Thursday, 20 March 2014

The imprisoned Mary Grey

On the 16th of July 1565 Lady Mary Grey secretly married Thomas Keyes, a sergeant porter at court.

Lady Mary Grey
Mary Keyes

Thomas Keyes was imprisoned at the Fleet and Mary was sent to Chequers in the custody of William Hawtrey.
Mary would frequently write to William Cecil, chief advisor to Queen Elizabeth, asking him to intercede with the queen on her behalf. 

7 November 1565
Good master secrytery I canot but geue you most humbell thankes for that I understande by master hawtry you ar suche an ernest sutter to the quenes maieste for to gett me her maiestes fauor the whiche is in this worlde the greattest thynge that I desier althoughe I confes that I haue desarued greatte punneshement at her maiestes handes yett if it wolde plesse her maieste to receue me once agayne to her fauor as I haue hertofor sayed I must to behaue my selfe so ever ded any that was in the courte and therfor I moste humbly reguser you to be a contenuall meane for me to brynge me unto that moste hapy estate agayene as to be in maiestes fauor the whiche myghte I ones obtayne I trust neuer to lose whille I lyue for that now I fell the greatte greffe it is to haue the prences desplessuer the whiche I assuer you if I had all the good in the worlde I wolde gladly geue it to be made suer of her maiestes fauour and to com into her maiestes pressens agayen and thys for that I doute not but you will aplye my sutte when occacyone will sarue I take my leue moste humbly of you desieringe god to sende you a happy suxes in thys your cherytabell requeste from chekers the vii daye of nouember 1565
your porr frynde to comande durynge lyfe
Mary Graye

16 December 1565
Good master secrytary I haue receued your letter by thys bearer wherin I receue no lyttell comfort in that I perceyrie you arr so erneste a sutter for me to her maieste as I can desier and also I haue receued greatte greffe for that I understande your erneste sutte as yett can take no place in obtaynynge me her maiestes fauor the whiche allthoughe I cofesse I haue desarued the conterary yett for that I haue founde her maieste so marcyfull to me all thes whill I did truste to haue holly obtayned her maiestes fauor befor thyes tyme the whiche havinge once obtayned I truste nouer to haue loste agayne but now I perceue that I am so unhappy a cretur as I must yett be witheout that greatte and longe desiered well tell it plesse god to put in her maiestes harte to forgeue and pardonn me my greatt and haynusse cryme althoughe with as sorowfull a hartte as euer any pour subiectte did and not withe followinge your moste godly counssell for the whiche I geue you moste humbell thankes prainge to god to geue me grace to emober and obsarue to the uttermoste of my poure and thyes for wublynge you any forther for thyse tyme most humbly byd you farwell from chekers the xvi daye of deceber 1565
your pour frynde to comande duringe lyffe
Mary Graye

24 January 1566
Good master secrytary, I must craue pardonn at your handes for trublynge you so oftenn withe my rude letters, but I trust you conceue what a greffe the quenes maiestes desplessur is to me, whiche makes me to wyshe deathe rather thenn to be in thes greatte messery witheout her maiestes fauor and therfor I am forst to craue your help and goodnes to be a conteneweall meane for me to her maieste, to gett me her maiestes fauor agayen: trustynge if I myghte our obtayne it neuer to forgoo it, whill i lyue, so neerrly gently as I haue don god geuinge me his grace, whiche I truste hee will withe my conteneweall prayer for it and therfor as you haue begonn to forther me to her maiesty for her maiestes fauor so I truste you will contenewe untell you haue gotten it me, and thys I leue to trubell you for thys tyme, prayen god to send you good spede from chekers the xxiiii daye of jenuary 1566
yours to comande duringe my lyfe
Mary Graye

7 February 1566
Good master secretary, I haue receued your message you sente me by master hawtry, wherin I do parceue you ar in dout whether I do contenet in my foly stell or no; whiche I assuer you I do as muche repent as euer dyd any, not only for that I haue therby geuen occasyon to my enymyes to reioycs at my fond parte, but also for that I haue therbe incurred the quenes maiestes desplessur, whiche is the greattest greffe to me; for that the princes fauor is not so soon gotten agayn and I assure you to be without it is suche agreff to any true subiectes hartt as no turment can be greatter as I most wofull wreche haue to well tryed desiringe rather deathe then to be any longer without so greatt a iuch as her maiestes fauor sholde be to me. wherfor for god sake as you haue begun for to be a meane to her maieste in gettinge me thes greatt and longe desired tressure, so continew untell you haue made me so happy as to obtaye it for me and this I leue to trubell you any forther at this tyme paryinge to god to send you prossperus succes. from chekers the vii day of february 1566
yours to comande duringe my lyfe
Mary Graye


