The Tudor Society
  • #OTD in Tudor history – 9 March

    A painting of The Murder of David Rizzio by John Opie

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th March, Mary, Queen of Scots’ private secretary was assassinated in front of the pregnant queen, Mary’s mother-in-law, Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, died, and Lady Frances Radcliffe, one of Elizabeth I’s ladies of the bedchamber, died…

    [Read More...]
  • 9 March – Frances Radcliffe, Countess of Sussex’s most rare gifts both of mind and body, and Mary, Queen of Scots’ secretary is murdered

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th March 1589, Lady Frances Radcliffe, Countess of Sussex, and wife of Sir Thomas Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter and 3rd Earl of Sussex, died at her home in Bermondsey.

    Frances is known for being the benefactor of Cambridge University’s Sidney Sussex College, but there is much more to her than that. Her enemies even turned her husband and Queen Elizabeth I against her at one point!

    Find out all about Frances Radcliffe (née Sidney) in this talk…

    [Read More...]
  • 9 March – Mary, Queen of Scots’ secretary is murdered

    On this day in history, 9th March 1566, a pregnant Mary, Queen of Scots witnessed the murder of her private secretary, David Rizzio. He was stabbed fifty-six times and one of the gang responsible was her own husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.

    What happened? Why was Rizzio murdered? How was Darnley involved? What happened next? All of these questions are answered in today’s video.

    [Read More...]
  • 9 March 1566 – Murder of David Rizzio

    On this day in history, 9th March 1566, David Rizzio (Riccio), the private secretary of Mary, Queen of Scots, was stabbed to death in front of a heavily pregnant Queen Mary.

    But who was David Rizzio and what led to his murder?

    John Guy, historian and author of the excellent “My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots”, describes David Rizzio as a “young Piedmontese valet and musician, who had arrived in the suite of the ambassador of the Duke of Savoy and stayed on as a bass in Mary’s choir”. Mary obviously took a liking to Rizzio because in late 1564 she chose him to replace her confidential secretary and decipherer, Augustine Raulet, who was a Guise retainer and the only person who Mary had trusted with a key to the box containing her personal papers. Raulet, for some reason, had lost her trust.

    [Read More...]