The Secret Lives of Elizabeth’s Ladies (Guest Post)



Guest Post by Sarah Clement

If the ladies of the Elizabethan court thought her accession would provide them with rare opportunities to involve themselves politically, they would be disappointed. Whereas, while male courtiers had traditionally found themselves at the centre of political life, it was now the ladies who controlled access to the monarch and naturally surrounded her. In theory, they could put across their opinions on the state of the realm, advise the Queen on what to do, and determine whose cases should be presented to her, for some reward of course. The reality, however, was quite different.  Elizabeth forbade her ladies to discuss politics with her. While they were able to assist their friends at court (through small acts of patronage or by reporting on their mistress’ moods), they played a minute role on the English political stage, though Elizabeth was not above using them as pawns for her own political ends.

Elizabeth’s treatment of her ladies was not much better beyond the political scope. Those appointed to salaried positions found their income lower than might have been expected, though this was supplemented with gifts of clothing or jewellery from the Queen when she saw fit to bestow them. Although they received bed and board as well as their wages, their living conditions were often cramped and unpleasant. This was especially true when on progress, finding themselves in hastily arranged accommodation; sometimes this could extend to temporary beds in a recently cleared barn. As well as this, Elizabeth could be a difficult mistress who would berate or even beat her ladies when they riled her. Despite all this, competition for a position in the Queen’s retinue was fierce, encouraged by the scarcity of available positions.

Elizabeth encouraged long service and initially rewarded the loyalty of those who had supported her during her sister Mary’s reign. Once in her service, Elizabeth was loath to lose an attendant (particularly her favourites) for any reason. Permission had to be sought for absences, and ladies who left to have a child were expected to return shortly after the birth, leaving the baby with a wet-nurse. Over her forty-five year reign, only twenty-eight women would be appointed to salaried positions within the Queen’s household. Beyond Elizabeth’s retinue, women were largely barred from court unless they had specific business with her. Wives of courtiers, however prominent, were discouraged from accompanying their husbands and their husband’s lodgings were not extended to them. As a result, the Queen’s household was the most obvious option for a woman wanting to be seen at court.



Perhaps the greatest source of conflict between Elizabeth and her ladies was the issue of marriage. The Queen’s aversion to marriage was well-known, apparently even beyond the prospect of her own. Her permission was notoriously hard to gain, and even when it was granted she was known to delay the nuptials for the smallest reasons. She was reticent to allow marriages for her attendants, for fear of losing their services, and her perceived antagonism towards romance among her court meant that many of her ladies conducted their dalliances in secret. Thus, scandals of secret marriages or illegitimate children were fairly commonplace. In 1591, half of Elizabeth’s ladies would be dismissed due to such behaviour and the disrepute they subsequently brought to the court. On one hand, it was Elizabeth’s role as monarch and head of her ladies to ensure their conduct and make good marriages. On the other, she doesn’t seem to have made it easy for them to do so.

The first scandal of its kind broke within just a few years of Elizabeth’s accession. As Queen, Elizabeth was obliged to give her cousins Catherine and Mary Grey positions at court. Their sister, Jane, had been the ill-fated nine-day Queen and for as long as Elizabeth had no children they were her likely heirs. Within two years, however, Catherine had forfeited her potential claim to the throne when she secretly married Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford. When Seymour was dispatched abroad, he left his new wife written proof of their marriage, which Catherine later claimed she had lost. When their only witness died soon after, the now-pregnant Catherine realised her marriage was impossible to prove and her geographically distant husband unable to support and guide her. After a failed and hasty attempt to secure another husband whom she could pretend was the baby’s father, she was forced to seek help from the Queen’s favourite, Robert Dudley. Fearful of implication in her behaviour, Dudley not only refused to help but revealed the situation to the Queen the following day. Catherine was consigned to the Tower of London, and her husband recalled to join her in imprisonment while the validity of the marriage was investigated. Even after the marriage was pronounced invalid, the two remained in prison. Only to be separated when a second child was born to Catherine.



Catherine’s sister Mary at least made sure that there were witnesses to her marriage to Thomas Keyes, a minor gentleman in the Queen’s employ. Elizabeth found out just a week later and had the two imprisoned, but this time separately. The couple would never see each other again, for even after their release their separation was enforced.

