Coster, Will, ‘ “From fire and water”: The Responsibilities of Godparents in Early Modern England’, Studies in Church History, 31 (1994), 301–12. Couchman, Jane, and Ann Crabb (eds), Women’s Letters Across Europe, 1400–1700 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005). Cressy, David, Birth, Marriage and Death: Ritual, Religion and the Life Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Cressy, David, Literacy and the Social Order: Reading and Writing in Tudor and Stuart England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980). Davis, Tom, ‘The Analysis of Handwriting: An Introductory Survey’, in The Book Encompassed: Studies in Twentieth-Century Bibliography, ed. by Peter Davison (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 57–68. Daybell, James (ed.), Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001). Daybell, James, ‘Female Literacy and the Social Conventions of Women’s Letter-Writing in England, 1540–1603’, in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1540–1700, ed. by Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 59–76. Daybell, James, ‘Gendered Archival Practices and the Future Lives of Letters’ in Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain, ed. by James Daybell and Andrew Gordon (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), pp. 209–36.

Select Bibliography  241 Daybell, James, ‘Interpreting Letters and Reading Script: Evidence for Female Education and Literacy in Tudor England’, History of Education, 34/6 (2005), 695–716. Daybell, James, The Material Letter in Early Modern England: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practices of Letter-Writing, 1512–1635 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Daybell, James, ‘The Rhetoric of Friendship in Sixteenth-Century Women’s Letters of Intercession’, in Rhetoric, Gender, Politics: Representing Early Modern Women’s Speech, ed. by Jennifer Richards and Alison Thorne (London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 172–90. Daybell, James, ‘Scripting a Female Voice: Women’s Epistolary Rhetoric in SixteenthCentury Letters of Petition’, Women’s Writing, 13 (2006), 3–20. Daybell, James, ‘Secret Letters in Elizabethan England’, in Material Readings of Early Modern Culture: Texts and Social Practices, 1580–1730, ed. by James Daybell and Peter Hinds (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 47–64. Daybell, James, ‘ “Suche newes as on the Quenes hy ways we have mett”: The News and Intelligence Networks of Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (c.1527–1608)’, in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450–1700 ed. by James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 114–31. Daybell, James, ‘Women, News and Intelligence Networks in Elizabethan England’, in Diplomacy and Early Modern Culture, ed. by Robyn Adams and Rosanna Cox (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 101–19. Daybell, James, ‘Women, Politics and Domesticity: The Scribal Publication of Lady Rich’s Letter to Elizabeth I’, in Women and Writing, c.1340–c.1650: The Domestication of Print Culture, ed. by Anne Lawrence-Mathers and Phillipa Hardman (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2010), pp. 111–30. Daybell, James, ‘Women’s Letters’, in Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Women’s Writing, ed. by Laura Knoppers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 181–93. Daybell, James, ‘Women’s Letters and Letter Writing in England 1540–1603: An Introduction to the Issues of Authorship and Construction’, Shakespeare Studies, 27 (1999), 161–86. Daybell, James, Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). Daybell, James, and Andrew Gordon, ‘Select Bibliography: The Manuscript Letter in Early Modern England’, Lives and Letters, 4/1 (Autumn 2012), http://journal.xmera.org/ journalarchive/bibliography.pdf [accessed 9 September 2015]. De Grazia, Margreta, ‘Imprints: Shakespeare, Gutenberg, and Descartes’, in Printing and Parenting in Early Modern England, ed. by Douglas A. Brooks (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), pp. 29–58. Eales, Jacqueline, ‘Female Literacy and the Social Identity of the Clergy Family in the Seventeenth Century’, Archaeologia Cantiana, 133 (2013), 67–81. Eales, Jacqueline, ‘Patriarchy, Puritanism and Politics: The Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley (1598–1643)’, in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450–1700, ed. by James Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 143–58. Eales, Jacqueline, Puritans and Roundheads: The Harleys of Brampton Bryan and the Outbreak of the English Civil War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). Evans, Melanie, ‘Aspects of the Idiolect of Queen Elizabeth I’, L. Antony AntConc 3.3.0, 2011. Evans, Melanie, The Language of Queen Elizabeth I: A Sociolinguistic Perspective on Royal Style and Identity (Transactions of the Philological Society Monograph Series 45) (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

242  Select Bibliography Evans, Melanie, ‘A Sociolinguistics of Early Modern Spelling? An Account of Queen Elizabeth I’s Correspondence’ VARIENG: Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English, 10 (2012), http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/journal/volumes/10/evans [Accessed 9 September 2015]. Ezell, Margaret J.M., ‘Elizabeth Delaval’s Spiritual Heroine: Thoughts on Redefining Manuscript Texts by Early Women Writers’, EMS, 3 (1992), 216–37. Fitzmaurice, Susan, The Familiar Letter in Early Modern English: A Pragmatic Approach (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2002). Fitzsimon, Betsey Taylor, ‘Conversion, the Bible and the Irish Language: The Correspondence of Lady Ranelagh and Bishop Dopping’, in Converts and Conversion in Ireland, 1650–185, ed. by Michael Brown, Charles I. McGrath and Thomas P. Power (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005), pp. 157–82. Frye, Susan, Elizabeth I: The Competition for Representation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993). Geary, Patrick, ‘The Historical Material of Memory’, in Art, Memory, and Family in Renaissance Florence, ed. by Giovanni Ciapelli and Patricia Lee Rugin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 17–25. Gibson, Jonathan, ‘Significant Space in Manuscript Letters’, The Seventeenth Century, 12/1 (Spring 1997), 1–9. Gilliland, Anne, ‘Afterword: In and Out of the Archives’, Archival Science, 10/3 (2010), 333–43. Gordon, Andrew, ‘Copycopia, or the Place of Copied Correspondence in Manuscript Culture: A Case Study’, in Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580–1730: Texts and Social Practices, ed. by James Daybell and Peter Hinds (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 65–82. Gordon, Andrew, ‘Essex’s Last Campaign: The Fall of the Earl of Essex and Manuscript Circulation’, in Essex: The Cultural Impact of an Elizabethan Courtier ed. by Anneliese Connolly and Lisa Hopkins (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), pp. 153–68. Gordon, Andrew, ‘ “A Fortune of Paper Walls”: The Letters of Francis Bacon and the Earl of Essex’, ELR, 37/3 (2007), 319–36. Gordon, Andrew, ‘Material Fictions: Counterfeit Correspondence and the Culture of Copying in Early Modern England’, in Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain, ed. by James Daybell and Andrew Gordon (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), pp. 85–109. Guillén, Claudio, ‘Notes Toward the Study of the Renaissance Letter’, in Renaissance Genres: Essays on Theory, History and Interpretation, ed. by Barbara Kiefer Lewalski (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 70–101. Hall, Nigel, ‘The Materiality of Letter-Writing: A  Nineteenth Century Perspective’ in Letter-Writing as Social Practice, ed. by David Barton and Nigel Hall (Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1999), pp. 83–108. Hammer, Paul E. J., The Polarisation of Elizabethan Politics: The Political Career of Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex, 1585–1597 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Hammer, Paul E. J., ‘The Uses of Scholarship: The Secretariat of Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex’, EHR, 109 (1994), 26–51. Hannay, Margaret P., ‘ “High Housewifery”: The Duties and Letters of Barbara Gamage Sidney, Countess of Leicester’, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 1 (2006), 7–35.

