A new online collection offers people interested in history unprecedented and extensive access to Queen Elizabeth I in her own words. It contains 40 unique documents from The National Archives’ collection, each transcribed and available to read in high definition.
The records cover the broad span of Elizabeth’s reign, and themes such as the marriage question, her relationship with Mary Queen of Scots, foreign policy and the poor law. They reveal her as sovereign in a male world. The collection has been especially curated, interpreted and introduced by leading Tudor expert Tracy Borman, author of ‘The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain’s Greatest Dynasty’.
These documents on the age of Elizabeth I can be used by teachers looking for resources to support the new GCSE specifications in history, published last year and expanded to cover the Tudor period, and anyone studying the Tudors at A level.
The ‘Tide Letter’
Some of Elizabeth’s earliest letters presented here reflect the reality of her precarious time as princess. This includes the famous ‘Tide Letter’, written to Queen Mary I before Elizabeth was to be imprisoned in the Tower of London, on suspicion of her involvement in a plot led by Sir Thomas Wyatt to make her queen.
Elizabeth inserted lines between where her text finished and her signature to ensure that her enemies could not add any more writing. It was called the ‘Tide Letter’ as she wrote it slowly in order to delay her transport to the Tower, which would have required a low tide. Continue reading »