While Elizabeth’s imprisonment of her cousins was understandable given their proximity to the throne and the political implications of their marriages, she would frequently resort to imprisonment when her ladies behaved improperly. Anne Vavasour, who had been a maid of honour for just a year, found herself in the Tower after becoming the mistress to the Earl of Oxford and bearing him a son. Another, Bess Throckmorton, was imprisoned there for having fallen pregnant by and then marrying the Queen’s favourite Walter Ralegh. In these instances, the offending husband would also find himself imprisoned, but it would not always be as comfortable in the Tower. For marrying in secret after falling pregnant, Elizabeth Vernon and her new husband the Earl of Southampton were placed in Fleet Prison, the conditions of which had led Mary Grey’s husband Thomas Keyes to a premature death through ill-health. The Earl of Pembroke also found himself in Fleet Prison after an affair with Mary Fitton, who fared somewhat better, being placed in a noble household to birth their child.

Time served, however, was no guarantee that the Queen would be appeased and many found themselves barred from her presence. Banishment could last anywhere from a few days to a lifetime, though often a husband would be welcomed back to court long before his wife, if she ever was. Elizabeth was also prone to banishing her favourite ladies who had liaisons without her knowledge, possibly because she was too well-disposed toward them to imprison them. Initially enthusiastic over the courtship of her favourite, Helena Snakenborg, and her suitor Thomas Gorges, Elizabeth stopped short of giving them permission to marry. When she discovered that they had married anyway, both were banished from court. Later, Helena would be welcomed back, restored to favour and given a permanent residence near court so she and her husband could serve with their family close by.

Elizabeth had clearly demonstrated the low regard in which she held these secret liaisons between her ladies. As she was considered notoriously unreasonable when it came to marriages, her ladies felt they had little choice but to resort to secrecy. Especially brave were those ladies who involved themselves with the Queen’s favourites.



When Robert Dudley married his pregnant mistress Lettice Knollys, the fallout (for Lettice at least) would last the Queen’s lifetime. Lettice remained on the fringes of court life and the subject of Elizabeth’s enmity even after Leicester had died. Walter Raleigh had thus been fully aware of the implications of his marriage to Bess Throckmorton. He went to great efforts to protest it when it became rumour, and continued his normal routine even as she gave birth to his son. After their release from the Tower, Bess would remain banished from court ,while Raleigh returned to court. Providing he didn’t mention his wife.

But it was Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex and ironically son of the banished Lettice, who would scandalise the court with his romantic entanglements. In 1590, he married Frances Walsingham, and she soon fell pregnant. Eager to keep his marriage a secret, he managed to find reasons for Frances to remain away from court and hide the pregnancy. Elizabeth discovered the event later that year, but although initially furious, her reaction was comparatively muted and Essex was restored to favour within a fortnight.

Even though he had run a great risk by marrying Frances, Essex did not remain faithful, and risked further controversy by conducting affairs with several of the Queen’s ladies.

He took Elizabeth Southwell as his mistress and had a son by her. Southwell must have feared the repercussions after she returned to court, for she pretended the father was Thomas Vavasour when the baby was discovered. The pretence was maintained for four years (even after Vavasour had been imprisoned for the offence) before the Queen discovered the truth, by which time Southwell had already been permanently banished from court.

Elizabeth was quick to reprimand any of her ladies that attempted to attract the Earl’s affections. When Elizabeth Brydges (supposedly having an affair with Essex) and Elizabeth Russell (also rumoured to be having an affair with Essex) stole away to watch him playing tennis, both found themselves expelled from court for three days. The Queen was similarly riled when Lady Mary Howard attempted to catch the Earl’s eye by wearing a particularly extravagant dress. When Mary next attended the Queen, she found her wearing the same gown, having had another lady steal it from Mary’s closet. Elizabeth paraded the gown, despite the spectacle it must have caused given the difference in their statures, before declaring it too fine for the girl.

By now, Elizabeth was an old woman and wearied by the scandalous lives of her young attendants, even though the scandals were less numerous after the Earl of Essex’s execution and the dissolution of his particularly wild circle. Elizabeth might have been gratified (or more likely horrified) to learn that the declining standards did not end when her reign did. The court of her successor, James I and his wife Anne, was notorious for its sexual immorality and extravagance. The scandals of Elizabeth’s court seemed tame by comparison to daily life under James which seemed to be dominated by heavy drinking and sex; described by one observer as, “a nursery of lust and intemperance.”

