On this day in Tudor history, 8th September 1560, the body of Amy Dudley (née Robsart), wife of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was found at the bottom of some stairs in her rented home, Cumnor Place in Oxfordshire.
What had happened to Amy? Was her death a result of "misfortune", as decided by the coroner, or was it suicide or murder? Did Robert Dudley kill his wife? Did William Cecil kill Amy?
In today's talk, Claire Ridgway, founder of the Tudor Society, examines what happened that day and the theories regarding Amy Robsart's mysterious death, an event that definitely put an end to the idea that Elizabeth I could ever marry Robert Dudley.
Book recommendation - "Amy Robsart: A Life and its End" by Christine Hartweg.
Also on this day in history:
- 1462 – Birth of Henry Medwall, the playwright known as England's first vernacular dramatist. His 1497 play “Fulgens and Lucres” is the first known secular play written in English. He also wrote a play entitled “Nature”.
- 1475 – Birth of John Stokesley, Bishop of London and Ambassador, at Collyweston, Northamptonshire. Stokesley supported Henry VIII's quest for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and carried out diplomatic missions for the cause.
- 1495 – Death of Sir William Hussey, Chief Justice of the King's Bench in Edward IV's reign.
- 1601 – Burial of John Shakespeare, father of playwright William Shakespeare, at Stratford-upon-Avon.
- 1603 – Death of George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon, courtier, son of Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, and grandson of Mary Carey (née Boleyn). Carey served Elizabeth I as Marshal of the Household, Justice of the Peace, Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Captain of the Isle of Wight, member of Parliament, Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners, Lord Chamberlain and Privy Councillor.