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Queen Elizabeth I
1533 -.1603
Queen Elizabeth I of England

Elizabeth Tudor was Queen regnant of England and Queen regnant of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor Dynasty. The daughter of King Henry VIII, she was born a princess, but her mother, was executed two and a half years after her birth, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her brother, Edward VI, bequeathed the crown to Lady Jane Grey, cutting his sisters out of the succession. His will was set aside, and in 1558 Elizabeth succeeded the Catholic Mary I, during whose reign she had been imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.

The Spanish Armada Invasion - Elizabeth went to inspect her troops at Tilbury in Essex on 8 August. Wearing a silver breastplate over a white velvet dress, she addressed them in one of her most famous speeches:


"My loving people,we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourself to armed multitudes for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people....I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any Prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm".


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Catherine of Valois
1401 - 1437
Catherine of Valois


Catherine of Valois, Princess of France, was born at the Hotel of St. Pol (a royal palace in Paris) on 27 October 1401, the daughter of King Charles VI of France and his wife Isabeau of Bavaria Her childhood was affected by her father's schizophrenia.. Early on, there had been a discussion of marrying her to the son of Henry IV, but the King died before negotiations could begin. The new king, Henry V, also proposed the match, but demanded a large dowry and acknowledgement of his right to the throne of France. Henry V went to war with France and even after the English victory at Agincourt, plans for the marriage continued. Catherine was said to be very attractive and when Henry finally met her at Meulan he became enamoured. In May 1420, a peace treaty was made between England and France and Charles acknowledged Henry of England as his heir. Catherine and Henry were married at the Parish Church of St John or at the Troyes Cathedral on 2 June 1420. Catherine went to England with her new husband and was crowned as Queen in Westminster Abbey on 23 February 1421. In June 1421, Henry returned to France to continue his campaigns.

The marriage of Henry and Catherine was short-lived, as Henry died on 31st August 1422. Catherine's son Henry, who had been born a few months earlier, was now King of England and would shortly become titular King of France on the death of his grandfather. Due to her foreign birth, youth and inexperience, Catherine does not seem to have been considered as a possible Regent for her son: instead, the title of 'Protector' was taken by the late King's brother, Humphrey of Gloucester. Catherine was allowed to remain in her son's household to care for him, but she was not allowed to remarry without his permission, which he could only give on reaching his majority.

However, a few years after her husband's death, Catherine formed a relationship with Owen Tudor, the Clerk of her Wardrobe. Their first son, Edmund Tudor, was born in 1430, and they went on to have four other children. It seems likely that they were secretly married, although there is no documentary proof of this. It is difficult to believe that the relationship was unknown to members of the Court, especially given the frequency of Catherine's pregnancies, and it may well be that a 'blind eye' was turned in view of Catherine's lack of political influence and Owen's low rank. Late in 1436, Catherine, who was pregnant again, retired to Bermondsey Abbey to seek treatment for an illness that may well have been cancer. She died there on 3rd January 1437, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Her coffin was accidentally opened some fifty years later and remained so until the nineteenth century. Through her son Edmund, she was the ancestor of the Tudor line and all subsequent rulers of England.


Elizabeth of York

Elizabeth of York
11/2/1466-11/2/1503
Elizabeth of York


Elizabeth of York, the only English queen to have been a daughter, sister, niece and wife of English monarchs during her lifetime was born at Westminster, the eldest child of King Edward IV and his Queen consort, Elizabeth Woodville, the former Lady Grey, on 11th February 1466.

At the age of 5, she was briefly betrothed to George Neville, son of John Neville, Earl of Northumberland, a supporter of Edward IV. Northumberland switched sides, however, and the betrothal was called off. In 1475, she was offered as the bride of Charles, the Dauphin of France. That plan was scrapped when Charles's father, Louis XI, decided against her. Her own father King Edward died shortly afterwards, and her brother Edward's throne was usurped by her uncle Richard of Gloucester. Elizabeth and her mother fled to sanctuary in Westminster Abbey but returned to the King's Court in 1484, although it was widely assumed that Richard had had the young King and his brother murdered. Richard's Queen, Anne Neville, was dying of tuberculosis and there were rumours that the King intended to marry Elizabeth after her death. Elizabeth's own part in this remains murky: a letter from her which survived until the seventeenth century suggested that she was keen and may even have had a sexual relationship with Richard. In the meantime, her mother was hedging her bets by negotiating with Lady Margaret Beaufort for the marriage of Elizabeth to Margaret's son, the Lancastrian claimant, Henry Tudor.

