The poem begins: 'As soon as Charles left his native shores, every angel was filled with tears'. The third line refers to Madrid, and so this poem almost certainly refers to the sudden departure in 1623 of the future King Charles I to Spain. From 1616 his father James I had hoped that Charles could marry the Infanta Maria Anna of Spain, as a means of procuring much needed income. However, with negotations dragging, Charles decided to seize the initiative and travel to Spain incognito with the Duke of Buckingham, in order to win over the infant directly. They arrived in Madrid on 7 March 1623, not knowing that Maria was strongly averse to marrying a non-Catholic and that the Spanish had been protracting negotations in order to avoid a war. They returned to England in October 1623, without the Infanta, much to the delight of the British people. The struggle caused by the negotations of proposed marriage, and Charles' journey to Spain with the Duke of Buckingham were satirised in the comic drama The Game of Chess by Thomas Middleton in 1624, as well as in other poems and novels. The poem which is full of classical allusions is apparently unpublished.
Author: Bellengard, Etienne
Title: Sententiarum volumen absolutissimum (Geneva, 1587)
Shelfmark: G.6.23 (catalogue record)