ccd-leicesterhead1.jpg (9571 bytes)Dwight Peck's reprint series

Leicester's Commonwealth: The Copy of a Letter Written by a Master of Art of Cambridge (1584) {file 5}

Scanned and reprinted from
Peck, ed., Leicester's Commonwealth (Athens and London: Ohio University Press, 1985).

Leicester's Commonwealth

The Copy of a Letter
Written by a Master of Art of Cambridge to his friend in London, concerning some talk passed of late between two worshipful and grave men about the present state and some proceedings of the Earl of Leicester and his friends in England.

Conceived, spoken and published with most earnest protestation of all dutiful good will and affection towards her most excellent Majesty and the realm, for whose good only it is made common to many.



Further Notes


This is the earliest extant printed expression of the rumors concerning Amy's death. Dudley married Amy Robsart in 1550, but after Elizabeth's accession he spent most of his time at Court, in obvious flirtation with the Queen. Amy seems always to have been on good terms with her husband but lived abroad in the country, and in summer 1560 she was residing at Cumnor in Berkshire, the home of Dudley's man Anthony Forster. On Sunday, 8 September, she insisted that all of her attendants go to a nearby fair at Abingdon, and upon their return she was found at the foot of a set of stairs with a broken neck. (Richard Verney, or Varney, was a dependent of Dudley's, but there is no sign of his having been present.) Dudley's man Thomas Blount arrived immediately upon the scene; five of his and Dudley's letters back and forth survive in copies,1 and in them, although Dudley evinced no grief whatever and expressed concern only for his reputation (wishing devoutly that "this mischance had not happened to me"), he repeatedly commanded Blount to be certain that the coroner's jury searched out the full truth of the matter, "whether it happened by evil chance or by villainy," because otherwise "I have no way to purge myself of the malicious talk that I know the wicked world will use." Blount himself seems to have believed Amy "had a strange mind in her," that is, that she had committed suicide. While investigation was progressing, Lord Robert was sent away from Court.

After initial suspicion of Forster, the jury found "death by mischance." This may be correct (there is no hard evidence that it is not),2 or it may be a tactful way of acknowledging a suicide. Indeed, suicide seems to me more likely; Amy apparently had been suffering for some years from cancer of the breast, and would naturally have been despondent, and so her ladies reported of her - praying "God to deliver her from desperation" (Adlard, p. 36) - and she seems to have been adamant that she be left alone on that day. Quite possibly her illness, with her husband's manifest neglect and with the country alive with gossip of his romance with the Queen, drove her to despair.3 From what kind of stairs she fell is unknown, and it would make a difference; tumbling down a few steps is for obvious reasons an uncommon method of suicide, whereas throwing oneself from the head of a stairwell is said to be psychologically consistent with her presumed state of mind. On the other hand, Ian Aird has argued from medical evidence that the facts suggest spontaneous collapse of the cervical spine as a consequence of cancer, and this view is finding some support.4 Murder, either by Dudley or another, though possible, is the least likely alternative.

As Dudley had foreseen, a flurry of scandal instantly arose. The Spanish ambassador, De Quadra, wrote on 11 September that before her death Cecil had told him "that Robert was thinking of killing his wife, who was publicly announced to be ill, although she was quite well, and would take very good care they did not poison her," adding that "the next day the Queen told me that Robert's wife was dead or nearly so, and asked me not to say anything about it."5 Whether he intended it to be understood from this temporal ambiguity that Elizabeth had spoken this prior to Amy's death seems impossible now to resolve, though much ink has been spilled on the question. On the eighteenth the preacher Thomas Lever wrote to Cecil from Coventry, reporting "grievous and dangerous suspicion and muttering" in his country and pleading that the truth be found out and made public.6 Ambassador Throgmorton was appalled by what he heard in Paris: "Some let not to say what religion is this, that a subject shall kill his wife and the prince not only bear withal but marry with him."7 In many of his letters from this autumn, the ambassador laments the state of the Queen's reputation and its effect upon his diplomacy, but when his secretary, Robert Jones, spoke to Elizabeth personally about it, "she laughed, and . . . told me that the matter had been tried in the country and found to be contrary to that which was reported, saying that [Dudley] was then in the Court, and none of his at the attempt at his wife's house, and that it fell out as should neither touch his honesty nor her honor."8 Although Robert had taken pains to see that John Appleyard and others of his wife's family were summoned to oversee the investigation lest there remain any doubts, seven years later Appleyard was saying that "he had for the Earl's sake covered the murder of his sister."9

A less circumstantial account of Amy's "murder" appears in Peck, "Letter of Estate" (pp. 27-28).