After Richard's defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22nd August 1485, Henry VII kept his promise to marry Elizabeth, but he was careful to be crowned first so that there was no suggestion that he was claiming the throne in her right rather than his own. Henry and Elizabeth were married on 18th January 1486. The marriage was reasonably successful: Henry seems to have genuinely cared for Elizabeth and he was faithful to her, although observers noted that his mother wielded far more influence than his wife.

Elizabeth's beauty, grace and kindness made her a popular Queen, and she and Henry had four surviving children: Arthur, born in 1486; Margaret, born 1489; Henry, born 1491 and Mary, born 1496. Three other children died young. Elizabeth was profoundly affected by the tragic death of her eldest son Arthur in 1502. She became pregnant again, although she had a history of difficult births. She gave birth to a short-lived daughter, Katherine, but died of puerperal fever on 11th February 1503, her thirty-seventh birthday. Elizabeth was sincerely mourned by her subjects and by her husband, with whom she is buried in Westminster Abbey.


Catherine of Aragon as Mary Magdalene by Micheal Sittow

Katherine of Aragon
15/12/1485-5/1/1536
Katherine of Aragon


Katherine of Aragon was born at Alcala de Henares, near Madrid, on 16th December 1485, the fifth and youngest child of Ferdinand, King of Aragon, and Isabella, Queen of Castile. She was named after her English great-grandmother, Catherine of Lancaster. She was first engaged to Arthur, Prince of Wales, by the Treaty of Medina del Campo in 1489. Katherine's mother ensured that she received an excellent education, and she was described as a 'paragon of feminine learning'. After a childhood spent following her parents' itinerant Court around Spain, she arrived in England in 1501 and was married to Arthur at St. Paul's Cathedral on 14th November, when she was sixteen and Arthur was fifteen. Controversy remains to this day as to whether the marriage was ever consummated, although the weight of evidence and the discovery of documents in Zaragoza by her most recent biographer would seem to indicate that it was not.

Katherine and Arthur journeyed to Ludlow Castle in the spring of 1502, where he died on 2nd April. As Henry VII was reluctant to return the first instalment of her dowry, he was happy to agree the marriage of the widowed Princess to his younger son Henry, who was five and a half years' Katherine's junior, and a dispensation was obtained from the Pope. Katherine's situation changed for the worse on her mother's death in 1504, as a bitter power struggle erupted between her father and her brother-in-law for the control of Castile and her value was a bride decreased.
Katherine was harshly treated by Henry VII he and Ferdinand wrangled over the remaining part of her dowry. She was allowed some measure of control over the situation in 1507 when her father made her his Ambassador to England, the first female to take such a role in recorded history.However, the matter had not been resolved by Henry's death on 27th April 1509.

When the young Prince Henry ascended to the throne, he immediately took steps to finalise his marriage to Katherine. She was still young (23) and beautiful, with a fair skin, long red-gold hair and blue eyes, and Henry admired her grace and intelligence. He also wanted an alliance with her father against France. They were married on 11th June and crowned together on 23rd June. The marriage of Henry and Katherine was happy for several years: the couple had many things in common, including their love of literature and hunting, and Henry treated Katherine as his most respected adviser. She served as Regent during his absence in France during 1513, and presided over the defeat of the invading Scots army at Flodden. She was a noted patron of humanism and learning, a friend of Erasmus and Thomas More, and famous for her graciousness and charity. As a result, she became one of the most popular Queens in English history. However, although Katherine became pregnant six or seven times over the course of the next ten years, the only child to survive more than a few weeks was their daughter Mary, born on 18th February 1516. Katherine ensured that Mary was as well-educated as she had been and trained for her future duties as Queen.

