Elizabeth's spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, was sniffing round MQOSs doings & began uncovering plots.
Sir Francis Walsingham
First the was the Northern Rebellion, led by Percys & Nevilles & Dacres, who were the great lords of such. Peeps was gobsmacked that these dudes decided it would be a good idea to make Mary the Queen of England & get rid of Elizabeth b/c jeez, did all those yrs of guarding the steaks & burgers count for naught that they wanted to invite the blue peeps right in to helpee-selfee? Charles Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, was married to Jane Howard, Norfolk's sis. Jane ended up running off to the Frenchies when the rebellion was put down & her bro ended up in the Tower, but Elizabeth sighed b/c they were cuz's as well & pardoned him whilst Cecil frowned.
Norfolk got his the next yr in the Ridolfi Plot, called such b/c there was an Italian banker acting as go-btwn. This was even more cause for alarm b/c it involved a nice Spanish invasion to save Mary & take out Elizabeth. This time OFF WITH HIS HEAD was carried out, as Norfolk was supposed to wed MQOS & get to be king.
C & W hissed OFF WITH HER HEAD, TOO! b/c these plots all involved MQOS being Queen of Everything. Elizabeth said um NO. No queen killing allowed. Peeps is plotting enough of such as tis. C & W sighed. Elizabeth commenced lecturing her royal cuz even more sternly & said you double-dealing wench, dontchoo be begging me to be named heir whilst planning to stab me in the back if I don't! That is NO way to win friends & influence ppl & we are NOT amused.
MQOS wasn't the only wannabe heir giving Elizabeth a headache.
Right b4 MQOSs run for the border, Elizabeth was mighty irked w/ her cuz Catherine Grey, too.
Lady Catherine Grey
At the time her sis Jane was married off to Guildford Dudley, Katie was wed to one of Northumberland's peeps, William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. Then when Mary Tudor took over, it got annulled right quick & she stayed single, which she was prolly fine w/ as she was like all of 13. Then she grew up & do you know who she started giving the eye to? Edward Seymour, of all peeps! He was the son of the headless former Lord Protector & if ya recall, his Auntie Jane had nudged Elizabeth's mother off her throne & up the scaffold stairs. Was Katie TRYING to tick Elizabeth off?
Katie & Ed got seecrudly married behind Elizabeth's back, which, as we've said, was a huge no-no for royal peeps. Eventually the inevitable occurred & Katie commenced breeding. Ed meanwhile had been sent off to the continent for an edjamacation. See, that's the prob w/ those seecrud weddings, ya can't just up & whinge but Mommmmm, I can't go to college now, I got hitched & y'all missed it! Whilst he was gone his sister, another Jane, had the demises; this was crucial b/c she was Katie's BFF & the sole witness to the wedding. They had ginormous skirts in those days so Katie was able to attend upon the queen as one of the maids of honor until she was nigh on ready to pop, too scared of The Wrath of Elizabeth to 'fess up. Elizabeth generally wasn't fussed when her ladies wished to get married to begin w/, & Katie being in line for the throne, well, not pretty. 1st she asked Bess of Hardwick, who was getting to be BFFs w/ Elizabeth, to soften the queen up. Bess said um NO. Then Katie decided to throw herself upon Robert Dudley's mercy & beg him to intervene w/ Elizabeth for her. Robin was all o carp b/c he knew how the queen was, but he sucked it in & told her.
Elizabeth immediately wrote Katie out a nice Tower Fun Pass.
As soon as Ed got home from college, he got dragged off to the Tower as well. But we're MARRIED! they wailed. Elizabeth snorted & said o yeah? Did I give permission for such things? I don't think so. Prove it. Janie wasn't talking & no one else was there, so Ed & Katie were all o shite. To make matters worse, Katie had a bouncing baby boy, (tiresomely) Edward Jr.
miniature of Catherine Grey & son Edward Seymour
Now Elizabeth had a pair of wannabe heirs w/ sons & she was not amused. Then she was even less amused when Katie turned up pregnant again like 5 min later! Some Tower flunkey got hurled into a dungeon for letting the lovers meet up.
Elizabeth was furious & had Matthew Parker, her Archbishop of Canterbury, declare there was no proof of marriage, & even if there was, twas annulled, & Mr & Mrs Seymour were publicly denounced for (you dunno how long I had to sit here & think of a term that was less graphic than the true one!) um, doing unlawful stuff. The 2nd son, William, was declared as illegit as his bro. Katie was placed under house arrest for the rest of her life & Ed was forbidden to see her anymore, just in case. Katie got to keep Eddie & Ed got to keep Willie, though he got Eddie a few yrs later when Katie tragickly demised of that Tudory curse of the consump at age 27. She was an 11dy6x grandma to the late Queen Mum so there's still Tudor blood in there somewhere. Methinks Harry got it LOL
Katie's little sister Mary Grey, who was said to be a dwarf, also did time in house arrest b/c she learned naught from Sissy's adventures & had a seecrud wedding, too.
Lady Mary Grey
looks sorta like Unks the VIII, huh?
