Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

4-30-2016

Abstract

As a young princess, Elizabeth Tudor had a precarious position at court. Elizabeth was on her own in defending her honor when her position was put in jeopardy by rumors surrounding her and Thomas Seymour. Their relationship was questioned because of stories that circulated publicly and privately. These stories cast doubt on the character of the teenage Elizabeth and the investigations that followed looked at the involvement she and her household had in Thomas Seymour’s plans to marry the princess and her encouragement of his flirtatious advances. Kat Ashley provided accounts that suggested she had been plotting with Seymour on her lady’s behalf, and these same accounts show how Elizabeth discouraged his advances. Elizabeth vehemently denied her part in any marriage plans that Seymour may have concocted, though admits her governess’s part in the gossip­ “ Kat. Aschlylye tolde me, after that my Lord Admiralde was married to the Quene, that if my Lorde might have his owne Wil, he wolde haue me”. Historians examine this scandal as a key part of Elizabeth’s formative years. Some more speculative than others, such as Gregorio Leti who, in 1693, recorded inaccurate details of the scandal that have been often mistaken for fact. The accounts of William Cecil, Lord Burghley in the state papers detail a princess who was abused by those in power who wanted to remove her from the succession. With the support of her household, Elizabeth defended herself well and maintained her honorable reputation.

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