Select Bibliography  243 Harris, Barbara J., English Aristocratic Women, 1450–1550: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002). Harris, Barbara J., ‘Space, Time, and the Power of Aristocratic Wives in Yorkist and Early Tudor England’, in Time. Space, and Women’s Lives in Early Modern Europe, ed. by Anne Jacobson Schutte, Thomas Kuehn and Silvana Seidel Menchi (Kirksville: Truman State University Press, 2001), pp. 245–64. Harris, Barbara J., ‘The View From My Lady’s Chamber: New Perspectives on the Early Tudor Monarchy’, HLQ, 60/3 (1999), 215–47. Harris, Barbara J., ‘Women and Politics in Early Tudor England’, HJ, 33 (1990), 259– 81.Harris, Frances, ‘Lady Sophia’s Visions: Sir Robert Moray, the Earl of Lauderdale and the Restoration Government of Scotland’, The Seventeenth Century, 24/1 (2009), 129–55. Harris, Frances, ‘The Letterbooks of Mary Evelyn’, EMS, 7 (1998), 202–15. Harris, Frances, Transformations of Love: The Friendship of John Evelyn and Margaret Godolphin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). Heal, Felicity, The Power of Gifts: Gift Exchange in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). Heale, Elizabeth, ‘Women and the Courtly Love Lyric: The Devonshire Manuscript (BL Additional 17492)’, The Modern Language Review, 90/2 (1995), 296–313. Heller, Jennifer, The Mother’s Legacy in Early Modern England (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011). Henderson, Judith Rice, ‘Humanist Letter Writing: Private Conversation or Public Forum?’, in Self-Presentation and Social Identification: The Rhetoric and Pragmatics of Letter Writing in Early Modern Times, ed. by Toon Van Houdt, Jan Papy, Gibert Tournoy and Constant Matheeussen. (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2002), pp. 17–39. Hoffman, Jr., C. Fenno, ‘Catherine Parr as a Woman of Letters’, HLQ, 23 (1960), 349–67. Humiliata, Sister Mary, ‘Standards of Taste Advocated for Feminine Letter Writing, 1640– 1797’, HLQ, 13 (1949–50), 261–77. Hunter, Lynette, ‘Sisters of the Royal Society: The Circle of Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh’, in Women, Science and Medicine, 1500–1700, ed. by Lynette Hunter and Sarah Hutton (Thrupp: Sutton, 1997), pp. 178–97. Hutson, Lorna, The Usurer’s Daughter: Male Friendship and Fictions of Women in Early Modern England (London: Routledge, 1994). Iannaccaro, Giuliana and Alessandra Petrina, ‘To and From the Queen: Modalities of Epistolography in the Correspondence of Elizabeth I’, Journal of Early Modern Studies, 3 (2014), 69–89. Ingle, H. Larry, First Among Friends: George Fox and the Creation of Quakerism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996). James, Mervyn, ‘At a Crossroads of the Political Culture: The Essex Revolt, 1601’, in Society, Politics and Culture: Studies in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 416–63. Jardine, Lisa, and Anthony Grafton, From Humanism to the Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Europe (London: Duckworth, 1986). Kadushin, Charles, Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). King, John N., ‘Patronage and Piety: The Influence of Catherine Parr’, in Silent But for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators and Writers of Religious Works, ed. by Margaret P. Hannay (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1985), pp. 43–60.

244  Select Bibliography Knox, Andrea, ‘Testimonies to History: Reassessing Women’s Involvement in the 1641 Rising’, in Irish Women and Nationalism: Soldiers, New Women and Wicked Hags, ed. by Louise Ryan and Margaret Ward (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2004), pp. 14–29. Krajewski, Murkus, Paper Machines: About Cards & Catalogues, 1548–1929 (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2011). Kunze, Bonnelyn Young, Margaret Fell and the Rise of Quakerism (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994). Lamb, Mary Ellen, ‘The Cooke Sisters: Attitudes toward Learned Women in the Renaissance’, in Silent But for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators and Writers of Religious Works, ed. by Margaret P. Hannay (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1985), pp. 107–25. Larminie, Vivienne, ‘Fighting for Family in a Patronage Society: The Epistolary Armoury of Anne Newdigate (1574–1618)’, in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450–1700, ed. by James Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 94–108. Leong, Elaine, ‘Making Medicines in the Early Modern Household’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 82 (2008), 145–68. Leong, Elaine, and Sara Pennell, ‘Recipe Collections and the Currency of Medical Knowledge in the Early Modern “Medical Marketplace” ’, in Medicine and the Market in England and Its Colonies, c. 1450-c.1850, ed. by Mark S.R. Jenner and Patrick Wallis (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007), pp. 133–53. Lewalski, Barbara Kiefer, ‘Re-Writing Patriarchy and Patronage: Margaret Clifford, Anne Clifford, and Aemilia Lanyer’, in Anne Clifford and Lucy Hutchinson, ed. by Mihoko Suzuki (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 23–42. Lister, Douglas G., ‘Shorthand as a Seventeenth Century Quaker Tool: Some Early Shorthand Systems and Their Use by Friends’, Journal of the Friends Historical Society, 51/3 (1967), 154–8. Lynch, Tom K., ‘Social Networks and Archival Context Project: A Case Study of Emerging Cyberinfrastructure’, Digital Humanities Quarterly, 8/3 (2014), http://www.digital humanities.org/dhq/vol/8/3/000184/000184.html Magnusson, Lynne, ‘Letters’, in The History of British Women’s Writing, 1500–1610, ed. by Caroline Bicks and Jennifer Summit (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 130–51. Magnusson, Lynne, ‘A Rhetoric of Requests: Genre and Linguistic Scripts in Elizabethan Women’s Suitors Letters’, in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450–1700, ed. by James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 51–66. Magnusson, Lynne, Shakespeare and Social Dialogue (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Magnusson, Lynne, ‘Widowhood and Linguistic Capital: The Rhetoric and Reception of Anne Bacon’s Epistolary Advice’, ELR, 31 (2001), 3–33. Malay, Jessica L., ‘Positioning Patronage: Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judæorum and the Countess of Cumberland in Time and Place’, Seventeenth Century, 28/3 (2013), 251–74. May, Steven W., ‘Two Unpublished Letters by Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke’, EMS, 9 (2000), 88–97. McAreavey, Naomi, ‘An Epistolary Account of the Irish Rising of 1641 by the Wife of the Mayor of Waterford [with text]’, ELR, 42 (2012), 90–118. McAreavey, Naomi, ‘ “Paper Bullets”: Gendering the 1641 Rebellion in the Writings of Lady Elizabeth Dowdall and Lettice Fitzgerald, Baroness of Offaly’, in Ireland in the Renaissance, c. 1540–1660, ed. by Thomas Herron and Michael Potterton (Dublin: Four Courts, 2007).