Mary's was to a common royal gatekeeper, so twas beneath her status. Mary didn't commence breeding so after 6 yrs Elizabeth let her out to come to court, but Mary also died young at age 33. Elizabeth was outliving everyone so far HA HA.
Everyone except for MQOS, that is. MQOS was mighty perturbed at being kept prisoner. Shrewsbury was mighty perturbed b/c whenever MQOS did sumfin stupid, Elizabeth would yell at him. Bess of Hardwick was the most perturbed of all b/c it cost yonks to keep a queen & her peeps even in reduced circumstances & Elizabeth was being a huge cheapskate about it. MQOS began costing the Talbots even more b/c she decided to get the sicks a lot & whinge about her rheumatiz & drive Elizabeth nuts w/ incessant letters about it, until Elizabeth said, fine, take her on a nice vacation now & then to the spas at Buxton, where I hear the waters are nice fo the rheumatiz, & woe betide ya if some peep lets her escape whilst traveling. Security's expensive, yknow. Bess began yelling at George a lot, too. MQOS began making eyes at George when she saw how his wife was mean to him. George kinda cozied up to MQOS. Bess yelled louder. MQOS smirked & fiddled w/ her rosary & looked innocent.
Margaret Douglas was sprung from the Tower after Darnley demised & went to visit Bess & see the captive queen. Her other son, Charles, was bored w/ 2 old ladies nattering on & began making eyes at Elizabeth Cavendish, Bess's daughter by DH #2. Beth made eyes back. Their mothers took notice of such & said awww. B4 ya knew it Beth & Charles had a seecrud wedding, the bride was breeding, & their doting mums were smack back in the Tower again for encouraging the match.
Young Mr & Mrs Stuart had a baby girl who for yonks was known as Arabella but lately historians have taken to calling her Arbella, but Scarlet don't like that spelling so meh Arabella tis.
Arabella Stuart, aged 2
She was still in diapers when her daddy demised suddenly. Elizabeth sprung Bess of Hardwick to take charge of the kid, but she kept Margaret Douglas in a mite longer. MD commenced wailing about her rheumatiz too, so Elizabeth rolled her eyes & let her out, & then she demised as well. The heirs were dropping like flies & if there hadn't been all those seecrud weddings Elizabeth could've played the cheese stands alone by now.
tomb effigy of Margaret Douglas
MQOS, however, kept buzzing busily. Elizabeth left her to Walsingham's devices & put her on IGNORE for a while b/c she was too busy throwing the bestest hissy fit ever thrown in England. After nearly 20 yrs of waiting around & dancing attendance on the queen hoping she'd forget about that pesky Amy thing, Robin got himself into such deep doo-doo that Cecil started a pool posthaste.
1st there was the Douglass Sheffield scandal. She was a nice obliging widow who had an oops & spawned a new Robert Dudley. Rumor had it they were seecrudly married. Robin manned up to paternity of the infant, but swore up & down that he hadn't married the wench. Elizabeth glared at him until he quaked in his puffy pants & banished em both from court. Cecil was jigging in glee until Elizabeth called Robin back.
Only to discover the rumors of a seecrud wedding were true....tis just that Douglass wasn't the blushing Dudley bride.
We gotta go back into the begats to splain why sweet bonny Robin's choice for his 2nd round of matrimony infuriated Elizabeth so, but meh, I can do it way better than that biblical stuff LOL Remember our king-friendly Mary Boleyn? As you may recall, she was wed to one of Henry's privy chamber peeps, Will Carey, who had the demises of the sweating sickness b4 Henry even was permitted a gawk at Anne's lily-white flesh. 2 kidlets were born into this marriage, Catherine & Henry. They're prolly not Henry's brats (unless he was sick enough to be chasing one sister whilst still tumbling the other b/c the dates for at least one of the kids' BD is well into his pursuit of Anne & the other near the start of it, despite what that Philippa Gregory thinks pffft) & were never acknowledged as such or given any preference like Richmond got. But there was the usual rumor-mongering b/c they had no TV & internet to keep em occupied. Elizabeth did acknowledge em as cuz's & gave out lots of goodies. Catherine was one of her chief bedchamber peeps & she married Sir Francis Knollys & ran away to the Low Countries when Mary was queen b/c they were Protestants.
miniature of Catherine Carey, Lady Knollys
One of her daughters, Lettice, was also a BFF.
Lettice Knollys, Lady Devereux
Lettice 1st married Sir Walter Devereux, who got the icky job of being Elizabeth's Lord Lieutenant of Ireland & demised there of tertian fever. Her kids, Robert, Penelope, & Dorothy (FINALLY some deviation in naming peeps!) got goodies too. Elizabeth was very fond of her Carey rellies, esp Henry Carey's daughter, Philadelphia, who was a bedchamber peep for yonks. I have neglected Ireland dreadfully in this saga sinces the snakes; suffice to say they were trying to conquer it since Henry IIs day & not doing a very good job of it, so Walter's apptment was not seen as fun times. Didn't nobody wanna go over there & deal w/ a passel of savage papists. St Patrick really took there LOL At least there was the Irish Sea so no steaks & burgers raids, but the English didn't think any more of the Irish than they did of the Scots. They had a chunk round Dublin called the Pale just like the Vikings did when they made a conquering stab, but weren't getting much further in b/c the Irish would rather cuddle up to the Scots or the Spanish than the English any day. Somebody was always rebelling & there was lots of OFF WITH HIS HEAD there. Plus twas rather swampy so tertian fever demises were common.
