Sermo de Christo (Sermon of Christ)

Between 1544 and 1550 Elizabeth I was taught calligraphy by two royal tutors: William Grindall and then Grindall’s former teacher, Roger Askham. Under their influence she abandoned Bellemain’s French italic in favour of the Cambridge italic. This development is shown in Elizabeth’s copy of her Latin translation of an Italian sermon, dating from around 1552, in which she displays considerable skill. Askham was highly complimentary about the young princess’s calligraphic ability. In 1550 he told his friend Johann Sturn: ‘Nothing can be more elegant than her handwriting whether in the Greek or Roman character.’


In the hand of Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth (1533-1603), who also translated the text from the Italian

In Latin, on parchment; forty-two leaves, 224 x 115 mm

Nineteenth-century English binding: red velvet over boards