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Portrait of Queen Elizabeth of York

A ruefull Lamentation

A rueful Lamentation written by Mr. Thomas More in his youth, of the death of queen Elizabeth, mother to king Henry VIII, wife to king Henry VII, and eldest daughter to king Edward IV; which queen Elizabeth died in childbed, in February in the year of our Lord 1503, and in the 18th year of the reign of king Henry VII.

O! ye that put your trust and confidence
        In worldly joy and frail prosperity,
That so live here as ye should never hence,
        Remember death and look here upon me;
        Ensample I think there may no better be.1
Yourself wot well that in this realm was I
Your queen but late, and lo now here I lie.

Was I not born of old worthy lineage,
        Was not my mother queen my, father king,
Was I not a king's fare in marriage,2
        Had I not plenty of every pleasant thing?
        Merciful God, this is a strange reckoning;
Riches, honour, wealth, and ancestry,
Hath me forsaken, and lo now here I lie.

If worship might have kept me, I had not gone,
        If wit might have me saved, I needed not fear,
If money might have holpe, I lacked none,3
        But O! good God, what vaileth all this gear?4
        When Death is come thy mighty messenger,
Obey we must, there is no remedy,
Me hath he summoned, and lo now here I lie.

Yet was I late promised otherwise,
        This year to live in wealth and delice;5
Lo whereto cometh thy blandishing promise,
        O! false astrology and devinatrice,6
        Of God's secrets making thyself so wise;
How true is for this year thy prophecy,
The year yet lasteth, and lo now here I lie.

O brittle wealth, aye full of bitterness,
        Thy single pleasure doubled is with pain;
Account my sorrow first and my distress
        In sundrywise, and reckon thereagain
        The joy that I have had, and I dare sayne,7
For all my honour, endured yet have I
More woe than wealth, and lo now here I lie.

Where are our castles now, where are our towers?
        Goodly Richmond soon art thou gone from me;
At Westminster, that costly work of yours,
        Mine own dear lord, now shall I never see.
        Almighty God vouchsafe to grant that ye,
For you and your children well may edify!
My palace builded is, and lo now here I lie.

Adieu mine own dear spouse, my worthy lord,
        The faithful love that did us both combine,
In marriage and peaceable concord
        Into your handes here I clean resign,
        To be bestowed upon your children and mine.
Erst were you father, and now must you supply8
The mother's part also, for lo now here I lie.

Farewell my daughter, Lady Margaret,
        God wot full oft it grieved hath my mind,9
That ye should go where we should seldom meet,10
        Now am I gone and have left you behind.
        O mortal folk that we be, very blind!
That we least fear, full oft it is most nigh,
From you depart I first, and lo now here I lie.

Farewell Madam, my lord's worthy mother,11
        Comfort your son and be you of good cheer,
Take all a worth, for it will be none other.
        Farewell my daughter Catharine, late the fare 12
        To prince Arthur, mine own child so dear.
It booteth not for me to weep or cry,
Pray for my soul, for lo now here I lie.

Adieu Lord Henry, my loving son adieu,13
        Our Lord increase your honour and estate.
Adieu my daughter Mary, bright of hue,14
        God make you virtuous, wise and fortunate.
        Adieu sweet heart, my little daughter Kate,15
Thou shalt, sweet babe, such is thy destiny,
Thy mother never know, for lo now here I lie.

Lady Cicyly, Anne, and Catharine,
        Farewell my well-beloved sisters three.
O! Lady Bridget, other sister mine,
        Lo here the end of worldly vanity!
        Now well are ye that earthly folly flee,
And heavenly thinges love and magnify.
Farewell and pray for me, for lo now here I lie.

Adieu my lords, adieu my ladies all,
        Adieu my faithful servants every chone, 16
Adieu my commons, whom I never shall
        See in this world; wherefore to the alone,17
        Immortal God, verily three and one,
I me commend; thy infinite mercy
Shew to thy servant, for lo now here I lie.

[AJ Notes:

1. ensample, example.
2. fare, wife.
3. have holpe, have helped.
4. vaileth, availeth (is of use); gear, worldly goods.
5. delice, delight, joy.
6. devinatrice, divination.
7. sayne, say.
8. erst, before now.
9. God wot, God knows.
10. Margaret Tudor, her eldest daughter, was promised in marriage to James IV, king of Scotland.
11. Queen Elizabeth's mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby.
12. Her daughter-in-law Catherine of Aragon, who had married Prince Arthur.
13. Prince Henry, afterwards King Henry VIII.
14. Her daughter Mary Tudor, afterwards Queen of France.
15. Katherine, whose birth had been the cause of the Queen's death, followed her mother soon after.
16. every chone, everyone (ever each one).
17. to the alone, to thee alone.]

        Cayley, Arthur, the Younger. Memoirs of sir Thomas More. Vol I.
        London: Cadell and Davis, 1808. 19-21.

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The Tudors

King Henry VII
Elizabeth of York

King Henry VIII
Queen Catherine of Aragon
Queen Anne Boleyn
Queen Jane Seymour
Queen Anne of Cleves
Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Katherine Parr

King Edward VI
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Renaissance English Writers
Bishop John Fisher
William Tyndale
Sir Thomas More
John Heywood
Thomas Sackville
Nicholas Udall
John Skelton
Sir Thomas Wyatt
Henry Howard
Hugh Latimer
Thomas Cranmer
Roger Ascham
Sir Thomas Hoby
John Foxe
George Gascoigne
John Lyly
Thomas Nashe
Sir Philip Sidney
Edmund Spenser
Richard Hooker
Robert Southwell
Robert Greene
George Peele
Thomas Kyd
Edward de Vere
Christopher Marlowe
Anthony Munday
Sir Walter Ralegh
Thomas Hariot
Thomas Campion
Mary Sidney Herbert
Sir John Davies
Samuel Daniel
Michael Drayton
Fulke Greville
Emilia Lanyer
William Shakespeare

Persons of Interest
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester
Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
William Tyndale
Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Hugh Latimer
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
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Historical Events
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
The Babington Plot, 1586
The Spanish Armada, 1588

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555

Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR

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