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Among the noble cities of the world that are celebrated by Fame, the City of London, seat of the Monarchy of England, is one that spreads its fame wider, sends its wealth further, and lifts its head higher than all the others.

-- William FitzStephen 1170s

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Chapter 1.4

Page: 1/7
(5097 total words in this text)
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For a year, at least, after the death of her royal father, Elizabeth continued to pursue her studies under the able superintendence of her accomplished stepmother, with whom she resided, either at the dower-palace at Chelsea, or the more sequestered shades of Hanworth. Throckmorton, the kinsman of queen Katharine Parr, draws the following graceful portrait of the manners of the youthful princess at this era of her life :-
"Elizabeth, there sojourning for a time,
Gave fruitful hope of blossom blown in prime.

For as this lady was a princess born,
So she in princely virtues did excel;
Humble she was, and no degree would scorn,
To talk with poorest souls she liked well:
The sweetest violets bend nearest to the ground,
The greatest states in lowliness abound.

If some of us, that waited on the queen,
Did aught for her she past in thankfulness,
I wondered at her answers, which have been
So fitly placed in perfect readiness;
She was disposed to mirth in company,
Yet still regarding civil modesty." [Note 1]
Elizabeth, while residing with queen Katharine Parr, had had her own ladies and officers of state, and a retinue in all respects suitable to her high rank as sister to the reigning sovereign. Her governess, Mrs. Katharine Ashley, to whom she was fondly attached, was married to a relative of the unfortunate queen her mother, Anne Boleyn; and it is to be observed that Elizabeth, although that mother's name was to her a sealed subject, bestowed, to the very end of her life, her chief favour and confidence on her maternal kindred. The learned William Grindal was Elizabeth's tutor till she was placed under the still more distinguished preceptorship of Roger Ascham. The following letter from that great scholar was addressed to Mrs. Katharine Ashley before he had obtained the tutelage of her royal charge, and, both on account of the period at which it was written and its quaint English, it is very curious: [Note 2]
"Would God my wit wist what words would express the thanks you have deserved of all true English hearts for that noble imp [Elizabeth], by your labour and wisdom now flourishing in all goodly godliness, the fruit whereof doth even now redound to her grace's high honour aud profit.
"I wish her grace to come to that end in perfectness, with likelihood of her wit and painfulness in her study, true trade of her teaching, which your diligent overseeing doth most constantly promise. And although this one thing be sufficient for me to love you, yet the knot which hath knit Mr. Astley and you together doth so bind me also to you, that if my ability would match my good-will, you should find no friend faster. He is a man I loved for his virtue before I knew him through acquaintance, whose friendship I account among my chief gains gotten at court. Your favour to Mr. Grindal and gentleness towards me, are matters sufficient enough to deserve more good-will than my little power is able to requite.


1 [ Throckmorton MS.] Back
2 [ Whittaker's History of Richmondshire, vol. ii. p. 270.] Back
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