How European Royals Once Shared Their Most Important Secrets

Recent research highlights the use of letterlocking techniques by Queen Elizabeth, Catherine de’ Medici and Mary Queen of Scots.

How European Royals Once Shared Their Most Important Secrets

The New York Times – by William J. Broad

To safeguard the most important royal correspondence against snoops and spies in the 16th century, writers employed a complicated means of security. They’d fold the letter, then cut a dangling strip, using that as an improvised thread to sew stitches that locked the letter and turned the flat writing paper into its own envelope. To get inside, a spy would have to snip the lock open, an act impossible to go undetected.

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