Category Archives: letters

Smith and Stevenson or Dining With The Jurors

On 8 September 1560, the aforesaid Lady Amy … being alone in a certain chamber within the home of a certain Anthony Forster, in the aforesaid Cumnor, and intending to descend the aforesaid chamber by way of certain steps (in … Continue reading

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Robert Dudley’s Health

Robert Dudley was a fit man – an excellent dancer and horseman of athletic built. Even his diet was (according to our standards) reasonably healthy: He abhorred the heavy drinking habits of his time and had a taste for salads … Continue reading

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The Lovesick Earl, Part II

The quarrel between the Earl of Leicester and Sir Thomas Heneage continued into 1566, though at some point it must have died down because 20 years later, when Elizabeth sent Heneage to rebuke Leicester in the Netherlands, he showed so … Continue reading

Posted in Elizabeth I, errors & myths, family & marriage, letters, Lettice Knollys, Robert Dudley, sources & historians | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Art of Diplomacy: Elisabeth de Valois and Edward VI

In July 1551 the French Maréchal St. André visited the English court, ostensibly to bestow the prestigious Order of St. Michael on Edward VI, but also for negotiations about a marriage between the young English king and the even younger … Continue reading

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William Cecil and Amy Robsart: Was He Behind Her Death?

It has always been a popular notion that Lord Robert Dudley’s wife, Amy, was murdered. The theory that this was done on the orders of Sir William Cecil, the queen’s Principal Secretary, is much more recent, but only slightly less … Continue reading

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William Cecil and Amy Robsart: Visiting Lord Robert

In the week following his wife’s deadly fall from a flight of stairs Robert Dudley wrote many letters. He had left the court at Windsor for his house in Kew, “whither the lordes resorted to him to comforte him.”1 He … Continue reading

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Plotting the Demise of Mary Queen of Scots in 1572

It is often said that Robert Dudley supported his brother-in-law, Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, in the Elizabethan succession question. There is not much substance to this, however, and from early in Elizabeth’s reign his favourite candidate was clearly … Continue reading

Posted in Elizabeth I, letters, Robert Dudley | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Acquitted, Delivered, Discharged

In November 1579, on a Tuesday afternoon, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote one of his most personal letters; addressed to William Cecil, Lord Burghley, it speaks about his relationship with the queen like no other. A couple of months … Continue reading

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Sir John Dudley Goes to Spain

On 12 October 1537 England finally was blessed with the prince the country had yearned for so long. Three days later, among “all estates and gentlemen present at the christening” was listed “Sir John Dudley”.1 He already had played his … Continue reading

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The Earl of Leicester’s Social Conscience

According to Leicester’s Commonwealth, the Catholic libel of 1584, the Earl of Leicester was a rapacious upstart, persecuting the old and decent gentry families up and down the country. Local historians of the 17th century were much influenced by the … Continue reading

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