The Tudor Society

28 September – Essex sees Elizabeth I without her mask of youth

On this day in Tudor history, 28th September 1599, Elizabeth I’s favourite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, strode into the queen’s bedchamber unannounced and saw her without her makeup or wig, without her "mask of youth".

Why would he do such a thing?

Find out why Devereux was troubled and wanted to see the queen urgently and how Elizabeth I reacted to his visit, and what happened next, in today's talk.

Also on this day in Tudor history, 28th September 1553, thirty-seven-year-old Queen Mary I, daughter of King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, travelled in a decorated barge to the Tower of London. She was accompanied by her half-sister, Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Mary was going to the Tower to prepare for her coronation, which was scheduled for 1st October 1553. Find out more in last year’s video:

Also on this day in history:

  • 1502 – Death of Robert Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby de Broke, at Callington, Cornwall. He was buried at Callington Church. Willoughby had been in exile in Brittany with Henry Tudor and fought with him at the Battle of Bosworth. He served Henry VII as Lord Steward and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1489.
  • 1558 (28th or 29th) – Death of Sir Robert Acton, Royal Saddler and member of Parliament. He was buried in Elmley Lovett church. Acton also served as a Justice of the Peace and Sheriff during Henry VIII's reign, as well as being on the council in the marches of Wales. As Royal Saddler, he went with the King to Boulogne in 1544.
  • 1560 – Death of Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury, at Sheffield. He was buried at St Peter's Church, Sheffield, which is now the cathedral.
  • 1582 – Death of George Buchanan, Scottish historian, humanist scholar and poet. He was buried in Greyfriars churchyard in Edinburgh. His works included his 1579 “History of Scotland” (Rerum Scoticarum Historia), the 1579 treatise De Jure Regni apud Scotos, his satire “Chamaeleon” and his poems.
  • 1594 – Death of John Piers, Archbishop of York, at his home, Bishopthorpe. He was aged seventy-one. Piers was buried at York Minster.

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28 September – Essex sees Elizabeth I without her mask of youth