About the Author

Shwmae! I’m Sarah. I pursued my interest in History to university where I specialised in Anne Boleyn, the role of mistresses and the hagiography of women. With a masters degree under my belt, I returned to my natural habitat to write about women in history. I can now be found somewhere in South Wales running a business, attempting to parent and when I can manage it, plonked in front of a games console to unwind.]

You can find more of my work at www.thehistoricalnovel.com



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Elizabeth, Queen of England (Part Five)

Missed the previous parts in this series? You can find the previous four articles HERE and the podcasts HERE

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Elizabeth, Queen of England – Elizabeth’s Ladies

By mid-January 1559 Elizabeth had her household set, rightfully so, she was officially crowned Queen of England. Her group of tightly knit ladies were referred to as the “old flock of Hatfield”.

Instead of the Catholic ladies in Queen Mary’s household like Wharton, Waldegrave, Cornwallis, Babington, Dormer and Southwell, Elizabeth replaced them with her cousins, the ladies Carey, Knollys and Ashley; As well as the daughters and wives of those men who served her, such as the ladies Cecil, Throckmorton, Warner, Cheke and Benger.

Loyal Servants

Of course, those ladies who had served her throughout her life would stay involved now that she was Queen. Kat Ashley and Blanche Parry to name two. Blanche has been reported to have served Elizabeth from the time she was in the cradle until she died in 1590.

Ashley was almost immediately appointed her Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber – this position was the most prestigious post within Elizabeth’s household because it gave her complete access to the sovereign. Kat was nearly always by the Queen’s side, even at night she was right there sleeping on a pallet bed in Elizabeth’s bedchamber. Not only was she responsible for the care of the Queen but she was also responsible for overseeing all the other ladies of the privy chamber.

Blanche Parry was appointed second Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber and was also (due to her fondness for literature) the keeper of the Queen’s books.

There were two other ladies from Elizabeth’s time at Hatfield that found a place in her household as Queen, they were: Lady Elizabeth Fiennes de Clinton, who was appointed Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber and Elizabeth St. Loe or “Bess of Hardwick. Hardwick, who, at the age of thirty-one was one of the oldest member of the Queen’s household.

Lady Anne Russell was one the youngest ladies to serve the Queen, she was merely ten years old when she was appointed Maid of Honor.

Elizabeth didn’t only show favor to the women who had served her in the past but also some of the women who had served her stepmother, Kateryn Parr. Mrs. Eglionby was appointed mother of the maids and Elizabeth Carew was also given a noteworthy position as well.

No Women Allowed

Interestingly enough, if you were a woman and were not a member of the Queen’s household you were not welcome at court. Male courtiers were discouraged from bringing their wives to court because this would ruin the image that Elizabeth wanted as the most attractive and desired woman at court. This would explain why Amy Robsart was not at court with her husband Robert Dudley – it wasn’t only that the Queen was jealous of her relationship with her favorite, she felt that way about all the ladies except for the ones who were her servants.

Elizabeth even decreased the number of women who normally served the queen from twenty to only eleven. There were now only six maids of honor – the lowest number of female attendants in nearly forty years.

Various Positions in the Queen’s Household

I’ve had a few of you ask me on Facebook about the different positions that women held in the Queen’s household and what they were responsible for – here is an idea:

The ladies of the privy chamber attended the queen’s daily needs such as washing, dressing and serving at the table.

The queen’s chamberers would perform more menial tasks such as arranging bedding and cleaning the queen’s private chambers.

If you were a maid of honor to the Queen this meant that you were unmarried and attended the Queen in public and would carry her long train. A maid of honor was also responsible for entertaining her by singing, dancing and reading to her. These girls were supervised by the Mother of Maids.

The ladies in waiting to the queen were women who were sometimes connected to the privy chamber and held their position due to their experience or their husband’s position at court.

When these women joined the queen’s office they had to swear the ceremonial oath. This oath was used to form a bond of allegiance between the ladies and their queen.