Walter Devereux, first Earl of Essex, went into Ulster with a military force in 1573. His wife Lettice Knollys was involved with Leicester, at first as early as 1565 and then again in her husband's absence, as (probably) during the Kenilworth festivities of 1575; she married him in 1578. Whether Essex sought revenge upon Leicester "for begetting his wife with child in his absence" may be doubted, but they were hostile toward one another, and this may have been part of the reason; on 5 December 1575, Antonio de Guaras wrote from London, during Essex's return, that "as the thing is publicly talked about in the streets there is no objection to my writing openly about the great enmity which exists between the Earl of Leicester and the Earl of Essex, in consequence, it is said, of the fact that whilst Essex was in Ireland his wife had two children by Leicester."10 Essex's Irish failures brought him home in 1575, but he was soon forced to go back, largely, according to Camden, because of Leicester's influence in Council (Elizabeth, 2:80). In late summer 1576 he was in Dublin, preparing to come home again; there he became ill and, after three weeks' languishing, died on 22 September.

On 13 September Essex wrote to Richard Broughton: "The last day of the same month [August] a disease took me and Hunnis my boy and a third person to whom I drank, which maketh me suspect of some evil received in my drink. . . . My page [was] extremely ill also, but now of late that he is recovered."11 Shortly after his death his chaplain, T. Knell, reported the event, adding that

the yeoman of his cellar [Rowland Crompton] by certain words by him [Essex] spoken was of some suspected in his wine to have given him somewhat. . . . Some said that as many as drank with him that night were paid, as certain gentlewomen which also had the lask [diarrhea], which whether they had or not I am uncertain. [But Hunnis, his Lordship's taster, was indeed ill,] yet the suspicion of Crompton the yeoman of his cellar was so far from my Lord as by no means he said he would think it is him. . . . He said he thought some other of Ireland had done it, but none of his own house.12

Essex's "third person" and Knell's "certain gentlewomen" both refer, as only the Commonwealth indicates, to Alice Draycot. In a letter of 13 September 1576, hitherto unnoticed, Robert and Margaret Bysse and Cicely Fagan wrote from Dublin to their aunt, Mary Draycot, consoling her on the recent death of her daughter; they mention no suspicion of foul play but apologize "that we were not at her burying, for she was buried before we knew of any death."13

The Lord Deputy, Leicester's brother-in-law Sidney, reported to Walsingham on 20 October that he had found no evidence of poison, but that there were malicious rumors abroad "that arose by some words spoken by him," rumors especially concerning Crompton.14 On 4 February 1577 he wrote to Leicester himself: "I trust I have satisfied you and others touching the false bruit of the Earl of Essex's poisoning. I would have made Knell retract his foolish speech, but God prevented me, he dying of the same disease as the Earl, which was most certainly a mere flux [dysentery]. . . . If the Earl had lived, you should have found him as violent an enemy as his heart would have served him."15 Four days later the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, William Gerrard, sent to Walsingham the notes of his investigations into "the malicious bruits of the Earl of Essex his poisoning,"16 but rumors continued to circulate widely; for example, in an anonymous eulogy to Essex's deathbed piety (one of many that survive), the writer asserts quite positively that he had died of dysenteria but adds, ". . . or whether it were of any other accident the living God both knoweth and will revenge it."17

Henry Sidney, despite his obvious connection with Leicester's interests, was apparently a man of very great honesty, and in the absence of harder evidence than we now have, his report should be believed. The symptoms described by him and others could suggest poison but accord just as well with dysentery or typhoid fever, and there is no strong reason to doubt this judgment.

