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Thomas Alured 'Letter to the Marquess of Buckingham (June 1620)'

British Library, Additional MS 11049, ff. 25r-28v


To the Lord Marquesse of Buckingham./

Though to aduise maye seeme presumptuous, yet what is well intended I am more then confident, will not be either offensive to your Lo[rdshi]pp or pr[e]iudiciall to mee, The rather since what is now offered is not for your good only, but for the general also, The honour wherof as in some sorte, yow maye appropriate, so yow cannot but participate, and Com[m]unicate in the benefite

Left margin: Ma. 22.2 &c The parable in the Gospell, tels of a great kinge that married his sonne and badd manie thervnto, yea upon the excusall of some & refusall of other all of what soeuer Condic[i]on aswell out of the highwaies as the high places were called & invited, As euery trew cristian hath an interst in [th]e marriage of that kinges sonne of Heaven, so euery good subiect hath an interest (aswell as anie great subiect) in the marriage & welfare of the kinges sonne here on earth: Which occasions so manie and mee the meanest of so manie, to wish that it may bring w[i]th it glorie to him on high, good will and peace to them on earth w[hi]ch is much doubted cannot be from Spaine Since the motioning of that match makes a generall feare that it can neither be safe for the Kinges p[er]son nor for this Church and com[m]on welth

Because that therby ther maie be an Inlett to [th]e Romish locustes who lyke a canker worme may in an instant smite our gourd vnder whose shadow wee sitt safe: And then what maie wee feare, but the heate of p[er]secution & disolation to beat vpon the head of Left margin: Ionah.3Ionah the best affected of Gods people? Wee cannot but faint and w[i]th Ionah wish to die rather then to see and indure that day For what will they not attempt against our goodlie Cedar tree, that the vine which ther left hand shall plante maye grow vpp & theie be sheltred vnder her branches. But heerin it is hoped God will enable the state sooner to make prevenc[i]on of ther mischiefe then triall of ther affecc[i]ons; For as noe p[er]son hath wounded them more deepe, so ther is noe p[er]son they hate more deadly And if they murthered the two last Henryes of France because theie suspected them to favour the p[ro]testants, how doe they burne in malice against him that hath professed him selfe so; and blazed them to his glorie & ther shame

And it is vnsafe for men and vnpleasinge to God to relye vpon them. Henry of Burbon kinge of Navarre father to Henry the 4th drawne by an imaginarie Crowne of Sardinia, & the p[ro]uincs of the Spaniard, lest the protestants both in profession & p[er]son and became a p[er]secutor of those whose protector he was. But whiles he cast his helpes in Spaine, Spaine deceiued him of his Crowne, and God in Iustice (who neuer leaves anie who leveth him not firste) gaue him over to a violent death. For a bullett tooke him w[i]th in his owne trenches besieginge the poore protestan{ts} in Roane,


Henrye[th]e 4th his sonne, what battailes did he fight? what danger did he scape even to admiration, whiles he was at defiance w[i]th the pope and Spaniard? But when in a politique and worldlie respect, he tasted the same sower grapes, w[hi]ch sett his Fathers teeth on edge, firste a young Iesuite strake him in the mouth & then a popish Ravilliack stabd him in the harte, Wheras Queene Elizabeth (the hapiest instrument of Gods glorie of her sex since the moste blessed virgin not w[i]thstanding the few Frends she had abroad & division both abroad & at home, when she came to the Crowne being alone woma[n] yet she refused the kinge of Spaine being her fyrst and earn{e}ste sutor by the Earle of Teru his Ambassador, And notw[i]thstanding the thundering of the Popes Bull & Spanish Cannons, openlie, and the workeing of the pistoles privatelie, theie were neuer able to touch so much as the lapp of her Coate, or to deminish one haire (much lesse the Crowne) of her head, And his Ma[jes]tie that now is, continewing constant in the same Religion she p[ro]fessed, continueth noe lesse miraculouslye in Gods protecion, then she Left margin: Dennmarke.did, And though ther were but one protestant Kinge in Christtendome then besides himselfe, chose rather to match ther, then w[i]th all the welth of Spaine, or anie other Popeish prince.