So thanks to Elizabeth telling Walter to go stomp on some papists, Lettice became an eligible widow & began eyeing Robin. B4 ya knew it, seecrud wedding time. Lettice had some cojones to make off w/ the queen's favorite, dontcha think? The Dudleys were practically extinct b/c Northumberland & Guildford lost heads, John died right after his Tower Fun Pass expired, Henry got kilt playing soldier boy on the continent, Ambrose & his wife didn't never breed, & Robin was kept dangling after the queen. Only Mary Sidney out of all of em had kidlets, save for Robin's new bastard.
No sooner had Elizabeth's furor over Douglass calmed down than C & W gleefully told her about the seecrud wedding of her sweet bonny Robin to her Carey cuz. Walsingham kept an eye on EVERYONE & knew EVERYTHING. The CIAs got nuffin on this dude's intelligence system. Imagine the royal tantrum when THIS was revealed. Lettice was permanently banished from court & told to go rot at Kenilworth, the nice castle Elizabeth had given Robin when she made him Earl of Leicester. Even tho Elizabeth lived another 25 yrs after that & Lettice begged regular-like, she never went back on that one. Poof begone Lettice, you man-stealing witch! Once Elizabeth went on progress & Robin hosted her fabulously at Kenilworth but Elizabeth said she would only come if Lettice left, so Robin kicked her out for the queen's visit.
But C & W were consternated b/c after a suitable period of punishment, Elizabeth allowed Robin to come back to court, as usual. We shan't get rid of him till one of em croaks, they sighed.
Soon Lettice commenced breeding & presented Robin w/ a legit son & heir, (tediously) Robert (which had to be confusing b/c she already HAD a kid named that & so did he!). Elizabeth stood godmother & sent goodies & bestowed upon the infant Dudley the title of Earl of Denbigh, but she still wouldn't let Lettice come back to court. Robin was kept there so much he & Lettice never bred again LOL Sadly, the little Earl of Denbigh died when he was just 5 yrs old (& if ya go to a fabby place called Find a Grave, you can see the splendid tomb his parents made, plus lots of the peeps mentioned; I am appalled at how shabby Mary Brandon's spot is, the queen should do sumfin about it, really). Lettice was younger than Elizabeth but not by all that much, so mayhap her eggs expired right after that.
Since Robin had gone behind her back & gotten married, Elizabeth was all pffft I'll show YOU mister & began to seriously consider a marriage proposal her good self.
Remember when Elizabeth 1st became queen & got marriage proposals from MQOSs demised DHs little bros, who were still kidlets? Well, 20 yrs later they were all growed up. There was Henry, Duke of Anjou, & Francis, Duke of Alencon (or Francois if ya wanna be Frenchie about it). Anjou had the demises (which was OK as rumor had it he liked to play dress-up whilst batting for the other team) & Alencon inherited his title & HE became Anjou then, which was a mite confusing. Even tho the new Anjou was in his late 20s & Elizabeth was 45 & prolly outta eggs, she was flattered when he popped over from France to court her in person, & he did so outrageously & extravagantly. Anjou was said to be rather short (like Maman) & not at all good-looking. Elizabeth took to calling him her Frog (she had lots of stupid nicknames like that for all her gentlemen friends; Cecil was her Eyes tho methinks that shoulda been Walsingham). Anyway, Elizabeth went as far has having papers drawn up & everything whilst peeps just kinda stared in shock that she was insisting she was finally gonna take the plunge at her age. She was way older than Mary was when she married Philip, & nobody thunk there was gonna be any heir if Elizabeh did wed her Frog.
Francis, Duke of Anjou & Alencon
To everyone's astonishment, Elizabeth's eggs were NOT expired! B/c her advanced age was a sticking pt to the Frenchies, natch, as even tho Henry II & Catherine de Medici bred like rabbits, the crown kept going sideways to bros instead of down to sons b/c the lads kept demising young & sans issue. So Elizabeth even submitted to the 1st publicized gyno exam LOL & twas reported far & wide that she had no visible deformities & still got visits from Aunt Flo, so there was a shot at her breeding.
There was bated breath & such but finally Elizabeth said meh & sent the Frog home w/o a binding betrothal. Methinks twas all just a spot of pffft at Robin & Lettice. Or maybe she realized she was far too old to risk breeding & didn't like the notion of peeps going HA HA if she didn't. She had the mopes in a theatrical fashion & sighed that she was married to England & all its peeps were her kidlets as she fingered her coronation ring. She was said to have very long, elegant fingers & liked to show them off to their best advantage w/ lots of rings. After she demised twas discovered one of her fav rings opened up & inside was a miniature portrait of Anne Boleyn on one side & a miniature of Elizabeth herself on the other. Don't see Henry in that mix, do we? I call that a pffft to you, Dad.....
ring w/ Mum up top & Elizabeth herself on the bottom