Although Henry appeared to have accepted Mary as his heiress, he was still desperate to have a son. By 1524, it was obvious that Katherine was past childbearing and shortly thereafter, he fell in love with Anne Boleyn, who refused to become his mistress. Henry became determined to dissolve his marriage on the grounds that Katherine was his brother's widow. He seems to have expected Katherine to step aside to allow this to happen, but he had grossly underestimated his wife. Katherine saw no reason why her marriage should be declared invalid or why Mary should not be a regnant queen as her own mother had been. She vehemently insisted that her first marriage had never been consummated and that she would remain the rightful Queen of England. She was sustained by her strong religious faith as well as her belief in the rightness of her cause.The Queen's political ability and popularity with the people of England proved superior to Henry's, and she was able to blindside him at the famous 'Blackfriars' trial into agreeing that she could appeal to Rome.

The 'Great Matter' dragged on seven years, as the vacillating Pope Clement VII hesitated to offend either Henry or Katherine's powerful nephew the Emperor Charles V, who effectively held the Pontiff as his prisoner. It is likely that Katherine hoped that Henry would tire of Anne as he had of previous lovers and return to her, but her gamble failed to pay off. With the help of his new adviser Thomas Cromwell, Henry renounced his allegiance to the Church of Rome, set himself up as the Head of the English Church and the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declared his marriage dissolved. He married Anne Boleyn in 1533. Katherine had already been banished from Court, forbidden to see her daughter Mary and shunted round a series of country houses. In April 1534, she was sent to Kimbolton Castle, near Peterborough. By that time, her health was declining and the damp Fenland conditions did nothing to help. Katherine died at Kimbolton on 5th January 1536 at the age of fifty. There were rumours that she had been poisoned at the behest of Anne Boleyn, but it is almost certain that she died of cancer. On her deathbed, she wrote Henry a last letter declaring that she still loved him. She was buried in Peterborough Cathedral as Dowager Princess of Wales, but her tomb was upgraded to that of a Queen by George V's wife Queen Mary.


Mary I of England

Mary I Queen regnant of England and Ireland
18.2.1516 - 17.111558

Mary I, Queen of England

Mary Tudor was born on 18th February 1516 at Greenwich, the daughter of King Henry VIII of England and his first wife Katherine of Aragon. She was the only one of their children to survive to adulthood. Mary was a highly intelligent child who was given an excellent education by her mother: by the age of four, she played the virginals to entertain a visiting ambassador and could read, speak and write Latin by the time she was nine. In default of male heirs, she was sent to Ludlow in 1525 to preside over the Welsh marches and although never formally given the title, she was treated as Princess of Wales. Various marriages were proposed for her from early childhood, including her cousin the Emperor Charles V and the son of Francis I of France, but none came to fruition.

By 1526, Mary's life had taken a turn for the worse: her father had fallen in love with Anne Boleyn and was attempting to dissolve his marriage. Mary sided with her mother, but the stress of the situation took its toll on her and she was plagued with headaches and illness. When Henry formally broke with Rome in 1532, Mary was declared illegitimate and stripped of her title of Princess and her place in the succession. She was exiled from Court and refused permission to see her mother. In 1536, on the persuasion of the Imperial ambassador Chapuys, she reluctantly accepted her father as Head of the Church of England and resumed her place at Court with the title of 'Lady Mary'. She was re-instated in the Royal succession in 1544.

Mary largely avoided Court during the reign of her brother Edward VI: she remained a devout Catholic and he and his advisers attempted to pressurise her into converting to protestantism. Before his death, Edward was persuaded by the Duke of Northumberland to exclude both Mary and their younger sister Elizabeth from the succession and to declare Northumberland's daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, as his heir. Unsurprisingly, Mary was not prepared to accept this and nor were the majority of the English people. She went to her estates in East Anglia, gathered an army and wrote to the Privy Council ordering herself proclaimed Queen. Northumberland's support collapsed, Jane was deposed and Mary entered London in triumph on 3rd August 1553. Mercifully, she spared Jane's life and that of her husband, Guildford Dudley: only Northumberland was executed.

Mary knew that at 37, time was running out for her to produce an heir and she sought a powerful Catholic husband to provide one. Her marriage to Prince Philip of Spain was generally unpopular, although she took care to sharply restrict his powers. Sir Thomas Wyatt led a rebellion against Mary, which resulted in the execution of Jane Grey and her husband and father as well as Wyatt himself. Mary married Phillip at Winchester Cathedral on 25th July 1554 and by September, she appeared to be pregnant. However, no baby was ever born and although writers have suggested that this was a phantom pregnancy, her symptoms may in fact have been caused by a pituitary tumour.

