|26. Raffaelo De Negra to Bianca Maria Visconti, Duchess of Milan.|
I am writing to report what an Englishman told me about the magnificence of the Queen of England and how she was brought to England. I will tell you something of the King of England. First of all the Englishman told me that the King of England took her without any dowry, and he even restored some lands which he held to her father. When the queen landed in England the king dressed himself as a squire, the Duke of Suffolk doing the same, and took her a letter which he said the King of England had written. When the queen read the letter the king took stock (amirò) of her, saying that a woman may be seen over well when she reads a letter, and the queen never found out that it was the king because she was so engrossed in reading the letter, and she never looked at the king in his squire's dress, who remained on his knees all the time. After the king had gone the Duke of Suffolk said: Most serene queen, what do you think of the squire who brought the letter? The queen replied: I did not notice him, as I was occupied in reading the letter he brought. The duke remarked: Most serene queen, the person dressed as a squire was the most serene King of England, and the queen was vexed at not having known it, because she had kept him on his knees. The queen afterwards went from thence. The king really wrote to her and they made great triumphs.
The Englishman told me that the queen is a most handsome woman, though somewhat dark and not so beautiful as your Serenity. He told me that his mistress is wise and charitable, and your Serenity has the reputation of being equally wise and more charitable. He said that his queen had an income of 80,000 gold crowns. She has a most handsome boy, six years old. (fn. 1) The following noblemen serve her: the Dukes of Somerset (… stre), York, Gloucester (Gozestre), Beaufort (bauforte), Clarence (Clarenza), (sen. re), Exeter (setre), Buckingham (borchaincay), Norfolk (noforcho) and Suffolk (soforcho). Their wives are at Court also, and when the wife of the Duke of Petro a Baylito, the king's son and all the duchesses speak to the queen, they always go on their knees before her. She asked me when your Serenity was in the great hall at Milan what ladies were about you. I answered marchionesses and countesses; among others Madonna Antonia de Perora e Parmina. She asked who the ladies were. I told her that Madonna Antonia da Perora was Countess of Moltuni and Parmina and Marchioness of la Pieve da Cayré, and all the others were great ladies. I remarked that your Serenity has a splendid Court. I have mentioned these affairs of England because your Serenity delights in noble things.
Milan, the 24th October, 1458.