Select Bibliography  245 McAreavey, Naomi, ‘ “This is that I may remember what passings that happened in Waterford”: Inscribing the 1641 Rising in the Letters of the Wife of the Mayor of Waterford’, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 5 (2010), 77–109. Mears, Natalie, Queenship and Political Discourse in the Elizabethan Realms (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). Mears, Natalie, ‘Regnum Cecilianum? A Perspective of the Court’, in The Reign of Elizabeth ed. by John Guy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 46–63. Miller, John, ‘ “A  Suffering People”: English Quakers and Their Neighbours c.1650– c.1700’, Past and Present, 188/1 (2005), 71–103. Mitchell, Linda C., ‘Entertainment and Instruction: Women’s Roles in the English Epistolary Tradition’, HLQ, 66/3&4 (2003), 331–47. Moody, Joanna (ed.), ‘Women’s Letter Writing’, Women’s Writing, Special Edition, 13/1 (2006). Morrissey, Mary, and Gillian Wright, ‘Piety and Sociability in Early Modern Women’s Letters’, Women’s Writing, 13 (2006), 44–59. Nagy, Doreen Evenden, Popular Medicine in Seventeenth-Century England (Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1988). Newton, Hannah, The Sick Child in Early Modern England, 1580–1720 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). Norbrook, David, ‘ “Words more than civil”: Republican Civility in Lucy Hutchinson’s ‘The Life of John Hutchinson’, in Early Modern Civil Discourses, ed. by Jennifer Richards (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003), pp. 68–84. O’Dowd, Mary, ‘Women and War in Ireland in the 1640s’, in Women in Early Modern Ireland, ed. by Margaret MacCurtain and Mary O’Dowd (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991), pp. 91–111. Pal, Carol, Republic of Women: Rethinking the Republic of Letters in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). Payne, Helen, ‘Aristocratic Women, Power, Patronage and Family Networks at the Jacobean Court, 1603–1625’, in. Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450–1700, ed. by James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 164–81. Pender, Patricia, and Rosalind Smith (eds), Material Cultures of Early Modern Women’s Writing (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Pollock, Linda, ‘Childrearing and Female Bonding in Early Modern England’, Social History, 22/3 (1997), 286–306. Sale, Carolyn, ‘ “Roman Hand”: Women, Writing and the Law in the Att.-Gen. v. Chatterton and the Letters of the Lady Arbella Stuart’, ELH, 70/4 (2003), 929–61. Schneider, Gary, The Culture of Epistolarity: Vernacular Letters and Letter Writing in Early Modern England (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 2005). Schofield, R. S., and E. A. Wrigley, ‘Infant and Child Mortality in England in the Late Tudor and Early Stuart Period’, in Health, Medicine and Mortality in the Sixteenth Century, ed. by Charles Webster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), pp. 61–95. Schuckner, Robert, ‘Puritan Attitudes Towards Childhood Discipline, 1560–1634’, in Women as Mothers in Pre-Industrial England: Essays in Memory of Dorothy McLaren, ed. by Valerie Fildes (Routledge, 1990), pp. 108–21. Shannon, Laurie, Sovereign Amity: Figures of Male Friendship in Shakespearean Contexts (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002). Shenk, Linda, Learned Queen: The Image of Elizabeth I in Politics and Poetry (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

246  Select Bibliography Shenk, Linda, ‘Turning Learned Authority into Royal Supremacy: Elizabeth I’s Learned Persona and Her University Orations’, in Elizabeth I: Always Her Own Free Woman, ed. by Carole Levin, Jo Eldridge Carney and Debra Barrett-Graves (Burlington: Ashgate, 2003), pp. 78–96. Siraisi, Nancy G., Communities of Learned Experience: Epistolary Medicine in the Renaissance (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Southall, Raymond, ‘The Devonshire Manuscript Collection of Early Tudor Poetry, 1532– 1541’, RES, 15 (1964), 142–50. Steen, Sara Jayne, ‘Fashioning an Acceptable Self: Arbella Stuart’, ELR, 18 (1988), 78–95. Steen, Sara Jayne, ‘Reading Beyond the Words: Material Letters and the Process of Interpretation’, Quidditas, 22 (2001), 55–69. Stevenson, A.H., ‘Paper as Bibliographical Evidence’, The Library, 17 (1962), 197–212. Stevenson, Jane, Women Latin Poets: Language, Gender and Authority, from Antiquity to the Eighteenth-Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). Stewart, Alan, Close Readers: Humanism and Sodomy in Early Modern England (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997). Stewart, Alan, ‘The Early Modern Closet Discovered’, Representations, 50 (1995), 76–100. Stewart, Alan, Shakespeare’s Letters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). Stewart, Alan, ‘The Voices of Anne Cooke, Lady Anne and Lady Bacon’, in This Double Voice: Gendered Writing in Early Modern England, ed. by Danielle Clarke and Elizabeth Clarke (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000), pp. 88–102. Stewart, Alan, and Heather Wolfe, Letterwriting in Renaissance England (Washington, DC: Folger Shakespeare Library, 2004). Summit, Jennifer, ‘Hannah Wolley, the Oxinden Letters, and Household Epistolary Practice’, in Women, Property, and the Letters of the Law in Early Modern England, ed. by Nancy E. Wright, Margaret W. Ferguson and A. R. Buck (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), pp. 201–18. Thorne, Alison, ‘Women’s Petitionary Letters and Early Seventeenth-Century Treason Trials’, Women’s Writing, 13/1 (2006), 21–37. Trill, Suzanne, ‘Early Modern Women’s Writing in the Edinburgh Archives, c. 1550–1740: A Preliminary Checklist’, in Woman and the Feminine in Medieval and Early Modern Scottish Writing, ed. by Sarah M. Dunnigan, C. Marie Harker and Evelyn S. Newlyn (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004), pp. 201–25. Ustick, W. Lee, ‘Advice to a Son: A Type of Seventeenth-Century Conduct Book’, Studies in Philology, 29 (1932), 409–41. Wall, Alison D., ‘Deference and Defiance in Women’s Letters of the Thynne Family: The Rhetoric of Relationships’, in Women’s Letters and Letter-Writing in England, 1450– 1700, ed. by James Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 77–93. Wall, Alison D., ‘Elizabethan Precept and Feminine Practice: The Thynne Family of Longleat’, History, 75 (1990), 23–38. Wall, Wendy, The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993). Warnicke, Retha, Women of the English Renaissance and Reformation (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983). Whelan, Bernadette, ‘Women and Warfare, 1641–1691’, in Conquest and Resistance: War in Seventeenth-Century Ireland, ed. by Pádraig Lenihan (Leiden: Brill, 2001), pp. 317–43. Whigham, Frank, ‘The Rhetoric of Elizabethan Suitors’ Letters’, PMLA, 96/5 (1981), 864–82. White, Micheline, ‘Power Couples and Women Writers in Elizabethan England: The Public Voices of Dorcas and Richard Martin and Anne and Hugh Dowriche’, in Framing the

Select Bibliography  247 Family: Narrative and Representation in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, ed. by Rosalynn Voaden and Diane Wolfthal (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005), pp. 119–38. Wilcox, Amanda, The Gift of Correspondence in Classical Rome (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012). Wilde, Cornelia, Friendship, Love, and Letters: Ideals and Practices of Seraphic Friendship in Seventeenth-Century England (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter GmbH, 2012). Willen, Diane, ‘ “Communion of the Saints”: Spiritual Reciprocity and the Godly Community in Early Modern England,’ Albion, 27/1 (1995), 19–41. Williams, Graham, Women’s Epistolary Utterance: A Study of the Letters of Joan and Maria Thynne, 1575–1611 (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2013). Williams, Graham, ‘ “Yr scribe can proove no nessecarye consiquence for you”?: The Social and Linguistic Implications of Joan Thynne’s Using a Scribe in Letters to her Son, 1607–11’ in Women and Writing, c.1340–1650: The Domestication of Print Culture, ed. by Anne Lawrence-Mathers and Philippa Hardman (York: York Medieval Press, 2010), pp. 131–45. Winkelman, Carol L., ‘A Case Study of Women’s Literacy in the Early Seventeenth Century: The Oxinden Family Letters’, Women and Language, 19/2 (1996), 14–20. Wiseman, Susan, ‘Exemplarity, Women and Political Rhetoric’, in Rhetoric, Gender, Politics: Representing Early Modern Women’s Speech, ed. by Jennifer Richards and Alison Thorne (London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 129–48. Wood, Richard, ‘ “Cleverly playing the stoic”: The Earl of Essex, Sir Philip Sidney and Surviving Elizabeth’s Court’ in Essex: The Cultural Impact of an Elizabethan Courtier, ed. by Annaliese Connolly and Lisa Hopkins (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), pp. 25–46.

