Thursday, March 25, 2010

407 years ago today...

Mar 24, 1603 Queen Elizabeth I died. She as nearly 70, and had been queen of England since she was 25.

From the Death of Queen Elizabeth I:

In March 1603 Queen Elizabeth was clearly unwell and seemed depressed. She retired to one of her favourite homes - Richmond Palace. Stubborn as ever she refused to allow her doctors to examine her. She also refused to rest in bed - she stood for hours on end, occasionally just sitting in a chair. Her condition became worse and her ladies-in-waiting spread cushions across the floor. Queen Elizabeth eventually lay down on the cushions. She lay on the floor for nearly four days - mostly in complete silence. She eventually grew so weak that when her servants insisted on making her more comfortable in her bed she was unable to argue with them. The end was clearly near for the great old Queen. Her Councillors gathered around her. Soft music was played to soothe her. She had still not named James as her successor but she made a sign to Robert Cecil and it was interpreted that this was her wish.

(More details)

The funeral wasn't until April 28. The body was in a lead coffin, which I guess can keep Superman safe from kryptonite, and England safe from a month-old body.

In the middle of the site linked above are advertisements for wrongful death claims (just in case anyone wants to sue, about Elizabeth's death, I guess. As she was childless, though, and others benefitted from the death, I don't guess there needs to be a claim.

If she WAS childless, that is...
There are hints and suggestions that she had a son, and a very bright one, too. Sir Francis Bacon.

There's a recent book out (2001-recent), not so much serious history, claiming that the plays of Shakespeare were written by a son of Elizabeth, Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford. That he wrote the plays, and William Shakespeare was used as a cover, kind of the opposite of ghost writing. A scholar wrote of the believers of that theory: “Oxfordians are the sub-literary equivalent of the sub-religious Scientologists. You don’t want to argue with them, as they are dogmatic and abusive.”

But women aren't having children as they're dying, though they might be thinking of their children. If they had any.

The images above and many others, including the funeral procession, effigy and tomb (though those weren't until 407 years and some weeks later) are here:

(I'm including this on the Thinking Sticks blog too.)

1 comment:

boysmomma said...

Cool!! we just watched the 2 part Masterpiece theater show "The Virgin Queen" a couple of weeks ago. I now must go tell my sons that it was 407 years ago...