March 16, 1554 – Elizabeth’s Letter to Mary I (the “Tide Letter”)

An interesting and thought-provoking letter from the future Elizabeth I of England proclaiming her innocence in Thomas Wyatt’s rebellion to her older sister Mary I.

Janet Wertman

Tide Letter - Page Two Tide Letter – Page Two

Elizabeth wrote this letter after being informed that she would be taken to the Tower. Sir Thomas Wyatt (son of the poet who wrote verse about Anne Boleyn) had rebelled against Mary I following the announcement of her plan to marry Philip of Spain. Elizabeth had been implicated in the plot. It was called the “Tide Letter” because by the time Elizabeth finished writing it, the tide on the Thames had turned and they could no longer leave that day.

Elizabeth was amazing in the way she took every advantage that she could. It is said that when she arrived  at the Tower, she refused to go in. When Kat Ashley shared her fear, she turned to her to comfort her and quoted Bible verses. Everything was done with an eye to how her actions would be viewed. This was a lesson she had learned…

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