Book Review: “The Boy King” by Janet Wertman

The review was written and shared by Heidi Malagisi of Adventures of a Tudor Nerd

In 1547, young Prince Edward is having the time of his life studying and hoping to one day take part in a tournament. He has not a care in the world. That is until his beloved father King Henry VIII passes away, and the 9-year-old boy is now Edward VI, King of England. He must navigate family drama between his older half-sister Mary Tudor and his uncles, Edward and Thomas Seymour while maintaining order throughout the kingdom. To top it all off, he is trying to reform the entire country and convert Catholics into the Protestant faith. His short life and reign are portrayed in Janet Wertman’s third book in The Seymour Saga, “The Boy King”.

Read More

My Last Words in These My Last Lines: Raleigh to Throckmorton

Written by Rebecca Larson

Sir Walter Raleigh

A secret marriage with one of Queen Elizabeth’s ladies, caused the disfavor of his queen. Their marriage appears from the outside as an amazing love story – Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth “Bess” Throckmorton. Unchanged: A secret marriage with one of Queen Elizabeth’s ladies, caused the disfavor of his queen. Their marriage appears from the outside as an amazing love story – Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth “Bess” Throckmorton.

Read More

The Unvirgin Queen

Written by Rebecca Larson

Okay, okay, before you start throwing things at your screen hear me out a minute. For centuries, there have been rumors regarding Queen Elizabeth I of England (the Virgin Queen) having illegitimate children. These rumors began as early as 1549, when Elizabeth was just a teenager, during the reign of her brother King Edward VI.

Read More

Queen Elizabeth: Prospects & Marriage

If you’d prefer to listen to the supplemental podcast that goes with this article you can find it here:

She was the most eligible woman in all of England - Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of the great King Henry VIII and his ill-fated second wife, Anne Boleyn.

So Ive been researching Thomas Seymour off and on for the last two years, but have really focused on him in the last year. To many of you Ill sound like a broken record, but those who are new here: Im fascinated by Thomas Seymour. I guess, maybe you could say there is a part of me, in his story? I can relate to him in some ways. I guess, that may be one of the many reasons I feel so strongly about the slander surrounding his name. Thomas Seymour made some bad decisions. Been there. Not judging. But to look at his story from the aspect of giving him a voice or letting Thomas tell his story. So, because of that, Ive collected nearly every book that might have any mention of his name – including nearly every book on Elizabeth. Ive read every piece correspondence I could find and lastly what other people had to say about him, over time.

My favorite part of Thomas Seymours story is how he finally ended up with Kateryn Parr, after four years apart. I mean, come on – how can you not see the romance in their story. Two lovers torn apart by the aging and obese king of England, only to reunitealmost immediately after the kings death.

Then, they have a love child, only for Kateryn to die and Thomas nearly go mad with grief. I guess Im a sucker for happy love stories that end tragically. Whoa, like really tragically – Kateryn died in 1548, less than a year later Thomas is executed and then their daughter Mary died young (more than likely). They finally got everything they wanted, only to have it all destroyed a year later. So sad. Tragic. But a great story!

Okay, back to the serious stuff. (But no really, Im obsessed with Thomas). My constant research of Thomas Seymour has led me on an unexpected journey to discovering the young Elizabeth Tudor. Thomas played an important role in Elizabeths time during her guardianship with Kateryn Parr.

From those who read my blog often you know that I tend to write mostly about the reign of Henry VIII. Dont be judgy now…Henry VIII is where I started my curiosity and research, so he has a special place in my heart. I will also defend Henry VIII if hes being unjustly slandered. I mean, cmon, the guy reigned for 38 years…they werent ALL bad!

Anyway.Ive never professed to be an expert on Elizabeth Tudor, Princess Elizabeth, Lady Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth, but here I go – giving my opinion on her and talk about some of her marriage prospects. This should be fun.

So, heres a brief recap of her birth:

Born on the 7th of September 1533, Elizabeth was not the son that her parents had wanted, or expected. From the beginning all of the royal physicians and astrologers, save one, had predicted that Anne would indeed have a prince. Nevertheless, Elizabeth had a splendid christening that was fitting a princess.

As far as her life prior to her mothers execution, I think I can confidently say that Elizabeth had little memory just as you and I dont necessarily remember what happened when we were two and a half years old. My son was three years old when his father and I finally married and while he remembered it for a few years after, now at 14 he doesnt remember it at all. The same can most definitely be said for Elizabeth. She wasnt anywhere near her mother at the time of her swift downfall, she was at Hunsdon House in Hertfordshire. Today, Hunsdon is 36 miles by car to London.

One can wonder if Elizabeth remembered Jane Seymour at all. She would have been only four years old – so again, it is quite possible that she had no memories of Jane. Maybe she remembered no longer being called princess – she said something to one of her servants to the effect: Why Princess yesterday but Lady today? That must have been a traumatic event in her life – if she was to remember anything youd think it would be that. But now Im just speculating.

Historian David Starkey states in Elizabeth The Struggle for the Throne that there is no evidence that Elizabeth met her fathers fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, during her six months of marriage to the King. But we do know that they knew each other after. We know for a fact that during Queen Marys coronation procession Anne was front and center in the first chariot following the Queen. She was, after all, a very prestigious member of Tudor court and shared the chariot with the Lady Elizabeth, the heir to the throne.

