In A Human Moment

Miscellany from the 19th century

Was Amy Dudley Ill? The Evidence

All Things Robert Dudley

The earliest known mention of Amy Dudley’s health occurred on 18 April 1559 in a dispatch of the Count of Feria to his master King Philip II of Spain: “Lord Robert has come so much into favour that he does whatever he likes with affairs and it is even said that her majesty visits him in his chamber day and night. People talk of this so freely that they go so far as to say that his wife has a malady in one of her breasts and the Queen is only waiting for her to die to marry Lord Robert.”1 From the Spanish original it appears that her condition was said to be even more serious, for ‟está muy mala de un pecho“2 translates literally to ‟she is very ill in one breast”, not just that she was suffering from “a malady”.

A good fortnight later these news…

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