Reveal background image
More objects Prev Next

Letter of condolence from Elizabeth I to Margery, Lady Norris, on the death of her son

From her Majestie to the Lady Norris for the Death of her sonn Sir John Norris.

Elizabeth R.

Myne owne Crowe harme the not thy selfe for bootles healpe but shewe a good example to Comforte your dolorus yoke fellowe

Althoughe we have deferred Longe to represent to you our greefe & greeved thoughtes wee liked full ill to yeild you the first re-flection of misfortune whom we have always rather thought to Cherishe and Comforte; yet knowinge nowe that necessitie move bothe greife and passions in your harte, we resolved no Longer to smother ether our Care for your sorrowe, or the sympathy of our greife for his Love, wherin if it be trewe that society in sorrowe worke the deminucion wee doe assure you by this trewe messenger of our mynde that nature can have stirred no more dolorius affection in you as a mother for a deare sonne then gratefullnes and memory of his services paste hath wrought in us his soveraigne, apprehension of our misse of so worthy a servant. But nowe that natures Comon worke is done and he that was borne to dye hath payed his trybute, Let that Christian stay the flux of your moderate greevinge which hath instructed you bothe by example and knowledge that nothinge of this kinde hath happened but by Gods devine providence. And lett these Lines from your Lovinge and gratious soveraigne serve to assure you and yours that ar lefte in valewinge all ther faithfull and honest indeavours. More at this tyme we will not write of this unsilent Subject but have dispatched this gentleman to visit both your Lord and you to Condole with you the trewe sense of your Love and to pray you that the worlde may see that what tyme Cureth in weake myndes, that discretion, and moderacon healpeth in you in this accident where there is so just cause to demonstrate trewe patience and modercion. Geven att our manner of Richmond the 22th of September 1597.

← Back

Letter of condolence from Elizabeth I to Margery, Lady Norris, on the death of her son

Author
Elizabeth I
Date
22 September 1597
Medium
Manuscript

Elizabeth's letter, of which this is a copy, is affectionately addressed "myne owne Crowe", a nickname given to Lady Norris by the Queen in respect of her dark complexion. Sir John Norris died at Norris Castle, Mallow, Ireland, on 3 September 1597, having spent the preceding two years leading English forces against the Earl of Tyrone's rebellion (van Meteren, Discovrse Historicall, p. 154; Nolan, Sir John Norreys, pp. 237-9). Worn down by this service, earlier that summer both Sir John and Lady Norris had unsuccessfully sought his recall to England (Calendar of Hatfield Mss., pt. 7, pp. 230-1; CSP Ireland 1596-7, pp. 349-50). In this letter, the Queen consoles Lady Norris that "nature can have stirred no more dolorious affection in you as a mother for a deare sonne then gratefullnes and memory of his services paste hath wrought in us his soverougine."

Transcript

From her Majestie to the Lady Norris for the Death of her sonn Sir John Norris.

Elizabeth R.

Myne owne Crowe harme the not thy selfe for bootles healpe but shewe a good example to Comforte your dolorus yoke fellowe

Althoughe we have deferred Longe to represent to you our greefe & greeved thoughtes wee liked full ill to yeild you the first re-flection of misfortune whom we have always rather thought to Cherishe and Comforte; yet knowinge nowe that necessitie move bothe greife and passions in your harte, we resolved no Longer to smother ether our Care for your sorrowe, or the sympathy of our greife for his Love, wherin if it be trewe that society in sorrowe worke the deminucion wee doe assure you by this trewe messenger of our mynde that nature can have stirred no more dolorius affection in you as a mother for a deare sonne then gratefullnes and memory of his services paste hath wrought in us his soveraigne, apprehension of our misse of so worthy a servant. But nowe that natures Comon worke is done and he that was borne to dye hath payed his trybute, Let that Christian stay the flux of your moderate greevinge which hath instructed you bothe by example and knowledge that nothinge of this kinde hath happened but by Gods devine providence. And lett these Lines from your Lovinge and gratious soveraigne serve to assure you and yours that ar lefte in valewinge all ther faithfull and honest indeavours. More at this tyme we will not write of this unsilent Subject but have dispatched this gentleman to visit both your Lord and you to Condole with you the trewe sense of your Love and to pray you that the worlde may see that what tyme Cureth in weake myndes, that discretion, and moderacon healpeth in you in this accident where there is so just cause to demonstrate trewe patience and modercion. Geven att our manner of Richmond the 22th of September 1597.

Your comments: Add to the archive

(belated) thanks matthew!

c byrne 26/07/2015

I'm afraid that I have not come across any mention of illegitimate Norris children in Ireland in our collections.

With regard to the spelling of 'Norreys' and 'Norris', when cataloguing and describing archives and manuscripts we follow the practice of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the National Register of Archives. They use the modernised form of 'Norris'. I have encountered many different spellings in 16th and 17th century documents such as 'Norritz' and 'Norries'.

It is correct that the eldest sons of the earls of Abingdon are known by the title Lord Norreys. Reference is made to this in each of biographies of Norris family members in the 'People' section of this website.

Matthew (Bodleian Libraries) 14/02/2014

FAO Matthew.

Can you please tell:

1. Is there any reference to illegitimate Norris children in Ireland in the archive

2. Would you disagree that "Norreys" is the correct spelling of this family's name?

c byrne 10/02/2014

I had always thought Margery Williams and the Queen were childhood friends. However Elizabeth was about twelve years younger and still an infant when Margery married, so she would always have known her as Lady Norreys. It is perhaps possible that the nickname arose from her husband's crest as well as from her own natural colouring.

Norreys 01/12/2013

Lord Norris makes reference to the Queen's nickname for Lady Norris in a speech during Elizabeth's visit to Rycote in 1592. He comments that "their deathes, the rumour of which, hath so often affrighted thte Crowe my wife, that her hart hath bene as blacke as her feathers."

Matthew (Bodleian Libraries) 14/11/2013

What is the evidence that Lady Margaret Norris was dark complexioned? The Norris crest was a raven with wings elevated, sable.

Steven W. May 27/10/2013

great site - I live in Headington and often drive by on the way to Thame - very curious to have a look

simon oxley 22/10/2013

+ Add a comment

Your e-mail address will not be revealed to the public.
HTML is forbidden, but line-breaks will be retained.
This is to prevent automatic submissions.