At the coronation banquet, Anne also sat at the same table as the Queen and Lady Elizabeth this event would be Annes final public appearance. So we know that there were at least a couple of times (if not more) that the two ladies were in contact. We also know that:

After the death of Henry VIII, Anne of Cleves had seen her status diminished, but that did not stop Elizabeth from visiting her former stepmother. Anne had established her household at Hever, which must have been comforting for Elizabeth to be there, near memories of her mother. It was there that she would catch up with Elizabeth to find out what was going on at court in the realm.

It was Katheryn Howards marriage to her father that most likely had the deepest impact on her future outlook on marriage. I recently read that after the execution of Katheryn Howard that Elizabeth told her sister Mary that she would never marry. Now, please forgive me because I cannot recall which book it was but it was most likely, The Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser or The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor by Elizabeth Norton. I was surprised when I read it because it was also a scene is Showtimes The Tudors. Robert Dudley had also been reported as saying that Elizabeth told him at the age of eight that she would not marry both instances may have coincided with the execution of Katheryn Howard.

When we move forward to the woman I would consider her favorite step-mother, Kateryn Parr, we see a woman who had a great influence on Elizabeth. Katheryn was like the mother that Elizabeth never had and she encouraged Elizabeth to study what she believed to be her mothers faith the Protestant faith. Nowadays, many historians and authors are quick to say that Anne Boleyn was a Reformist and not a Protestant. Anne wished to see changes in the church but before her death was concerned at how far Cromwell was taking those changes. She wanted more of the money from the monasteries to go to charity and not to the King.

When I think of young Elizabeth I am often reminded of how she must have feltno mother, a father who had declared her illegitimate and practically abandoned her for many of her formidable years and English subjects who had looked at her only as the daughter of the Great Whore. It all seems so unfair by todays standards. These things made Elizabeth the person she later became, just as our own pasts have made us into the people we are today.

After the death of her father, King Henry VIII, Kateryn Parr took Elizabeth into her household something Elizabeth would have been extremely happy about. It is while in that household that young Elizabeth experienced her first crush. Thomas Seymour was a very attractive man with a lot of charisma.

Elizabeths attraction to Thomas Seymour is unmistakable. He was considered an attractive man who was easy to like Elizabeth, like any young lady, enjoyed the attention she received from him. My gut tells me that it was his proposal to her (soon after her fathers death) that initially ignited the flame.

When Kateryn Parr caught Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour in an embrace she was livid. What exactly is meant by embrace is unclear whether it was merely a hug between the two is uncertain, but one could assume it was more than hug. I know this isnt popular opinion but I get the impression that Elizabeth kissed Thomas and he didnt pull away letting her teenage hormones get the best of her. Unfortunately, by succumbing to her feelings she temporarily severed her strong relationship with the woman who meant so much to her, Kateryn Parr. Fortunately, Kateryn was smart enough to know that the prudent thing to do was to send Elizabeth away.

The only people who knew about the embrace were Parr, Seymour, Elizabeth and Elizabeths governess Kat Ashley whom Parr told. In order to protect Elizabeths reputation she wrote Kat Ashleys kin, Sir Anthony Denny and his wife (Kats sister) Joan to invite Elizabeth into their home. This was to cover up the fact that Kateryn Parr wished to separate her from her husband. Even Elizabeths cofferer, Thomas Parry could not remember if Elizabeth went of herself, or was sent away.

Word began to spread of the affair and speculation arose that Elizabeth was pregnant with Seymours child. These rumors were compounded by the fact that Elizabeth who, now housed with her new wards, became ill and took to her bed. This was once again, like so many times in her youth, an example of how Elizabeths health was associated with traumatic events in her life. These rumors became so bad that Elizabeth felt the need to write the Lord Protector (Edward Seymour) to tell him that she had heard the rumors and would like to come to court to prove them wrong.

So, all that was just a taste of what she experienced in her youth.

Prospects for Marriage

In 1558, after the death of her sister, Queen Mary, Elizabeth Tudor became Queen Regnant of England. A childhood filled with uncertainties turned into Elizabeth being on the throne of England. Once there she would not do anything to jeopardize it and the future of her country.

Almost immediately after taking ascending the throne, Elizabeths council began to encourage her to marry…to take a husband. The Tudor dynasty was in desperate need of heirs.

Elizabeth had deeper reasons for being reluctant to marry, primarily the fear of losing autonomy as Queen. She understood that she was regarded as holding supreme dominion over England, while in the 16th century a husband held dominion over his wife, even if that wife was the Queen of England. This was something her sister Queen Mary struggled with as well. Then if you add children into the mix: Elizabeth would be out of commission for most likely months (during each pregnancy) while others ran HER kingdom.

“I will have but one mistress here and no master,” she told the Earl of Leicester, the man she loved more than any other and to whom she was close for over 30 years.

Many believe that the only man Elizabeth would have trusted enough to wed was Robert Dudley. Dudley was a lifelong friend and someone who most believe would not have tried to rule over her. Unfortunately, that union would not happen for Elizabeth. Dudley was married to Amy Robsart at the time and the only way to wed Queen Elizabeth is if Amy was not in the picture well, we know what happened there.