Mary's main aim was to restore the country to Catholicism, and she put this in train immediately after her accession. This was not an unpopular move with the majority of her subjects, but the resulting 'Marian persecutions', which saw some three hundred 'heretics' burned, was a gift to the Queen's enemies. Her reign was also plagued with a series of poor harvests, although she did her best to improve trade. One the positive side, Mary's actions strengthened both Parliament and the Crown, and established the principle of legitimate rule, regardless of whether the heir was male or female. Increasingly ill, probably with cancer, Mary died at St. James's Palace on 17th November 1558 during an influenza epidemic, after a reign of only five years. Although she had requested to be buried with her mother, her body was taken to Westminster Abbey, where she shares a tomb with her sister Elizabeth.


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Elizabeth Woodville, Queen Consort of England
1437-1492
Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of Edward IV


Elizabeth Woodville, or Wydeville, was born in about 1437 at Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, the daughter of Sir Richard Woodville and his wife Jacquetta of Luxembourg. Elizabeth's father was an ordinary country knight, but her mother was the widow of the Duke of Bedford and related to the powerful French counts of St. Pol. Eliizabeth may have been a lady-in-waiting to Margaret of Anjou, Queen of Henry VI: certainly, her family seem to have been Lancastrian in sympathy. She married Sir John Grey in about 1452, and they had two sons, Thomas and Richard. Sir John was killed fighting for Henry VI at the first Battle of St. Albans in 1461, leaving Elizabeth a poor widow.

According to tradition, Elizabeth met the young Yorkist king Edward in the forest near her home late in 1461and begged him to help her by restoring her late husband's confiscated lands. Edward was smitten with the beautiful widow, who refused to become his mistress. Unable to talk her into his bed, Edward married her secretly in May 1464. When he was forced to announce this four months later, the news caused consternation: Elizabeth was five years older than the king, a widow with children and of comparatively low status. Even more embarrassingly, his ally Warwick 'the Kingmaker' was attempting to arrange a marriage for the King with Bona of Savoy, sister of Louis XI of France. Edward brushed these objections aside, saying that he had children too despite his unmarried status, and set about arranging a splendid coronation for his new wife, which took place on 24th May 1465. She was the first commoner to become Queen of England since before the Norman Conquest.

Elizabeth was not a popular Queen; she was haughty and had a hoard of relatives (aside from her two sons, she had twelve brothers and sisters), who rapidly acquired wealth and titles. This alienated many nobles, including Warwick, who began to plot against Edward. He and Edward's younger brother George of Clarence rebelled and joined forces with Margaret of Anjou, forcing Edward to flee to Burgundy. Elizabeth remained in sanctuary in London, where her first son, the future Edward V, was born on 2nd November 1470. Edward's military abilities enabled him to overcome the rebels, and he was restored as King in 1471. He and Elizabeth had seven children, and although Edward had numerous mistresses, they remained on good terms. When he died at the early age of forty, his son Edward, aged 12, became King Edward V.

But fear of a Woodville-dominated regency led many to support Edward's brother, Richard of Gloucester, first as Lord Protector, then as King. The young King and his brother Richard were taken to the Tower of London, whilst Elizabeth fled to sanctuary in Westminster. Her marriage was declared invalid by Richard due to Edward's pre-contract with Eleanor Butler, and her sons were never seen alive again. Despite this, Elizabeth agreed to return to Court with her daughters in 1484, but hedged her bets by planning the marriage of her eldest daughter Elizabeth to the Lancastrian claimant Henry Tudor with the latter's mother Lady Margaret Beaufort. Following Richard's defeat and death at Bosworth Field on 22nd August 1485, Elizabeth's marriage was proclaimed valid by Henry VII, who married her eldest daughter, and she was given the title of Queen Dowager. She remained at Court for a while but retired to Bermondsey Abbey in 1487. The reasons for this are unknown: she may have been pushed into doing so by her son-in-law Henry VII (who may have felt that one domineering woman at Court in the shape of his mother Lady Margaret was enough) or she may have wanted a quiet life. In any case, it was not unusual for Dowager Queens to retire to convents. Elizabeth died at Bermondsey on 8th June 1492 and was buried beside Edward IV at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.


