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The Tudor Society

29 September – Elizabeth I tickles Robert Dudley while making him an earl

On this day in Tudor history, 29th September 1564, Michaelmas, the queen’s favourite, Robert Dudley, was made Earl of Leicester and Baron Denbigh in front of the Scottish ambassador, Sir James Melville.

Elizabeth I made Dudley an earl so that he'd be suitable as a potential bridegroom for Mary, Queen of Scots, but she couldn't refrain from a display of affection during the ceremony, tickling him on the neck!

In today's talk, I explain why Elizabeth I was prepared to marry her favourite off to Mary, Queen of Scots, what happened on this day in 1564, and what happened next.

Also on this day in history:

  • 1528 – The papal legate, Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio, landed at Dover on the Kent coast. He had arrived in preparation for hearing the case for the annulment of the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon at a special legatine court.
  • 1553 – Mary I created fifteen Knights of the Bath as part of her coronation celebrations.
  • 1558 – Death of George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham, soldier and landowner. He was buried at Cobham Church. Cobham acted as Lieutenant-General in spring 1544 when English forces invaded Scotland, and was made Deputy of Calais in June 1544. He was created a Knight of the Garter in 1549, and was on Edward VI's Privy Council. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London temporarily in 1554 after being implicated in Wyatt's Rebellion, but was released and fined.

There are 2 comments Go To Comment

  1. R

    Elizabeth didn’t have the brightest idea here. However, Robert Dudley as a person probably would have been a better husband than Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, but of course a Queen is thinking of bloodline and not character. Darnley at least had royal blood and a blood claim to the English crown, while Dudley really was a commoner, even with the title. Margaret Douglas ended up in the Tower because of Darnley’s marriage to Mary Queen of Scots who wasn’t amused by the interference of Elizabeth in her alliance and marriage plans. Henry Viii and Elizabeth saw Scotland as inferior to England, just as Edward I had done. They didn’t get the fact that Scotland was an independent Kingdom and England had no right to meddle in her affairs.

    I am still smiling at the idea of Elizabeth tickling his neck.😃

  2. W

    What a scandal!

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29 September – Elizabeth I tickles Robert Dudley while making him an earl