This page intentionally left blank


Access to Archives (A2A) database 227 Act for the Better Discovering and Repressing of Popish Recusants (1606) 138 address, modes of 3, 26, 27, 29, 30, 40, 41, 45, 56, 66 – 8, 69–70, 112, 115, 130, 131, 151, 152, 177, 191 addressing letters 56, 59, 121, 174, 176, 186, 190, 233 advice letters 12, 50, 52n3, 81 – 91, 100 – 1, 111, 113, 122, 123, 128 – 44, 145n9, see also counsel Aeschines 161, 162 agency 1 – 6, 10, 13, 63, 106 – 7, 157 – 8, 168, 182 – 3, 186, 188, 190, 191, 200, 201 and passim Akkerman, Nadine 228 Alan, Francis 153 – 6 Allen, Gemma 10 – 11, 228 Ames, Marjon 6, 12, 14 – 15 Amicitia 6, 13, 152 – 64 Anderson, Benedict 208 Anderson, Penelope 125 Anna of Denmark, Queen 2, 60, 69 Anna of Saxony 96 Apostolic letters 143 – 4 archiving of letters 1, 33, 38, 58 – 60, 65 – 6, 99, 110, 218, 224 – 7 Arthington, Mary 89 Arundel, Earl of see Fitzalan, William, Earl of Arundel Ascham, Roger 13, 151 – 64; Toxophilus 151; The Schoolmaster 151, 156, 161 Astley, Katherine 68 – 9 Aston, Captain Thomas 168 Audland, John 211, 217 Audley, Thomas, Lord 24, 31

authorship attribution methodologies, 38 – 9, 53n14 authorship of letters 2 – 4, 9 – 10, 24 – 5, 36 – 51, 58 – 9 see also composition of letters Babington, Plot 40, 70 Bacheler, Daniel 189 – 90 Bacon, Anthony 81, 82, 84 – 6, 89 – 91 Bacon, Francis 82, 89, 199, 229 Bacon, Lady Anne (née Cooke) 7, 11, 81 – 91, 186, 196, 228, 231 Bacon, Sir Nicholas 81, 82, 91 Bagot, Walter 65, 203n22 Bajetta, Carlo 228 Bales, Peter 183, 190, 191, 202n6, Barbados 212, 215 Barn Elms 59, 184, 186, 189, 190 Bath, earl and countess of, see Bourchier. Bayning, Paul 182 Bayning, Susanna 182 Beal, Peter 229 – 30 Becket, Henry 68 Bedford, Countess of, see Russell, Lucy, (née Harington), Countess of Bedford Belvoir Castle 30 Bergeron, David M. 157 Bertie, Mary, Lady Willoughby 84 Bertie, Peregrine, Lord Willoughby de Eresby 1, 82, 84, 202n12 Biblical citation in letters 87, 88 – 90, 94 n61 – 4, 136, 138 – 9, 143, 163, 196, 198 blackmail, 183, 191 – 2, 201 Boarzell 63 Boate, Gerard 102, 174 Boate, Katherine 174 Bodley, Thomas 229

250 Index Boleyn, Anne 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 37 Boleyn, Mary 25, 26 Borlase, Edmund 170 Bourchier, Margaret, Countess of Bath 56 – 8, 68, 69 Bourchier, William, Earl of Bath 68 Bourdieu, Pierre 6 Bourg, Chris 225 Bourne, Anthony 225 Bourne, Elizabeth 65, 2225 Bowden, Caroline 6 Bowyer, Robert 194 Boyle, Elizabeth (nee Clifford), Countess of Burlington 100 Boyle, Margaret, Countess of Orrery 102 Boyle, Richard, Earl of Burlington 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106 Boyle, Robert 96, 99, 100, 101, 104 Boyle, Roger, Lord Broghill 174 Brampton Bryan 12, 128 Brandon, Charles, Duke of Suffolk 28 Brandon, Katherine (née Willoughby), Duchess of Suffolk 25, 39, 40 Braunmuller, A.R. 66 Bray, Alan 154 Brewes, Margery 29 Briver, Francis, Mayor of Waterford 168 Briver, Mrs 13, 167 – 9, 172, 177 Brooke, Elizabeth 60 Broomshaw Bury 32 Brown, Cedric 12, 13 Brown, Penelope 155 Browne, Sir Richard 112, 117 Bruce, Edward, Lord Kinloss 2 Bruce, John 43 – 4, Brün, Johann 100 – 1 Bucer, Martin 158, 163 Buckhurst, Lord see Sackville, Richard, Lord Buckhurst, third Earl of Dorset. Buckhurst, Lord Treasurer see Sackville, Thomas, Lord Buckhurst Burgh, Elizabeth, Lady 24 Burghley, Lord, see Cecil, William, Lord Burghley Burke, Richard, Earl of Clanricarde 190, 202n17 burning letters 83, 88, 190 Burrough, Edward 207, 214, 216, 217 Butler, Elizabeth (née Preston), Countess of Ormond 14, 167, 168, 171 – 4 Butler, James, Earl of Ormond 170, 172, 173 Caen 172, 173 Caesar, Sir Julius 1, 62 Calais 119

Calvinism 129, 133, 139, 192, 198 Cambridge, University of 89, 129, 158 Campys Castle 28 Cardiff Castle 70 Carey, Sir Thomas 112 Caribbean, the 214 Cary, Elizabeth (née Tanfield), Viscountess Falkland 7, 70, 230 Castle, John 184, 202n12 Caton, Will 209, 210, 213 – 4 Cavendish, Charles 67 Cavendish, Henry 67 Cavendish, Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle 7, 97 – 8 Cavendish, Mary 60 Cecil Papers Online 9, 225, 229, 231 Cecil, Mildred (neé Cooke), Lady Burghley 68, 82, 93n23 Cecil, Robert, Earl of Salisbury 1, 2, 40, 62, 65, 68, 69, 70 – 1, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 87, 88, 90, 129, 186, 187, 196 Cecil, William, Lord Burghley 39, 40 – 2, 62, 72, 82, 84, 129, 131, 156, 163 Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL) 228 – 9 Charing Cross 190, 192 Charles I 70, 137 Charles II 104, 172 Chartier, Roger 6 Chartley Hall 70 Cheke, John 156, 162 Chelsea 85, 106 chemical medicine 98, 101, 102, 104 Cicero, Marcus Tullius 159, 182 De amicitia 153; De officiis 87, 94n49, 131, 132; letters of, 154 ciphers and codes see cryptography Circulation of Knowledge and Learning Practices in the 17th-century Dutch Republic (CKCC) 230 Clanricarde, Earl of see Burke, Richard, Earl of Clanricarde Clare, Sister Magdalen 170 – 1 Clarendon, Lady see Hyde, Frances (neé Aylesbury), Countess of Clarendon Clayton, Anne 215 Clayton, Richard 215 Clifford, George, Earl of Cumberland 1, 67 Clifford, Lady Anne, 1 – 2, 60, 63, 67, 230 Clifford, Margaret, Countess of Cumberland 1 – 2, Clotworthy, Margaret (neé Jones) 174 Coatalen, Guillaume 228 Cockson, Laurence 68 Coke, Sir Edward 191

