83: More Trouble for Lady Moll

Our preparations to have at Spain go well.  Queen Puss is most amiable to the Earl of Essicks.  And to Sir Water Rawly [Walter Ralegh].  He has his old place as captain of her guard again.  She chased him from it after he offended her by marrying another Puss.

A thin-faced, dark-haired woman in formal Elizabethan attire.
Elizabeth Ralegh (nee Throckmorton) who lost her position as a Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber after she and Sir Walter secretly married. From a full-length painting by Robert Peake the Elder, c. 1600

I do not believe the Puss he wed will ever win back her place in the Queen’s household.

My lord was never so high in the Queen’s favour as to be offered employment, but he hopes his service against the Spanish might give her a better conceit [opinion] of him.

We shall see.

But oh, how troubles come!

My lady Moll’s husband Thoms (he of the Imperial Dog Collar, but no employment) has brought fresh scandal on us all.

Some say that Thoms has harboured cheese-wits [Jesuits], and sent Catlick spy newes to the Emperor whose dog he is.

The portrait show a solidly-built bearded nan with the long Habsburg chin.
Rudolf II (1552-1612) – by Joseph Heintz the Elder. He created Thomas Arundell a Count of the Holy Roman Empire in reward for his military service.  Arundell’s acceptance of the honour (his “dog collar”) infuriated Queen Elizabeth.

Thoms and one of his friends were taken up for examination.  Another of Thom’s friends, a small man, has hid hisself, for fear he might be stretched [on the rack].

I arrkst Linkin our Law Cat what he’d heard of this.

Linkin sayt, “Nowt has yet been proven.  Thoms is in the keeping of a gentleman who has read him a lecture or three on his folly.”

“By folly, mean you his dog collar or his religion?” arrkst my niece.

“Both,” sayt Linkin.  “But now Thoms’ keeper says he can no longer afford to feed him.  He also writ that Thoms fears for the health of your Lady Moll.  She being a sick and weak woman.”

“Not sick,” sayt I.  “Suttle.”  For I do not believe my lady Moll is weak.  I think she feigns it, in hopes of seeing her husband freed.

Linkin had more to tell.

The Fleet River, from a 1572 map of London. The river runs from north to south, coming into the Thames at Blackfriars.  The prison is on the east side above Fleet Street.
The River Fleet, from a 1572 map of London. The prison (I think) was on the east side above Fleet Street. Possibly the building in the upper half of the picture which sits beside the river and curves around the crescent?

Thoms’ friend that was taken is confined in the Fleet prison.  There is a stinking privy not two feet from his door.  He must light a candle if he wants to write after three of the clock.

He sayt that if Her Majestie could see him there, she would pity him.

But Queen Puss don’t grace her prisons with her presence.

So this fellow writes to Mr Secretary [Sir Robert Cecil] telling of all he did to find the small man and perswayde him to offer hisself for questioning.  Which the small man would not do, but demanded money of my lady Moll.  She gave him none, saying it was against her will that Thoms ever entertained him.

“I believe you’ve made our unfortunate prisoner’s akwayntance,” sayt Linkin.  “His name is Drool [Drewell/Druell].  He was in your household with Thoms when the murderers were hid there.  You keep wicked company, my friend.”

“I do,” sayt I.  Talk of Thoms always makes us merry.

Linkin then told how Thoms had writ to Sir Rabbit Cecil, saying the small man was nowt but a private soldier whose akwayntance he’d made in Hungrie [Hungary].

And Thoms learnt that the small man meant to travel to Prague to collect pay he was owed.  Thoms arrkst him to carry proof of his own pedigree to the Emperor, so that he should know he had not conferred an honour on a base person.

“Who is not wearie of this geck Thoms?” arrkst Linkin.  “Other than your Lady Moll?  And even she, at times.”

“But,” sayt he, “Essicks and Sir Rabbit may bring an end to this.  They’ve writ to Thoms’ old father to tell him ’tis the Queen’s pleasure that he should house and feed son, daughter-in-law and all, till Thoms mends his ways.”

Thoms’ old father does not like his son, and he hates my lady Moll.

Sayt I, “That letter will make all hearts glad.”

Prague Castle, where Rudolf II had his court, by 1595. Via Wikimedia (by Sokoljan own-work CC By SA 3.0)
Prague Castle, where Rudolf II had his court, by Joris Hoefnagel, 1595. Via Wikimedia (Sokoljan, own work, CC By SA 3.0)

Toutparmoi - Note from the EditorHow Linkin’s mistress must have enjoyed her lawyer son’s visits and news.  He seems to have had a reliable source in the Cecil household.

Linkin doesn’t always get the details right.

The elusive “small man” was named Smallman.  Being of inferior social status to Thomas Arundell and Sir Humphrey Drewell/Druell, he may well have been at risk of torture if he were thought to be part of a pro-Spanish Catholic spy ring.

While I feel for Sir Humphrey in the Fleet prison, I can see why Gib and Linkin find the Arundell saga so entertaining.  The letters from this latest episode, through May and June 1597, are in the Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Marquis of Salisbury (“the Cecil papers”) Vol VII, available on line.

Humphrey Drewell was indeed at Titchfield during the escape of the Danvers brothers in 1594.  He was with John Florio, the young Earl’s tutor, in the Itchen-Southampton ferry when Florio threatened to throw the sheriff of Southampton overboard.

In 1596 he took part in the Cadiz expedition, and was knighted there by Essex.

76:  Of Lady Moll, and a Dog Collar

Gib, looking large-eyed and self important.I wisht to know why my lady Moll has been troubled of late.  I heared nowt from the common folks who serve me and keep this house for my lord.

So I hied me to Linkin’s house, because the London lawyer who was once his master oft visits and brings gossips’ talk.