Queen Elizabeth was very concerned about matters of personal cleanliness by the standards of the day. She was known to take regular baths in a tub that was specially made for her. This tub would travel with her from palace to palace – Elizabeth clearly liked to be clean. If for some reason her tub was unavailable, or time did not allow for it, her ladies would clean her with wet cloths that were soaked in pewter bowls. As far as dental hygiene I covered this in an article once and author Tracy Borman states that Elizabeth would clean her teeth with a concoction of “white wine and vinegar boiled up with honey which would be rubbed on with fine cloths.”

The duty of preparing the Queen each day would take hours – from bathing to dressing and hair, all had to be just right.

Elizabeth, like her father Henry VIII, did not handle illness well. In her lifetime, it had been noted that stress caused Elizabeth to suffer from headaches, breathlessness, stomach aches and insomnia. She was also known to rail against her ladies and doctors insisting she was fine because she perceived illness as weakness. This must have been hell for Elizabeth when she contracted smallpox in 1562.

It was at Hampton Court Palace on the 10th of October 1562 that Elizabeth began to feel unwell. After immersing herself in a bath and taking a walk outdoors (which resulted in a chill) Elizabeth took to her bed with a fever. A German physician by the name of Dr. Burcot was summoned to examine the queen. His diagnosis was smallpox even though she had no tell-tale spots on her skin. Elizabeth called him a fool and dismissed him.

Smallpox and Sickness

By the 16th of October the Queen was gravely ill. She was incapable of speech and would appear to pass out for stretches up to twenty-four hours. The royal doctors feared she would die and sent for Cecil.

The Queen’s cousin, Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon persuaded the humiliated Dr. Burcot to return (some reported by dagger) to the Queen’s side. The doctor ordered that Elizabeth be wrapped in red flannel, laid on a pallet bed by the fire and be given a potion that he had created. Merely two hours later Elizabeth was alert and speaking. Clearly Dr. Burcot was no fool.

By her side through it all (until she became ill herself) was Robert Dudley’s sister, Mary Sidney. Sidney’s case was much worse than the Queen’s and she was badly disfigured by her illness. Her husband, Sir Henry Sidney said:

When I went to Newhaven I left her a full fair lady in mine eye at least the fairest, and when I returned I found her as foul a lady as the smallpox could make her, which she did take by continual attendance of her majesty’s most precious person (sick of the same disease) the scars of which (to her resolute discomfort) ever since hath done and doth remain in her face, so as she liveth solitary like a night-raven in the house more to my charge then if we had boarded together as we did before that evil accident happened.

Mary Sidney is listed a one of Queen Elizabeth’s Gentlewomen of the Privy Chamber and makes one wonder if she was the one who attended to the Queen because of her closeness to Robert. Surely, in the big picture, this did not benefit Mary at all. She and her husband served the Queen for many, many years and felt this deserved more rewards than they received.

The Queen’s Activities

When Elizabeth’s health was good her favorite past time was dancing. She loved to show off her skills by performing such beautiful and complicated dances such as the galliard and volta. Elizabeth would spend long hours with her ladies rehearsing the steps until they were performed to perfection.

In the evenings, when Elizabeth retired to her private apartments, her ladies would attend to her every need. They would carefully unpin her hair, undress her and remove her makeup. The Queen undone was something only her ladies were allowed to see. This is why it was such a big deal years later when the Earl of Sussex (Lettice Knollys son) burst into the Queen’s bedchamber to witness her in this state.

Compensation and Treatment of her Ladies

To serve the Queen was not a lucrative career – it was mostly for the prestige and favor by the Queen. Their pay was considered moderate. Maids of honor and ladies of the presence-chamber were seldom paid at all, while ladies of the privy chamber and bedchamber receive an annual salary of roughly 33 pounds or the equivalent of around 7,000 pounds today.

Not only did they lack pay, or receive very little pay, but their meals usually consisted of leftovers from the Queen’s meals.

While most of the women in her household were unpaid or little paid they were regularly receive clothing, jewelry and other gifts from their mistress.

Their living quarters were also very cramped and uncomfortable. While sanitation was poor there were no bathrooms or flushing toilets available to them like there was to the Queen. The court, as a result, would have had a foul smell. When this would happen the Queen and her entourage would regularly move or travel to allow for a thorough cleaning of the palace to have the human waste disposed of before they returned.