Index  251 College of Physicians 102, 106, 109n48 commonplace books 85 composition of letters 2 – 4, 9 – 10, 24 – 5, 36 – 51, 58 – 61 see also authorship of letters Compton, Thomas 65 condolence letters 67 Connolly, Ruth 97 conversational analysis 155 – 6 Conway, Sir Edward 128 Cooke, Katherine 82, 89 Cooke, Margaret 82 Cooke, Sir Anthony 82 Coolahan, Marie-Louise 8, 13 copying practices and letters 2, 11, 24, 31, 40, 42, 59, 60, 97, 108n10, 176 – 7, 190, 199, 208, 214, 215 Cornwallis, Elizabeth 56 – 8 Cornwallis, Sir Thomas 56, 68 Cotton Manuscripts, the 23 Couchman, Jane 7, 97 counsel 2 – 4, 6, 12; letters of 10 – 11, 81 – 91, counterfeit correspondence, see forgery and forged letters court records 32 – 3 Courtenay, Gertrude (née Blount), Marchioness of Exeter 25, 26, 32, 71 Courtenay, Henry, Marquess of Exeter 28 courtship letters 29 – 30, 37 Cowper, Lady Sarah 60 Coxe, Dr Daniel 96, 100, 106 Crabb, Ann 7, 97 Cressy, David 74n9, 212 – 3, 214, 216 Cromwell, Oliver 119, 173 – 4, 208; Irish campaign 167, 173 – 4 see also Irish Confederate wars Cromwell, Thomas 23 – 9, 71 Cruijff, Hendrik Johannes, 168, 174 cryptography 59, 83 – 4, 172, 173, 216 – 7 Cuffe, Henry 191 Culpeper, Sir Cheney 99 Cultures of Knowledge, Oxford 226, 230 Cumberland, earl and countess of, see Clifford. D’Orleans, Francoise, Princess of Condé 70 Daniel, Samuel 2 Daniell, Devereux 194 Daniell, Jane (née Jehenne de la/van der Kethulle) (“Jane Rihova”) 6, 14, 183, 187, 192 – 201; A True Delcaration

of the Misfortunes of Jane Danyell 196 – 201, 205n75 Daniell, John, of Deresbury 183, 187 – 8, 190, 191, 192 – 201 Danvers, Sir Henry 189 Darcy, Thomas Lord, 31 Darnell, Susannah 65 dating of letters 40, 63, 67, 131, 212, 225 Davis, Tom 61 Day, Angel, The English Secretary 52n9, 66, 157 Day, William 84 Daybell, James 7, 8, 10, 11, 15, 24, 29, 37, 38, 39, 69, 81, 96, 170, 231 delivery of letters 66, 83, 161, 172, 189 – 90, 191, 201, 208, 212, 214, 217 Demetrius of Phalerum 87, 94n49 Demosthenes 161–2 Denny, Sir Anthony 31 Dering, Edward 89, 90 Derrida, Jacques 225 destruction of letters, see burning letters Devereux, Frances, Countess of Essex, (neé Walsingham) 14, 59, 183 – 201 Devereux, Lettice (neé Knollys), Countess of Essex, Countess of Leicester 65, 184, 186 Devereux, Robert, second Earl of Essex 2 – 4, 59, 62, 65, 82, 86, 88 – 9, 90, 91, 183 – 92, 194, 195, 201; Essex’s Apology 60 diaries 12, 99, 111, 115, 117, 119, 120, 121, 122, 124 dictation of letters 9, 24, 25, 37, 38, 44, 46, 51, 59 Digby, Anne (neé Russell), Countess of Bristol 106 Digby, George, Earl of Bristol 106 Digby, Henry 30 Digby, Lettice (née Fitzgerald), Baroness Offaly 13, 167, 169 – 70, 177 Digby, Sir Robert 169 digital humanities 8, 9, 15, 223 – 4, 227 digital technology 6, 9, 15, 62, 223 – 36 DiMeo, Michelle 11, 14, 234 – 5 Donne, John 7 Dorset, earl of see Sackville draft letters 1, 2 – 4, 9 – 10, 24 – 5, 37, 52n11, 59, 60, 62, 63, 231 Dublin 170, 172, 174 Dudley, Anne (née Russell), Countess of Warwick 1, 84 – 5 Dudley, Robert, Earl of Leicester 43 – 5, 49 – 51, 62, 163, 183 Duncannon 168 – 9 Dunmore Castle 174

252 Index Dury, John 174, 175 Dyer, Sir Edward 194 Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO) 229 – 34 Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) 229 Education 30, 33n21, 58, 82, 93n23, 157, 159 – 60, 172 Edward VI 26, 70 Elizabeth I 7, 8, 9 – 10, 13, 36 – 54, 62, 69, 70, 71, 72, 84, 151 – 3, 157 – 61, 162 – 4, 174, 183, 195 – 6, 228 Elizabeth, Princess [Elizabeth Stuart], queen of Bohemia and electress of palatine, consort of Fredrick V 7, 59, 112, 119, 174, 228, 231 Elyot, Sir Thomas, Boke Named The Governour 81, 82 endorsements 40, 44, 59 Enfield 30 Englefield, Lady Elizabeth 26 epistolographies see letter writing manuals Erasmus, Desiderius 82, 93n23, 132; Adagia 132 – 3; De conscribendis epistolis 84, 85; Enchiridion 131 Erskine, Sir Thomas 2 Essex House 85, 186 Essex, Dorothy 65 Essex, earl and countess of see Devereux, Frances (née Walsingham), Countess of Essex; Devereux, Robert, second Earl of Essex Evans, Melanie 6, 8, 9 – 10 Evelings, Captain 168 – 9 Evelyn, John 12, 110 – 25; Life of Mrs Godolphin 110, 111, 114, 123 Evelyn, Mary (neé Browne) 8, 110, 111, 112, 114, 115, 117, 120, 123 Evelyn, Mary 124 Exeter, Marquess and Marchioness of see Courtenay exile and letters 12, 14, 32, 84, 110, 112, 118, 119, 167, 171 – 3, 174, 178, 192, 195 – 6, 198 Falkland, Viscountess of, see Cary, Elizabeth Family 1 – 2, 3, 7, 30, 59, 60, 67 – 8, 82, 99, 102, 111, 120, 121, 131, 140, 143, 151, 163 172, 174, 183, 184, 187 – 8, 189, 192, 198, 213, 214 see also kin and kinship Fell, Henry 212, 215, 216 Fell, Margaret 6, 12, 14 – 15, 207 – 18

