ELIZABETH (1596-1662, 'the Winter Queen'), wife of Frederick V of Bohemia, Elector of Palatine. Series of nine autograph letters signed ('your most affectionate frend Elizabeth') to Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland, The Hague, 18 August n.y.  - 16 November n.y. [1637?], 10½ pages, folio, address leaves, seals, contemporary endorsements (tear in upper right corner of one letter with loss of several words, slight fading of occasional words without loss of legibility). Provenance: Phillips sale, 16 June 1983, lot 500; the Spiro Family Collection -- Christie's sale, 3 December 2003, lot 65; the Albin Schram Collection.
An interesting series of letters, including several written at length and anxiously about her sons (Charles Louis and Rupert), begging Holland to intercede on their behalf with her brother (Charles I), particularly in regard to their military occupation: 'What can I counsell my sonne [Charles Louis] to doe, if he shoulde stay still in England or heere and not be in action, all the worlde in a manner being so, for his cause you may easilie iudge what dishonneur it were to him, and to live and be a vollontier in an armie or under others service, it would be no smale dishonnour to my Brother'. Elizabeth also expresses her gratitude for Holland using his influence on behalf of her secretary, Sir John Deneley and 'making his peace with the king', as well as asking him to assist Sir Jacob Astley (Prince Rupert's former tutor), giving news of mutual acquaintances in various services (Hesse, Sweden and Weimar), generally commenting on political and military developments, and in one letter thanking him warmly for a horse: 'I have tried your nagg, I never ridd one that I have liked better and do not wonder that Charles [her son] was not hastie to send him, the rogue is lazie and likes easie going horses but he shall never have this againe'.
Elizabeth of Bohemia, 'the Winter Queen', had by 1636 been widowed for four years. She fled Bohemia after only one winter there when the brief rule of her husband Frederick V, the protestant Elector Palatine, was ended by the invasion of the Emperor Ferdinand and the Catholic League in 1621. The royal exiles thereafter lived at Leiden or in The Hague. Prince Rupert and his elder brother, Prince Charles Louis, visited England in February 1636, staying some 15 months, while various ideas for their occupation were considered and discarded. (9)