Most gracious lady, consider my long, true and faithful heart toward you, and let not this unfortunate place here bereave me of that which above all the world I esteem there, which is your favour and your presence…
I do humbly
and from my heart prostrate at your feet beg this grace at your sacred hands,
that you will be pleased to let me return to my home service with your favour. - 23 May 1586
Some views around Kenilworth Castle, a fortress turned pleasure seat. It passed through the hands of such luminaries as Henry II, John of Gaunt, and Henry V, who each made their contributions to the architecture. It was gifted by Elizabeth I to her favourite, Robert Dudley. It was destroyed in a show of strength in the Civil War.
“Lord Robert Dudley, Master of the Horse, and son of the late Duke of Northumberland, a very handsome young man (giovane bellissimo)….” [Paulo Tieplo, Venetian Ambassador]
“The messenger I thought to send you found himself better at ease where he is; so wanting so fit a Mercury, I send you such an one as I had of my own, only to hear of your good estate, which I pray to continue longer in this world than ever earthly prince has done.” [Robert Dudley, in a letter to Elizabeth I]
Without him, her world would be cold and empty, a gorgeous, glittering, lonely shell, and she who had prided herself on her ability to face life in splendid isolation was suddenly terrified at the prospect of that existence.
If without offence or harm to your person, wishes might take place, you should a few days take pains in your old lodging, where I would do my best to increase your welcome, to the better remembrance of my late farewell at your hands.
we know from various sources that robert was handsome and because he had relationships with both douglas and lettice people assume that he was some shallow hottie who could only pursue women but the fact that he named his dog “boy” and that he probably married his first wife because he had feelings for her and thought it was the proper thing to do only proves what adorable dork he was
I most humbly beseech your Majesty to pardon your pôôr old servant to be thus bold in sending to know how my gracious lady doth, and what ease of her late pain she finds, being the chiefest thing in the world I do pray for, for her to have good health and long life. For my own poor case, I continue still your medicine and find that [it] amends much better than any other thing that hath been given me. Thus hoping to find perfect cure at the bath, with the continuance of my wonted prayer for your Majesty’s most happy preservation, I humbly kiss your foot. From your old lodging at Rycote, this Thursday morning, ready to take on my Journey, by Your Majesty’s most faithful and obedient servant, R. Leicester
Even as I had written thus much, I received Your Majesty’s token by Young Tracey.
Here is my random ramble for the day lamenting my unfulfilled desire to have a good actor AND a good script. I suppose it’s fitting to be depressing on the anniversary of his death.
One of the things that makes me upset about stupid Elizabeth I films/series is, besides it being a waste of time and money, it is a waste of potential great actors.
Sometimes casting can surprise me. I didn’t know a thing about Tom Hardy before watching TVQ and I looked at the stills of the film and thought he’d be terrible because he didn’t look a thing like Robert (with the exception of his eyes). I hadn’t seen him in anything before, but everyone was raving over him.
So I thought, “well, let’s give this a try.” He was on screen for, maybe, ten seconds and I thought he was the most amazing thing ever. My first reaction was so wrong. So very very wrong. He was fantastic.
I learned not to judge an actor based on what they look like alone when it comes to playing a historical figure. I want someone who plays Robert to absolutely slay me. It could be the person I least expected. They could come out of nowhere. I’m willing to eat my judgmental, knee-jerk reaction words. I’d LOVE to be pleasantly surprised. You don’t even know how much I’d love to be pleasantly surprised.
As much as I love some of the actors that have played Robert, I’m still waiting for that magical moment when the right actor and the right script (like, one that shows him young and old and includes his family and doesn’t make him sketchy or in love with MQOS or only after Elizabeth’s crown…you know, the basics) come together.
And, this may sound completely stupid and pathetic, but I’m scared that the right actor will be wasted on a bad script and we’ll never know what could have been.
For example, Charlie Carrick looks like Robert, but the script was so terrible that I’ll never really know how good of a Robert he could have been. Was he banned from smiling? Robert could be overly dramatic, but he was charming as well. Ffs. That script was awful.
I googled Joe Alywn’s height and it said he was 6ft tall. I can work with that. (I’m on this weird kick where I insist that the actor playing Robert must be tall - Tom Hardy is the only exception). Hair dye exists. I haven’t seen him in anything, but he’s supposed to be very good. The thing is that I’m fairly certain this script will be terrible so, again, a waste of potential potential (if you know what I mean).
I want an actor to metaphorically punch me in the face with their awesomeness, but I’d like them to punch me in the face with a good script as well. I’m just used to being disappointed so it’s hard for me to get excited or hopeful about anything. I’m prepared for all of these new Elizabethan productions to be terrible because then it might hurt less.
I wish I didn’t care so much about someone who died centuries ago, but I do. You can’t fight the truth, can you?
what people said: a bess x robin story in three parts
some people said: He was certain, too, that there was nothing improper taking place between the queen and her favourite. Dudley was a ‘virtuous, pious, courteous and highly moral man’ who Elizabeth ‘loves as a sister her brother in all maidenly honour, in most chaste and honest love’.
meanwhile other people said: The French ambassador reported that Elizabeth had slept with Dudley on New Year’s Eve 1566
bxr who where like who cares: ‘She cam owt of hir coche in ye highe way’, one bemused observer wrote, ‘and she imbrased [Dudley] and kyssed hym thrise’.
I most humbly beseech your Majesty to pardon your pôôr old servant to be thus bold in sending to know how my gracious Lady doth and what ease of her late pain she finds, being the chiefest thing in this world I do pray for, for her to have good health and long life. For my own poor case, I continue still your medicine and find it amend much better than with any other thing that hath been given me. Thus hoping to find perfect cure at the bath with the continuance of my wonted prayer for your Majesty’s most happy preservation I humbly kiss your foot, from your old lodging at Rycote this Thursday morning, ready to take on my journey, by your Majesty’s most faithful and obedient servant,
Even as I had written thus much I received your Majesty’s token by young Tracy.