Left margin: Bas: Doron pag: 78.79What therfore his Ma[jes]tie hath geven by precept to the Prince in his booke & by presedent in his owne p[er]son, will vndoubtedly be excepted & all good mens hope will be p[er]formed For the Prince procla[m]mes the kinge his Father by wonderfull likenesse & resemblance of the Kinge him self, so it is hoped, he will neuer appeere vnlike him in his other vertues & particullarly in [th]e choise of his second self Which so neerly concernes him, & y[ou]r Lo[rdshi]pp also in your owne p[ar]ticuler that none can be too circumspect Especiallie since not a Som[er]sett a Suffolke, or a Secretarie onlie, but the first man, [th]e strongest man and the wisest man that euer was though they were all good men and types of Christ yet theie were heerby tempted and seduced

To addresse this poore discourse more p[ar]ticularly to yo[ou]>r Lo[rdshi]pp kinges haue (almost euer) vsed to haue ther favorits. Allexander (longe since had his EphestionHenrye the 3. of France (of late) his Espernon; & Philipp of Spaine had since his Lerma, yea the best Princes haue not wanted them: For after the reckoninge of Dauids Left margin: {2 S}am: 15 37 {.}20 26great officers Hushai[th]e Archite is called the kinges Frend & Ira [th]e Iurite is sett downe to haue beene chiefe about Dauid, which stands by reason and agrees w[i]th nature, for euery private man is lefte to affecte as he likes, Neither can affection be forced, Now to disallow or confine that in a Kinge w[hi]ch is lefte at lybertie in the meanest subiect, were preposturous & iniurious: For theie com[m]and Nations as they are kinges, yet are theie subiect to these passions as theie are men: And if I may alleadge yt w[i]thout misinterpretac[i]on of others (as I am free from ill meaninge/ who knowes but Christ the rather to shew himself an naturall 26r man, expressed so much the more his passion in his often weepinge Left margin: Ioh. 22.20.21& his affection to divers p[ar]ticulers, but espetiallie to S[ain]te Iohn (if I may not saie his favourite) certeinly the desciple whom Iesus loved more then anie of the rest. It is Gods blessing & yo[u]r happiness (if yow accounte Left margin: & 23.23.24it so) to be the Kings favourite. As Peter therfore not presuminge to aske Christ who it was he spake of beckened to the desciple whom Iesus loved on whose breast he leaned, to aske for him: So, since moste men neither maie nor ought to be so bould, as to aske or advise the kinge in this busines so much spoken of, yet theie pointe at yow, who the higher yow are in the kinges favour, the more yow are in the peoples eie & observation, And they expect yow will not bee wanting in the dutye of a subiect counsailer & a favourite: But as yo[u]r reasons & p[er]swations are knowne to haue the better opportunytie to be delivered & the more creditt to be beleeved: so Left margin: Exod. 33.11in this case to be w[i]th the Kinge, as Moses one of Gods greatest favourits Left margin: Num.14.12.13and familiar servants) to stand in the gappe to diverte this plague, for so in most mens iudgments, & the voice of Gods people it is held how glorious & necessarie soeuer it seeme outwardlie. I am confident yow thinke [th]e kinges favours & yo[u]r fortunes are not for your owne endes alone or for any ill end at all: Wee haue lately seene the end of those who haye purposed such endes. For promotion comes Left margin: Psal. 175.6neither from the East, nor from the west, as a casuall thinge, but as God prouidence extends to [th]e fall of a sparrow so much more to [th]e rise of a serLeft margin: {..}t.10.29vant, And who knows but ye same hand which raysed Ioseph in Egipt hath aduaunced yow in England for [th]e like end.

To parollell yow is noe disparagment yow are a younger brother by a second marriage as Ioseph was a faire person and well fauored as he Left margin: Gen. 29.25was; The kinge hath for yo[u]r honor altered your name Left margin: 32.& 30.22.24:as Iosephs was; yow haue honoured & enriched yo[u]r parent bretheren and Left margin: & 39.6. & 41.45kindred, as Ioseph did; for he gaue them the land of Goshen for ther Left margin: & & ther greater honor; Iosephs kindred was made knowne to Pharo, as yours to our Cæsar, Now (my Lord) since yow follow Ioseph Left margin: Gen. 45.5so neare, & so farre, leaue him not to the end, Ioseph was sent for to provide bread for Gods people to prevent a famine. And since yow are sett vpp (for whie maie not wee thinke of yow, as Mordecay said Left margin: Hesterof Hester, who knows wether yow be come to the kingdome for such a time endeavor both to prevent and p[ro]uide, that ther ensue not anie famine or dearth of spirituall bread in this land neither [tha]t this wee haue be mingled or made vnsavorie w[i]th the Romish leaven Wee doe not read of anie servant almost better respected of his Lord Left margin: Gen. 15.2.3and master then Eliezor of Damascus, whome Abraham meant had he died Childlesse to haue made his heire, And wee read not Left margin: & 24:2. &cof anie service he did Abraham more, at least greater then the choise of a wife for his sonne IssakIsaac, Amongst the servants of our Patriarch, the defender of our faith, wee observe none better respected then your selfe. For the kinge hath manifested his loves Left margin: Medita: on [th]e Lords Prayernot to yo[u]r p[er]son only but takes care for your soule, and labours to make yow as good as great, and as happie in an other world as high in this world 26v yet wee knowe not wherin yow can doe him better service, then w[i]th Eliezer to help to choose a Rebecca for o[u]r princlie Isaac. Abrahams iniunction is (a good direction) Not to take her amongst the Left margin: Gen. 24.3.4 idolatrous Cananites

