My Last Words in These My Last Lines by Sir Walter Raleigh


Sir Walter Raleigh

A secret marriage with one of Queen Elizabeth’s ladies, caused the disfavor of his queen. Their marriage appears from the outside as an amazing love story – Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth “Bess” Throckmorton. Unchanged: A secret marriage with one of Queen Elizabeth’s ladies, caused the disfavor of his queen. Their marriage appears from the outside as an amazing love story – Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth “Bess” Throckmorton.

A love child, a secret marriage, imprisonment, death of child, and execution – their love had to endure conditions that the modern reader could not fathom. But, it’s their love story that keeps modern readers interested in the time period.

The fact that Elizabeth kept her husband’s embalmed head after he was executed shows her attachment to the husband she married without the queen’s consent, and it is evident in her letter that she is distraught by his death.

Lady said to be Elizabeth Throckmorton, by Robert Peake



Here is his letter to Elizabeth Throckmorton, his wife: Unchanged: Here is his letter to Elizabeth Throckmorton, his wife:
Unchanged:

Dear Wife,

 Firstly, I send you all the thanks my heart can conceive, or my words can express, for your many troubles and cares taken for me; which, though they have not taken effect as you wished, yet the debt is nathless, and pay it I never shall in this world. Unchanged: Firstly, I send you all the thanks my heart can conceive, or my words can express, for your many troubles and cares taken for me; which, though they have not taken effect as you wished, yet the debt is nathless, and pay it I never shall in this world.

The everlasting God, Infinite, Powerful, Inscrutable; the Almighty God, which is Goodness itself, Mercy itself; the true light and life, –keep thee and thine, have mercy on me and teach me to forgive my persecutors and false witnesses, and send us to meet again in His Glorious Kingdom. My own true wife, farewell. Bless my poor boy. Pray for me, and let the good God fold you both in His arms. Written with the dying hand of sometime thy husband, but now, alas! overthrown. Yours that was, but not now my own, W. Raleigh

The everlasting God, Infinite, Powerful, Inscrutable; the Almighty God, which is Goodness itself, Mercy itself; the true light and life, –keep thee and thine, have mercy on me and teach me to forgive my persecutors and false witnesses, and send us to meet again in His Glorious Kingdom. My own true wife, farewell. Bless my poor boy. Pray for me, and let the good God fold you both in His arms. Written with the dying hand of sometime thy husband, but now, alas! overthrown. Yours that was, but not now my own, W. Raleigh

 

Sir Walter Raleigh with son



 

Elizabeth Throckmorton

Elizabeth Throckmorton had tried in vain to save her husband but certain death – something which seems evident in this letter to her brother after Walter’s execution: Unchanged: Elizabeth Throckmorton had tried in vain to save her husband but certain death – something which seems evident in this letter to her brother after Walter’s execution:

I desire, good brother, that you will be pleased to let me bury the worthy body of my noble husband in our church at Beddington, where I desire to be buried also. They have given me his dead body, though they denied me his life. this night he shall be brought you with two or three of my men. Let me hear presently. Gold hold me in my wits. Elizabeth Ralegh

References:

Walter’s Letter – Love in Letters of Statesmen, Warriors, Men of Letters, and Others, with a Brief Note on Every Writer Book by Henri PeNe Du Bois (1893) Unchanged: Walter’s Letter – Love in Letters of Statesmen, Warriors, Men of Letters, and Others, with a Brief Note on Every Writer Book by Henri PeNe Du Bois (1893)

Elizabeth’s Letter – Old Love-letters, Abby Sage Richardson, Ticknor and Company (1882)

 

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