The plaque designs appear to be based on the images on the right.
On one of the Queen's visits in 1571, Cecil gifted her a drawing of the house. He was elevated to the Peerage the same year, becoming the Lord High Treasurer (Lord Burleigh), one of just 15 noblemen during the Elizabethan period. When Elizabeth visited the Palace in 1593, Cecil spent some 2500 pounds entertaining her.
I meant it for a little place but must enlarge it for the Queen
- Cecil had originally planned to keep Theobalds as a quiet family estate, but following Elizabeth's first visit he decided to enlarge and heavily renovate it to better accommodate her.
But I have the heart & stomach of a King
- The Queen is suggesting that she is strong enough for activities usually considered manly, such as hunting. It is possible that she hunted at Theobalds.
Cecil accommodated James I (of England) & Christian IV of Denmark for 5 days in 1606. The organised entertainments did not go to plan as most of the participants had been drinking heavily prior to the performance. Hosting this visit is reported to have cost Cecil 1487 pounds.
In 1607, James I swapped Hatfield House with Cecil for Theobalds.
The Queen calls me her little elf
- Robert Cecil may have assisted his father William in looking after Elizabeth I on her visits to Theobalds. Robert may have acted as a servant to the Queen. Since he was younger than her, she chose to call him a 'little elf'.
Following his and Queen Anne's acquisition of the estate in 1607, the King had a 2500-acre deer hunting ground created. Hunting was a favourite pastime of the Royal Family during the 17th century and they enjoyed many sessions at Theobalds.
In 1620, the King had a brick wall built around the estate. On an evening horse ride on 9 January 1622, he fell into the icy New River and was helped out by Sir Richard Young, who returned him to a warm bed at Theobalds.
The King died at Theobalds on 27 March 1625.
Jewel was my favourite hound
- In 1613, Queen Anne accidentally shot and killed the King's favourite dog Jewel during a hunting session. After some initial rage, he presented Anne with a diamond worth 2000 pounds (although records suggest he paid 1500) in memory of the dog and as an apology for his anger.
Silkworms flourish on my mulberry trees
- Jennings was ordered by James I to build a silkworm house at Theobalds, and the silkworms were fed the leaves of mulberry trees.
My early years were so happily spent in play at Theobalds
Strip the lead from the roof to pay the troops