Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Question from Star - Elizabeth I and Amy Dudley

Did Queen Elizabeth know Amy Dudley? In the movie Elizabeth (1998) she didn't know Amy and had no idea that Robert Dudley was even married. But in Phillipa Gregory's book "The Virgin's Lover", Elizabeth knew Amy and even danced at thier wedding. I know that Gregory writes historical fiction, but I was wondering if there was any proof that Elizabeth knew Amy Dudley.



  1. Yes, she did know Amy Dudley. The movie "Elizabeth" is made more for entertainment than historical significance. She did attend the wedding, and so she knew that they were married.

  2. Robert Dudley, the dashing Earl of Leicester, known as 'the Gipsy'because of his dark good looks, seems to have been quite busy as far as getting married was concerned. Lady Douglas Sheffield, with whom he had a liaison before his marriage to Lettice Knollys, said she too had married him but had lost the marriage certificate; if this were true then his marriage to Lettice must have been bigamous.
    Robert Dudley acknowledged that he was the father of Douglas's son Robert and was proud of him, but after his death the Lisle family claimed to be Leicester's closest kin and saw that the young man did not inherit.
    Incidentally, Leicester's son by Lettice Knollys was also called Robert; he died at the age of about seven and is buried close to his parents in St Mary's Church in Warwick.

  3. Elizabeth did know that Amy was Robin's husband she even went to the wedding. Amy did have a clue that from rumors that Elizabeth and Robin where more than friends but from what I read that is all that they saw or heard from one another. Now Elizabeth did not know that Robin was married to his second wife but soon found out that is all that he did not tell Elizabeth about him marrying.

  4. In a history lesson we learnt that she did know Amy Dudley and that's what stopped them from marrying each other. And a sourcs says that Elizabeth I may have ordered Amy Dudley's death.

  5. I think that it is possible Elizabeth had her killed so she can marry Robert. Her father had her mother killed so he could marry someone else. It's in her blood.

  6. Whether or not Elizabeth I knew Amy Dudley personally or attended her wedding to Lord Robert Dudley, it's inconceivable she wouldn't have known of Amy's existence as her favourite's wife; but the Queen was adept at ignoring and slighting the wives of her male favourites or courtiers, who were not encouraged to attend her court, just as she didn't much like her ladies getting married. Think of poor Lettice Knollys, Douglas Sheffield or Bess Throckmorton. The two "Elizabeth" movies are terrific entertainment and they give one the general gist in dramatically accessible terms, but historically accurate they are not. Characters are conflated, timings are to pot, it's all simplified for dramatic effect or dumbed down. Just enjoy! As for the Queen's possible complicity in any alleged plot to murder Amy Dudley, well that's one of history's great teases. Did she fall or was she pushed? Dudley's chaps did the dirty? Calculating old Cecil had it done to scupper Dudley's chances and rescue his career as well as the Queen from a disastrous misalliance? Was she a victim of advanced cancer? The inquest decided Amy died from an accidental fall, but it obviously caused one hell of a scandal, and probably put paid to any chance of Dudley actually marrying Elizabeth (if the Queen ever seriously intended it, which is doubtful). Chris Skidmore's fascinating book "Death & the Virgin" (2010) is a must of you want to pursue this one in more detail. Amy's death has been the subject of an awful lot of romantic tosh over the centuries, including Sir Walter Scott's "Kenilworth" which is best quality hokum and even less accurate historically than the recent films. History sure can be fun and its mysteries provide endless speculation. What do you think really happened?


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