The Tudor Society

7 October – The man who helped Robert Dudley propose to Elizabeth I

On this day in Tudor history, 7th October 1577, author, poet, courtier and soldier George Gascoigne died in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Gascoigne was a gifted poet and was hired in 1575 by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to provide entertainment for Queen Elizabeth I's visit to Leicester's home, Kenilworth Castle. This was Leicester's last ditch attempt at getting the queen to marry him and he hoped Gascoigne could help him.

Find out all about Gascoigne's masque, Zabeta, and what happened at Kenilworth, in today's talk.

Also on this day in history:

  • 1506 – Death of Sir Thomas Frowyk, Judge and Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. He was buried with his first wife, Joan, at Finchley Parish Church in Middlesex, on the north side of the chancel.
  • 1533 – Death of Sir John Scott, soldier. Scott served as a Senior Captain in the army sent to the Low Countries in 1511 to support Margaret of Austria, and was rewarded for his service by a knighthood. He also served in France in 1514 and 1523.
  • 1571 – Battle of Lepanto between the Holy League, led by Don Juan of Austria, and the Ottoman Empire. The Holy League were victorious. Click here to read more about the battle.
  • 1589 – Death of William Hawkins, merchant and sea captain, at Deptford. He was buried at St Nicholas's Church. In 1580, Hawkins led an expedition to the Caribbean, returning to England with treasure and sugar. In 1588, he was involved in leading seven ships from Plymouth against the Spanish Armada.

Only 1 comment so far Go To Comment

  1. R

    Poor Robert Dudley, he should have known Elizabeth wasn’t going to marry him, even with all the wonderful fireworks and banqueting he put on for her at Kennilworth. She was like Catherine the Great, many lovers but not having anyone share her throne. What a great pity that the masquerade had to be cancelled? I don’t believe it would have changed anything and Elizabeth was 38 and hardly going to risk childbirth as this was a very dangerous thing, but surely particularly so for a woman knocking on by the standards of her day.

    Unlike Catherine the Great, however, if any of her lovers did actually make it into the Royal bed, and personally I believe they did, she certainly managed to cover it up and didn’t bear children by them. Catherine may or may not have fathered her heir by a lover but she did have three children by her twelve known lovers.

    Has anyone else noted that the most successful female monarchs either didn’t marry, either by choice or fate or disposed of a husband before seizing power? Few actually ruled with a co ruler and gained success, with Isabella the Catholic being a rare exception. Elizabeth I didn’t marry, but her reasons are complex, Empress Elizabeth of Russia, didn’t marry out of tragic circumstances, Catherine the Great got rid of her useless husband on the dawn of her coup, Nur Jahan reigned because her husband became useless and Empress Whu of China got rid of everyone who tried to stop her power bid. I am not saying female rulers were more ruthless, but they do seem to have operated more effectively without men in their way. Of course, this had consequences for the Succession, unless they made certain of that first, with some rather inventive solutions being found. Maybe we really are the superior sex after all.😂😂😂

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7 October – The man who helped Robert Dudley propose to Elizabeth I