Did William Cecil Murder Amy Robsart? | History And Other Thoughts

In 1560, Amy Robsart, Robert Dudley’s wife, was conveniently found dead at the foot of the stairs at Cunmor Palace, near Oxford. Her husband, now free to marry Queen Elizabeth I, has always been considered the prime suspect by those who don’t believe the suicide or accident theories. After all, the culprit is always the one with the most to gain, right? And what’s more coveted than a crown?

The problem with this theory is that Amy’s death put an end to all talk of marriage between Dudley and the Queen. Elizabeth I certainly couldn’t risk marring a man suspected of killing his first wife. Robert must have known this, so it would have been a very risky gamble on his part, especially if his wife really was as ill as some sources claim. Waiting for her to die would have been a safer bet. It’s not like Elizabeth was in any rush to marry anyone else.

This is probably why this theory is now beginning to lose popularity. But a new one, which is by no means less popular, is emerging: the culprit is William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth I’s Secretary of State. Alison Weir, in her biography of Queen Elizabeth I, wrote:

One man did profit from the death of Amy Dudley, and that was William Cecil. … He was a perceptive man, and he could foresee that if she died in suspicious circumstances, as many people expected her to do, then the finger of suspicion would point inexorably to her husband – as indeed it did. Cecil also knew that Elizabeth…

Source: Did William Cecil Murder Amy Robsart? | History And Other Thoughts.

The Queen’s Favorite


“Your Majesty!  Your Majesty!”

Elizabeth awoke from her slumber to hear her Lady in Waiting knocking at the door to her bed chamber.

“A messenger from Cumnor Place with urgent news”

Elizabeth immediately knew  the subject of the news.  She knew who lived at Cumnor Place.  No one however would wake theQueen unless the message was of utmost importance. “Have the messenger enter the ante-room. I will hear his message from my bed chamber”. No one would see the Queen in her night clothes.

“Your Majesty, I regret to inform you that the Lady Amy Robsart is dead at Cumnor Place”.

Elizabeth was stunned.   She knew the message would be about Lady Robsart but didn’t expect she would be dead.  Lady Amy was ill with the disease which began with the lump in the breast but the regular reports she received from her informants did not indicate that death was imminent.

“Did she die…

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