Fermour, Richard 27 Ferrers, Lady Anne 228 Fitzalan, Catherine 24 Fitzalan, Lady Mary 85 Fitzalan, William, Earl of Arundel 24, 85 Fitzgerald, Gerald, Lord Offaly 169 Fitzmaurice, Susan 155 Fitzroy Mary (née Howard) Duchess of Richmond and Somerset 23, 25, 33n23 Fitzsimon, Betsey Taylor 97 Fleming, Abraham, Panoplie of Epistles 153, 154 – 5 Flug, Bishop Julius 161 folding of letters 10, 59, 62, 65, 66, forensic linguistics 38 – 9 forgery and forged letters 191 Foucault, Michel 225 Fox, George 209, 212, 218 France, 110, 119, 172 friendship in letters 12, 13, 26, 62, 71, 99, 110 – 25, 151 – 64 see also amicitia Fulham 120 Fulwood, William 66 Galenic medicine 98, 101, 102 Gamage, Dorothy 62 – 3, 65 Gamage, John 62 – 3, 65 Gates, Sir Geoffrey 31 Gates, Sir John 24, 31 – 2 Geashill 169 – 70 gender and letter writing, 2 – 4, 6, 10, 25, 26, 58, 60, 62, 67, 69, 71, 72, 81, 96 – 101, 144, 152 – 3, 159 – 61, 167, 174 – 7, 195, 225, 227, 228, 229, 231, 233; see also women’s letters Gessner, Conrad 225; Bibliotheca Universalis 226 Ghent 192, 195 – 6, 198, 204n51 Gibson, Jonathan 66, 228 gift-giving and gift-exchange 12, 32, 56 – 8, 67, 110, 116, 117, 130, 145n14, 153 – 4, 157 – 9, 187, 193 Gilliland, Anne 224 Godolphin, Margaret (neé Blagge) 110, 111, 112, 114, 120, 123 – 4 Godsalve, Barbara 70 Gordon, Andrew 8, 14, 59 – 60, 202n6 Gower, Stanley 128, 129 Grant, Edward 153, 154 Greek 11, 83, 157, 159 – 60, 161 Grey, Lady Jane 13, 157, 161, 162 Grey, Lady Mary 71 – 2 Grindal, William 163

Index  253 Hackney 192, 194, 196 Hague, The 112 Hales, Sir Edward 114 Halhead, Miles 218 Halliwell 30 Hammer, Paul 183 handwriting 10, 25 – 6, 39, 54n56, 56 – 8, 61 – 2, 184 Hardwick, Bess of, see Talbot, Elizabeth (neé Hardwick), Countess of Shrewsbury (“Bess of Hardwick”) Harley, Edward 128 – 44 Harley, Lady Brilliana 6, 12, 13, 128 – 44, 170 Harley, Sir Robert 128, Harris, Johanna 12, 13 Harris, Barbara J. 8 – 9, 182, 235 Harris, Frances 8, 110, Harrison, G. B. 36 Hartlib circle 96, 99, 101, 102, 174 – 5, 177 Hartlib, Samuel 99, 102, 175, 176 177 Hatfield 31 Hatton, Lady Elizabeth 226 Hawkins, Margaret, Lady 69 Hawkins, Sir John 69 Head, Randolph 225 Hebrew letters 174 Hengrave Hall Papers 23 Henry VIII 23, 25, 26, 29, 37 Henslowe, Philip, 1 Herbert, Henry, Earl of Pembroke 187 Herbert, Mary (née Sidney), Countess of Pembroke 62, 65, 68, 70 – 1 Herbert, William, Lord 71 Herle, William 229 Historical Manuscripts Commission 227 Hobart, Ann 67 Hobart, Sir John 67, 226 Hoby, Lady Margaret 230 Hoby, Thomas 82 Holme, Thomas 209 Homer 160 Hoover, D. 38 Horace Epistles 86 Horsman, Margery 23 household accounts 32, 33, 63, 235 Howard, Aletheia (neé Talbot), Countess of Arundel 63, 102 Howard, Elizabeth (née Stafford), Duchess of Norfolk 23 Howard, Henry, Earl of Northampton 2, 83 Howard, Henry, Earl of Surrey 33n23 Howard, Thomas, third Duke of Norfolk 25, 28,

Howgill, Francis 214 Howgill, Thomas 207 Hubberthorne, Richard 210, 215 Huggard, Bridget 31 Humanism, 6, 7, 10 – 11, 13, 82 – 91, 129, 131 – 3, 151 – 64, 196, 200 Hungerford, Anne 65 Hunter, David 63 Hunter, Lynette 176, 228 Hunter, Michael 101, Hutson. Lorna 151, 157 Hutton, Dorothy 89 Huygens, Constantijn 231 Hyde, Edward, Earl of Clarendon 102, 111, 119, 121; History of the Rebellion 118, 119 Hyde, Frances (neé Aylesbury), Countess of Clarendon 102 – 3, 104 idiolects, 38 ink 10, 130 intelligence 70, 110, 119, 171, 173, 183, 189 – 90, 191 interception of letters 83, 214 – 6, 217 Ireland 8, 13 – 14, 100, 128, 129, 167 – 78, 189 – 91, 194 Irish Confederate wars, 167 – 78 Irish Gaelic letters 14, 171 – 2 italic script 39, 56, 61, 62, 130 Italy 115 James VI & I 2, 36, 37, 41, 45, 46, 49, 50, 69, 70, 138, 157 James VII & II 104 Jardine, Lisa 228 Jocelin, Elizabeth 138 Jones, Frances 104 Jones, Katherine (née Boyle) Viscountess Ranelagh 11, 14, 96 – 107, 174, 175, 176, 177 – 8, 234 – 5 Jones, Roger, Viscount Ranelagh 174 Josselin, Dorothy (née Gates) 24, 31 – 2 Josselin, Sir Thomas 31 – 2 Kadushin, Charles 235 Kendal, 217 Kendal, Duke of 104 Kethulle, Francois de la (van der), Sieur de Ryhove 192, 195 – 6, 198 204n51; Apologie 198, 206n82 Keys, Thomas 72 Killigrew, Henry 82 kin and kinship [networks] 9, 11, 12, 23, 24, 26, 29 – 33, 82, 99, 102, 184, 186 – 7, 189, 193 – 4 see also family

254 Index King, Edmund 174 King, Sir Edmund 96, 104 – 5 Knole House 1 Knyvett, Elizabeth 67 Knyvett, Lady Muriel 65 Krajewski, Markus 225, 226 Lamb, Mary Ellen 86 Lambeth Palace Library, 23 Latin letters 11, 85 – 8 97, 100, 151, 153, 157 Laudianism 129 Lawson, Elizabeth 23 Lawson, Sir George 23 layout of letters, 3 – 4, 10, 44, 58, 62, 66 – 72, 129, 130 Leicester, Earl and Countess of, see Devereux, Lettice (née Knollys), Countess of Essex, Countess of Leicester; Dudley, Robert, Earl of Leicester Leiden 192 Leiden, University of 175 Leigh, Dorothy 138 Leith Hill 115 Lenthall, William 226 Leonard, Alexander 168 Leonard, John 168 letter delivery, see delivery of letters letter networks 6, 12, 14 – 15, 96, 110, 119, 130, 172 – 3, 174, 183, 189 – 90, 201, 207 – 18 letter writing manuals 37, 66, 70, 72, 84, 96, 153 letter-books 2, 8, 60, 111, 184 Levinson, Stephen 155 Leyfield, Dr, 2 libels 83, 86 linguistic approaches to letters 6, 8, 9 – 10, 36 – 51, 155 – 6 linguistic evidence, 38 – 9, 41, Liskeard, 50 Lisle, George, 186, 187, 188 Lisle, Lady see Plantagenet, Honor (née Grenville), Viscountess Lisle Lister, Douglas 216 Literacy 9, 59, 62, 74n9 Littleton, Meryell 65 Livy (Titus Livius Patavinus) 159 London 63, 85, 99, 114, 170, 174, 186, 188, 212 Longleat House 23, 225 Loughton Manor 69 Louis XII 24