Elizabeth was also noted as treating her ladies very similarly to how her mother had – if any of her ladies failed to perform any of their duties properly the Queen would fly into a rage and punish them with slaps or blows. Author Tracy Borman says in Elizabeth’s Women, “When one poor lady was clumsy in serving her at table, Elizabeth stabbed her in the hand” and that one foreign visitor to court observed: “She is a haughty woman, falling easily into rebuke…She thinks highly of herself and has little regard for her servants and Council, being of opinion that she is far wiser than they; she mocks them and often cries out upon them.”

Elizabeth had the temper of her father and all the charm and charisma of her mother.

Going Against the Queen

The downside of being a close servant to the Queen was that she controlled your fate. I’ve discussed this several times – that I find it completely selfish and unnecessary for Elizabeth to hate when her ladies married. One of the ladies who served Elizabeth learned the hard way to not cross the Queen – Elizabeth Throckmorton.

In 1584, at the age of 19, Elizabeth “Bess” Throckmorton went to court and became a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth. Eventually she became Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber. She was responsible for dressing the Queen. A very intimate job, indeed.

Bess and her younger brother, Arthur were both courtiers during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. “Bess” had been described by her contemporaries as “intelligent, forthright, passionate, and courageous”.

After six years at court (roughly 25 years old) the still single “Bess” met Walter Raleigh who was quickly becoming one of the Queen Elizabeth’s favorites. As a lady to the Queen it was necessary for “Bess” to get permission to be courted. The Queen must also give her approval of any man who wished to court one of her ladies because they were supposed to be seen as extremely virtuous women. Throckmorton and Raleigh clearly believed they would not get permission and began a secret and intimate relationship.

By July 1591, Bess Throckmorton was pregnant – she secretly wed Raleigh and understood the seriousness of getting married without permission from Elizabeth. If she did not marry then her child would be considered a bastard. So really, at that point, she didn’t have a choice.

“Bess” must have been aware of the danger in having the Queen discover she was pregnant AND married that she somehow obtained permission to leave court to stay at her brother Arthur’s home in London. It is there that she gave birth to a son in March 1592.

Not long after she returned to court only to have the Queen discover all that had happened behind her back. Both Throckmorton and Raleigh were thrown in the Tower of London. In October, at only six months old, the couple’s son died of the plague and Queen Elizabeth chose to release the couple from the Tower. She never forgave “Bess” Throckmorton for her betrayal and Raleigh was ordered not to be seen at court for one year.

The fate of “Bess” Throckmorton mirrors that of Lettice Knollys after her secret marriage to Robert Dudley. Both women fell in love with the Queen’s favorite, married secretly and fell from favor. However, both women appear to have found love despite the loss of favor from their Queen. This is something that the Queen would never have.

Anne Vavasour was Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth and the mistress of the Earl of Oxford, by whom she had an illegitimate son – Edward. Both Anne and the Earl of Oxford, for their offences, were sent to the Tower by the Queen’s orders. Later she became the mistress of Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, by whom she had another illegitimate son – Thomas. This affair happened shortly after she had married her first husband, John Finch, a sea-captain. The Queen apparently was not as displeased with this affair as Anne and Lee entertained the Queen together at Ditchley.

Interestingly enough, Anne was charged with bigamy when she married John Richardson after she had already married (in c.1590) John Finch, who was still living. Her fine was Ł2,000 and she was spared from performing a public penance.

Frances Walsingham was Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth and the wife of Sir Philip Sydney. She was the daughter of Francis Walsingham, who was a trusted adviser of Queen Elizabeth. He is best known as Elizabeth’s “spymaster.”

In 1590, Frances married her second husband, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. The match caused great displeasure to the Queen Elizabeth, partly because Essex was the son of Lettice Knollys and partly because Elizabeth herself had a crush on Robert Devereux herself.

Then we look at Catherine Carey, cousin (or possibly sister) to the Queen. Catherine and her husband Francis Knollys were both loyal servants to the Queen. Francis was always at the will of the Queen, even when his wife was on her deathbed and he begged to be by her side – the Queen would not allow him to come home. Even Catherine requested her husband to be by her said, to no avail.

My Opinion of the Queen

Throughout my years of researching the Tudors I’ve always said that Elizabeth is my least favorite Tudor monarch and this article, in my opinion is the perfect example of why. I understand those of you who love her because she was a strong female ruler, or because she brought peace and prosperity to England. My response to that is: Sure, yes, she was all those things, but that does not mean she was a nice person. In my opinion, she was just like her father. She was selfish, moody and unjust.

