Amy Dudley (née Robsart) (7 June 1532 – 8 September 1560)
I’m not one to talk behind someone’s back and this did happen after I had been beheaded in 1540, which is an entirely different story altogether. Still, to this day I proclaim my innocence.
But back to the story at hand.
Anne Boleyn’s daughter Elizabeth had become the Queen of England (no one saw that one coming) and Robert Dudley was the absolute favorite of all her courtiers. (No one was shocked.)
Dudley himself was quite smitten with her as well, but alas he was married to his first wife, Amy Robsart. She was only 18 on the day of their nuptials.
It was due to his father’s failed attempt to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne that Robert found himself imprisoned within the tower.
Queen Mary had too many personal issues to deal with, so it was sheer luck that he was released a year later. In the meantime, his true wife, Amy, got permission to visit him at the tower. Which she did, often, bringing him food and other items that would make the last days before his execution more comfortable.
However, his execution was not to be, and he was released the following year, at which time the Dudleys, Amy, and Robert lived with a budget that was tightened to the point of choking.
Things changed drastically when Elizabeth was crowned queen; Robert became the Master of the Horse, a huge honor. He would be overseeing the stables, kennels, and the folks who worked in them. Because of this, he had to stay at court. Near the queen.
Amy wasn’t thrilled by this and didn’t follow her husband to court. Instead, Amy chose to take her own household to live with friends throughout the country. Unfortunately for her, she rarely saw her husband, as he was always with the Queen.
Robert, whom the Queen called “eyes,” began to fall in love with the Queen and the Queen, him. She signed her letters to him with ôô to signify his eyes (the first emoji?). At the time, it was rumored that Dudley’s wife was very ill. Everyone at court was speculating that, when Amy died of whatever illness it was, the Queen would marry “her favorite.” It wasn’t announced, but everyone knew.
But in true Tudor fashion, it couldn’t be that easy, and it would have been if the events of September 8th had never occurred. It gets ugly from here, folks. (That’s almost medieval for trigger warning).
It’s said that in the early morning, Amy, who was staying at Cumnor Place, near Oxford, had insisted on sending her servants away.
Now, there is no proof of this, but it’s just a bit peculiar that it was the same day that she plummeted to her death?
Allegedly, she slipped on the stairs, the fall causing two wounds on Amy’s head as well as a broken neck. The coroner’s findings were “death by misfortune” or an accident. If you ask me, there wasn’t enough proof that it was an accident. Yet, there also wasn’t enough proof to say it was murder or, worse, suicide. No matter what, I know in my heart that Robert Dudley was the root of it.
If it was suicide, he drove her to it. Or perhaps he had her “taken care of” so that he would be free to marry the Queen? Perhaps the Queen had her assassinated to avoid marrying Robert? Or as the coroner said, it could have been an accident.
What do you think?
As for me and the other ladies of the court, we believe that she was pushed.
Jane, The Lady Rochford