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The Tudor Society
  • September 29 – An intimate moment between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th September 1564, Michaelmas, Queen Elizabeth I’s favourite, Robert Dudley, was made Earl of Leicester and Baron Denbigh.

    Dudley was made earl in a ceremony in front of the Scottish ambassador, Sir James Melville, as the queen was granting him the earldom to make him a suitable potential bridegroom for Mary, Queen of Scots.

    There was a moment of intimacy during the proceedings – Elizabeth I tickled Robert Dudley’s neck!

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  • September 4 – Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, dies.

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1588, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, died at Cornbury.

    He was on his way to Buxton to take the waters for his health.

    The death of her favourite, and the man that is considered to be her ‘true love’, was a devastating blow to Elizabeth I and her reaction to the news shows just how much she loved her “sweet Robin”.

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  • July 9 – Mary I wants to avoid bloodshed and vengeance, and Elizabeth I visits Leicester’s home

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th July 1553, Mary (the future Mary I), daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, wrote to her late half-brother’s privy council regarding “some evil” that she had heard.

    This was three days after Edward VI’s death and the day after Mary had proclaimed herself queen at at Kenninghall.

    But what was going on? What had Mary heard and was she going to do about it?

    Find out more about the situation and Mary’s letter…

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  • 28 August – Robert Dudley’s last letter to Elizabeth and Mary receives an unwelcome visit

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th August 1588, an ailing Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote his final letter to his queen and childhood friend, Elizabeth I. He wrote it while on his way to Buxton, in Derbyshire, to take the waters for his health.

    The letter is very special because Elizabeth labelled it “His Last Letter” and kept it close by her until her own death in 1603.

    In this video, I share a transcript of Robert Dudley’s last letter, and talk about Elizabeth I’s reaction to his subsequent death.

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  • Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley

    Last week, I did the first of our monthly Facebook Lives in the Tudor Society members-only group. I spoke on Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, a relationship that intrigues me.

    I know not everyone is on Facebook, so here’s a replay for you.

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  • 28 August – Robert Dudley’s last letter to Elizabeth I

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th August 1588, an ailing Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote his final letter to his queen and childhood friend, Elizabeth I. He wrote it while on his way to Buxton, in Derbyshire, to take the waters for his health.

    The letter is very special because Elizabeth labelled it “His Last Letter” and kept it close by her until her own death in 1603.

    In today’s talk, I share a transcript of Robert Dudley’s last letter, and talk about Elizabeth I’s reaction to his subsequent death.

    [Read More...]
  • 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.

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  • 4 September – The death of Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I’s reaction

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1588, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, died at Cornbury while on his way to Buxton to take the waters for his health.

    The death of her favourite, and the man that is considered to be her ‘true love’, was a devastating blow to Elizabeth I and her reaction to the news shows just how much she loved her “sweet Robin”.

    Leicester wrote to his queen just days before his death and “His Last Letter” was something that Elizabeth I treasured for the rest of her life.

    Find out more about Leicester’s death, his last letter and Elizabeth’s grief in today’s video.

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  • Robert Dudley: His Last Letter

    On this day in history, 28th August 1588, an ill Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote what would be his final letter to his queen and life-long friend, Elizabeth I.

    I want to take this opportunity to share the Claire Chats video talk that I did on this subject back in September 2016. I hope you enjoy the talk.

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  • Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley and Kenilworth Castle

    This day in history, 9th July 1575, was the first day of a 19-day-long stay for Elizabeth I at Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, home of her great friend, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

    This visit was significant as it was the longest stay at a courtier’s house in any of Elizabeth’s royal progresses, and Leicester went to extraordinary lengths to impress his friend and queen, probably as a last-ditch attempt to woo her and win her hand in marriage.

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  • Robert Dudley’s Last Letter

    On 28th August 1588, an ill Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, wrote his final letter to his queen and childhood friend, Elizabeth I. He wrote it from the home of Lady Norreys at Rycote, where he was staying on his way to Buxton, to take the waters there. It read:

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