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Anne Boleyn
c.1501-1536
Anne Boleyn


Anne Boleyn (c.1501-36), 2nd queen of Henry VIII. Sir Thomas Boleyn, Anne's father, descended from London merchants, was a courtier and became gentleman of the bedchamber to Henry VIII. Anne spent several years at the court of France. Returning in 1522 she was given a post in the household of Catherine of Aragon. The king's interest at this time was in her sister Mary, who became his mistress. Anne was dark-haired, with large eyes, composed, and cultivated. By 1527 Henry was initiating annulment proceedings against Catherine, but not until 1532, it seems, did he and Anne become lovers. Anne was made marchioness of Pembroke in September 1532. Early in January 1533 Anne knew she was pregnant and was married privately to Henry on the 24th. The birth of a princess, Elizabeth, on 7 September 1533 was a disappointment, but more ominous was a miscarriage in September 1534. The king was already beginning to look elsewhere. Publicly, Anne's position was strong—the Princess Mary had been declared illegitimate, and Anne's marriage was protected by a new Treason Law. But in January 1536 Catherine of Aragon died, opening up the possibility of another marriage free from any dubiety. Anne was once more pregnant but at the end of the month, she gave premature birth to a dead son. Henry was now paying marked attention to Jane Seymour, one of Anne's ladies-in-waiting. At the end of April 1536, Anne was accused of adultery with several men and incest with her brother George. On 2 May she was taken to the Tower, and after a trial presided over by her uncle Norfolk, she was executed. Her daughter Elizabeth was deprived of her rank, but succeeded to the throne 22 years later.


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Anne Neville Queen Consort of England
11.6.1456- 16.3.1485
Anne Neville

Anne Neville was born on 11th June 1456 at Warwick Castle, the younger daughter of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, and his wife Anne Beauchamp. Because her parents had no son, Anne and her elder sister Isabel were the greatest heiresses in England. Growing up at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire, both girls grew to know their future husbands, George of Clarence and Richard of Gloucester. Clarence married Isabel against the wishes of his brother King Edward IV in 1469: by that time, Warwick 'the Kingmaker' had fallen out with the King and was conspiring with the exiled Queen, Margaret of Anjou, to restore her husband Henry VI to the throne. To seal the deal, Warwick betrothed the fourteen year old Anne to Henry and Margaret's son Edward, the titular Prince of Wales, then aged seventeen. They married at Angiers in France on 13th December 1470, but the marriage was probably never consummated due to Anne's age. Anne returned to England with the temporarily victorious Lancastrians, but the death of her father at the Battle of Barnet, followed by that of her husband and the final Lancastrian defeat at the Battle of Tewkesbury (4th May 1471) resulted in Anne being taken prisoner and then made the ward of her brother-in-law George of Clarence.

It was in Clarence's interests to keep Anne unmarried in order to claim the whole of the vast Warwick inheritance, but Anne had other ideas. She managed to escape from Clarence's custody - according to one contemporary account, by hiding in a cookshop - and to make contact with Richard of Gloucester, the King's youngest brother and only man capable of wresting her inheritance from Clarence. Their marriage, which took place on 12th July 1472, was controversial: although cousins, they did not seek a dispensation and both Anne and Richard conspired to rob her widowed mother of her dower rights. Although a partial dispensation was subsequently granted, there remained the possibility that the legitimacy of their children could be challenged, but this seems to have been a risk that both Anne and Richard were prepared to take. King Edward made Richard Regent of the North, and Anne spent the next few years mainly at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire, where their son Edward was born in about 1473.

