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Robert Beale collection of letters

This sketch of the execution of Mary Queen of Scots was drawn to accompany Robert Beale’s official record of the proceedings.

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a newly digitized collection: Robert Beale collection letters (Vault MSS 457).  This collection contains official correspondence of the Kingdom of England and Wales in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, found among the personal papers of Robert Beale. Most letters are either by him or to him. They deal with the earliest years of the Dutch Republic and the part played by England in the Dutch revolt. Many of the letters were also originally addressed to Sir Francis Walsingham (1530-1590), Beale’s brother-in-law, and Elizabeth’s Secretary of State. Four letters are addressed to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (1532?-1588) who commanded English troops sent to assist the Dutch in 1585 and 1586. Five letters by Thomas Wilkes (1545?-1598) are found in summary in the Great Britain Public Record Office’s Calendar of State Papers. Materials dated 1569-1592.

Robert Beale (1541-1601) served as ambassador to France starting in 1570, special envoy of queen Elizabeth to the German Lutheran princes 1576, Secretary of State 1578 and 1581-1583, and was in parliament from Dorchester in 1586 and 1588. In addition, he served under Leicester in 1588 in the Netherlands probably with the transport department. As a scholar he is known for two books which maintain the principle of toleration and for works glorifying marriage and women.

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