Elizabeth kept the last letter Robert Dudley had written her prior to his death in her bedside treasure box — the letter was still there when she died over a decade later.
Last Letter from Dudley
I most humbly beseech your Majesty to pardon your poor old servant to be thus bold in sending to know how my gracious lady doth, and what ease of her late pain she finds, being the chiefest thing in the world I do pray for, for her to have good health and long life. Form my own poor case, I continue still your medicine and find that amends much better than any other thing that hath been given me. Thus hoping to find perfect cure at the bath, with the continuance of my wonted prayer for your Majesty’s most happy preservation, I humbly kiss your foot. From your old lodging at Rycote, this Thursday morning, ready to take on my Journey, by Your Majesty’s most faithful and obedient servant,
Even as I had writ thus much, I received Your Majesty’s token by Young Tracey.
Robert Dudley c. 1588
Elizabeth I: The Armada Portrait, c1588, unknown artist.