Princes in respect of ther happines and other mens miseries, seeme placed in an earthlie paradise, haveing power to tast of euery tree in the garden; wher haveing also so many royall branches, and princlie stockes to grafte on: if theie shall onely meddle w[i]th the forbidden fruite, how dangerous and woefull is ther condic[i]on: Left margin: Gen. 3.1.&c. For the serpent will not onlie beguile the woman, but the Left margin: Iudg.16.4&c Philistins will intreat Dalilah, & she will betraie Samson. So whilest he plowe w[i]th our heifer, theie will vnfould all our Riddle and vndoe our State. Besides, whatsoeuer language [th]e father speakes, [th]e birth doth euer follow the belly & Children com[m]only speak the mother tongue. And wher soeuer ther is this Babell, ther is confusion not of tongues onlie; but of States. Wheras Christes Church is like his coate, closelie woven & at vnity w[i]thin it selfe Though some ignorant itching separalists seeke to find, or rather labour to make a hole in our Coate & Church; Which the Papists lie in wayt to make the rent worse, & the desperate Iesuite (if he cann) will make past mendinge; For whersoeuer theie come theie turne Christs coate into Deianira's garment; as it sett Hercules on fire; so theie set others in combustion. The reason is Ther first founder was a souldior, and euer since the waie of peace they haue not knowne; at least not loved. To instance in a p[ar]ticuler not vnfitt for the pr[e] sent purpose, wee haue not heard of anie protestant Kinge w[hi]cheuer married w[i]th contrarie religion, save the last Henry of Navarre w[i]th the laste Margerett of France: Which marriage so vnfortunate to the parties haveing never issue & afterwards divorced, was also so fatall to our relig[i]on, that ther was more blood split at those nuptialls, then wine spent, For whiles [th]e protestantes dreamed of the glorie and securitie they should haue by the match, they were most miserablie Massacred. And who doubtes, but what the French papistes com[m]itted in ther owne Cuntrye vpon that colour and occasion; [th]e Spanish papists would not but be as glad to see done in this kindgome vpon the like. For w[i]thout breach of charitie, wee maie doubte of ther sincere meaninge, though ther be a treatie of the match. Since in 1588, even while ther was a treaty of peace ther Armado came vpon vs If therfore we either live or be lead by pr[e] cept, or example, wee shall find, yt was forbidden the best people of the world, and it vndid one of the best princes of the World to marry w[i]th a differing religon. The Iniunction, [th]e reason, the effecte are laid downe in Deutrenomy to the Iewes: Left margin: Deut. 7.3.4That theie should not take anie daughters of the neighbour nation though greater and mightieer then them selves to be ioyned to ther sonnes: For they will cause ther sonnes to turne from God & serue other Gods; Then will the Lords wrath waxe hot against them, and destroye them sodainely.


All w[hi]ch are verified in Soloman, [th]e wisest kinge that euer was, Left margin: 2 King. 22.2.4who married one of the greatest Kinges daughters that then was. Yet wee see the weakest sex wisthdrew the wisest man. For Left margin: .22.13.&cSolomon became an idolater, his sonne a foole, his subiects rebelled, & the best part of his kingdome rent awaie from his Left margin: Hos. 4.15posteritie for euer. Though Isarell sinne, yet let not Judah transgresse. And though Solomon, even one of the sonnes of David, married & miscaried w[i]th Pharoahs daughter: yet lett not Left margin: Gen. 6.2.4Isaac ye only sonne of o[u]r Abraham, doe as some of ye sonnes of God haue done. Who because theie see the daughters of me be, for outward good & politique respecte faire, take them wives of them From whence ame monstrous inormities, w[hi]ch like the ould giannts fight against God, & all godlines. But as God hath (doubtlesse) Left margin: Gen. 17.2made his Covenant w[i]th the Kinge as he did w[i]th Abraham; As he Left margin: & brought him out of his owne Cuntrie to a better as he did Abraham; As he put into the kinges hearte to take a late iornye Left margin: & 13.3as Abraham did, from ye South, to the place wher his Courte had beene at the beginni[n]g to giue thankes vnto the Lord. The same Left margin: & put into the King ye same mind he put into Abraham, to chuse a Rebecca amongst some of the same spirituall kindred, who call vpon God ther Father, & acknowledg one and the same Church to be ther mother, that it maie be w[i]th the Prince, as in many respectes, so in Left margin: Gen. 24.67this, as it was w[i]th Isaac: Who tooke Rebecca to wife, & he loved her & brought her to the tent of Sarah his mother, and was comforted after his mother{'s} death./

