HENRIETTA MARIA, Queen of England, wife of Charles I (1609-1669). Series of seven autograph letters signed ('Votre affectionée amie' or 'Votre fidelle amie, Henriette Marie R') to Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland ('Mon Cousin'), n.p, n.d. [1630s], in French, 9½ pages, 8vo and 5 pages, 4to, integral address leaves each with 2 small seals (two letters with small tears in folds affecting three words of text, one with scorch marks), and: (Marie de) MEDICIS, Queen of France (1573-1642). Letter signed ('V[ot]re bien bon cousine Marie') to the Earl of Holland, Brussels, 3 July 1638, one page, folio, integral address panel, seals.
The Queen sends assurances of her affection, and gratitude for Holland's services, referring to her household, financial matters and politics, and her appreciation of his letters, one of which has mentioned the King's policy towards the Prince Elector (presumably Frederick of Bohemia). A long letter, sent to him by hand of 'henry semier [Seymour]' (the King's page), replies to one of his carried by Henry Percy, 'ou vous me mandes que vous aves des propositions fait pour se joyndre avec le pape, dans une paix generalle ... il me semble que cela ne peut estre que advantageux pour le Roy le quel est resolu de ne point faire de guerre'. Marie de Medicis's letter expresses her thanks for Holland's assistance to the King (Charles I) and her daughter (Henrietta Maria).
Holland was sent to Paris in 1624, to sound the French court on the question of a marriage between Prince Charles and Henrietta Maria. In December 1629 he was appointed the Queen's High Steward and in 1639 she Henrietta Maria secured for him the position of General of the Horse in place of the more capable Essex. He used his influence with her to intrigue against the King's ministers, was an indifferent chancellor of Cambridge University, and alienated Strafford. By 1642 even the Queen was provoked by his erratic behaviour and apparent ingratitude and she instigated the order for the surrender of the keys of his office. (8)