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Bakewell, Derbyshire

Extract from Lysons' Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire, 1817 (Magna Britannia Vol 5)

Footnote to the Buxton Section:
Lord Shrewsbury's letters seeking permission to take Mary Queen of Scots to the baths

Transcribed by Barbarann Ayars © 2001

[Lyson's Magna Britannia, Vol V, Derbyshire: Bakewell page 35]

Her (Mary's) first journey to Buxton appears to have been in the year 1573: Lord Shrewsbury speaking of his application for permission to repair to Buxton wells for his health, speaks thus, in a letter to Sir Francis Walsingham, "Whereas she hath put her Majesty in mynde of hur jorney to Buxton well, and you refarre to my consyderacon the convenyence and meteness thereof, and what nede she hath of that bane: and if hur jorney theddar be nedeful and fytte, then how it may be done convenyently; and thereof I to sartefy hur Majesty, I can saye lyttell of the state of hur boddy; she semes more helthfull now, and all the last yere past, than before; she hath very myche used baning with yerbes now of late, as she hath done other ers; what nede she hath of Buxton well I know nott furthat than I hae here wrytt; my L. Tresorar knowth Buxton and the contray therabout; therefore I refarre the fytnes of her jorney theddar to his L's consideracion, and my L.L. and others of the councell, as shall plees the Q's Majesty to derect; I shall carry and kepe her safely here and there alyke".(Lodge's Illustration of British History, vol.ii, p 109).

The following instructions from Lord Burleigh to the Earl of Shrewsbury will show how loth the Queen was to give her permission, and with what caution her first visit (and of course equal caution was observed in all subsequent visits) was conducted. " Her Majesty is pleased, that if your L. shall think you may without perill conduct the Q. of Scotts to ye well of Buckston, accordyng to her most ernest desyre, your L. shall so doo, usyng such care and respect for hir person, to contynew in your chardg, as hytherto your L. hath honorably, happely, and s'visably doone; and whan your L. shall determyn to remove with the sayd Q. thythar, it were good yet as little forknolledg abrode as may convenenienly be gyven; and nevertheless, yet for ye tyme that she shall be there, yet all others, being strangers from your L. comany, be forbydden to come thyther duryng ye tyme of ye sayd Quenes abode there. And this I wryte because her Majesty was very unwyllyng that she should go thyther, imagening that hir desyre was ether to be the more sene of strangers resortyng thyther, or for the acheving of some furder enterprise to escape; but on the other part I told hir Majesty, if in very dede hir sicknes were to be releved therby, hir Majesty cold not in honor deny hir to have the naturall remedy therof; and for hir savety, I knew your L. wold have sufficient care and regard, and so hir Majesty commanded me to wryte to your L. that yow might coduct hir thyther, and also to have good respect to her. August 10, 1573. Lodges Illustrations, vol ii, p. 111. The Queen of Scots was at Buxton again in 1576.

In a letter to Lord Burleigh, without date, which was written after her second visit to Buxton alluding to some false reports which had been made to the Queen, the Earl of Shrewsbury says, " Touching the doubtfullnes her Majesty shuld have of me in gyvyng the Scotes Q. lybarte to be sene and saluted; suerly my L. the reportars thereof to her Majesty hathe done me grete wronge; In dede at her fyrst beinge there, ther hapenyd a pore lame crepell to be in the lowar....unknowne to all my pepell that garded the plase, and whan she hard that there was women in the...she desiered some good gentylwoman to gyve her a smoke; whereupon they putt one of ther smokes out of a hole in the walle to her, and so soone as it came to my knolege, I was bothe offended with her, and my pepell for takeyng any lettarr unto her; and after that tyme I toke such ardar as no pore pepell came unto the house during that tyme; nether at the seconde tyme was ther any strangar at Buxtons (but my one pepell) that sawe her, for that I gave such charge to the contrey about, none sould come in to behold her". Vol ii p 247

In 1580, we find that the Earl of Shrewsbury went to Buxton a third time with his charge. The Earl, in a letter to Lord Burleigh, dated August 9, 1580, says, " I cam heddar to Buxtons with my charge, the 28 of July. She hadde a harde begynnenge of her jorney; for whan she shuld have taken her horse, he starated asyde, and therewith she fell and hurte hur bake, which she still complaines off, nottwithstanding she applyed the bathe on or twyse a daye. I doo strictly obsarve hur Majesty's commandment, wrytten to me by your L. in restereyninge all resorte to this plase; nether doth she see, nor is seene to any more than to hur owne pepell and such as I appoynte to attende; she hathe nott come forthe of the house synce her cumynge, nor shall nott before hur partynge". Vo ii, p 239.

[From Lysons Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire, 1817.
Transcription kindly donated by Barbarann AYARS, 22nd Aug 2001]