Tag Archives: France

Robert Dudley in Quarantine

In August 1563, Robert Dudley found himself in quarantine. In theory this meant he had to stay away from court (and in his case, from home) for at least 40 days. The word “quarantine” originated in Venice, from the Italian … Continue reading

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The Sieur de Vieilleville’s Memoirs – A 16th Century Fake?

The French ambassadors, who in early 1547 observed the strange habits of the English when serving their monarch at table and spoke to a mysterious but very outspoken English nobleman, were led by François de Scépeaux, Sieur de Vieilleville, who … Continue reading

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How Henry VIII Got Rid Of His Wives

We left the Ambassador Extraordinary of France, François de Scépeaux, Sieur de Vieilleville, and his companions at the court of Edward VI in early 1547 amazed at how English noblemen behaved towards their sovereign; they even knelt when serving the … Continue reading

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Why the English Serve Their King on Bended Knee

A few weeks into the reign of Edward VI, in early 1547, a French embassy arrived at the English court. They stayed for six days. François de Scépeaux, Sieur de Vieilleville (1509–1571), the special ambassador, was received by the Duke … Continue reading

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A Grand Conspiracy in 1553? – Foreign Affairs

On 13 March 1553 the English privy council busied itself with granting a licence for the export of 200,000 pairs of old shoes.1 On 27 June 1553 the members of the same council swore themselves to secrecy about their forthcoming … Continue reading

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Parrots for Ladies

On her death bed, Jane Dudley, the widowed Duchess of Northumberland and mother of Robert Dudley, remembered her recently acquired friends from Spain who had helped secure the freedom of her sons. Among the Spanish grandees mentioned in her will, … Continue reading

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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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The Peace Portrait: The Significance of the Little Dog

One of the most beautiful portraits of Elizabeth I is the so-called Peace Portrait, and it has long been associated with the Earl of Leicester. The queen, symbolizing the goddess of peace, Pax, holds an olive branch and stands on … Continue reading

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Andrew Dudley Meets the Emperor

On 28 December 1552 the Duke of Northumberland imparted his latest thoughts on English diplomacy to his right hand man, Sir William Cecil. King Edward had just okayed the council’s suggestion “to employ ministers abroad for the public weal of … Continue reading

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John Dudley’s Youth: In Kent, at Court, in France

Edmund Dudley’s decapitated body was buried in the precincts of the Blackfriars monastery in the west of the City of London. Fifteen months later, in November 1511, his widow remarried, on the king’s command; the lucky bridegroom was Arthur Plantagenet, … Continue reading

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