Robert Dudley married Amy Robsart in 1550, merely ten years later, on the 8th September 1560, Amy Robsart insisted that all her servants be away from the household that day. There was a local fair going on. When Amy was found dead at the bottom of her staircase with a broken neck Robert Dudley was immediately a suspect; however, he was vindicated because he was at court with Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.

An investigation was carried out and found the cause of death to be accidental but this did not remove suspicion from Robert and Elizabeth. It was too convenient. For Elizabeth to be able to marry Robert, Amy could not be in the picture. Whether this was declared an accident or not Elizabeth could no longer consider Robert a husband. It would ruin everything she had worked so hard to build – her position as Queen Regnant.

There is no doubt that Elizabeth loved Robert Dudley. Unfortunately he would not wait forever for the queen to propose. Robert remained unmarried after Amys death for 18 years. When he eventually married again, in 1578, it was to Elizabeths cousin, Lettice Knollys. Elizabeth was crushed and saddened by the fact that her love could marry anyone but her let alone her beautiful cousin.and without her permission.

Robert Dudley wasnt the only man wanting to wed Elizabeth, it started soon after her sisters death – Philip of Spain

Philip of Spain

Philip was married to Elizabeths sister, Mary. As we know, Mary was Queen of England from 1553 1558. After her death Philip continued to support England and even attempted a union with his dead wifes sister.

Elizabeth delayed making a decision on the proposal and had learned that Philip was also considering a marriage with the Valois family in France. Elizabeth, we believe, would not have married a Catholic.

The problem with this marriage stemmed with Elizabeths legitimacy and her faith. In the eyes of the Catholic church Elizabeth was illegitimate since the Pope did not recognize the divorce of Katherine of Aragon and her father, Henry VIII thus the marriage of her mother Anne Boleyn to Henry VIII was invalid and she was illegitimate. Or at least Elizabeth would have been considered to be born out-of-wedlock in 1533 since Katherine of Aragon didnt die until January 1536, making her parents marriage legit.

When Philip of Spain married the French princess, Elizabeth of Valois months later Elizabeth complained to his ambassador, that Philip could not wait four short months to see if she would change her mind.

Agnes Strickland states that Elizabeth always kept the portrait of Philip by her bedside, as a token of regard – but in all reality, she goes on to say that it was probably still there when Elizabeth took possession of her sisters apartments.

James Hamilton, Earl of Arran

James was a Scottish nobleman whose father was a short-lived regent of Scotland, after the death of King James V. Mary Queen of Scots was queen at only 6 days old and she obviously couldnt rule on her own and so required a regent.

Historian Agnes Strickland states in her book, The Life of Queen Elizabeth that Henry VIII had also proposed marriage between his daughter and James Hamilton, then heir to the earldom of Arran. So this was not the first time Arrans name came up in the marriage game.

James father proposed marriage between Elizabeth and his son in 1558 in effort to cement the relationship between Scotland and England.

In 1559, both James and his ex-regent father declared themselves Protestants James seems like he wouldve be an attractive choice to the Protestant Queen Elizabeth. This would, of course, be a political alliance.

In August of 1559, Queen Elizabeth received a letter from Sir Nicholas Throckmorton that states that Throckmorton:

Wishes she should honourably and graciously receive the Earl of Arran in her Court; “giving him as good hope as any other, for if he be the same that they here report of him, he is as well worthy as any other;” and give such orders that his being in England be most secret, so that the French catch no apparent occasion to say that she does not keep her treaty. The French Ambassador should have no knowledge where he is; for he will press her to apprehend him. ‘Elizabeth: August 1559, 21-25’, in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 1, 1558-1559, ed. Joseph Stevenson (London, 1863), pp. 490-501. British History Online [accessed 12 July 2018].

The Earl of Arran made a visit to England (and presumably a secret meeting with Elizabeth at ElthamPalace and there is good reason to believe that William Cecil worked hard at attempting to unite the crowns of England and Scotland with this possible union. The Hamiltons were attempting to depose Queen Mary of Scotland and replace her with the Earl of Arran. He was backed by the famous John Knox, as was a marriage with the Queen of England. Of course this was the last thing the French wanted – Scotland had been their ally and they didnt want to lose the power that came with that. Hence a secret meeting.

Arran was considered young and handsome, but also weak-minded. There were times that he was subject to the direful malady which clouded mental perceptions of his father and brother.

When Arran went back to Scotland he was joined by two English escorts: Thomas Randolph and Sir Ralph Sadler (both considered Earl of Arran a friend). They reported that he had signs of mental instability.

Now, Ive looked and looked through letters and papers to find exactly what they said to indicate mental instability and was unable to find it. Without knowing EXACTLY when they said it proves difficult to find the documentation.

Elizabeth formally declared her rejection of his suit on 8 December 1560.

Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel

Henry Fitzalan was born around 1512, in London. He was a prominent Lord during the reign of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. It was during Elizabeths reign that he was the premiere earl of the realm.

In January 1559, Arundel was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford. After only four months as Chancellor he resigned the office most likely due to religious motives.

