When we are honoured by a Royal visit nowadays, we await with confidence a punctual arrival by helicopter or Rolls Royce, and there is often a great deal of preparation beforehand, as seen here!
Arrangements were more subject to chance and weather in the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth. This could cause some anxious moments to the civic dignitaries of Warwick, who were waiting in 1572 to greet her Majesty with an oration and a paper of Latin verses. Queen Elizabeth I is known for making a dramatic entrance to Kenilworth Castle in 1575: this is a somewhat less flashy and more muddy tale…
‘The weather having been very foul…’
Be it remembered that in the yere of our Lord God one thousand five hundred seventy and twoo and in the fourtenth yere of the reign of our Sovireign Lady Quene Elizabeth the xijth day of August in the said yere It pleased the said sovireigne Lady to visit this Borough of Warwik in her heighnis person whreof the Bailif of this Borough and the principall Burgesses… with some of the commoners…prepare themselfe according to there bounden duty to attend her heighnis…
…the palce from whence her Majesty should come from dynner wch was at Itchington the house of Edward Fisher being six miles from Warwick…The direct way from whence leading by Tachebrok and so thorough Myton feld And therfre it was thought convenient… to expect her Majesty at the gate between Tachebrok feld and Myton feld
Nertheles the weather having been very fowle long tyme before And the way much staynid with carriage her Majesty was led another way thorough Chesterton pastures & so by Oakley & by that meannes came toward the town by ffourd myll
… the said Bailief Recorder & Burgesses having woord they left there place aforetaken And resorted to the said ffour myl hill…
How anxiously they must have panted along those muddy foot-paths, all bundled up in their best fur-trimmed robes! But it ended happily; the Queen listened patiently to the oration, received the verses and allowed her hand to be kissed.
Quotes are from “The Black Book of Warwick”, transcribed and edited by T. Kemp. Warwickshire County Record Office reference CR 1618/W19/6.
This is an edited version of an article originally published in the Friends of the Warwickshire County Record Office Newsletter, May 1989, and is reproduced with their permission.