The Marriage of Elizabeth Tudor


Being an exhaustive inquiry into her alleged Marriage with

the Earl of Leicester and the alleged Births of her

Two Sons, Francis Bacon and the Earl of Essex:

an historical research based on one of the

themes in "Shakespeare's Sonnets"



Author of Shakespeare, Creator of Freemasonry",
"Francis Bacon and the Brethren of the Rosicrosse",
and Editor of "Shakepeare's Sonnet-Diary, etc., etc.


Paternoster House, Paternoster Row
London, E.C.4







"MY STORY IS PROUD........ The Entry of Truth with Chalk to Mark those Minds which are capable to Lodge and Harbour it."
Francis Bacon

Painting of Bacon as a baby.

Francis Bacon as a child. See this page for details on the Painting.


The Elizabethan Age presents many curious problems to historians and biographers.

No one has intrigued the modernist more than the "Virgin Queen". There are the most contradictory estimates regarding her personality, her character, her womanhood. In spite of the Lytton Stracheys, the Piers Comptons, the Waldmans and the Neales, Queen Elizabeth remains a baffling enigma . . . the Sphinx Feminine of the English race.

Half-mockingly, her eyes still gaze out of numerous portraits at the different generations of scholars who would probe the mysterious silences of her life. They and their speculations pass along the dusty ways of death and are forgotten; but the Rose of Tudor abides with her life's secret hidden within the sanctuary of her own heart. Men talked about her in the sixteenth century . . . and wondered. . . . They will be discussing her in the twenty-sixth.

The tragedy of Elizabeth has never been truthfully told by the fanciful writers of history, who are adepts at skirting the surfaces and ignoring the deeps. Even the fictionists have never interpreted, by creative insight, the mysterious workings of her soul. None of her biographers has been skillful enough or great enough to unveil the English "She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed". She towers alone in her majesty above them all.

The truth is, these writers forgot the prime thing in remembering she was our greatest English Queen. They forgot that she was at heart a simple woman of primal instincts with the Eternal Feminine strong within her . . . that the desire for love in the most intimate sense as sweetheart, companion, wife and mother beat quite as fiercely in her breast as in the heart of the average maiden longing and dreaming of the arrival of Prince Charming who will transform all the grey hues into purple and gold. And because they forgot this cardinal factor, our modernists have created by turns the fond Myths of a sexless Queen, an abnormal hermaphrodite, even a male Pope Joan, incapable of real affection, untouched by sex impulse. At one moment she is placed on a pedestal of ice as a frozen statue disdainfully scorning the touch of physical passion, and at another she is represented as craving and striving after the excitement of many lovers in impotent desire . . . with Leicester and Essex as chief favourites in the motley court crowd of carnal lovers of fleshly appetites.

These concepts are all shockingly false.

The real life story of our unique Tudor Queen is something far greater than the tawdry inanities of historical fictionists. It is the key to the Elizabethan Era: its glory, its grandeur, its cruelty and its hypocrisy. And this book, because it unveils the truth regarding Gloriana, will place in the hands of every unprejudiced student of open vision a master-key that will unlock many problem-doors of the Tudor regime; for Elizabeth's private life reflected itself in the social-political life of the nation and, above all, in the Elizabethan Renaissance of Learning.

Let me not be misunderstood. I do not write as a disputant. My researches make me tread a thorny path which bristles with the thorns of debate and the quagmire of academic theories. I avoid them all wherever possible. I am uninterested in hypotheses unless they can be brought to the touchstone of fact. I have necessarily to touch on the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy but I do so lightly and no more than is necessary . . . only in so far as it relates to the personal life of Queen Elizabeth, the Earl of Leicester, Francis Bacon and the Earl of Essex. "This Shake-speare Business" is another story altogether....

This work is primarily a compilation of facts, the revelation of a hitherto unsuspected Royal Secret disclosed in Shakespeare's Sonnets, together with the evidence found in the pages of history. The compilation constitutes irrefragable proof that "The Virgin Queen " was a secret wife and mother.















