Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 18, 1556, The Death of Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire

On this date in 1556, Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire, the only surviving child of Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter and his second wife, Gertrude Blount, Marchioness of Exeter died in Padua, Italy.  He contracted a fever and was thirty years old. He is buried in Padua in the church of Sant'Antonio.

I will be writing more about his life as I continue my research into the life of his mother, but I wanted to share one of the letters that Gertrude wrote to her son in his exile. It is contained in the book Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies, Volume 3, edited by Mary Ann Everett Green.


My most hearty blessing I send you, praying our Lord to bless you and send you well into these parts again. Your letter, written the 6th of August, I received the 14th of August. My man was much troubled with his passage; for, being on the sea, there was a great fight between the Frenchmen and the Spaniards, so that the ship he was in was fain to turn back again to Calais. I am very glad to hear you be in health, the which I pray God to continue. This is to advertise you I intend to take my journey to Canford-ward the Monday after Bartholomew day, and, whether I ride farther or not, I cannot yet ascertain you, but as my business shall occasion me I will do; but I appoint, verily, to be here again about Michaelmas. There rides with me, as they have appointed, both Sergeant Tymwell and George Gattys, and a daughter of Master Warham's, the which is a wife, with others. If wishing might take place, you should be there. At my coming home I will write to you. And thus, with my hearty thanks for your token, I will be you farewell; praying our Lord to preserve you both in honour and virtue, and to give his grace to avoid all ill and sinful company.
Written at Malsanger, from Sir William Warham's house, the 20th of August, with my most heart commendations.

By your loving mother,
Gertrude Exeter

To my son, the Earl of Devonshire, give this.
Endorsed -- 20th August, 1555

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