A previously undiscovered manuscript written by Queen Elizabeth the First has been found by a lecturer from the University of East Anglia.

It’s a translation of the Roman historian Tacticus that Dr John-Mark Philo discovered while carrying out research at Lambeth Palace library. He says he was able to work out it was the Queen by comparing the handwriting to letters sent by Elizabeth.

The is the first discovery of its kind for more than a century.

“The translation itself has been copied out in an elegant scribal hand, which is itself a match for one of Elizabeth's secretaries, but the author's changes and additions are in an extremely distinctive, disjointed hand – Elizabeth's. Her late handwriting is usefully messy – there really is nothing like it – and the idiosyncratic flourishes serve as diagnostic tools.”

Dr John-Mark Philo, honorary fellow in English Studies, UEA

Dr Philo said Tacticus "has always been considered the subversive historian, and was later reviled under Charles I as anti-monarchical". The university say this raises questions about why it would be of interest to Elizabeth.

Dr Philo added that the translation could also be an example of a leisure activity for a queen known to enjoy translation and classical history.