Elizabeth visited him at Nonsuch Palace in August 1559. For five days she was entertained with banquets, masques, and music. She visited Nonsuch and Arundel many times after. Was Elizabeth deciding if a marriage with Arundel was suitable?

As a widower Arundel was named as a suitor who might aspire to the Queens hand. Apparently in 1561, this news led to a fight between himself and Robert Dudley. At this time Dudleys wife had died a year earlier and Dudley was free to marry again. Was he jealous?

Sir William Pickering

Sir William Pickering was born in 1516, and was an English courtier and diplomat.

Bishop John Jewel corresponded with the leader of Protestant churches in Zurich and said:

Nothing as yet about the Queen’s marriage. The son of John Frederic and the younger brother of Maximilian are suitors. The common impression is in favour of an Englishman named Pickering, a prudent and good man and of a royal countenance. May God bless the match, whoever it be.

The Earl of Arundel was none too happy that the Queen would even consider Pickering:

being a brave, wise, comely English gentleman, was seriously thought of as a suitor for Elizabeths hand. In 1559 the Earl of Arundel was said to have sold his lands and was ready to flee out of the realm with the money, because he could not abide in England if the queen should marry Mr. Pickering, for they were enemies (Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 15591560, p. 2).

At one point it was reported that William had secret visits with the Queen and he had taken up residence at court. He was known to entertain lavishly and showed great tastes. The Earl of Arundel was said to be jealous of William, as his rival suitor, and challenged the 2nd Earl of Bedford to a duel for having spoken ill of him. The truth is probably that Pickering never considered himself a suitor. He was recorded as telling ambassadors that the Queen (Elizabeth) would laugh at him and at all the rest of them as he knew she meant to die a maid.

Eric XIV of Sweden

Born to Gustav I of Sweden and his wife Catherine of Saxe-Lauenburg on 13 December 1533 in Stockholm, Sweden, Eric ruled as King of Sweden from 1560 until he was deposed in 1568.

He had sought to improve his reputation by securing a marriage with Queen Elizabeth. Eric courted Elizabeth for years he even sent her love letters written in Latin. He also went so far as to send his brother to English court, where he scattered silver like a shower of falling stars in the London streets, and told the crowds that whereas he scattered silver, his brother would scatter gold (according to John Sitwell).

Eric XIV, the King of Sweden, sent Elizabeth a portrait of himself, making his interest for her hand in marriage known.

But when Eric expressed his intention to visit her, she set aside her accustomed ambiguity. She fired off this letter, which was filled with apparent regret that she could not share his feelings, but made it clear that he should not set foot in England.

Queen Elizabeth wrote a letter to Eric in February 1560 that translated from Latin and said:

Most Serene Prince, our very dear Cousin,

A letter truly yours both in the writing and sentiment, was given us on 30 December by your very dear brother, the Duke of Finland. And while we perceive therefrom that the zeal and love of your mind towards us is not diminished, yet in part we are grieved that we cannot gratify your Serene Highness with the same kind of affection. And that indeed does not happen because we doubt in any way of your love and honour, but, as often we have testified both in words and in writing, that we have never yet conceived a feeling of that kind of affection towards any one. We therefore beg your Serene Highness again and again that you be pleased to set a limit to your love, that it advance not beyond the laws of friendship for the present nor disregard them in future I have always given both to your brother, who is certainly a most excellent Prince and deservedly very dear to us, and also to your ambassador likewise, the same answer with scarcely any variation of the words, that we do not conceive in our heart to take a husband but highly commend the single life, and hope that your Serene Highness will not longer spend time in waiting for us. -Elizabeth

Elizabeth seems to have slowed her courtship with Eric intentionally, but King Eric was never deterred. He was determined to wed Elizabeth. It wasnt until the rumors of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley that the King started to become upset and even challenged Dudley to a duel. The duel never happened as King Eric was talked off the ledge by his envoy.

Eric gave up in 1560 when he had to return to Sweden, from a trip to England, because his father had died.

Eric was prone to sending the Queen letters containing passionate declarations of love, which greatly entertained her.

This letter gives you a good insight into what Elizabeth was thinking and already aware by saying we have never yet conceived a feeling of that kind of affection towards anyone. She knew already that there was no man she would marry.

A partial quote from Queen Elizabeth: a dramatic poem in five acts.

Adolphus of Gottorp, Duke of Holstein

Adolphus of Gottorp was born the third son of King Frederick I of Denmark and his second wife Sophie of Pomerania in 1526.

Adolphus of Gottorp, Duke of Holstein was thought of highly enough in England to be made a Knight of the Garter in 1560 to fill the vacancy left by Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury after his death.

On the 21st of August 1560, Elizabeth received a letter from Adolphus that thanked her for the Order of Saint George of the Garter which was communicated to him by the letter of Henry Carey.

This is reiterated a bit in Agnes Stricklands book The Life of Elizabeth. Here is a quote:

While Elizabeth was yet amusing herself with the addresses of the royal Swedes, — for there can be little doubt that Erics jealously of the brother, who finally deprived him of his crown, was well founded, with regard to his attempts to supplant him in the good graces of the English queen — the King of Denmark sent his nephew, Adolphus Duke of Holstein, to try his fortune with the illustrious spinster. He was young, handsome, valiant and accomplished, and in love with the queen, but though one of the busy-bodies of the court wrote to her ambassador in Paris, that it was whispered her Majesty was very fond on him, he was rejected like the rest of her princely wooers; she, however, treated him with great distinction, made him a Knight of the Garter, and pensioned him for life.

