To the ryght honorable my sengiular good Lord and frend the Lord Burgley Lord Tresurar of England./ /
2. August 1584 ye Countess of Salopp. hir hard vsage by my Lord hir husband
my honorable good Lord and deare frend./ your Lordship hath always bound me to you by your many good fauors./ I was neuer more dystresed then now and therfore assuredly hope your Lordship of your accustomed goodnes wyll releue me, my case ys most Lamentable many ways./ I beseche your Lordship be ameane to her majesty for me. and that yt wyll please you to wryte your owne Letters of aduyse and parswagyon to my Lord for my better vsage. quyatnes ys the thynge I most desyre in thes my Lattar days, and in reason I would thenke my Lord should not myslyke yt./ your Lordship's Letters wyll doe more with hym now then any subiects els Leueing./ and therfore yf he be parswaded to vse me well, I must yelde the wholl thankes next to her majesty) to your Lordship; and rest for euer most bound to you./ my Lord now within thys few days sekes to take away chatsworth and thos pore goods and Leueing which were myne, which hym selfe assured to my ij yongar sonnes vnder hys hand and sealle about xj yeares synce in consederatyon to pay my dettes, to dyscharge such somes as my Land was charged with to my chyldryn, and to others; and for ther aduancement and mentynance; which euer synce they haue quyatly inioyed tyll within thes few days./ I would not haue my sonnes (without they be inforced) to stand in sute ageanst my Lord; yt wyll not be honorable for hym, to doe contrary to hys owne hand and sealle, and to deale so hardly with me and them, I haue not any thynge of hym at thys day to mentayne my selfe, nor haue not had thys xij monthe and more; for then he withdrew that pencyon he allowed me before for my mentynance so that I am dreuen to Leue one my chyldryn; and now he sekes to take from them that which before he assured, and comands the tenants to pay them no rente./ my Lord knows the Lawe ys with my sonnes but sayth he wyll make them consume in sute that Lettell they haue, he knowes my debte and thers are greate, and therfore the rathar he sekes to trobell them./ yf gods pleasure had ben I would I had not Leued to thys day to haue my husband at thes hard tearmes with me./ I beseche your Lordship Lycence thys bearar to declare more partecularly vnto your Lordship my most Lamentable state; and thus haueing an assured hope to reseue comfort by your Lordship's good meanes I cease from further trobeling your Lordship with my prayar for your Longe and happy Lyffe;/ from hardwecke the second of august.//

your Lordship's faythfull most dystresed sorrowfull frend

EShrouesbury

my good Lord synce the wryting heareof I heare that my Lord meaneth to send agreat numbar to ashford (parsyll of the Land conuayd to my yongar sonnes) ther to gether the rent and certeyn Lead ore which belongeth to them./ after a xj yeares quiat poscession yt ys hard to be thrust out in thys sorte I beseche your Lordship conseder honorably and frendly of me and myne hearein./ I can not stay my chyldryn but they wyll rathar Lose ther Lyffe ther, then be so spoyled and I Leue not without feare of my Lyffe ./ my Lord ys not contente only to vse me so hardly hym selfe but hath wone my sonne hary cauendysh to deale most vnnaturally with me, for whome your Lordship knoweth my care./ who had ben Lettell worthe yf I had not obtayned apardon at her majestys hande for the which your Lordship was a specyall meane, good my Lord be an earnest meane to kepe me and myne from spoylle


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