Beginning "Good Sir Edward Kelly," Burleigh acknowledges Kelly's letters by Dyer. "Without particular knowledge of your impediments, I may not give any such censures as others soe unconsiderately, yea uncharitably, may doe. You confess a desire to return to your native countrie; your minde draws to your sovereign. This is commendable, yet many say if you come not, it is because you cannot perform what has been reported of you. Malicious persons say you are an imposter, like some in other countries have been proved. You fear severe punishment. Now, good knight, though I write thus plainly to you, yet such is my credit in Mr. Dyer, such my allowance of your loyal profession, such opinion do I firmly conceave of your wisdom and love expressed in your letters, such my perswaysion of your habillitie to performe what Mr. Dyer has reported (by reason of the estimation, honor and credit I see that you have gotton by yr behaviour), that I rest only unsatisfied in your delaye of coming; and I am expressly commanded by Her Majestie to require you to have regard to her honour, and according to the tenor of her former letters, to assure yrself singularly favoured in respect of the benefit you may bring to Her Majestie....
"Be assured of worldly reward. You can make yr Queen so happie for her, surely as no subject she hath can do the like. Good Knight, let me end my letter conjuring you, in God's holy name not to keep God's gift from yr natural countrie, but rather help make Her Majestie a glorious and victorious power against the mallyce of hers and God's enemies. Let honor and glory move yr naturall hart to become honorable in yr own countrie rather than in a strange one, and leave a monument of yr name with posterity. Let no other country bereave us of this felicitie: that only, yea only by you, I say, is to be expected. Let no time be lost; we are all mortall: you that should be author, this noble Queen yt should be receiver thereof."
Then he politely acknowledges some gift Kelly has sent. Instead of an ingot of gold, it seems more like a geological specimen for a museum, and certainly does not excite the Lord Treasurer's immense gratitude.
"All this in answer to your by Dyer. I thank you for the montayn or rock sent safely from Staden. I will place it in my house, where I bestow other things of workmanship, and it shall be memoryall of yr kindness, wishing I might receive some small receipt from you yt might comfor my spyritts in myn age, rather than my coffers with any welth, for I esteeme helth above welth."
But Kelly knew better than to face the astute Englishmen at home. In Prague he felt secure, and all too bitterly he learned his mistake. A couple of independent letters from two English merchants to Burleigh and to Edward Wootton give the exciting story of his fall from favour.
He had been established in a house of his own close to the Palace; his wife and brother had rejoined him; Edward Dyer made it his headquarters. One day, the last of April, perhaps even before Burleigh's letter was dispatched, he was suddenly arrested by the fitful Rudolph's command, and thrown into prison. A large force of the imperial guard, accompanied by the City Provost and one of the Secretaries of State, burst uninvited into his house to take him whilst at dinner. But a friend at Court had whispered a word, and the evening before he had ridden off with one attendant towards Rosenberg. The intruders had to be content with haling off brother Thomas to prison, "pinacled like a thief." They searched the house thoroughly, broke open doors, and thrust their halberds into the beds or any place where "Sir Edward" might possibly lie hid. Satisfied he was not there, they sealed up certain of the rooms, laid some of the servants in chains - one was afterwards "racked" - and departed, leaving a guard over "Lady Kelly" and Mr. Dyer, forbidding them to stir from the house. Returning with their news to the Emperor, Rudolph "cursed in the Dutch manner," and gave orders to search the town and the highways.
Kelly had ridden off many miles towards his patron, the all-powerful
Rosenberg, but being weary and fasting, halted at the inn at Sobislaus,
fed, and threw himself on a couch to sleep. By three days after,
May 2, the soldiers had tracked him down; and roughly seizing
him, they cut open his doublet with a knife to search for concealed
valuables or papers, vowing they cared not whether they took him
dead or alive to the Emperor. Kelly appealed to his all-powerful
friend, Rosenberg. "In Bohemia," says the merchant in
his letter, "it is a rule that his Majesty dares do nothing
without the Earl's consent, he being Burgrave of Prague, the immediate
person and officer under the Crown." Rudolph was already
sinking into the melancholy and madness in which he ended his
days. However, Rosenberg's protection did not avail. Kelly was
taken to the Castle of Purglitz, three miles from Prague, and
there he was closely confined for more than two years.
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