Four years later, the Duke married Christine of Hesse and they had roughly ten children together.

Henry Valois, Duke of Anjou

Henry was the son of King Henry II of France and Catherine de Medici, born in 1551.

There was a point when Charles IX of France was suggested for Elizabeths hand before it was realized that neither monarch was willing to leave their country. That is when the younger brother, Henry (Duke of Anjou) was suggested.

In 1570, Catherine de Medici wanted her son with to marry the Queen of England. However, Henry would hear nothing of it. He insisted that Elizabeth was too old for him, plus she was the daughter of a Protestant not to mention the fact that he considered her illegitimate. In addition to those objections he wanted to steer clear of the drama regarding Elizabeth and Robert Dudleys affair.

Another quote of Stricklands, The Life of Queen Elizabeth, regarding the Duke of Anjou:

I find myself on the one hand, much honoured by the proposal of the French king; on the other, I am older than he, and would rather die than see myself despised and neglected. My subjects, I am assured, would oppose no obstacle, if it were my wish, for they have more than once prayed me to marry after my own inclination. It is true they have said, that it would pleasure them if my choice should fall on an Englishman. In England, however, there is no one disposable in marriage but the Earl of Arundel, and he is further removed from the match than the east from the west; and as to the Earl of Leicester, I have always loved his virtues.

But, the aspirations towards honour and greatness, which are in me, cannot suffer him as a companion and a husband.

Archduke Charles of Austria

In 1559, and again from 15641568, there were negotiations for a marriage between Charles and Queen Elizabeth. His father, Emperor Ferdinand I expected Elizabeth to be okay with Charles of Austria to rule England if she died childless.

As with all of her other suitors Elizabeth dragged out the negotiations most likely knowing all along that she would not agree to marry. As with many of her suitors religious beliefs were an issue with the Catholic Archduke.

Negotiations lasted many years as Elizabeth played suitors off against each other and tried to keep everyone happy.

Alison Weir in Elizabeth the Queen: She [Elizabeth] had acknowledged that the Archduke was the best foreign match for her, but she waxed alternately hot and cold over the matter.

The Queens answer to the Emperor on the 30th of June 1559:

Thanks for his good will and the offer of his son in marriage. Can only speak with her mouth as she finds in her heart, which is truly no certain inclination or disposition to marriage, but rather a contentation to enjoy and continue in this unmarried life. Yet as the nobles and other states of the realm are therein somewhat importune, she will not therefore make any precise determination or vow to the contrary. Should she hereafter like of marriage and alter her mind, she trusts, by Gods favour, to make no choice but of such one as shall be both very honourable and not unlike to her own estate, nor unmeet for these her kingdoms. Is not better affected to any house or family in Christendom than to the house of Austria.

Then there was a report that the Archduke was in a treaty for the hand of Mary, Queen of Scots – this filled Elizabeth with such jealousy, for of all the princes of Europe he was esteemed the most honourable and chivalric, and Elizabeths rejection of his suit appears to have been only for the purpose of obtaining concessions on the subject of his religion more consistent with her own profession.

Francis Valois, Duke of Anjou

Francis was the son of King Henry II of France and Catherine de Medici, born in 1555. No, not the Francis that was Mary Stuarts first husband, his younger brother who was born Hercule Francois. His name was changed in honor of his late brother when he was confirmed.

In 1579, Jean de Simier arrived in England (on 6 January) to negotiate a marriage between Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Anjou. Council members took in all factors as to whether or not the marriage would be beneficial to England. They were divided.

The Duke of Anjou had courted Elizabeth from 1578-1581 without success. Elizabeth seemed very interested in Francis and even called him, her little frog.

Even though they were separated in age by two decades (he was only 24) the two became very close. Unfortunately the opposition of some of her Councillors and concerns from her subjects over a french takeover led her to end the courtship she would have no more suitors.

On his departure she penned a poem, On Monsieurs Departure:

I grieve and dare not show my discontent;

I love, and yet am forced to seem to hate;

I do, yet dare not say I ever meant;

I seem stark mute, but inwardly do prate.

I am, and not; I freeze and yet am burned,

Since from myself another self I turned.

My care is like my shadow in the sun

Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,

Stands, and lies by me, doth what I have done;

His too familiar care doth make me rue it.

No means I find to rid him from my breast,

Till by the end of things it be suppressed.

Some gentler passion slide into my mind,

For I am soft and made of melting snow;

Or be more cruel, Love, and so be kind.

Let me or float or sink, be high or low;

Or let me live with some more sweet content,

Or die, and so forget what love eer meant.