Now if from the booke of God, w[hich] setts downe the vnlawfullnes of these matches w[i]th aliens & Strangers from Gods Covenannte, we descend to our bookes and Chronicles wee shall find that he hath crost if not curst all o[u]r alliances and associac[i]on particulerlie w[i]th that Spanish nation: The position of that Cuntrie, and ye disposition of that people being (as it were) so malignant and ill agreeing w[i]th vs The prince of the greatest parformance that euer this kigedome had, was ye Blacke prince. yet o[u]r chronicle records That goeing into Spaine to settle Do Pedro in that kingdome, besides the monstrous ingratituds & p[er]fidiousnes of that Spaniard, who failed ye p[er]formance of those Condic[i]ons he had promised, w[hi]ch caused the miserable revoulte in France, to the losse of our inheritance, ye prince was so poysoned in that Cuntrie, that he neuer had his helth after. But to wind nearer to o[u]r purpose &to our times: w[hi]ch are little the better for our Spanish frendshipp I beseech your Lo[rdshi]pp obserue, That all the marriages w[it]th the heires and princes of this Crowne haue made in England these last sixscore yeares, except the sev[er]all second marriages of Henry ye 8th: haue beene only & no wher els but w[i]th Spaine, which how little God hath blest the successe shewes. Prince Arthur maryed the Spanish Kinges daughter, wee knowe that God tooke him awaie sudainlie w[i]thin a smale time, and w[i]thout anie yssue. In a politique respecte, wee would yet make a second match. So prince Henry (afterwards Kinge) marryed the same daughter. But God doubtlesse 27v God was lesse pleased w[i]th that match w[hi]ch was lesse hpefull. And therfore, God tooke awaie all the male children of it, & left onlie a daughter. In whose shorte Raigne, was shed more blood in the true religion in six yeares, then for the falce in these 60 yeares. Wee made then a third adventure and marriage w[i]th Spaine, queen Marye w[i]th Kinge Phillip. which was so discontenting to the people, that yt caused Wyats rebellion; so discomfortable to the queene that it brake her heart, being left and neglected of her husband; and so dishonorable & pr[e]iudiciall to this kingdome, that meerly for the Spaiards sake wee haveinge noe difference at all w[i]th France, wee lost Callice in six daies, w[hi]ch had beene aboue 200 yeeres in our possession. Now if I maie make bould to add rather then applie, and for observac[i]on of the contrarie, rather then for imitac[i]on of ye contrarie presente For though I have not so much iudgm[e]nt, nor so little witt to pr[e]sume to advise, wher to match, yet I assume so much as to thinke a match at home cannot be held anie wise inconvenient. Wee find that the first and the laste of our Kinges that euer matched w[i]th ther Subiects were Edward the 4th and Henry the 8th: from w[hi]ch two matches God as it were to shew ye lesse we rely vpon others abroad the more he will help vs himselfe at home, gaue 2 daughters 2 Elizabeths 2 such queenes, then w[hi]ch ther was never two so blessed instruments of Gods glorie and this kingdomes good by establishing peace in the land and religion in the Church, vntill his Ma[jes]ties happie comeinge, who brought both w[i]th him./

Thus (my Lord) haue I made bould to laie my poore simple mite at your feete. The maine tallants yow haue cannot be better imployed, thus to make yow heere ad euer hereafter a good and faithfull servant to both your Masters, if yow will Lie in wayte for a good oportunitie, which happilie purposedlie maie be offered vnto yow for advancinge Gods glorie & yo[u]r hono[u]r. yow cannot find an occac[i]on more pleaseing to God, or more plausible to the best & most men, then in p[er]swadinge privatelie by humble intreaties, & opposing publiquely by solide reasons this Spanish match since whatsoeuer the occations & necessities of the Crowne be, yt will find more supporte, by casting it self into the armes of the subiect w[hi]ch are the two howses of p[ar]liament, then by seeking to anie forraigne fawninge foe, or envious Enemie. Wherevnto when soeuer wee leane or trust wee shall find them Egiptian reeds, and ther intents bent rather to supplant vs then supplie vs

By him that is not ambitious because not worthy nor yet afraid, because not ashamed to be knowne to yor Lo[rdshi]pp in this busines

Thomas Allured


Co[ie of a letter sent To the lord Marqusse of Buckingham 1620 by Alured

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British Library, Additional MS 11049, ff. 25r-28v

Languages: English

Creation date: June 1620


Other Witnesses

Seventeenth Century Print Exemplars

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Modern Print Exemplars

  • Collectanea Curiosa (Oxford, 1781), vol. 1, pp. 170–180

Selected Criticism

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Keywords (Text Type)

  • letter

Keywords (Text Topics)

  • Spanish Match

Transcribed by:

Richard Bell (Research Associate)