Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Question from Jon - Elizabeth I pet monkey

I want ask did Queen Elizabeth I have a pet monkey?

1 comment:

Foose said...

I couldn't find any reference to her having a pet monkey, although Henry VII apparently kept one (as related in a popular anecdote), Katharine of Aragon was painted with one, and unloved cousin Catherine Seymour also kept a monkey or monkeys.

Perhaps she avoided associating herself with a real monkey specifically because of the Elizabethan adage/insult that "women dying maids lead apes in hell."

However, when the Duke of Anjou sent to court the queen, his emissary was Jean de Simier, whom Elizabeth took a great fancy to and addressed, as her usual mark of favor, with a special pet name: Petit Singe, sometimes rendered "Monkey" or "Ape" in English, an adroit pun on his surname (Simier/simian). "Le Synge Vostre," "Vostre tres humble Singe," etc., he fawningly signed his name in letters to her.