Quote about Eric of Sweden Alison Weir Elizabeth the Queen
Elizabeth: June 1559, 26-30?, in Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 1, 1558-1559, ed. Joseph Stevenson (London, 1863), pp. 337-346 [accessed 9 December 2015].
State Paper Office, Royal Letters, vol. VIIIp. 228


Further Reading:

Starkey, David; Elizabeth The Struggle for the Throne
Norton, Elizabeth; The Temptations of Elizabeth Tudor
Fraser, Antonia; The Wives of Henry VIII
Porter, Linda; Katherine the Queen
Ives, Eric; The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn

Get Notified

Facebook no longer shows our posts to a majority of our followers - Don't want to miss out on new articles? Get notified! Subscribe to email updates from Tudors Dynasty.

Join 5,014 subscribers.

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! Im 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

Facebook no longer shows our posts to a majority of our followers - Don't want to miss out on new articles? Get notified! Subscribe to email updates from Tudors Dynasty.

Join 5,014 subscribers.

Elizabeth, Queen of England (Part Two)

Love this website and podcast and want to show your support? Become a Patron!

In the last article of this series we ended with the death of Thomas Seymour in 1549, but before we move forward Id like to step back a bit to get a bigger picture of what was to come in Elizabeths future.

Listen to Part One Here:

Read Part One Here: Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England – Part One

When King Henry VIII died on the 28th of January 1547, Elizabeth and her brother Edward were both at Ashridge when they received the news. The children clung to one another and wept a great deal. Edward Tudor, the son of Henry VIII and the late Jane Seymour was now the King of England – he was only nine years old. From that point on the lives of the Tudor siblings would never be the same.

After all three heirs to throne received the news of their fathers death they were taken back to court. Mary and Elizabeth would not remain there long since the new king (Edward) was unmarried. It was considered improper to have unmarried ladies at court without a female household to serve. At least not until Edward was married and had his queen had a household. Then it would be okay. Imagine how boring things were without women at court. So instead of Mary and Elizabeth staying at court they joined the household of the dowager queen – a temporary arrangement as both girls were expected to eventually move to their own estates.

The death of King Henry only increased the tension between Mary and Elizabeth, and it only heightened after the two were separated. With that being said, at the beginning of the Seymour/Parr marriage the sisters had both agreed that it was too soon for the dowager queen to remarry.

Elizabeth appears to have gotten over the ordeal when she accepted Parrs offer to live with her at Chelsea. Marys reaction to Elizabeth accepting Parrs offer was with horor. She could only assume that her sister felt she had nowhere else to go. In turn, Mary offered Elizabeth a place in her own household, so the sisters could stand united against their stepmother. Elizabeth was too attached to her stepmother to leave her side to be with Mary. Parr was really the first mom that she had ever known and wished to stay. Mary, not happy with her much younger sister’s choice, left in disgust. This was what some would call Elizabeths first obvious defiance of her sister.

It was while Elizabeth was at Chelsea that she met another man who would make a great impact in her life, William Cecil. Elizabeth hit it off immediately with Cecil who had come to Chelsea to pay his respects. As with many Cecil understood how important it was to be near those with a claim to the throne. After speaking with Elizabeth, Cecil agreed to take on the management of her estates and revenues. This task was one that Cecil was so good at that Elizabeth entrusted him with other matters. Cecil became the man who Elizabeth went to for advice and guidance on many matters, but especially matters of state.

In the meantime, the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth began to cool. The distance between the sisters appears to have put a strain on their relationship. Mary had been great at writing and replying to her sisters letters while Elizabeth appears to have been too caught up with the activities at Chelsea to make the time correspond with her sister. This does not mean that Elizabeth did not care for her sister – when she heard that Mary had been unwell Elizabeth was genuinely concerned for her sisters welfare. She wrote Mary to express her concern for her health, but thats where it stopped. When one of Marys ladies requested that Elizabeth send one of HER ladies, Jane Russell to be specific, to help care for her ailing sister. Elizabeth stated that she could not send Jane Russell because her husband would not allow it. This was probably taken as a slight by Mary.

After the debacle with Thomas Seymour at Hanworth in early 1548, the dowager queen felt it best to send Elizabeth away to protect her reputation from rumors spreading about the tryst with Seymour. Elizabeth was devastated that she had disappointed her stepmother but understood it was for the best. A little distance from the situation would give Elizabeth the privacy she needed for the rumors to die down. It was while at Cheshunt that Elizabeth realized what a dangerous game she was playing with Seymour and was grateful to her stepmother for removing her from the situation.

While they appear to have made up, Parr and Elizabeth would never see one another again. Kateryn Parr died a few days after giving birth to a daughter by Seymour. They named her Mary, after Mary Tudor. The relationship between Kateryn and Mary had improved after Kateryn announced she was pregnant, and maybe this was Kateryns way of extending an olive branch to her stepdaughter.

In 1550, after the death of both her stepmother and Thomas Seymour, Elizabeth wrapped up her formal education. She was now believed to be fluent in French, Flemish, Italian and Spanish – as well as Welsh, Cornish, Scottish and Irish by the end of her life. Elizabeth was one of the best and most educated women in the realm – rightfully so, she was heir to the throne.

Anne of Cleves had seen her status diminished after the death of King Henry but that did not stop Elizabeth from visiting her former stepmother. Anne had established her household at Hever, which must have been comforting for Elizabeth to be there, near memories of her mother. It was there that Anne would catch up with Elizabeth to find out what was going on at court in the realm.

