Beyond her interactions with the Spanish ambassadors, very little is known about Elizabeth’s political and diplomatic role. Only two letters survive regarding her efforts to intercede for the benefit of others. On August 1, 1499, she wrote to King Ferdinand of Spain to recommend the services of “Henry Stile, who wishes to go and fight against the Infidels,” adding her recommendation to that of King Henry, who had already written in the soldier’s favor. The queen’s letter included a personal observation about Stile: “Though he is a very short man, he has the reputation of being a valiant soldier.” Another letter to the Prior of Christ Church, Canterbury, asks permission to nominate one of her chaplains to the vacant living of the parish church of All Saints in Lombard Street, London. After her death, a single record mentions an action relating to Thomas Whytyng and his wife Margaret, who received rent for the lordship of Havering at the Bower, “not with- standing a fine and recovery made there in the court of Elizabeth late queen of England.”As Laynesmith points out in her seminal study of late medieval queens, Elizabeth of York’s chambers often hosted important political events and her personal sociability contributed to Henry’s success with foreign ambassadors and English nobility. Scanty records, however, limit more precise knowledge of Elizabeth’s political role.
— Arlene Okerlund