Another account of Essex's murder appears in Peck, "Letter of Estate" (pp. 28-29).


By family tradition, Leicester first met Douglass Howard, wife of John Lord Sheffield, when the Queen's progress was stopped at nearby Belvoir Castle in 1565.18 Their affair seems to have begun soon after her husband's death in 1568; Conyers Read discusses a love letter (of a sort) from Leicester probably to Douglass, which letter he dates 1573 and which seems to imply a history of some years in their liaison.19 When in 1603 her son by Leicester attempted to prove his legitimacy in the ecclesiastical courts, the Earl's widow Lettice Knollys brought a countersuit for conspiracy in Star Chamber, on which occasion Douglass testified to her own version of the relationship.20 She said that she had been formally contracted to the Earl in 1571; at what seems to have been the occasion of a pregnancy, he married her (she says) in May 1573 at Esher in Surrey, in the presence of Sir Edward Horsey and Dr. Julio, among others. Leicester, in fear of the Queen's wrath, insisted upon secrecy. Also in May 1573, Court gossip was noticing that Douglass and her sister Frances were "very far in love" with Leicester, "as they have been long," and were "at great wars together" over him.21

The boy Robert ("Robin") was born on 7 August 1574, with Warwick and Sir Henry Lee godfathers by proxy. Later, after their separation, Leicester got the boy away from his mother, had him brought up at his kinsman John Dudley's house at Stoke Newington (as the Commonwealth says), and in 1588 enrolled him in Oxford as filius comiti (son of an earl); he provided generously for the boy in his will (but scrupulously referred to him as his "base son"), making him some nine important bequests.22 When young Robert's attempt to gain his patrimony was removed to Star Chamber, he was acquitted (on 10 May 1605) of the conspiracy charge that had been brought there,23 but his witnesses were fined for perjury and the documents in the case were impounded to prevent their being used again, which amounts (if not to a legal judgment) to a statement of the court's opinion of his claim. Soon afterward he deserted his wife and left for a brilliant career on the continent, where he died in 1649.24 In 1644 his wife was made Duchess of Northumberland by Charles I, a formal recognition of his legitimacy but, in the circumstances, not a very meaningful one.25

Whether or not there was another child born, a daughter, as the Commonwealth asserts, is open to question. Her existence has been widely assumed; for example, she has been advanced in identification of Spenser's allegorical "Dido."26 When in the 1605 trial one of the witnesses insisted upon the fact of her birth, Lord Henry Howard (then Earl of Northampton) stepped forward and denied it in Lady Sheffield's name.27 It seems likely, however, that there was such a child, the occasion for whatever "marriage" occurred in May 1573; but since she appears nowhere thereafter, she probably died early.

In 1575 or 1576 Leicester, having tired of Lady Sheffield, began or renewed his courtship of Lady Essex. According to Douglass, the Earl offered her seven hundred pounds to disclaim their marriage, and when she refused, he tried to poison her. On 21 September 1578 he married Lady Essex, and on 29 November 1579 Douglass married Edward Stafford, "for her safety," she said.28 Stafford later testified (just before his death in 1605) that the Queen had promised Douglass that if there were a provable contract between Douglass and Leicester "she would make him make up her honor with a marriage or rot in the Tower" but that Douglass had been forced to answer that she had trusted the Earl too much to insist upon anything in writing.29 Both the Queen and the Earl of Sussex seem to have been ready to intervene on her behalf, but in the absence of any evidence at that time the matter was dropped and Douglass tacitly confessed her unmarried status by proceeding with her marriage to Stafford. Thus we can safely conclude that although the Earl acted in bad faith and although Douglass justly believed she had been wronged, and although there may have been a contract and a wedding ceremony of some sort (designed to put her mind at rest), there had probably been no authentic marriage registered in law. The contradiction between her belief that she was already married and her having wedded Stafford, with her failure to make a better case in 1579, when the Queen and Leicester's enemies would have been delighted to help her obtain justice, make her assertions seem rather the desperate fictions of a compromised woman. Derek Wilson has recently made a case for believing the marriage to have been genuine,30 but it is unconvincing. Lady Sheffield died in December 1608.31