Elizabeth had now settled into her household at Hatfield and it must have been reassuring to know that she had something of her own. Her brother Edward, the King, favored Elizabeth over their Catholic sister Mary. It was during her brothers reign that Elizabeth saw what happened when your religious beliefs did not match the monarchs. This was something that would affect Elizabeths life as well. But, during the reign of her brother, she was safe.

During the remainder of King Edwards reign the sisters saw very little of one another. Letters were exchanged but that was really the extent of it.

In 1553, Edward VI became gravely ill and was not expected to survive. The symptoms described are consistent with tuberculosis. Young King Edward, along with his council, were gravely concerned that Mary would undo all the reforms put into place and return England to Catholicism. This was something they were adamantly against – in turn, the king devised a new Act of Succession. One that stated his cousin, the Protestant Lady Jane Grey would inherit the throne after his death.

Upon Edwards death in July 1553 Mary sent letters to the council claiming her right to the throne. What Edward had done had essentially been illegal. The devise for succession had not been approved by Parliament and could not stop Mary from claiming her rightful place. Where was Elizabeth during all of this? She was at Hatfield lying low. Ever the politician, she knew not to show favor one way or another. Less than two weeks later Lady Jane Grey was in the Tower and Mary was officially pronounced Queen of England. This is the moment when Elizabeths life would never be the same.

At the end of July 1553, prior to Marys triumphant ride into London, Elizabeth met with her sister, the Queen, at Wanstead. The sisters behaved as if there had never been a rift between them; Mary even gave Elizabeth a beautiful necklace made of white coral beads that were trimmed with gold and also a ruby and diamond brooch.

Elizabeth was now in a position that may have made her feel uncomfortable. After having quarreled and disagreed with her sister for years Mary now kept Elizabeth close. Afterall, Elizabeth was next in line to the throne – together they would show a unified least by outward appearances.

The happiness did not last long between the sisters. Mary knew that her sister was a Protestant just as their cousin (and fallen queen) Jane Grey was. Mary was a Catholic and would not tolerate her sisters religious beliefs. The problem? Well, Elizabeth was raised as a Protestant…it was all she knew. Like asking all of England to switch back to Catholicism, Mary was going to have a difficult time controlling her sister.

At the beginning of 1554, Thomas Wyatt the Younger raised an army of men to march toward London. These men were all against the Queen marrying Prince Philip and especially returning England to Catholicism. Wyatts Rebellion caused trouble in Mary and Elizabeths relationship as well – Mary and her advisors her believed that Elizabeth was responsible for the uprising.

Whether or not Elizabeth was involved in Wyatts Rebellion is unknown. Under interrogation in the Tower (after his capture and arrest), Wyatt insisted that Elizabeth had nothing to do with the uprising. Queen Mary and her advisors were not so certain.

Marys advisors, specifically Simon Renaud, and the Spanish, believed the best option was to marry Elizabeth to a Catholic outside of England and to get her out of the country.

Stephen Gardiner and his Catholic sympathizers thought it best to marry her off to Edward Courteney, Earl of Devon. Keeping her in England in the event of Marys death without issue was more important. Their fear was that the Spanish would end up ruling England in the event of Marys death.

Author Paul Johnson believed in his his book Elizabeth I – A Study in Power & Intellect that Elizabeth was certainly aware of Wyatts Rebellion and how it would affect her, however, I believe she would not have gotten herself involved with it – if successful it would set a standard. Just like later in life with the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. What would stop another from doing the same to her?

Any exchanges that Elizabeth had with Wyatt were verbal only. Her acquiescence was imperative to her survival.

During the investigation of Elizabeths involvement in the rebellion, Gardiner was unable to find any witnesses to testify they heard Elizabeth use words that could be construed as treason.

Did Elizabeth believe her sister was beyond her child bearing years? In 1554, the Queen was 38 years old – two years older than her former stepmother, Kat Parr when she died in 1548. Thirty-eight was easily considered middle age and highly unlikely to have children. It is possible that Elizabeth understood that it was only a matter of time before she ascended the throne. She would just need patience.

Regardless of Elizabeths guilt or innocence she became the prime suspect.

Mary summoned Elizabeth to court, at which Elizabeth feigned illness. She feared her rightfully paranoid sister would throw her in the Tower. Supposed sickness would only save Elizabeth for so long. Eventually, Mary sent Lord William Howard to Ashridge to escort Elizabeth to Whitehall, by any means possible. Howard also brought with him doctors to ensure that Elizabeth was well enough to travel the thirty-seven miles to the palace. The trip was done in stages and they arrived at their destination in about a week.

Upon her arrival some onlookers commented that Elizabeth look ill, while others thought she appeared defiant. Dressed in white Elizabeth wished to convey innocence to her suspicious sister and onlookers.

On the 25th of February, Sir John Bourne reported to Gardiner that after much questioning and torture that he was unsuccessful in getting Wyatt to confess that Elizabeth was involved in the rebellion.

At his trial on the 15th of March 1554, Thomas Wyatt stated that he HAD written to Elizabeth but that he had only received a verbal reply that was non-committal. Even on the scaffold, awaiting his execution, he insisted that he was the only one involved that was privy to the plot.

