Elizabeth I – Queen of England Passport

Elizabeth I England Passport

ELIZABETH I (1533-1603), Queen of England and Ireland. Document signed, a passport for Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, addressed to the Commander of the town of Berwick and others, Westminster, 28 April 1565, signed by the Queen at the head, written in brown ink on paper in a secretary hand, one page, oblong 4to (210 x 320mm), integral blank leaf endorsed on verso ‘Pasport for Sir Nicholas Throkmorton’ (seal cut from below text leaving hole approximately 40 mm diameter, wax stain from seal on integral leaf, weak in folds, light stains, soiled on 2nd leaf). Provenance: for the history of the Throckmorton papers, see previous lot; Sotheby’s sale, 21 July 1980; the Spiro Family Collection.


The document is addressed to the Commander of Berwick and all mayors, sheriffs, bailiffs, stablers, customers, comptrollers, searchers, and other ministers, officers, and subjects, commanding them to give assistance and free passage to Sir Nicholas and his servants.

‘Oure will and straight commaundement is that youe and every of youe do not only see him furnished for himself and his servants of hable post horses from place to place between this and Barwyck at our price but also suffre hym and his sayd servaunts with his money Jewels bagges bagguages and all other his and their Utensiles and necessaryes quietly to pass by you w[i]thout any maner your lett s[ea]rch trouble or contradiction as ye tendre our ples[u]re and will answer for the contrary at your perills.’ Elizabeth I England PassportElizabeth I England Passport
Throckmorton was despatched in haste to Scotland in April 1565 with orders to endeavor to ‘stay’ the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots with Henry, Lord Darnley. So that Mary might have unmistakable evidence that the entire English privy council opposed it, he carried in his pocket the resolution of the committee that the marriage would be unsuitable, unprofitable, and ‘perilous to the amity between the queens and both realms.’ On arriving at Stirling, he presented orders for Darnley to return to England and received a promise from the Queen of Scots that the final steps would not be taken for three months. But on 22 July, Mary took the inevitable step of publishing the marriage banns. Darnley was proclaimed king on the 28th, and their marriage celebrated on the 29th.

This fantastic document was auctioned in 2008 with a result of GBP 20,000.

Elizabeth I England Passport

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