The Commonwealth's animus against this lady provides another link between the book and the Catholic courtiers' fortunes in the years 1579-1581. Anne Vavasour, daughter of Henry of Copmanthorpe, Yorkshire, came to Court (evidently at fifteen) in 1580. She was kinswoman to Charles Arundell, Lord Harry Howard, and Lord Paget, and whilst there she moved in Howard circles, under the care of other relatives, the Knyvetts, and especially her aunt, widow of Paget's brother Lord Henry. In summer 1580 she was being amorously pursued by the Earl of Oxford, which called forth from Walter Raleigh his sterling little poem of brotherly advice to her, "Many desire, but few or none deserve."32 The advice was in vain, however, for in late summer she became pregnant by Oxford ("leavings of another man"), who (according to Lord Howard) immediately made plans to carry her over the sea and, though he was already wed to Burghley's daughter, there to marry her.33 In December 1580 Oxford betrayed his friends in the Howard circle and joined the Earl of Leicester; Anne (or her brother) brought Oxford and Arundell together, Arundell says, so that the Earl might suborn him to corroborate his story.34 When Arundell and Howard were placed in the confinement in which for ten months they remained, Oxford too was imprisoned, only to be released soon afterward and (in Arundell's words) to go "grazing in the pastures, up and down the town."35 But then in March Anne's baby arrived, and directly it was delivered she was sent to the Tower; Oxford seems to have tried to flee the realm, but he too ended up in the Tower.36 On 8 June he was released but remained under house arrest for some while longer, the Queen being reluctant to free him until he had confronted Howard and Arundell.37

As a consequence of all this, Oxford was forbidden the Court for two years more, during which time street battles continued between Oxford and Anne's kinsmen. He was dangerously hurt in a fight with Thomas Knyvett in March 1582; servants of Oxford and the Knyvetts fought in June; later in June Thomas Knyvett himself was attacked, and again in July 1582, when he killed one man in self-defense; in March 1583 one of Oxford's men killed one of Knyvett's, and as late as January 1585 the Earl was challenged to a duel by Anne's brother Thomas.38 Arundell, of course, hated Oxford, and sometime in 1581 he wrote a letter (apparently) to Anne lamenting her "disgrace and banishment" and counselling her to "pluck up your courage. . . and think that God hath not forgotten you."39 Nevertheless, despite his goodwill at that time and her relatives' indignation in her behalf, Anne soon forsook her friends by becoming the mistress of Leicester's ally Sir Henry Lee (thereby displacing Lee's much-ignored wife, Lord Paget's sister); in about 1585 her brother Thomas, instead of joining his relatives at Court, took service under the Earl of Leicester. Whether or not Anne Vavasour was really "attempted" by Leicester as the Commonwealth asserts, her presence here in such contemptuous mention reflects her defection to his party.40


This problem has been studied in some detail, but the main facts can be outlined here.41 William Robinson died "in the Queen's service" on 12 July 1563, and so quite likely he had served with Warwick at Newhaven as asserted. Thomas, his eldest son, inherited the manor of Drayton Basset in Staffordshire but ran into financial difficulties and in about 1576 alienated Drayton and other properties to one Richard Paramore, a merchant and land speculator from London. Robinson's friends maintained the manor merely to have been mortgaged on a seven-hundred-pound loan for which payment was not yet due, and Paramore had to have Thomas's brother John evicted by an injunction from the Court of Exchequer.

