Elizabeth

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◦Response to a Parliamentary Delegation on Her Marriage, 1559 Elizabeth's response to a delegation from Parliament who petitioned her to marry soon, and not to marry a foreigner. The delegation wanted to be sure of the succession by her having a male child, and they wanted it to be English through and through, so that no foreigner would have a claim to the throne (she was under pressure to marry her sister's widower, Philip of Spain).

As I have good cause, so do I give you all my hearty thanks for the good zeal and loving care you seem to have, as well towards me as to the whole state of your country. Your petition I perceive consisteth of three parts and my answer to the same shall depend of two.

And to the first part I may say unto you that from my years of understanding since I first had consideration of myself to be born a servitor of almighty God, I happily chose this kind of life in which I yet live, which I assure you for my own part hath hitherto best contented myself and I trust hath been most acceptable to God. From the which, if either ambition of high estate offered to me in marriage by the pleasure and appointment of my prince whereof I have some records in this presence (as you our Lord Treasurer well know); or if the eschewing of the danger of my enemies or the avoiding of the peril of death, whose messenger or rather continual watchman, the prince's indignation, was not a little time daily before my eyes (by whose means although I know or justly may suspect, yet I will not now utter, or if the whole cause were in my sister herself, I will not now burden her therewith, because I will not charge the dead); if any of these, I say, could have drawn or dissuaded me from this kind of life, I had not now remained in this estate wherein you see me. But so constant have I always continued in this determination, although my youth and words may seem to some hardly to agree together, yet is it most true that at this day I stand free from any other...
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