Letter from Henry Michell, Clements Inn, London, to Sir Humphrey Ferrers, Walton, 1605 May 1, L.e.578

For related articles, consult Manuscripts (disambiguation).

This article features a transcription of a Folger Shakespeare Library manuscript, Letter from Henry Michell to Sir Humphrey Ferres, L.e.578, ( May 1, 1605 ), featured in the Age of Lawyers Exhibition, September 12, 2015-January 3, 2016.

More manuscripts from this collection can be found in Guide to the Papers of the Ferrers Family of Tamworth Castle

This letter from Henry Mitchell, member of an inn of chancery, refers to the much-discussed case of Robert Dudley—the wealthy, illegitimate heir to Queen Elizabeth's late favorite, the Earl of Leicester. Dudley had asked the Star Chamber to rule that he was legitimate, making him the next earl. Mitchell could not reach the court through the crowd of spectators. Dudley ultimately lost the case and left England.


Below is a semi-diplomatic transcription of Folger manuscript L.e.578. The transcription below was created by the Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) project. To access an image of the original leaf, click on each transcription's heading.


Sir this day the greate cause was heard all the forenoone in the

star chamber, I was at westminster but I could not get into the

star chamber nor neare the dore to heare any thing the throng

of people was so greate there, [& I] heard all the lordes of the

Counsell were there but my lord [Ad]myrall, by the reporte of

my lady of leicesters frendes the cause is like to goe cleare

agaynst Sir Robert Dudley but for any thing I can perceive by

these which seeme to favor Sir Roberts side they are so confident

as ever they were, There was bitter crossing betwene my lord

Channcelor & mr Attorney about some deposicions taken by mr

Attorney in this cause which mr Attorney urged to have bene

read but my lord Chancelor wold suffer none to be read but

such as were taken by commyssion or by the examyners of the

courte which as some reported did so discontent mr Attorney as

he departed & went to complayne to the kynge, So it is as

yet hard to iudge what will become of this cause, I have

delivered your letter to mr Attorney who saith my lord Tresurer is

resolute not to certefie, and therefore mr Attorney advised

that a new petition should be preferred to the kynge wherein

you shold pray as before or els that his maiestie wold be pleased

to affoord you such a composicion as the equitye of your cause

shold require beyng duly examyned by his learned Counsell

& in the lawes, I have drawne a petition to this purpose

& am now goeying about to get Sir Roger Wilbrome one of the

Masters of the requestes who wayteth this moneth to deliver it

get a reference of it, on saterday next there is a creationer

of Earles Viscontes & barons videlicet earles the lord burleigh

& Lord Cranborne, viscontes the lord Sidney & Sir phillip harrbert

barrons mr William Cavendish Sir John Stanhop Sir Oliver

Cromwell Sir George Caro & Sir Moyle ffynche & some

Scotsmen, mr dyot wished you had bene here & told me he

had some speeches with my lady Arbella of you & that she

wold have undertaken to have commended you to the kynge

which mr dyot thinketh may be done yet, I have bought a

hogshead of whyte wyne of mr hall which cost iiijli & doe

intend to send it by the first convenyent carier and as

I shall heare any newes & get convenyent messengers

you shall be assured to heare from me And so with due

remembrance of my humble dutye doe take my leave from

Clementes Inne this first of may 1605

Your Worshipful at comandment

during life

Henry Michell


To the right worshippfull

Sir humfrey fferrers

knight geue thies at walton with