John Robinson was determined to pursue the matter, and violence broke out in June 1578, continuing intermittently throughout the summer. On 2 September, Thomas and John Robinson, supported by Walter Harcourt (knighted 1591, d. 1608) of Stanton Harcourt and Ellenhall (who had married their sister Dorothy), several other Harcourts, and as many as a hundred gentlemen and servants from the neighborhood, conducted a raid upon the house, drove off Paramore's agents, and fortified their position. Paramore sought the aid of Humphrey Ferrers, a leading citizen of nearby Tamworth and a client of the Earl of Leicester's. Ferrers and Sir George Digby summoned a posse and assaulted the house, and in the ensuing skirmish one of Ferrers's servants, Tristram Warde, was killed by John Robinson himself. Ferrers then rode up to London and complained to the government, but when the Lords Dudley and Stafford, acting on Privy Council orders of 14 September, arrived to restore order, they too were resisted. By the twenty-ninth, however, the rioters had surrendered or been taken, for on that date the chief among them were committed to the Fleet prison. Interrogations began, under Recorder William Fleetwood, not only of the participants but also of some of the local gentry (including Edward Arden and Sir Francis Willoughby), who were suspected of having materially supported the rioters. Thomas Lord Paget was reported to be working at Court to have the whole proceedings quashed as expensive and unnecessary.

The case against the rioters was heard in Star Chamber, and by October 1580 Harcourt and at least some of the others had been fined and released.42 John Robinson testified that he had resisted Ferrers's demands because the only authority the man had had was "a letter of attorney . . . from my Lord of Leicester to enter into the said manor of Drayton Basset to my Lord of Leicester's own use." His defense in the charge of having killed Warde was that Warde was slain "by some of his own company that came with him," a version echoed elsewhere as well.43 We cannot be certain that John Robinson was indeed sentenced to death, but there is reason to believe that was; the margin note of one of the manuscript copies of Leicester's Commonwealth corrects the error in the printed edition in terms that suggest a firsthand knowledge: "Here is a mistaking, for it was not Thomas Robinson, the owner of the land, that was thus condemned, but his brother."44

A letter survives, written by Leicester to Ferrers at the height of the row (14 September), in which the Earl instructed his "loving servant" to guard his interests zealously, "as a matter that toucheth both your honesty and mine honor."45 Eventually the manor did come into Leicester's hands; Paramore seems to have assigned his interest to the Earl in 1580 "in consideration of a great sum of money," and in 1581 Leicester travelled into Staffordshire to look the property over.46 He bequeathed Drayton Basset to his wife in his will dated 1587, and although litigation over the title continued between Thomas Robinson and the Earl's widow after Leicester's death in 1588, the Countess died in residence there in 1634.

We are still unable to determine whether Leicester was guilty of the Commonwealth's accusations against him; we may assume not entirely so. We do know that there was a violent incident over Drayton Basset, that the Earl was involved in it in some measure, and that he eventually fetched up with the title. We also know that the growing presence of his interests in the midlands seems to have been widely resented by the local population and that this incident seems to have been understood as another step in Leicester's encroachments in the region. In any case, the Commonwealth's allegations are by no means far-fetched.


Archbishop Edmund Grindal's removal from his duties in June 1577 resulted from his refusal of the Queen's order that he suppress the Puritanical "prophesyings"; he remained suspended until his death in July 1583.47 Contemporary rumor attributed his disgrace, however, to the fact that "he had condemned an unlawful marriage of Julio . . . with another man's wife, while Leicester in vain opposed against his proceeding therein."48 Dr. Julio (born Guilio Borgarucci) was a Protestant who, having returned with the Earl of Warwick from Le Havre, had entered Leicester's service in about 1563; in September 1573 he was taken on as physician to the royal household, in which post he seems to have died in about 1581. He was often alluded to as the type of the "Italian poisoner"; for example, Webster, in his play The White Devil (1612), has the evil Duke Brachiano employ a "Dr. Julio" to poison his wife. At one point in his career he was brought up for having married a woman already wed, but the matter received favor from Dr. Valentine Dale, then Master of Requests.49 Sir William Cordell, Master of the Rolls, reopened it in 1573, and finally in late 1576 the case came before Grindal.

