The Tudor Society

10 June – Elizabeth I’s Frog

On this day in Tudor history, 10th June 1584, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Francis, Duke of Anjou and Alençon, died in Paris. It is thought that he died of malaria.

Why am I talking about a French duke? Well, for a time, he was a suitor of Queen Elizabeth I and the queen even affectionately called him her “frog”. It looked like Elizabeth would actually marry him.

Find out more about what happened between Elizabeth and her dear "frog" in today's talk.

“On Monsieur’s Departure”

I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
I seem stark mute but inwardly to prate.
I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned.
Since from myself another self I turned.

My care is like my shadow in the sun,
Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.
His too familiar care doth make me rue it.
No means I find to rid him from my breast,
Till by the end of things it be supprest.

Some gentler passion slide into my mind,
For I am soft and made of melting snow;
Or be more cruel, love, and so be kind.
Let me or float or sink, be high or low.
Or let me live with some more sweet content,
Or die and so forget what love ere meant.

(Elizabeth I)

Book recommendation: Anna Whitelock’s “Elizabeth’s Bedfellows: An Intimate History of the Queen’s Court”.

Also on this day in Tudor history, 10th June 1540, King Henry VIII's right-hand man and 'fixer', Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, was arrested. Find out more in last year’s video:

Also on this day in history:

  • 1464 – Birth of John Islip, Abbot of Westminster, probably at Islip, Oxfordshire. Islip became Abbot of Westminster in 1500, and was the last to hold this office by free choice of the community.
  • 1528 – Birth of Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland. Percy was a staunch Catholic, and was involved in the failed Rising of the North in Elizabeth I's reign. He fled to Scotland, but was captured and taken to York on 22nd August 1572, where he was beheaded in the Pavement, and his head put on display on Micklegate Bar. His body was buried in St Crux Church.
  • 1537 – Deaths of Blessed Thomas Green and Blessed Walter Pierson, Carthusian monks from London Charterhouse, in Newgate Prison, from starvation. They were two out of nine monks who were purposely starved to death for refusing to accept the royal supremacy. Others were hanged, drawn and quartered.
  • 1607 – Death of Sir John Popham, lawyer, Judge and Speaker of the House of Commons. He was buried in Wellington, Somerset.
  • 1612 – Funeral of Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, at Hatfield.

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10 June – Elizabeth I’s Frog