Sunday, 15 June 2014

Howard baby's Royal godparents

Alethea Talbot (1585-1654) was the granddaughter of Bess of Hardwick through her daughter Mary Cavendish (1556-1632). In 1605 she was married to Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel (1585-1646).

Thomas Howard

Alethea Howard, 1620

In 1607 the couple had the first of their four children, which they named James, presumably after the present king, James I. The king was to be the baby's godfather.
On the 27th of June, Thomas Howard wrote to Bess of Hardwick concerning the role of godmother to the new baby. Initially, Bess had been asked by the couple to fill the role, however Queen Anne was now requesting to be the baby's godmother. This was a unique situation for the couple as both the king and queen were to be godparents to the same child.

Letter from Arundell to Bess, 1607

Madam, as soone as euer God, out of his greate goodnes,
had blessed us with a sonne; wee all resolved, to haue bin
sutors unto your Ladyship, that you would vouchsafe, to haue
bin his godmother; but it hath pleased the Queenes majestie
(oute of her especiall fauor) to interpose her selfe; farre 
contrary to oure expectacion, (seeing it hath neuer till
this time beene seene or knowne that the kinges majesti and 
the Queene haue christened any childe together;) which
must at this time, stay the proceedinge in oure firste
desire, unlesse, eyther the unusualnes, in like cases, or some
other accidente, may diuert the Queene from her in-
tente, which, if it doe happne, then, wee will advertise
your Ladyship: thereof by poaste, and will earnestly goe
forward in oure humble suite. In the meane time, my 
wife & my selfe, beseech your Ladyship that you will make us
both, with your little one, happy, by the continuance of your
Ladyships good wishes, and daily blessinge; and cease not our
continuall prayers to God, for your Ladyships longe health
and happiness and soe I rest
Your Ladyships lovinge & dutifull son to comande
Arundell house this 27th of June

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