On 4 December 1576 Julio wrote the following letter to the Earl of Leicester, in which he seems to ask for extraordinary favor:

My singular good Lord. I do understand by my proctor and other my lawyers of the hard dealing of Dr. [Thomas] Yale, who now fulfilleth as much as he signified unto me by Thomas of Denbigh my man, how the Archbishop of Canterbury had sworn I should never obtain this gentlewoman I have married, nor enjoy her. For the said Dr. Yale will not admit my witnesses to be examined but in such sort as seemeth to be contra jus gentium and hath not been used, as by certain articles which I have drawn shall the more at large appear unto your honor, and besides this he doth also publish decrees against his own former proceedings in my great prejudice, whereupon my learned counsel do wish me to appeal unto her Highness, whom it may please your honor to entreat to be so good and gracious to me that with her Majesty's favor I may have justice done me, and that my matter may be committed to such as neither be allied, affectioned, or suspected by either parties, to the intent that equity and justice may take place and that I be not precipitated in law or condemned in dicta causa, as mine unnatural adversaries do put in ure, whereby such as should allow of good doings and good intents do seem publicly to overturn all the good considerations of conscience and course of right and justice, as my learned men, being as they do term it at their wit's end to see such partialities, have signified unto me. Thus I shall have cause not only to pray to God for her Majesty's good health and prosperous long life, but also I shall accompt this for a singular benefit among a great many that your honor of your goodness hath bestowed upon me. From Brudges, the 4 of December 1576. Your honor's faithful servant during life, Guilio Borgarucci.50

Leicester apparently approached the Archbishop on behalf of his client, but (according to Strype) "notwithstanding the Earl's solicitation, he was not to be swayed contrary to his judgment and conscience," and he rendered a decision against Julio. Leicester appears certainly to have supported Grindal in the matter of the prophesyings, but nevertheless it is possible, if unlikely, that there was more connection between Julio's troubles and the fall of the Archbishop than we might otherwise recognize. Professor Collinson has found a letter from Burghley to Walsingham, dated 31 May 1577 (that is, when there was a question whether the Queen might attempt to have Grindal removed altogether), which at least indicates that Julio was somehow involved in the Archbishop's difficulties in ways that made Cecil uneasy:

In the evening [Burghley says] after that we had delivered to the Archbishop her Majesty's message, I understood that Mr. Julio had that morning told a doctor of the law what should be done. So as I see he was more of her Majesty's counsel than two or three that are of present counsel. These proceedings cannot but irritate our merciful God, [and I hope that] He shall show mercy to his afflicted church. . . . I think the persons appointed to consult for deprivation of the Archbishop shall be much troubled to find a precedent.51

It will be observed that the Commonwealth inverts the usual story, supposing that it was Julio's bigamy and not his wife's that was in question.


1. In the Pepys MSS., Magdalene College, Cambridge, printed in Adlard, Amye Robsart, pp. 32-41.

2. Thus the sensible argument by Gairdner, "Death of Amy Robsart."

3. Neale agrees, Queen Elizabeth I, p. 87.

4. Aird, "Death of Amy Robsart"; N. Williams, Elizabeth I, p. 112.

5. C.S.P. Spanish, 1558-67, p. 175.

6. Haynes, Collection of State Papers, p. 362.

7. C.S.P. Foreign, 1560-61, p. 439.

8. Jones to Throgmorton, 30 Nov. 1560, Hardwicke State Papers, 1: 165. "The attempt" seems an odd phrase for the Queen to have used.

9. H.MC. Salisbury MSS., 1: 351; see Appendix B, note 10. An intelligent discussion of the whole affair is found in D. Wilson, Sweet Robin, chap. 7.

10. C.S.P: Spanish, 1568-79, p. 511.

11. Malden, Devereux Papers, pp. 3-4. "Some evil" may imply suspicion of poison but may merely mean "some harm."

12. Ibid., p. 11.

13. This letter is tucked loose into a manuscript copy of the Commonwealth once owned by the Draycot family, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, MS. 1.3.28. Folded with it is a conventional but affectionate verse letter to Mistress Alice Draycot, originally accompanying the gift of a devotional book, which seems almost certainly to be signed with a stylized "W. E.," i.e., Walter of Essex (though the college library catalogue records it as "Y. F.").