Louise Hollandia of the Palatinate, 112, 117 Louvain 171 Lovell, Sir Thomas 30 Low Countries 43 – 4, 45, 49, 50, 91, 115, 116, 171, 174 – 5, 187, 192, 195 – 6, 198 Lucy, Elizabeth, Lady 26 – 7, 33 Lucy, Radegund 27 Lucy, Sir Thomas 26 – 7 Lynch, Tom 224, 230 Lyndall, Richard 68 Magnusson, Lynne 6, 11, 69, 81, 155 Maid of Kent, the 25, 26, 30, 71 Manners, Eleanor (née Paston), Countess of Rutland 29 – 31, 32, 33 Manners, Richard 30 Manners, Thomas, Earl of Rutland 30 – 1, 32 manuals, see letter-writing manuals manuscript miscellanies 60 Mapping the Republic of Letters (MRoL) 230 margins of letters 3 – 4, 63, 65, 130, 143 marital letters, 2 – 4, 9, 26 – 7, 29, 59, 62 – 3, 65, 68, 184 – 6, 190, 191 – 2, 198 – 200 marriage arrangements 24, 27, 30, 35n54, 82, 111, 115 – 17, 173, 183, 192, 204n54, Mary I 32, 70 Mary, Queen of Scots 40, 70, 225 Masham, Esther 60 materiality of letters 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 – 13, 55 – 73, 129 – 30, 142, 143, 231 – 2 Maule, Margaret (neé Hamilton), Countess of Panmure 104 – 5 May, Steven W. 40, 45 Maynard, Henry 182 McAreavey, Naomi 8, 168 McGregor, Rachel 13 McLean-Fiander, Kim 8, 15 medical recipes 11, 96, 98, 99, 102 medicine and medical practice 11 – 12, 31, 96 – 107, 109n48, 174, 234 – 5, Menander 131 Merrick, Sir Gelly 194 Milton Lycidas 174 model letters 59, 61, 153 see also letter-writing manuals Mont, Christopher 161, 162 Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley 7 Moore, Alice 170, 174 Moore, Arthur 174

Index  255 Moore, Charles, Viscount of Drogheda 170, 171 Moore, Dorothy (neé King) 13, 14, 167, 174 – 8, 228 Moore, Garret, Viscount of Drogheda 174 Mordaunt, Elizabeth (née Carey) 6, 12, 110 – 25 Mordaunt, Elizabeth (neé Howard), Countess of Peterborough 117, 118, 119, 120 Mordaunt, Henry, Earl of Peterborough 120, 121 Mordaunt, John 115 – 22 More, Sir Thomas 131 Moryson, Dorothy 60 Mynshall 192 National Archives, The, Kew 23, 227 National Register of Archives (NRA) 227 Nayler, James 216, 218 news and newsletters 15, 30, 67, 116, 168, 172, 209 – 10, 211, 215, 216, 217 Ní Dhochartaigh, Róis see O’Dogherty, Rosa Nicholas, Sir Edward 172 Norbrook, David 176 Norfolk, Duke of, see Howard. Norris, Lady 60 Northampton, Earl of, see Howard, Henry, Earl of Northampton Northumberland, Countess of, see Percy, Dorothy (née Devereux), Countess of Northumberland Northumberland, Earl of, see Percy, Henry, ninth Earl of Northumberland Nun of Kent, the see Maid of Kent, the O’Dogherty, Rosa (Róis Ní Dhochartaigh) 14, 167, 171 – 2, 177, 178 O’Dogherty, Sir Cahir 171 O’Donnell, Cathbar 171 O’Donnell, Hugh, Earl of Tyrconnell 171 – 2 O’Neill, Owen Roe 171 Orange, William of 231 Osbourne, Dorothy 7, 66 Oxford, University of 12, 128, 129, 140; Magdalen Hall 128, 129; Oriel College 129 Paget, Sir William, later Lord Paget 23 Pal, Carol 97 paper 3, 10, 13, 62 – 6, 76n34, 142 Paracelsus 98

Paris 112, 113 Parker, Alexander 212 Parker, Thomas 188 Parr, Katherine, 25, 70 Parsons, Fenton 101 Paston, Elizabeth 30 Paston, John 30 Paston, John, III 29 Paston, Lady Katherine (nee Kynvett) 61, 89 Paston, Margaret 30 Paston, Sir William 29 – 31 Paston, William 61, 89 patronage, 1, 14, 24, 32, 68, 96, 111, 152, 154, 157, 163, 182, 186 – 8, 189, 193 – 4, 201 Paulet, Sir Amias 70 Paulett, George 30 Peacham. Henry, Compleat Gentleman 131, 139 Pelling, Margaret 102 Pembroke, Mary, Countess of, see Herbert, Mary (née Sidney), Countess of Pembroke Percy, Algernon, Earl of Northumberland 184 Percy, Dorothy (née Devereux), Countess of Northumberland 2 – 4, 65, 184 Percy, Henry, ninth Earl of Northumberland 2 – 4 perfumed letters 13, 142, 147n44 Perkins, William 141 Perkins. Edward 129 Peters, Kate 208 petitionary letters 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 – 14, 23, 24 – 6, 27 – 9, 59, 67, 69, 70, 81, 170 – 1, 178, 195 – 6, 226 Petrarch, Francesco 154 Phelippes, Thomas 59 – 60, 190 Philip II, King of Spain 70 Pierrepoint, Frances (nee Cavendish) 67 Plantagenet, Honor (née Grenville), Viscountess Lisle 23, 24, 29, 38 Plato Phaedo 161 Pliny, The Elder 131 Pollock, Linda 194 Pope, Mr 101 Porter, Bridget 226 Portlester 170 portraits 111, 112, 117, 193 postscripts 3 – 4, 30, 59, 61, 65, 120 Powell, Lady Mary 65 pregnancy and childbirth 32, 35n76, 110, 111, 118, 119, 120, 123, 127n69, 140,

256 Index 183, 184 – 6, 189, 191, 192 – 4, 199, 202n17, 203n22, 204n34, 205n59 Preston, Thomas 170 – 1 Prince Rupert 172 printed letters 153, 154, 168, 169, 170, 177 prison letters 209, 210, 212, 214, 216 Puckering, Sir John 1, 187 – 8, 189 puritans and puritanism 12, 128 – 9, 130, 137 – 8, 139 quakers and quakerism 14 – 15, 207 – 18 Quartermain, Dr William 96, 100 quill pens 6 Ralegh, Sir Walter 87 Rand, William 102 Ranelagh, Lady see Jones, Katherine (née Boyle) Viscountess Ranelagh Rankin, Alisha 96, 98 reception of letters 11, 90 – 1, 191, 209 republic of letters 13, 14, 97, 174 – 8 Reynolds, Edward 2 – 4 rhetorical strategies and letters 6, 7, 8, 13, 56 – 8, 67 – 9, 71 – 2, 81 – 91, 96 – 107, 129, 132 – 44, 151 – 64, 168 – 78, 182 – 3, 184, 186 – 201 and passim Rich, Charles, Earl of Warwick 100 Rich, Lady Penelope (née Devereux) 3 – 4, 65, 72 – 3, 184, 186, 190, 203n22; Lady Rich’s Letter to Elizabeth 8, 60 – 1 Rich, Mary (née Boyle), Countess of Warwick 99, 100 Rich, Robert, Lord 3 – 4 Rivet, André 14, 175 – 7 Roberts, Margaret 63 Rochford, Viscount 28 Rowlett, Sir Ralph 82 royal post 66 Royal Society 8, 98, 99 Russell, Anne, Lady Herbert 2 Russell, Francis, Lord, 2, 85 Russell, John, Lord 82 Russell, Lady Elizabeth (née Cooke) 11, 68, 81 – 91 Russell, Lucy, (née Harington), Countess of Bedford 193 Rutland, earl and countess of, see Manners Sackville, Richard, Lord Buckhurst, third Earl of Dorset 2 Sackville, Thomas, Lord Buckhurst 189, 194, 195 Sadler, Bess 225