3 May 1566
Good master secrytary I am a shamed this often to trubell you withe my rude letters butt that the greatte messery and moste lamentabell lyff I do nowe suffer in beinge without the quenes maiestes fauor dothe make me the bolder to putt you in rememberance at thys presentte of my humbell sutte to her maieste for fauor and remssyon of that whiche is past in hope that herafter I shall neuer offende her maieste any mor butt accordinge to my dutey behaue myselfe to her maieste so well as that I shalle in greatter fauor then I haue byne in desplessar allthoughe I muste conffes that I haue despiruest greatte desplessur of her maieste fauor I wolde neuer lowes it agayn wherfor as my only trust is in you so for god sake forgett not to ... my petyfull sutte to her maieste to receue me into her fauor and presscribe agayne and this I leue to trubell you any further for thys tyme in hope you will not forgett me from chekers the iii daye of maye 1566
your assured pore frynde to comande duringe my lyffe
Mary Graye

6 September 1566
Good master secrytary I muste craue pardon of you for that I am nowe so bolde to trubell you withe this my rude letter trustinge you will concether that I haue byen a greatte whill in the quenese maiestes desplessur the whiche I muste confesse I haue dessarued butt yett when I concether her maiestes marcefullnes it makes me hope withe your good helpe to taste of sum parte of it and therfor I am so bolde at this pressente to trubell you and to requier you moste humbly to contenewe your accostomed fryndshepe towarde me and to gette me so muche coumfortt as that I maye see her maieste att my Lord wenjors whiche sholde be so greatte a comforte to me as I canot expresse for I haue contenewed in messery wetheoutt her maiestes fauor and prescence a greatte whill and nowe wolde be glade to haue a lyttell ioye after all my sorowe the whiche I do not doutt butt withe your good furderaunce to obtayne and therfor I leue to trubell you any further for this tyme trusting you will remember this my humbell sutte desieringe god that I maye obtayne it from chekers the vi daye of september 1566
your pore frynde to comande duringe my lyffe
Mary Graye

30 September 1566
Good master secrytary I am bold to truble you at this pressent withe this my rude letter trustinge you will thinke no thinge in me for my boldnes but will i hope concether my longe and greuos empresonment and as you haue hetherto byne my greate frynde so I trust you will contenew and moue my most lamentable estat unto the quenes maieste crauing moste humble pardonn of her maieste for me that it wolde plesse her maieste allthough I have desarued to haue her maiestes deplesur yett to showe her accostomed goodnes rewarde me and to rescue me into her maiestes fauor agayne the whiche if I myghte obtayn I wolde truste withe the grace of god to kepe my selfe out of her maiestes desplesur duringe my lyfe for now I fell what hartes sorowe it is to a trew suiectes harte to haue the princes aunger. the greffe wherof is so greate as I assur you I thinke no turmente to be compared to that payne and therfor for gods sake I craue it be an ernest sutter for me to her maieste for fauor and remess you and to remember whate a greate tyme of truble I haue had the whiche I truste withe your good helpe will so moue her maiestes harte that at the last her maieste will I trust udue compassyon on me anot receue me into her fauor and pressence agayne and this for trublying you ouer muche at this tyme I take my leue of you moste humbly from chekers the xxx daye of september 1566
your pore frynde to comande
Mary Graye

17 April 1567
Good master secrytary I must craue humble pardonn of you for thatt I haue nott befor this tyme rendered my selfe thankfull to you for the greatte goodnes and fryndshepe I haue founde in you and and also the greatte redynes you haue showed in mouinge my moste petyfull and lamentable suett to the quenes maieste for her maiestes moste gracyous fauor for me and also I truste you will rather impuett it to the wantt of a conneyent messenger then to my forgettfullnes of my partte who hathe hathe byen to muche bound to you to forgett my selfe so farr most humbly desiringe you also thatt as you haue begonn your goodnes towards me in beinge so erneste a suetter to her maieste for the obtayninge of her maiestes fauor for me so you will contenewe untell you haue made me so happy a crettur as thatt I maye be made in thatt good estatt thatt I was in when I hade her maiestes fauor the whiche unlesse by your good meanes I gett agayne do lyue in suche wofull easse as I had rather be outt of this worlde then to wantt to greatt a well as thatt sholde be to me and this trustinge you will still as occacyon dothe sarue moue her maieste for her moste gracyous fauor and remessyon I leue to trubell you any mor for this tyme desiringe god to sende you happy suksesse in all your affayrs from checkers the xvii daye of aperol 1567
your pore frynde to comande
Mary Graye

