To the Countesse of Shrowesbury at Hardwike
The answere to my Wyues lettre of ye 4th of August. 1584.
Your lettre of the third of this instant carryinge so faire and vnaccustomed shewe of dutifulnes & humilyte of spirite commeth now so late and so out of season that makes me suspect it to be a Sirens songe set for some other purpose then it pretendeth/ I would most gladly haue accepted such motions (notwithstandynge all other your private & dayly abvses though both by wordes and accions most vehement & intollerable) yf the same had ever bene offered before you shewed your self publiquely my bytter enemy sekinge by your ministers of false sudiestions every where my infamy & overthrowe then the spoile of my goodes and of myne & your owne children by your vnnaturall meanes & mallice and lastly the sack of Chatsworth house that devowringe gulf of myne and other your husbandes goodes which notwithstandinge I ever thought good and yet do to maintene and augment for theire saks who are to succede vs therein/ But now forasmuch as ether for despite of me or for the vndeserved spoile of your sonne and heire or else to satisfie the insatiable covetousenes of that your other sonne you haue betaken vnto him all as it semeth leavinge in your self no intrest vnto any thinge vnder colore of a supposed graunt exacted from me by what synister meanes the Lord knoweth: vppon deliberate advice of the Lerned I am now resolved to proceade by due order of Lawe with those my adversaries your sonnes vnto the triall of there honestnes & my honor in that accion synce they haue alredy with all advauntages & force comenced the same thinkinge it in conscience most dishonorable vnto me to stand and Loke vpon the ruine of that house with the vtter vndoing of your eldest and best deservinge sonne And the manyfest wronge offered vnto my self by them that by all reason shuld haue wrought the contrary Sheffeld the iiijth of. August 1584

your husband

the coppy of my letter to the countes of shrewsbury the 4 of August

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'Bess of Hardwick's Letters' was developed by The University of Glasgow with technical development provided by The Digital Humanities Institute at The University of Sheffield
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