When Richard seized the throne from his nephew Edward V in 1483, Anne made a rapid journey to London to be crowned Queen. The coronation took place on 6th July, with Anne wearing a magnificent dress made of over sixty yards of crimson velvet: given the time of year, she must have been extremely hot. The new King and Queen made a royal progress through England, but rumours were beginning to circulate about the fate of Edward IV's sons, 'the Princes in the Tower', and Richard was forced to crush a rebellion by the Duke of Buckingham. In April 1484, whilst staying at Nottingham, Anne and Richard received the tragic news of the death of their only child, Edward Prince of Wales. He had always been frail and probably died of tuberculosis, the disease that had killed Anne's sister Isabel and which was weakening the Queen herself. Early in 1485, Richard made the humiliating announcement that he had stopped sleeping with Anne: this was probably to guard against his catching Anne's disease. Richard also appears to have had a replacement for Anne lined up: there were widespread rumours that he planned to marry his niece Elizabeth, which were given credence when Anne and Elizabeth appeared at Court wearing elaborate identical gowns. When Anne died on 16th March 1485 at the age of twenty-eight, there were rumours that Richard had had her poisoned, but it is more likely that she succumbed to her illness. She was buried in Westminster Abbey, where a memorial tablet was erected to her in 1960. Her personality and the nature of her relationship with Richard, portrayed by some writers are a love-match, remain an enigma.



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Cecily Neville
Duchess of York
1415-1495
Cecily Neville


Cecily Neville's fortunes did not appear to be particularly promising when her life began in 1415. She was the tenth child of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland, and his wife Joan Beaufort, a grand-daughter of Edward III (she was Westmorland's eighteenth child overall). In 1429, at the age of fourteen, she was married to Richard Duke of York, a man who, on his father's side, was descended from Edmund of Langley (Edward III's fourth surviving son) and, on his mother's side, from Lionel of Antwerp (Edward III's second surviving son). The latter claim gave him a better claim (if descent could pass through the female) than the current Lancastrian King Henry VI, who traced his claim through John of Gaunt (Edward III's third surviving son). It would be this claim that would cause the Yorkists (as the followers of the duke were known) during the 1450s and beyond. The marriage between Cecily and York seems to have been a genuinely happy one, resulting in the birth of twelve children, six of whom survived to adulthood. In addition, York saw that his wife and children were well taken care of when he was away on various political tasks, awarding her several territories from his vast estates. By 1455, however, war would break out between the houses of Lancaster and York and the king and his followers were defeated at St Albans by York and his army, which now consisted of Cecily's brother and nephew. The next five years would be a turbulent time for both royal houses and things came to a head in 1460 when York finally pressed his claim to the throne and was attainted for treason.


www.shakespeareandhistory.com/cecily-neville-duchess-of-york.php


Margaret Douglas.jpg

Margaret Douglas
Countess of Lennox
1515-1578
Margaret Douglas


Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, born on October 8, 1515 and died on March 7, 1578.

Daughter of Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, daughter of Margaret Tudor, queen dowager of Scotland. Her eldest son Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley married Mary Queen of Scots, who was the father of James I of England. Princess Margaret Douglas and Mary I, daughter of Catherine of Aragon and later Queen Mary I were great friends from childhood to growing up together. After a while, Margaret retired to Yorkshire after the death of her friend and Queen Mary I, after the succession to the throne of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I in 1558, after being involved in a conspiracy with the Roman Catholic . Lady Lennox is sent to the Tower by order of Queen Elizabeth I in the year 1556. After the murder of her son, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley she was released. After the marriage of her son Charles, without royal permission was jailed again in 1574, and when her son died in 1577 she is granted a waiver. Margaret died after a year of being released. Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Margaret's grandson James, son of Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley and Mary, Queen of Scots is crowned King James I of England. Stewart was the first king.




19th-century engraving depicting the Nun of Kent.

Elizabeth Barton the "Nun of Kent"
c.1506-1534
Elizabeth Barton

Known as the Nun of Kent, the Holy Maid of London, the Holy Maid of Kent and later the Mad Maid of Kent. Born in 1506 and died in April 20, 1534. When she was a teenager she was a servant in the house of Thomas Cobb. She possibly suffer from epilepsy, during that time she has trances.

Was she gifted with supernatural knowledge or she an impostor? Her prophecies led to her execution under Henry VIII, because the prophecies were about his marriage to Anne Boleyn (see above), which has taken place against the wishes of the Pope.

