The Queen’s Chapel, London. Image courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

In John Chamberlain’s letter to Sir Dudley Carleton dated May 30th, 1623, Chamberlain frames his comments on the Service of Consecration for Trinity Chapel with references to King James’ ongoing efforts to secure an alliance with the Spanish, to include the marriage of James’ son Charles to the Infanta Maria Anna, daughter of King Philip III of Spain. These references include an account of English noblemen who had been designated to travel to the English coast to welcome Maria Anna when she arrived for her marriage.

They also include references to the Spanish ambassador’s laying “the foundation or first stone of the chappell that is to be built at St. James for the Infanta.” This chapel survives, in London, and is now known as the Queen’s Chapel. Unlike Trinity Chapel at Lincoln’s Inn, it was designed by Inigo Jones in his capacity as Royal Architect. It was to be the first chapel to be built for use by the Infanta and her entourage, who would be ministered to by Roman Catholic clergy. While James’ negotiations with the Spanish broke down, this chapel was eventually used for the saying of Mass when Charles married the Catholic princess Henrietta Maria, daughter of King Henry IV of France.

The Queen’s Chapel, 1688. Engraving courtesy Wikimedia Commons.