Salisbury, Earl of, see Cecil, Robert, Earl of Salisbury Salthouse, Thomas 218 Savage, Elizabeth (nee Darcy), Countess Rivers 67, 68 Savage, Lady Elizabeth 67 Sayes Court 115, 116, 117, 120, 122; gardens at 117 Schneider, Gary 6, 158, 169 Schurman, Anna Maria van 174, 176 Scotland 8 scribal circulation of letters 8, 60 – 1, 131, 167 – 8, 170, 175, 208 scribal letters 1, 9 – 10, 24, 36 – 54, 58 – 60, 62, 69 scriveners 58, 59 seals and sealing of letters 10, 56, 59 secretaries and amanuenses, 2, 3 – 4, 36, 52n9, 58 – 9, 62, 69, 120, 151, 182, 186, 188, 194 Seneca 91 sententiae in letters 85 – 8, 132 Seymour, Thomas 162 Shakespeare, William 6, 37, 38; Hamlet 132 Shannon, Laurie 151 Shirley, Sir Anthony 2 Shrewsbury Manuscripts 23 Shrewsbury, earls and countesses of, see Talbot. Sidney, Barbara (nee Gamage) 62, 189, 193 Sidney, Bridget 193 Sidney, Elizabeth 183, 193 – 4, 202n8 Sidney, Harry 187 Sidney, Sir Philip 7, 183, 190 Sidney, Sir Robert 187, 189 Sidney, Sir William 26 signatures 10, 25, 26, 31, 36, 37, 40, 56, 58, 59, 65, 66 – 72, 77n82, 130, 216 Society for Chemical Practitioners 102 Somerset, Duchess of see Fitzroy, Mary (née Howard) Duchess of Richmond and Somerset Southampton, earl of see Wriothesley, Henry, Earl of Southampton space, and significance in layout of letters 3 – 4, 10, 65, 66 – 72, 77n76, Spain 171 spelling and orthography in letters 25, 38, 39, 42 – 3, 48, 51, 54n36, 61, 115, 184 Spencer, Margaret 63 Spenser, Edmund 7

Index  257 St Barbe, Ursula, see Walsingham, Lady Ursula St Clair Byrne, Muriel 29, 38, Stafford, Edward, third Earl of Buckingham 25 Stafford, Sir Edward 194 Stafford, Sir William 26 Stanley, Elizabeth, Countess of Derby 88 Stansted Park 31 – 2 Star Chamber 27, 32, 191 – 2, 199, 201 state papers 9, 23-, 111, 229 State Papers Online 9, 229, 231 Steen, Sarah Jane 7, 66 Stewart, Alan 6, 151, 154, 162, 228 Stuart, Lady Arbella 7, 62, 70 Sturm, Johann 152, 156 – 64; De periodis unus libellus 160 Suffolk, Duchess of see Brandon Surrey 114, 117 survival of letters 60, 61, 63, 65 – 6, 82, 110, 153, 171, 177, 184, 224 Sutton, Sir Thomas 1, Swarthmoor Hall 207, 208, 214 Sydenham, Dr Thomas 96 Sylvius, Ann (neé Howard), Lady 110, 124 Symonds, Edward 68 Syon 32 Syrus, Publilius 86 Talbot, Aletheia see Howard, Aletheia (neé Talbot), Countess of Arundel Talbot, earls of Shrewsbury, papers of 1 Talbot, Elizabeth (neé Hardwick), Countess of Shrewsbury (“Bess of Hardwick”) 1, 7, 8, 62, 63, 67, 69, 229, 231 Talbot, George, sixth Earl of Shrewsbury (d.1590) 62 Tayler, George 210, 217 Taylor, Jeremy 111 Temple, William 66 Thorne, Alison 11 Thynne family papers 7, 8, 23 Thynne, Joan 39, 47, 184 Thynne, John 62, 65, 68 Tower of London 119 Townshend, Anne 67 Townshend, Lady Mary 68 Townshend, Sir Roger 67, 70 Trans-Atlantic letters 212 – 6 Travers, Walter 129 Trew, Margaret 65 Trill, Suzanne 8 Trinity College, Dublin 128, 129

Tudor, Mary, Queen of France 24, 25 tutors 2, 13, 26, 120, 122, 129, 151, 153, 159, 163 Tyrconnell, Earl of see O’Donnell, Hugh, Earl of Tyrconnell Tyrrell, Robert 28 Ulster 167, 171 Ussher, James, Archbishop of Armagh 128 Van Helmont, Jan Baptist 98, 104 Vere, Anne de, Countess of Oxford 24, 27 – 9, 32 – 3 Vere, Sir John 27 Verney, Sir Richard 27 verse letters 132 – 43 Virgil, Aeneid 86 – 7 Vives, Juan Luis 70, 77n76, 81 Voogd, Jacob 131, 132 Walker, Sue 66 Wall, Alison 7 Walsingham House 183, 186, 189, 192, 193, 199, 203n22 Walsingham, Frances, see Devereux, Frances, Countess of Essex Walsingham, Lady Ursula (née St Barbe) 182, 183, 203n22 Walsingham, Sir Francis 40 – 2, 44, 48, 50, 91, 182, 183, 189, 192, Wanstead 186 Warwick, Countess of see Dudley, Anne (née Russell); Rich, Mary (née Boyle) Waterford 167 – 9, 170 watermarks 62, 63 Wetherton, Elizabeth 63 Whitgift, John, Archbishop of Canterbury 83 – 4, 138 Whyte, Rowland 186, 187, 189, 193, 194 Widdrington, Frances 89 widowhood and widows’ letters 26, 59, 82, 85, 169, 170, 182, 183, 195, 196 Wiggins, Alison 8, 229 Wilkinson, John 129 Williams, Graham 8, 38 – 9, 47 Willian, Thomas 214, 216 Willis, Dr Thomas 96 Willoughby, Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk see Brandon, Katherine Willoughby, Lord, see Bertie, Peregrine, Lord Willoughby de Eresby

258 Index wills 9, 26, 30 – 1, 32, 124, 223 Windsor 67, 120 Wingfield, Dorothy 23 Wingfield, Mary, Lady 60 Wingfield, Sir Anthony 26 Wiseman, Sir John 31 Wiseman, Susan 196 Wither, Marie 60 Wolsey, Thomas 24, 27, 28, 29 Women’s Early Modern Letters Online (WEMLO) 8, 15, 33, 223 – 36

women’s letters 3, 7 – 8, 32, 55, 58 – 60, 72 – 3, 81, 96, 97, 167, 171, 182 – 3, 224, 225, 228, 233 – 4 and passim Woudhuysen, Henry 36 Wriothesley, Henry, Earl of Southampton 65, 189 Wroth, Lady Mary 69 Wroth, Sir Robert 69 Wroth, Sir Thomas 137 York House 189