In August 1567, Mary was moved to lived with her step-grandmother Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk. However this only lasted for two years as in June 1569 Mary was sent to live with Sir Thomas Gresham and his wife Anne at Bishopsgate, and later on at their country house at Osterley.
Thomas Keyes was released from the Fleet in 1569, however during his years of imprisonment his health had declined and he died in September 1571, having never seen his wife again.

7 October 1571
Hauinge founde your lordshepe so muche allways my good lorde in furderinge my humble sutt unto her maieste for her moste gracyous fauor in this my greatt sorowfull estatt morfor I am nowe the mor imbolldened to putt your so agayne in rememberaunce of this your goodnes crauinge the contynewance therof in beinge still an erneste and humble sutter unto her maieste for her obtayninge of the same greatt and longe desiered juell for me and sems god hathe taken awaye the occacyon of her maiestes justly conceved despleassuer towardes me it myghte therfor pleasse her hyghenes of her wonttcote marcyfullnss to pardonn  this my greatt faulte cometted agaynest her maieste and receve agayn unto fauor the whiche if I myghte by your so good precurment once attayn I do nothinge doutt gods helpe butt to verse my selfe in suche humble and dutyfull sortt as her maieste shall thinke this her gracyoses clemency welbestowed on me hauing had suffycyentt warninge by this my greatt messery allredy suffered whatt waye to kepe my selfe for ever fallinge any mor into so greatt inconvenence or wreched lyffe agayne as to be in her maiestes despleassur whill I lyve and this havinge over weryed your to withe my rude lynes I comett you to the kepeinge of god whom sende your lordshepe healte and me shortly her maiestes fauor to my greatt comfortt from osterle the vii of october 1571
your lo assured frende
Mary Keys

Thomas Gresham

24 May 1572
My messerabell and wreched casse constrayneth to trubell you my good lorde withe thes my rude lynes to crave at your so handes thatt as you have byen my good lorde and frend in speakinge for me unto her maieste for the forgevenes of my fault hetherto so mor you will still contenew the same goodnes to me in this my trubell sorow. I understand by m gresham thatt her maieste is contented I should be att free leberty goo wher I wold and willed me to nam the place wher I thought to be receved butt conterary to my hope itt has perrys as he touht me he showed your lordshepe wher upponn I understand by hym you willed me yett to thynke on sum other surly even as I sayd then so now I am bouht to writt to your lo I nether can thynke or know any thatt I am so muche beholdinge unto wherfor my good lord even for god sake as you see my woofull and hevy statt so petty me as I maye receve sum greattor comfortt then this messerably to remayn voyd of all frends and speake unto her maieste thatt as itt hathe pleassed her maieste alltogether undessarved by my passed faulte to sett me att leberty so seinge that I am destetud of all frends butt only god and her maiesty so I maye by her moste gracyous apoyntent be in som place of reste also my lyvinge is no waye so greatt as your lo dothe knowe wherby I maye heavr my selfe thatt way into any place for I have butt fourscore pound ayere of her maieste of my onne I have butt twenty pound and as your lo knowethe ther is no body will bourd me for so lyttell as for my father in law I know he will geve me nothynge now for befor his mariage I had lytell and now I loke for less wherfor beinge in this messery I knowe nott to how to fly for sucker butt only unto her maieste by your lo good meanes to move her maieste to pety me and this for over weryinge your lo withe hearing of my grevous messery and trustinge on sum good comfortable newes from her maieste by your manes thatt I maye be outt of thvs extremety I comett your lo to god from gresham housse this xxiiii daye of maye
your lo to comande
Mary Graye

Mary remained with the Greshams for a further few months, but by February 1573 she had her own household in London. In 1577 Mary was back at court as a Maid of Honour to the Queen. However, Mary died on the 20th of April 1578 as heiress presumptive to the English throne. She was given a lavish funeral and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

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