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Sir Philip Sidney 1586


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Gilded electrotype copy of the obverse of Sir Philip Sidney, Shropshire, Shrewsbury School medal, circa 1840(seen it referenced in an 1844 gentleman's magazine), bust of Sir Philip Sidney wearing ruff collar bare-head facing, rev. legend within oak wreath border in nine lines, 48 mm.

Obv. PHILIPPUS SIDNEY REG. SCHOL. SALOP. ALUMNUS A.D.1564 below bust NAT. A.D. 1554. O B. A.D. 1586.

 

Sir Philip(named for Queen Mary's Spanish husband) Sidney (1554-1586), Elizabethan soldier, statesman, author and poet. Educated at Shrewsbury and Christchurch Oxford. All his tutors expected great things of him, he was a true renaissance man.

Was in Paris during the St Bartholomews Day Massacre 1572, sought sanctuary with the Sir Francis Walsingham(English ambassador) he was later(1582) to marry Walsingham's daughter. Died a heroic death at the age of 32. His death was lamented on a huge scale, one of the most celebrated English funerals http://wiki.umd.edu/...itle=Engravings Below is just one of the 30+ engravings from that link, which have the latin text and an english translation.

 

 

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The corps was covered with velvet and caryed by 14 of his yomen. The corners of the Paule were houlden by 4 Gentlmen his deer lovinge frende.

The Banrole were caryed by 4 of his neer kynredd.

 

 

The French ambassador describes the scene where Sir Philip sends a note to Queen Elizabeth I pertaining to the proposed marriage to Duc d'Alencon; "… Just then a page hurried in. With a gracious bow to his sovereign in whose august frown twinkled gleams of indulgent kindness, he handed her a letter. “From Master Philip Sidney,” quavered his boyish treble. Thousands of brightly-coloured rays flashed from her jewelled fingers as the hands that ruled England broke the seal. A moment later the sun was dimmed and a terrible thunder sounded in the chamber. She had risen; the letter lay on the cold flags like a white rag – ‘He tells me not to marry the Frenchman! Sidney begs leave to advise his queen!"

 

His diplomatic career opened with promise: at the age of only 22, he was appointed as a special envoy on what was superficially a courtesy call on the families of the recently deceased Holy Roman Emperor and the Elector Palatine. The real purpose behind the mission was to sound out support for a Protestant league in Germany and the Low Countries as a defence against Spanish ambitions.

 

He was a huge success abroad, the French, Germans, Italians, Dutch and Poles all fawned over him, this did not make him very popular with QE I, though he had been one of her favourites at court.

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