14. Sidney Papers, 1: 140-42.

15. H.M.C. Penshurst MSS., 2: 51.

16. S.P.63/57/16.

17. British Library, Harleian MS. 293. no. 72, fol. 115.

18. Holles, Memorials of the Holles Family, p. 70. There is no confirmation of the Queen's having been at Belvoir at this time. Douglass (ca. 1545-1608), daughter of Lord William Howard of Effingham (and sister of Lord Charles, the admiral), styled herself Lady Sheffield to the end of her life, despite her marriage to Stafford.

19. See Read, "Letter from Robert, Earl of Leicester, to a Lady."

20. The best printed accounts are Warner's introduction, Voyage of Robert Dudley, pp. xxxix-xlvi, and Hawarde's Reportes, pp. 169-70, 198-213.

21. Gilbert Talbot to Shrewsbury, Lodge's Illustrations, 2: 17.

22. The will is printed in Sidney Papers, 1: 70-75.

23. Hawarde, Reportes, p. 212.

24. See Lee, Son of Leicester.

25. The letters patent, Jebb, Life of . . . Leicester, appendix 13.

26. Higginson, Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar, pp. 238-42.

27. Hawarde, Reportes, pp. 208-9.

28. Ibid., p. 199.

29. Warner, Voyage of Robert Dudley, p. xlv.

30. D. Wilson, Sweet Robin, pp. 207-9 and notes.

31. An abstract of her will is printed in Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, n.s. 3 (1880): 369-70.

32. Peck, "Raleigh, Sidney, Oxford, and the Catholics, 1579," p. 431.

33. S.P.12/15/57.

34. S.P. 15/27A/46.

35. S.P.12/151/53.

36. Walsingham to Huntingdon, 23 Mar. 1581, H.M.C. Hastings MSS., 2: 29.

37. A.P.C., 1581-82, p. 74; Walsingham to Burghley, 14 July 1581 (S.P. 12/149/69).

38. See Chambers, Sir Henry Lee, pp. 150-62 (which reproduces a portrait of Anne Vavasour).

39. S.P.12/151/51.

40. The best account of Anne Vavasour and her relations with Oxford is Bennett, "Oxford and Endimion."

41. Peck, "Earl of Leicester and the Riot at Drayton Basset, 1578," including references not provided here.

42. See interrogations and answers in Star Chamber records, Public Record Office, STAC 5/A.4/26, A.24/25, A.25/14, A.26/7, A.30/27, A.54/5.

43. Ibid., STAC 5/A.4/26. The unknown copyist who made the MS. of Leicester's Commonwealth now in the library of St. John's College, Cambridge (MS. L.11), added a marginalium: "There was a man slain, but Leicester caused one of his own side to shoot a piece amongst his own men, and so one being slain it was said he was slain from Robinson's side."

44. British Library, Lansdowne MS. 265, fol. 41.

45. Pierpont Morgan Library, MS. M.A. 134b, no. 141.

46. "A brief of the title of the Countess of Leicester to the manor of Drayton Basset," British Library, Lansdowne MS. 62, item 53, fo1.127; I am indebted to Dr. P. R. Roberts for this reference. Leicester to Huntingdon, 26 May 1581, Huntington Library MS. H.A. 2377.

47. See Collinson, "Downfall of Archbishop Grindal," and his Elizabethan Puritan Movement, pp. 191-98.

48. Camden, Elizabeth, 3: 26; see also Harington, Nugae antiquae, 2: 18-20.

49. John Strype, History of the Life . . . of Edmund Grindal, pp. 334-35.

50. British Library, Cotton MSS., Titus B. VII, fol. 36.

51. British Library, Additional MS. 5935, fol. 68; Collinson, "Downfall of Archbishop Grindal," p. 46.

Appendices with Related Notes
Appendix APrinted and Manuscript Forms of Leicester's Commonwealth
Appendix BThe French Translation, 1585, and its Addition
Appendix CSidney's Defense of Leicester
Appendix DFurther Notes
Appendix ERelated Documents
Appendix FGenealogical Tables
BibliographyBibliography of Printed Works Cited
PDF version, 2006 (2.0 MB)

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