William Warham the Archbishop of Canterbury sent a commission of three Canterbury Benedictines and two Franciscans, after her priest Richard Masters was convinced of her sincerity, this parish priest that examine her was; Benedictines: Edward Bocking, Hadleigh and Barnes. Franciscans: Hugh Rich and Richard Risby.

Later on the presence of a large crown she was restored to health, after her prediction that the Blessed Virgin would cure her at a certain chapel, this happened after the commission pronounced in her favour. In one part of this chapel that had been long deserted, a coarse image of the Virgin still remained. In that holy consecrated edifice, Elizabeth Barton gave out that the Virgin wold cure her disorder. With a certain pomp, they placed her devoutly before her image. Then she have a crisis: a hoarse sepulchral voice was heard speaking of terrors of hell, her eyes seemed starting from their sockets, and her tongue hung out of her mouth, and then all of a sudden she start to have a transformation, a sweet voice start describing the joys of paradise.

At last Elizabeth came to herself, she announced that she was perfectly cured, and that God had ordered to become a nun, and that she need to have a confessor Bocking. Eventually she entered St. Sepulchre's convent in Canterbury as a Benedictine nun, arranged by Edward Bocking. The miracles were multiplied, the door of her cell sometimes open miraculously in the middle of the night: she was invited by God to the chapel to converse with him. It was brought to her by an angel from heaven a letter in golden characters. All these wonders were kept by monks and were brought before the Archbishop Warham by Richard Masters.

Elizabeth during her trances, she urged Henry VIII: " In the name and by the authority of God" so Henry VIII can give up her plan to divorce Catalina de Aragon (see above) and another prophecies said, that if he married Anne Boleyn " so no longer be King of this realm.....and should die a villain's death" All this controversy lead to her sentenced to death including Bocking, Masters, Rich, Risby while Fisher and five other were condemned to imprisonment and forfeiture of goods. Elizabeth were executed at Tyburn on 20 April 1534 with her companions.

At the moment of her death she said:
I am the cause not only of my death, which I have richly deserved, but of the death of all those who are going to suffer with me. Alas! I was a poor wretch without learning, but the praises of the priests about me turned my brain, and I thought I may say anything that came into my head. Now I cry to God and implore the King's pardon"


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Lady Margaret Beaufort
Countess of Richmond
1443 - 1509
Margaret Beaufort


Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby (31 May 1443 – 29 June 1509) was the mother of King Henry VII and grandmother of King Henry VIII. She was a key figure in the Wars of the Roses, an influential matriarch of the House of Tudor and foundress of two Cambridge colleges. In 1509, she briefly served as regent of England for her grandson.In 1497 she announced her intention to build a free school for the general public of Wimborne, Dorset. She funded the restoration of Church of All Saints, Martock and the construction of the church tower.


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Margaret Lee (nee Wyatt)
1506?-1543?
Margaret Lee

She was the sister of poet Thomas Wyatt and she was the favourite of the second wife of King Henry VIII of England, Anne Boleyn.

For having been a companion of Anne Boleyn, Margaret is best remember, the family latter employed Margaret as one of her ladies-in-waiting. Being born close to 1506, is probable that Margaret was very close to Anne in age. Its said that there was a friendship between Lady Margaret and Queen Anne. And the tradition states that Margaret's sister Mary also was part of the social circle of the Queen. In 1520 Thomas Wyatt, Margaret's brother fell passionately in love with Anne.


When Anne went to Calais, France in 1532, Margaret was one of Anne's chief ladies-in-waiting and accompanied her. Mary in the immediate future is presumed to be Anne and Henry VIII secrets plans.And it has been suggested that Anne had a lady-in-waiting who "she loves as a sister", was Margaret. She would presumably have played a leading part in the decadent social life at the court in the mid-1530, as Mistress of the Queen's wardrobe; which was fuelled by the extravagance of Henry and Anne. In May 1536 when the Queen was arrested on charges of adultery, treason and incest, Lady Margaret was sent to attend her royal mistress in the Tower of London.Margaret received the last gift of a prayer book from her; when she attended Anne of the scaffold on 19 May.

At her small funeral after Anne was beheaded, Margaret acted as chief mourner.Inside the prayer book, Anne had written a short farewell to Margaret.

"Remember me when you do pray, that hope doth lead from day to day"


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