Canto I. Queen Elizabeth and Francis Bacon


Canto II. The Personal Relationship of Queen Elizabeth and Francis Bacon


Canto Ill. Queen Elizabeth, the Earl of Essex, and Francis Bacon













Alfred Dodd


.....one outstanding fact: that the Earl of Leicester, who was her real lover also

Robert Dudley, The Earl of Leicester


her accepted husband by a morganatic marriage, a private one, and that one of the children of that marriage was The Earl of Essex. From youth to old age, she never gave up her lover. She was true to Leicester, believing that "whom God hath joined let no man put asunder". She felt that Love had joined them and that God was Love. Nothing else mattered. Her private actions were her own affair, no one's business but her own. That was, obviously, the attitude she took up from the moment she ascended the Throne to the day when she lay on her death-bed of cushions torn with the bitter memories of remorse. For more than forty-five years she was staunch to herself, her secret husband and to England. For Leicester's sake and for England's sake, she played off against one another the Continental lovers who sought her hand, until she was strong enough to challenge the greatest military and naval power in the world. (Spain)

According to Froude (England, Vol. VI, p. 220), Elizabeth had been Dudley's playfellow in childhood. Whether so or not, they both met in the Tower under the shadow of the scaffold, for neither of them had any expectation of coming out alive. Their common fate naturally drew them together. As prisoners of note they were allowed a certain amount of freedom in the grounds. Deventer von Kunow, in "Francis Bacon, Last of the Tudors," says that "a chronicle in the Tower states that the couple were married there by a monk" (p. I l). Yet Dudley was then a married man.

In any case, when Elizabeth was called to the Throne by the death of her sister, Queen Mary, she at once sent for Dudley, who was abroad fighting in the Trench wars, and made him Master of the Horse, which office carried with it the right to be always near her person.

"The signal favour that Elizabeth lavished on Robert Dudley by appointing him her master of horse, and loading him with honours within the first week of her accession to the crown, must have originated from some powerful motive which does not appear on the surface. (Elizabeth, p. 88, Strickland.)

The "powerful motive" was that they were secret lovers and had plighted their troth to each other, Leicester never having returned to his wife on his unexpected release from the Tower. On going to Court, one of Dudley's first acts was to immure his wife, Amy Robsart, in a cloistered farmhouse at Cumnor Hall. They had married quite young. It was an unhappy marriage and they had not lived together after the first few weeks.

Dudley was lodged by the Queen next to her own room- which he occupied for years-giving out the excuse that the downstairs rooms were damp. She acted in public as though she were secretly betrothed to him. Historians confirm that Elizabeth was fascinated by the handsomest man of the age, whom she loaded with honours and riches, and created eventually the Earl of Leicester. It was commonly reported that only Dudley's wife stood in the way of him being the husband and consort of the Queen.

From the Court several of the Ambassadors wrote home their suspicions. Bishop De Quadra, was thc representative of thc King of Spain and the mouthpiece of the Continental nations. He vas at the English Court to make England Catholic and to use thc power of Spain to that end. Queen Elizabeth, as the head of a young Protestant nation, had to play a very wary game against this man and other Catholic Ambassadors, to prevent England being plunged into war. Madly in love with Dudley and resolved to have her own way, resolute not to marry any foreigner whom she had not seen or did not know, either to satisfy her own people or Catholic Christendom, she fences and hedges and flirts with everyone until England is strong enough to defy Spain. And all the time she was a married woman in act and deed, though she dare not declare it. She played the coquette by day, and laughed with Dudley over the deception at night-in the solitude of their own room.

De Quadra's letters prior to 1560/1 and immediately 'afterwards clearly prove, in my opinion, Elizabeth's passion, 'that there was undoubtedly a secret marriage between Dudley and Elizabeth, contracted in September after his wife's death, that Elizabeth was then enceinte, that she was averse to making the marriage known publicly, that William Cecil, Secretary of State, and Throckmorton, the English Ambassador at Paris, knew the marriage secret and the probable arrival of a little stranger, and kept the matter dark, probably on the understanding that she intended playing off her suitors against one another.


