To the most Honorable Lady the Countesse of Shrewsbury dougrer at Hardwike
My most Honorable good Lady vppon occasion of my continuall followinge of his Majestie in his iorneys I haue ben longer silent then I should haue ben: The newes heere is all in parlament busines The matter of religion to compell euery man to the communion hath much trobled them but now they are agreed that all shall come to the communion within the space of 2 yeares or else they shalbe be in the nature of recusants for the matter of purueance the Kinge is very desierous for the ease of the subiect to haue a composition and to pay a yearely soome of monny and to be freed from the purueor But as yet the Lower house will not heare of any composition for that they feare they can haue no assurance from the Kinge and then they should boeth giue ther monny and be trobled with the Kinges takers to/ It is thought the parlament is like to continew yet a good while for they must part with on subsidy more and 2 fiueteenes or else this is nothinge that they haue don: The prouinciall of the Iesuites Garnet who is in the Tower will proue a notorious traytor and to haue had his hand in all these treasons and a principall man that caused them to take armes when the powder plott fayled The Earle of Northhumberland will goe cleere in this matter his Lady is permitted to come to him and ther is expectance of his liberty shortly But with the rest of the Lords it will goe hard Ther be many Traytors sent doune into ther seuerall counties wher the dwell to be executed ther and some more arraynments are expected heere The Kinge of france hath raysed a great army and is reddy to goe into the feeld but no man knoweth whether or agaynst whom but as it is thought agaynst the duke of Bullayne who is at a place called Seydan toward Germany but he maketh all his neyghbors afrayd

Our Queene and mistresse groweth bigg and looketh her about the latter end of May The Court will tarry heere at White Hall till Easter and then to Greenwich wher the Queene purposeth to lye in

Thus hauinge no other matter at this time to troble your Honor withall with my humble Duty I take my leaue beeseechinge the Lord to keepe your honor longe in health and prosperity from the Court this 7 of March 1605

Your Honors most assured and faythfull poore frend

Iames Mountagu

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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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