A Master’s Letter

Roughly equivalent to our Diploma. Condensed and translated from the example of a Master’s Letter found in the Slone Ms 2530

Be it known to all men by this present writing, wheresoever it shall come to be read, heard or understood and especially to all manner of officers under the dominions of our sovereign Lady Elizabeth by the grace of God Queen of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith and the supreme head of the Church of England and also of Ireland. That we R, W: T W: G.T. and A.R. being the four ancient Masters of the said science of Defence within the City of London do admit E.B. Master of the said science the twenty fifth day of May in anno etc, in so much as the said E did play his prize with us the said Masters. We do also admit the said E. to teach and instruct in any place within the Queen’s dominions as an able, well tried, and sufficient man with various weapons such as the long sword, etc. Therefore we, the said Masters admitted by the Queen’s majesty and her most honourable council, desire all her highness’ true subjects to aid the said E.B. against all strangers and such as teach without authority and such forsworn men against God and the Queen’s majesty which of long time have deceived her highness true subjects.

Wherefore we, the said, R.W., T.W., G.T. and A.R. being four ancient masters of this science within the City of London desire all her Majesty’s true subjects and officers as they love God and our said sovereign Lady to suffer none to keep any school of Defence, whosoever he be except that he have the authority to show in like case as this Mr E.B. has. In so doing you shall show yourselves true and faithful officers and subjects unto your power, thanks be given to God for the maintaining of the truth whereof we be masters of defence. In witness whereof etc . . .