Hints of a Secret Marriage


A. Deventer von Kunow states in the Dictionary of National Biography, p. 114: "It is herein recorded that on January 21 1560/1 Queen Elizabeth was secretly married to Robert Dudley in the House of Lord Pembroke before a number of witnesses." This is the date Francis Bacon is assumed to have been born. His birth date is mixed, by happy chance, with her rumoured secret marriage. It actually took place shortly after Amy Robsart's death.

Throckmorton, the Queen's Ambassador at Paris, being acquainted with the rumours regarding the murder of Amy Robsart, the relationship of the Queen and Dudley, and her impending marriage, dare not trust what he has to say even by Cypher-Code, but sends his Secretary Jones to see her and acquaint the Queen with the position, the current gossip of the French Court.

He reports that:

"Her Majesty laughed and turned to one side and then the other, and set her hand upon her face.... She said, 'Her death fell out as it neither touched his (Dudley's) honesty nor her honour,' when the death of Dudley's wife was mentioned. She looked ill and harassed."

This interview took place in November 1560. Her "looks" are quite consistent with a pregnant woman.

On 3Ist December 1560, Throckmorton writes to Cecil certain significant passages which seem to indicate that he had resigned himself to the inevitable, and was making the best of a bad job. His phrases suggest that he was aware that the Queen was married, and that he had been informed that the marriage was a secret one which would never be made public. It is apparently from this point of view that he writes his advice home:

"But if Her Majesty do so foully forget hersty in hcr marriagc as the bruit (rumour) runneth here, never think to bring anything to pass either here or elsewhere. I would you did hear the lamentations, the declamations, and sundry affections which have course here for that matter....

"Sir . . . Remember your Mistress is young and subject to affections (passions); you are her sworn councillor and in great credit with her. You know that there be some of your colleagues which have promoted the matter.... My duty to her, my goodwill to you, cloth thus move me to speak plainly....

"After I had written this much, the Ambassador of Spain came to visit me, who did, amongst other matters, earnestly require me to tell him whether the Queen's Majesty was not SECRETLY ~married to Lord Robert; for, said he, I assure you, THIS COURT IS FULL OF IT.... The bruits (rumours) of her doings, said he, be very strange in all courts and countries.

"I have written a letter to Lord Robert Dudley, the true copy whereof I herewith send you, and also a copy of the letter I have written to her Majesty, written of mine own hand, of both which I pray you take knowledge."

The letters in question and the copies cannot be found, says Froude. But it is quite clear that the Continental Courts had heard that the Queen had contracted a secret marriage.

Cecil replies on the I5th January 1560/l, and one can read between the lines that the' secret marriage is an accomplished fact, and that it must be regarded as a something to be hidden, in other words, a State Secret.

"I advise you," he says, "not to meddle with the matters of this Court, otherwise than ye may be well advised from . hence. What Her Majesty will determine to do only God, I think, knoweth; and in her His Will be fulfilled.

"Writings remain, and coming into adverse hands may be sinisterly interpreted.... Servants and messengers may be reporters to whom they list, and therefore I cannot give you so plain a counsel as I wish: But in one word I say, Contend not where victory cannot be had."

William Cecil thus says in effect: The Queen IS secretly married. What is the use of your writing to the Queen or Dudley ? Your letters may live and fall into hands that may work us harm. It is useless for you or anyone to contend against the fact of its consummation.

All we can do is to shape a course that will preserve her and also save the State. In the meantime, commit nothing more to paper on the matter.

