Monday, 12 January 2015

The Death of Amy Robsart

On 17 November 1558, Elizabeth Tudor was crowned Queen Elizabeth I of England. But as everyone knew the young Queen required a King with whom to produce a male heir.

The problem was that it appeared her preferred choice of husband was her childhood friend the handsome, brash, arrogant, ambitious, and widely loathed Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

No one who had seen them dance could doubt the affection they shared for one another.

Dudley, however, was already married to Amy Robsart.

On 8 September 1560, Amy was found dead at the bottom of the stairs of their home Cunmore Place in Oxfordshire with a broken neck.

Scandal swept the Royal Court - had Amy been murdered?

Elizabeth had little option but to banish Dudley until the results of an Inquiry into Amy's death were made public.

The Inquiry was to find him innocent of any involvement in Amy's death but few people believed its findings and the scandal was to scupper his chances of ever marrying Elizabeth.

Had Amy, who was suffering from breast cancer and in great pain been pushed or had she jumped? Or did she as a jilted wife so long neglected and humiliated take her own life in the knowledge that by doing so she would end for good her philandering husband's ambition to be King of England?

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