While all this was happening Elizabeth was safely held at Whitehall. You could probably say she was under house arrest, but on the day following Wyatts trial, Gardiner was able to force through the Council an order to have Elizabeth placed in the Tower. The only problem was the men could not agree on the charges that she be brought against her. Their biggest fear was that Elizabeth would one day be Queen and they would be held responsible for their actions.

On the 17th of March the Marquess of Winchester and Earl of Sussex were sent to escort Elizabeth from Whitehall to the Tower. When they informed Elizabeth of her fate she insisted on speaking with her sister, the Queen. Eventually it was agreed that she could write Mary. We will never know if this was planned or not but Elizabeth took so long to write the letter that the tide began to pull out. They would have to wait until the following day to transport her.

Elizabeths letter was delivered and it read:

March I6, I554.

If any ever did try this old saying, ‘that a king’s word was more than another man’s oath,’ I most humbly beseech your Majesty to verify it to me, and to remember your last promise and my last demand, that I be not not condemned without answer and due proof, which it seems that I now am; for without cause proved, I am by your council from you commanded to go to the Tower, a place more wanted for a false traitor than a true subject, which though I know I desire it not, yet in the face of all this realm it appears proved. I pray to God I may die the shamefullest death that any ever died, if I may mean any such thing; and to this present hour I protest before God (Who shall judge my truth, whatsoever malice shall devise), that I never practised, counselled, nor consented to anything that might be prejudicial to your person anyway, or dangerous to the state by any means. And therefore I humbly beseech your Majesty to let me answer afore yourself, and not suffer me to trust to your Councillors, yea, and that afore I go to the Tower, if it be possible; if not, before I be further condemned. Howbeit, I trust assuredly your Highness will give me leave to do it afore I go, that thus shamefully I may not be cried out on, as I now shall be; yea, and that without cause. Let conscience move your Highness to pardon this my boldness, which innocency procures me to do, together with hope of your natural kindness, which I trust will not see me cast away without desert, which what it is I would desire no more of God but that you truly knew, but which thing I think and believe you shall never by report know, unless by yourself you hear. I have heard of many in my time cast away for want of coming to the presence of their Prince; and in late days I heard my Lord of Somerset say that if his brother had been suffered to speak with him he had never suffered; but persuasions were made to him so great that he was brought in belief that he could not live safely if the Admiral lived, and that made him give consent to his death. Though these persons are not to be compared to your Majesty, yet I pray to God the like evil persuasions persuade not one sister against the other, and all for that they have heard false report, and the truth not known. Therefore, once again, kneeling with humbleness of heart, because I am not suffered to bow the knees of my body, I humbly crave to speak with your Highness, which I would not be so bold as to desire if I knew not myself most clear, as I know myself most true. And as for the traitor Wyatt, he might peradventure write me a letter, but on my faith I never received any from him. And as for the copy of the letter sent to the French King, I pray God confound me eternally if ever I sent him word, message, token, or letter, by any means, and to this truth I will stand in till my death.

Your Highness’s most faithful subject, that hath been from the beginning, and will be to my end,


I humbly crave but only one word of answer from yourself.


The Tower of London at the time of Elizabeths arrest was nearly full, but even with that being said she was placed in a more spacious room on the second floor of the Bell Tower. The room she was placed in was the same one that Bishop John Fisher was housed in prior to his execution and was also the one above Sir Thomas Mores. Her prison had four chambers and the attention of a dozen servants.

There is a lot of history in the Tower of London.

Elizabeths time in the Tower would have been a terrifying time for her. Her mother had spent time there and been executed as well as her stepmother Katherine Howard twelve years earlier. Only a month earlier her cousin Lady Jane Grey was executed there. Elizabeth surely would have believed that her time was coming. It wouldnt be long before she too was executed, because lets face it – thats what happened to people placed in the Tower. Very few walked out alive.

By the end of April the Council had decided that there was not sufficient evidence to charge Elizabeth with treason, so in turn they chose instead to have her removed to the country.

On the 19th of May, Sir Henry Bedingfield was charged with transporting Elizabeth to Woodstock. Woodstock was a dilapidated royal hunting lodge in Oxfordshire. Bedingfield orders were to treat Elizabeth as may be agreeable to her honour and estate as well as degree. Elizabeth was not allowed any conversations with strange persons without Bedingfield being present. Plus she was not allowed to write or receive letters or tokens, from anyone.

At Woodstock Elizabeth was allowed to keep six of her own servants. Three men and three women. The women were with her constantly while the men could come and go. This made it easy for messages to be delivered.

Bedingfield was housing a woman who could easily outsmart his rules and there wasnt much he could do about. Like earlier, Bedingfield also understood that Elizabeth would one day be Queen and so he knew to tread lightly.

Read Part Three.


Borman, Tracy; Elizabeths Women (2009)

Johnson, Paul; Elizabeth I – A Study in Power & Intellect (1974)

Starkey, David; Elizabeth – The Struggle for the Throne (2001)

Weir, Alison; The Life of Elizabeth I (1998)

Get Notified

Facebook no longer shows our posts to a majority of our followers - Don't want to miss out on new articles? Get notified! Subscribe to email updates from Tudors Dynasty.

Join 5,014 subscribers.