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The Tudor Society

December 20 – Edward Arden and an alleged plot to kill the queen

On this day in Tudor history, 20th December 1583, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Edward Arden was hanged, drawn and quartered at Smithfield.

Arden was executed the day after his son-in-law, John Somerville, had been found dead in his cell at Newgate Prison.

Arden, a Warwickshire gentleman who was related to William Shakespeare's mother, Mary Arden, and married to a member of the Throckmorton family, had been found guilty of treason, after being implicated in Somerville's plot to kill Queen Elizabeth I.

But was Edward Arden actually guilty? And why weren't the others involved in this alleged plot executed?

Find out more about Edward Arden and what happened in 1583...

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December 20 – Edward Arden and an alleged plot to kill the queen