Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Question from Jon - Elizabeth I pet monkey

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


  1. 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.

  2. She had chimpanzees trained as servants to carry trays. Used to be images of it.


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