A week later, 22nd January 1560/1 De Quadra writes to Philip of Spain:

"If she marry Lord Robert without his Majesty's sanction, your Majesty has but to GIVE A HINT to her subjects and she will lose her Throne.... Without your Majesty's sanction she will do nothing in public; And it may be when she sees she has nothing to hope for from your Majesty, she will make a worse plunge to satisfy her appetite. She is infatuated to a degree which would be a notable fault in any woman, much more in one of her exalted rank."



This communication indicates that a public announcement of the marriage was contemplated at least by Lord Dudley, for earlier in his letter, De Quadra says that Dudley assured him that if the King of Spain would only countenance the marriage, they would restore the Roman Catholic religion. What could the hint to the nation be that De Quadra touches upon, save the fact that she was an expectant mother by a morganatic marriage contracted barely four months previously ? And that this is the way to take the hint is proved by the fact that he uses these words, "Some say she is a Mother ALREADY, but this I do not believe." In other words, De Quadra knows that she is AN EXPECTANT MOTHER but not an ACTUAL one at the time of writing.

This conclusion is confirmed by the researches of Mme D. von Kunow, who says that: "In Dec. 1560, a secret despatch of the Spanish Envoy advises that the Queen is expecting a child ` by Dudley ." (Escurial Papers.)

It is again confirmed by a letter, 23rd February 1560/I, of De Quadra to Philip, in which he says that he had seen Elizabeth:

"I said she was well aware of your Majesty's desire to see her married.... She replied ... she would make me her Ghostly Father" (De Quadra was a priest) "and I should hear her Confession. It came to this, that she was no angel . . . that she had not indeed resolved to marry Lord Robert or anyone. She thought her own people would like to see her married to an Englishman.... She promised to do nothing without your Majesty's sanction.

"She evidently wished I should say more but I refrained for fear of making a mistake, and because she is-what we know her to be.. As there is danger . . . I would not leave her without hope. If we let this woman become desperate, she may do something which may fatally injure us, although she destroy herself at the same time."

It is self-evident that this is diplomatic, non-committal writing, which actually says that "Elizabeth is-What we KNOW her to be, A MOTHER." It was given under the seal of Confession, and all De Quadra could say to his Master was that "she was no Angel". But he gives Philip the broad hint the reason why she was no Angel was because "she is what we know her to be". He adds it is useless to reproach or threaten to make use of this knowledge, given under seal (a very astute move on the part of Elizabeth to shut his mouth), because her desperation might do them a fatal injury. All they could do was to wait on events.

While the diplomats were writing home their reports, the common people of England were saying things: of the same kind, and had been saying so since 13th August 1560, when Cecil, the Prime Minister, "on his return from a long visit to Scotland, obtained a report concerning Mother Dowe of Brentwood in Essex, who openly asserted that the Queen was with child by Dudley." (Tudor Problems, p. 7, Woodward.)

It would be difficult to find stronger circumstantial evidence to determine the truth of the alleged secret marriage and subsequent motherhood of Queen Elizabeth. The evidence is throughout consistently cumulative. (3) We have two passionate natures, one a Tudor Queen who holds conventional morality very lightly; the other a noble Lord, handsome and fascinating, who was lusty in body and mind, notoriously so throughout his life. It is quite inconceivable that Dudley's nature would have been satisfied with sexless, platonic friendship. For, years his bedroom adjoined the Queen's. He had open access to her apartment and she to his. Under such circumstances one cannot believe that either of them remained immaculate. They were placing too great a strain on human nature.

We have, finally, a private marriage to legitimatise offspring begotten before wedlock. It is common gossip at home among the common folk. It is the all-important subject in private communiques of foreign ambassadors, and a matter of grave import in all the European Courts. There is actually :."a letter from Dudley, discovered in the Spanish archives by Mme D. von Kunow, begging Philip to use his influence to secure his public acknowledgment as Prince Consort".

In view of the foregoing, we can at least tentatively assume , that there was a marriage between Elizabeth and Dudley . which was kept private for State reasons by Elizabeth and her Minister Cecil. We can therefore proceed to the next question: Had she a child?






























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