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Six Unpublished Letters of Queen Henrietta Maria

R. A. Beddard


IN the morass of papers left by that diligent servant of the House of Stuart, Sir Edward Nicholas, Secretary of State to Charles I and Charles II, is a small cache of six letters written by, or at the command of, Queen Henrietta Maria. Five of them are addressed to Nicholas in his official capacity as Secretary. Three of them are informal, being little more than hastily penned notes in the Queen's own hand. These are undated by her, but two of them have been endorsed by Nicholas with the date on which he received them: 5 September and i October 1641. His endorsement locates them in the difficult period of Charles Ts residence in Edinburgh, when his master was seeking to build a party among the Scottish nobles. The third most probably belongs to the same year. All three show that the King was during his absence from England regularly employing his wife in the routine business of despatching, and, on occasion, restraining the time of delivery of his correspondence.

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