Linkin was in the yard with Nero.  They was rejoicing in the victory of our heroick Earl of Essicks.  He has sacked the port of Cadiz!  I’ll tell more of this when next I write my diurnal.

A marble figure of a young Elizabethan woman kneeling in prayer.
An image of Mary beneath her father’s effigy on the Wriothesley Monument in St Peter’s Church, Titchfield. From a photo on Hampshire History.

First, I’ll set down what I learnt of the sorrows of my lady Moll.

Linkin sayt, “Your lady Mary’s husband Thoms [Thomas] is a Catlick clown.”

He told me Thoms lacked employment.  So his father gave him money and horses that he might aid the holy roaming [roman] Emperor in his fight against the Turks.

Queen Puss [Bess] permitted Thoms to go, even though she loves the Turks and will do nowt against them.

Nero sayt, “I too love the Turks.  A nation most civil to cats.”

The portrait show a solidly-built bearded nan with the long Habsburg chin.
Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612) – a portrail by Joseph Heintz the Elder, via Wikimedia Commons.

Thoms fought well in Hungrie [Hungary], and proved his valour.  The Emperor honoured him by making him an Earl.

Then Thoms sayt he would come home.

So his father writ to old Lord Purrlie’s wittie [clever] boy who has a good place in Her Majestie’s household. 

Thoms’ father begged that he be offered a position in the Queen’s service to keep him oversea.

He sayt the reason Thoms wisht to return was because his wife arrkst him to.

Thoms’ father feared some would say that his son lacked the courage for more fighting, or that he’d gone to the wars onlie to gull his father out of all his horses and eleven hundred pounds.

A thin-faced, bearded man in darl clothes, with papers and an official red, embroidered, dispatch bag beside him.
Old Lord Purrlie’s clever boy, better known as Sir Robert Cecil (1563-1612). This portrait is probably a copy of one by John de Critz the Elder. Via Wikimedia Commons.

But Thoms took ship for home, and was shipwracked.  “He lost all he had with him,” sayt Linkin.  “Horses, clothes, and money.”

“Had he a tail, he’d have lost that too,” added Nero.

“True,” sayt Linkin.  “He come ashore with nowt but a cold he caught in the sea.”

“Doubtless,” sayt Nero, “to the joy of his loving Dad.”

“And to the joy of his loving Queen,” sayt Linkin.  “She was much offended that he’d presumed to accept an honour from the Emperor.  As she has sayt before: My dogs wear my collars.”

Queen Puss sent Thoms to prison.  And writ to the Emperor to reprove him, but she spake of shepherds and their sheep.  Not of her dogs and his collars.

Lord Purrlie told Thoms that none can serve two masters.  And that it’s the custom in our country for stranger [foreign] Earls to be granted, in courtesie, a higher place than our own Earls.  Thoms being but a gentleman, that’s not fitting.

We cats know well how to serve more than one master or mistress.  But on the matter of place, I believe old Purrlie spake true.  I would not like to see Thoms sat higher than our Earl.

Nor would I wish to see another cat in a higher place than mine.

Next, some folk sayt that Thoms has been consorting with the Spanish and other wicked folks.  Which he denied, protesting his loyalty and the friendship he believes the Emperor has for Her Majestie.

“The Earl of Essicks examined Thoms,” sayt Linkin.  “Justly so, for then our fleet was making ready for Spain.  Essicks arrkst what informations about the Queen’s navy he gave them.  But Thoms denied all.  Now he’s banished from the court.”

I know ’tis wicked to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others.  And I do believe that Thoms loves the collar of an Earl Imperial as I love a good gravy.

But the tale of his woes made us merrie.

Then Linkin sayt that Thoms’ fool father has offered lodgings to Thoms and all his family, save his wife.  Her, his father will not have in his house.

Poor Lady Moll.  ’Tis a sorry thing to have no place in a household, as we cats know.

A face and shoulders made up of an array of fruits and vegetables.
In the absence of a portrait of Mary Arundell, I couldn’t resist another of Rudolf II as Vertumnus, a Roman god of the seasons.  He was an enthusiastic patron of the arts. By Guiseppe Arcimboldo (c.1526-1593). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Toutparmoi - Note from the EditorMoll/Mary’s husband Thomas Arundell (c.1560-1639) was probably too overtly Catholic to find favour with Queen Elizabeth.

Mary and he appear to have lived in various of the young Earl’s properties, e.g. Itchel Manor in Hampshire, and Southampton House in London where his father Sir Matthew Arundell described him disapprovingly as “solitary and studious”.

In 1595 Thomas was permitted to join Rudolf II’s campaign against “the Turks”.  Click on this link and scroll down to the map to see the size of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century.

Queen Elizabeth herself maintained amiable diplomatic relations with “the Turks”, potential allies against Spain and a lucrative trading partner for England.

The saying “My dogs wear my collars” is believed to relate to Sir Nicholas Clifford, who accepted an honour from Henri IV of France as a reward for military service.  Another of Elizabeth’s courtiers, Sir Anthony Sherley/Shirley, did the same.  Elizabeth’s problem was that acceptance of these honours meant an oath of loyalty to Henri.

In vain did Thomas Arundell protest that being created an Earl Imperial (a Count of the Holy Roman Empire) involved no oath.  His letters to Sir Robert Cecil are preserved in the Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Marquis of Salisbury (“the Cecil papers”) Vol VI, available on line.

Mary also wrote to Sir Robert, asking him to intercede with her father-in-law on her behalf.  She attributes Sir Matthew’s refusal to let her live in his house, Wardour Castle, to “some unkindness that passed between us at my last being there…” and asks Sir Robert to “…assure him that I will not behave myself otherwise towards him than as shall become a kind and respective daughter-in-law…”