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Queen Henrietta Maria 'To the Catholics of England (17 April 1639)'

British Library, Additional MS 11045, f. 20r


By vertue of this letter followeing doe Collectors in all Counties repaire to the Catholiques for such sommes of mony, as {are} to bee raised by their liberall contribution to bee presented to her Ma[jes]tie, and by her Ma[jes]tie to bee presented to the kinge in their behalfe: Henrietta Maria R: wee haue soe good a beleife of the loyalty and affection of his Ma[jes]t[y's]s Catholique subiects, as wee doubt not, but vppon this occasion, that hath called his Ma[jes]tie into the northerne parts for the defence of his honour, and dominions, they will expresse themselves soe affected, as wee haue alwayes represented them to his Ma[jes]tie soe in this common consent which hath appeard in the nobillitie, Iudges, gentrie, and others to forward his Ma[jes]ties service by their persons, and estates, wee haue made noe difficultie to answeare for the same correspondencie in his Catholiques, not withstanding they haue already concurrd to his Ma[jes]t[y's]s service, according to the quallities where of they are, when others of the same quallity were calld vppon: for wee beleived it became vs, whoe haue bine soe often interessed in the sollicitationtated of their benifitts, to shewe our selve nowe in the perswation of their gratitudes: Therefore haveing by other meanes already recommended to them, this earnest desire of ours, to assist and serve his Ma[jes]tie by some considerable sommes of money freely, and cheerefully presented, wee haue thought fitt (to the end that this our desire maye bee the more publique, and the more authorized) hereby to give you Commission, and direction to distribute coppies vnder your hand of the satisfactiontestification there of vnto those, that haue mett in london by our direction about this businesse, and vnto the severall Collectors of every Countie: And as wee presume the summe they will raise will not bee vnworthy our presenting to the kinge, soe wee shall bee ever sensible of it, as a p[ar]ticuler respect to our selfe, and will indeavour in the most efficatious manner wee can, to improve the merritt of yt, and (to remove any apprehention of preiudice, that any whoe shall imploye them selves towards the successe of this businesse maye conceive by this, they maye bee assured that wee will secure them from all such obiected inconvenience: And wee are verie confident, that this our first recommendation will bee soe complyed w[i]th all, as it maye not onely afford vs p[ar]ticuler satisfaction, but alsoe facillitation to their owne advantage: Given under our signett at white Hall this 17th of Aprill 1639.

To our right trusty, and welbeloved Chaunsellour S[i]r Iohn Winter kn[igh]t our principall secretarie, & Master of Requests:

The Catholiques about the towne haue p[er]vsd the contents of this letter, and many of them haue contributed largely the eight p[ar]te of the true value of their estates; the Catholiques which are not conuict are required to paie according to that proportion; but the conuict Catholiques paye onely the 10. p[ar]te of their estates, according to the rackt rents, because the kinge hath 2. thirds p{gap: illegible} of their estates {gap: illegible} {gap: illegible}but at a very lowe value: Twoe things trouble the Catholiques verie much, one is, That their estates are given in to the true value, which they suppose maye {gap: illegible} breede them greate inconveniences in tyme to come; the other is, that notwithstanding this large contribution, which is required from them, Mr. Putfords Commission is putt in execution, which is, to indighte all Recusants throughout the kingdome: Putford hath such a Commission lately graunted to him, w[hi]ch Com[m]ission hee hath sent downe into some Counties, since the Queene hath required the Catholiques benevolence: these twoe p[ar]rtciulers hath soe much disordered the Catholiques, as the Queenes required benevolence receaves many rubbes, It passeth not soe currantly, as other wise it would haue done, if these foresaid inconveniences had bine remydyed:


No introduction.


British Library, Additional MS 11045, f. 20r,

Languages: English

Creation date: 17 April 1639


Other Witnesses

Seventeenth Century Print Exemplars

  • A Coppy of 1. The letter sent by the Queenes Majestie (1641) [Wing C6196 and C6196A]

Modern Print Exemplars

  • John Rushworth, Historical Collections (London, 1721), vol. 2, pp. 820–822
  • John Nalson, Impartiall Collection of the Great Affairs of State (London, 1682-1683), vol. 1, pp. 741–744

Selected Criticism

No bibliography

Keywords (Text Type)

  • letter

Keywords (Text Topics)

  • Catholics
  • state finance
  • revenue

Transcribed by:

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