The next article on Elizabeth will be my last in this series and I haven’t quite figured out where I’m going to go with that one yet. Stay Tuned!

Read Part Six HERE / Listen to Part Six Here


Sources:

Borman, Tracy. Elizabeth’s Woman (Bantam Books, 2009)
MacCaffrey, Wallace T. The Shaping of the Elizabethan Regime – Elizabethan Politics, 1558-1572 (Princeton University Press, 1968)
Weir, Alison. The Life of Elizabeth I (Ballantine Books, 1998)


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The Tudor Society - Tudor History at your Fingertips

The Scandalous Life of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

Raised in the home of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Edward de Vere became a ward of Queen Elizabeth I. Edward was born 12 April 1550, at Hedingham Castle, England to John de Vere, 16th earl of Oxford, and Margery Golding.

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

At the age of twelve, Edward’s father died and he inherited the titles of Lord Great Chamberlain and 17th Earl of Oxford.

Having grown up in the household of Lord Burghley, Edward de Vere eventually married his daughter Anne Cecil in 1571. Anne, who had originally been promised to Sir Philip Sidney, is said to have fallen in love with de Vere and that is why she married him instead of Sidney. It was around this time that he came to court and became a favorite of Queen Elizabeth.

The Beginning of His Trouble

In 1572, de Vere fled the English court after a failed attempt to rescue Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, his cousin. Norfolk was instead executed on the 2nd of June 1572. Not long after he was returned to favor at the English court – most likely because he was a favorite of the queen.



In 1575, he was granted travel to Europe and spent much of his time in Italy, later becoming known at court as the “Italian Earl” for his dress and affectations. Upon his return, he separated from Anne, believing she had been unfaithful.ą

After those years spent in Italy, de Vere became an advocate of Catholicism, which estranged him from his wife Anne and his father-in-law, Lord Burghley. Even so, de Vere did not lose favor with the queen.

Another Woman

Eventually, in 1581, Queen Elizabeth sent him to the Tower of London after it was discovered that he had impregnated Anne Vavasour – one of the queen’s ladies-in-waiting. He was released from the Tower after he promised he would return to his wife, Anne Cecil.

Anne Vavasour

Never one to live a dull life, de Vere fought a duel with a cousin of Anne Vavasour – this duel resulted in the death of several servants.

Soon (after the marriage with Anne Cecil), however, Oxford neglected his wife, spending all his time at court flirting with the queen and with other ladies. He blamed his father-in-law for failing to obtain the freedom of his kinsman, the duke of Norfolk, who was executed in 1572, and by May 1573 there was open hostility between Oxford and Lady Burghley. Oxford swore “to ruin the Lord Treasurer’s daughter,” casting doubt on her honor. This careless talk came back to haunt him when Ann gave birth to their first child, Elizabeth (July 2, 1575-1627) while Oxford was abroad. Lord Henry Howard, Norfolk’s brother, stirred up more trouble, and Ann was unable to convince her husband that the child was his. Apparently, part of the trouble was that Oxford was convinced that the gestation period was twelve months rather than nine. Surviving letters testify to her efforts and reveal her continuing love for him.˛



Second Marriage

Anne Cecil, Edward de Vere’s first wife, died of a fever on the 5th of June 1588 – she was only 31 years old.

Three years later, in 1591, Edward married one of Queen Elizabeth’s ladies, Elizabeth Trentham – a court beauty. One could assume since he was a favorite of the queen’s that he would have been in contact with many of her ladies. Anne Vavasour was one of the queen’s ladies as well.  In 1593, his second wife gave birth to his only surviving son and heir, Henry.

Education, Death and Rumor

Edward was educated at Cambridge University, Queens’ College, St. John’s College, Cambridge University and became a noted Elizabethan courtier and poet.

De Vere died on the 24th of June 1604 of unknown causes.

In the 20th century, de Vere became a leading candidate for authoring the play that have traditionally been attributed to William Shakespeare.



Notes:

ąBiography of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford
˛Emerson, Kate; A Who’s Who of Tudor Women

Sources:

Encyclopedia of Tudor England
Biography of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford
Encyclopedia Britannica – Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford
Wikipedia – Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

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